Muslims have a tremendous responsibility in Japan where Islam is not the dominant religion. Although, ordinary Japanese people have been exposed to Islam and Muslims for quite some time now, it was not until the late seventies and eighties in the 20th century, when, in the wake of economic bubble in the country, Muslims from many different parts of the world migrated to Japan to improve their economic lot.
As the majority of these Muslims, have, by now, established their businesses or have been engaged into meaningful jobs for quite some time now, they have been finding ways to assimilate themselves and their families into the larger fabric od the Japanese society. The past two decades have seen these Muslims making conscious efforts in building and maintaining religious and community institutions, such as masajid, schools (to a lesser extent) and after-school learning programs as these Muslims are likely to remain in this country instead of returning to their native lands. Muslims living in Japan have the following responsibilities to fulfill while living in the country.
- Educate our children, the future of Islam in Japan who are not as much exposed to Islamic learning environment as you were while being a kid. We need to establish Islamic schools and other religious and community institutions where children could get education according to fundamentals of Islam without having the fear of being corrupted from the ills of Japanese society while accepting the good points of the culture.
- Give proper time to your family as they do not get as many chances to entertain themselves as you get while working and living most of your day-time outside your home
- Take care of the not-yet-Msulims by giving Dawa`h to them as it is your moral and religious obligation to pay back for what you have been getting from the society and the culture.
- Take care of new Muslims by giving them advice, supporting their financial needs if they desire so and, above all, giving them the moral support they need as they have just left their families and are at a loss how to spend their time productively and thus become an active member of the Muslim community.
- Provide an environment where non-Muslims and new Muslims alike can contact for advice, info and help. Various Muslim organizations and masajid could establish special “hotlines” in this regard.
- Leave the personal identities you may have inherited from your respective countries and cultures back home and unite under the umbrella of one Muslim Ummah which is color-blind as its members are respected only on the basis of their taqwah and not the on the personal wealth they have accumulated over the years.
- Be an active part of the Muslim community in Japan by participating in the programs, activities and projects being organized by the Muslim community as a whole
- When you are in a minority, you are sitting at a melting pot as far as your Iman is concerned. So take care of your Iman by joining hands with the other members of the Muslim community in the country.
- Move closer to a Masjid as it will help you establish your prayers on regular basis instead of praying at home or, worse yet, totally ignoring them.
- Make the Muslim community bigger as they will support you and your kids in the long run
- Attend to the needs of your neighbors who are sick and do not have means to earn their living properly.
Please let me know if I have missed any thing. I look forward to hearing from you about this.