This paper offers an operational framework for establishing an authentic expression of indigenous Muslim culture. This framework consists of five operational principles, which are discussed at length and illustrated with examples: trusting reason, respecting dissent, stressing societal obligations, setting priorities, and embracing maxims.
These five principles are central to the Islamic tradition and embody the practical wisdom and consummate sensibility of the Prophetic teaching. The paper emphasizes the need for Muslim communities as a whole to become directly involved in their self-definition and the construction of their future as individuals and communities. This task cannot be left to others or to chance; the five operational principles provide an invaluable resource for determining the way forward. While the paper focuses on the American Muslim community, the framework is relevant to Muslims everywhere, especially those in the West.