Open Letter: Muslim Spiritual Leaders Pledge to Join the Sanctuary Movement

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful:

And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference – Quran 17:70

As Muslims, we are called on by our prophetic tradition to join and protect our congregants, neighbors, and community members facing deportation and other unjust policies.

We, the undersigned, pledge to use our resources as spiritual and congregational leaders to support the movement to create sanctuary for immigrants and refugees of all faiths and backgrounds, documented and undocumented, and anyone else who feels marginalized, frightened, or disrespected by a hateful environment. We encourage leaders in Muslim communities across the U.S. to join us and do the same.

The past eight years have been full of challenges for undocumented immigrants. While President Obama was in office, the Department of Homeland Security deported over 2.5 million people, more than any other administration in history.

We remain horrified by the systematic targeting of undocumented community members and the cruel and dehumanizing methods used against them. We grieve for those who came here seeking asylum and were turned away, with some returning only to be killed by those from whom they fled.

Given the words of Donald Trump on the campaign trail and the policies he has put forth in just the first few days of his term, we can expect the environment for our undocumented sisters and brothers to get even worse under this administration.

These will be trying times for immigrants, refugees, and undocumented members of our communities, and for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. But, as followers of the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), we are blessed to have been given clear guidance mandating compassion towards and protection of migrants. Our faith teaches us that all people are worthy of humanity—regardless of their documentation status.

When the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions fled from persecution, they were lovingly welcomed into the homes of the helpers in Madinah. God describes their attitude of those who provided sanctuary by saying, “They love those who migrate to them…and give preference to them over themselves, even though they are also in need” (Quran 59:9).

With this same loving attitude, we pledge to offer our resources to creating sanctuary for any who desire it, and to work with people of all faiths and backgrounds to build and sustain strong communities.

Please join us in taking this pledge.

In faith and solidarity,

Sr. Aisha Al-Adawiya
Dr. Jonathan Brown
Dr. Dalia Fahmy
Imam Taha Hassane
Sr. Dalia Mogahed
Shaykh Khalil Abdul Rashid
Imam Omar Suleiman
Imam Dawud Walid
Imam Suhaib Webb

Need more information to understand the sanctuary movement? This document covers it:

Sanctuary Movement Toolkit from United We Dream and Church World Service

(This toolkit was created for church communities but has background information and resources that are applicable for mosques as well.)

Ready to join the movement? Add your name to the pledge here.

MPower Change

MPower Change is the largest Muslim led social and racial justice organization in the United States. Rooted in our Islamic faith and the Prophetic model, we believe in building a more just world for all people. We are building a grassroots movement made up of diverse Muslim and ally communities throughout the United States.