Charter of Young Muslims of North America
The name of this movement shall be “Young Muslims” (YM).
Young Muslims shall be a division of ICNA and shall make policy decisions with the consultation of the YM Board.
The Charter and By-Laws came into effect on May 1,1999.
Clause 4: Aqeedah (Creed)
The aqeedah (Creed) of Young Muslims is: “La ilaha-illallahu Muhammadur Rasulullah,” That is, there is no deity except Allah, Muhammed is the Messenger of Allah.
A. La ilaha-illallahu means that Allah (SWT), alone is the Creator, Sustainer, Lord, and Sovereign of the whole universe. No one shares His attributes or powers. The acceptance of this fact makes it imperative that the believer should:
1. Believe that Allah begets not, nor is He begotten and that Allah is his/her sole Creator, Guardian, the Benefactor, and the Protector.
2. Repose in Allah his/her trust, hopes and fears.
3. Call for help, pray to, and seek refuge only in Allah without considering any intercessor to Him, be that and angel, a prophet or a saint.
4. Bow his/her head before none, worship none, offer homage to none except Allah, and do not indulge in any practice(s) of polytheistic nature because Allah alone deserves all ibadah (worship).
5. Accept that Allah (SWT) is the Sovereign of the universe and the Supreme lawgiver.
6. Exercise his/her freedom in the submission to Allah’s will as an abd (faithful servant) and refrain from servitude of his/her lust and desires.
7. Recognize the fact that he/she owes his/her life, body, mental, and physical capabilities to Allah and thus consider them a trust (amanah) from Allah.
8. Consider himself/herself answerable to Allah (SWT) for his/her actions on the Day of Judgment.
9. Make the pleasure and displeasure of Allah (SWT) the criterion for all his/her likes and dislikes.
10. Recognize Allah’s (SWT) guidance as “The Guidance” in matters of moral, social, political and economic behavior. Thus reject anything that goes against His Shari’ah.
11. Consider the pleasure of Allah (SWT) as the only basis for his/her struggle for Iqamat-ud-Deen, and the pivot of his/her entire life.
B. Muhammadur Rasulullah implies that Muhammad (SAW), is the last Prophet sent by Allah (SWT), with the final and authentic guidance, and that he was entrusted with establishing a model society based on this guidance. Acceptance of this fact makes it imperative that the believer should:
1. Accept without question all those teachings that have been proven to be those of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
2. Recognize the fact that obedience to Allah (SWT) and His Prophet is paramount to all other obedience's. Following others can only be under the direction of Allah’s book (The Holy Qur’an) and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (SWT), Muhammad (SAW), but not independent of them.
3. Declare the Book of Allah (SWT) and the Sunnah of His Messenger as the argument, final testimony and source of all guidance in his/her life.
4. Cleanse his/her heart of all prejudices whether they are racial, personal, familial, social, national, territorial, sectarian or parochial; Abstain from developing love and adoration for anyone that dominates or rivals the love and adoration for the truth brought by the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (SAW).
5. Recognize no person after the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as having such status that allegiance to him would determine the Iman or Kufr of any person.
The goal of Young Muslims shall be to seek the pleasure of Allah (SWT) by educating, training and developing the Muslim youths to be Islamic workers for Iqamat-ud-Deen in North America.
1. Qur’an and Sunnah shall be the primary source of guidance.
2. Providing all areas of education for Muslim youths of North America.
3. Inviting youths to submit to the Creator by using all possible means of communication.
4. Motivating Muslim youth to perform their duty to being witness unto mankind by their words and deeds.
5. Organizing those Muslim youths who agree to work in this cause in the discipline of Young Muslims.
6. Offering educational and training opportunities to increase Islamic to enhance character and to develop skills of all those who are associated with Young Muslims.
7. Cooperating with other organizations for implementation of this program and unity in the Ummah.
Any youth, living in North America, regardless of race, color, ethnicity, family or gender, can become a member of Young Muslims, provided that he/she:
1. Agrees with the aqeedah, goal, methodology and program of Young Muslims.
2. Tries to practice Islam in his life.
3. Fills out the prescribed form, which shall be recommended by the Local or Regional Coordinator and shall be approved by the National Coordinator.
4. Extends cooperation in the struggle of Young Muslims.
Every member of Young Muslims shall endeavor:
1. To improve his/her knowledge of Islam on a continuous basis.
2. To mold his/her personal, family and social life in accordance with the Qur’an and the Sunnah.
3. To introduce the da’wah of Young Muslims to his/her family, friends and acquaintances.
4. To encourage and extend all possible support to any member of his/her family who is actively involved in the activities of Young Muslims.
5. To undertake an organized struggle for the establishment of Islam and the propagation of its message.
6. To invite those who agree with the aqeedah of Young Muslims to join the movement and help achieve its goal.
7. To abstain from all such activities, which conflict with the goal and of Young Muslims.
1. The National Coordinator shall be the ultimate responsible to guide and lead Young Muslims with the cooperation of YM Shura and members and shall be answerable to the Ameer of ICNA.
2. The National Coordinator shall implement the Young Muslims policies and decisions of YM Shura.
3. The term of the National Coordinator shall be two years. A person cannot be elected as the National Coordinator for a third consecutive term.
4. If at any time the National Coordinator can not perform his responsibilities, temporarily, he shall appoint an acting National Coordinator in consultation with the YM Board for a maximum period of three months. If the situation persists, the Ameer of ICNA shall appoint or the YM Board shall conduct the election for the new National Coordinator.
5. If the office of the National Coordinator becomes vacant during the session due to his resignation, removal or any other reason, the Young Muslim Shura shall elect an acting National Coordinator for a maximum period of six months. It shall be necessary that the new National Coordinator be elected before the expiration of this period.
6. It shall be the duty of the National Coordinator to:
a) Place obedience and faithfulness to Allah (SWT) and His Messenger, Muhammad (SAW) above everything else.
b) Consider achieving the goal of Young Muslims as his primary obligation.
c) Give preference to Young Muslims’ interests over his personal interests.
d) Treat and command members of Young Muslims justly and honestly.
e) Safeguard fully the trusts handed over to him.
f) Abide by this Constitution and seek to maintain proper order within Young Muslims.
g) To maintain contact or communication with the members of Young Muslims.
h) To visit Neighbor Net on a periodical basis.
7. The National Coordinator shall have the following powers:
a) To take immediate and appropriate action, when needed, concerning important matters in consultation with the Young Muslims Shura.
b) To supervise all the administrative activities of Young Muslims.
c) To use the resources of Young Muslims within the limits drawn by the Young Muslim Shura.
d) To accept new members or expel any existing members in consultation with Young Muslims Shura.
f) To approve the elections or the dismissal of local NeighborNet Coordinators with the consultation of the Young Muslim Shura and the Regional Coordinator.
g) To appoint or remove the any office within the National Shura held by Shura member of Young Muslims in Consultation with the Young Muslim Shura and YM Board.
h) To use funds from Young Muslims Baitul Maal according to the budget.
i) To call in session a meeting of the Members.
j) To implement the decisions arrived at by the Young Muslim Shura to the best of his judgment and ability.
k) To delegate any of his powers to any other person, in consultation with the Young Muslim Shura.
1. The basic function of the Young Muslim Shura shall be to formulate the best policies and working procedures with the consultation of the YM Board to achieve the goal of Young Muslims.
2. The Young Muslim Shura shall consist of elected and nominated members.
3. The members of Young Muslims shall elect the members of the Young Muslim Shura every two years.
4. The term for Shura members shall be for two years. A person cannot be elected for a third consecutive term.
5. The National Coordinator shall be the President of the Young Muslim Shura.
6. Powers of the Young Muslim Shura:
a) To formulate Young Muslims policies with the consultation of the YM Board.
b) To advise, without apprehension, on central, regional and local appointments and other matters.
c) To carry out ehtisab (criticism and accountability aimed at future improvements) of the National Coordinator and remove him from his office provided two-thirds of the elected members of the Young Muslim Shura pass a no-confidence motion against him. The removal shall be effective after the approval from the Ameer of ICNA.
d) To interpret the Constitution and amend it, in extraordinary circumstances, with the consent of a simple majority and subject to the subsequent approval of the Members.
e) To approve the central budget of Young Muslims.
f) To review, criticize and evaluate the reports of the central, regional and local organizations.
g) To set up committees, as needed, in connection with various works (projects) and departments of Young Muslims and define their limits.
h) To take all necessary steps to achieve the goal of Young Muslims in accordance with the Constitution.
i) To delegate its powers, or some of them, along with any limits which it may deem necessary, to any committee of Muslims, the National Coordinator or any other person.
7. Duties of the members of the Young Muslim Shura:
a) To place obedience and faithfulness to Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (SAW) above everything else.
b) To keep a watch on themselves and the National Coordinator in order to ensure that they adhere to Young Muslims ideology and strive constantly to achieve its goal.
c) To participate regularly in the meetings of the National Shura.
d) To express their honest opinion according to their best knowledge and understanding.
e) To abstain form creating permanent groupings and causing divisions within Young Muslims and to help forestall any such eventuality.
f) To bring to the immediate attention of the National Coordinator any issue or problem concerning Young Muslims and to help in rectifying the situation.
g) To keep in touch with the National Coordinator on a regular basis.
h) To carry out the responsibilities assigned to them diligently.
8. Ordinary and Extraordinary Meetings:
a) Ordinarily, there shall be at least three meeting of the Young Muslim Shura in a year.
b) The National Coordinator shall hold the special meeting of the Young Muslim Shura as and when deemed necessary.
c) At the request of one-half of the members of the Young Muslim Shura, the National Coordinator shall call a meeting as soon as possible.
d) The quorum for a meeting shall be two-thirds of the Shura members, but if a meeting has to be postponed due to lack of quorum, then no quorum is required for the next meeting.
e) Generally, the Young Muslim Shura shall seek unanimous decisions but in case of differences the decision of the majority of the members present shall be binding.
Clause 5: Secretary General:
1. The National Coordinator shall appoint the Secretary General in consultation with the YM Shura.
2. The Secretary General shall render general assistance to the National Coordinator. He shall perform all those duties and use all those powers entrusted to him by the National Coordinator, and shall be answerable to him for his work.
3. The special responsibilities of the Secretary General include maintaining contact with and supervising the central departments, and compiling proceedings of Shura.
4. The same person may hold the office of Secretary General successively.
Clause 1: Regions
1. In order to expand, to strengthen and to better supervise the work of Young Muslims, North America shall be divided into various regions.
2. The regional organization shall normally consist of the following, except in circumstances requiring any other arrangements:
a) Regional Coordinator
b) Regional Shura, if necessary
Clause 2: Regional Coordinator
1. The National Coordinator shall appoint every two years a Regional NeighborNet Coordinator for each region, in consultation with the Young Muslim Shura.
2. The Regional Coordinator shall have the following responsibilities and powers:
a) To implement the program and policies of Young Muslims in the assigned region.
b) To maintain contact with the local organizations and the individual members.
c) To receive instructions from the Headquarters and to guide and supervise the local organizations.
d) To establish new local units in his region.
Clause 3: Local Units
1. A local unit shall be established at a place where there are three or more members of Young Muslims.
2. The National Coordinator under special circumstances, in consultation with the Young Muslim Shura, may ask local members to hold new elections.
3. The Local Neighbornet Coordinator shall be answerable to the local members, regional NeighborNet Coordinator and the National Coordinator.
4. The local NeighborNet Coordinator shall have the following responsibilities:
a) To disseminate the message of Islam and to organize those who have joined Young Muslims in his area.
b) To nourish the brotherhood among the members of Young Muslims and take personal interest in their Islamic development.
c) To implement policies and decisions of Young Muslims at the local level.
d) To keep the regional NeighborNet Coordinator and the National Coordinator informed of his unit's progress.
e) To guide, supervise and undertake accountability of Young Muslims activities at the local level.
f) To take prompt notice of the issues affecting Young Muslims, its aqeedah and goal, and to undertake all necessary safeguards in this respect.
g) To establish and maintain the local Baitul Maal, in consultation with the local Shura or members, according to the guidance provided by the National Coordinator.
5. Local Shura:
a) The local Shura shall have similar roles, responsibilities and powers, in the local area, as that of the Young Muslim Shura.
b) A Local Shura of five members may be formed with the consultation of the Regional Coordinator, if there are more than 20 members of YM.
Qualities of the Office Bearers and Elections
Clause 1: Qualities of the Office Bearers
A) Qualities of the National Coordinator:
1. He should neither desire nor seek this office.
2. He should be an MGA of ICNA and between the age of 15 and 25 and on the whole, the best of all among the members of Young Muslims in respect of the knowledge of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, taqwa (piety), wisdom, vision and soundness of opinion, honesty, justice, sacrifice, patience and steadfastness in the struggle of the Iqamat-ud-Deen.
3. He should possess high administrative capabilities.
B) Qualities of the members of the Young Muslim Shura:
1. They should neither desire nor seek this office.
2. They should be an MGA of ICNA (in exceptional cases the Ameer of ICNA can grant approval for a non-MGA member to become a member of the Young Muslim Shura) and between the age of 15 and 25, on the whole, the best of all among the members of Young Muslims in respect of the knowledge of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, taqwa (piety), wisdom, vision and soundness of opinion, honesty, justice, sacrifice, patience and steadfastness in the struggle of the Iqamat-ud-Deen.
Clause 2: Elections
A) Fundamental Principles of Elections:
1. All the elections shall be held by secret ballot and all National elections shall be conducted by the Election committee that is selected by the Young Muslim Shura. This election committee shall consist of 50% MGA members and 50% YM members.
2. A simple majority shall be decisive in the Central elections. In all other elections, approval of the National Coordinator shall be also required, in conjunction with the Young Muslim Shura.
3. No member of Young Muslims shall have the right to do canvassing for himself or for someone else.
4. A member shall be entitled to consult and seek opinion from another member individually.
5. It shall be necessary that the new election be held before the expiration of the term of the existing office bearer. If that is not possible for any reason, the existing National Coordinator and other office bearers shall continue in their responsibilities. However, this period shall not exceed more than three months.
6. It shall be necessary for the National Coordinator and other office bearers to take their oath of office before assuming their responsibilities. This oath shall be taken in person or by phone in the presence of the Chairman of the Election Committee, the National Coordinator, or members as the situation may warrant.
7. The in-charge of an election shall be responsible to inform the members of the principles and procedures of the elections and qualities of the office bearers. The in-charge shall also make sure that the principles are observed and shall report the National Coordinator if any violation takes place.
8. Upon receiving a written complaint from a member or in-charge of election about any electoral irregularity, the Ameer of ICNA shall take appropriate action.
9. No member shall be elected for the same office for more than four consecutive years.
10. Local Elections:
a) The National Coordinator shall appoint a representative for the local elections.
b) The representative shall obtain the votes of local members by direct secret ballot.
c) The representative shall obtain approval of the results of local election from the National Coordinator prior to their announcement.
Modes of expressing differences of opinion,
removal of Shura members and
expulsion of members
Clause 1: Modes of expressing differences of opinion
A member who disagrees with the strategies, policies and decisions of Young Muslims may express his/her opinion according to the following manners:
1. He shall bring up his/her differences in the meeting of the local members, and the YM Shura or convey his her opinion, in writing, to all the individual members. But he/she shall have no right to use the public press or any other public platform for this purpose and shall have no right to do any canvassing among individual members directly.
2. He shall accept the decisions arrived at through a majority opinion and will abide by them. However, he/she shall have the right within the above-established limits to get those decisions modified or rescinded.
3. If a member, who holds an official portfolio, expresses his/her differences vis-à-vis the established policy of Young Muslims outside the forums provided by the Constitution, then he/she shall be relieved of his/her official responsibilities that oblige him/her to enforce or interpret that policy.
Clause 2: Removal of the members of the Shura
1. Any member of the Young Muslim Shura shall be removed from its membership if:
a) He ceases to be an MGA of ICNA.
b) He remains absent from two consecutive meetings of the YM Shura without a valid reason.
c) He resigns from the membership of the Shura and the National Coordinator accepts his resignation.
d) A written motion of no confidence is presented against him by 2/3 members of the YM Shura in a Shura meeting that is approved by the National Coordinator.
Clause 3: Filling a vacant seat of Shura during the session
If a seat in any of the Shura becomes vacant for any reason during the session, the National Coordinator or the respective National Coordinator shall be entitled to fill it in consultation with the remaining members of the Shura.
If the National Coordinator deems it necessary, due to special circumstances, he may suspend a member, in consultation with the Young Muslim Shura, for a maximum period of three months.
If a member abandons his/her residence in North America on a permanent basis, the National Coordinator may cancel his/her membership in consultation with the Young Muslim Shura.
The National Coordinator, in consultation with the Young Muslim Shura and the respective regional and local NeighborNet Coordinators, shall have the authority to expel a member, if:
1. He/she violates, despite a reminder, the conditions of membership repeatedly and deliberately.
2. He/she acts repeatedly against the interests, goal and methodology of Young Muslims.
3. If he/she conveys, verbally or by continuous action, the impression that he/she no longer has any interest in the activities of Young Muslims.
Clause 1: Finances
1. The department of Baitul Maal (Treasury) shall be established at central, local levels.
2. The National Coordinator in conjunction with decision of Young Muslim Shura shall have the final authority on all the Baitul Maals.
3. The local NeighborNet Coordinators shall bear overall responsibility for the respective Baitul Maal, but each one of them shall be accountable to his higher National Coordinator.
4. The National Coordinator shall be accountable to the Shura.
5. The National Coordinator at each level shall be authorized to spend from his respective Baitul Maal on the activities of Young Muslims.
6. Sources of income to the Baitul Maal shall be as follows:
a) Contribution from members.
b) Donations from the community at large.
d) Contribution from the units
e) Contributions from the departments/institutions.
f) Income from investments/properties, etc.
Clause 1: Amendment and Addition to the Constitution
1. Any member shall have the right to present an amendment to the Constitution through the National Coordinator.
2. Such amendment shall be deliberated upon by the Young Muslim Shura, and after securing approval of a 2/3 majority shall be submitted to the Ameer of ICNA for final approval.
Clause 2: The Relations with ICNA
To insure the integration of YM workers and graduates after the age of 25, there shall be constitutional and functional ties between the two for the common purpose of Iqamat-ad-Deen in North America.
1. The Ameer of ICNA with the consultation of ICNA Shura (or Executive Council) and Young Muslim Shura shall appoint a Board to facilitate the YM activities, to oversee the matters of YM.
2. The YM Board shall serve as a link between ICNA and YM leadership.
3. It is imperative that YM utilizes ICNA human and financial resources, and YM members shall be encouraged to attend and participate in ICNA activities. The YM members shall be encouraged to join ICNA as MGA’s. The YM members becoming MGA’s of ICNA shall be allowed to remain focused on YM work till the age of 25.
4. A member of YM shall become a MGA of ICNA after the recommendation and approval of his application by the YM Board and the Ameer of ICNA respectively.
5. The Local Units of YM shall have close contacts, coordination and cooperation of ICNA Units.
Clause 3: Disagreement between YM Shura and YM Board
In case there is a disagreement between the Young Muslim Shura and the YM Board, the matter shall be resolved by the Ameer of ICNA, whose decision shall be binding.
Amendments to the Original Constitution:
1. On September 2001, Part 1 Clause 5; Secretary General Clause was approved by the National Coordinator; Tayyab Yunus, Young Muslims Shura, Young Muslims Board, and the Ameer of Islamic Circle of North America; Zulfiqar Ali Shah.