The Community Support Council (Al Ansar Council) envisions a tariqa where every beloved community member is treated with love, compassion, mercy, dignity and respect and inspires each other towards the highest conduct (adab) pleasing to Allah. We aspire for every voice and heart to feel heard, for every hurt to be addressed and for every beloved to feel empowered to take responsibility for his or her choices as guided by Allah, Most High.
The Community Support Council (Al Ansar Council) is made up of members of the tariqa who seek to propose a code of conduct for all tariqa members, leadership and community groups that follows adab as described in Qur’an, hadith, and our Sufi teachings to encourage and maintain an environment of unity, peace, mercy, love, and justice for all. The Council seeks to create a safe container for a process and clear procedures for beloveds to bring forth disputes and grievances between tariqa members for resolution or mediation.
We aspire for every voice and heart to feel heard, for every hurt to be addressed and for every beloved to feel empowered to take responsibility for his or her choices as guided by Allah, Most High.
Origin of the Ansar Council
At the end of Ramadan in 2020, the Shadhiliyya Sufi Community (SSC) initiated the creation of a council to set up guidelines and suggestions for how beloveds in our community can bring complaints and grievances forward in order to have their issues heard and brought to successful resolution. The council was also tasked to propose ethical guidelines that teachers, healers, leadership, and all members of our community can be asked to follow.
This council operates independently from the SSC Board and all other community entities. It has chosen the name al-Ansar Council or Community Support Council. The council is made up of four members, with a combined experience of working with grievances in our community and background in creating systems for community reconciliation. The council includes beloveds Jamila Faith Killough, Zahra Carol Lee, Mohamed Moosa and Amany Shalaby.
The Community Support Council meets roughly every other week and is working with input from the community to create:
- An ethical code (Code of Adab) for the community
- Suggestions and guidelines for how donations and financial reporting can be handled in the tariqa using best practices
- Structures of support to respond when beloveds have experienced harm in our community or feel there may have been an ethical violation.
How to Contact Us
To contact the Ansar Council please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description of your concern. We will listen and work with you to determine what next steps would be supportive. We will respond to you within 48-72 hours.
How We Can Serve You
If you have witnessed or experienced something within our community that you are concerned about, we are here to support you. We are here to listen to you in a confidential space. This is an opportunity to talk discreetly about the issues and reflect on a resolution may be all that is needed for some kinds of conflicts and issues. You are always welcome to bring a support person along to any conversation.
We intend to provide a path for beloveds who:
- believe they have been inappropriately treated and who seek resolution, or
- have witnessed harmful behavior or misconduct and wish to alert Al Ansar Council. Anyone who comes forward will be treated with care and respect.
Some situations or conflicts in the community may benefit from a mediation process. The Ansar Council works with a team of trained mediators who we may refer to assist with conflicts, with the permission and consent of all parties involved.
We are currently working to create a Grievance Procedure for how we will respond to different types of grievances. Until we have a Grievance Procedure established, for those who need support in addressing a personal grievance you are welcome to reach out to the Ansar Council directly. We will work with you to assess the level of your Grievance and how best to support you.
Our Relationship to the Unity Project
We work closely with our sister group, The SSC Unity Project, which provides support for beloveds experiencing conflict or difficulty in any of their personal relationships with individuals, or within families, organizations or communities, whether or not the others involved are members of our Shadhiliyya Sufi tariqa.
Donations for Mediation Services
We ask, in accordance with the teaching and example of the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and our guide, Sidi, that those receiving support make a donation to the mediators and to SSC, in accordance with their heart’s guidance and without creating debt or other hardship for themselves. Please don’t let finances be a barrier if you need these services – consult your heart about what is possible in your situation.
We recommend beloveds make a donation for mediation services, whether there is one mediator or two. Donations to SSC are as your heart guides you. You can be make a donation to SSC here. Again, please don’t let finances be a barrier if you need these services – consult your heart about what is possible in your situation.
Note: Working with the Ansar Council is not a substitute for legal avenues such as involving law enforcement. The Ansar Council will be guided by the wishes of the person with the grievance when considering whether to involve law enforcement. However, we will report any allegations of abuse or neglect towards a minor or vulnerable adult to appropriate legal authorities.