Our Beliefs, Philosophies, and Guiding Principles
- GC is a purely academic institution. It is not a political institution. Its main goal is to provide its students with the best academic skills they need to contribute positively to the society they live in. GC will refrain from endorsing or supporting any political opinion or political ideology but rather limits itself to the academic arena.
- GC is an American institution that promotes the success of the country. One of its main goals is to provide the American society with professionals who understand the Islamic culture well and who are able to contribute to the success of the country. GC aims to graduate scholars who are balanced committed Muslims, knowledgeable scholars, and contributing citizens.
- GC fully and strongly respects differences among different religions and cultures and recognizes the cultural and religious differences that permeate our American culture. GC teaches its students to appreciate these differences and to go out of their way to show respect to these cultural and religious differences. GC promotes cooperation and collaboration with other religious and non-religious institutions to work on common projects that bring the best for our society and our country.
- GC promotes and teaches balance and moderation and believes that Islam is a religion that calls for balance and moderation in all aspects of life, especially when these aspects affect other people. Even within the domain of one’s self, Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, rejected all kinds of extremism even though it was not going to hurt other people around.
Three companions came to Prophet Mohammed’s wife, peace be upon him, to ask her about the practice of worship of the Prophet, so to compare that with the life styles they adopt. The first said that he would not sleep and would spend the whole night praying. The second said that he would fast all year with no breaks, and the third said that he would stay single and would not marry to devote all his life to God. Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, then has heard what they said and commented on that by saying “I pray at night but I also sleep, I fast sometimes but I also don’t fast some other time, and I get married. This is my way; if you do not follow it, you do not belong to me!” Therefore, GC will not tolerate any form of extremism and will be actively promoting all forms of balance and moderation.
- GC believes that there are issues in Islam that are fixed and non-changeable and there are issues that are open for reinterpretation and application in different environments. Issues that relate to the theory of Islam such as belief in God, belief in Angels, etc., are fixed. In addition, rituals such as prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, etc., are fixed and non-changeable. However, other matters that relate to how a Muslim or a Muslim community deal with others and contribute to others are open to reinterpretation in light of the change in the environment and the circumstances people live under.
- GC, therefore, believes strongly on the impact of the reality that Muslims live in the United States on any religious verdict. GC believes that religious verdicts cannot be separated from the understanding of the reality and the environment in which the verdict is made. Hence, we cannot and should not import religious verdicts from other parts of the Muslim world because the circumstances under which these verdicts were developed are different from the circumstances we live here. Therefore, one of the main duties of the GC is to develop solutions to the issues American Muslims face through research that takes into consideration the Islamic background needed to understand that issue and the impact of the reality and the environment on any such verdicts.
- GC respects and honors differences in opinions. Everyone is entitled to express his or her opinion freely without any coercion or intimidation. However, no one is entitled to force others to accept his or her opinion. GC encourages academic freedom and the right of its faculty and students to express their opinion freely without fear. However, only opinions that are formally posted on the college website or its literature shall express the formal position GC adopts regarding a certain matter. GC encourages its faculty to examine the philosophies and beliefs expressed above in reaching a conclusion while formulating an opinion.
- GC believes in gender equitability and opens its doors to all individuals regardless of their gender, religious background, nationality, or any other similar factors. GC will not tolerate any discrimination of any kind overt or covert.