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Worldwide Open Letter to the Leader of Boko Haram, from Imam Luqman Ahmad

 

basmala

Nigerian mothers in anguish

To Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram, from Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad. Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh. I address you with the blessed greeting of Islam under the assumption that you are a Muslim, and taking into account your statement that you are working in the cause of Allah. It is my understanding that you have received an Islamic education, and have been accustomed to delivering the khutbatul Jum’ah (Friday Sermons). Therefore, I pray to Allah that you remember the good of your teachings; that which upholds the honor and respect due to a Muslim, and I implore you, as well as myself, to fear Allah be He Exalted and Glorified.

I am the imam of a mosque in California, the United States of America, and although I am an American, I do not represent any government, any organization, any group or sect in my address to you. However, I represent myself as a Muslim of conscience, whose intention is to offer you sincere advice (naseeha), as it is your right, and who finds your taking hostage of blameless young women, and murder against the innocent, to be a reprehensible act that warrants condemnation, as well as reprisal.

First of all, let me remind you of the words of our Lord, Allah which there are no other gods beside Him; “Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain success” [3:104]. By these words, I am therefore obligated, to condemn your act of taking innocent female hostages, who were not armed, were not engaged in any military action against you, and with whom you had no legal contract of guardianship according to the laws of Islam. This obligation is also based upon the hadith of the Prophet; “whomever sees that which is detestable, he should change it with his hands, and if he is not able then (change it) with his tongue, and if he is not able, then with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith”. [Muslim].

The blood, the property, and the honor of a Muslim is sacred according to the laws of Islam, based upon the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ; “the blood, property, and the honor of a Muslim is sacred” [Muslim]. Without any justifiable claims to these young women according to the divine laws of our faith, your taking them hostage against their will, can only be regarded as disobedience to Allah, a criminal act, and in contradiction of our divine laws, warranting the condemnation of Allah.

Your removing them from the shelter of their beds is an affront, and a violation of their safety guaranteed to them by the law of God; “The Muslim, is the one from other Muslims are safe from his hand and his tongue” [Muslim]. It is also a violation of their honor which is sacred according to the edict of our holy Prophet ﷺ. These young women bear no crime which warrants their captivity and being held against their will. It is my duty to advise you that you are in violation of international law, and more importantly, the laws of God Almighty, Allah be He Exalted and Glorified.

If you claim that you have taken these girls as captives under the auspices of war, then I reiterate to you that these young women were clearly non-combatants, whose presence at the school (which you destroyed without cause), was to gain an education, and they were clearly, not armed, . If you still claim that you are at war, and that they were indeed the spoils of war, then they have the right to be ransomed by their families, a right that you neglected. If you seek to force them into sex with your followers then verily Allah has said: “But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity, in order that ye may make a gain in the goods of this life. But if anyone compels them, yet, after such compulsion, is Allah, Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (to them)” [24:33].

Regarding your claim that you are at war against Western Education, then you should know that seeking knowledge is a means by which people come to know Allah, be He Exalted and Glorified. Our scholars, may Allah have mercy upon them, have consistently upheld the value of education, and our beloved Prophet ﷺ has said: “Seeking knowledge is incumbent upon every Muslim”. You should know also that knowledge does not belong to the East, nor to the West. All knowledge is the property of the Almighty God, Allah. Of it, is that which is beneficial, and that which is not beneficial. Thus your jihad against western education is a jihad created by your own whim as it lacks textual merit according to our scriptures.

As for your desire to make your illegally acquired captives into wives, then you should know that marriages are invalid without the permission of a guardian. This is based upon the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ: “There is no marriage without a guardian and two witnesses”. [Abu Dawood].The lawful and rightful guardians of your captives, are their fathers, their brothers, their uncles, and those who are duly charged with guardianship by legal right according to the Quran and the Sunna.
The whole world finds your taking hostage of over 200 innocent Nigerian girls in the still of night, a reprehensible and condemnable act. It is an action that breaks all laws of civility, decency, and moral uprightness. If the injunctions of our Lord, and world opinion are of no concern to you, then consider if your own daughters, sisters, and mothers were taken by force in the middle of the night, and forced into captivity against their will? Undoubtedly, you would condemn such an action and find it distressing. Therefore consider the parents, the brothers, the sisters and the relatives of those whom you have taken captive, and have forcefully cut them off them from their families, while Allah sub’haanahu ta’ala has commanded that family ties are maintained and not broken. Furthermore, our beloved Prophet ﷺ has declared that: “none of you have (truly) believed until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself”. It is not befitting for you to claim to follow Islam while disregarding its most sacred tenants.

As for your slaughter of Christians, the burning of their villages, and the terrorizing of their populations, you should know that under sacred law, it is not permissible for you to fight those who do not fight you, and who have not kicked you out of your homes. “Allah forbids you not regarding those who do not fight you in your religion, and do not expel you from your homes, to do good by them and treat them justly, for verily Allah loves the just. [60:8] Their safety, and the safety of all non-combatants is a trust between you and Allah be He Elevated and Glorious, far above what they ascribe to Him. Our beloved Prophet ﷺ had covenants with the Christians of Najran, the Christians of Assyria and the Monks of Mount Sinai, that remained in effect up until his death, and that were upheld by the Khulafaa Ar-Raashideen and those that followed. These covenants, guaranteed their safety as non-combatants . It is not permissible for you to break the covenants with the Christians that have been enacted by Allah and His Messenger ﷺ . If you want Allah’s help in your endeavor, then you must take heed to being just and righteous, and uphold that which Allah and His Messenger ﷺ upheld, and fear Allah, for surely Allah does not aid the wicked.

I appeal to your knowledge of the Quran and the Sunna, which both expressly prohibit the taking of the innocent into forced captivity, and to your reality that you will have to answer to Allah, on a day where there will be no shade except His shade, and risk eternal condemnation to the hell fire. I urge you to repent for your actions, for Allah is forgiving and Merciful, and I humbly request that you return your captives, safe and unharmed to their parents and to the bosoms of their mothers, who have cared for them since birth, nurtured them, and who have more right to them than you do. As verily our Lord commands: “Verily God commands you to remit the trusts to whom they are do, and when you judge between people, judge between them in fairness.” [4:58]

Your actions constitute oppression, so beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for there is no barrier between it and Allah, and let this open worldwide letter, serve as reminder, and as a hujja (proof) for you or against you on the day when you will stand before Allah, the Almighty, and are compelled to answer for these reprehensible actions. The beloved companion of the Prophet, Umar Ibn al-Khattaab, once said: “fear your sins more than you fear your enemy because your sins pose a greater threat to you than your enemy does“. May Allah guide you, myself, and all others who lead, or follow, to justice and mercy.
Imam Luqman Ahmad
Imam Luqman Ahmad is the Imam and Executive Director of Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center in Sacramento, California. He can be reached at imamluqman@masjidibrahim.com. http://www.masjidibrahim.com.

 

 

 
 

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Seven out of every ten converts, leave Islam, by Imam Luqman Ahmad

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad:

I wrote this post more than two years ago and it is just as relevant now as it was then, if not more.

Originally posted on The Lotus Tree Blog:

enter and exit We are constantly being told that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the United States. We are also being told that the Muslim population is anywhere from 2 million, to six million and that a third of them are converts. That would put the number of converts from around 700,000 to 2,000,000. However, I’m not sure if those numbers are accurate because many converts are leaving Islam, and or never even begin to practice Islam in any appreciable way other than take their shahaadah (declaration of conversion), and you don’t see anywhere near those numbers reflected in the nation’s masaajid.

Nor do you see too much evidence that people who became Muslim say, 20 years ago have stayed in the religion, raised their children upon it and started a second generation, or even third generation. The overall estimates of the Muslim population may be accurate, but the stated percentage…

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Weekly Halaqa for Muslim Men@ Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center in Sacramento Ca!

Muslim brother's halqa flyer

 

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The Life and Afterlife Benefits of Raising your children upon the Moral Standards of Islam, by Imam Luqman Ahmad

children_of_muslim_ummah_by_ademmmA lot of pundits are weighing in on how we should raise our children these days. I say; let the pundits have their say. Because as Muslims, we already have our way. (Didn’t really mean to rhyme but…) The beautiful thing about raising Muslim children, or raising your children to be Muslim, is that your children will one day, in sha Allah, grow up to be adults, and end up being not just your children, but your brothers and sisters in Islam.  Now, you not only have children but you have companions, who are in sha Allah, righteous. You’ll still love them as your children, and as your companions, but you’ll love them for their values and their righteousness, and they will be not only your children, and your companions, but they’ll be your friends. Once you have done that, then you will have done justice to their fitra (natural state) upon which Allah entrusted them to you;

مَا مِنْ مَوْلُودٍ إِلاَّ يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ، فَأَبَوَاهُ يُهَوِّدَانِهِ أَوْ يُنَصِّرَانِهِ أَوْ يُمَجِّسَانِهِ

There is no child except that he is born in a state of “Fitrah”, then his parents make him a Jew, Christian or a Zoroastrian” (Collected by Al-Bukhari).

When you raise them correctly, with the proper values, and with the sense of morality, knowing right from wrong, you’ll find that they will acquire wisdom at a younger age than most, and now you not only have children, but wise companions and friends whom you can trust. Then, as they grow older, and have their own children, they will take the values that you taught them and instilled in them, and use these same values to raise their own children. At that point, they will have learned to be grateful for what you taught them, because now as parents, they will find themselves armed with guidance, precedence, and a valuable parental skillset. They will be grateful, and so will you in sha Allah. When this happens, you can expect an increase in your life, and in your children’s lives;

وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ

And remember! Your Lord caused to be declared (publicly): “If ye are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you; But if ye show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed.” 14:7

This sense of gratitude to Allah and the increase from Him that accompanies gratitude will, in turn, compel your children who are now your brothers and sisters in Islam, to appreciate you even more, appreciate the value of that religious knowledge and guidance that you imparted to them, and to thank Allah. Even at this juncture you will see your children in compliance with the word;

وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْنًا عَلَى وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِي عَامَيْنِ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ إِلَيَّ الْمَصِيرُ

“And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), “Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal”. [31:14].

All this is ni’ma [grace], and it is now flowing through your family line. This appreciation and value of religious knowledge will compel your children to pass down the faith and knowledge that you imparted to them. They will be anxious to spend the wealth of knowledge which they inherited from you. They won’t wait until you are gone, they’ll start teaching and raising their children upon the deen of Islam, from the very beginning when they call the athaan in their child’s ear. It will continue through the aqeeqa, and their whisperings of Allah holy and beautiful names into their children’s ears even as they are suckling, and through their first wudu, or rak’at of prayer beside you. They are just following your path, and what you taught them.

“Whosoever does a good Sunnah he will get the reward for it and the reward from other people doing the same thing until the Day of Judgment”. [Collected by Muslim] All of this is the Grace and Mercy of Allah sub’haanahu wa ta’ala.

With all this abundance of grace, mercy, and goodness that your children are now seeing with their own eyes, your children will  love you even more, and appreciate you even more, not just for raising them,  but for nurturing them in true faith. Now you, your children, and your grandchildren will be on the same path of Islam. Three generations of laa ilaaha illa Allah, and counting.  There is a feeling like that of a parent who sees what they have taught, embodied in their children, and in their grandchildren, and God willing, their great grandchildren.

And if it is decreed by God that He extends your life, you will see your values, the values of Islam, being passed down to your grandchildren, by the children that you have raised on the minhaj of the Prophet , such a sight will warm your heart, and bring tears to your eyes, and you will thank Allah sub’haanahu wa ta’ala, because you will feel reasonably secure in the knowledge that were you to die at that very moment, that laa ilaaha illa Allah, has already passed from you to future generations.

أَمْ كُنتُمْ شُهَدَاء إِذْ حَضَرَ يَعْقُوبَ الْمَوْتُ إِذْ قَالَ لِبَنِيهِ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن بَعْدِي قَالُواْ نَعْبُدُ إِلَـهَكَ وَإِلَـهَ آبَائِكَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَقَ إِلَـهًا وَاحِدًا وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ

Were ye witnesses when death appeared before Jacob? Behold, he said to his sons: “What will ye worship after me?” They said: “We shall worship Thy Allah and the Allah of thy fathers, of Abraham, Isma’il and Isaac,- the one (True) Allah. To Him we bow (in Islam).” [2:133]

When Allah does decide to take your soul (and He has already decided when), he may bless you to leave some or all of those children behind. You will be in your grave, and all of your deeds will have stopped, and nothing else is added to your scale, except for perpetual charity, beneficial knowledge that you have left behind (yes, this included what you imparted to your children), and the prayers of your children for you after you have passed on to the next life.

It doesn’t stop there. If, by Allah’s mercy, He allows you entrance into His Eternal Garden, you will not be alone. For your family who followed you in righteousness will join you. At that point, you will know for a fact that your dedication and perseverance in raising your children in righteousness, upon the Quran and Sunna of the Prophet , was worth it, despite the hardship, the occasional headache, the difficulty, and the cost.

Finally, by living a righteous life according to the standards and morals of Islam, and raising our children as such, and they in turn, raising their children the same way, we may have the opportunity by Allah’s  opportunity, to be rejoined with the righteous of our families, in the afterlife.

جَنَّاتُ عَدْنٍ يَدْخُلُونَهَا وَمَنْ صَلَحَ مِنْ آبَائِهِمْ وَأَزْوَاجِهِمْ وَذُرِّيَّاتِهِمْ وَالمَلاَئِكَةُ يَدْخُلُونَ عَلَيْهِم مِّن كُلِّ بَابٍ سَلاَمٌ عَلَيْكُم بِمَا صَبَرْتُمْ فَنِعْمَ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ

Gardens of perpetual bliss: they shall enter there, as well as the righteous among their fathers, their spouses, and their offspring: and angels shall enter unto them from every gate (with the salutation): “Peace be upon you,(salaamun alaikum) because you have patiently persevered!” How excellent, then, this fulfilment in the hereafter! [13:23]

It is in this final moment, after you have persevered, held fast to your faith, imparted it to your family, and met with the pleasure of Allah, and His forgiveness, that you are granted permission to enter the gates of paradise. Then, the angels will enter upon you and your family from every door, saying: :salaamu alaikum, because you have patiently persevered:  At this point, it all becomes clear. The struggle is over, there is no more reckoning, there is no more judgement, and you have finally arrived at your destination.

Thus beloveds, window of opportunity to raise your children is small, and it will close without waiting for you to make up your mind, or to experiment with all of the nuanced studies. Raising your children in righteousness and Islam during these times is difficult for some, unpopular by many, and certainly not fashionable in this age. However, considering what is at stake, it is certainly well worth it; by any means necessary.

 

Imam Luqman Ahmad

Imam Luqman Ahmad is the Executive Director of Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center in Sacramento California. He can be reached at imamluqman@masjidibrahim.com.

 

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Free Audio Khutba: Bearing Witness; The Global Responsibility of the Ummah, by Imam Luqman Ahmad

شهداءThe world is changing fast, and evil, loss of morality, killing, fitna, extreme weather, and corruption is spreading like wildfire. We are limited in what we can do to change things. However, we have a divine obligation to bear witness to it, and declare our allegiance to God with respect to the events that are going on today. Every Prophet, from Noah, to our beloved Muhammad (SAWS) bore witness to the events taking place during his time. We as Muslims must also be bearers of witness to our time and take a clear stand for the truth. This is the topic of this khutbatul Jum’ah by Shaykh Luqman Ahmad, recorded at Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center.  Click on the link below to take a listen

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2014 in Allah

 

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Audio Khutba: Don’t be fooled! Be Firm in Your Faith! By Imam Luqman Ahmad

quran up closeDear beloveds,There is an ominous wave of, ignorance, falsehood, immorality, misguided notions, trials, infidelity, drug use, reversal of roles for men and women, children running amok, families falling apart and discord that is sweeping across our ummah. Do not be a witness to these things without taking a stand. Now is not the time to be shaky in your faith. I spoke about this during last week’s khutbatul Jum’ah. Click on the link to listen to what I said. Wal Allahul Musta’aan.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2014 in Allah, Aqeedah, bearing witness

 

Audio Khutba: How to win (or lose) with your family by Imam Luqman Ahmad

muslim family cartoonThis khutba is about marriage, divorce and how we treat our wives. We are leaving a long trail of broken and severely dysfunctional families due to misbehavior, irresponsibility and  downright trifling behavior. As Muslims, we should know better, and we have to do better. There is no such thing as a perfect family, but there is a standard of behavior with respect to our families that we must uphold. This is the topic of this khutbatul Jum’ah at Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center in Sacramento California. Warning: This khutba is graphic and deals with very serious issues. Take a listen by clicking on the link below.

 

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