Author Archives: Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad
The Life and Afterlife Benefits of Raising your children upon the Moral Standards of Islam, by Imam Luqman Ahmad
A 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 ﷺ, 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 ﷺ, 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 email@example.com.
The 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
Dear 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.
This 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.
Audio Khutba: Explanation of the Hadith: “The Most Beloved People to Allah”, by Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad
The Prophet ﷺ said: “The most beloved people to Allah are those that bring most benefit to other people, and the most beloved of deeds to Allah be He Exalted and Glorified, is bringing happiness upon a Muslim or removing a worry from him, or to pay his debt, or to remove his hunger, . It is more beloved to me that I walk with my brother to fulfill his need, than if I performed i’tikaaf for a month in the masjid, and whoever holds back his anger, Allah will cover his faults, and whoever keeps his anger to himself, and if he wants to just let it go and lets it go, Allah will fill his heart with satisfaction on the Day of Judgment”. And whoever walks with his brother to fulfill his need until he secures it for him, Allah will secure his feet for him on the day when feet are unsteady, and bad character will spoil a deed just like vinegar spoils honey”. [ Hasan, Collected by Abu Ya’lah]
Click on the link to listen to a very nice explanation of this hadith by Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad, recorded at Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center, Sacramento California.
There is nothing that is simpler, more gratifying and more useful to the servant in this life and in the hereafter, than ikhlaas lillaah (sincerity to Allah). This is the topic of this khutba recorded at Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center in Sacramento, California. Click on the link to take a listen wal Allahul Musta’aan
2. The salat in its proper time. The Prophet ﷺ said, “The most beloved of deeds to Allah are: the salat in its proper time, goodness to the parents, and striving in the way of Allah”. [Collected by Bukhaari and Muslim]
3. Belief in Allah: the Prophet ﷺ said: “The most beloved of deeds to Allah are: belief in Allah, then, keeping your ties with family, then, enjoining the good and forbidding the evil”. [Collected by Abu Ya'lah]
4. Consistency in good deeds: The Prophet ﷺ said, “The most beloved of deeds to Allah are those that are most consistent, even if it is small”. [Collected by Bukhaari and Muslim]
5. The remembrance of Allah: The Prophet ﷺ said: “The most beloved of deeds to Allah is to die while your tongue is moistened with the remembrance of Allah”. [Collected by Tabaraani}
6. The masaajid: The Prophet ﷺ said: “The most beloved places to Allah are the masaajid, and the most hated places to Allah are the marketplaces”. [Collected by Muslim]
7. Speaking the truth in the presence of an unjust ruler: The Prophet ﷺ said: “The most beloved jihaad to Allah is speaking the truth in the presence of an unjust ruler”. [Collected by Ahmad].
8. Truthful speech. The Prophet ﷺ said: “The most beloved of speech to me is that which is most truthful”. [Collected by Bukhaari]
9. The fast of David: The Prophet ﷺ said: “The most beloved fast to Allah is the fast of David; he used to fast one day, and break fast one day, and the most beloved prayer to Allah is the prayer of David; he used to sleep half the night, pray a third, and sleep a sixth”. [Bukhaari and Muslim].
10. Plentiful hands in the food plate: The Prophet ﷺ said: “The most beloved meal to Allah is that in which many hands partake from the plate”. [Collected by Ibn Hibbaan]
11. Saying Sub’haana Allah: the Prophet ﷺ said: “The most beloved of speech to Allah is for a servant to say; Sub’haana Allah wa bi hamdi’hi”. [Collected by Muslim].
12. The four most beloved words: The Prophet ﷺ said: “The most beloved words to Allah are four; sub’haanallah, al-humdu lillaah, wa laa ilaaha illa Allah, wa Allahu Akbar”. [Collected by Muslim].
13. Good character: The Prophet ﷺ said: “The most beloved servant to Allah is he who has the best character”. [Collected by Tabaraani]
14. The best names: The Prophet ﷺ said: “The most beloved names to Allah are, Abdullah and Abdul-Rahmaan”. [Collected by Muslim]
15. Benefiting people: The Prophet ﷺ said: “The most beloved people to Allah are those that bring most benefit to other people, and the most beloved of deeds to Allah be He Exalted and Glorified, is bringing happiness upon a Muslim or removing a worry from him, or to pay his debt, or to remove his hunger, . It is more beloved to me that I walk with my brother to fulfill his need, than if I spent i’tikaaf for a month in the masjid, and whoever holds back his anger, Allah will cover his faults, and whoever keeps his anger to himself, and if he wants to just let it go and lets it go, Allah will fill his heart with satisfaction on the Day of Judgment”. And whoever walks with his brother to fulfill his need until he secures it for him, Allah will secure his feet for him on the day when feet are unsteady, and bad character will spoil a deed just like vinegar spoils honey”. [Collected by Abu Ya’lah]
Righteousness does not have to be complicated. Consider all these good deeds beloved. All of these actions are sanctioned by our beloved Prophet (SAWS) and loved by Allah be He Exalted and Glorified, and all of these are easy to accomplish in sha Allah. Wal Allahul Musta’aan
Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad
One thing that is clear. Muslims like to argue with each other. We are a contentious people to say the least. I can’t speak for everyone else, but indigenous American Muslims seem to have an unhealthy appetite for arguing, and it is certainly not just limited to us living here in the United States. We argue about aqeeda, we argue about food, we argue about clothes, we argue about family ties, we argue about who has the most hate for the kuffaar, who is imitating the kuffaar, and we argue what constitutes kufr and who’s faith is at risk. We argue about who is on the haqq, and who is not. We argue about Allah, we argue about his Holy names and attributes, we argue about His mercy, who deserves it and who doesn’t. We argue about who is guided and who is astray, and we don’t stop arguing, night or day. We argue about the length of our pants, the shortness of our beards, and we even argue about the sajda marks on our foreheads.
The culture of arguing and sectarianism has made it pass our borders, and found a home amongst indigenous American Muslims. We argue about groups, we argue about gatherings, and we argue about saying hello to a stranger. We argue about alliances and disavowal and we argue about friends as well as enemies. We argue about sects of Islam that do not even exist anymore. We argue about words, we argue about the meanings of words, and we argue about the meanings of the meanings. We argue about class, we argue about race, and we argue about titles that we make up and proclaim to be sanctified. We invent new titles and then argue about those.
We argue about the prohibited things, we argue about the permissible things, and we seem to argue most unfalteringly about the things that are in between. When we get tired of that, we find new things to make prohibited and then argue about that. We argue about fiqh, we argue about tafseer, we argue about theology, and we even argue about whether a person can recite the Quran in a melodious voice. We argue about thikr, we argue about thikr beads, and we argue about how many times a person may glorify his or her Lord. We even argue about circles of thikr around which the angels gather.
We’ll take something that is clear, and befuddle it so that we can argue about it. We even argue about arguing, and argue about ways to argue, what to argue about, who you should argue with and when you should argue with them. Even that is not enough, so then we argue about who is not doing his or her fair share of arguing. We argue about verses in the Quran, we argue about ahaadeeth of the Prophet ﷺ, and we argue about proofs, and we argue about the strength and weaknesses of prophetic tradition. We argue about people who have been in their graves for centuries, and we argue about who will be amongst the inhabitants of paradise, while none of us has ever stepped foot upon it.
We argue about books of religious knowledge, we argue about who has knowledge and the places where knowledge can be found. We argue about speeches and we argue about what the Imam said in last week’s khutbatul Jum’ah. We argue about holidays, we argue about days of the year, we argue about crescent moon sightings, and the days of the Eid. We argue about people’s intentions, and whether they should state their intentions or keep it silent and we argue about things that are known only to Allah. We argue about who has taqwa, who is a believer, who is an infidel, who is righteous, and who is a deviant. and we argue about how a person points his finger in tashaahhud. We argue about where you place your hands during the salaat and whether or not your feet should be parallel with the person next to you or at an angle.
We argue about da’wah, the methods of da’wah, what constitutes da’wah, and who is qualified to give da’wah. We argue about how a person comes to Islam, and how a person takes his or her shahaadah. Even after people become Muslim, we argue about the conditions of the shahaadah, which masjid is worthy or less worthy of his or her attendance, and whether or not they can read from a book to help them complete their prayer. We argue about the word convert, revert, and what type of Muslim is the real Muslim. We argue about socks, finger nail polish, and whether or not a sister has to wear black gloves. We argue about make-up, we argue about baseball caps, and we argue about coffee, American sports, and the world cup. We argue about America. (We really like to argue about America), being an American, and whether we have to make Hijra from our country.
We argue about the Prophet’s ﷺ birthday, we argue about baby showers, we argue about anniversaries and we argue about things that we do every year. We argue about how to raise our children, we argue about currency, we argue about charity, and we argue about wearing sunglasses. We argue about joining a club, going to a non-Muslim college, and we argue about who is capable or incapable of understanding the religion. We argue about revolution, we argue about Muslim leaders, and we argue about who can collect the zakat.
We argue about patriotism, loving your own country, and standing up to show someone respect. We even have arguments about the pictures that appear on your driver’s license. We argue about women attending burials, reciting the Quran over the sick, and we argue about people paying their last respects to their dead. We argue about funerals, about visiting the graves, and we argue about the cost of a coffin, and the length of kafan. We argue about wearing boots in the masjid, we argue about soap, and we argue about sitting down to a dinner table. We argue about voting, we argue about making bay’at to an imam, we argue about declaring citizenship and we argue about whom can be included in a majlis as-ashura
We argue about witr, we argue about the qunoot, and we argue about when a person should end his suhoor of Ramadan. We argue in defense of shuyookh, we argue in defense of our sect, or our group, and we argue about skittles, Doritos, and slices of cheese. Wives argue about their husbands, husbands argue about how many wives they should have and people fight in the masaajid over the color of someone’s clothing. When we run out of things to argue about, we invent new things and then argue about that. We are a people who are beset with arguing. We argue in the masaajid, we argue on the internet, we argue on the phone, and we argue face to face. If we had leaders, then perhaps we could let our leaders argue, but most of us don’t and that is another argument all by itself. So we are left beloveds, to argue the time away, getting very little done in the process. Some people have more arguments to their credit than they have prayers. Some people even live for the next argument, as if it is an addiction.
Many Muslims have grown weary of arguing, and have lost the heart to do to much of anything in the way of building, or establishing the deen. There are just enough people who are willing to argue every word, every point, and every fatwa and beat people over the head with it, creating hardship, sowing doubt and spreading discord within the indigenous American Muslim community that people have lost the will to move forward on hardly anything. This is the natural result of tanaazu’ تنازع (contention). It is the discord, and dissention itself, which causes people lose heart and give up. They are simply tired of arguing. “And obey Allah and His Messenger; and fall into no disputes, lest ye lose heart and your power depart; and be patient and persevering: For Allah is with those who patiently persevere”. All these years of arguing back and forth, and pointing fingers at each other and very little to show for it except broken families, broken friendships, broken down masaajid, crumbling communities, children who left the religion, some killed in the streets, or doing time in prison, and an abundance of illiteracy, unemployment, and single parent households.
So after all the fighting, all the arguing, and all the turmoil that resulted from it, where has it gotten us? Especially for the indigenous African-American Muslim community in America. What is the net gain from it all? The answer is nowhere and not much. Some would say, nothing at all. So was it worth it? Have we had enough, or do we want to continue another fifty years of fussing and arguing with each other. I guess time will tell, and Allah knows best.
Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad
Remember beloveds, that as Muslims, we have the divine, God given right, to take from the Quran, and from the authentic sunna of our Prophet ﷺ, anything, and everything, that benefits us in our religion, and in our lives, and no imam, sheikh, scholar, fatwa, or leader of any group, has the right or authority, to prevent us, or prohibit us, from doing that. “And whatsoever the messenger giveth you, take it. And whatsoever he forbiddeth, abstain (from it). And keep your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is stern in reprisal”. [59:7] We were given the Book; it is our inheritance. “Then We have given the Book for inheritance to such of Our Servants as We have chosen: but there are among them, some who wrong their own souls; some who follow a middle course; and some who are, by Allah’s leave, foremost in good deeds; that is the highest Grace”. [35:32] We are first and foremost, servants of God and God alone.This is the topic of this khutbatul Jum’ah recorded at Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center in Sacramento. Click on the link to take a listen. Wal Allahul Musta’aan.