The history of Islam, Christianity and every faith community in the United States, are that people establish congregations. Council and leadership. at the head, and proceed there-forth in establishing deen. That has been the organizational model and standard for every faith group of all faith groups on the planet. The disintegration of congregation and the disappearance of Imams representing and pastoring to Black and Convert Muslim and building houses of worship that can service and center the community now matter how big or small Convert community has effectively dismantled these two foundations that form the nucleus for Muslim communities and civilizational growth. One serious consequence of not having congregation is that there are so many American Muslim converts with no where to go, no congregational fellowship, no community, and no Imam. So we have thousands of believing Muslim of like minds, similar circumstances, same history, same oppression, same trauma, same challenges, spread out all over as single individuals, and others who are needing the bit of security and and connection to leadership in knowing they have an Imam. This is one of the reasons why I’m starting my own community and ministry.
The way that Black families are impacted by divorce, abuse, poverty, drugs and alcohol, crime, incarceration, crime and murder, is exactly the same all over the country. We know by scripture that Shaitaan/Satan feels and calls to all of these common problems in our community and that Shaitaan is farther away from a congregation than he is to an individual. The Prophet They come into Islam and it’s like; what the heck? No, congregation? No Imam? Or, what! Congregation with the Muslims is only one hour a week? Many Muslim converts hold on to Islam on a week to week. Day to day basis. It’s not like their parents, cousins, in-laws, aunties and uncles are Muslim.
Of course peoples non-Muslim families are there as family but new Muslims need and want to grow in their faith in fellowship with others who share their faith. They want to benefit from their Islam and be served by it. Many people don’t know how or struggle with when, how much, and what should I do now? That’s why we have and need communities and Imams. And neither could thrive without zakat, Sadaqa, good niya (intentions) and giving and sacrifice for Allah’s sake. It does not happen overnight. It is a process.
No one, not even our beloved Prophet صلي الله عليه و سلم, was given all the answers in one shot. Answers come in doses. So use the answers you have for now, and once we do that, use the answers Allah gives us later. That’s how it works. The Sunna of Allah is that He gives guidance in measure, and if we take it, He adds more, out if His grace and mercy. Welcome to my ministry. We’re calling to congregation, cooperation, scripture and leadership as prescribed by Allah.
Imam Luqman Ahmad
Imam of Mosque Without Borders.