I have seen, heard from and spoken to many extremely smart and intelligent Muslim women who still believe and champion the Book, the Sunna, the beliefs of Islam, and what was revealed to the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم. Some of you have expressed frustration and a sense of helplessness because so much is coming at us. But you’ve also expressed faith on this and other social media. As a man, as a Muslim and as an Imam, I’ve been listening to you and although I don’t understand everything, I understand a lot in Sha Allah.
I will fight to the end against the oppression of our women and for your rights in our faith according to Allah. That is my promise. However, I need you to fight on your side, against the ideological onslaught of false and corrupt beliefs, lifestyle, and heresy, creeping in on the women’s side. Some of you are very capable, knowledgable of our faith and organized. You are primed to engage with us in the struggle. I need those of you who are willing, and able, to step up. I will support you and help best I can in Sha Allah.
They want Muslim men and women to fight separately and against each other. That was the purpose of injecting feminism and the gender wars into our community. However, that is not the way Allah wants. They want us to be enemies. Allah wants us to be allies. Read.
[The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.] 9:71
It’s not going to be easy, but we have to start somewhere. Feel free to inbox me with your ideas if you like, or we can speak and discuss publicly. Not looking to argue with anyone. Just tryna do my job.
The brutality of this rebellion was so fierce on both sides that during the day, people used to hide in their homes, hide in wells, and in sewers, and only come out at night to hunt rats, dogs and cats and even resorting to eating the flesh of human corpses in order to survive. The Zanji slave revolt against the Abbasid Caliphate was one of the most violent and consequential slave revolts in history. It lasted for 14 years from 869 to 883 CE and at least 500,000 people died.
WHAT HAPPENED? The Abbasids had tens of thousands slave laborers made up of black Arabs, along with East Africans called Zanj, [blacks] from Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zanzibar and from other parts of East Africa. They worked them like animals in the humid salt marshes of Southern Iraq which were much like the slave plantations that we had in America. These slaves worked under the worse conditions of harshness, extreme misery and sub-deplorable living conditions. They used to get just enough food rations a day to stay alive as they worked from sun up to sundown. Eventually the slaves, realizing that there was strength in numbers, rebelled against the Abbasid authorities. Incidentally, many of the slaves who joined the rebellion were white and there were many, who weren’t even slaves who joined. A good number of the rebels were Arab tribesmen.
HISTORICALLY, this rebellion is known as the Revolt of the Zanj or the Revolt of the Blacks. There were three major slave revolts of the Zanj between the 7th and 9th centuries CE. This one was the longest, most violent and most significant. In the year 871, Zanji rebels led by Yahya ibn Muhammad al-Azraq and ‘Ali ibn Aban al-Muhallabi and assisted by Arab tribesman who joined their side against the Abbasids, launched a coordinated attack against the city of Basra, Iraq. They sacked the city, massacred its inhabitants and looted the city for three days.
HOW IT ENDED: Eventually the Caliphate was able to crush the rebellion but not before many people were killed, whole villages and towns were looted and burned to the ground, and the caliphate was weakened to the point where they lost control of many outlying provinces. The Caliph ended up offering amnesty and large sums of money to the rebel leaders to end the rebellion. He invited many of their leaders to join the Abbasid military. Some of the rebels ended up being slave owners themselves. And that’s how it happened folks. We’ve got a lot to learn from our history; the good of it, and the bad of it.
NOTE: Islam allows slavery with specific regulations requiring the humane treatment of slaves, rules for their manumission, limits on work load, and standards for proper care. However, Islam does not allow oppression of any kind, even to a slave, especially to a slave. The word Zunji is still used in the Arab world as a pejorative term, it’s the Arabic version of calling a black person nigger.
Make up your mind, you can’t have it both ways, You can’t demand that Black imams deal with all of the trauma, anguish, mental and emotional issues of Black American Muslims, as we do thumbs up or thumbs down in the bleacher section while we hardly even paying our Imams or supporting them. Imams can only fall on so many swords.
Many Muslims in the United States are not connected in any way to actual Imams, Muslim leaders or Muslim communities except though online and social media. Much of that connection is casual, non-committal, optional, and leisure. For some, online is the only actual contact they have with anther Muslim. For the vast majority of Black American and convert Muslims in the United States, much of our Islam as a community is not practiced in real time, it is only observed, debated and opined about on Social media. This is what I call spectator Islam. It’s the endless rhetorical debating over what ifs, and who should do what, what a leader should be, who is a Muslim, and what an Islamic state should look like. I also call it cloud based Islam. It’s the oversimplification of American Muslim problems and problem solving with one sentence platitudes, or theoretical maybes and a host of failed experiments that have been tried in the past, many times over and over again. Because there is very little generational continuity or connection between generations of indigenous American Muslims, people run into the same brick walls years after years. Arguably we are spending more time watching, debating, and bickering about Islam than we are practicing Islam as a community, or as individuals.
Watching Others Doing What We Should be Doing
A lot have been said about American Muslim immigrants lately about how as a group they are steadily building new masaajid, setting up communities, establishing schools, and programs for their children and involved in all sorts of leadership training for their children. That is a good thing, there is nothing negative about that. American Muslim immigrants work hard for their achievements, and have been willing as a group to pay the cost. This is another reason why Black American Muslims need to come down from the clouds is because while we’re up there arguing, hair-splitting, jockeying for position, talking theories, who’s the better Muslim? Who’s the best imams? Who got the best madhhab? Who’s a mushrik? Which shaykh got the most light? Who got taqwa? Who’s on the haqq? We are a messy group. See the book “Double Edged Slavery”. The majority of the Muslim support network, and first responders when we need them on the ground, are Christians. Drug problem? Christians. Need food? Christians. Need housing? Christians. Domestic abuse? Christians. Homeless help? It’s more likely that a Muslim will get help from a Christian organization, than a Muslim one. The same goes for family counseling, getting help with bills, transition from incarceration, or getting help with food. Meanwhile back in the bleachers section, who’s in charge? Nobody. Everybody’s a shaykh. So where do if I’m homeless or need help with housing? Nowhere up here. I’m on drugs I need help, where do I go? Nowhere up here, go make du’aa. My family is in crisis, where can I go to get confidential help? People cannot go to an idea to get support, or to get healing or to get solutions for their problems, they need to go to something real, and on the ground.
How to come out of the bleachers and down from the clouds.
True, guidance is in the Quran and Sunna. However, verses and Hadith aren’t self propelled. Guidance doesn’t jump out of the book and self implement. No, people who believe in Allah, His Messenger (SAWS) and the last Day, must honor their contracts with Allah to take the guidance out of the texts, and put it on the ground where it belongs. And not just let it be thrown around like a frisbee or endlessly debated in the online discourse mega-stadium of social media. Thumb up thumbs down. Like Ancient Romans at the colosseum.
Except that the Colosseum is a shell. And when we talk about cooperation, working together, doing or addressing issues as a people, there are certain things which without them, we’ll stay stuck in the colosseum. Just watching.
Congregation andHaving a Functional, Just, and Competent Imam: First of all, there is very little that can be done in Black Muslim and convert America as far as moving forward, addressing our problem, or implementing solutions, without congregation, leadership, and some sort of governance of the community and the affairs of the Muslims. People who have argued against this point have been proven wrong, time and time again. Congregation, leadership, and governance are all part of the Sunna of the Prophet (SAWS) and together are the foundation of civilization or in the religion of Islam. As far as leadership. Do what if you don’t like the Imam:; you might not like the bus driver but if he’s taking you in the direction you wanna go, you still pay the fare and get on the Bus.
Sticking to your contracts and covenants: As far as contract; In Islam, contract is the key that starts the engine. You don’t even become a Muslim without taking a contract (the shahaadah). Marriage, children, relationships with others, with community, with Imams, Amirs, constituents, even your neighbors are based upon contracts of the Kitaab and Sunna
Having and following a Procedural Shura (council) in Your Community: As far as Shura: Shura puts an end to the the endless back and forth and breaks you away from the chaos of mobism. It’s invested, responsible Muslims in counsel . Counsel is a function of leadership according to scripture. “And seek counsel with them in the affair, and once you’ve come to a decision, put your trust in Allah, surely Allah loves those who trust (Him)”.
Establishing allegiance, membership, or connectivity to a community of Muslims: As as far as allegiance: Allegiance (bay’at) is so important, that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said, “whoever dies and does have an oath of allegiance around his neck, then he will have died the death of Jaahiliyyah (ignorance) Allegiance is a verbal, or written commitment where you have a clear and official connection to a body of Muslims and a leadership. This is part of the religion Deen of Islam. Without an Imam thee is chaos, and without allegiance there is no commitment. Allegiance says, “yeah, I’m going to do my best to do the right thing here and I can be counted on in some capacity“. Absence of allegiance takes everything from committed to simply casual. Like, I didn’t actually say I was committed.
Localized Knowledge Base: As as far as knowledge: And as crazy as it may sound in today’s times, following knowledge is way better, solved more problems, and is way more pleasing to Allah, than following ignorance. “and if you follow their whims, after the knowledge ( of Allah) has come to you, you will have no guardian in Allah, nor an protector”. It’s like Allah is saying; if you follow their whims after I sent your knowledge, you‘re on your own buddy. Every community should have at least one local knowledgeable person that they trust and who has a real life connection to the community and the people.
One of the worst things for Muslims in America are people who think that they know more about you, your history, your country, your, people, your family and your suffering than you do, and proceed to pontificate, sometimes from abroad about what experiment they think you need to try to fix your situation. Worse than that, are those of us who give them credence. Trust who you know and who are in the trenches with you before you go around trusting complete strangers. That is the sunnah. Even our grandmothers taught us that. After a half a century of outside meddling, much of it which has proven counter-productive, we should know better.
At this point in time, Black American and convert Muslims need to come up with a better plan than just complaining about Muslim immigrants. That is not the way forward. If we’re not willing to do for ourselves, respect and obey our own religious laws, support our own Imams, scholars, front line activists who understand, and our own communities, and roll up our sleeves and stop being spectators and mere commentators and people who refuse to pay attention to our actual scriptural recommendations and stop looking for stuff to make haram, we will continue to run around in circles. You can disagree all you want, but be civil, and no personal attacks please. Grrrrr.
I’m not overly concerned about who establishes and strengthens Islam in America. I’m for anyone who is about rolling up their sleeves, being committed, and helping Islam and Muslims here in the United States where I live. I don’t care what color you are, where you were born, what is your mother tongue, which masjid you attend, or which shaykh you follow. I tend to work promoting issues that particularly affect Black American Muslims and converts because they as a group are disproportionately marginalized and without resources and I am from that group. However, bottom line, I’m a Muslim first and foremost, and I’m for Muslims and Islam. I support, whoever is doing the work, going in their pockets, has skin in the game, and willing to make sacrifices for this deen. I do not support Muslim spectators who do nothing, support nothing, commit to nothing, are a part of nothing, and offer nothing of their skills or resources in support of Islam. I also do not support cowardly Muslim men, or people who argue against scripture with no knowledge.
So that’s the short of it. Bringing the guidance down to the ground so we can use it. Support what is right. Jazaaka Allahu khairan. Imam Abu
Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad firstname.lastname@example.org
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There sure are a lot of unmarred sisters out there. I mean like, everywhere. I’m getting hit on all the time now. I’m a poor rough looking dude right now who does not bathe or groom as often as I normally would, who doesn’t wear socks, has ashy feet, wipes his hands on his jeans after eating, and who might have a catsup stain on his shirt, and keep it moving, and impressing somebody is the last thing in my mind. That’s just where I’m at today.
Nevertheless, this no have no woman thing is becoming an issue for me, not withstanding that I love women, especially grown up women, especially grown smart woman, especially grown up smart believing women, and especially grown up smart believing women who are not under the spell. I believe that any man that believes in Allah and the last day, should be married. That’s just me, and I really don’t care what another man does in his woman situation. I don’t ask, i don’t care. We all should fear Allah, case closed. I live by Sunna code, I don’t believe in girlfriend boyfriend, not at all, Im not no where near perfect and if I sought perfection, it would be for Allah. I follow sahaaba man code too, and I don’t tell a man how to handle his woman situation, and I darn sure don’t allow people to tell me how to handle mine.
But the thing is, I love women, I love Islam, I do fear Allah, I know we in the last days, I want to go to jannah, and I’m a soldier, and it is essential for me to have a halal, and very solid woman by my side. Otherwise I risk descending into beast hood. I’m very committed to my mission, so it becomes an interesting story for me. And that’s my business. I’m not looking for advice here, I’m up to something, but with good, honorable intentions.
Anyway, I’m gonna have to do something soon. Women have radar, when they look at you the first time, they already know yes no or maybe. Lotsa times women can tell when you’re running solo, especially when you have kids. lol. It’s deep when your not married. Straight fitna..
And the thing is, running into women spontaneously in real life is way different from Facebook. It’s a lot harder to front and people have less time to be fake, and of course, there’s no need to. For some non-Muslim women, being a Muslim is a plus from the get go, and they be ready like, teach me some more, I’m down! A lot of women out here believe in One God, but I can’t take a chance on a newbie right now. Plus I’m noticing that a lot of Black women are having second thoughts about the bitch ass men they created. So they are in a state where every man is suspect. Not all though, and then there’s a whole bunch of women who really want that joker, sucker dude, that’s what they’re used to, and that’s their business, and many women, just like men, just want to have a halal sex partner, and that’s their business too. But that’s not where I’m at. They’re not my type. But it is really easy to have a woman these days. They are everywhere, but a good woman, that’s a different story
But I’m hearing all these Muslim women from our community who aren’t married. Some don’t want to be married, some will never be married, and some are not even marriage material for me, nor I for them. But there are women who are going to Jannah through the door of their choice. They know what that means, and that’s the type of woman I’m looking for, jannah bound. We’re all free agents when it comes to Love and marriage. Bottom line, I’d rather a believing woman, especially during this dajjaali time. For me, being unmarried is like being disabled. So I gotta do something. Im gonna make a pitch in Sha Allah cuz I know exactly the kind of woman I want.
For starters, she gotta want to go to jannah, gotta be a soldier, maybe have some scars, old-school loyal, fully grown, not a la la land chic, be about her Lord as far as I’m concerned, be waay past the playing game stage, and have a nice butt. To each his own, everybody ain’t for everybody. In Sha Allah He’s decreed one for me, and she’s working her way towards me. In the meantime, I’ll be waiting an on the look out
Imam Luqman Ahmad
Imam Luqman Ahmad is an Imam and Resident Scholar at the Toledo Masjid al-Islam in Toledo Ohio. He can be reached at email@example.com
Yes, I’m accepting queries, but only from the true and the brave.
BY ALLAH’s WILL, WE ARE NEVER, EVER, EVER GOING TO GIVE UP. – BLACK AMERICAN MUSLIM MEN
It is very difficult for an outsider to understand the dynamics of Black American Muslim marriages in inner-city America unless you come from the places that we come from. The breakdown and failure of the Black American Muslim family in these inner-city plantations that we live on is usually attributed to the inadequacy or failure of the Black Muslim man. That is the go to position and we are used to that. But that characterization does not tell the true story nor the whole story.
;Out of thousands upon thousands of black American Muslim men that I know personally, it has never been the stated intention of any of them to abandon our women or our children or our people. We don’t even talk like that.
As husbands and fathers and stepfathers we’ve take on the full dose of generational trauma, a history of abuse, abandonment, addiction, the psychological issues, the emotional baggage and everything else that comes with our women and children who are products, like ourselves of the lifestyle of jaahiliyya that exists in the controlled plantations that we live in.
We know who we are, and we know who our women are, better than any outside Shaykh, scholar, imam, or layperson would ever know. We take our women on, despite their history, and despite our history, and make a go of it as husbands, as Fathers, as stepfathers, as uncle’s, as mentors, as providers, and as teachers. Why do we do it? We do it out of faith, and the belief that through Islam things can work. And because no one else is going to do it. And It’s not all about chasing ass like people say. Y’all got us twisted.
I married a sister who had four children when I was barely 22 years old. Although I loved her, and she was a good wife, and I think I was a good husband, it did not work out. However, it was not before I was able to teach my wife, and her children some of the Islam that I knew, and those children are grown today with their own Muslim children by the grace of Allah. My last wife had six children when I married her. I’ve helped raise 19 children who were not my biological children. For some of them, I am the only father that they have ever known. And this is not rare at all.
Black American Muslim men have taken on much more than we will ever be given credit for and quite frankly we aren’t looking for credit. We don’t talk about everything that we do because if you are not of our world, it’s really none of your damn business. But we do take on marriages with hurt, traumatized, broken and sometimes halfway crazy women and everything that they come with. I mean everything. And they take us on too, knowing that many times it’s going to be an uphill battle because of our circumstances, and because of our history. Why? Because we have faith in Allah, and we have faith in our women who demonstrate faith.
When we see our women struggling, or abandoned, we take on the task even though we ourselves are struggling. We take on other men’s children who themselves many times have been abused, traumatized, neglected, abandoned, and even taken away from their mother in her previous life. Sometimes we know the details, and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we don’t ask the questions because we already know the answers to those questions.
We’ve taken on these responsibilities because we believe in Allah, we believe in Islam, and we believed for a long time that Islam will solve our problems automatically. We’ve learned by our own experiences that it is a little bit more complicated than that. it’s not like we had a civilizational handbook on how to survive as Black American Muslim men in this corrupt,rigged, racist system that we live in.
We are an entirely new and different civilization of Muslims, in a situational reality unlike an faced by a previous Muslim people. The last thing we need is somebody from the outside trying to play Monday morning quarterback, sometimes not even knowing the game, the language of the plantation, or who we are in reality. so unless you have something concrete and beneficial to offer us at this juncture, stay off our backs. And that goes for you women too, who are still under the spell.
As far as the Trump thing, like or dislike, There are at last 20 individual points of idiocy That I could bring up as far as the insidious American Muslim addiction to trumpism is concerned. However, I’m just going to focus on a couple right now..
Look, There are over 500,000 elected Officials, And about 80,000 Elective bodies in the United States of America which means that about one out of every thousand people in the United States of America is an elected official. From school board, city Council, state representative, Sheriff, city controller , tax collector, ghost buster,managing director, police chief, homeless czar, tax collector, and hundreds of more offices where people are elected to serve, given Defined tasks, areas of Decision making authority,, budgets, salaries, support staff, enforcement authority and held accountable to at least some degree. perform his duties that had a direct, or indirect influence on peoples lives, including the lives of Muslims.
These elected officials make decisions and perform actions, write policies, and enforce laws that directly or indirectly impact every single Muslim, and with some family in United States. There is no dispute whatsoever about this reality.
And we want to corral the entire American Muslim population into an emotional orbit where President Donald Trump is at the center? Are you freaking kidding me? If this is not mass insanity, then I don’t know what it is. Muslim American group scorn centered around one individual? President Donald Trump?. To the degree where we draw lines of association amongst ourselves based on an individuals following or expectorating Theamericanmuslim group thought pill? Somebody help me here! I don’t even know what you call this in behavioral psychology. And this is actually our reality as supposedly intelligent, Educated Muslims. Let me be clear. I will not take this pill, and I categorically regard it as poison.
My next questions are, do Keebler elves really make cookies inside of a hollow tree? Does the tooth fairy factor in inflation for what they pay for teeth? And , does anyone have the schedule for when the mother ship is scheduled to arrive?
1. Moral cat-scanning: Is when we were take a single episode or one or two paragraphs from Facebook and surmise from it, a persons moral worth. Without knowing the facts, the circumstance, the other side of the story, with a person. Then we all jump in like a mob, attacking not principles, but actual people, actual Muslim.
2. Moral Blackmail: Is used mostly for political and control purposes. They’ll say: If you don’t hate this person than you’re not a good Muslim, or if you don’t support this particular project thrn you are not a good Muslim, or if you have a legitimate question about something, keep it to yourself because you don’t want to upset the unity. (And it’s usually fake unity that they are talking about). It’s the “massa we sick” approach
3. Moral Inquisitions on Facebook: There are a lot of types of that we engage in all the time. We love Facebook inquisitions. One type is when we try, convict, and sentence specific individuals on Facebook, using no evidence, no Adab, no right to slander or demonize, I’m not even hear the other person side of the story. There is nothing at all Islamic about it. It is just one of our congregational pass times, something that we do and like. It’s part of spectator Islam. Some people actually think that they’re doing something important. Like Is the most some Internet version of jury duty.