IS SUFISM THE ANSWER TO BLACK AMERICAN MUSLIM CIVIIZATIONAL DECLINE? Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad


The Economic Implications of Sufism - #Madina365

Sufism is the last augmented rendition of Islam to be thrust wholesale upon Black American Muslims and converts. I said years ago that after Sufism hits, there will be nothing left to hit us with from abroad, and what will remain is the original Islam of the Prophet (SAWS). Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I have an issue with Sufism per se, it’s just that Sufism, just like Salafiyyism, Qadianism, Ikhwaanil Muslimeenism, Hizbul Tah’reerism, and the other theological addendums to the original Islam of the Prophet (SAWS), each reported to a foreign shaykh, leadership, or headquarters that was held as a higher Muslim lifeform than the Back American Muslim. Sufism is no different.

I don’t have an issue at all with real Sufism as a spiritual discipline, based upon the sunnah and built upon prophetic tradition and sharia law. We have Sufism within our family clan, not withstanding that many of the great scholars of history were and are Sufis to this day. However, Sufism as a spiritual discipline, comprising sunnah, sharia, and religious order is one thing. And faddish, novel style Sufism amongst Black Americans, especially those under forty, is something totally different. Sufism, when introduced to a culture that readily embraces faddism, easily becomes a fad itself.

We as Black American Muslims, have to take into consideration the nature by which we embrace ideas and concepts that are novel to our domestic ummah. We are society of fads and 15 minutes of fame. As a rule, actual Sufis that I know and have known for years, tend not to get riled up about people having issues to Sufism. Just like people who follow madhaahib (schools of legal thought). they tend not to get all riled up with people who reject madhaahib. Sufism is a spiritual path that focuses on the inner, not the outer. In the United States already, there are dozens of Sufi “tariqas” (paths), each having its own practices, daily devotions, hierarchy, initiation process, rules, guiding principles, and founder. Then there are Sunni orders, Shiite orders and non-denominational orders of Sufism. There are Whirling Dervishes, and Sufi orders that practice magic. There are orders that par strict attention to sharia law and those that dispense with the law completely.

Sufism to many new domestic adherents, is like the Crips and the Bloods. In my view, some brothers become readily agitated anytime people question the utility of Sufism we are too new out of jaahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance) to fully embrace the salient and disciplinary concepts of Sufism, especially when novice, undisciplined Sufis promote it, and try to sell it to the Back American Muslim public. In many ways our people (Black American Muslims) are not spiritually mature enough for real Sufism because there is no real Sufism without the sharia and we still have a problem with the sharia, and sharia becomes reckless without the order brought forth by the madhaahib and we certainly have a problem with legal schools of thought. Other Black Americans and converts to Islam are more spiritually advanced than what most tariqas have to offer. Becoming a Sufi adherent to a particular taqiqa for many, is actually a demotion in my view, not a promotion, nor a lateral move..

Black American Muslims are currently a largely “un-mosqued” community and is grappling with religious order in general, let alone the introduction of Sufi orders. Many of us have issues with bay’at (fealty), with operable fiqh, issues with knowledge that does not agree with emotion, and some even have issues with hadith. Additionally, with the dozens of popular brands (tariqas) of Sufism circulating around (no pun intended) in the United States, its simply too much of a burden on the average Muslim to have to sift through them like they are in a shoe store trying to find a pair of shoes that fit. There are Qaadiriyyam, Shaathiliyya, Naqshabandiyya, Tijaaniyya, and Chisti, just to name a few, and even some of those have sub-branches.

Of course there are Black American Muslim brothers and sisters who are steadfast in a spiritual path and directly benefit from it although it’s makes some of them too passive to address the social ills that surround us.

Sufism as an individual practice has it’s merits but selling Sufism as a singular panacea for the dysfunctional woes for Black American Muslims and converts is a bad idea. The best Islam for Black American Muslims and converts is the original Islam of the Prophet (SAWS) that they converted to in the first place, without the isms. Once you start promoting Sufism amongst us as the go to flavor of Islam, it becomes a fad. Once it becomes a fad, it loses its function. I could be wrong, but I think that many if not most Black American Muslims and converts are just tired of trying new forms of Islam that promises to be the cure. People just want salvation and jannah, in the simplest way possible. People want their Lord, people want their Prophet (SAWS) . People are tired of sects. What the Prophet (SAWS) brought was simple, and pure, and cannot be matched by any of the sects that came after him. This is just my opinion and observation. And Allah knows best. – Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

Imam Luqman Ahmad is an associate Imam and resident scholar at the Toledo Masjid al-Islam in Toledo Ohio. He can be reached at imamabulaith@yahoo.com

The Great American Muslim Intellectual Handicap, by Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

What Muslim Americans need to understand is that the United States of America is a vast nation, culturally, climatically, historically, and economically. We a nation of nuanced diversity. Many Muslims, especially new Muslim (20 years or less) immigrants do not understand this. Colonized Muslims understand this but act like they don’t. This intellectual and perceptual handicap has become even more evident in the way we’ve handled this COVID-19 pandemic.

In these great United States, there are differences in expressions, language, dialect, politics, history, domestic culture, and as individuals, we have different types of relationships with our neighbors, our neighborhoods, our country, our politicians, our patriotism, and with people of other faiths. We have these interfaith initiatives and associations that seem to be built on the assumption that we know nothing about Christians or Christianity, when most Black Muslims and converts, come from Christianity. If immigrant Muslims really wanted to understand Christianity, they could better understand it, and understand Christians through their own brothers and sisters in faith, who were former Christians themselves, which would be the sunnah. And that’s a whole different story.

Multi-million dollar, National Islamic Organizations have perpetuated this narrative of the “American Muslim” as a single National Muslim body politick with one size fits-all rulings, sentiments and solutions for the entire group. Even within an American city, immigrant run masaajid and leaders will attempt to represent the entire local Muslim population and make decisions without due consultation of Black American Muslims and converts. Some Muslim leaders are starting to become aware of this and are taking a different approach while others have little regard for Black American Muslims and converts to begin with, and act as overlords to the indigenous population of Muslims who have been on this soil for generations.

The COVID-19 Pandemic is Changing Everything


Before the COVID-19 there was a dearth of leadership in Muslim America except for the corporate style leadership that came down from American Muslim, national political Islamic organizations and Hollywood style Imams that they approved of. Now that the majority of mosques in the country are closed due to fear of spreading the virus, Muslim leadership in the United States have been sucked into a black hole. Everything about the way we operate as Muslim Americans moving forward, is on the table.

In my opinion, Black American Muslim and convert civilization, and yes, we’re talking about a separate and distinct civilization cannot thrive or endure under multiple spheres of foreign and foreign based Islamic influence. It’s part of the reason that we have been stuck for the last 75 years. Now, there is no more reason to do so, not in any way. The only people who do not understand this are people who do not understand. And yes, Allah knows best- Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad.

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad is a associate Imam and resident scholar at the Toledo Masjid al-Islam, housed in the first building built originally as a Mosque in the state of Ohio.  He can be reached at: imamabulaith@yahoo.com

Waiting for zero risk before visiting masaajid? Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

Ultimately, I fear that the COVID-19 pandemic will leave some of those who believe in a state of perpetual fear of anything and everything. Even now, in the United States some Muslims are speaking of waiting for zero risk before visiting masaajid. When a normal person should already know that there is hardly no such thing as zero risk. Heck, my 4 year old knows that there is no such thing as zero risk. Esurance, an American Insurance company reported that 77% of drivers in the United States have been in at least one car accident and that your chances of getting into a car accident during a thousand-mile trip are 1 in 386. However, with respect to catching the corona virus, statistically the risk factor may already be at zero.

According the the CDC’s website (Center for Disease Control), as of May 15th 2020, there have been 1,412,121 cases of coronavirus contractions reported in the United States. Of those cases, there have been 85,990 deaths reported. So approximately 0.61 of those cases, actually died from the virus. So there are 328,239,523 people living in the United States, so 0.026% of the U.S. population have died from the disease, and only 0.43% of the population has actually contracted the disease. There is no evidence whatsoever that being inside a Masjid, makes the virus any ore contagious than being inside a Wal-Mart, not withstanding that a person entering a Masjid to pray, is more likely to have washed their hands, their feet, their face, rinsed out their nose and their mouth than in just about any other place in America.

So basically, in following the most official data, that of the CDC, one would conclude that there is a less than a 1% chance of a person visiting any of the houses of Allah would contract the virus. There is something terribly wrong with this picture. Especially considering that not only have the majority of Muslims nearly abandoned attendance at the masaajid in their area, we have curtailed at least 20 aspects of congregational worship and religious activities over fear of contracting the COVID-19 virus.

The irony here is that while some Muslims are waiting until there is zero risk of catching the virus while visiting a Masjid for prayer, the available data from the CDC and other reputable heath and scientific agencies suggests that the risk is already below 0% or 1% at best, for an American Muslim worshipper visiting the houses of Allah (mosques) to catch the virus. The COVID-Pandemic may prove, after it’s al over to be the most egregious case of fear mongering and manipulation ever committed on a people, in the history of the United States of America. The King, is apparently wearing no clothes.

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

Imam Luqman Ahmad is an associate Imam and resident scholar at the Toledo Masjid al-Islam in Toledo Ohio. He can be reached at imamabulaith@yahoo.com

ARE BLACK AMERICAN MUSLIMS AND CONVERTS PRISONERS OF THEIR OWN CIVILIZATIONAL PARALYSIS?, by Imam Luqman Ahmad


The American people have looked at all the available data about infections, hospitalization, death rates, potential waiting times for vaccines, recovery rates and at the overall risk benefit ratios of the nationwide lockdown and the changing of life in America as we know it, After all that and despite that there is just as much that we don’t know about COVID-19, as we know, many have decided what risks they are wiling to take in opening up states and getting their lives back to some normalcy. We don’t all agree as a country, but at least we know what our Governor’s, Mayors, our President and even what either side of our opinionated and often biased press has to say on the matter. One thing that Americans as a rule have an intense loathing for, is indecision. However, as Muslim Americans, specifically Back American Muslims and converts, we wallow in indecision. People don’t like when I say that, but alas, I don’t write for likes. Never did.

As Muslims we should engage in the same level of candid and sane discussion about the impact of COVID-19 on our faith, our faith practices, our livelihood, our holiday season and practices, and on the integrity of our religious institutions, just like everyone else. As American citizens, we get to engage in public dialogue with our leaders about what’s going on in real time. We know people’s positions on this pandemic, from competing scientists and academics, to politicians and the man or woman on the street. We freely examine graphs, polls, models, and conspiracy theories, and demand that everything is transparent even though it rarely is fully. Nevertheless, even in protest, we are still engaged. Additionally, as Americans we do something else that as Muslims we rarely do; empower those who are address our condition from the front lines.

As Muslims, most of us do not have designated Imams or leaders or have no idea who the leaders are or what they advise about what. We don’t know who’s making decisions about masaajid, discontinuation of religious practices, what the impact has been on individuals, and we rarely engage in open dialogue amongst leadership about what if anything needs to be done on the religious front. No public dialogue about whether decisions about masaajid closings need to be reconsidered, enhanced or modified or require additional attention. These are normal considerations of any people who refer to themselves as an ummah. Sometimes it seems that we are perpetually stuck in quick sand.

That is the most pathetic anomaly about this whole issue. As American Muslims, especially as Black Muslims, many of us are prisoners to our own civilizational paralysis. We’ve got to do better as civilization. And Allah knows best – Imam Luqman Ahmad.

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad is a associate Imam and resident scholar at the Toledo Masjid al-Islam, housed in the first building built originally as a Mosque in the state of Ohio. The view represented in this article are his own and not necessarily the views of the Masjid Support at cash app to: $abulaith2

Worshipping Rona; How the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the practice of Islam in America, by Imam Luqman Ahmad

Coronavirus in Wisconsin: The latest COVID-19 updates ...

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic is one of the most consequential multidimensional events that has befallen the ummah of Islam the last hundred years. The only other event that I can think of that has had as far reaching consequences as the CVID-9 pandemic are the dismantling of the Ottoman Khalfate, the occupation of Palestine, and maybe the Egyptian-Israeli peace accord signed by the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. However, none of those other events resulted in hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world abandoning congregational prayers, Salaatul Jum’ah (the Friday prayer), and the padlocking of mosques round the globe.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced American Muslims and others to ask themselves serious questions about their faith, their resolve and their understanding of their religious creed and principles. And because there has been so much deceit, greed, manipulation of data and obfuscation of the facts, the question of our malleability and blind trust of politically influenced media has resurfaced. Many of our decisions about what we are commanded and encouraged to do by our True Lord, Allah, are directly influenced by COVID-19 and our fear and caution of it. It even has had an impact on what some of us believe about the qadr (predestination), death, and the power of Allah to protect and heal His creation. That should be unsetting.

Thus far, American Muslims have given up the bulk of their congregation and religiously based social practices because of the coronavirus. Some things may be only temporary, possibly going on for months, and other things we have given up may constitute a compete paradigm change in the way we practice of our religion. Only Allah knows and time will tell. Nevertheless, it behooves us to keep track of what we are giving up as a result of this pandemic, so that we can keep a self-accounting, and so that we can mitigate this situation and it’s consequences to the best of our abiity.

American Muslims have abandoned or given up in varying degrees, everything mentioned on the list below.

1. Jum’ah
2. Prayer in congregation
3. Visiting the houses of Allah
5. Family nights at the Masaajid
6. Classes in the Masaajid
7. Halaqas in the Masaajid
8. Pubic lectures in the Masaajid and elsewhere
9. Rallies
10. Family and congregational picnics
11: Ghusl al-mayyit (washing our dead)
12: Salaatul jazaaza in congregation (an important sunnah)
13: Burying our dead without cremation.
14: Visiting the sick and praying over them with ruqya
15: Tal’qeen (urging the dying to say laa ilaaha illa Allah)
16: The mentioning of Allah’s name in His houses
17: Calling the athaan and iqaama in the Masjid.
18: Being on the scrolls of the angels who record for Jum’ah
19 Congregating and socializing after Jum’ah
20: Brother’s breakfasts at the Masjid (used for bonding)
21: Visiting each other for the sake of Allah
22: People coming to the Masjid to take shahaadah.

American Muslims have arguably given up more Islamic religious practices and acts of worship for the sake of the COVID-19 virus than we perform for the sake of Allah, Lord. If that is not a form of worship, (and I’m not saying that it is), it sure seems like it.

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

imamabuaith@yahoo.com

Imam Luqman Ahmad is an associate Imam and resident scholar at the Toledo Masjid a-Islam in Toledo, Ohio. The views expressed in this article represent his own views.

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