Arguing Over Creed in Black Muslim America; Following the Yellow Brick Road. Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

Somewhere, over the rainbow, Dorothy and Toto are still on that yellow  brick road | Archive |

Most people, even scholars cannot tell you the difference, or even explain to you in detail the differences between Maatureediyya and Ash’ariyyah aqeeda (creed), or elucidate the details of each one. Some Ash’ari and Sunni scholars consider the Maatureediyya the people of bid’ah. (It gets messy) lol. Aqeeda wrangling is messy business period. It was always messy, and if you study Muslim history, deadly as well. In recent years, people have bombed masaajid full of worshippers, because the people praying inside were believe to have the wrong aqeeda.

In the United States, people don’t commit acts of violence over aqeeda, because it could land you in jail, and it would make you look like a depraved religious fanatic. However, that does not mean that the aqeeda wars amongst Black American Muslims has not been a roller coaster of fitna, and division, and a Yellow Brick Road leading to nowhere. If you go beyond the outward platitudes and theological blurbs that people think that they’re supposed to say to be creed compliant, it’s a can of worms. Most people, when they say that they follow so and so creed, don’t know what that creed entails, or actually follow a set of principles related to the creed, except a couple of points that has to do with anthropomorphism, because that anti- anthropomorphism is what’s trending as far as aqeeda is concerned. Oftentimes they do not even know the name of the founder of the creed that they ascribe to.

The study of aqeeda (scholastic theology) is a legitimate Islamic discipline of knowledge. However, most Muslims in the world don’t think in terms of aqeeda, they think in terms of faith. This aqeeda wrangling amongst everyday people and novices on the topic in the United States, was designed specifically for Black Americans and converts. It promotes civilizational dysfunction, and stagnation. It has no actionable conclusion or ending. You can’t say, “people who have the correct aqeeda do this or that”. People don’t say, “if we had the right aqeeda we could build a masjid or operate a school. Or, “if he had the right aqeeda, he would help the elderly woman cross the street. Muslim scholars since the second century of Islam, have always had differences surrounding aqeeda, but it was left almost exclusively in the hand of scholars.

Abu Faraj Ibn Jawzi (1116-1201 CE), who in my humble view is amongst those balanced and extremely smart scholars, and defenders of (prophetic tradition) Sunna, like Imam an-Nawawi, Jalaaluddeen as-Suyuti, and Imam al-Ghazali, voiced serious differences with Abu Ya’la (990-1066 CE), who was considered a Hanbali Mujaddid, on matters of aqeeda. There are untold numbers of aqeeda disputes amongst scholars, and betweeen governments, that are chronicled in history, some of which became deeply personal. Scholars were after all human beings. Taqī ad-Dīn Aḥmad Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328), one of the greatest and most prolific scholars who ever lived, and who was once a judge in Baghdad, was imprisoned over what they said amounted to having deviant aqeeda. He actually died behind bars.

There are dozens opinions by scholars about who any one of them, or group of them considers to be Ahlus Sunna. Aqeeda was always left in the realm of scholars and scholarship, and occasionally, in the realm of politics. The waning, yet still present aqeeda wars amongst Black American Muslims and converts is nearly entirely orchestrated by foreign influences domestically and abroad. When people could have simply believed in what was confirmed in our scriptures (Quran and Sunna) and have been much better off. Some people argue about aqeeda and barley know 20 Suras of the Quran.

Since aqeeda is essentially philosophy and not necessarily faith (eemaan), there are hundreds of Muslim philosophers and scores of aqaa’id (aqeeda). If you count the Sufis, with hundreds of different tariqas (Sufi paths), many, with different aqeeda, there is even more types of theology to wrestle with. Ash’ariyyah and Maatureediyya are the most common because that was the official aqeeda stated and adopted by various Muslim governments and powers, that ended up staying in power. For example, the Ottomans were Maatureediyya, and Hanafi, and the Ottomans ruled a big chunk of the Muslim world for about 600 years, so their aqeeda became dominant. Still, the Ottomans didn’t impose that everyone was aware, versed and adherents of it. When Muslim governments did that, or tried, it was considered oppressive.

When an Abbasid Caliph forced the scholars to say that the Quran was created, and jailed Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbali over that, it was considered an act of oppression by the Caliph, who was aligned with Mu’tazilizm, yet, another brand of aqeeda. In fact, the founder of Ash’ari aqeeda, Abu Hasan al-Ash’ari (874-936), was himself a Mu’tazilite for 40 years before he switched and created his own aqeeda, the very same aqeeda that some Muslims say people must a crime themselves to today. The people who follow the Quran and the Sunna are the people who follow the Quran and the Sunna. The people who do not follow, are the people who do not. Those who do their best but fall short, are those who do their best and fall short. Allah sub’haanahu wa ta’ala is the Best judge in these matters.

People have invested so much time and energy in arguing, debating, and worrying about people’s aqeeda, and touted this shaykh, or that shaykh as an aqeeda savior, and even went through three or four Islamic aqeedas in a period of less than twenty years in some cases, and each time they were certain they were on the haqq. It’s hard to admit that we’ve been chasing our own tail. It’s like Dorothy seeking out the Wizard of Oz, only to be told that what she needs is at home. What we need in deen is found in the Quran and the Sunna, All this aqeeda madness, we could have just followed the Quran and the authenticated Sunna, and been much better off.

According to the great scholar of Islam, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, who himself was a leader of philosophy, there are ten destructive evils arising from public debates (about religion); envy, arrogance, malice, backbiting and slander, selfpraise, seeking other’s faults, gloating at misfortune, hypocrisy, ostentation, rejecting the truth.[2] It ruins relationships, splits communities, breaks associations, tears away at the bonds of brotherhood, and greatly undermines the religious communal trajectory of Islam amongst Black American Muslims and converts to Islam o the United States, even when that is not the intention.

The problems, the disruptions, the splitting up of masjids, or brother and sisterhoods, the name calling, the labeling this or that person deviant, or unbeliever, the fitna of arguing over theology, multiplied by the thousands, has taken it’s toll. It’s too much for a person to admit. Part of some aqeeda is that you are right, and everyone else is wrong, So people become victims of their own after-market theology. That’s pretty self-evident. Like I said, it’s okay, if you don’t get it right away. Even better, if Allah spared you of the aqeeda wars. Why search for a Wizard of Oz when we have the Prophet of God (SAWS)?

Aqeeda wrangling amongst Black American Muslims is one of the most ill-thought out, civilizationally stagnating, and backward ideas of this age. It may had had some utility in the beginning, but has long since out-lived its usefulness here. Except to remind people to stay away from it. If the overall toll of aqeeda disputing on our ummah had not been so great, so consequential, so destructive of communities, relationships, and with it families, and so severing of trust, I would have left it alone. Unfortunately, the aqeeda wars still stands in the way for us here in the United States. I stand by my words, And Allahu ta’ala knows best. -Imam Luqman Ahmad

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad, a Philadelphia native, is a writer, an associate Imam, khateeb, at the Toledo Masjid al-Islam in Toledo, Ohio. He is a former executive committee member of the North America Imams Federation (NAIF). He is also and the author of the book, “Double Edged Slavery “, a critical and authoritative look at the condition of African American and convert Muslims in the United States, and the book: “The Devil’s Deception of the Modern Day Salafi Sect “, a look at the ideological underpinning of modern Salafist extremism. He blogs at, and can be reached at

Is Legitimate Black American Muslim Independent Thought Possible? Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

Black American Muslim Independent Thought.

For hundreds of years, even since the time of the Prophet (SAWs) the Muslim world were sworn enemies against the Christian and non-Muslim world and vice versa That hostility and conflict continued through the crusades. colonization, the toppling, and overthrow of Muslim states through western military and political hegemony, intervention, subjugation and dominance by world powers and manipulation by majority Christian nations. Hating non-Muslims became embedded Muslim political reality into religious teachings and aqeeda. In fact, hatred is part of much of our religious teachings that we get from abroad, especially the teaching of aqeeda. The result of all that is indifference, hate, opposition, and contempt towards anything, or anyone not labeled with the ‘pure Muslim’ label. That is how the majority of Muslims in America were taught for the last 50 years. Since, we essentially operate as a leaderless mob, with few exceptions, no one bothered to upgrade our thinking our adjust it to life, as American citizens, born of this soil. Many of this are simply just along for the ride down the raging rapids.

Black American Muslims are a new, and distinctly different civilization of the Muslim world. Although as descendants of slaves, we are aware that we come from Africa but the none of the countries of Africa do not assume ownership over us as other countries take ownership over their former citizens. Much of our thinking and approach to our own religion is not purely based on our scriptures, but an amalgam of scripture, theology, political and cultural norms, biases, of Muslims in the Muslim world and Muslim immigrants to the United States. Black American Muslims have inherited 1400 years of history, culture, politics, theology, religious teachings, politics, culture and thinking, dumped upon us in varying dosages all at once, without a direct line anywhere. The line was cut with slavery.  

Undoubtedly, there is an ancestral, anthropological connection between Black American Muslims and Africa. However, the direct connection of lineage, religious, culture and known ancestry was severed by slavery and import to the United States. Most Blacks, Muslim or otherwise have no idea which part of Africa they are from and have no direct chain of lineage or familial relationship with Africa, and when Black Americans were fighting vagrancy laws, Jim Crow, police brutality, civil rights violations, and institutional racism in the United States, the countries of Africa were nowhere coming to our aid, despite that we were sons and daughters of the great continent of Africa. They had their own struggles against colonialism, and for independence to deal with. Even after African nations became independent states, the state of the Black American was not on any of their lists of priorities.

Fortunately, there is an antidote; accepting that we are a new civilization. Black American Muslims are in fact, a new, yet frail, and emerging civilization. The newest civilization of the Muslim world. We are the bastards of the ummah at this point, and pretty much treated as such. Hardly noticeable because we’re used to it, but certainly consequential, and impacts nearly every aspect of our moral and civilizational trajectory in the United states. No one is claiming us, and no one is coming to our rescue. Not from Africa, not from the middle east, and not from the Muslim world.

A new type of independent, yet Islamic thinking is needed. The kind of thinking, critical reasoning, and analysis, that is required for us to break away from this zombie like stagnation of Black American Muslim independent thought. Legitimate and theologically compliant Black American Muslim thought is going to be audacious, partly liberationist and revolutionary in nature, and rejected by many. That is an evolutionary normalcy considering that Black American Muslims are descendants of slaves and have largely adopted an Islamic moral psychology that is born of subjugation, colonialism, a clash of civilizations, immigration, and racism. We’re still arguing over aqeeda. Someone has to sift through all this mess because as a group of people, a frail and emerging Muslim civilization, we are a basket case. In sha Allah, not for much longer.

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad, is an Imam and resident scholar at the Toledo Masjid al-Islam in Toledo, Ohio. He can be reached at

The Bamboozling of Black American Muslims. Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

This is not a difficult topic for me to write about. However, it is difficult for many to read about if addressed candidly and honestly. Censorship, is still very much an unspoken rule and a one sided conversation in Muslim America when it comes to issues of race and the relationship between Muslim immigrant communities and Black American and convert communities. Nevertheless, American Muslims. particularly Black Americans and converts, owe it to themselves to understand how we got were we are regarding our moral trajectory in this country. Especially as a new and frail part of Muslim civilization. Of course this article does not tell the whole story, but it is certainly part of the story. Pay attention.

After 9/11, the American Muslim community and the whole country went into panic mode for different reasons. Americans in general were shocked and horrified that such a large-scale attack, purportedly by Muslim terrorists, would hit so close to home. American Muslims were panicked because of the backlash, and potential backlash against American Muslims. By November 5th, more than a thousand American Muslims and Muslims living in the United States were detained. Many were deported. Some left the country on their own. Suspicion, in and outside of the Muslim community was everywhere. For many Muslims, the worst thing in the world was to be viewed as a potential terrorist, to be the object of criticism, or be rejected or ridiculed by the American masses.

After the World Trade Center bombing were the catalyst for the American Muslim community to embark on a massive, multi-billion-dollar, public relations campaign to temper the backlash, improve the image of Islam and Muslims in the eyes of the American public, and insulate American Muslims from any criticism, constructive or not.

The meaning of the word Islam was almost immediately replaced from submission to peace, and the newly invented neologism (Islamophobia) was hastily summoned into full currency as a push back against anti-Muslim sentiment, and all criticism of Muslims. Acts of charity work were carefully choreographed, recorded, and publicized for public consumption, Masaajid doubled down on half-hearted interfaith efforts, and words such as  jihad, the word bay’ah, and the word jamaa’at, were reinterpreted or removed outright from everyday Muslim dialogue.

The ambitious public relations campaign spread to every part of Muslim America and was financed by immigrant Muslim individuals, businessmen and organizations, who crafted the policy, the planning, and executed implementation or the massive PR campaign through a variety of venues. Fighting islamophobia was touted by major national Islamic organizations as the number one priority of Muslims in America. Billions of dollars flowed in from the Gulf states to assist in the anti-islamophobia campaign although hardly any of the money went to helping Black Muslim groups, organizations, and communities so they could join in the effort.

The image of Islam in the eyes of politicians and the American public took precedence over the actual moral essence and practice of the religion, and that image portrayed as a white or light skinned immigrant who is as American as apple pie, mostly middle class, and shares the values of our country. The image and narrative of the American Muslim convert in the inner city was nearly completely ignored, even vilified by some Muslims. In one report, co-authored by CAIR (Council for American Islamic Relations), we were characterized as being less patriotic than immigrant Muslims, and more likely to extremism.  That was the projected image then, as it is now.

Black American Muslims and coverts, an already marginalized population within Muslim America, who were less likely to suffer any backlash because of the events of 9/11, who had no national organizations of clout and finance that represented their interests, and who were less likely to be under threat of deportation since they were already citizens, had no choice except to go along for the ride.

Thus, the narrative, the political interests, and the voice of the American Muslim community of largely immigrants, became the narrative, the voice, and the politics of Black American Muslims, who very few, realized even until now, that they (Black American Muslims and converts) were and still are, an entirely new and different Muslim civilization. An entire generation of Muslims were raised on image, and imaging as representing what Islam is all about. This helped cement the colonized disposition of Black American Muslim converts, under the shadow of the larger, more affluent, more educated, and greater resourced immigrant Muslim population America. A situation that continues until this very day.

There is no validation whatsoever anymore for the Black American Muslim slave mentality. It cannot be justified at this point in our history. We know too much about the damage. We have paid too much of a cost. It gets in the way of too much. When we were barely out of slavery, it was understandable. During the Jim Crow years, it was understandable. In the beginning of the civil rights movement, it was understandable. When we were inundated with books on theology from overseas it was understandable, and when we found ourselves for the last 40 years, going back and forth bickering over fatwas, terminologies, shaykhs, and arguing other people’s arguments like fools, it became barely understandable.

At this point in time, it is simply senseless to give the Black American Muslim slave mentality any more oxygen. It’s time to let it die a slow death. Dismantling it may take an entire generation and will not be easy. However, it way past its expiration date. A new, free domestic Muslim ummah must and in sha Allah, will emerge, that is untethered by the now self-imposed colonial like hold from the multiple spheres of influence from the Muslim world abroad that still continue to suffocate Muslims and converts in America. And Allah knows best.

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad support at Cash App @ $abulaitrh2

Imam Luqman Ahmad is an Imam and Resident Scholar at the Toledo Masjid al-Islam in Toledo Ohio. He can be reached at He is the author of the book “The Devils Deception of the Modern day Salafiyyah Sect”, and the book, Double Edged Slavery, about the colonial disposition of Black American Muslims in the shadow of the American Muslim immigrant community.

Black American Imams Seen but Rarely Heard. Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

In fact, Black American Imams aren’t seen that much either. Not speaking independently on any national stage. In Muslim America today, Black American Imams are rarely viewed as equal to other Imams, especially if they open their mouths with anything that rejects the prevailing narrative of Black American Muslim intellectual inferiority to immigrant Muslims. That is starting to change with this second and third generation of Muslims. However, we still have a long ways to go on both sides.

Racial bias has figured high in Muslim America, but self-hate, and self-deprecation on the part of Black Sunni Muslims, has figured high as well. Maybe even more. And please, no more Bilal stories. We already know that there were companions of the Prophet (SAWS) who were Black. However, the Prophet (SAWS) is not the one under indictment about racism. We have no issues with the conduct of Rasoolillaah (SAWS). It’s the subtle and not so subtle racism that still exists in the ummah that we’re most concerned about.

Nevertheless. As the issue of racism and racial bias continues to be at the forefront of American domestic dialogue, Muslim America needs to understand that they are not exempt from dealing with it. Am I risking backlash from this post? Of course, what else is new? However, backlash won’t make the problem disappear.

Keep in mind that with the teaching of ‘puritan’ aqeeda in the 1980’s, came the incessant debates and arguments about theology, and hidden inside Islamic puritanism, were the attacks on nearly everything, about our country, our way of life, and our culture. Nearly all of our celebrations, things like birthdays, baby showers, graduation parties, and even family picnics, were prohibited by one or another fatwa.

There were even fatwas against being happy during Christmas season, or being happy when a kaafir is happy, and accepting gifts from grandma . Then they went after our sports, I remember reading the fatwa haraming football, and co-ed sports. But that wasn’t enough, they attacked our clothing, our relationships with our neighbors and our families, our relationships with own country, our priorities as a free people, and even our politics, were all put in check by various fatwas coming from abroad, some of which we continue to argue about till this very day.

Then came the fatwas that haramed all of our music outright, which meant a good chunk of our poetry, which is part of our music. Even lullabies sung to babies were haram according to some. We were ordered to boycott Israel while Muslim countries have treaties and do billions of dollars worth of business with Israel. Then there was the fatwas prohibiting photographs, and sport trophies, and attending the funerals of relatives who were not Muslim, Then there was the fatwas calling for jihad against our own country. Incredulously, many of us fell for a lot of it. Even had some of us speaking with fake accents.

If you’ve been Muslim since the 1980s, you would know this. Scholars who used to weigh in on everything American, have evolved since then, but not after leaving behind considerable damage. Not even an apology. An entire generation of Muslims were lost in the morass of moral chaos. Some folks still cannot even tell the basic difference between right and wrong. Just a couple of weeks ago, Muslims were clamoring that a shaykh from abroad showed that a man knitting or sewing is permissible, when we come from a nation of men custom tailors and clothing designers.

The hijacking of Islam in America and the marginalization and indifference towards Black American Muslims by the now larger Muslim community, including scholars, is no laughing matter. But brothers speaking with fake accents, now that was funny. Nevertheless, Saudi based scholars, and scholarship have had more influence over Black American Muslims and converts, than scholars from any other region on the planet.

When vestiges of the post slave culture of the Arabian peninsula mixed with the pre-existing slave mentality of Black Americans who studied there, it was disastrous. You can still see the effects of it today in Black Muslim America, which is one reason why it’s important to know our history. I believe that it is inevitable that a new, and free domestic Muslim ummah must and in sha Allah, will emerge, that is untethered by the now self-imposed colonial like hold from the Muslim world abroad that still continues to suffocate Muslims and converts in America. If you don’t get what I’m saying now, in sha Allah you will. I stand by my words.

Iman Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

The Companions and Muslim Activism


The Prophet (SAWS) was a strong proponent of leadership development and a broad ranch of Islamic work and activism, in organization, leadership, follow-ship, accountability, delegation of authority, fealty, contractual agreements, treaties, military, and governance. That was the way of the Arabs even before Islam and of most cultures, and peoples of the world. Muslim America cannot be just about Imams, debating issues and one upmanship over one another on social media, it has to be about everyone who is able, doing their part to build, protect, and empower our domestic ummah here in the United States.

The Prophet (SAWS) never sanctioned lawlessness, absence of leadership, or absence of followship amongst the Muslims, not ever. Early companions of the Prophet (SAWS) and those that followed them, helped shape and codify the law of revelation into an operable system that could function in people’s everyday lives. They achieved this by dutifully attending to the various aspects of Muslim civilization and to the affairs of the Ummah, either by teaching, serving in the military, building, maintaining, and populating the masaajid, diplomacy, scholarship, collection of zakat, conducting the hajj, giving water to the hajjis, expansion of the two sacred sanctuaries, building masaajid, policing the cities and villages, prosecuting criminals, or serving in the capacity of government, public service and da’wah.

They were not all sitting around quoting hadith. When they had discussions about fiqh, it was usually pertinent matters that were taking place at the time. Debate was pursuant to actionable conclusions. For example, they debated about the burial place of the Prophet (SAWS) and ended up burying him in Aisha’s apartment. They debated about whether to go to war against Musailama the false prophet, or going to war with the deniers of zakat, and they chose going to war with the deniers of zakat first.

Young companions of the Prophet (SAWS) went on to serve the ummah in monumental ways. Ibn Abbas had barely reached puberty by the time the Prophet’s death (SAWS), however, in addition to collecting and narrating hadith of the Prophet and teaching hordes of people the Quran and the Sunna, he went on to be a member of Umar’s shura amongst the veterans of Badr. He also served as the Governor of Basra and helped negotiate a truce between the Caliph Ali and the khawaarij who were at war with him. The Caliph Ali, years before had been a boy in the care of the Prophet (SAWS) and was amongst the first persons to accept Islam.

Another example is Mu’adh ibn Jabal who was a major scholar amongst the companions of the Prophet (SAWS, and still served and led in the wars, was was a governor of that we know today as Bahrain and a Governor of Syria before he died of the plague in hijri year 18 AH. Abu Huraira did not convert to Islam until later and only spent about two and a half years with the Prophet (SAWS), yet he was amongst the major scholars and narrators of hadith in Medina and spent a short time as a governor of Bahrain under the Caliph Umar and served as a Governor of Medina during the Umayyad rule. Abu Huraira married one of his daughters to Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib, who was born during the Caliphate of Umar, was a favorite of the companions of the Prophet (SAWS) because of his zeal for knowledge and grew up to be called the Imam of the taabi’een. Abu Huraira lived to be 78, dying in the year 59 of the Hijrah.

Most, and nearly all of the companions that were close to the Prophet (SAWS) were veterans of wars and the battlefield. The veterans of Badr had the highest distinction. After the Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattaab conquered Persia, he put all of the remaining “Bad’riyoon” (veterans of Badr) on yearly pension.

I cannot stress enough the importance of leadership development, generational continuity of our faith, cooperation and committed activism on behalf of our ummah, in what is left of our communities in Black Muslim America. Find where you fit in.

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

What is an Ijaaza Anyway? Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

WHAT IS AN IJAAZA ANYWAY? (because someone asked)
The word ‘Ijaaza’ in the Arabic language, literally means ‘permission’. In the terminology of traditional Islamic knowledge and scholarship, ijaaza is when a student of knowledge seeks permission from a teacher or shaykh to listen or to receive narrations of knowledge from the shaykh that the shaykh possesses. Knowledge and narrations that are either retained by verified memory, or in writing.
Upon completion, when the shaykh is assured that the student has understood or retained the text by memory, the shaykh then gives the student permission to transfer or teach that information to someone else or to others. In Muslim tradition, this whole process is called ‘ijaaza’. Depending upon the shaykh, the student, the text, or the subject of narrative, the shaykh may have a greater or lesser degree of retention and proficiency which he (or she) would require of the student before the student is afforded qualified permission (ijaazah) to transmit the knowledge. Many times, ijaaza was implicit by virtue of the known relationship and length of time between a student and a particular teacher or because of narrative connection to him.
Historically, the process of seeking and receiving an ijaaza was not contracted from anyone who is not a qualified expert in the subject matter, and there was no formal ijaaza ceremonies or graduation certificates. Also, historically in Muslim lands, people did not dare to teach Islamic topics without having knowledge. Ijaaza was a way to trace the chain of knowledge back to a source
The first to start this method of transferring knowledge were Arab poets and genealogists during the latter part of the Umayyad and the beginning of the Abbasid dynasties (period) of Islam, followed by scholars and preservers of sacred knowledge. Eventually the process became widespread and varied throughout the Muslim world. Before the ijaazah process became wide spread, and before Islam, the Arabs relied on sheer memory and generational continuity of knowledge through people, to preserve information about lineage (mainly), history and poetry. The ijaaza process is different today from what it was originally, but remains the same in some places. That’s the short of it. There are different types of ijaazas. And Allah knows best. – Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad.

Website Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: