A Short History of How Tawheed [Islamic Monotheism] Survived in America Since Slavery.

cropped-shahada-finger.jpgThis has nothing to do with being anti-immigrant. We are all brothers and sisters in Islam, and the most honored person to Allah is the one with the most taqwa. This has to do with a right of a historically oppressed and marginalized people to think and act in the best interests of their religion and of tawheed. Every people has the right and the obligation to speak the truth, seek the truth, and to realize what has been harmful for them and what has proved beneficial for them. The colonial-like existence as second-class Muslims in a country that we helped build, has not proven beneficial for us. Not by a long shot. And its time to let it go.

Many Muslims are woefully unaware of the history of African Americans and Islam in the United States. Some people might even prefer if we simply dismiss our history and not talk about it, not think about it, or even worse, let someone else tell it for us their way. However, none of these are viable options. People’s history helps shape their present and their future, by the permission of Allah and by His decree. When black slaves were brought to this country in chains. Everything was stripped from them; their possessions, their language, their culture, their family ties, their history, and their religion. Of all that was taken from them, the only thing that was not completely gutted out of them was tawheed. Tawheed remained, and still remains in many people who are not yet Muslim.

The idea that there is only One God remained intact for millions of black slaves and freedmen, just as it does to this very day. About half the people who convert to Islam already believe that there is only One God. Even when slaves were given and many times forced to convert to Christianity, they did so under threat of the whip or threat of death, but they still believed in tawheed. As African Americans started to hear of and be exposed to Islam in it’s pure state, millions upon millions of them converted to Islam; a process that continues to this very day, except that now, the original Islam is often mutated into other isms, and other people’s additions. So now, there is so much more that is added to the original Islam; the splintering ideologies, the sectarianism, the racism, the colonial mindset, the international politics, the suppression of independent thought, that it is sometimes hard to see the original Islam of the Prophet ﷺ through all of the additions.

Also, another problem today is that African Americans increasingly see their Muslim counter-parts as a subjugated people under the authority of Muslim immigrants. How much that is true is a matter of debate, but there is no mistaking the pervasive perception amongst African Americans that we as Muslims have adopted a religion that condones racism and racial subjugation of one race over the other. This problematic perception is exacerbated and turns into reality when people actually end up converting to islam and find that as blacks they are seen and treated as an inferior Muslims by many immigrant Muslims.

The attraction to Islam by millions of ex-slave generations is not a coincidence, although some would like you to think so. It is part of a greater plan to rescue our religion and to uplift and enlighten the minds of Muslims across the globe. Islam is supposed to be our greatest unifier, and it still can be.  Islam can be our greatest unifier but that will not happen until we are all on equal footing and have equal respect for each other and each other’s ideas and viewpoints.

I remember back in the day growing up as a Muslim in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; back then our neighborhoods were divided by territory and you had gangs; Haines street, Brickyard, the Clang, Summerville, Pulaski Town, 22nd and Diamond, Norris Street, Camac and Diamond, and so on. There was nothing that united African Americans from different parts of the city – at least in Philadelphia –  more than Islam. Nothing even came close. When we started to differ over Islam; especially over imported versions of it, well, things got progressively worse. We argued over Ahmadiyyism, we argued over Shiism, and later we argued over the Fuqra Movement, the Jamaa’atul Tabligh, then salafiyyism. Now it’s different brands of Sufism, and other sub-ideologies of Islam. It’s not so much that we argue over these things; it is that each one of the ones  mentioned require that we pay homage and obedience to a foreign element and also sets limitations that no African American can rise above the master headquartered abroad either in knowledge, in thought and in the ability to lead.

For the African American ex-slave community there is nothing that binds us together more than Islam; more than race, more than nationality, more than cities of origin, more than class, tribe, clan or lingo. Islam trumps everything for us. This is why it is imperative that we not fight the ideological proxy wars imposed on us from abroad. I know this is a hard pill for some to swallow, but it is the truth nevertheless.

In sha Allah one day more of us will see the game that’s been played on us. It’s deep that we let these jokers flim-flam us into fighting their ideological proxy wars on our home soil like we’re unpaid Muslim mercenaries. I say that we straight up drop just about every one of these foreign spheres of ideological influence and stick to the Quran and the Sunna. We should do that for at least a generation and a half and see how that works out for us. We can always go back to imitating the fractionalized Muslim world if Quran and the Sunna alone do not work for us. We can always bring back the made up titles and the auxiliary up brands of Islam.  All I’m saying is that Islam is not Black, it is not White, it is not Arab, not Asian, and not Oriental. Islam is the religion of Allah and it transcends everything. That’s the point.

Imam Luqman Ahmad

American born Luqman Ahmad is a Sunni Muslim, the son of converts to Islam. He is a writer, consultant, patriot, and until recently, has been the Imam of a Northern California mosque for twenty years. Recently he headed up a new organization (Islamic Center of Del Paso Heights) to address the needs of Muslims, specifically new Muslim converts in the United States. He is a former executive committee member of the North America Imams Federation, a founding member of COSVIO, (the Council of Sacramento Valley Islamic Organizations), and the author of the book “The Devils Deception of the Modern day Salafiyyah Sect”, a detailed look at modern extremist salafiyyism, the ideology which forms the mindset of ISIS. He blogs at, imamluqman.wordpress.com. The sentiments shared in this article are his own and not representative of any of his professional affiliations. He can be reached at imamluqman@icdph.org.

The Gritty Side of Muslim Aqeeda Wars, By Imam Luqman Ahmad

The word aqeeda comes from the Arabic word aqd [عقد], which means knot, or something to bind around. The word also means contract; as mentioned in the verse: “O you who have believed, fulfill [all] contracts [عقود]. The derivative word aqeeda [عقيدة], does not appear in quran laid outthe Quran, nor was it mentioned by the Prophet ﷺ. The terminological meaning of aqeeda in the religion of Islam is creed, or belief system. The word aqeeda is also sometimes used synonymously as tawheed, sharia, even Islam. The discipline and knowledge of aqeeda is a critical and important part of Islamic knowledge and of the sharia [Islamic law]. Aqeeda has to do with your belief system as a Muslim. Aqeeda in the classical sense constitutes the boundaries of faith and heresy. If you are a Muslim, then you should know what you believe. You do not have to be an aqeeda scholar to have proper aqeeda. If a person believes that there is no god except Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and they agree wholesale with everything that is in the Quran, and everything that is authenticated in the words of the Prophet ﷺ, [the Sunnah], then that person has the correct aqeeda, even though they do not know all the details. This is based upon the hadith, “Whoever witnesses that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger, Allah forbids the Fire from touching him“.

The central foundation of what we know to be aqeeda is la ilaaha illa Allah [there is no god except Allah], and to worship Him alone without partners. This was the message of all the Prophets starting with the Prophet Adam; وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَسُولًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ [Verily We have raised from amongst every nation, Messengers (proclaiming) to worship Allah and to avoid the taaghoot], [16:36]. During the time of the Prophet (SAWS) the companions did not argue with each other about the issue of Allah and His oneness. If there was ever a disagreement or misunderstanding, on a point of faith, they referred it the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and it was settled.

After the era of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ heretical and idolatrous beliefs and practices started to make an encore into Muslim society after the Prophet ﷺ had rid idolatry from the Arabian Peninsula.  These false beliefs and heretical notions returned to Muslims lands either by Arabs who went back to their pre-islamic practices or influences from foreign and conquered lands. Hence the need for more specificity about aqeeda and what constitutes kufr and eemaan. The first books about aqeeda were written during the time of the taabi’een starting with Imam Ibn Shihaab az-Zuh’ri. The written discipline of aqeeda further evolved during the first part of the second century of the Hijra when Imam Malik wrote the Muwattaa. He organized hadith into chapters dealing with aqeeda such as the chapter on emaan, and the chapter on tawheed, and the chapter on knowledge. Imam Malik’s work was the budding of the independent discipline of aqeeda.

What prompted the scholars to delve into specialization on the topic of aqeeda were the ideological splits that started to appear during the latter period of the companions of the Prophet (SAWS). One of the major clashes in aqeeda was in the appearance of the khawaarij [kharajites] and the practice of declaring a person to be an unbeliever because of a sin he committed. Hence, the scholars of the Sunna saw the need to elucidate just what is the creed of ahlus Sunna in detail. One of the first books devoted to belief clarification was the book al-Fiqh al-Ak’bar by Imam Abu Hanifa. Imam Shaafi’ee wrote a book with the same title [al-Fiqh al-Akbar] where he addressed specific issues of aqeeda point by point. Over the years, scholars of the sunna developed variant views on issues of aqeeda but agreed with the foundation. These scholars became known as the Ahlul Sunna.

Amongst the Ahlul Sunna are the aqeeda of the Ash’aris, the aqeeda of the Maatureedis, the aqeeda of the Salafis, and the aqeeda of the Sufis. Within these groups are points of agreement that are the foundational principles of faith, and then are there are points of divergence. Sometimes the differences are scholarly, and civil  in nature; at other times differences lead to name-calling, anger, killing and bloodshed. In many Muslim countries, people have blown up masaajid, and killed innocent men, women and children while they celebrated the Prophet’s birthday, or murdered people in cold blood simply over differences in aqeeda. There has been a lot of that in our ummah, and t hasn’t stopped, even until this very day. It continues.

There is nothing new about aqeeda wars except that in the past these ideological skirmishes were waged by scholars, jurists, politicians, and people who had knowledge. Now days, it’s largely an internet, free-for-all where anyone, regardless of knowledge or training, can participate. Al-humdu lillaah we haven’t had any violent aqeeda clashes in the United States yet, and were it not for the rule of law and the mercy of Allah sub’haanahu wa ta’ala, we would see it here. The undercurrent for it is pretty strong. Aqeeda wrangling keep American Muslims very busy. Busy enough to have split masaajid and communities, severed long standing relationships, and caused crippling stagnation within Muslim communities, especialy amongst converts and African American Muslim communities. People are very quick to pronounce takfeer on others because they regard their aqeeda heretical. People will sever long standing relationships over a fine point in aqeeda. In my opinion, it’s gotten completely out of hand.

Throughout history, aqeeda was used primarily as a topic of learning, but also as a political and sectarian hatchet and an avenue for extreme discord and transgression.

Some of the greatest scholars of Islam were persecuted, imprisoned, and killed on the charge that their aqeeda was amiss. When scholars had issues with other scholars, the easiest way to shut them down was to accuse them of an aqeeda breach. Imam Shaafi’ee was once accused of supporting Shiite rebels in Yemen and was arrested and taken to Baghdad in chains. The Turkish scholar of Islam and intellectual, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi was once arrested for violating secularist laws; in other words, thinking as a Muslim and teaching Islam. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal was persecuted by the Caliph Ma’moon and imprisoned and tortured for 28 months under the Caliph al-Mu’tasim because he refused to accept the notion that the Quran was created. Ibn Taymiyah and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, whom people today regard as amongst the greatest scholars of Islam, were both prosecuted and jailed on the charge of having heretical aqeeda. Ibn Taymiyah died in prison on those accusations. If we didn’t have the rule of law in the United States people would probably be pulled off the pulpit amid trumped up charges of violating aqeeda. Aqeeda is a scholarly discipline but it is also a political tool to sow discord and to silence dissent.

The word aqeeda did not find it’s way into American Muslim dialogue until the mid to late ‘70s, and it didn’t gain traction in the America Muslim community until the early ‘80s. It started with simple education about Tawheed and helping people in the United States, mainly new converts to Islam, understand Muslim orthodox theology. It quickly escalated into a war of words. Since the ‘80s we have seen the incessant aqeeda wars rage on amongst Muslims in America, primarily African American Muslims, continuing until this very day. Other than a long trail of character assassination, split communities, torn apart friends, and a nation of young Muslims who argue with each other over their sheikhs and who is or is not an not an infidel, tell me, where is the net benefit?

Aqeeda is an in-depth and highly specialized topic. Anyone with advanced knowledge of Islamic theology and creed and can look into another Muslim’s belief detail and find where he or she has technically stepped outside of standard Islamic orthodoxy. People who engage in candlelight vigils have gone against our aqeeda. Individuals who declare that everyone who has a criticism of Islam or who does not like Muslims or Islam is an Islamophobe have diverted from our aqeeda. Anyone who thinks that their race is superior to others has gone outside of our aqeeda. Anyone who thinks that a person declaring the shahaadah performing the five prayers, paying zakat, fasting the month of Ramadan and making Hajj has not done enough to be regarded as a Muslim, has stepped outside of our aqeeda. There are dozens of examples where one person can declare another person to be outside of our aqeeda if you dig deep enough. That’s why we have aqeeda wars.

One of the casualties of the aqeeda wars is that people become obsessed with it to the point that they don’t choose their battles wisely. Declaring people to be kuffaar after they take shahaadah, pray the five prayers, pay the zakat, fast the month of Ramadan, and make the hajj is closer to kufr than giving them the benefit of the doubt. After they do all of the above, we should leave their hisaab to Allah. The Prophet ﷺ said: “I have been commanded to fight against people until they testify that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, perform the Salah ‘Prayer’, and pay Zakah ‘obligatory charity’. If they do that, their blood and property are guaranteed protection on my behalf except when justified by Islamic law, and their affairs rest with Allah.[1]”.  Sheikh Bin Baaz (RA) said, in explaining this hadith: “All Muslims have thus, to fear Allah, worship Him Alone, and believe in His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) as being sent to all Jinn (creatures created from fire) and mankind and as being the final Prophet. All Muslims have to perform the Obligations of Allah, abandon His Prohibitions, help one another in righteousness and piety, enjoin one another to truth and patience, and renounce all Deens (religions) of Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship). Whoever dies in the state mentioned above will enter Jannah without being reckoned or punished”.

Bonding in aqeeda versus bonding in Islam

The bond of aqeeda advanced by the Prophet ﷺ was the bond of laa ilaaha illa Allah. When people talk about the bond of aqeeda, they have to be clear what they are talking about. Do they mean the bond of laa ilaaha illa Allah? Or do they mean bonding based upon the specific, individual points of Islamic theological doctrine? If they mean the latter then it is very difficult for Muslims to unite and we will always be in a state of internal conflict. If they mean the former then this is the sunna, that we come together on the basis of laa ilaaha illa Allah, Muhammad Rasoolullaah. The different points of Islamic creed number in the hundreds. It is impossible to sit down with someone and go over point by point to see if you agree on every detail. It is highly improbable that Muslims in America will bond on every point of aqeeda. This is why there is no such thing as the ‘bond of Islamic creed’. The Prophet ﷺ never spoke of any bond of Islamic creed, nor is it mentioned in the Quran. This is a modern-day terminology that gives people the license to dig into everyone’s detail of what they believe to call this or that one a kaafir or a mushrik. What the Prophet ﷺ did say was: “Whoever prays our prayer, faces our Qibla, eats our thabeeha, then that is the Muslim. He is under the protection of Allah and His Messenger, so let not any of you betray Allah in His protection (of people)”.[2]

You cannot be brothers and sisters in creed since faith is internal, point specific and people’s individual creed varies from person to person. You can, however, be brothers and sisters in Islam. The Prophet ﷺ did not advocate the examination of every individual’s personal creed outside of them declaring the shahaadah and establishing the prayer. This is the bond of Islam. In the hadith of Abu Hurraira the Prophet ﷺ said: “I was commanded to fight the people until they say that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and that they establish the prayer, and pay the zakat, and If they say that their blood and their wealth are safe from me except in the right of Islam and their reckoning is with Allah[3].  Sheikh bin Baaz (RA) said that this hadith on the surface means that if a person does these things, they are to be considered Muslims unless they come with something (specifically) that will nullify their Islam. He further stated that: “Anyone who comes with Tawheed and belief in the message then he has entered Islam. Then after he is requested to fulfill the rights of Islam such as the salat, the zakat, the fast, the Hajj and things like it then performs what which Allah had made incumbent on him, then he is entirely a Muslim”.

Now as far as picking apart people’s aqeeda, you could do that with just about anyone and find glitches and inconsistencies in their belief system. Even the notion that a person can perform the five pillars, and openly declare the shahaadah, yet still, be considered an unbeliever such as some Muslims apply wholesale to some groups, this itself is an issue that contradicts the aqeeda of Islam.

The concept that after taking their shahaadah, a Muslim has to openly denounce every belief, and every principle he previously held, or denounce every idol, every ideology, every thought that is counter to Islam, is not something established or practiced by the Prophet ﷺ. This added requirement contradicts the aqeeda of Islam. The aqeeda of Islam is that whoever comes with the two testimonies, establishes the prayer, pays the zakat, fasts the month of Ramadan and accepts and performs the hajj, they are a Muslim, and their reckoning is with Allah sub’haanahu wa ta’ala. This is the Islam of the Prophet ﷺ. Anything outside of that, then a person needs to produce daleel.

We as Muslims living in the United States should stop letting people tell us who we can work with and who we can’t can’t; which firemen we can have help us put out the fire and which one’s we can’t. People dial 911 and accept anyone to come and help settle their dispute or help with their problem without asking about their aqeeda. But when it comes to getting help fixing up the neighborhood, stemming crime, and making the streets and the people safer, you have to worry about their aqeeda?

There is no greater word on the scale, nor stronger bond between believers than the bond of لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله [There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah], Hostilities were ended because of this word, blood was spared because of this word, protection was given by our Prophet to the inhabitants of Mecca because of this word. People enter Islam with this word. Sins are forgiven because of this word. If this word is not a strong enough bond for Muslims, then let whoever wishes, seek their bond. Let them seek their own word.

The modern-day politics of aqeeda in Muslim America is that aqeeda can become a built-in incendiary device, detonated anytime someone wants to cause discord between African-American Muslims in the United States. Anytime anyone wants, they can only (and selectively), inject the aqeeda card and all of a sudden, African American Muslims are stuck. We’ve been stuck for the last forty years.

Islam and our practice of it in this modern pre-Dajjaal age are mired in politics, power, public relations and scheming. We have to get back to the basics of our religion which is the five pillars, the seven beliefs, and the simple religion as practiced by our beloved Prophet ﷺ who said: “The religion is easy, and the religion is never made harsh to anyone except that it will overpower him[4].”

If the shahaadatain [the two testimonies] the establishment of prayer, the paying of zakat, the fasting of Ramadan and the agreement to the hajj as an obligation, is not enough to consider a person a Muslim, then those who disagree should take their argument to Allah.

Imam Luqman Ahmad

American born Luqman Ahmad is a life long Sunni Muslim, the son of converts to Islam. He is a writer, consultant, and until recently, has been the Imam of a Northern California mosque for twenty years. He is the CEO of Mosque Without Borders, an organizations that that works to reduce sectarianism, and to address the needs of Muslims, specifically new Muslim converts in the United States. He is a former executive committee member of the North America Imams Federation, a founding member of COSVIO, (the Council of Sacramento Valley Islamic Organizations), and the author of the book “The Devils Deception of the Modern day Salafiyyah Sect”, a detailed look at salafiyyism the ideology which forms the mindset of ISIS. He has written blog posts challenging ISIS, Anwar Awlaki, and BOKO Haram on his blog, imamluqman.wordpress.com. The sentiments shared in this article are his own and not representative of any of his professional affiliations. He can be reached at imamabulaith@yahoo.com.

[1] Muslim.

[2] Bukhaari.

[3] Bukhaari

[4] Muslim.

Audio Khutba: Don’t be fooled! Be Firm in Your Faith! By Imam Luqman Ahmad

quran up closeDear 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.

Audio Khutba: The Importance of Simplicity in Religion, and Sincerity to Allah, by Imam Luqman Ahmad

angels amongst usThere 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

The Dangers of Making things Haraam, Without Having Clear Evidence, by Shaykh Luqman Ahmad

6/21/19 I’m selling my car to visit my terminally ill brother in the hospital. See details at the end of the this blog post.

haran and halal.Look, if something is clearly prohibited in the religion of Islam, then it is prohibited, and there is no need to go and try to make it otherwise. Likewise, if something is clearly permissible according to our scriptures and the practice of the Prophet (SAWS), then no one should be hard pressed to find a reason to make it prohibited. One area where people have become very unstable in their religion, is when they become obsessed with making things haraam, which were not previously haraam by the Book or the Sunna.  Granted there are things in the religion of Islam which God has clearly made prohibited; fornication, stealing, lying, intoxicants, murder, backbiting, paganism, and so on, where there is clear textual evidence. However, there are other things, for which there is no clear evidence from the Book or from the Sunna, which renders it prohibited. Yet, people insist upon making them prohibited using triangular reasoning, as if Allah somehow forgot to make these things prohibited. The Prophet said, “Verily, Allah has made duties obligatory, so do not neglect them; and He has set limits, so do not transgress them; and He has remained silent concerning things as mercy for you, not out of forgetfulness, so do not search them out”.[1]

There are far more things that are permissible in Islam, than there are prohibited. This is by Divine design, since it would be nearly impossible for someone to know the exact ruling, on everything they do in life, and it would be unreasonable for a person to research each and every action in their life, to try to find a justification for it in our religious texts.  It is much more important for people to be acutely aware of what is prohibited than it is for them to be acutely aware of what is permissible[2]. Therefore, the scholars of Islamic law, have come up with a principle of law that says that the legal basis of all things (except for acts of worship) is permissibility. The textual foundation for this rule is the verse:   “O ye people! Eat of what is on earth, Lawful and good; and do not follow the footsteps of Satan, for he is to you an avowed enemy”.[3]

The above verse mentions two things; lawful (halal) and good (tayyib). In other words, God places an even greater burden upon anyone who wishes to declare something on the earth as unlawful, because not only does He declare the lawful nature of things, he also clarifies that those natural things on the earth that he made lawful, are also good and wholesome. Thus when a person makes something prohibited that God has made permissible without proof, not only is he is contradicting God’s law, he is impugning God’s divine judgment, by insinuating that it is not good and wholesome, which is like saying that God makes bad choices.

This is why scholars with better discernment, and the Imams of the four schools of law, were very reluctant to render something prohibited without strong irrefutable evidence. They used to say things like, ‘I do not like so and so a thing’, or I would discourage so and so a thing’, without prohibiting it outright, because of their fear of rendering something prohibited after God has made things upon the earth permissible.

An example of how Allah looks at someone who makes haraam what Allah has rendered halal is seem in his dealing with His Beloved, the Prophet himself, after the Prophet made something prohibited upon himself, that Allah had already allowed him. “O Prophet! Why holdest thou to be forbidden that which Allah has made lawful to thee? Seeking to please thy spouses. But Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”.[4]  This is in the case of the Prophet who Allah loves more than anyone else of our ummah. Thus, even the Prophet was not exempt in the prohibition of making things prohibited that Allah has made permissible.

Some Muslims are nearly obsessed with going around searching into things that are already permissible, to render them haraam, and then try to hold people as moral hostages, to these newly prohibited things that they have found some way to make prohibited. We have to counteract the cultural mindset that makes Muslims eager, and seemingly overjoyed, when they find something new, that they can declare haraam. There is enough prohibited activity in people’s lives today to keep us busy for the rest of the century.

There is no need to go about searching for new things to declare haraam. If people simply focused on avoiding the things that are already haraam by the Book and by the Sunna, they would be better off. Don’t be one of those people. The Prophet , said, “the worst Muslim criminal amongst other Muslims, is the one who asks questions about something that was not made prohibited on the people, then it becomes prohibited as a result of his questioning”.[5]

When people go about trying to find new things to make haraam, they have usually overlooked many things that were already haraam. If you become one of those people, you are very likely to be unsuccessful in the area of faith, and understanding of religion, because by doing so, you are bound to anger Allah in a very personal way. As Allah has said: “But say not – for any false thing that your tongues may put forth,- “This is lawful, and this is forbidden,” so as to ascribe false things to Allah. For those who ascribe false things to Allah, will never prosper”.[6]  Unless something is specifically prohibited in the Book or in the Sunna, it is better to leave it alone. Don’t be the person who jumps on the bandwagon, every time people get excited when they find something else that can call prohibited.

There is a certain legal threshold that is needed when we say that something is haraam. Something can be unethical but not haraam, or undesirable, but not haraam, or disliked, but not haraam. Many Muslims today, unfortunately, are inclined towards extremism and fanaticism, so we have to be more careful when we say something is haraam without evidence. There have been numerous instances, where Muslims, killed or maimed other Muslims for celebrating the Prophet’s birthday (which there is difference of opinion of scholars whether it is haraam or not), or where Muslims were condemned by other Muslims for visiting their families on certain days, and a few years ago, Muslims were shot dead in their homes, by other Muslims for watching the World Cup soccer match on television. Muslims routinely call each other infidels, fight and kill each other, and argue back and forth, other over issues newly made haraam issues, such as, Thanksgiving, Baby showers, birthdays and the like.

When things were doubtful, scholars of our Salaf (early generations) used to use the phrase; I do not like this or do not like that, without rendering something haraam without evidence. Notwithstanding that rendering something haraam without evidence is a major sin (kabeerah). Our goal as Muslims, should be to base our faith upon knowledge, and to try to curb the tide of extremism, and moral dysfunction in our ranks, and to stay focused upon what is clear in our revealed texts.

Therefore, never be in a rush to render something prohibited that is not already prohibited in the Book of Allah or in the Sunnah of the Prophet , but concentrate first, upon those things, that we know for a fact, and that are confirmed by textual evidence (Quran and Sunna), to be haraam. If you stay focused upon these things, you won’t have time to go about searching for things to make prohibited.  Wal Allahul Musta’aan.

Luqman Ahmad

Shaykh Luqman Ahmad currently delivers the khutbatul Jum’ah is the Islamic Society of Folsom in California. He can be reached at imamabulaith@yahoo.com. He is also the author of the book: “The Devils Deception of the Modern Day Salafi Sect”, available at Amazon.com.


[1] Authentic hadith, collected in the Sunan of ad-Daraqutani.

[2] Except in the case of ibaadah (worship). Matters of worship need to be cleared by textual evidence, since the Prophet said, “Pray in the manner in which you have seen me pray”.

[3] Quran, 2:168.

[4] Quran, 66:1.

[5] Collected by Bukhaari and Muslim.

[6] Quran, 16:116.

Audio Khutba: Call Yourselves into Account Before You Are Called into Account, by Imam Luqman Ahmad

scales and gavelIt is an expectation from Allah that the Muslim Ummah police itself and call itself into account, and that we as a ummah, stand up for what is right. It is also expected that we as individuals stand up for what we believe, and put it into practice to the best our ability. It is unacceptable that during these times, Muslims abandon its role as an ummah that stands up for righteousness, even it’s against our own-selves. This is the topic of this khutbatul Jum’ah recorded at Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center in Sacramento Ca. Click on the link below to take a listen.

Free Audio Khutba: The Awsome and Incredible Value of Taqwa, by Shaykh Abu Muhammad Luqman Ahmad

New Masjid View from Rio Linda Blvd  witn MonumentDear beloveds; never underestimate the absolutely awesome and indisputable value of taqwa, and how far you can go in your life, in your marriage, in your relationships, and in dealing with everyday challenges using taqwa as your provision. And never underestimate the value of a man or a woman who has taqwa; they are not like the people who don’t have it. And it’s no wonder why the most honorable person to Allah is the one with the most taqwa, and it’s no wonder why the best provision is taqwa. Taqwa, without a doubt will improve the quality of your life. It is a fact that you will have to endure this life and all the ups and downs that it entails whether you like it or not so you might as well take taqwa with you.. Sacramento California. Click below to take a listen, contact Imam Luqman at: imamluqman@idph.org,  wal Allahul Musta’aan

Please note that the tape cuts off near the end. However, you will get to hear the majority of it and in sha Allah find some benefit.

Audio Khutba; The benefits of Living Right; Fawaa’id al-Istiqaamah, by Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

LiveRightBannerLiving right can be difficult during these times, it can be boring, and it requires a lot of patience because living right means that you can’t always have it your way. However, there is an upside; if you live right, chances are that you will think right and if you think right then chances are that you will act right. Living right will bring you happiness, self-respect, and a clean heart, and in the long run, it will lead you to Allah’s pleasure, forgiveness, and jannah (paradise). Living right is the topic of this khutbatul Jum’ah at Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center in Sacramento Ca. Click on the link below to take a listen. Wal Allahul Musta’aanImam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad is the Imam and Executive Director of Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center in Sacramento CA, and the author of the recently released book’ ‘The Devil’s deception of the Modern Day Sect”, available on his web page or at Amazon.com. You may visit his web page at imamluqman.com, or contact him @ imamluqman@masjidibrahim.com

An American Imam Weighs in on the Same Sex Marriage Debate, by Imam Luqman Ahmad

Same sex marriage debateIn case you haven’t noticed, the Devil (Shaitaan) is taking his fight for our souls and the souls of our children into high gear. Only a small number of people will survive the new wave of satanic thought being thrust upon us, so now is the time to dig in by stepping up our efforts to hold fast the Book and to the sunna of our Prophet (SAWS).  The greatest weapons and defense that we have is our faith, our scripture, and our steadfastness. Remember; just because you do not see Shaitaan in the flesh does not mean that he, his allies and his forces are not attacking you, your family and our community.

As the national debate around same-sex marriage heats up (awaiting a Supreme Court Decision),American Muslims may be called upon to take a public stand on the issue; especially if it passes. Either way, this matter and the reality of homosexuality and lesbianism in America, will remain at the forefront of national discussion for a long time to come. The homosexual lobby is relentless as this is an important fight for Shaitaan and there seems to be no letting up until everyone in America accepts this unholy lifestyle. Privately, most Muslims are very clear about homosexuality and lesbianism; they reject it outright, and it is clearly prohibited in Islam. Same  sex marriage for most Muslims is out of the question. Whether or not homosexuality exists in the Muslim world, is a matter of debate. Lots of evidence points to the affirmative but that is another discussion altogether.   Still, public discussion one the question of same-sex marriage is difficult for many Muslims, and much of the Muslim political leadership are reluctant to take a definitive stance on it.  This is for a couple of reasons; the first is that during such a time as now when some of our own religious rights and liberties have come under fire, gay and lesbian groups and individuals have been limited allies to Muslims in our own struggle for religious equality in the United States. Thus, any public stance on the matter by Muslims leaders, Imams, and political activists, risks the potential backlash from that group and from the political Islamic groups and advocacy groups why tacitly support their agenda in order to to garner recipricol support in the very profitable multi-billion dollar, anti-islamophobia industry.  By the way, that’s called politics.

Another reason is that in the effort to be as mainstream as possible, we have in some ways backed ourselves in a corner, and coming out, (no pun intended) on the wrong side of the same-sex marriage debate will signal that we as Muslims are definitely different, and it will highlight the fact that the moral roots of our faith, which are markedly conservative, are not in sync with the current national trend of the rest of the country in accepting same-sex marriage and by proxy, homosexuality. “And to Lot, too, We gave Judgment and Knowledge, and We saved him from the town which practiced abominations: truly they were a people given to Evil, a rebellious people”. [21:74].

Some Muslim leaders, including some imams have remained on the fence about the same-sex marriage issue, and homosexuality. And somevImams have just straight cone out. There are already at least one openly gay imam in America.  some are nervously silent, and some have already capitulated and we are already starting to see gay Mosques and gay friendly communities of Muslims in Europe and in the United States. One so-called American Imam has gone so far as to publicly proclaim his homosexuality. So let me get this out of the way; I declare here and now that I am against it, and against the practice of homosexuality on the grounds that it is hated by God and that He has destroyed an entire people because of it; “We sent against them a violent Tornado with showers of stones, (which destroyed them), except Lot’s household: them We delivered by early Dawn” [54:34]

Let’s face it; homosexuality has become ingrained in our society, and admittedly, gays and lesbians make valuable contributions to the society like everyone else; in medicine, industry, law enforcement, the military, social services, science, education, and of course, the arts. That is a fact. So it is not totally implausible that people may empathize with them as a group, or with individuals that they know personally, even if they do not agree with the practice of homosexuality itself. Even the Prophet Abraham/Ibrahim pleaded on their behalf at first;” When fear had passed from (the mind of) Abraham and the glad tidings had reached him, he began to plead with us for Lot’s people”. [11:74].

Many of us, have gay or lesbian co-workers, neighbors, employees, associates, and family members, who do us no personal harm so the issue for many of us, is closer than we would like. I have worked alongside gays and lesbians in political work. In fact my woman who hired me at the Pensylcania Public interest Coalition, Patty Snee, was lesbian and although wevdidhr see I to I. On the gay issue, the gay and lesbian and pro-gay, pro-choice, and pro- same-sex marriage folks who trained me in issue and electoral politics back in my early to mud-twehties, were awesome folks to work with and they were light years beyond many close minded people as far as understanding hand respecting Muslima. My personal experience with many days and lesbians has always been that they were actually, cool people, with many of the same quirks and ups and down like other people. Because of this and because of the aforementioned political considerations, it is difficult for some Muslims to even talk publicly about the issue of homosexuality or lesbianism with any conviction. This is another reason why we hardly see it addressed by Muslims publicly in the United States.

Nevertheless, as the issue is being heaved upon the public like a ton of bricks, to the extent that a person could lose his or her job for being anti-gay, bolstered by such arguments that; homosexuals and lesbians are good people, or they are my relative, or that we shouldn’t judge, or they can’t help it, it is understandable although lamentable that some Muslims are starting to crack and accept the practice of same-sex marriage. I’m not saying I agree; I’m just saying it’s understandable since all of the above may be true, and granted, there is hardly anyone who is all bad in every aspect of their lives. However, There are murderers who give generously in charity are good people otherwise, there are pedophiles who teach grade school, and are otherwise good people, there are thieves who smile in your face, and help little old ladies across the street and are otherwise good people, there are rapists who volunteer at charitable organizations and do a good job, and there are criminals of every type who readily engage in their crimes, but are otherwise are good people. However, none of that excuses the sin or the nature of it according to our understanding as Muslims.

Open or Hidden sin

It’s not the just the sin itself that we are talking about; everyone commits one sin or another, based upon the prophetic tradition; “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if you did not commit sin Allah would do away with you and bring people who would commit sin then pray for forgiveness.” [1] It’s one thing to commit sin, if the homosexuals are overwhelmed by their lower desires, and men have sex with men and women have sex with women, while acknowledging it to themselves that they are committing sin. Then this has been the case for thousands of years, before they came out of the closet. However, it’s another thing to openly pronounce that your sin, is not a sin, when God has said otherwise, and it’s still another thing to say openly and proudly that you are a homosexual, that there is nothing wrong with it, and wanting society (Muslims included) as a whole to accept that there is nothing wrong with it, all the while we have scripture that we believe is the divine word of God Almighty saying otherwise.

At that point, the believer has to make a decision; do we accept the premise that God’s word is not true, that His promise is not true, that His judgment is not true, that His Prophets (AS) Lot, Jesus, Moses, Muhammad all were not telling the truth; that they all were liars? Or do we accept the premise that Allah Himself, be He Exalted and Glorified, was unjust when he punished the people of Sadam for homosexuality? The current ideological onslaught is not to get people to engage in homosexuality and lesbianism; it is simply to get people to accept that it is okay, that it has no moral consequence, and that it shares the same status as heterosexuality. For the Muslim, this is enough to constitute heresy. This is how the Shaitaan/Satan attacks; he goes after the heart and the belief system first, then after that, the body is sure to follow. The dilemma here is that accepting any of the above, constitutes heresy according to what we believe. This is America and people are entitled to do as they please, believe as they please, say what they want and advocate whatever they want. So we are not trying to force our beliefs upon anyone else, but at the same time, we are not supposed to change what we believe, in order to satisfy homosexuals, and lesbians.

Human beings have built within them, an inclination to do sin of all types, which is why the Prophet (SAWS) said: “all the sons of Adam (mankind) commit sin and the best of those who sin are those who repent[2]. However, the issue of religious sanctity is that we recognize moral standards according to what Allah revealed and that we work to suppress our lowly desires, or to channel them in ways that are permissible. Some people, if not most, or all of us, struggle with sin their entire life. That is the nature of being tested in this life. However, once we abdicate the commitment to uphold the truth, then there is no sense to being a Muslim at all.

The issue with same-sex marriage is that Allah has ordained that marriage as something that occurs between a man and a woman or women. When Eve was created, she was already Adam’s wife. Thus if anyone believes that the divine marriage design matrix as fashioned by Allah, is not the proper way, the best way, the ordained way, and the way that is best for human beings living on the planet earth that Allah has created, then they are saying that Allah’s plan and design for men and women is faulty, that it is flawed, and no matter how you slice it, that is disbelief.

Regardless how any one of us feels personally about a gay or lesbian that we my know, or a family member; it is still against God’s divine law and an abomination, no matter how nice they are, how well they dress, and how helpful they are in other areas. We are not responsible for their homosexuality and lesbianism; however, we are responsible for what we believe about homosexuality, lesbianism and gay marriage. Especially after our scriptures and sacred religious cannons are clear on the issue.  We as Muslim Americans are obligated by God to hold fast to our beliefs, and not give in to modern trends where there is no moral right or moral wrong; where everything is neutral for that is the worship of hawaa [whim].

Time magazine has on its cover, a picture of two men kissing each other and a picture of two women kissing one another cover under the caption: “Gay marriage already won”. So for anyone who is still under the delusion that Iblis is not directly engaged in spiritual warfare and that this is not a battle for the souls of people, then wake up, and think again ; “And on them did Satan prove true his idea, and they followed him, all but a party that believed”. [34:20].

Conclusion

I do not ask people about their sexuality: it is none of my business, and if they want to keep it private to themselves that is fine with me. The people whom I had interacted with in business, education, neighborhood, and neighbors who have been gay or lesbian, have been honest, caring, good neighbors, and people whom I’ve had no problems with. Furthermore, I would not refuse to hire someone, work for someone in a lawful enterprise, or buy or sell from someone because they are gay, nor do I advocate that any Muslim or non-Muslim do such a thing. Nor would I refuse to feed, clothe, or extend charity, kindness, or assistance to a gay person who is not fighting me in my religion and not trying to remove me from my home, based upon the verse; “Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just[3]. Nor will I go around, or advocate calling gay people detestable names in their face, or harassing them because neither our Lord be He Exalted and Glorified, nor our Prophet (SAWS) commanded us to do such.

The Prophet (SAWS) did not harass the mushrikeen (polytheists), and worshipping gods other than Allah is the greatest sin.  Homosexuality is also a grave sin but not as grave as polytheism. The Prophet (SAWS) did business with the polytheists and unbelievers, he showed kindness and charity to them, and he instructed us to do the same, under normal circumstances. So gays and lesbians deserve no less.

Although we are on different sides of this debate, we should keep our disagreement with homosexuals in perspective. Gays and Lesbians are free to believe what they believe, and we are free to believe what we believe. They are free to uphold their whims and lowly desires and we are free to uphold our scripture. They will have their reckoning on the Day of Judgment and I will have mine. I cannot help them on that day, and they cannot help me. Our job as Muslims is to simply deliver the message, to hold fast to what we believe, and to practice our religion the way we ought to. Therefore, I will never accept the moral legitimacy of homosexuality; not ever. And no Muslim who believes in our scriptures ever should. The fast trending tide towards global immorality is a sign of the times and a reminder to Muslims of just how crafty Satan is in that within a span of less than fifty years or so, he managed to convince the majority of Americans, mostly who are Christian, that something that was considered an abomination for thousands of years, should now be an acceptable and supported practice.

The momentum towards legalizing gay marriage in the United States is very strong. Since 2004, 11 states[1] plus the District of Colombia, have legalized gay marriage and the status of California is currently pending before the US Supreme Court. Although I believe categorically that we as Muslim Americans should state our case on same sex marriage issue, and express our indignation and disapproval,  I don’t think we should devote too much of our resources on this issue because there are more important matters that we need to address which affect us. This issue is just another sign for us as Muslims, that shows just how easy it is to drift into heresy, and that we must step up in practicing our faith, calling to it, and remaining steadfast in the face of this as well as other heinous ideological onslaughts of our time.


[1] Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Washington (State), Main Maryland and Rhode Island.

Imam Luqman Ahmad

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad, a Philadelphia native, is a writer, a researcher and Imam of the Islamic Society of Folsom, in Northern California. He is a former executive committee member of the North America Imams Federation (NAIF), and the CEO of ‘Mosque Without Borders’, an organization that address Muslim sectarianism in the United States. He is also and the author of the new 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 imamluqman.wordpress.com, and can be reached at imamabulaith@yahoo.com.


[1] Narrated by Muslim.

[2] Collected By at-Tirmithee.

[3] Quran, 60:8

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