Random thoughts on Black Muslims and Black America

NON FLUFFY TRUTHS THAT PEOPLE DON’T LIKE TO READ.
Yes, Black Muslims are part of the Black community, and we share their struggle. So it would seem we have reason to work together for the betterment of all. However, In my lifetime, the only thing I have seen us do with the Black community, other than engage with them in wrong doing, and as family, is march, participate in sports and cheer the same teams, occupy the same jails, go to the same schools, sit in the same court rooms, pay the same child support, live in the same neighborhood plantations, and share the same tastes in music.
Many non-Muslim Blacks have no trust in our faith (Islam) anymore because they see how it has turned us to a colony with multiple spheres of foreign influence, and they see that we don’t even trust each other anymore. They are still building black churches from the ground up and have governance in their religious organizations and they see that we can’t even come together to build our own institutions. Let alone establish any sort of governance. Notwithstanding we’re at zero growth and still debating every point.
We ourselves don’t even know who’s in charge of us. Lol. However, Blacks, especially active Christians might still welcome us to join them, in Jesus’s name. We talk about sitting with shaykhs in Africa, Black churches are building orphanages in Africa. I’m not sure we even have the guts or the will anymore to do anything but talk about what we need to do. 50 years and counting. I could be wrong. I hope I’m wrong, I wish someone proves me wrong. But I don’t think so.

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

imamabulaith@yahoo.com

MALIK AMBAR, AN EXTRAORDINARY CONVERT TO ISLAM: by Imam Luqman Ahmad

Little is known by Muslims about the millions of East African slaves bought to India between the 10th and the 18th century who lived in and helped build and maintain Muslim dynasties in what we know to be modern day India and Pakistan. Many of them converted to Islam and their descendants still live in many parts of Indian subcontinent today. One of the most famous of them was Malik Anbar. (he was the one baaaadest Muslim converts who ever stepped foot on Indian soil.) He was born in 1549 or 1550 in Harar Abyssinia. His parents named him Shambu but because of poverty, they like many other parents during those times, sold him into slavery in the Red Sea port of Mocha, which is in modern day Yemen. Later he was transported to the Baghdad slave market where he was purchased by Mir Qasim al-Baghdadi who treated him like a son, taught him Arabic, finance, and public administration, and eventually sent him to the Deccan Sultanate of India to serve as the slave of Chingiz Khan or Malik Dabir. Chengiz Khan just happened to the Regent Minister of the Sultan of Nizam Shahi Dynasty which was part of the Ahmadnagar Sultnate. Chingiz Khan also happened to be a black Ethiopian who had converted to Islam. He treated Anbar, who had converted to Islam by then, like his own son, even though he was his slave.

Ambar served as a slave with distinction under Chingiz Khan for 20 years. During this period, Ambar took on various duties in the Nizam’s court where he witnessed and learned military strategy, political organization, and diplomacy; essential training that would serve him later as a free man. When Chingiz Khan died in 1594, Malik Anbar’s days as a slave were over. Being no longer a slave, he left the employ of the Sultan to seek his own path. He ended up gathering a mercenary army that consisted at first of about 150 Arab immigrants, but grew to an army of thousands who were ferociously loyal of him. His command of such a large force of mercenaries earned him the title of Malik (king) Anbar.

The greatest regional power at the time was the Mughal empire. By the year 1600 Malik Anbar was a major figure in the resistance movement against Moghul expansion of their empire into the Deccan (in modern day Pakistan). His mastery in guerilla warfare techniques prevented the Mughals from capturing the southern half of India, he repeated fought back their invasion and the empire’s rulers called him the “rebel of black fortune.” By 1620, Malik Anbar commanded an army of 50,000 soldier mercenaries. About 10,000 of them were black ‘habashis’ Ethiopians. He was considered a political and military genius who effectively took control of the Sultanate of his time. He lived to be 80 years old and is hailed as a hero across the Deccan. Till this day Malik Anbar remains one of the best-known African Muslims on the Indian subcontinent.He died on the 18th of Sha’baan in the year 1035 of the Hijra. His tomb still stands in the city of Khuldabad in modern day Pakistan.

The Gujarat coastline is also home to significant numbers of Siddi, otherwise known as Zanji or Habshi, descendants of Africans. Some are Royal Habashis who are descendants of ex-slaves from Africa who intermarried with Indian aristocracy. Hundreds of years ago such Africans living in communities on the west coast of India were called Sidis, (higher class) and those living in the interior were called Habshi. Today, the terms refer generally to Indians of African descent and are used interchangeably.

Note: The bulk of the Muslim world had huge numbers of slaves from mainly east Africa who helped build cities, work the land, served in armies and governments, and took care of households. From Yemen, to Oman, to India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Libya and other places, there are black Muslims today who, similar to African Americans are descendants of slaves and who are at the bottom of their societies. I know that this is part of Muslim history that we are encouraged to forget about but believe it or not, these histories have a great impact on our current situation as Muslims living in the United States. And that’s how it happened folks. Our history has lessons for all of us.

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

Killing The Imam, by Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

The only time in my life I was ever attacked without warning or was sucker punched, was on November 9th 2018, by a Muslim, outside the masjid, right after salaatul Jum’ah, while I wasn’t looking. In fact, I was shaking someone else’s hand (the khateeb), when it happened. I had three broken bones in my face. It took me a full year to realize the effect it has had on me. Since then, I’ve come to know another Imam who was shot several times by a Muslim without warning, and nearly died and I’ve talked to another Imam who was attacked at a masjid. You don’t realize the effect these things have on you until later.

I’m still sifting through it. I’ve also known three scholars of Islam who were killed by Muslims right here in the United States.
There is nothing new about Imams, scholars, or Muslim leaders being attacked or killed by other Musims. I remember when Dr. Saeed Ramadan al-Bouti was killed in Syria in 2013. By a damn suicide bomber no less, who blew up the Masjid. I never met him but I benefitted from His knowledge. He was amongst the top echelon of Islamic scholars, and they killed him, thinking they going to jannah. Senseless.

We have a lot of weirdos in the Ummah. A person will know you twenty years and you say one thing, and they’re online calling you a possible unbeliever, you blood is borderline halal. I know brothers who I taught aqeeda from alif, baa, taa and they turn around six months later and tell me my aqeeda is shirked (my word). This is one reason why I have zero tolerance for ignorant extremism and cut and paste takfeeris (also my word). And being attacked makes you less trusting, especially of novices who have no respect for Islamic scholarship.

Imams endure more than a lot of people would ever realize. I have no complaints, this is the work that chose me and I (very reluctantly) after many years, accepted. But when I occasionally snap on a mo fo, try not to get all self-righteous on me, you may not know the whole story.

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad Support @ Cash app to $abulaith1, or through Messenger. Still gotta eat.

The Islamic Ruling Regarding Muslim Women Following Funeral Processions, by Shaykh Luqman Ahmad

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Al-humdu lillahi Rabbil aalameen, wa salaatu wa salaam alaa Rasoolilllah, wa alaa aalihi wa sah’bihi wa sallam

Some time ago there was a death in the Sacramento area when I lived there and after the janaazah prayer, the women were told to stay away from following the funeral procession to the burial site. Among those present were the wife and female children of the deceased. The announcement was disheartening to them, and to others who then asked me what my opinion on the matter was. Al-humdu lillah we were able to redress the issue and allowed them to accompany us to the grave yard to offer their du’aa and to pay their last respects to their husband and father, and they did so without any wailing, any misconduct and without losing control of themselves in any way. However, I became aware that this is a prevalent understanding of many Muslims in the United States that women are not allowed to accompany the funeral procession to the grave site under any circumstances. Thus, we release the following statement in order to clarify the question. Wal Allahul Musta’aan wa bihi tawfiq.

Women following the funeral procession and going to the grave site

This issue is both a matter of urf (local custom) and fiqh (Islamic law). The part of it that deals with urf , is; what is the local custom amongst Muslims in America is with regard to women’s role and behavior at funerals, and whether or not that behavior is permissible based upon the Quran, the sunna and the analysis of our scholars.  The other part of the matter is the definitive understanding of this issue by our Prophet (SAWS), his companions, the Salaf of our ummah and the people of knowledge. Wa Allahul Musta’aan, wa bihi tawfiq.

The objective of understanding the religion and the proper practice thereof is not served when we apply a ruling to a condition that does not exist. When people say: women following the funeral procession, and going to the grave site, what is meant here in the United States and elsewhere is when after the janaazah prayer is over, they follow the burial procession to the grave site, and stand and be witnesses to the body of the deceased being lowered into the ground and put to rest while they make du’aa, and stand quietly, and allow the men to do the actual lowering and speaking if any. This is the practice as it occurs here in the United States and therefore this is what the ruling needs to apply to.

The reason women were prohibited from the graves

The prohibition and disliked nature of women attending the gravesites is not simply a matter of a female presence at the grave; it is a matter of unlawful and unislamic behavior, some of which would harm the deceased and add to their punishment, as mentioned in the hadith; “Indeed the deceased will be tortured for those who wail over him.”[1] This understanding is also taken from the hadith; “There are four things from the affair of the days of ignorance that my nation will not abandon; boasting about one’s status, criticizing people’s lineage, seeking rain from the stars, and wailing over the dead. And if the wailing woman does not repent before she dies, she will be made to stand on the Day of Judgment wearing a garment of tar and a mangy coat of armor.”[2]  In the days of jaahiliyyah (ignorance), before the guidance of Islam, the women during that time used to tear their clothes and beat their cheeks and make unlawful utterances upon the death of someone, and the Prophet (SAWS) used to disavow such behavior; “They are not from us; those who beat their cheeks, tear open their garments, and call out with cries from the days of ignorance.”,[3]

Understanding of the scholars regarding this prohibition

The textual prohibition of women going to the graves is found in the hadith of Umm Atiyyah; :”We have been forbidden to accompany funeral processions but it wasn’t strict upon us[4] In explaining this hadith, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalaani says: “The phrase ‘but it wasn’t strict upon us’ [wa lam yu’zam alainaa] means; he didn’t make it a firm prevention for us like he made other things that were prohibited. So it’s as if she [Umm Atiyyah] said; he disliked for us to follow the funeral procession without making it prohibited”.[5] In this respect, Imam al-Qurtubi said: “the apparent wording of Umm Atiyyah indicates that the nahiy [prohibition] here is nahiy tanzeeh[6][prohibitively disliked]. The hadith is also a daleel (proof) that there are degrees in prohibition and that not all statements of prohibition from the Prophet (SAWS) have the same meaning. Imam al-Qurtubi goes on to state: This is the position of the majority of people of knowledge, and Imam Malik leans towards it being permissible outright, which was the position of the people of Medina.

The permissibility of women attending the gravesite is further supported by what was related by Ibn Abi Shayba in the hadith of Abu Hurraira that the Messenger of Allah was at a funeral and Umar saw a woman (following the funeral procession). He yelled at her, but the Prophet (SAWS) said to him: “Leave her alone, `Umar! Verily her eyes shed tears, the soul feels the pangs, and the promised hour is near.”[7] According to Abu Hasan ad-Dawudi[8] the meaning of the Prophet’s statement “and it wasn’t strict upon us” is so that we do not go to the family of the dead, console them, and invoke blessing upon their deceased and then not follow the funeral procession. The majority if not all of the hadith regarding the prohibition of women attending funeral processions, except for the hadith I mentioned from Sahih al-Bukhaari, are weak. However what it prohibited, is unlawful behavior such as wailing, tearing the clothing, jumping into caskets, cursing Allah’s decree, beating one’s self, and like behavior.

The Islamic ruling regarding women attending the funeral procession and visiting the graves

Following the body of the deceased to the grave yard is a right of the dead upon the living according to the hadith: “the right of a Muslim over a Muslim are six” and at the end of the hadith is the phrase; “and when he dies, follow him”. This is the agreed upon position of Ahlus sunna past and present. The ruling of whether or not women should be allowed to accompany the funeral procession to the gravesite is predicated upon whether or not unislamic behavior will occur as a result of their grieving. What constitutes normal behavior occurring during funerals varies from country to country and sometimes even from region to region. Because of the tumultuous conditions in many parts of the Muslim world, many deaths of Muslims are a result of bombings, terror, war, retaliation and factionalism. These are all circumstances where emotions may run high and wailing is more likely to occur. Additionally, many funerals accompany protest which is another reason for high emotions.

In the United States, at this juncture in our history, most deaths of Muslims are due to illness, old age, accidents, and natural causes. In cases where death is from homicide, it is usually one or two persons. Amongst American Muslims, there has never been an accepted tradition of wailing over the dead, tearing clothing, jumping into the casket, cursing Allah, or questioning His decree with regards to someone’s soul being taken. Some of these practices did exist in jaahiliyyah before people entered into Islam, and some of it still exists amongst non-Muslims. However, this type of behavior amongst Muslim Americans was addressed and stamped out early on, and the Islamic prohibition on these things has been pretty well known across the board by the general Muslim population here in the United States.

Furthermore, we do not have a history of paid mourners, wailing parties, and mass hysteria during funerals amongst the Muslim women folk here in our country.  Although it has happened on occasion that one or two persons would get out of hand, this is has been usually corrected immediately by others who are present. I have been present at scores of funerals and have seen the women present at scores of burials and have never witnessed or even heard of women wailing, yelling, cursing, tearing their clothes, or beating their cheeks at funerals.

Similar moral progress occurred during the time of the Prophet (SAWS) with regards to visiting the grave sites. In the beginning of the Prophetic era, there was a need to prevent the women from the gravesites because of their recent habit to jaahiliyyah practices, and later as people gained greater understanding, the prohibition was rescinded. In the hadith of Abu Hurraira, the Prophet (SAWS) said: “I used to prohibit you from visiting the graves, now (I say) visit them for verily it will remind you of death[9]. In another tradition, the Prophet (SAWS) saw a woman crying at a grave so he told her: ‘Fear Allah and be patient.[10] It is duly noted in this hadith that the Prophet (SAWS) did not forbid her from staying at the grave. The Mother of the Believers, Aisha (RA) continued to visit the graves after the death of the Prophet (SAWS), as mentioned in the hadith of Abdullah Ibn Abi Mulaykah, who said: `Aisha came one day from the graveyard, so I said: “O Mother of Believers, from where have you come?” She said: “From the grave of `Abdul-Rahmaan Ibn Abi Bakr.” I said: “Did not the Prophet (SAWS) forbid visiting the graves?”She said: “Yes, then he commanded us to visit them.”[11]

Therefore, based upon the fact that Muslims in America, as a rule do not engage in the practices of wailing, tearing clothing, beating the cheeks, and hollering out bad statements at funerals, and the evidence from the sunna of the Prophet (SAWS) and the view of the scholars we have mentioned, it is not haram for Muslim women to accompany the funeral procession to the grave sites as long as they are able to control themselves from the unlawful types of behavior that we have mentioned in the hadith. If there is a probability that attendance at the burial will stir emotions to a degree where unlawful behavior will likely occur, and If the standards of adab and decorum cannot be maintained when following the funeral procession to the gravesite, then it is prohibitively disliked. And Allah knows best.

Shaykh Abu Laith 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 imamluqman.wordpress.com, and can be reached at imamabulaith@yahoo.com.


[1] Collected by Bukhaari and Muslim.

[2] Collected by Muslim.

[3] Collected by Muslim.

[4] Collected by Bukhaari.

[5] Fat’hul Bari, vol. 3, p. 489.

[6] The difference between nahiy tah’reem [prohibitively unlawful] and nahiy tanzih [prohibitively disliked] is that the former makes something haram and therefore a sin while the latter makes it disliked but not sinful in and of itself.

[7] Collected by Ibn Majah and an-Nisaa’ee.

[8] Abu Hassan Abdurrahman ibn Muzaffar ad-Dawudi (d. 467).

[9] Collected by Abu Dawood in the Sunan and by Imam Ahmad in the Musnad, this hadith is also in Sahih Muslim but with a slightly different wording

[10] Collected by Bukhaari.

[11] Collected in the Mustrad’rak of al-Haakim, and in the Sunan of al-Baihaqi

The Permissibility of Visiting with your non-Muslim relatives on Christmas Day by Shaykh Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), and fataawa (religious rulings), are specialized topics in Islam. One thing about them both is when you render a ruling in each of the two disciplines, you must give your premise or thesis it’s proper intellectual due process according to the foundation of the discipline. The same goes for enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. All three disciplines of the sharia mentioned above, are themselves bound by the sharia. In other words, in Islam, the eventualities of law, are bound by the law. The foundation of all actions, (other than acts of worship) is that the basis of an action is permissibility; (al-asl fee ash’yaa’i al-ibaaha) That is the way that legitimate sharia rulings and application work.

Keeping family ties is one of the foundational commands of Islam. It is part of what Allah and His Messenger (SAWS) called to ever since the beginning of the prophethood. “Allah the Most High said: “And serve Allah and do not associate any thing with Him, and be good to the parents and to the near of kin and to the orphans and the needy and the neighbour of (your) kin and the alien neighbour, and the companion on a journey and the way-farer and to those whom your right hands possess; surely Allah does not love him who is proud, boastful.” There is nothing in the Quran or the Sunna that even indicates that this command is abrogated on a particular day, or a particular holiday, or on a particular occasion. It is not the sunna of the Prophet (SAWS) to separate yourself from your non-Muslim family when you become Muslim if they are not fighting you in your religion and not kicking you out of your homes. That is the sunna of the ignorant. Those who call to or promote such behavior are calling to other than Islam. “Allah forbids you not from being kind and just to those who do not fight you in religion, and do not kick you out of your homes, for verily Allah loves the just” 60:8 al-Mumtahina

The basis of the ruling of permissibility

Christmas Day is a man made holiday. Religious to some, secular to others. However, in each case, the rendering of December 25th as a United States national holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus the son of Mary (AS), who Muslims regard as a prophet, and who some Christians regard as the son of God is not sufficient to invalidate any of the commands, exhortations, and instructions of Allah Be He Exalted and Glorified. Nor is it sufficient to render prohibited, what Allah has made allowable. Men and women, who are the creations of Allah, cannot invalidate the words and commands of Allah, who is their Creator. Thus, visiting one’s family, an action allowed and encourage by the Lord, Allah, Who has no partners, is just as allowable for a Muslim on Christmas day, as it is the day before Christmas, or the day after. Otherwise, we would be taking Christmas day, as a day in which spending time with, eating with, or visiting our Christian family members, as a day in which these acts become prohibited, and we have no authority from Allah, to do that. That itself, would be making Christmas day a partner with Allah (shirk). We would be in such case, allowing a man-made holiday, render prohibited, what Allah has allowed, which would be clearly associating partners with the Lord. Ignorance, and putting our whims above what Allah has revealed, has it’s consequences. I’d like you to take a moment and let this sink in. Furthermore, an individual Muslim is not held accountable for what another person believes or does according to our scriptures. “And the bearer of a sin, does not bear the burden of another“.

But isn’t Christmas Day a shirk holiday?

There is no such thing as a shirk holiday. There are actions that can be regarded as shirk, there are beliefs that can be regarded as shirk, and there are days that to some, celebrate beliefs regarded as shirk. American Muslims cannot control people’s holidays, beliefs or their times of joy, sadness or celebration. You can only control what you believe, what you do and who you worship on any given day. Allah does not curse any of His days. There is not a single day that Allah has cursed in His Kitaab. All of the days belong to Him and days are a part of time and the Prophet (SAWS) prohibited us from cursing time. It was narrated in the hadith of Abu Hurraira that the Prophet (SAWS) said, “Do not curse the time, because Allah is time (dahr)” – Muslim. He also said (SAWS) Allah said; “Ibn Adam troubles me, he curses the time, and I am the time, I flip night and day” – Bukhaari. That’s why there are no shirk days. Shirk does not have a day. On every day that there will ever be, until the last day, it shall remain that there is no God except Allah. Which is further proof, that you cannot haram a people’s holiday. You can only render haram, what people do on any particular day, and you can only do it with authority and with proof. Otherwise, you can easily end up forging a lie against Allah, which is considered a sin. “Do not utter the lies your tongues make up: “This is lawful, and this is forbidden,” in order to impute lies to God; for they who impute lies to God will not find fulfilment“. 16:116

Wouldn’t visiting them on Christmas day be shirk by association?

If you visit your family on Christmas Day and even if they are in prostration before a statue of Jesus (AS), that does not make you a mushrik, or supporting shirk. It just makes you a visitor in their home. Just as it would if you visited the day before, or the day after. It might even be the home where you yourself lives. If you show kindness to them on that day, it doesn’t mean you are supporting shirk, it just means that you are supporting kindness. Every soul will be held accountable for it’s own deeds. That is scripture. Don’t let Christmas or Christmas day prevent you from showing the kindness and connection with your family that you have been showing to them all of the other days of the year. To do so, is shirk itself by singling out a particular day to boycott your family, whereas Allah has commanded that you be connected to them. Ignorance of religion has its price.

Is visiting my family on Christmas, shirk by proxy?

Shirk by proxy is a notion born out of ignorance of the Sunna of the Prophet (SAWS). To be clear, there is no such thing is Islam as “supporting shirk” by proxy. That is something made up by people unfamiliar with our laws. Either you worship a god other than Allah, or you don’t. There is no such thing as worshipping other than Allah by support or by association with someone who does. Such a belief is totally false. The Prophet’s uncle, Abbaas ibn Muttallib was allowed to stay behind in Mecca when the Prophet (SAWS) made the hijra to Medina in order to conduct the distribution of zam zam water at the Ka’ba, as that was the responsibility of Banu Haashim. At the time there were 360 idols in the Ka’aba and people used to come from all around to worship them. Yet, Abbaas who was Muslim, oversaw giving them zam zam water to quench their thirst, and the Prophet allowed that.

Should I boycott my family on Christmas day?

In the 13 years that the Prophet (SAWS) spent in Mecca after he was dispatched as the Messenger of Allah, the majority of Banu Haashim were idol worshippers. There is no evidence at all that he boycotted visiting them, or being around them on the particular days of their festivals, holidays, and special gatherings. To prohibit people from being with their families on Christmas or any other da is to make prohibited what Allah has allowed without evidence. “And do not say about what your tongues assert of untruth, “This is lawful and this is unlawful,” to invent falsehood about Allah . Indeed, those who invent falsehood about Allah will not succeed.” 16:116 There is no evidence anywhere in the Quran or the Sunna that prohibits Muslims from visiting with their families on any day of the year, and boycotting family gatherings was not the Sunna of the Prophet (SAWS).

But What about accepting their gifts, feeling joy, admiring Christmas lights, or watching or liking a Christmas story or related movie?

Gibing gifts back and forth is a basic human social function that has gone on for thousands of years. Accepting gifts are permissible in Islam, unless you know for a fact that the gift was stolen, acquired by unlawful means, or the person had no right to give you the gift as it belonged to someone else other than the gift giver. In such a case, you should return the gift to it’s lawful owner. “Verily Allah commands that you return the trust (amaanaat) to it’s (lawful) owners“. Otherwise, accepting gifts from a non-Muslim, a Christian, a Jew, a polytheist, or an atheists is permissible in the religion of Islam. This is true whether the person is giving the gift because of a specials occasion, as payment, as a sign of gratitude, or as a peace offering. A Muslim has the full right to refuse any gift he or she wants to. However, to render a gift unlawful without evidence is to make something haram (prohibited), that Allah has made permissible.

Additionally, to even suggest that a Muslim, by accepting a gift from their family on Christmas, or humming a Christmas song, or feeling any joy about the season by witnessing an act of kindness, or seeing a touching Christmas story on the news, or watching “A Christmas Carol” on cable, or admiring Christmas lights downtown, or to be happy seeing their non-Muslim family members happy, that somehow, they are intending to commit shirk, or assisting shirk, or agreeing with shirk, is a suggestion without merit, or proof from the Kitaab or the Sunna. Although such prohibition is a popular notion amongst dome Muslims in the United States, it is not backed by any evidence except whim. It also suggests that we, as American Muslims are complete idiots. That we’re no more than dumb animals, and that our faith is not really faith at all, but just a fleeting sentiment. If by accepting a gift from your relatives on Christmas day, you are acknowledging that Jesus is the son of god, or if you must say that as a condition of accepting a gift, then it is prohibited. However, that has never been the case (urf) in the United States in our relationship with our non-Muslim families. The Prophet (SAWS) said that, “Deeds are reckoned by intention” [Muslim]

What about eating with my family on Christmas?

Eating is a fundamental act of human existence and survival. “There is not upon the blind [any] constraint nor upon the lame constraint nor upon the ill constraint nor upon yourselves when that you eat from your [own] houses or the houses of your fathers or the houses of your mothers or the houses of your brothers or the houses of your sisters or the houses of your father’s brothers or the houses of your father’s sisters or the houses of your mother’s brothers or the houses of your mother’s sisters or [from houses] whose keys you possess or [from the house] of your friend. There is no blame upon you whether you eat together or separately. But when you enter houses, give greetings of peace upon each other – a greeting from Allah, blessed and good. Thus does Allah make clear to you the verses [of ordinance] that you may understand.” This verse is not abrogated because of Christmas day, Thanksgiving day, or any other day. Holidays made by men do not abrogate verses of Kitaabullaah which were sent down from seven heavens.

Can’t I simply visit my non-Muslim family members on another day besides Christmas?

Yes, you can visit them anytime that is normal and convenient for you and them. That is not the issue in this ruling. The issue here is making it prohibited to visit your family, or enter their homes on Christmas day or any other particular day that recurs every year, or every month or every week. Entering the homes of your family, and sitting with them, visiting them, sharing food with them, sharing time with them, are all permissible by Quran and Sunna. It being Christmas, Thanksgiving, Palm Sunday, Easter, or New Years day, does not render visiting them prohibited. These are simply popular notions circulating around some Muslims in the United States and perhaps elsewhere. However, these notions are not based upon our religious laws or the practices of our Prophet (SAWS).

Conclusion:

It is permissible for a Muslim to visit his or her family on Christmas day, just as it is permissible for them to do so the day after or the day before. The fact that it is a holiday to them does not make visiting them haram. There is no evidence in our scriptures or in the life of the Prophet (SAWS) or the companions to that effect. This is why the Prophet (SAWS) never even approached this topic in the first place. And Allah knows best.

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad


Black American Muslims, Different but Equal. By Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

Look, there is no such thing as a black version of Islam that’s still Islam. Black Muslims, converts, reverts, or any other vert, are obligated to submit to Islam, period. The same goes for any other Muslim people on the face of the Earth. Every Muslim people of every land, race and nationality has their own problems and dysfunctions that can be remedied or improved by obeying Allah and His Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم which is the operable definition of Islam.

Black American Muslims are no different. Our history is specific like everyone else’s histories are specific, and Islam as we practice it ma appear different to some because we are a different people, and a new Muslim civilization. However, by no means are Black American Muslims, descendants of slaves, or White American or Latino American Muslims to craft a new version of Islam that is inconsistent with the Divine Revelation revealed to Al-Mustapha صلى الله عليه وسلم. True, we are a new, nuanced civilization (mostly converts) with our own history, culture and situational reality, but we are still beholden to the same Lord, and the same Book as all Muslims, and we are a legitimate part of the global Ummah of Islam, whether anyone agrees with that or not, and regardless whether any of the world’s Muslims accept that it not. We are part of this Ummah of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم but we occupy our own neglected corner of it.

Allah has made for each emerging Muslim people, their own history, circumstances, and path to Him be He Exalted and Glorified. That is by His Wisdom, and His divine decreel. We have to trek own own path in a religion that we share with the rest of the Muslim world, and we don’t need or seek anyone’s permission. However, it cannot occur as a mob, nor as a people who limit themselves and their potential by the color of their skin. Let that sink in.

-imam Abu Laith Luqman ibn Abdul-Karim Muhammad Ahmad.

imamabulaith@yahoo.com

RANKING AND STATIONING IN THE RELIGION OF ISLAM. منازل و طبقات فى دين الإسلام, by Shaykh Luqman Ahmad

Pylex 5-Steps Steel Stair Stringer black 7-1/2 in. x 10-1/4 in. (Includes 1 Stair Riser), Black baked powder coating

If you’re one of those Muslims who only woke up yesterday to what’s going on in Muslim America, or a novice Muslim activist, then  you don’t get to come in on the ground floor and pontificate to people what’s what, like you’ve mastered the terrain, all the while you’re just joining the party. You can’t do that on the street, in a board room, in a classroom or anywhere else. Nobody starts out at the top. Be a student, before you try to be a teacher. Be a follower before you try to be a leader. Stay in your lane, and wait your turn. Social media places everyone at the same level. The opinion of a complete idiot is often given the same credence and certainly the same airtime as that of a seasoned veteran, or an expert. although this is the new version of Muslim equality for some. This is not exactly the way it works.

Ranking is part of the religion of Islam. Everybody Muslim should know that, especially those who make a lot of noise. According to Islamic morality laws, each person deserves their dignity because that is the Sunna, and that is justice. However, we respect our elders, we respect knowledge and experience, we respect our Imams and our scholars, we respect time in the struggle and we respect those men and women who carried this religion, sacrificed and held it down before us. This is all part of the deen of Islam. We should have learned this by now.

These are important lessons for Muslims, not only do these lessons have to be taught, especially to our youth, again and again, these principles need to be actualized if we are to survive as a Muslim civilization. These parts of the Sunna are one of the most effective ways of countering mobism.

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

Shaykh Luqman Ahmad is an associate Imam an the Toledo Masjid al-Islam. The statements and sentients of this article are his own and does not represent any organization he is associated with.

The imam can be reached at imamabulaith@yahoo.com

What American Muslims Need to Understand about America, by Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

“America is more than what many Muslims think of her. I’m not blind to her faults but it is wrong to believe that our country and our history is without virtue’. — Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

These are the United States of America, and I respect the right of every American to have his or her own opinion, and to speak their mind. The Prophet (SAWS) said: “Amongst those receiving the most severe punishment on the Day of Judgment, is the two faced person. The one who goes to one group bearing a face, and to another group bearing another face“.

Speaking of having your own opinion, I personally do not like it when people immigrate to America, benefit immensely from what our country has to offer, make a few dollars, buy a house in the suburbs, and then starts trashing our country saying that America does not live up to their expectations. I’m not knocking anyone for expressing their views or criticisms. I’m talking about the one who completely trashes everything about our country and insinuates that there is no good here and thesis just an awful evil place. That’s just my personal opinion, and some of you may have your own opinions about my opinion and that’s your right. There’s no need for anyone to be offended, to be in a tizzy, or to unleash upon me a tirade of indignation. However, you can if you want to, just try not to make it personal. If you have a problem with my previous statement, then you’ll probably feel some kind of way about what I’m about to say next. Especially those to whom it applies.

New American Muslims as well as those born here should stop complaining so much about their country and perhaps use the freedom and liberty afforded to us as American citizens to to ask the hard questions about how we practice Islam outside the din of polemical debate, political rhetoric, and public relations considerations.

Immigrant dominated national Islamic political and advocacy groups particularly, as a new class of Muslim activists — while advancing the argument that American Muslims are as American as apple pie — demonstrate in many ways, especially in the way they confront islamophobia, that they do not quite understand America.

While declaring that the principle cause of islamophobia (a term that I do not agree with) is that Americans do not understand Muslims and Islam, there needs to be a parallel acknowledgment by American Muslim immigrants, and anyone else who supports such an oversimplified, nonsensical notion, that there are lots of things they need to understand about America, and Americans whose acceptance they crave.

There is hardly any other personal liberty dearer to us than the right of every individual to speak his or her mind and to have our own personal views or opinions. To put it simply, we do not like being told what to think, or who we can like or dislike, or which religious group we can or cannot talk about. In America, if someone talks negatively about Christians, the whole of Christian America does not come down on them. It doesn’t elicit a nationwide, multi-denominational Christian rebuke, nor does it catapult the matter onto the American Christian agenda as the suggested topic for next Sunday’s sermon. That’s just not the way we do things in this country. Jews are criticized just as much as Muslims and are probably the most parodied religious group in America. The whole Jewish nation does not come down on every alleged anti-Semite, or scour the news hunting down people’s campaign worthy biases. Even if some Jews address it or some organizations say something (and that’s a big if), it doesn’t become a nationwide rabbinical campaign.

However, if someone, especially a prominent person or politician says something about Muslims, or God forbid articulates what Muslims activists believe to be an islamophobic sentiment, Muslim advocacy organizations capitalize on it and feeds it to the Muslim community as a campaign worthy issue, and from there it wafts into our nations mosques. That’s not cool. Not cool at all. If someone talks about Muslims, the whole Muslim community should not come down on them. That’s so freakin un-American.

When some people in our country demonized Muhammad Ali, he withstood it with dignity, now he is loved by some of those same folks. We excoriated al-Hajj Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X), he withstood our criticism and we ended up making a movie about him. We said bad things about the Mormons. They withstood it and got their own state. I could go on and on but the point is, no one in the history of the United States has succeeded in silencing their critics simply by complaining and calling them bigots, racists, islamophobes, nigger-lovers, or any other verbal counter-punch.

With all the degreed and advance degreed professionals we have in the American Muslim advocacy department, it should be well understood that American Muslims will never succeed in shutting down all criticism of Islam and Muslims in America. We love that freedom of speech clause in the constitution and we’re not going to give it up. Even though some people may hold their tongue just to avoid the drama, Americans will continue to think and believe as we please, and there is nothing that anyone can do about it. For every so-called islamophobe who cowers, or is silenced though bribery, professional censure or public pressure, another one pops up under the radar; in part due to the censure of the former. Some Muslims are still responding to statements made by Donald Trump more than three weeks ago.

During his Farewell Sermon, the Prophet (SAWS) re-emphasized Islam’s moral stance against racial and ethnic prejudice, and never once mentioned that we should concern ourselves with public image, chasing after peoples’ negative statements, or seeking acceptance of the people. What a pathetic irony, that more than 1400 years after the Prophet’s last sermon, some American Muslims find themselves obsessed with the image of Islam, having to challenge every act of bigotry, and getting approval of the people, while almost completely ignoring our own debilitating racial, and ethnic prejudices that violate the moral code of our religion, and fuel the negative images of Islam and Muslims, that we find ourselves so obsessed with. [Originally written three years ago, I’ve made some slight edits from the original]

— Imam Luqman Ahmad

Epilogue: So what do you suggest we do Imam? Answer: I suggest that we shift from responding to things politically to responding according to the dictates of our scriptures (Quran and Sunna). Simply put, we need to shift from political Islam to the religion of Islam and understand that they are not entirely the same. Yes, politics is a part of our religion, however, politics should be subordinate to religion, not the other way around. As Muslims we need to be more concerned with obeying Allah, and following the Prophet than we are with obeying our egos, and following our political action handbooks. It’s that simple. More on this later. In the meantime, God bless the United States of America.

American born Luqman Ahmad is a life long Sunni Muslim, the son of converts to Islam. He is a writer, consultant, patriot, and has been the Imam of a Northern California mosque for twenty years. 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 imamluqman@masjidibrahim.com

These are the United States of America, and I respect the right of every American to have his or her own opinion, and to speak their mind. The Prophet (SAWS) said: “Amongst those receiving the most severe punishment on the Day of Judgment, is the two faced person. The one who goes to one group bearing a face, and to another group bearing another face“.

Speaking of having your own opinion, I personally do not like it when people immigrate to America, benefit immensely from what our country has to offer, make a few dollars, buy a house in the suburbs, and then starts trashing our country saying that America does not live up to their expectations. I’m not knocking anyone for expressing their views or criticisms. I’m talking about the one who completely trashes everything about our country and insinuates that there is no good here and this is just an awful evil place. That’s just my personal opinion, and some of you may have your own opinions about my opinion and that’s your right.

There’s no need for anyone to be offended, to be in a tizzy, or to unleash upon me a tirade of indignation. However, you can if you want to, just try not to make it personal. If you have a problem with my previous statement, then you’ll probably feel some kind of way about what I’m about to say next. Especially those to whom it applies.

New American Muslims should stop complaining so much about their new country and perhaps use the freedom and liberty afforded to them as American citizens to to ask the hard questions about how we practice Islam outside the din of polemical debate, political rhetoric, and public relations considerations. Immigrant dominated national Islamic political and advocacy groups as well as the new class of Muslim activists — while advancing the argument that American Muslims are as American as apple pie — demonstrate in many ways, especially in the way they confront islamophobia, that they do not quite understand America.

While declaring that the principle cause of islamophobia (a term that I do not agree with) is that Americans do not understand Muslims and Islam, there needs to be a parallel acknowledgment by American Muslim immigrants, and anyone else who supports such an oversimplified, nonsensical notion, that there are lots of things they need to understand about America, and Americans, whose acceptance they crave.

There is hardly any other personal liberty dearer to us than the right of every individual to speak his or her mind and to have our own personal views or opinions. To put it simply, as Americans, we do not like being told what to think, or who we can like or dislike, or which religious group we can or cannot talk about. In America, if someone talks negatively about Christians, the whole of Christian America does not come down on them. It doesn’t elicit a nationwide, multi-denominational Christian rebuke, nor does it catapult the matter onto the American Christian agenda as the suggested topic for next Sunday’s sermon. That’s just not the way we do things in this country. Jews are criticized just as much as Muslims and are probably the most parodied religious group in America. The whole Jewish nation does not come down on every alleged anti-Semite, or scour the news hunting down people’s campaign worthy biases. Even if some Jews address it or some organizations say something (and that’s a big if), it doesn’t become a nationwide rabbinical campaign.

However, if someone, especially a prominent person or politician says something about Muslims, or God forbid articulates what Muslims activists believe to be an islamophobic sentiment, Muslim advocacy organizations capitalize on it and feeds it to the Muslim community as a campaign, worthy of national obsession, and from there it wafts into our nations mosques. That’s not cool. Not cool at all. If someone talks about Muslims, the whole Muslim community should not come down on them. That’s un-American in my book.

When some people in our country demonized Muhammad Ali, he withstood it with dignity, now his memory is revered by many of those same folks. We excoriated al-Hajj Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X), he withstood our criticism and we ended up making a movie about him. We said bad things about the Mormons. They withstood it and got their own state lol. I could go on and on but the point is, no one in the history of the United States has succeeded in silencing their critics simply by complaining and calling them bigots, racists, islamophobes, nigger-lovers, or any other verbal counter-punch.

With all the degreed and advance degreed professionals we have in the American Muslim advocacy department, it should be well understood that American Muslims will never succeed in shutting down all criticism of Islam and Muslims in America. We love that freedom of speech clause in the constitution and we’re not going to give it up. Even though some people may hold their tongue just to avoid the drama, Americans will continue to think and believe as we please, and there is nothing that anyone can do about it. For every so-called islamophobe who cowers, or is silenced though bribery, professional censure or public pressure, another one pops up under the radar; in part due to the censure of the former. Some Muslims are still responding to statements made by Donald Trump more than three weeks ago.

During his Farewell Sermon, the Prophet (SAWS) re-emphasized Islam’s moral stance against racial and ethnic prejudice, and never once mentioned that we should concern ourselves with public image, chasing after peoples’ negative statements, or seeking acceptance of the people. What a pathetic irony, that more than 1400 years after the Prophet’s last sermon, some American Muslims find themselves obsessed with the image of Islam, having to challenge every act of bigotry, and getting approval of the people, while almost completely ignoring our own debilitating racial, and ethnic prejudices that violate the moral code of our religion, and fuel the negative images of Islam and Muslims, that we find ourselves so obsessed with.

— Imam Luqman Ahmad

Epilogue: So what do you suggest we do Imam? Answer: I suggest that we shift from responding to things politically to responding according to the dictates of our scriptures (Quran and Sunna). Simply put, we need to shift from political Islam to the religion of Islam and understand that they are not entirely the same. Yes, politics is a part of our religion, however, politics should be subordinate to religion, not the other way around. As Muslims we need to be more concerned with obeying Allah, and following the Prophet than we are with obeying our egos, and following our political action handbooks. It’s that simple. More on this later. In the meantime, God bless the United States of America.

American born Luqman Ahmad is a life long Sunni Muslim, the son of converts to Islam. He is a writer, consultant, patriot, and associate Imam at the Toledo Masjid al-Islam. 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-day salafiyyism. The sentiments shared in this article are his own and not representative of any of his professional affiliations or of the Toledo Masjid al-Islam . He can be reached at imamabulaith@yahoo.com

ARE WE COMMITTED TO SUCCESS? OR COMMITTED TO FAILURE? By Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

Where are we going wrong here? It seems like some of us are absolutely committed to self-hate, to jelousy, to ignorance, to championing every cause but our own, to unlawful relationships, to tearing down our leaders, to divorce as the go to option in marraiage, to gender war between the sexes, to making up new forms of Islam, to abandoning scripture, to not being committed to anything, to individualism, to lack of sacrifice, to selfishness, to disobedience to Allah, to sitting on the fence, to not following hadith, to thinking like we’re still slaves, and to attacking those of us who stand on the front lines.

By Allah, I just don’t understand sometimes. What is so wrong about simply doing what’s right best you can? What is so wrong about being honest? What’s so wrong about being poor until you can do better? What’s so wrong about being wealthy but generous and not brag about it? What is so wrong about being loyal? What is so wrong about spending money in the cause of Allah? What is so wrong about imams cooperating for the common good? What’s so wrong about people getting together to form communities? What’s so wrong about not being slick? What’s so wrong about people just being regular Muslims? What’s so wrong about men and women having honor? What’s so wrong about staying out of other people’s business?

What’s so wrong about keeping covenants with the Lord? What’s so wrong about respecting our elders? What’s so wrong about having teachers from our own? Why do we have to innovate in religion? Why do we have to invent new forms of Islam? Why? I just don’t get it. What’s so wrong with the simple Islam of the Prophet (SAWS)? What’s so wrong about sharing our resources? What’s so wrong about empowering our leaders so that they can do better? What’s so wrong with repentance? What’s so wrong with men acting like men and women acting like women? Its like so many of us just want to be stuck on a fence, in the middle of nowhere. We’ve been virtually stuck as an ummah for the last 60 years. 

The Prophet (SAWS) said: “All of my ummah shall enter paradise except those who refuse. (They asked) who would refuse O Messenger of Allah? He replied; “whoever obeys me shall enter paradise, and whoever disobeys me, has refused”.

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad is Associate Imam at Masjid al-Islam in Toledo Ohio.

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