Will The Muslim Fight Against White Supremacy be like Our Fight Against Islamophobia? Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

it drives a train to nowhere | sony f-707 | kay hansen | Flickr

The newest issue to hit the American Muslim national issue menu is fighting “white supremacy”. Here we go again. Seems like I saw this movie before, more than once. I just hope we don’t start hunting down white supremacists like we ridiculously hunted down Islamophobes. That didn’t work out too well. Who’s bright idea was that anyway? If gambling was permissible, I’d lay odds that nobody the heck even knows who inaugurated the idea of eradicating islamophobia. That’s like eradicating kufr/heresy; not gonna happen.

Yup. For many years running we sought out islamophobes like we were bounty hunters, or Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. For several years, all of the Major national Islamic organizations in the country CAIR, ICNA, ISNA, MPAC, and others, publicly declared fighting Islamophobia as the number one priority of Muslims in America. Billions of dollars were raised and spent on fighting islamophobia and islamophobes in America without even bothering to accurately identify what the neologism “islamophobia” meant, We went after talk show hosts, politicians, journalists, University professors, academics, authors, and commentators with a vengeance. e even used our right to free speech to attack free speech. (Go figure). I wrote at least 7 articles on it going back to 2002.

Even though, we had much bigger fish to fry, some Black American Muslims reluctantly jumped on board the anti-islamophobia craze because no one wanted to hear about the woes of Back Muslim America, but certainly not all of them did. However, the majority of American Muslims leaders tooted the horn of fighting islamphobia as if the future of Islam in America depended on it. In many circles, you weren’t considered a “woke Muslim” if you weren’t gung-ho about fighting islamophobia. Some used it as a stepping stone to get noticed and to start organizations as there was a lot of funding available here and from Middle East for it, and some Black leaders and Black Muslim activists did it (for free) to remain relevant, or because it was the go to popular issue. Some are still on it hard till this day.

Nevertheless, we failed miserably in our so-called war against islamophobia an the islamophobes. American public sentient towards Muslims haven’t changed a bit since 9/11 according to CAIR’s own statistics. We have to move past civilizational ridiculousness. We should own our history, good or bad, and not be civilizational cowards. I say “we” because I consider myself part of the ummah, Black, White Arab, immigrant, American born or otherwise. Muslims are still my people. Good, bad, mistakes, ups, downs, defeats and successes, I am of the Muslims.

But the thing is, to this day, we can’t identify whos idea it was to make fighting islamophobia mission number one in Muslim America, or accurately identify who and what is an islamophobe. Just like we don’t know who’s idea it was to suddenly make fighting White supremacy the hot, go to issue of the day. No one in charge, no strategy, no sharia or fiqh foundation, just pure mob based, pied piper, pseudo-islamism. Mark my words.

There are over 1000 registered white supremacist organizations in the United States. And what’s really bothersome is that they stand by their agenda, they fund it, they’re loyal to it, they have some semblance of organization, membership and secrecy, many are prepared to defend their ideology, and they are not easily sidetracked. You just can’t walk in the door with a fatwa, or one hadith, or wayward opinion and change their whole program and get everybody at each other’s throats at the drop of a hat. We got everybody and their momma giving opinions and fataawa about our every step, our every word. They don’t even have to identify themselves and we’ll still give them platform and credence. It doesn’t take much to distract us, and most of the time, we have no idea whatsoever who, if anyone, in charge. That’s bothersome.- Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad
We are so, so played. Know your history beloveds, at least your recent, 5-10 year ago history.

White Supremacy’s Answer to Black Lives Matter. Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

Facebook now bans white nationalism and separatism, not just white ...

If I was a powerful white supremacist, and I wanted to dampen the Black Lives Matter momentum, I would have “Black Lives Matter” painted on streets in every major city where there are Blacks, people would consider that an achievement. I would get millions of Black Lives Matter hats, shirts, emblems and coffee cups, and distribute them around the country (make millions, black people don’t make hats), I’d convince hundreds of corporations and white CEOs to say that they support Black Lives Matter (without being specific), and even have them offer Black Lives matter discounts. Then I’d get them and local governments to announce initiation of thousands of new (funded) studies to try to figure out what we can do to help make things better for black people. I’d alter a few policing policies, say… chokeholds, not much else. I’d legalize more weed, and I’d add a Black Lives Matter flavor to blunts wrappers. I’d tear down some statues, and make Juneteenth a National holiday, I’d down-play Black on Black crime, avoid any mention of the Black family, and I’d keep them away from mosques, churches, and prescribe as many mind altering drugs as I could using the top psychologists in the land as my front line. And I’d make efforts to keep them away from the ballot box. That should do the trick. After about 6 months top. Things in the hood will be back to normal. Plantation fully in tact.

I’m not a powerful white supremist, I’m just a neighborhood Black Imam writing a blog post, and I can figure this out without earning a cent for it. . Imagine what those in power and who get paid to think and plan, are actually doing to keep things the same? The best bet for Black people in my opinion is to change ourselves because that is the only way that Allah/God will change our condition. That is what we have the most control over. And that is the very thing that we as a people refuse to consider. And Allah knows best. – Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

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

The Islamic Ruling on Peaceful protests and Demonstrations against Racism. Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

Praise is to Allah and may the salutations of Allah the Almighty be upon His Prophet. The purpose of this ruling is to provide clarity for Muslims going out in the streets and peacefully protesting or demonstrating their angst or opposition against oppression of Black people in the United States. There have been a couple of rulings they have popped up, prohibiting American Muslims from participating and or supporting these demonstrations. Additionally, I myself have discounted in a past statement or two, the effectiveness of these protests which have now gone global. Some may have mis-interpreted my statement as a ruling. On a personal level I’ve never been a street protest kind of guy. I tend not to like big crowds and parking can be a nightmare. That’s me. Nevertheless, the ruling below may shed some light on the matter for inquiring minds. Wal Allahul Musta’aan.  

Racism is a scourge upon the land. It is an abomination and anywhere it is found it is oppressive. At it’s very least it is oppressive to the soul because it supposes that one person is better than the other simply because of the color of his or her skin. Or it’s an expression or harbor thought of hatred or disdain for person simply because the color of his or her skin about which they have had no control. Skin color is determined by genetics, and by the decree of the almighty God be exalted and glorified. “It is he Who fashions you in the womb however He wishes”. 

Racism at his school core is oppression of the soul, at it’s worse is expressed by oppression against people, violence and killing a person simply because of their color. In each case it is oppression. The Islamic ruling about oppression in general is that oppression is expressly prohibited. The Islamic ruling about racial oppression is that is it even more prohibited. Anyone who believes that one person is better or more beloved of God than the other person simply because of the color of their skin, or their race is considered to be a heretic after they have been given clear evidence from our scriptures (Quran and Sunnah).  

The Islamic Ruling on peaceful demonstrations against racism: 

Peacefully demonstrating, protesting and marching against racism and racial injustice is permissible according to the scriptural and moral laws of Islam. Such acts, based up the intention of the individual, constitute a righteous deed (amal saalih).  

The proofs (daleel) for the ruling is that such protests fall into three categories:   

The first category. 

The first category:  falls into their arena of enjoying good and forbidding evil (al-amr bil ma’roof wa nahy en al-munkar).   

Let there be amongst you a group (of people) calling to a good and enjoining the good and forbidding the evil”. [3:104 Quran]. Fair treatment of people is good because Allah commands it; “And when you judge between people, judge in fairness” [4:58, Quran].  And oppression against people is bad because Allah forbids it:  in the hadith of Abu Tharr al-Ghaffaari, the Prophet (SAWS) said about Allah that He said; “Verily I have forbidden oppression upon myself, and I have made it amongst you prohibited” [Muslim].  

The second category: 

The second category falls into arena of making open testimony, or bearing witness (shahaadah); “And in this manner we have made you a righteous community so that she would bear witness over the people and so that the Messenger would be a bear of witness over you.” Demonstrations, rallies, and marches for a cause are considered public testimony and bearings of witness (mashaahid).  

The third category: 

The third category represents the supplication of the oppressed, about which there is no screen between it, and between Allah. The Prophet (SAWS) said in this matter; “Beware of the pleas of the oppressed, for verily there is no screen (hijab) between in, and between Allah. It also involves the seeking of rights (huqooq) that are justly and legitimately due. The seeking of rights that are legitimately due is permissible by consensus of Muslim scholar’s past and present. Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, came to the Prophet (SAWS) seeking her right of maintenance from her husband, and the Prophet (SAWS) obliged her.  


Nonviolently demonstrating in the streets, protests, rallies, and marches for racial justice for Black Americans and against racial injustice, is permissible for a Muslim, and Allah knows best.  

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad  

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

Tackling Racism in Muslim America; Mending Without Offending. Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

One of the goals in addressing racism in Muslim America is mending rifts between Black American Muslims and converts and the rest of the American Muslim population and for the politically correct minded, not to offend anyone in the process. Mending when it comes to Muslims, can occur almost instantaneously by the grace of the Almighty God, Allah, because Allah joins the hearts. However, mending is not the immediate goal. Mending is a divine by-product that spontaneously or gradually occurs according to the grace and decree of Allah.  “And remember the favor of Allah upon you when you were enemies and He joined between your hearts and you became after that, brethren”. Mending is indeed one of the long-term goals and part of our hope in addressing this situation. However, in my opinion, it is a subsequent goal, an eventual goal, but not at the top of the priority menu. It’s not the main course. When Muslim leaders come out the box and talk about healing, without even getting an acknowledgment from Muslims who engage or have engaged in racial bigotry against Black Muslims, I cringe.

The main goal at this juncture in my view is to identify and limit the harmful and civilizationally destructive effects of racism in Muslim America because for all intents and purposes, multi-dimensional racism in Muslim American is a major contributing factor to the decline of Black American Muslim communities in the United States and to our precipitous march towards extinction. You cannot snap your finders and suddenly racial bigotry, disdain, and sentiments of civilizational irrelevance aimed at Black American Muslims and converts disappears into thin air. We all know that is does not work that way. I also know from recent, personal experience that in addressing this issue candidly and publicly, there are people in the Muslim community both immigrants, as well as indigenous Blacks, who are going to be offended.  So not offending, even if it were a central priority, is an inevitability.  If we approached the topic based on not offending anyone, we would never be able to even begin the conversation. Racism in Muslim America has so many tentacles, its tentacles have tentacles. So, is it possible to address racism in Muslim America without offending anyone? Not likely.   

Principally racism in and of itself is offensive as it gets. It goes against the foundational principles and ethics of Islam and that is offensive, especially if it’s directed at you or you are the victim of it. Muslims who are not even racist or who may be oblivious to racism within our ranks may be offended because it is a counter narrative to the sanitized version of Muslim America that has been fed since 9/11 to the American public.

We must keep in mind that since 911 American Muslims, especially the immigrant community, has been fostering a narrative of the American Muslims as largely middle class, educated, civic minded, patriotic, and supportive of good causes. All the fluffy stuff. Enough fluff to take over the teddy bear industry. We have advanced the notion at great expense, that racism in Muslim America does not exist because after all, there is no racism in Islam. To suggest that there is a problem of race in Muslim America is like telling a 5-year-old on Christmas eve teething with excitement and anticipation, that there is no such thing as Santa Claus.  

In many ways, we seem to have dug our own hole here. In our acquired hypersensitivity to not be offended, nor to offend in any way, we have undermined our ability to candidly address matters that make us uncomfortable. Racism in Muslim America is at the top of that list. This is not going to be a walk in the park, but with faith, there is hope. After all we are Muslims.

Imam Abu laith Luqman Ahmad

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

There’s more power in the drug game and in the liquor store business, then there is in the local Black American Muslim imamate. By Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

Black Imams are seeking power” That’s rhetoric from an ancient internal anti-Black, self-hate, slave mentality playbook. One that should have been discarded along time ago. Over the last 50 years or so, many Black American Muslims have been convinced that their Imams are good imams as long as they are struggling, not able to do much outside of giving sermons, teaching a class, maybe a little of counseling and nowadays, looking good on camera. The Imam’s ideas according to many, must be in line with those of the larger, immigrant Muslim community. Independent thinking by a Black American Imam, is still looked down upon by many Black American Muslims, and I’m speaking from personal experience as an Imam and Muslim first responder of 24 years, as taboo.

Black American Imams who seek greater resources for themselves in order to work, are thought by some to be power hungry. Well I got news for you, if Back American Muslim Imams were out for power, then we are in the wrong business.. There’s more power in the local drug game and in the neighborhood liquor stores then there is in the local American Muslim imamate. Besides, all power is to, and from Allah sub’haanahu wa ta’ala.

What Black American Imams (including myself) are seeking however, are resources. That’s what we talk about amongst ourselves and that’s what we lack the most. We never talk about getting power, we talk about getting resources. -We talk about how we’re viewed in our communities as sincere, and brave, but weak when it comes to local politics and influence. Despite the obvious powerlessness and lack of resources, Black American Imams have been the target of much blame from a non-committed Black American Muslim demographic.

In deen just like in politics, you can’t move very far without navigation. That’s why you have imams in the first place. “And We made from among them imams, guiding by Our command when they were patient and [when] they were certain of Our signs.” [32:24] Having Imams is a necessity of Muslim life, anywhere on the planet. When the Imam lacks resources, it weakens the entire community. Our own history in the United States has shown that to be true.

Perhaps the greatest of resources available to Black American Imams are the Muslims who work with him, who aid him, who supports him in what is right. These are the basic building blocks of jamaa’ah (congregation), which is a fundamental concept of Islam that seems lost upon many Muslims today.

It is arguable that one of the biggest problems to beset Black American Muslim and convert communities by far are that most are not part of any communities. A lot of things have been done over the last twenty-years to undermine Black American Muslim communities such as multiple spheres of influence that owe allegiance to a foreign entity, scores of fatwa that undermine social and family cohesion, millions of pamphlets, books, cds and propaganda which promoted mutiny within Muslim communities, and many Black American Muslims pinning there futures on Muslims who were not looking out for their interests.

This is created a very unstable religious environment; especially for someone new to Islam or a first generation convert to Islam. The basis of success for a community is enjoining upon each other truth and patience. This is best done with congregation (jamaa’at). When there is no jamaa’at, there is no leadership, when there is no leadership then there is no cohesion, and when there is no cohesion, people are left to their own individual machinations and when they are left to their own machinations, there is no religious order, and when there is no religious order, chaos almost always ensues. The Prophet (SAWS) said; “Whoever among you wants to be in the middle of Paradise, let him cling to the Congregation.” [Sound, collected by Abu Eesa at-Tirmithi]

In my view, people should want their Imams and leader that they trust have their best interests at heart, be adequately resourced. Communities with an Imam or an Amir, and a shura (council) and people designated to attend to the affairs of the ummah, is better than a mob based free for all system. Muslims who reject a basic Islamic system of communal stability and governance which is the jamaa’ah (congregation) are just blowing smoke. Moral anarchists without even knowing it. And Allah knows best.

Imam Luqman Ahmad

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad is a associate Imam and resident scholar at the Toledo Masjid al-Islam, housed in the first building built originally as a Mosque in the state of Ohio.  He can be reached at: imamabulaith@yahoo.com You can support him @ cash app, to: $abulaith2

Open Demand that Islamic Scholars be Clear On the Race Issue. By Imam Abu Laith ibn Abi Hussain Luqman Ahmad

Racism and racial bigotry is not just an American problem. It is a problem felt around the world; including the Muslim world. Black people are treated unjustly because of the color of their skin all over this globe, including the holy lands of Islam, which all belongs to Allah sub’haanahu wa ta’ala. In Islam, an Arab has no superiority over an non-Arab, nor a White person have any superiority over a Black person, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab or a Black person have any superiority over a non-Black or White person except by Taqwa (piety).

The shuyookh have weighed in on volumes regarding aqeeda over the years. Islamic books stores in the United States have been flooded and overrun with books on aqeeda. Some scholars have even declared some of us as heretics. We have fought with one another and masaajid have spilt over what was written in aqeeda books and fataawa sent to the United States. We let most of that slide, even though the aqeeda wars have resulted in the loss of an entire generation of Muslims in these United States of America.

Enough is enough. Black American Muslims are the same people who are matching in the streets demanding an end to racial injustice. They are our sons and daughters, our mothers and fathers, our cousins and uncles who are being killed, beaten, denied unjustly here in the land which we helped build as slaves. If we reject racism in in America, then we also reject it in the deen of Islam in America, and the deen of Islam in America, is the deen of Islam everywhere on the Earth because it is one deen. .

We demand to know the position of the vocal mashaayikh (scholars) on racism because it is a determinant of their own aqeeda. I’m not trying to start trouble here. But Shuyookh who so boldly prohibited birthdays, Thanksgiving, baby showers, football, living in America, working with the kuffar, and family picnics without partitions between the men and the women, need to articulate their expressed position on racism in Muslim America and the blanketing of Muslim owed liquor stores in America.

People have a basic right to know whether or not the scholars that we take knowledge of religion from are racists, or are bigoted in any way against Blacks. I raised this issue many years ago, and I’m raising it again now. Racism is a human rights issue, it is a justice issue and it is indeed, an aqeeda (creed) issue without a doubt. Are scholars of Islam biased against Blacks and Black American Muslims, yes or no? We demand to know. Wal Allahu Musta’aan. – Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

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

As America Talks About Racism, is Muslim America Ready to Talk About It’s Own Racism? Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

Muslim Senegalese American Fatou Goumbala takes part in a World Hijab Day rally held in front of New York City Hall in Manhattan, New York, US, February 1, 2018 [Amr Alfiky/Reuters]

Has the time finally come for Muslim Americans where they have to Address Racism in their own community?

As American battles its own racial problem, Muslim America has its own festering racial problem between Black American Muslims and converts, and between the larger Muslim American immigrant community. The question of Racism in Muslim America has never been fully unpacked as a national American Muslim conversation. Sure, it has been hinted at, pointed to, glossed over, generalized, and even headlined in articles here and there. Still, the issue has never been domestically unwrapped and laid bare so it could be subject to critical and compartmental examination.

One of the challenges facing American Muslims in dealing with racism in our mosques and in our own communities is that you cannot approach racism with a one-size fit for all method. Our own dealings with race and racism in the United states should have taught us that. Racism in Muslim America lives in the trappings of Islam and under cover of the masaajid (mosques). It is as delicate as it is insidious, it’s refined as much as it is profane. It is a wide topic that spans the globe in breadth and is as diverse in its manifestations as the rainbow of races, and colors of the peoples who inhabit the nations mosques. If America is an experiment, then Muslim America with two distinctly different civilizational trajectories; one Black and indigenous, and the other, recent (50 years or less) immigrants, is even more of an experiment.

Racism in Muslim America has its own historical evolution. It has cracks and crevices where it hides, masquerades and blends in with the scenery. It can act like a chameleon and go undetected until you look closely, or it can unabashedly bite you in the face. It will migrate from one institutional host to another institutional host.  Sometimes you must hunt it down like a wild animal and corner it, and even then, it will fight you back. Racism does not back down easily except where there is taqwa (piety).  It takes a certain amount of moral courage the likes of which we as Muslims I am afraid, are in short supply for now, to tackle racism in our ranks. We can only do it in my view, as a morally mature people, but tackle it we must, and tackle it we will if it be God’s will.   

Racism in Muslim America may not look exactly like racism in America in general or racism in the Arab world or in Europe, or in Asia, Africa or anywhere else. Racism in Muslim in America has its own unique historical and civilizational nuance which is why it deserves more than just a casual, anecdotal glance. Racism in Muslim America is the proverbial elephant in the room, and that elephant is poised to let out a big fart that will stink from New York to Washington state, if we do not take the time and courage to meet it head on.

My first article about racism in Muslim America[i] was published in 2002, on the heels of 9/11. It was a taboo topic then, and admittedly I was very careful in the way I worded the topic, and here we are 18 years later, and the issue of racism in Muslim America sits on our door step, like unopened mail.

Racism Muslim America is a heartfelt letdown for Black American Muslim converts and their accompanying generations. While at the same time, marginally acknowledged by the American Muslim immigrant community. Within the Black American Muslim and convert community, the conversation about racism in Muslim America has been well under way, but relatively one-sided.  Any Black American Muslim will tell you unequivocally that racism is alive and well in Muslim America, as well as any other Muslim who is willing to be honest and not bound by the chains of political correctness.

As the conversation about race again take center stage in the national news feed of the United States with the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis MN the opportunity has again presented itself for Muslim Americans to catch up with the rest of the country on the matter of race, racism and race relations within our domestic faith practice. If we don’t rise to the occasion, we threaten to undo years of carefully orchestrated public relations portrayal of American Muslims as a new an unblemished citizenry who are part of the American experiment.  

American Muslims are an accepted part of American society. However, we are not the go-to community for moral leadership. The main deterrent to that is our failure as a general body, to openly address the issue of racism within our ranks. Black American Muslims are willing to have this conversation and have been having it amongst ourselves to the point of disgust, protest and revolt. Imams and leaders of the American Muslim immigrant community must be willing to reciprocate in a way that is past lip service photo-ops, and billboards. If we are to ever have hope in being an advanced civilization, we must be willing to engage in advanced conversation, no matter how painful.

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

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

[i] https://www.islamicity.org/1813/racial-politics-in-muslim-america/


The Economic Implications of Sufism - #Madina365

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The COVID-19 Pandemic is Changing Everything

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

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

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