Imam Luqman Ahmad


The Lotus Tree Blog

The Islamic Ruling Regarding Baby Showers in America

The United States, like other countries is a culturally dynamic environment. Understanding how to apply Islamic law and maintain the required limits of Islamic protocol (adab) require a thorough understanding of the shariah and the culture, as well as the inclusion and consultation of indigenous American Muslim intelligentsia when rendering legal edicts. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya alluded to this issue very succinctly; when commenting of the necessity of understanding people’s cultural practices, he said: “This is a major foundation that every mufti (legist) or ruler needs; he must be both well-versed (in peoples traditions) as well as matters of command and prohibition and then apply them both simultaneously. Otherwise he will do more harm than good. If he is not intimately aware of an issue in which people have particular understanding, a transgressor will appear to him as the transgressed and the truth will appear to him as falsehood and vice versa.”

Ibn Qayyim went on to say: “Because of his ignorance of the people, their traditions, their conditions and their habits, he will not be able to distinguish (between truth and falsehood), Thus, it is imperative that (the scholar) understands the machinations of the people, their deceptions, their cultural traditions and their habits because fatwa (religious rulings) change with the changing of time, place culture and condition, and all of this is part of the religion of Allah.”- Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (D. 751 A.H.) quoted from: “Ii’laan al-Muwaqqi’een an Rabbil aalameen” vol. 4, p. 157 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Fatwas and American Muslims, Muslim converts, Muslim Thought, , ,

Recording History for American Muslim Generations

Tabaqaat al-Amrikiyyeen


طبقات الامريكين

By Imam Luqman Ahmad

Biographical stationing is an important part of Muslim historiography. Referencing in Islam is frequently based upon ranking and association; whether it is predicated upon precedence, or upon levels of religious knowledge, or length of service to Islam and the Muslims, each group or person is accorded a status according to his or her designated ranking. In the hadith; “The best generation is my generation. Then those that follow them. Then those that follow them”[1], there is a reference to biographical stationing. Hence, the best generation after the Prophet (SAWS) by agreement of the scholars is the generation of the companions because of their own achievements and because according to Ibn Hajar al-Asqalaani; of their proximity to the Prophet (SAWS).

Early Muslim historians used to employ a biographical recording method whereas the ranks of the Muslim were chronicled by ranking and category. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: American Muslims, History, Muslim converts, ,

Ten Things I Love About My Wife

I consider myself a very rich and fortunate man. Allah has blessed me with a wife who fits me perfectly. I urge all men to try to appreciate the good things about your wives. Actually there are more than ten things I love about my wife. However, will only mention ten. Otherwise I’ll be writing all night.

  1. She is very beautiful to behold. My wife has always taken good care of herself, and t shows
  2. She has a smile that lights up the room
  3. She always looks on the bright side of things, even when things are rough
  4. My wife never stays angry for very long. I don’t think she knows how to. If we argue, I know that in few hours, she will ready to make up.
  5. She is a great cook
  6. She is smart and intuitive and she always thinks ahead.
  7. My wife is feminine and never puts on manly ways. She is a leader, but she knows just when to ease up on the reins and let me handle it.
  8. She has strong faith in Allah and our religion
  9. My wife is predictable. For an unpredictable fellow like myself, that is reassuring
  10. Because she always makes sure that I know she loves me.

These are just some of the things that I love about her. She’s not perfect, not do I want her to be. But she’s just right for me. Wal humdu lillahi Rabbil aalameen

Imam Luqman

Filed under: love, , ,

American Muslim Culture Confusion

Culture as defined by Webster, is the customary beliefs, social norms, and material traits of a racial, religious or social group. It it also defined as the characteristics features of everyday existence (as diversions or way of life) shared by people in a place or time. Islamic scholarly inquest regarding the merits or harms of American culture, what’s haram, what’s halal is legitimate. However, when assessment of our culture by Muslim scholars or average Muslims is based upon disdain for America or because of our countries political or military relationship with the Muslim world , or because most Americans are not Muslim, or ‘kuffaar’ infidels, the query becomes illegitimate, and the conclusion is tainted. .

You can’t issue rulings about American culture and customs and exempt all other cultures from scrutiny. Judging permissibility or prohibition of anyone’s culture or aspects of it based strictly upon the belief, race, geography or nationality of the people has no valid sharia basis. You can’t label clothing as the ‘kaafir clothes’. Clothing either conforms to Islamic moral standards or it doesn’t. You can’t haram clothing and customs because it’s western or they do it in America or because Americans do it or because rappers do it. Unless, according to Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalaani, the clothing bears religious significance or distinction. Many people wear crosses because of custom not devotion. However, a Muslim cannot wear a cross because other the religious distinction or representation. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Black American Muslims, Fatwas and American Muslims, , , ,

Where is the love?

It occurred to me recently that many Muslims do not feel safe inside a Masjid. I don’t mean physically safe, although in some Muslim countries that is the case. I mean safe from criticism, rejection, judgment, belittlement, or malice. The average convert is tasked with a laundry list of religious practices, philosophical adjustments, and immediate lifestyle changes that he or she must complete before they can are full members of the group. Then they are gradually introduced to numerous and often conflicting notions about what type of Muslim they are to be, who they should like and dislike, and what is correct or incorrect about their prayer, their dress, their speech, their friends and associates, the pictures in their house, their dog. (Rover has to take a hike) . It is simply too much for the average convert. .This perhaps explains why the average American convert, after their initial conversion, the ensuing euphoria and congratulatory pleasantries, and receipt of their initial marching orders, is petrified about returning to the Masjid.Many Muslims in America come to Islam with many unresolved issues in their life. For many ths is on eof the things hat led them to Islam in the frst place. The shahaadah removes all sin from a persons record. However, it does not remove the effects of it or it’s temptation. Nor does conversion to Islam change their condition. People have to go back to whatever situation they came from. Whether it is a bad relationship or an unlawful one, addiction, pain , loneliness, low self esteem.This is especially true for African American Muslims . The primary reference that we have about houses of worship and religious communities are the churches. everybody knows that in a chucrh, if you don’t get nothing else, you will get some love and you’ll get fed. It is painfully clear that many of our Masaajid are ill equipped to give people what they need. You don’t throw a prayer book or a tawheed manifesto at someone who just needs to talk, or needs a friend or a confidante.Roberta Flack said it with resonance; “where is the love.” More on this later

Filed under: Muslim converts, ,