Imam Luqman Ahmad

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The Lotus Tree Blog

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
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Filed under: Muslim converts, ,

2 Responses

  1. Taahir Abdur-Rahim says:

    Bismillah.
    As-salamu alaykum

    I heard one of the Shaykhs remark, there are no stipulations to come into Islam, we need to let people come in and work out there problems. Instead we want them to become sahabah. Its better to be a bad muslim then a good disbeliever. I think in the church there is the same problem. Alot of backbiting and envy, so maybe it’s just a case of spiritual diseases and insecurities we have as a people, I don’t know….

  2. gassus says:

    As salaamu Alaikum,
    You are bringing back some painful memories after I accepted Islam. The city I lived in had 2 masajid. One American and the other Arab. The American masjid had a lot of love but no intellectual depth. Some brothers still had one foot in the streets. I could relate to them but none of my friends or myself did prison time. The Arab masjid had classes on Islam, Arabic, tajweed etc. but no love not even between themselves.
    I have actually felt more “safe” and comfortable inside a village masjid in Morocco or Saudi Arabia. Strange but true.

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