Imam Luqman Ahmad


The Lotus Tree Blog

Muslim man, puts on Niqaab, Then Commits Robbery and Murder in Philadelphia. Are we paying attention?

The murder of a Philadelphia police officer by what appears to be Muslims, while dressed in Muslim woman’s clothing, has tragedy all over it. I’m afraid that Muslim women will be subject to more scrutiny from the public, particularly those who wear niqab. It’s easier for brothers to ‘blend in’ but our sisters by their attire are immediately identified as Muslim. As for whether or a not the Muslim brother, can be legitimately denied burial services by an individual imam, or  group of them, is too complex an issue  to summarize without full comprehension of every shariah as well as circumstantial variable, not withstanding knowledge of the facts on the ground in Philadelphia.   There are arguments which support washing and janaaza as well support not giving him the consideration. Janaaza is at best; fard al-kifaaya, and as far as we know, he may have been one of those who believe that we are all part of the ‘global’ Muslim community which would make the Muslims in China as much responsible for his burial as the Muslims in Philly.

This is the call of the Philadelphia Imams and leadership involved in the situation. Whether or not anyone agrees or disagrees with any of our American Muslim Imams, or leaders, it is they who shoulder responsibility for the congregations of Muslims, as well as the stragglers.

Unless you live in Philadelphia, have consulted with any one of the imams involved in this matter, or have intimate knowledge and understanding of the social-Islamic dynamic of Philadelphia, you wouldn’t really understand what the Muslims in Philly are dealing with.  People won’t be asked about the imams, but the imams will be asked about the people on the Day of Judgment. ‘All of you are guardians and responsible for your wards and the things under your care. The imam is the guardian of his subjects and is responsible for them’ (Bukhaari).

We’ll probably end up arguing back and forth, about whether or not he can be denied burial or not by any one individual or community. We have become like a bunch of lawyers, law students, and casual Law and Order fans that never really practice the law in reality, but instead spend an inordinate amount of time arguing cases in cyberspace, not realizing that we have no courtroom, no judge, no state, no leader, and the republic is falling apart. The only class of people in the indigenous American Muslim community who come close to being ‘walaatul umoor’ (executors of Islamic affairs) on behalf of an actual Muslim constituent, are the Imams! Despite the amount of disorder that exists in the American Muslim frequented Masaajid, the fledgling indigenous congregations that still remain, are virtually the only places in the American Muslim community where some semblance of order remains

Anyone who feels contrary to the decision of the Imams in Philly is free buy a plane ticket, fly to Philadelphia, call sister Khadija (She is the licensed Muslim mortician in Philadelphia), do all the haggling and legal work necessary, (which is what Imams in Philly frequently have to get involved in), wash the body, perform the jazaaza and bury the brother on their own. Washing, praying over, and burying the dead, is fard kifaaya at best, so if someone really cares that much, tafaddal!

No one in Philadelphia is preventing anyone from stepping up, or has stated that it is not permissible to wash and bury him. Imams there are simply trying deal with a potentially explosive situation, whose repercussions have not really been felt yet, and to make a point and send an important message. Don’t second guess them or try to argue the case in cyber court.

There is a bigger issue here; in fact, there are a plethora of the issues. This is a high profile incident that involves the murder of a police officer, which gives it more media coverage than the scores of other homicides committed in the city of Philadelphia by Muslims, many of whom had big beards, and sajda (prostration) marks on the foreheads. Notwithstanding the untold numbers of lesser crimes of various and sundry varieties perpetrated in Philadelphia by Muslim men and sometimes women.

The criminal subculture in the African American Muslim community is neither new, nor isolated. It is a widespread epidemic that in recent years has been given vitality by an imported, kamikaze ideology, that calls itself the authentic creed, and which legalizes bad character, and morally destructive behavior if the name of religious Puritanism. Perhaps it may be time to reexamine our tendency to emphasize the outer expression of Islam in terms of dress, beards, kufis and slogans, and redirect our attention to addressing the spiritual ailments which plague our communities. Pardon me, did I say perhaps? When I meant to say is that we’re running out of time!

The African American Muslim community has been indoctrinated (some would say brainwashed), with a morally dysfunctional, self splintering theological matrix that turns Muslims against one another over something as simple as the position of a hem stitch. It dismisses the heart as the organ requiring the most attention, and elevates appearance, group labels, and slogans, as principle determinants of guidance and falsehood. So is this kind of behavior, a product of the knowledge, and the so-called correct aqeedah that we’ve acquired? Or does it suggest that we need to thoroughly scrutinize what some of the long distance scholars are teaching our youth. If we can examine fruit and vegetables across our borders to determine whether any harmful diseases are combated in what appears to be nourishment, then we can certainly question the net value of the billions of dollars of books, tapes, propaganda, teachings, that has been infused into the psychology of an indigenous American Muslims over the last three decades.

If I’m sorry, maybe it’s just me. However, I can’t help but ask; where is the dividend of all this scholarship? Maybe someone reading the blog can help me out here. The indigenous American Muslim community is more divisive and splintered than ever. People have been told they shouldn’t even be in a community, because they are part of the international Muslim community. So here we are surrounded by a cascade of signs, foretelling of the closeness of the Hour, the arrival of the anti Christ, and drastic societal, and environmental change. Yet, someone else convinced that our major problem is islamophobia, not understanding enough aqeedah, or the media.  . 

The indigenous American Muslim Community is now officially hardwired for disintegration. Look at the facts; the majority of indigenous Muslims are not part of any physical Muslim community with local leadership. Thus, even though we share the same space, shop at the same griocery stores, drink coffee at the same establishments, and live in the same cities and neighborhoods, we are hardly benefiting at all from each other’s resources. I can hardly believe that in the times in which we are living, we’ve given control of our agenda to an absentee religious intelligentsia who has not demonstrated proficiency in effectuating behavioral change in their own mother countries in people who speak their language and share their original culture.

 I love our scholars, and I respect them. We sure got have a lot of them; there are dozens or perhaps hundreds of scholarly spheres of influence, each with its own particular religious directives and ideological conclave that presents itself to be the comprehensive, one size fits all path for the American Muslim convert. So within the American Muslim convert and second generation community, there are hundreds of thousands of Muslims, unattached to each other but instead attached to a religious ideal, school of thought, sheikh, web site, tariqa, movement, place

We’re not paying attention to the effects of what amounts to auto-sectarian ideology passed onto the indigenous American Muslims through these many spheres of foreign scholarly influence. We are bearing witness to the decisive and spiritually debilitating effect it has on our community. Not to mention that we seem to be oblivious to the many signs of The Hour and the cascading parade of fitan, but  if I won’t say anything about the brother because at this moment he is dealing with the consequences of his actions. However, pathological criminal psychology criminal behavior and the Muslim community is not isolated to this incident. Muslim on Muslim street violence is a common occurrence in Philadelphia

My suggestion is a return to the type of Islam that has proven to be most effective for the convert, and anyone else, who believes that salvation is determined and engineered by Allah alone, and that the one specifically appointed to direct us to his path is our beloved Prophet sallalaahu alaihi wa sallam. That type of Islam, is the Islam of the Prophet sallalaahu alaihi wa sallam, who himself was a convert. The Prophet sallalaahu alaihi wa sallam was sent to all of humanity. That doesn’t mean that every scholar, every school of thought, every ideological matrix, every tariqa, and every fatwa is uniquely designed and applicable for all people. The position of the Prophet sallalaahu alaihi wa sallam being dispatched to and for all people, regardless of race, culture, ethnicity, environment, social or financial status, or level of intelligence is part of his khasaa’is (unique characteristics) and one of the things that distinguished him from all the previous Prophets sent to mankind. It is either the height of ignorance, or of arrogance for any of our scholars (may Allah guide them) to make the assumption that their method, their assignment of Islamic educational priorities, or their division of the original doctrine of monotheism into three parts, offer salvation and success for all Muslims everywhere.

If we accept the sound tradition; “the best generation is my generation, then those that follow them, then those that follow them” (Bukhaari) it is easy to conclude  that of the three generations mentioned, the generation of Prophet sallalaahu alaihi wa sallam and his companions was a better generation than the latter two.  It is ironic that the best generation of the Muslims, were those who were unfamiliar with advanced theology, who did not engage in endless, legal and ideological debate, who were mostly illiterate, and who came from a religious culture that did not just have two or three deities that were worshipped, but had no less than 360 different gods. Many of them died without having performed a single salaat, fasted a single Ramadan, or made Hajj.

During the time of the Prophet sallalaahu alaihi wa sallam, a person’s aqeedah was completed when he professed that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammed is His Messenger. If it worked for them, it works for us. Instead of making the assumption that their faith was intact and unassailable, many of the companions questioned whether their faith was blemished by hypocrisy. In the hadith of ibn Abi Malika, that taabi’ee narrator, he said: “I have met more than 30 companions of the Muhammad, and each one of them feared that he may be afflicted by hypocrisy”. (Bukhaari)

At some point, we need to turn off the faucet of seemingly endless directives parachuted into the Muslim community from all over the world. If the voluminous abundance of knowledge, lectures, books, fatwas, advices from the scholars, and ijaazas does not seem to have what it takes to improve both the social and spiritual condition of indigenous American Muslims, then we might as well take our chances following the Quran and the sunna for ourselves., Without putting every aspect of our religion through someone else’s filter on the premise that they are more qualified, and knows what’s best for Muslim America. It should be clear by now, that Muslims in America need a different methodology; one that is distilled of anyone else’s cultural, moral, or interpretive limitations. It should also be clear that we are free to pursue it. Let’s make our way back to the methodology of the Prophet sallalaahu alaihi wa sallam If we are going to sink, then better to sink on our own, and not have someone else sink us. And Allah knows best.

Is division amongst Muslims in America a problem? Take the Lotus Tree Poll, click here.




Filed under: American Muslims, Muslim Thought, Trials of the End of Days, , , ,

2 Responses

  1. As salamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barkatuh,

    May Allah (swt) bless you for this post. I agree 100%.

  2. Abdur Raffi says:

    Assalamooalaikum, Our Shaykh Ubaid has mentioned that the action of the Imam and the administration was correct. Jazakallahukhayr
    “Ask the people of knowledge if you dont know”

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