Imam Luqman Ahmad

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The Lotus Tree Blog

Islamophobia; Is That Our Only Answer to Criticism?

I wrote this article two years ago. I thought I’d give it another dance…

Confronting Islamophobia, It’s No Dog and Pony Show

By Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad,

Recognition of islamophobia as the irrational and unwarranted fear of Muslims and Islam lingers in lexical incubation. Some accept the term fully while others discount its validity. Whether this neologism will gain currency as a bona fide social pathology, or be viewed simply as a marginally legitimate term, moonlighting as a public relations tool, remains to be seen. Phobias, according to the American Psychiatric Association are mental disorders characterized by persistent and irrational fear of a particular thing, situation, or animal. The word islamophobia, and the operative definition applied to it, is far from clinical recognition. However, I must admit, it is a catchy term; and certainly trendy sounding enough to fuel circulation. Like; “what are you guys doing this weekend? “We’re going to fight islamophobia!” Its etymology insures seamless placement in the “for Islam”, “saving the deen”, “for Allah” category.

Islamophobia has a diabolical, sinister ring to it. You can almost picture a young Muslim mother sending her child off to public school; “Now son, remember to drink your milk, look both ways when you cross the street, don’t forget to say your prayers on time, and be sure to watch out for any islamophobia! We’ve used the term with such frequency and with such self serving overtones that it has started to lose it effectiveness if it even had any. Picture the scenario of a man who utters an anti-Muslim remark causing outrage in the Muslim community; he’s rushed to a licensed islamophobist for diagnosis, after submitting to a few diagnostics, the man turns to the doctor in anxious trepidation and says; “well Doc, tell me! What is it? Racism? Psychomotor agitation? Bipolar disorder? Bird flu? The doctor, clipboard in, hand, gazes solemnly into his eyes and says: “no Pat, what you have is a mild case of islamophobia”. The man wiping the sweat off his brow says: “That’s all? Thank God, for a moment, I thought it was something serious”.

As Muslims, accurate and responsible use of categorical verbiage is a moral obligation, and in this case, a vital tactical adjunct for Muslims in America. This is why it is critical that before we wage jihad against islamophobia, we accurately define the terminology. Perhaps, we can avoid misdirecting our energies in what may very well be another fruitless pursuit, frocked in Islamic trappings that fails to address the root of our problems as Muslims. Sure there is discrimination against Muslims and yes, it should be addressed, but not manipulated. I don’t see crowds of rednecks chasing down Muslims in the streets. (no offense to rednecks).

Let’s set aside American foreign policy for a moment, thats a Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: American Muslims, Black American Muslims, immgrant muslims, Islam in America, Muslim converts, Muslim Thought, , , , ,

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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

African American Muslim Emancipation

African American Muslim Emancipation

It’s not permissible in Islam for any Muslim to surrender his or her ability to reason and to critically examine information. “Have they never learned to think for them­selves? Allah has not created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them without [an inner] truth and a term set [by Him]: Allah and yet, behold, there are many people who stubbornly deny the truth that they are destined to meet their Sustainer!”<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[1]<!–[endif]–> Without reasoning and critical discernment, the distinction between truth and falsehood is impaired. One of the reasons intoxicants are prohibited is that it clouds the reasoning faculty. “All drinks that intoxicate are unlawful (to drink)<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[2]<!–[endif]–>. All people are required to reason except for the insane, the child, and the sleeping or unconscious which is why there is no accounting upon them in such states. “There are three whose actions are not recorded: a lunatic whose mind is deranged till he is restored to consciousness, a sleeper till he awakes, and a boy till he reaches puberty

Abandoning reason is one of the central causes of African American Muslim dysfunction and stagnation. African American Muslims have a unique spiritual and evolutionary trajectory that naturally resists assimilation of a carbon copy just add water version of Islam. Read the rest of this entry »

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