Is Islam for African people?

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,

My dear Muslim brothers and sisters, I wrote this treatise after I was informed that some brothers in England left the religion after being duped into thinking that Islam is an Arab supremacist religion and that it is not for African people. This is therefore a means to debunk such a myth that is spread by so called Africana scholars and nationalists.

Is Islam also for African people

May Allah make it a means of guidance and information for all.

It is not like this Oh Linda Sarsour that you tie a camel!

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله رب العالمين و الصلاة و السلام على رسوله الكريم على نبينا محمد و على اله و صحبه و سلم

Right now the Muslim world is facing a number of crises. Firstly, that which comes from those outside of the fold of Islam and secondly that which comes from those within the fold of Islam.

Regarding the second crisis it is obvious that in this time Muslims in the west are face to face with an “American Islam.” A concoction of western liberalism with a splash of Muslim identity. Such a wretched innovation in our beautiful religion directs many western Muslims, especially the youth to:

Reject the way of the Salaf

Reject the scholars

Categorically reject the culture of Muslim countries (although some aspects of culture is categorically rejected)

Full embrace of “American” and “British” values.

Dismantle the foundational principles of the religion.

And from those foundational principles is that Islam directs the Muslim to lofty moral character and prohibits immoral actions. to this Allah has said regarding his Prophet:

“ِAnd verily you are of high moral character.”

And the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) himself said:

“I have been sent in order to complete lofty moral character.”

That being said, homosexuality is a major sin and a characteristic of those of lowly moral character. According to all religious texts it is an ungodly abomination and an affront to the natural disposition of human and animal species. Allah has said regarding this:

“And Lut when he said to his people do you commit an evil that no one else before has committed.Verily you approach men with desires other than women , rather you are a people who are an evil people.” [A’araf 80-81]

If we really reflected upon the Qur’an we would see the following:

  1. That this action of homosexuality is an evil.
  2. That it was unprecedented before the time of Lut.
  3. The fact that Lut informed them regarding this abomination.
  4. That they approached men rather than women which is contrary to how Allah has created mankind.
  5. That those who commit acts of homosexuality are a people who are evil.

Then comes Linda Sarsour, an American Muslim who is a political activist who said on her twitter feed:

“Opposition 2 gay marriage today is same as opposition 2 interracial marriage 50 years ago. Majority folks will get over it. #marriageequality.”

Gay marriage is a new phenomenon which hasn’t existed until modern times. Now, in the passage of the Qur’an there was clear disapproval of homosexual relationships outside the fold of marriage. Hence, it becomes even worse when such a reprehensible, abominable act becomes sanctified as a lawful relationship between two parties.

Secondly, gay marriage is not a case of marriage equality it is a case of western decadence, degeneration and immorality.  Activism and fighting for the rights of human beings doesn’t mean that one should fight for that which is morally wrong.

Thirdly, gay marriage should never be equated to interracial marriage. Interracial marriage is the union of a man and a woman of dissimilar ethnic groups. Gay marriage involves an immoral union between two men of similar or dissimilar ethnic groups.

In the first case there was no moral justification to condemn interracial marriage except bigotry, conflated stereotypes and racism. In the case of the marriage of two men there is clear moral justification from scripture (such as the Qur’an) to condemn such a union.

And those who don’t know their history should be cognizant of the fact that although racist white America disapproved of racial mixing within marriage they were involved in a similar process during and after slavery outside the boundaries of marriage (many white men had black mistresses and fathered mulatto children). However, during the post-reconstruction period of American History the black man was characterized as a sexual predator whose aim was to hunt down white women and upon that irrational fear of the union between black men and white women interracial marriage was banned in many states.

Additionally, and I do indeed say additionally, where are these activists when it comes to real issues of discrimination in American society such as police brutality toward unarmed African Americans? It is a travesty that we who claim Islam can fight for an immoral, abominable cause and keep silent regarding a real human rights issue. Maybe such moral stances is based upon what is fashionable and not what is correct.

As Muslims we need to abandon willful ignorance and return to the book of Allah and the Sunnah of the blessed Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم). Furthermore, we need to avoid liberalism under the cover of eloquent speech and Islamic identity.

Allah’s help is sought.

Signs of beneficial knowledge

Shaikh Bakr Abu Zaid said in his book Hilyah Taalib Ul ‘Ilm:

“Ask yourself about your portion of the signs of beneficial knowledge and they are:

1. Action upon it

2. Disliking praise and appraisals, and being arrogant over the creation.

Note: Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen said: And this is what some have been tested with…

3. Having much humility when you increase in knowledge.

4. Running away from loving leadership, fame and the Dunya.

5. Staying away from claiming knowledge.

6. Thinking bad of yourself and thinking good of the people thereby keeping oneself away from speaking ill about them.

 

 

Racism is from the major sins.

Imam Muslim collected the following Hadeeth in his book:

“أربع في أمتي من أمر الجاهلية لا يتركونهن. الفخر بالاحساب و الطعن في الأنساب و الاستسقاء بالأنواء و النياحة”

“Four things in my nation from Jahileeyah (pre-Islamic ignorance) that the people will not leave. Pride in one’s ancestry, cursing the lineage of others, seeking rain from stars (saying it rained because of so and so star) and wailing over the dead.”

Shaikh Saalih Ibn Fawzaan Al Fawzaan mentioned that cursing the lineage of others in from the Major Sins because the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) mentioned it from being a sign of Pre-Islamic ignorance.

Therefore, we as Muslims must beware of this. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) also mentioned that there is no virtue of an Arab over a Non-Arab and those of white complexion over those of dark complexion. Indeed our virtue is measured by our service to Allah almighty.

Unfortunately, many Muslims, even in Trinidad, possess some of these characteristics. Therefore, one finds that those of Indian descent look down on those of African descent with the claim that they came with Islam and established it in this country. In addition to this claim being erroneous historically there are some matters that must be addressed:

1. There is a difference between Islaam and culture. Islaam is what the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and his companions practiced as a religion. As for culture it refers to the customs and habits of a people in a particular region. Hence activities such as the Mawlood, the Tazeem and other things which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) never did are parts of Indo-Trinidian culture (in addition to being innovations in the religion) but they cannot be seen as Islam.

2. Islaam is not owned by any particular race or nation of people. Hence, to claim ownership of a religion which has over one billion adherents is simply ludicrous. Even the Arabs themselves cannot say that it is only their religion because every Arab scholar has to rely upon non-Arab authors such as Imam Bukhari, Imam At Tirmidhi, Imam An Nasaee, Imam Ibn Maajah and Imam Abu Dawood to gain knowledge of the Prophetic narrations. Additionally they have to rely upon the Black Sudani, Ibn Mandhuur, for knowledge of their vocabulary. They have to rely upon a Persian named Sibaway for their grammar and the list goes on.

3. Indo-Islaam is not homogeneous as many wish to reflect. In India there are Ahlul Hadeeth scholars who were there centuries. The likes of the Mubarakpuri family, Shaah Waliyullah Ad Dehlawi, his grandson Shaah Isma’eel Ash Shaheed, Shah Badee Ud Deen As Sindhi, Shah Sadeeq Hasan Khaan and others. Hence, what many posit as “Indo-Islaam” is in fact that which is indigenous to some parts of India and not India as a whole.

4. African Muslims, who mostly came from the region of Guinea and the Gambia, have been in Trinidad since the era of slavery. They also were a visible minority during the period of colonialism after slavery especially in places such as Manzanilla and Mayaro. And although Islaam wasn’t widespread among those of African descent between the late 1800s to the 1950s it became widespread from the 1960s. Hence, between the years 1880-1950 which is a 70 year period African Muslims were not as visible as they were before and as they are now.

Therefore, to make it seem as if African Muslims were a non-entity in Trinidad until the mid-twentieth century is entirely false. As a matter of fact, the Mandingo Muslim society in the 1830s petitioned the Queen of England herself to return to Africa on an armoured fleet. In Belmont there is a street called Bath street named after Jonas Muhammad Bath, who was the head of the Mandingo society at the period of time. They had Qur’anic schools and were literate in the Arabic language.

Therefore it is a must that we know about Islaam so that would would not mistake culture for it and we must know our History so that we do not commit ideological genocide upon others. The words “ideological genocide” may seem quite strong however this is what has been done for many years in Trinidad to the point that even Non-Muslim historians such as Ramesh Deosaran have lamented upon this. In fact, the same Ramesh Deosaran was invited to an event hosted by a certain organization on Indian arrival day. However, when he changed his speech to elucidate upon the African Muslim presence in Trinidad he was never called to speak again.

It is indeed sad when we can’t accept Historical fact because of our own bias and myopic, one dimensional view of how things supposed to be.

 

 

 

Envy between students of knowledge.

Without doubt much of what has taken place in terms of the splitting and disunity among the callers in the west is due to envy. And this envy without doubt leads to deviance. A Muslim only has to read about what took place between Iblees (لعنة الله عليه) and Aadam to understand that point that I just mentioned.

I would like to leave the readers with some wise words by Ibn Qudama Al Maqdisi pertaining to this issue:
“There is no envy between two people except to struggle for status. He therefore becomes envious of everyone in the world who competes with him in the matter which he takes pride in. And the origin of all of this is THE LOVE OF THE DUNYA because the Dunya is that which restricts those two who compete. As for the hereafter there is no restriction in it. Therefore, the one who loves to know Allah, his angels , his Prophets and what he possesses in heaven and earth, he would not become envious of other than him if he has knowledge of this.
Because knowledge does not restrict the ones who have knowledge, rather what is known by one is known by one million scholars, and he is happy that others know. For this reason we do not find that there is jealousy between the scholars of the religion. Because they wish to know Allah and this IS A SPACIOUS OCEAN AND THERE IS NO RESTRICTION IN THIS. And their goal is to get a station with Allah, and there is no restriction with what Allah possesses. 
Because the greatest thing that is with Allah is the pleasure of meeting him. And there is neither prevention nor crowd (meaning that every believer would have the pleasure of seeing him without crowding together), and some who see him cannot restrict others. Rather he is happy when there are many of them. Except if the scholars want by knowledge wealth and position they become envious of each other. “
Another point he likened it to:
” And for this reason you never see people crowding to see the beauty of the sky because it is wide and all can see it. Therefore, it is upon you if you are merciful to yourself to seek a pleasure where there is no crowding in it (meaning piety and doing that which pleases Allah.”
Minhaaj Us Qaasideen page 237.
Food for thought indeed.

Compare, contrast, then look at your life.

Imam Ibn Qudama Al Maqdisi said regarding the means to be satisfied:

4. To constantly reflect upon the extravagance of the Jews, the Christians, the lowly and the foolish. And then look at the condition of the Prophets, those who are friends of Allah and the righteous and listen to their speech and research their condition. And then let his intellect choose between imitating the lowest of the creation or the best of creation according to Allah. Until having patience upon little and being satisfied with little becomes easy for him. And that if he takes please in eating then the animals eat more than him. And if he takes pleasure in intercourse then the sparrow mates more than him.

Minhaaj Ul Qaasideen page 252

What Salafeeyah do you practice?

I have questions for everyone and please do not be shy to answer these questions since it seems that many who claim to be Salafi are practicing the following “versions” of Salafeeyah. Read on and you will see exactly what I mean.

Do we practice Salafeeyah which Imam Ahmad and Imam Au’zaee practiced?

Or do we practice:

1. “Salafeeyah” with an Ikhwani twist where we excuse the people of innovation, side with them, listen to them and increase the numbers in their gatherings!

Do we practice Salafeeyah based upon the understanding of the pious predecessors my dear brothers and sisters which is based upon Tasfiyah (purifying) and Tarbeeyah (nuturing)?

Or do we practice:

2. “Salafeeyah” with a political activist twist where we engage in participating in elections, protests and demonstrations thinking that this will give strength to the Ummah!

Do we practice the Salafeeyah which unites the Ummah upon the Qur’an and the Sunnah?

Or do we practice:

3. “Salafeeyah” with a mix of Hizbeeyah! Where anyone who opposes you and your partners and cronies is isolated and boycotted even if he has 1000 evidences with him!

Do we practice the Salafeeyah where we accept clear evidences?

Or do we practice:

4. “Salafeeyah” with a mix of  Madhab Partisanship! Where if you show someone evidences you are accused of the following:

  • Opposing the ‘Ulama
  • Relegating their statements to doubts and,
  • Forcing your opinion upon others
  • Changing the meaning of Ahadeeth

My dear brothers and sisters, really and truly, really and truly, do you practice Salafeeyah which is based upon the understanding and methodology of the pious predecessors toward Islam?

Or are you practicing a “Salafeeyah” that has come from your understanding and your desires?

بل الإنسان على نفسه بصيره  و لو ألقى معاذيره

Rather mankind has insight about himself. Even if he was to give you many excuses.

الله مستعان