The “I’m Just a Muslim” Muslim, Pt 1

Posted: February 4, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

olandandstepinfetchit1.jpg

It has been quite gratifying for me to see that over the past few months, the long over due discussion surrounding the unequal and unhealthy relationship existing between Blackamerican Muslims and the immigrant Muslim community has begun. It was observed that over the course of time Blackamerican Muslims, for reasons that I have attempted to identify in other writings, were relegated to a second class status in the Muslim community of their own country. I would like to examine in this hopefully short series what I believe to be the most crucial factor explaining this lop-sided relationship, and what must be done to rectify it.

It has become increasingly clear to me that in many respects, the problem lies in the confused thinking of Blackamerican Muslims themselves, or what I have termed the “I’m just a Muslim” mentality. This self-defeating thought process has slowly evolved into a well codified philosophy, one which postulates the notion that Blackamerican Muslims (and only them) must divest themselves of any racial, ethnic, or cultural content. Most insidious of all about this philosophy is that it does not preclude, and indeed almost always facilitates, African American Muslims assuming the cultural and ethnic identity of other peoples in a sad and mistaken belief that this alone confers upon them Islamic “authenticity”.

Having once imbibed this perverse outlook, an incredibly pathetic, self-abasing image is projected to the world so much like the picture of a Muslim Stepin Fetchit. However, if they are ever so bold as to assert (or God forbid celebrate) their own cultural and ethnic personality and make-up, they must answer shrill charges of Black nationalism. That is the destructive legacy of the “I’m just a Muslim” dogma, one we hope to speedily dispatch to the dust bin of history. In order to accomplish this though we must first acquire a thorough understanding of its origin.

To be clear, let me state unequivocally that I am not a black nationalist. I do not believe in the superiority of one race over another and I abhor such teachings. However, I do not believe that there is anything wrong with maintaining one’s culture as long as it does not contravene Islamic principles. I reject the notion that one must become a pseudo-Pakisani or Arab in order to be a “complete” Muslim. This is the basic theme of this blog and many of my writings. I do not believe that there is anything wrong with working to rectify problems amongst one’s people. Just as there is nothing wrong with helping Palestinians, Kashmiris, Pakistanis or what have you, I likewise believe that there is nothing wrong with helping people in this country. That is the thesis of this piece, namely, to refute the argument that working or volunteering in the Blackamerican community is somehow nationalism.

The expression “I’m just a Muslim” was first voiced in response to the media blitz and heightened notoriety the NOI was enjoying in the late 1950’s. After toiling for thirty years in obscurity, the NOI began to receive national attention in 1959 after a series of televised newscasts entitled, The Hate That Hate Produced, were aired in New York City. Hosted by a young Mike Wallace of future Sixty Minutes fame, the program showed menacing footage of an NOI convention along with riveting interviews of the bald-headed Malcolm X. The country had never seen such a shocking spectacle and went into a frenzy of fear. Malcolm X, as a result of those broadcasts, emerged a huge media personality, and his visage graced the covers of seemingly every magazine in America. Suddenly, everywhere, people were talking about “the Muslims”.

By 1961, a young college professor working on his PhD thesis at Clarke University, Atlanta, C. Eric Lincoln, published a detailed study of this strange new “Negro hate group”. Appearing in book form, the study attempted to explain the inner workings of the NOI, which it did fairly accurately. However its significance in history lies not in its contents, but rather, its title. Lincoln called his study The Black Muslims in America, and his decision to do so would have a profound and lasting impact on the thinking of Blackamerican Islam for at least a generation, and marked the beginning of the Black vs. Islam dichotomy so deeply implanted in the minds of many of today’s Muslims.

For at least a century preceding the book’s appearance, African Americans referred to themselves as “Negro” or “colored”, terms that they had grown quite comfortable with in fact. The reality is that the four hundred years of white-supremacist thought in this country had so stigmatized the word “Black” that even African Americans viewed it pejoratively, and to be called “Black” by anyone was considered a vicious insult.

If this is true ,then why didn’t Lincoln label his book the”Negro” or “colored” Muslims in America? The simple answer is that the NOI itself promoted the term “Black”, both in its theology and bizarre racial theories. Or to be more precise, they didn’t so much promote it but rather positively championed it. Most people by now probably have at least some familiarity with the truly fantastical teachings of the NOI, so I won’t delve too much into them here (nor have I any real desire to do so). It is enough to say that in the NOI theory of race, all non-whites (or Europeans) are considered “Black”, and that African Americans ought not to be ashamed of this description . Indeed, if there was to be any shame at all it would be in calling oneself a “Negro”, a term they taught carried the connotation of death. There was no such thing as a “Negro”, as their fiery preachment’s so fervently emphasized, only a “so-called Negro”.

After studying this period closely, eminent historians have rightly concluded that the NOI’s incessant condemnation of the word “Negro” is what finally did it in, making way for what would ultimately become the Black Consciousness movement. This is a fact that some Muslims are uneasy to admit, but its true. Every time Malcolm lamented the condition of the “so-called Negro” in speeches and appearances, and eloquently proclaimed the “rise of the Black Man“, the term further diminished in the vocabulary of the masses. Taking on a completely negative stigma, it gradually fell out of usage, with “Black” becoming all the vogue . For the reasons stated above then, the NOI henceforth became known in the public mind as the Black Muslims. The moniker also turned out to be great for selling books and periodicals, for apart from being quite sensational, it suggested a kind of militancy and radicalism which appealed to a sense of the exotic.

The NOI projected an image of disciplined, clean, and brave Black men in the community, one the urban populous could take enormous pride in. Below are just two examples. Although contemporary to the period, these images of strong “Black manhood” continue to endure in the imagination of the African American community. And sadly, it’s an image the “Black Sunnis” (for lack of a better term) were never able to match.

Suddenly, the “Black Muslims” became a full-blown media sensation and a popular topic of discussion, much to the chagrin and consternation of the Black Sunni Muslims. The NOI represented just the right kind of racially incendiary, over-the-top subject matter that the press never quite gets enough of. Malcolm became the second most requested speaker on the college campuses after Republican Senator, Barry Goldwater.

Unable, or unwilling, to recognize the very stark and real distinctions between the NOI’s religio-nationalist message and the creed of the “Black Sunnis”, a fascinated – if ignorant – American public started lumping all the groups together under the heading “Black Muslims”. It was only then that we began to hear the “I’m just a Muslim” language being used.

In the same way that a brand name like “Xerox” acquires a generic usage to connote “all copy machines of any brand”, so too the term “Black Muslim” came to mean any African American who claimed Islam as his religion. Muslims were of course appalled and offended by the NOI’s teachings, and bitterly resented being associated with a group they viewed as deviant and evil. Moreover, these pioneering believers were fiercely protective of their religion and displayed tremendous zeal in safeguarding its aqeedah (binding doctrinal beliefs) from corruption.

So an encounter with the unacquainted would usually run something like this:

“Oh, so your one of those “Black Muslims ?”. At which time the brother (sister) would viscerally respond “NO, I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE”! “Oh I’m sorry. Well, what are you then?” I’M JUST A MUSLIM”. This was their instinctive way of distancing Islam and the Muslims from the racially separatist – indeed pagan – message of the NOI’s false prophet.

Initially voiced to express disavowal of the NOI’s racist, pagan creed, the seemingly innocuous phrase ” I’m Just A Muslim”, within a very short period of time, acquired an aberrant meaning not sanctioned by religion . No longer did it simply suggest disavowal from a group known as “Black Muslims”, so much as it meant disavowal from “BLACK” itself, anything Black, including the “Blackness” of oneself! This is what one astute observer called an “intriguing paradox”, for to the extent that the NOI had anything to do with the burgeoning Black Consciousness movement (an enormous influence for sure) of the late 60’s and early to mid 70’s, the Black Sunni Muslims were suspicious of it.

Fearful of lapsing into “Black Nationalism” and hateful beliefs of the NOI, the Black Sunnis advanced a novel formulation of “I’m Just a Muslim”, one centered in a perverse type of racial denial, and cleverly couched in terms of “theological purity“. At the very moment that (the general) Black American public was embracing ideas of self-respect, Blackamerican Muslims were moving in a completely opposite direction. They failed to fully appreciate the subtle lines of demarcation existing between natural feelings of racial, ethic, and cultural belonging (nationality) on the one hand, and the deplorable racial chauvinism, pride, and exclusivism (nationalism) on the other. They developed such an unbalanced view of Islam’s universal precepts and dogmas – “there’s no racism in Islam”, “all Muslims are brothers”, “we’re all children of Adam”, etc, –  that Blackamerican Islam wholly divested itself of any racial, ethnic, or cultural content, with devastating consequences. The phrase was now understood to mean “I’m Not Black, I’m Not African American, I’M JUST A MUSLIM”! In other words, “my ONLY identity is that of a Muslim, nothing more”. Any mention of what was called “that Black stuff”, i.e., culturally affirming pursuits or community involvement, was condemned as nationalism.

By the late 1960’s, the “Black Power” culture had begun to take root and by the 1970s it reached full steam. The NOI set the tone for this very early on.

With Malcolm’s assassination came a brief period of “Black Power”, which was primarily (although certainly not exclusively) a militant political movement (ruthlessly cut down by the government), and culminated in the black is beautiful euphoria of the early 1970’s. African Americans were learning once more to love themselves and the beautiful forms in which Allah created them; their dark skin, broad noses, full lips, and “kinky” hair. Rejecting the contemptible “bleaching creams” and “hair straighteners” that were once the implements of a psychically damaged, self-hating people, they sought – albeit with some extremes – to eradicate feelings of inferiority that centuries of malicious, hostile propaganda against the race had produced.

However to the extent that the Muslims were distrustful of this cultural awakening, and were apparently unable to de-couple it from their revulsion of the NOI, they essentially opted out of it. But weren’t Blackamerican Muslims part of the Black community as well? And if that be so, were they somehow immune from the awful effects of slavery? With only a fictitious, “Im’ just a Muslim” identity remaining in their hollowed out Islam, a cultural vaccum was created which was impossible to sustain, and could only be filled by slavish imitation of other Muslim peoples, thus facilitating a pitiful flight into delusion (or in its extreme form, Islamic Passing ). The truth is that the mentality behind the “I’m Just a Muslim” dogma is so unnatural, so counter to any innate sense of dignity, self-respect, or true manhood, that something had to be wrong for it to develop in the first place.

When one claims to be “just a Muslim”, he doesn’t care who controls the affairs as long as it is not him or anyone of his ethnicity. It will be the person who knows who and what he is, and is firmly rooted in his racial, cultural, and ethnic (and not just religious) identity! This explains why Blackamerican Muslims ended up at the back of the “Islamic Bus” in America” (some say camel). They weren’t so much relegated to that spot as much as they went there VOLUNTARILY.

Dr. Carter G Woodson summarized it as follows:

If you can control a man’s thinking, you don’t have to worry about his actions. If you can determine what a man thinks you do not have worry about what he will do. If you can make a man believe that he is inferior, you don’t have to compel him to seek an inferior status, he will do so without being told and if you can make a man believe that he is justly an outcast, you don’t have to order him to the back door, he will go to the back door on his own and if there is no back door, the very nature of the man will demand that you build one

This mentality gets carried over into Islam. This is the major point that I am vigorously attempting to convey

In drawing this admittedly lengthy post to a close, I must briefly touch upon two very important factors which solidified the Black vs. Islam dichotomy and which led to the “I’m Just a Muslim” non-sense:

1. The role of Malcolm X

2. Wanton acts of violence.

In his last desperate year, Malcolm X advanced an evolving notion of what he called “Black Nationalism”, which in its final formulation amounted to nothing more than community involvement and responsibility. If we study his last speeches carefully (which maybe I’ll do in coming posts), we’ll find that there was nothing intrinsically un-Islamic in what he was calling for. It really boiled down to Blacks controlling the politics and economics of their own community. What can be Islamically wrong with that? The answer is nothing. But by Malcolm vesting that program in “Black Nationalism”, and advocating the keeping of “religion in the closet”, he essentially relegated Islam to a personal matter consisting merely of beliefs and acts of worship.

He took Islam out of the affairs of social justice and activism. If we examine the thirteen surviving speeches he delivered at the Audubon Ballroom, we find that there is virtually no mention of Islam! This further solidified the completely false notion that engagment in the Black community is one thing, and the deen of Al Islam is another. This explains why after his passing both groups, Muslims and Black Nationalists (and the socialists, but that’s another story) claimed him as their own.

Equally important in the examination of this question is the role that violence played in the hardening of this false dichotomy. As we have already seen, relations between the NOI and Black Sunni Muslims were already tense stemming from the purely doctrinal differences they had. Once Malcolm parted company with the organization and embraced Al Islam, he became aligned with his former Muslim critics, and it was hoped that he would be a strong advocate for the religion. His assassination at the hands of the NOI enraged the Muslims and only widened the ideological gap that existed between the two camps. In this way, the religio-nationalist doctrine of the NOI grew even more repugnant to the Muslims, driving them further into their “racially neutral” notions of theological purity.

This same violence was repeated, and the ideological confusion exacerbated, in1973, when the NOI cold-bloodily massacured the family of Hamas Abdul-Khalis in Washington, D.C. This horrific, truly savage act, was the worst crime in American history, and stands as one of darkest stains on the NOI’s violent legacy.

I shall continue this in Part Two …

 

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Comments
  1. Q says:

    the picture at the top says it all. lol

    another excellent commentary that breaks down this mentality. in reality, the “im just a muslim” tends to be a loose cannon. he doesn’t think. he goes wherever his “heart” leads him. there are no checks and balances that can put on his flights of fancy. even worse, if we do try to reason with him, he will retaliate, with the greatest of fury. we are trying to stop his well-intentioned plans, and we must be destroyed for his utopia to proceed.

    the balanced brother who takes care of his business is far more stable than the “im just a muslim”, who often plays the role of the zealot.

  2. Tauhid says:

    Thanks for breaking it down. The level of self hate we see with some African-American Muslims is down right shameful. It is high time they stop hiding behind Islam as a justification for it.

  3. JT says:

    Okay, maybe this is a stretch, but isn’t it looking more and more that the some have adopted the strategy of destroying us from the inside? African American Muslims are not the force in the community that we once were and thanks to these posts I can see it very clearly now what seems to be going on

  4. Shibli Zaman says:

    The anti-cultural theme in modern-day Islam in which the adherent vehemently rejects his/her own native culture and “trades” it for an alleged “Islamic” culture is actually Arab supremacist nationalism in disguise. You will never see an Arab so vehemently denying his “culture” as an affront to Islam. This is because the Arabs believe that their culture is largely Islamic in nature.

    The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), nor his Companions EVER (I must emphasize again EVER) rejected the cultures of the peoples they encountered. Their attitude towards other cultures was pluralistic in nature so long as it was conducive to the adherents following Islam in a healthy manner, and so long as no cultural practices negated anything in Islam.

    For example, when `Ali (radi Allahu `anhu) famously encountered Marzipan and Thabit, the grandfather and father of Abu Hanifa (radi Allahu `anhu) respectively, it was during the Persian New Year called “Nawruz” (referred to as “Nayruz” in Arabic). Did `Ali condemn their celebrations with a grimace on his face yelling “Bid`ah! Shirk! Kufr!!”? Absolutely not. When they offered him the traditional sweet of Nawruz called Faluda (“Faluthaj” in Arabic) he asked, “What is this?” They replied that it was the sweet they eat on Nawruz. To his, he simply responded, “May every day be as Nawruz for us”. He was subtly implying that there is nothing special about this day and may every day be so merry. This is recorded in al-Bayhaqi’s Sunan, as well as related later in al-Dhahabi’s Siyar A`lam an-Nubala under the entry for an-Nu`man bin Thabit Abu Hanifa (radi Allahu `anhu).

    There are many more examples of this throughout the early history of the Muslims extended into the times of the Umayyads and `Abbasids. Coins minted by `Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr’s (radi Allahu `anhuma) loyalists from Persia show the bust of Khosrow. This was clearly an attempt to not shock the locals by introducing a drastically new currency. Part of successfully ruling a people’s is to not interrupt their commerce and trade. The Muslims would have NEVER remained such a staying force in the territories they conquered had they not shown respect for the local traditions and cultures. This is PRECISELY why modern day Arab “Mujahidin” have no staying power in the lands they haplessly attempt to sway victory in (Afghanistan, Chechnya, Kashmir, Bosnia, etc). It is no secret that these groups have absolutely no tolerance for the traditions or culture of the locals they encounter. To them the only culture must be Islam, and since they are Arabs no change is necessary for them.

    This has now extended as you rightfully assess in Black America, wherein, certain groups equate Black pride with Louis Farrakhan and Elijah Muhammad. I do not believe that they do this entirely out of ignorance, but in large part, out of a wanton objective to marginalize African-Americans into their own corners of Muslim society. They then point the finger at them and accuse them of polarization without any acknowledgment that they left them no other choice.

    Immigrant communities have FAILED MISERABLY in conveying Islam in the USA, even more so in Europe. What they have done is created a microcosm, or “Upper-Class Ghetto”, in a comfortable upper echelon of society. Rather than embracing African-Americans as the torch bearers of Islam in this country, they have shunned them in their racism and “color scheme” based social caste system which they brought from their own cultures (a part of their cultures which SHOULD be rejected, is not). No Arab or Indian or Pakistani desires a dark-skinned wife. This is a fact few would deny. Which one from those communities has stepped forward and out of protest said, “I will marry a Black wife” or “I will marry a Black husband?” There have been cases that I myself know of and I laud those people and love them for the sake of Allah.

    The day you can remove every reference to the Fiqhi principle of `Urf from the Islamic textbooks, I will reject culture as something un-Islamic. You can’t, and I won’t. Sorry for writing such a long comment, but I feel strongly on this issue. Jazakullahu khayran. was-salam.

  5. Boomer says:

    The Carter Woodson quote said it all man

  6. Shibli Zaman says:

    Sorry for my billion typos. I’m getting ready for work. I hope it didn’t render the entry entirely incoherent ;)

  7. as-salaam alaikum

    Shibli,

    You NAILED it bro. Thanks for the scholarly analysis and references. This is the kind of dialogue I enjoy. It is great to see that all this work is not in vain and that people are starting to “get it”

  8. Three Bits says:

    The clip from the video in ‘The Wire’ is hilarious

  9. Abdul-Haqq says:

    The anti-cultural theme in modern-day Islam in which the adherent vehemently rejects his/her own native culture and “trades” it for an alleged “Islamic” culture is actually Arab supremacist nationalism in disguise.

    Just to add to Shibli’s point, this is why in each place the Arab supremacists go with their ideology we see the cultural signs come with it as they force their culture on the locals. Afghans, Pakistanis, Chechens, Malaysians, Bosnians, and now African Americans, whites and Latinos and all dressed like and acting like Gulf Arabs. What is the common denominator? Why do each of them do this only after they come?

  10. […] A Muslim Posted on February 4, 2008 by Tariq Nelson Brother Abdur-Rahman has written a long but very interesting post about the phrase “I’m just a Muslim” it’s history, it’s original […]

  11. Umm Zaid says:

    Salaam ‘Alaikum

    It is interesting that “Just a Muslim”itis is rife among Pakistanis and Arabs as well, but that isn’t touched upon here. In this case, it is this desire, well intentioned I’m sure, to divorce oneself from what one sees (rightly or wrongly) as misguided sectarian nonsense. Wanting to demonstrate for the other person that one isn’t a Deobandi or a Barelwi or a Sufi or a Salafi or a Shi’a or a Sunni or whatever (no matter how one actually practices Islam, which usually relegates one into one or more of these categories).

    IMV, saying, “I’m a Sunni” or “I’m a Shi’a” doesn’t mean that one supports or falls into the bigotry and violence we’ve seen in Iraq or Pakistan. Some people believe it does, and they’re promoting this “unity” by trying to force us all to say “I’m just a Muslim.” Such a thing covers over real differences of opinion and thought between us, and cannot, I think, lead to a real Muslim unity.

    I know this isn’t what you’re talking about, but I hear people saying / writing it all the time, and they mean the above.

    //You will never see an Arab so vehemently denying his “culture” as an affront to Islam//

    I see them everyday, here in the Arab world. Mostly young people, and not necessarily fanatical, kool aid drinking types either. A lot of people fed up with cultural excesses and misguidance (like ‘honor’ killing).

  12. A lot of people fed up with cultural excesses and misguidance (like ‘honor’ killing).

    as-salaam alaikum,

    Umm Zaid, we are talking about permissible aspects of culture, not the excesses and haraam. For example, there is nothing wrong with an Arab wearing their cultural clothes or eating their cultural food, but they should not force it on the rest of us as THE “Islamic” clothing or THE “Islamic” food. Everyone knows that abhorrent things (such as “honor” killing) are haraam and no one could pass such a thing off as Islamic.

  13. Aboo Abdillah H says:

    Akhee Abdir-Rahman,

    I am what one would call an “African-American” and yes I reject that label for myself. That label implies kufr and the Muslim should have no attachment with the people of disbelief. Like it or not brother THIS is Islam. The people we are with are the Muslims and not the people of kufr and shirk. We are making a grave mistake when we make our concerns the same as theirs. We can never move away from the ways of jahiliiyah if we still see ourselves as “them”. We are not them and they are not us

    Nationalism is a jaahili call that involves kufr and divides Muslims, joining Muslims to non-Muslims on the basis of false contructs such as ethnicity.

    Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:

    What is your opinion on the call for nationalism which believes that belonging to a race or language takes precedence over belonging to a religion, and these groups claim that they do not oppose religion, but they give nationalism precedence over it. What is your opinion of this call?

    He replied:

    This is a jaahili call, and it is not permissible to join it or encourage those who promote it. Rather it must be put an end to, because Islamic sharee’ah opposes it and rejects it. We should refute their specious arguments and claims with that which makes the truth clear to those who seek it. Islam is the only thing that preserved Arabness in language, literature and culture. Rejecting Islam leads to destroying Arabness in language, literature and culture. Hence the daa’iyahs should strive their utmost to call people to Islam just as the colonialists are striving their utmost to destroy it.

    Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (4/173).

    This book is published in its entirety in Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (1/280-318).

    —–

    Arabic language is the language of the Qur’an and of this Ummah. Arabic should be the language of all the Muslims. One of the grave mistakes of the Muslims of the past was that we did not Arabize the new lands as we did Iraq, Sham and Northern Africa. There is definitely. The best thing that we could do is Arabize ourselves to the extent possible.

    Finally, following Islam correctly unless we attach ourselves to the ‘ulamaa’ who will guide us to what is sound and correct. It is not correct to attach ourselves to the ignorant imams we see in the West who will only lead us astray and destroy our deen as YOU have pointed out.

    Our Salaf us-Saalih (may Allaah’s pleasure be upon them) showed concern to this topic in terms of knowledge, action and implementation

    And if we desire deliverance, then there is nothing upon us except that we follow the path of those true and sincere believers, those who know the Islamic Sharee`ah, its beliefs, its methodologies, and its goals and objectives. They are the ulamaa.

    They present us with sincere advice and clarification and warning to whomever Allaah intended to show good towards from this Ummah and for whomever He intended deliverance and riding upon the ship of deliverance, practically!

    The scholars will clarify for us what we need to do in these matters. We need not busy ourselves in affairs that have no concern for us.
    The ulamaa do not say that the BLACK MAN should be in charge of Islam. This is hideous to say this thing. This is indeed nationalism no matter how much you try to distance yourself from it. No one from the ulamaa would agree with you in that.

    Our job is to change the culture of these people to Islam. This is our concern. All else is a waste or the Muslim’s time

  14. Aboo Abdillah H says:

    Shaykh Muqbil ibn Haadee al-Waadi’ee (rahimahullaah)
    Source: His book “Thamm al-Mas’alah” (p.5-8)

    He said (speaking about the condition of the non-salafi masjids):

    And look at these organizations of yours, those that are not allowed to operate except under certain stipulations: that they work under the Social Services’ supervision; that they hold elections in them; that they keep their money in a ribaa-based bank. With all of this, the people of such organizations try to trick the people, saying: “Is building masjids and wells and taking care of orphans haraam?”

    It is to be said to them: O you tricksters! Who told you that these things are haraam? What is haraam is hizbiyyah, splitting up the Muslims, and wasting your time begging!

    And making ‘umrah in Ramadhaan has been changed into (a journey of) begging

    —-

    So our ulamaa have dispraised this kind of activity. Safety is with them.

  15. Abdur-Rahman Muhammad says:

    Aboo Abdillah, As Salaamu Alaikum

    Brother, I feel truly sad for you. But I thank you for revealing the sickness that I have attempted to expose and repudiate in this post. I wish you were a bad joke, but I believe you are a real person, and you don’t know how much that hurts my heart. But I can’t do anything for you brother that I haven’t already done in this post.

    And by the way, didn’t you read were I said that I don’t call to the superiority of one people over another. Brother, you are sick, and my writings are directed to the next generation who hopefully will recognize the sheer madness and self-hate of what you and your crowd represent.

    I thank you again though for making the piece more authentic

  16. Aboo Abdillah H says:

    Abdur-Rahman, wa alaikum as salaam

    I saw your attempt to free yourself from nationalism, but then you wrapped yourself in it again when you call for pride in being black and praised the “black power” movements. We are free from ALL of that. It is better for us to completely remove ourselves from those affairs.

    Would it not be better to ask the ulamaa about this matter and post their answer to your forum rather than quoting from kaafir BLACK people in an attempt to educate the Muslims?? They don’t know what they are talking about

    The Muslim’s nationality is being Muslim and we are ONE UMMAH. Why should we be involved in the affairs of the “black man” when we should be busying ourselves with learning our deen?

  17. Boomer says:

    Aboo Abdillah

    You guys lost me a long time ago. Your “dawah” is laced with a lot of mean-spiritedness and demands ideological purity and threatens a person if you all don’t get it.

  18. Zaynab says:

    “Would it not be better to ask the ulamaa about this matter and post their answer to your forum rather than quoting from kaafir BLACK people in an attempt to educate the Muslims?? They don’t know what they are talking about”

    Aboo Abdillah H,

    I find it interesting that you have the word “BLACK” in all caps and kafir in lower caps before it. As if the issue of nationality is more important than belief. Do they not know what they are talking about because they are black, or because they do not believe in the oneness of Allah and do not choose Islam as their way of life?

    “The Muslim’s nationality is being Muslim and we are ONE UMMAH. Why should we be involved in the affairs of the “black man” when we should be busying ourselves with learning our deen?”

    Question for you. When our beloved prophet Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wasalaam) received the message, did he not take it to “his people” first? Did he not attempt to save his family from idolatry? It is not a matter of nationalism, it is a matter of common sense. Do we want the message to reach all corners of the world? Yes. Would it make sense to start in your little corner of the world? Yes. Would it make sense to use whatever connection you may have to a community (gasp! yes, even the “Black” community) to uplift them? Yes.

    Seeking advice from the ulamaa is one thing, but to forego all common sense and disregard the mental faculties Allah has blessed you with is another. If I want to go and feed the homeless I am not consulting the ulamaa on that, sorry. We always hear Islam is a thinking man’s religion, therefore try to think a little more and dare to take the blinders off.

  19. Zaynab says:

    “I am what one would call an “African-American” and yes I reject that label for myself. That label implies kufr and the Muslim should have no attachment with the people of disbelief.”

    Regarding the above statement, I do not know where to begin. So labels come replete with belief now? Are you a man Aboo Abdillah? But, some men are Christian, Jewish, Audhubillah some are even atheist! Does this mean you are not just a Muslim…but all of the things a man could be? Is kufr limited to African American’s? Let me ask you, what do you take from the example of the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wa salaam)? The prophet did not divorce himself from his nationality, only that which fell out of the guidelines of Islam. To be honest, your statement seems laced with an inferiority complex that you may have had before. Your fixated outrage on anything African American and its “kufr” is disturbing-as if “kufr” is unique to only African American’s.

    That said, you are my brother in Islam and I wish you for you what I wish for myself. I hope that you will look at all your brothers and sisters in Islam for their belief and not their cultural background. This really is something that Islam should have allowed you to do.

  20. Abu Usamah says:

    Assalaamu Alaykum, Abdur-Rahman,

    Alhamdullah my brother for such a balanced yet challenging post. I enjoyed reading it, yet, your post only addresses one the symptoms not the root problem, which is the problem of the perduring indentity crisis within the Blackamerican community.

    Even before the NOI gained the lime light Blackamericans were becoming “just muslim” (mostly Ahmadiyyahs) to escape being negroes and coloreds so I suggest it wasn’t just a reaction to the NOI although rebuking the NOI was a contributing factor that exacerbated the issue.

    As for brothers like Aboo Abdillah, we have pray for them and have pity for them. Anytime a man can look in the mirror and deny his own circumstances simply because someone else says he can that is truly sad. I will not parse Quranic ayat and hadith nor post lengthy examples of the sira Prophet (saws) to prove a no brainer concept such as do for self and tribe.

    Do for self is such a no brainer concept that they will always pull up the racial superiority strawman eventhough you, myself nor any Muslim I know advocates this.

    They these sad brothers and sisters mistakenly believe that if they denounce their tribe, then they can base their self-esteem on being “just Muslim” problem this creates is that culture, lineage and language are part and parcel of implementing and living Islam. **waites for interjection of strawman arguement** LOL

    Most of these scholars purporting to call to one ummah would never marry any of the “just muslim” Blackamerican males into their families because different classes shouldn’t mix. one Ummah indeed LOL

    They these scholars talk about riba when they themselves are given stipends by KSA which are all tainted with petro-riba. They talk about hizbiyyah when their leaders name the whole county after their tribe and the current leader dances with Bush LOL LOL

    I’ve seen up close what the lack of self-esteem can do to our people so if speaking with affected accents walking around with tawbs and sandles in the dead of winter helps keep them praying, and away from gangs and off drugs (and away from prostitution in the case of sisters) so be it. More power to them.

    However the workers (the conscious) must establish institutions to provide support for the communities and join with other workers to keep it moving. While the “just muslims” are following people who still believe the earth is flat.

    Ma’a Salaam

  21. Aboo Abdilaah H says:

    Zaynab,

    I reject that label because it is not permissible to divide the Muslims along the false tribal and cultural lines. I am free from those people and their culture and connect myself to the Muslims and the Muslim culture: i.e., the Sunnah. This is my culture and my people PERIOD

    What has “Black Pride” to do with Islaam? I am free from them and they are free from me. My people are the Muslims and those that believe in Allaah and follow the Sunnah. My “people” are not a bunch of pork chop bone sucking, fake hair wearing, pants dragging on the ground, dirty underwear idiots that kill each other in the streets like animals. Islaam’s bonds are based on faith and not other than that.

    “You will not find the people who believe in God and the Hereafter taking as allies the enemies of God and His Prophet, whether they be their fathers or sons or brothers or fellow tribesmen.” (58:22)

    Rabee ibn Amir, said: “Allah ordered us to set out in order to save humanity from the worship of creatures and bring it to the worship of Allah alone, to save it from the narrowness of this life so that it may look forward to the broadness of the life hereafter, and from the oppression of other religions so that it may enjoy the justice of Islam”

    Nothing about nationality or “culture” is mentioned. Our culture is Islaam, pure and simple. The blacks can only have an identity with Islaam and nothing else. They (yes, THEY) can be free from the injustices they may face by accepting Islaam and following the Sunnah. There is no other way.

    Because Islaam was not revealed for a specific set of people or for a specific period of time, it is able to answer the racism question in a truly objective manner. This is one of the reasons why Islaam has been so successful against racism.

    Contrary to the West, Islaam has a solution. The racial superiority of blacks over whites has also been advocated by Black people during the last 50 years. After centuries of oppression, the blacks in the West became angry and went to the other extreme as we saw with the likes of Martin Luther King the so called “civil rights” movement and the “black power” movement.

    The only solution is pure Islaam and not in being black. Islaam tells us how to combat it. The ulamaa have advised us how to fight these things and we see that we are not afflicted with the diseases of racism like the West. Islaam cuts racism from its very root.

    Honor is given to all those who become Muslim. The way to stop being from the downtrodden is to become Muslim. Throughout the ages, those who normally would have been downtrodden were rescued and dignified by Islaam. Not in being black or white.

    And in all of this what is upon us is to follow the way of the Rabbaani Scholars of this Ummah, whose methodology of Tasfiyah and Tarbiyah is apparent and evident for it is these ulamaa who direct and guide the Ummah to where its success truly lies – the rectification of the Ummaah upon ONE creed, ONE manhaj and ONE Ibaadah. Indeed this is the embodiment of the saying of Imaam Maalik, “The latter part of this Ummah will not be rectified except by that which rectified its earlier part.

    Rather all good lies in the way of the Salaf, and throwing aside what the Innovators and Biased Partisans have unleashed upon the Ummah of political and community activism which over the decades have not borne any fruits except the corruption of the Deen

  22. Zaynab says:

    Aboo Abdillah,

    “My “people” are not a bunch of pork chop bone sucking, fake hair wearing, pants dragging on the ground, dirty underwear idiots that kill each other in the streets like animals. Islaam’s bonds are based on faith and not other than that.”

    My point is not that as Muslims we do not hold ourselves to a higher standard. My point is that we should not paint a whole group of people with the same brush (see above). As a Muslim we should have compassion for all people and even moreso if we feel they are misguided. At the end of the day, yes, it is important to worry about one’s own self and akhirah…but this doesn’t mean we look down on others.

  23. Dirulislaam Bilal AbdAllaah says:

    As Salaamu Alaikum,
    My Dearly Beloved Brother,
    I enjoy your blog and agree with your analysis and
    conclusion, but I must point out one significant point
    which you have omitted. The government of this
    country operated a program in the FBI called
    Co-Intel-Pro (see US Freedom of Information Act), for
    the main purpose of “preventing the rise of a ‘Black
    Messiah’ who could ‘Galvanize the Masses’, and also
    nullifying any “Unifying effect” such a figure might
    have through infiltration and the fomenting of
    confusion and infighting. The assassination of Malcolm
    X and the 1973 Massacre of the Abdul-Khalis Family are
    just 2 examples of that program in operation. We can
    also see principles of the program in operation in the
    1st WTC Bombing Plot and the attempted assassination
    of Louis Farrakhan by one of Malcolm’s daughters.
    InshALLAAH, one day we may purge ourselves of this
    pernicious disease of ‘Self Hatred’ and live in a
    community united in the WORK of ALLAAH for the LOVE
    of ALLAAH, I heartily applaud your efforts to bring
    this about.

    Your Brother in Iman, Dirulislaam

  24. Abdulla says:

    We need leadership that has sadly been lacking for years now.

    Where is our leader ? The one who can ignite the Muslims?

  25. Samira says:

    I think that this is a beautifully written post, brother. It gave me much to think about.

  26. Zakiyyah says:

    Assalaamu alaiki:

    Dear Brother;

    I feel like like I have been in a dark fog all of my life–this is the true light of ALLAH. I am commenting on “I am Just a MUSLIM, MUSLIM.” I was not born into Islam. We are spiritual beings created by ALLAH, therefore we hunger for truth and righteouness. I make no excuses for wrong. Most of us have been and are in a deep in a state of igorance. (and we don’t realize it and it hurts me) This truth is healing–character/self esteem building. We African- Americans in the USA– so desperately need this. My soul longs for truth-to be divinely guided under the leadership–of knowledgable, correct, Muslims–so that I can teach our youth. I will make dua’ that ALLAH will always use you as as instrument to bring, truth, wholeness, healthiness and unity to humanity. ALLAH is truly AKBAR…Please continue this precious dawah for the love and pleasure of ALLAH and Humanity. May ALLAH always guide and reward you. Thank you! thank you!

  27. Shibli Zaman says:

    Brother Aboo Abdillah, jazakullahu khayran for exemplifying so fantastically how the call to eliminate culture in Islam is nothing other than an Arab nationalist ploy to replace the multitude of cultures in the Muslim world with the Arabic culture (the Peninsular/Gulf Arab culture specifically).

    The overwhelming majority of classical Islamic scholarship were NON-ARABS. The masters of the Arabic language who still authority to this day such as Ibn al-Mandhur and al-Jahidh (al-Jahiz) were BLACK. The rest were Persians such as al-Fayruzabadi. Sunni Islam was codified by the people of Persia and Afghanistan. Bukhari, Muslim, Nasa’i, etc were all Persians. Abu Dawud, Abu Hanifa and others were Afghans.

    The only positive role the Arabs played in the history of Islam was with our Beloved Master the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), his Companions and the next couple of generations of students. Almost immediately, the torch of Islam passed on to other races which most prominently included the Blacks and the races of Persia (Tajiks, Turks, Afghans, etc). This became almost immediately clear as Blacks like Sa`id ibn Jubayr and Persians and Turks like `Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak (a Khorasani Turk) gained prominence as the apex of the Salaf (radi Allahu `anhum). Imam Ahmad (radi Allahu `anhu), was an Arab born in Merv to a soldier stationed in Persia. He would have grown up more familiar with the Yak than the Camel. Salah ad-Din was a Kurd. The Mamluks who finally defeated both the Crusaders and the Mongols were White slaves from Circassia (called “Sharkas” in Arabic).

    I am a non-Arab who is relatively fluent in Fuss-ha Arabic. I studied Islam which necessitated me learning that blessed language. It was a means to an end in learning my love and passion: Islam. That’s it. I didn’t have to give up who I am as I see many youth doing today dressing and acting like Gulf Arabs and referring to their parents as “Jahil desis”, etc.

    I am still conscious of my ethnicity and my heritage. I come from a people who have never been defeated in history, al-hamdu lillah. I have no desire to be an Arab. Even though my lineage less than a century ago was part Arab, and I could rightfully say I am half Arab, I do not affiliate myself with that ethnicity. To the Arabs I say: Ma sha’ Allah, good for you. You have plenty to have pride in. Yet, your race is no better than mine. When it comes to human specimens we are all inferior to the Black race and that is hardly a scientifically disputable fact. Science has been inching closer and closer to a definitively strong theory that mankind originated in Africa. According to many scholars, Adam (`alayhis-salam) was black and made from black clay and it would only make sense that Allah would bring forth the entire human race from them, w-Allahu A`lam.

    `Ali bin Abi Talib (radi Allahu `anhu) sat with the Persians during their Nawruz festival. He was presented with the sweet of Nawruz. He did not hitch a ride on the Qur’an’s language to prove the superiority of his race and the horrors of the Persian culture. Instead, he politely trivialized their celebrations, raised his hands and made du`a’ for a little boy named Thabit who would grow to have a son whom he named an-Nu`man, the first of the Four Sunni Imams, Abu Hanifa (radi Allahu `anhum). I could go on and on, but don’t intend on making this a Wiki entry.

    Sorry to say, my brother, but I don’t think many of us will any longer fall for the Nasser influenced Pan-Arabism which only produced the humiliating Arab failures against the Israelis. All it took was shelving the sloganeering we were at one time brainwashed with and indulging in some very thorough history lessons, al-hamdu lillah.

    Allah knows best.

  28. Brother Shibli Zaman,

    Brilliant comments! These people are finished. They are so intellectually bankrupt.

  29. Shibli Zaman says:

    Brother Abdur-Rahman, jazakullahu khayran for relating to what I had to say. I might have rambled a bit, but what I wanted to hit home is that Blacks have much to be proud of and there is nothing wrong with that Islamically. Likewise, just about every race on the planet has had their achievements and their “Fada’il”, if you will, and there is nothing wrong with relishing that. No one is saying to go the extreme of al-Jahiz with his “Treatise Regarding the Superiority of the Blacks over the Whites” (“Risalat al-Mufakharat as-Sudan `ala-l Baydan”), but to feel happiness in the fact that mankind originated from your race is not a bad thing.

    I’m also glad you touched on the whole taboo of even using the term “Black”. As you noted, it was a term used when citing pride in color, even as far back as al-Jahiz of the 8th century CE who used the the term “as-Sudan” meaning “The Blacks”.

    It is truly lamentable that certain people are stuck in such a rut. I don’t mean to be demeaning, but often times I chuckle reading what they write because I can’t tell if they are actually serious. However, I am not in a position to lampoon them since, whether we like it or not, right here in the US of A “they” are the majority. May Allah bring a positive change to us all. Amin.

  30. Yosef Davis Peekskill, NY says:

    Beautiful job Abdur Rahman your analysis is on point.As far as the
    brother Aboo Abdillah obviously he needs to read the history of
    muslims in the middle east during the 20th century.Nationalism plagued
    that area of the world in its response to colonialism. Look how many
    muslims became marxist,nationalst, or so called secularist. Many
    of the answers that the ulama give to subject of nationalism revolve
    around this history.Look at the struggle between Hamas and the PLO
    it in some ways reminds of you, of the differences that Ikwan had
    with Nasser and his arab nationalist marxist organzation.As far as
    trying to accuse anybody of nationalism this blog does not call to that.
    Self determation I believe is what this good brother is talking about.All struggling national minorties or religious minorties try to
    solve and create institutions to address there own problems.But
    this brother Aboo it seems to me enjoys going through the back door
    some slaves just dont like to be free .Remember Harriet Tubman
    having to force some negroes to join the escape to freedom.
    .

  31. Abdur-Rahman Muhammad says:

    Yosef Davis Peekskill, NY

    That’s it brother, self determination and true manhood. Like you said, some people just love being slaves. The best thing to do with those folks is just stay out of their way, for they’ll fight you harder than the master will. Pitiful isn’t it.

  32. Yosef Davis Peekskill, NY says:

    Brother Shibli you are on it I remember talking to freind of mine who
    taught in Somalia.The minute petro dollars came to some of muslims
    organzations the dress code of many of sisters according to them change.They starting taking on the culture norms of the Gulf .This
    always happens when people who are supose to be assisting you
    also want to dominate you.

  33. Yosef Davis Peekskill, NY says:

    I am happy I did not misrepresent your message that you are trying to get across.Self determation is a good thing for a muslim people
    such as us who are beat up on whenever we try to do something for ourselves.They always say “Brothers you dont need to organize amongst
    yourselves just stick to fatawas of ilm on line”.”My baby girl wet herself on me shaykh what should I do?” “My wife just graduated from college
    can she enter the workfield to help the family?” “Can I wipe over my thick woolen socks?” Sounds familiar, this is talk of the proud slaves
    who claim that they are the chosen group.Keep up the good work
    brother Abdul Rahman, you have many supporters in the New York
    area..

  34. Yosef Davis Peekskill, NY

    Aaaaight now, we’ll see brother. What ya’ll gone do when they come after me for “dividing the Muslims”? Ya’ll gone get weak on me or stand strong? Trust me when I tell you brother, not everybody is happy bout what we sayin. They’re already gettin the propaganda ready against me. The Uncle Tom Muslims are going to be coming out of the wood work like you know what. You gone let them cut me down or continue to stand for fairness and equality?

  35. dawudwalid says:

    As-Salaamu `Alaykum,

    JazakALLAHU khayran for this insightful post. I look forward to the next one.

    Yes, we have to pray for these brothers and sisters that ALLAH (SWT) guides them back to their natural selves. Unfortunately, I see this “I’m just a Muslim mentality” most distinctly among brothers, who revert to Islam under the tutelage of non-indigenous movements. It is almost sacreligious to them to utter a negative word about anything dealing with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan or Turkey.

    Rejection of one’s tribe is denial of the social order and protection that ALLAH made for humans – “We made you into nations and tribes…” [49.13]

    The Prophet (SAAS) informed us that unhealthy nationalism is when “aiding your people in wrong-doing/oppression (thulm).”

    Wassalaam

  36. Dawud Walid

    As usual brother, your on point. The thing about it is, this material would be a “no-brainer” except for the fact that there are powerful vested interests in this country and overseas that really don’t want us to wake up and shake off this slavish mentality. Again, some people just want to be slaves while others see themselves as the master. What I have been trying to say, and will continue to say, is that the “jig is up”. The “nationalist” boogy man doesn’t scare us anymore (it never did scare me), and the days of Blackamerican Muslims being pawns in international intrigues they really don’t understand is OVER! We have our own interests and our own relationship with America, and we are going to sort it out without any interference from big immigrant money, money that hasn’t been coming our way no way!

  37. Sister Seeking says:

    Salaam’Alaikum

    TO: Br. Abdur Rahman Muhammad

    Yeah, I’m sure you’re not to happy to hear from me again, but, your work has touched a nerve, and I have some questions. I am ONLY asking Br. Abdur Rahman, becuase he is the only blogger I’ve seen, respond to people with “compassion”, and respect- instead of being “mean spirited” and “elitist”.

    To the point:

    I’m not sure if you recall, my last post on here, but I explained to you and others that I was a very religious person, prior to converting to Islam, and that I was both a Protestant and a Catholic.

    Both sides of my family largely consist of African Methodist Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, and Apostolic Pentecostals. Seeing, that you are a well educated man, and a well read man, my questions are:

    1) Do you know anything about the history of the AME (African Methodist Episcopal Church )? http://www.ame-church.com/

    2) If so, would you say that the black American Muslim community is going through a similar struggle and should perhaps follow some of the ideas of the AME community?

    3) Or do you see the NOI or other groups as having already done this and failed?

  38. Sister Seeking says:

    Right now, we’ll see brother. What you gone do when they come after me for “dividing the Muslims”? Yall gone get weak on me or stand strong? Trust me when I tell you brother, not everybody is happy bout what we say. They’re already getting the propaganda ready against me. The Uncle Tom Muslims are going to be coming out of the wood work like you know what. You gone let them cut me down or continue to stand for fairness and equality?”

    I know this comment was meant for some one else but I would like to point out some things that may help you, and your group move forward:

    1- Seek to understand before being understood. Dismissing people’s legitimate concerns about creed, and the degree of authority that creed operates in their understanding and practice of Islam is going to push sincere, genuine, resourceful, and loving people away. Classifying all people who are sincerely concerned about the creed as being nutters, extremists, uncle toms’, and idiot’s is just immoral and ineffective.

    2- The slave mentality you speak about may come from experiences prior to converting to Islam. I’ll use my own experience and family as an example:

    I mentioned the religious diversity in my family. A segment of my family left the “black church” for precisely the reasons you and others are speaking about, as they saw the “black church” go the other extreme and you had grown men justifying their pathologies and dysfunctions based on “racism”.

    Also, in my immediate family, our parents and caregivers had a very different perspective on dealing with racism: ignore it. We would actually get in trouble for trying to discuss racial issues.

    I’m saying all this to say, some of us, may not really have seen, the slave mentality you are talking about, becuase of our upbringing and being taught to assimilate.

    Because black people aren’t a monolithic group of people it’s obvious the issue of race, and culture will be dealt with differently.

    3- I have seen many black American brothers who preach how much they love black people but aren’t married to black women. Yes, I know, the heart loves who it loves, but our leadership is very hypocritical, and we are not dumb, we see it. The excuse of seeking Arabic proficiency, and a Muslim lineage isn’t working anymore.

    Why should black American Muslims trust each other when the immigrant Muslims we complain about, we are not much better than them?

    What are we going to bring to the table that is going to be any different?

    How are we going to deal with our own diversity brother Muhammad? Look at the blogsphere? Look at the lack of adab when people disagree? You say you don’t drink cool aide right? How are we going to deal with our own diversity?

    Salaam

    P.S. – I was really excited about what you are all doing, but after the last episode on the blog, I feel a bit discouraged. I’d love for my daughter to have the opportunity to grow up around other black American Muslims who will promote her self-esteem.

    I hope that one day we can all learn to respect the worth and dignity of everyone.

  39. Blackamericans certainly have nothing to be ashamed of and indeed have a very rich culture that they should be proud of. Those from Muslim countries should not try to force Blackamericans or any others that accept Islam to “convert” to their culture. This is a bad understanding and those who do such a thing should not try to make Islam into a narrow thing.

    This is very interesting and eye opening Brother Abdur-Rahman

  40. […] Arab Muslim society. Abdur Rahman wrote a very insightful and historically grounded piece called, I’m Just A Muslim Muslim Tariq Nelson also contributed to the discussion with his take on, Just A Muslim. He wrote: It is […]

  41. Abdal Hakeem jamaican says:

    i’m one of the so called just muslim and proud of it why everything has to be about black with you and yes i’m black too i’m a salafi muslim that all come to the salafi masjad in D.C or maryland and learn about real islam if you are in my area i go to the one in D.C

  42. Bro Khalil-Detroit says:

    Greetings Brother Abdur Rahman,

    I thank you for being so generous as to offer such an articulate pronouncement on this very important subject. If anyone has a problem with you calling it like you see it, let me know and I will handle your light work.lol This is a very important issue and I hope we have a chance to talk more about it.

    It is an unfortunate fact that elitism/racism has found its way into Al-Islam. As a result we have yet to present Islam to the world as Allah intended. I would exhort my brothers and sisters to be a part of the solution and not the problem. If you are one of the fortunate ones, who operate without a trace of racial, social, or economic prejudice in your heart, I would exhort you to be a unifying force in the Ummah.

    It is common for those of us who realize the presence of elitism in Islam, to regard anyone’s decision to adopt Arab oriented clothing as irrational. I would caution this kind of criticism because; no one knows the intentions of another. If someone dresses in a way that The Prophet is described to have dressed (however antiquated) out of love for Him, are we prepared to reject that? Indeed, our success in this life and the next depends heavily on our ability to follow His example in every conceivable way. (Useful advances in technology aside)

    On the other hand, many of us have placed an inordinate amount of importance on what we wear at the expense of how we behave. There are clearly enough pitfalls on both sides to keep us fragmented until Yaum Mid Deen! (The Day of Account)

    Let’s get our priorities straight Muslims! Look at the times we live in and the trails that confront our communities. We can not afford to waste our time conjuring up reasons to disagree amongst ourselves. Let us unite on the most beautiful, logical, and powerful common ground for us all! (La Illaha Il Allah Muhammadur Rasulluah) Let us live and die calling to that and nothing else.

  43. […] Blackamerican Muslims had been sold on the completely fallacious idea that they were in essence “just Muslims”, a culturally vacuous identity which denied any recognition of their unique contributions and […]

  44. […] didn’t know their history; were unaware of their power politics; were susceptible to “just a Muslim” thinking (that made it easier for them to feed us this agenda) and that we were sincere in […]

  45. […] activist and committed Muslim for over twenty years, and to do so not from some uncommitted, “I’m just a Muslim“ perspective, but rather, the perspective of a Black American who has […]

  46. […] of Warithudeen Mohammed (Elijah Muhammad’s son). There are also the “Don’t call me Black, I’m just a Muslim“ African-American Sunni (“orthodox”) Muslims. This has never worked; these folks […]

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