I am still working on the series Why Blackamerican Muslims Don’t Stand for Justice, but I wanted to take a break and comment on the thought that concern for one’s people is equated with nationalism amongst some groups that have now thankfully become largely irrelevant (but still vocal) in the discourse of the direction of Islam in America. In spite of them being a small and fringe group, they still make some Muslims feel bad for doing things like getting an education, not being isolated in society and spending time with one’s family.
Why is it that we see brothers that are active in their communities and help people get attacked for being “black nationalists” or “hizbees” when they do these things? How did it get to the point where brothers see good deeds as bad deeds and will quote to you from the Book of Allah or the Sunnah to justify inaction. Much of this started back in the 1970s when brothers were trying to distance themselves from the (truly) black nationalist ideology of the NOI and went to great pains to stay away from it to the extent of going to extremes. This grew until there came a time when brothers would even deny that they are Blackamericans and say that they are simply ‘Muslim’ and declare that the concerns of the neighborhood have nothing to do with them.
In today’s time, these brothers want to INTENTIONALLY drive a wedge between Islam and the Blackamerican community whereas in the past the Blackamerican community were much less hostile than other groups. It is only natural that a person who belongs to a particular group or community feels more of a sense of responsibity towards that particular community especially if it is more deprived than others. And there is nothing wrong with getting involving in righteous acts. The fact is that these groups do not know “hizbiyyah” and define it to be any form of organized activity apart from their own and scandalize the smallest difference of opinion apply fatwas meant for one place and time to another totally different time and place.
The understanding of Islam should be comprehensive and should include spiritual development, Halal and Haram, as well as understanding of rights and other areas instead of simply on arguing with Muslims (or even non-Muslims) because this does nothing but harden the heart. When one is only concerned with talk and not actions and upon arguing it is not surprising that you find people who have “studied” finding ‘fiqh loopholes’ and not taking care of their children and breaking off ties with families. This thinking has given rise to an entire culture of bad behavior such as hair splitting, shouting brothers down, beating up brothers and abuse of women. So instead of encouraging people to do good deeds, they are wasting their talents in fighting a battle that does not exist.