Tag Archives: islam

Why African Americans Should Rush Into Islam!

(Editorial Note: This is part one of an edited excerpt from a Khutba by brother Bilal Stroud on why African-Americans should rush into Islam.)

     Why African Americans Should Rush to Islam by brother Bilal Stroud! 

During the Transatlantic Slave Trade period, millions upon millions of enslaved Africans were taken from their homes, and brought to the Western Hemisphere, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and to North America. The first slave ship to arrive in the Americas in 1619. For hundreds of years, the process of enslaving an entire race took place. As time went on, the oppressor wanted to make sure that slaves had a mindset that will keep them in perpetual servitude to their slave masters, as they were already dealing with rebellion from the Muslims who believed in a free world for Africans.

Muslims in Haiti were instrumental in fighting the colonizers, and gaining the freedom of the enslaved Africans in Haiti. Dutty Boukman, was a Muslim and he was always known to be carrying a Quran with him. So when he was sold into slavery, the slave traders demanded this Quran from him, in order to confiscate it as the colonizers knew about the threat of Islam to their operations. Dutty Boukman refused to give it up, so they decided to set his Quran on fire to punish him, but he refused to let it go.  The fire burned the side of his body, and he was known as Bookman because of that incident. He led the people in Haiti against the colonizers in a revolution.

When slaves arrived in the Americas, the colonizers were wary of Islam, its teachings, and the threat it posed to slave trade. And they were so eager to quash Islam before a revolution came up. Islam is a revolutionary system. It brings people up, it turns evil over on its head, and the slave master could not accept this.

The slave master introduced us to a religion by which it is said that not only is God a man, but he happens to be a Caucasian man. Then he tells you that you should love your enemy, and if someone slaps you on the cheek, give them the other cheek. This was intended to make Africans soft and acquiesce to your oppressor.The slave master did this to suppress the revolutionary system of Islam to solidify a hold on the slaves.

1)Allah(SWT) will grant us power and authority.

Now, as African Americans living in this country for hundreds of years, we have lived on the fear and tyranny of our historical oppressor.  Every single day we watch the news, somebody’s getting shot, somebody’s getting harassed. Somebody gets shot in our community.   We have no power in America. Unfortunately, the problem that we as African Americans have is that we actually think that the key to our liberation lies in political power. That the more mayors and governors and politicians you have, the more you will gain power and authority in the land, but we still don’t have it. Even though we had a black president some years ago, our authority in America is minuscule.

Allah is telling you here that if you become Muslim if you submit to his laws and commandments, and come to Islam, he will make us superior in the land, establish our feet, take away the stress and anxiety that we have, and put peace in our lives. Allah will establish our people if we turn back to him. If we turn back to Allah, obey his laws and his commandments, and follow that belief up with righteous deeds and have a keen certainty in Allah’s promise and his mercy, Allah will establish us in the land.

We have evil rulers ruling over us. Oppressors and evil tyrannical rulers will be demoted, and eventually the people of righteousness will rise to the top.

2) Allah will grant us Tranquility

If our people become Muslims and come back to the natural way of life, Allah has promised us an easy life, a life of ease and tranquility. Allah says in the Quran that whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and as faith, verily to him we give a new life, a life that is good and pure.

Have you seen a dialysis clinic? They have to put them on the machine, and drain all the blood out their body. They then purify it, and then put the blood back into your body. That’s what a kidney does. It purifies your blood in your body and it is one of the most important organs in the body. If your kidney fails, you have to go on a dialysis machine. You know why your kidneys are failing? Stress, anxiety, fear, depression, and you know what causes that? The food that we eat, foods like fried foods and all this, raises the blood pressure and when your blood pressure is high, the blood can’t circulate through your body and your organs start to fail, so you will have a hard life. Your life is all over the place. You have no peace, no inner peace.

So Allah says, there is a reward for coming close to him. Obey his laws and his commandments and watch how Allah would take away all your problems, all your grief, all your nervousness.

But the reverse is also true. Allah says whoever turns away from my message, verily for him is a life full of stress, full of anxiety. So Allah said, if you turn away from me, no problem. I’ll leave you to yourself when things are not going right in your life. Stress, worry, grief. Everybody’s after you. You can’t sleep at night. You’d be nervous, oh, you’ll know what’s going on, and you’re so scared. That’s because we have left the commandments of Allah and we do not follow his laws and his commandments. So as a result, you will have no peace. Allah says here, if you do what he tells you to do, follow his laws and his commandments and obey the final prophet and messenger, Muhammad, may Allah’s peace be upon him, Allah will enrich your life.

3) Allah will protect us From Our Oppressors.

If our people run and come into Islam, Allah will protect us. Allah shows us that over and over again in the Qu’ran.  He saved Moses in Egypt. He saved Job. He saved Noah. All the prophets, Allah saved them from the plot of their enemies and from the destruction. This is the mercy and the blessing that Allah will give to us as his people, but you as an individual, when you turn to Allah, he will offer his protection, meaning nothing can harm you. He will come to your aid. He will protect you from all types of harm. That harm could be physical harm, harm of stress, anxiety, whatever can bring you harm. If we as a people turn to Allah, Allah will protect us. Allah has given us a promise. Allah says, he will defend and protect us.

How many of us don’t want that? How many black men are we seeing shot down in the street? How many black women are we seeing being harassed? Why? We can stop it overnight! We just need to be right with Allah and see what Allah would do for us. Turn to Allah and see how he will protect you from the paths of your open enemy and those around you. Allah protects those who believe in him.

 

What Can Oppressed Black Communities Learn From the Early Battles in Islam?

Salim Abdul Khaliq

The military history of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, is studied in academies and universities around the country.  What can Black people learn by studying his life, history, and tactics to wage war against white supremacy so we can make progress and benefit socially, politically, economically, and spiritually?

The early Muslims faced serious challenges establishing the deen of Islam.  Sumayya Ibn Khattab, a Black Ethiopian woman, one of the first female converts was stabbed to death by the wicked Abu Jahl. Bilal ibn Rabah, a Black man, was tortured with boulders placed upon his chest. Other weak and defenseless believers were cursed, shunned, starved and murdered. In the face of this, they were told by the Prophet, peace be upon him,  to be patient. When things got even more oppressive, some Muslims were forced to migrate to other lands.

Over time the oppression intensified, and the pagan Arabs had every intention of destroying the small band of believers. When the Prophet heard rumors of the conspiracy to assassinate him, he gave orders to leave Mecca and migrate to Medina. The disbelievers chose to follow and fight them.

At last, the Muslims had enough and Allah sent down the revelation, instructing the Muslims to fight in self-defense. They were ready for the challenge and had enough of persecution.  There comes a time when one is being bullied that you must stand up. One must fight for your rights against injustice and oppression. It must not matter how little the victim is or how big the oppressive force is. Size does not matter.  Look at how Cuba stood up to America. So, during the time of the Prophet in the famous Battle of Badr, 300-400 new Muslims were faced with extinction at the hands of at least a minimum of 1000 well Arabs.

Miraculously, the Muslims were victorious in the battle.  Abu Jahl, the killer of Summaya, the Ethiopian, was killed. Bilal would kill his former slave master Ummaya.

The Battle of Badr represented the victory of the oppressed over the oppressor.  It also represented an achievement in the establishment of Islam. Our Black communities across the country can learn from the Battle of Badr, that no matter how outnumbered we may be in the face of white supremacy, with the help of Allah (swt) we will be victorious.

The Battle of Uhud took place in 625A.D. between 1000 Muslims and 3000 of their opponents. It was considered somewhat of a loss for the Muslims. Why?  Before the battle, the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, put 50 archers on a mountainside and ordered them to stay there, no matter what. However, when it appeared the Muslims were victorious in battle, the archers deserted their posts.  This failure to follow instructions cost lives.

Khalid Ibn al-Walid, the fierce general and warrior gave the pagans an advantage. He was known for his courage and tactical maneuver.  When the Muslim archers left their posts for the riches of the enemy, this allowed Khalid to surprise attack at which the Muslims were bested. The results were disastrous, even the Prophet was injured, his uncle Hamza was killed and mutilated by the wife of Abu Sufyan.

The believers disobeyed orders and broke ranks running after the booty or wealth of the unbelievers. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (pbuh), gave instructions to combat the enemy. When these instructions were violated many Muslims were killed.  In war, orders must be followed.

What is the lesson to be learned here? People in the struggle for Black liberation must be able to follow instructions.  We must be disciplined enough to hear and obey. That is very hard for some of us who only want to do our own thing. We are reluctant to follow the instructions from another Black person.  Further, we should not get caught up in materialism because the struggle of our ancestors is bigger than wealth, fame, fortune, cars, women, etc. Malcolm X was a brother who never sold out. He was simply following the example of Prophet Muhammad,  peace be upon him, who when the pagans offered him kingship, wealth and women, he refused, saying: “If you put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left, I will not cease the cause for which I was sent.”

During the battle of Uhud, another issue that happened is that the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was injured and many rumors spread that the Prophet, pbuh, was in fact dead. As a result, many Muslims began to flee from the battlefield.   Umm Ayman, a brave Black Ethiopian woman encouraged the Muslims to continue to fight on behalf of Islam. In response, Allah (swt) revealed the following ayats of the Qu’ran in 3:144, “ Muhammad is not but a messenger. Other messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels to unbelief? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful.”

This sent a clear message that even if the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, were to die the battle the fight to bring about the rise of Islam must continue.

We cannot get caught up in personality worship nor retreat from the mission no matter what. Simply because Malcolm X was assassinated does not mean we retreat from the Islamic confrontation war against white supremacy. Simply because Fred Hampton was assassinated does not mean we retreat from the battle of justice. We must continue the fight no matter what.

We are fighting for Islam and we will surely win.

Salim Abdul-Khaliq was born Ron Charles in Chicago, Illinois in 1954. He Ron was born with a constant desire to read, write and study. In 1974, while in the army, he was positively influenced by a man named John Sanders, now known as Yahya Abdul. He became a mentor to Ron. This mentoring led Ron to do further research and investigation into the faith of Islam and into Malcolm X. As a young black man Islam gave Ron hope along with a profound understanding of God and African American history. In 1974 Ron converted to Islam and changed his name.

The Conscious Community Cannot Stop The Rise of Islam in Black America.

 

 

“It is Allah Who sent His Messenger with the guidance and the way of life of The Truth so that He may uplift it over all ways of life, even if the ones who are polytheists disliked it.” (9:33)

The Black conscious community has an obsession with Islam because Black Muslims have an established track record of political, intellectual and social resistance against white supremacy. Black Muslims have been the pioneers who have contributed the most to black political thought in terms of the radical tradition. Hotep is not a shorthand in the black community the way Assalam Alaikum is. It never achieved that.

The Black conscious community focuses on Cultural Revolution. What is that? It’s not political revolution in that, you’re not changing structures and it’s not really an internal spiritual revolution. You’re talking about changing the way that you dress, changing your names, wearing certain kinds of jewelry and changing your rhetoric and your vernacular. But as far as any substantive transformation of the human being, they don’t possess that. And so a lot of the Afro-centrist and so called conscious members in the conscious community are actually hedonist.

As the Black Dawah Network previously discussed on why African-Americans should study the life of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, is that we can see the difference between the Islamic revolution from the secular revolution whether Afrocentrism or Marxism. Islam is the revolution   from the inside out.  The Islamic prophetic revolution of Muhammad peace be upon him was ‘you change the person and then, from there, the thing that are outside of that person change.”

So you’re talking about returning to that primordial state of your being which is fitra or purity that which recognizes goodness. Returning to submission to God will inevitably result in a dissatisfaction with the world around you. Which will invariably lead to a desire to change your environment. And so that is where you get substantive change as opposed to just creating institutions that are supposed to change the individual when the people who created and are manning the institution haven’t undergone the change that they’re trying to affect. The institutions will simply succumb to their own state. The institutions are a reflection of ourselves, we are not simply a reflection of the institutions. So by changing the self, we change the institution.

The reason Islam grew in the states among African Americans is because it was seen as an effective framework for resisting white supremacy. This is true for even those who are not Muslim like Marcus Garvey, Edward Blyden, Martin Delany and Henry McNeal Turner.  At one point there in the UNIA (United Negro Improvement Association), Marcus Garvey’s organization, there came up a resolution to make Islam the official religion of the UNIA. Now granted, Garvey rejected it. But the point of me bringing that up is that Garvey only rejected it after careful consideration. Why would he carefully consider making Islam the official religion of his organization when he himself was not Muslim?  Then when  you go throughout the UNIAs literature and you find all these sort of references to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad,  peace be upon him and his biography.

There’s a pattern in what we see in terms of the Islamic slave revolts in Bahia, Brazil. There is a pattern in terms of what we see with Malcolm X. There’s a pattern in terms of what we see in Safiya Bukhari’s and Imam Jamil Al Amin’s struggle with white supremacy. There’s a pattern in what we see in Dhoruba al-Mujahid bin Wahad and Sekou Odinga. The Black Conscious Community has produced nothing that can compare with the Islamic struggle against White Supremacy.

Professor Shareef Muhammad has taught history at Georgia State University and Islamic studies at Spelman University.  He has a masters in history at Kent State University with his thesis on The Cultural Jihad in the antelbellum South: How Muslim slaves preserved their religious/cultural identity during slavery.

 

How the Black Conscious Community Got Islam Wrong.

(How the Black Conscious Community Got Islam Wrong is pulled from excerpts of Black Dawah Network Podcast by Professor Shareef Muhammad  titled “How the White Power Structure Duped Afrocentrist Against Islam?“)

It was inevitable that Afro-centrist historians in the mid-1900s though claiming to correct Eurocentric narratives about the world would encounter Orientalist writings and lean on them uncritically without taking into account how the power struggle between the Muslim world and Europe colored these writings.

Orientalism is the representation of Asia and the Middle East in a stereotypical way that embodies the colonialist attitude. It was a field that has an artistic side to it, in terms of paintings but it also was a field that was dedicated to studying Asia, in particular, Arabs in Islam. And it appeared around the late 1700s on through to the 1800 and it is an outgrowth of the East India Company. Which was this joint stock company. A joint stock company, it was the first example of a modern corporation. This joint stock company, East India Company, sort of the first corporation in the world and the first European intrusion on the sovereignty of the so-called Middle East. And it swept the ground for the British colonization of India.

And so, the first orientalist scholars were British officials of this company. And while they asserted that they intended to study the culture and religions and languages of the region objectively, the reality is that their scholarship always had a political agenda. And it was written, they wrote on these subjects in such a way that supported their subjugation later on. Portraying them as inferior, as in need of being reconciled with the progress that is happening in the world, i.e. British values etc. I mean, and their opposition or their gripe with Islam would necessarily be reflected in their writings. Because the major obstacle to the objectives of Britain and India was the Mughal Empire which was the last Muslim dynasty of India.

And as the Mughal Empire Empire declined, the East India Company, i.e. Britain became more aggressive and influential over the region. So let’s not forget that the Age of Exploration was in part the desire to regain Asian territories that were lost with the expansion of Islam. And access to new territories like West African gold, which belonged to the Muslim realm of Mali and Songhai.

So from the beginning there were political motives in this scholarship. And you can read people like Gramsci and Foucault who theorized the relationship between knowledge and power and how it’s exhibited in the way in which language is used. Even by the marginalized who are challenging the power structure, they often reinforce the basic logic of the power system in which everyone is functioning. This is the case with Afrocentricity. That it was inevitable that Afro-centrists would come to rely on these writings. And in doing so, they would end up reflecting the colonialist mentality towards Islam that they claimed to be trying to reject and undermine with regarding Africa.

So what are some of the ways that Orientalism functions with a Eurocentric logic? I would identify three ways that Afro-centrism functions with a Eurocentric logic. Briefly, the first is the belief that sophisticated architecture and literacy, what I call temples and tablets, are the only markers of civilization. And so this has caused them to have a tunnel vision that focuses exclusively on Egypt and ignores the rest of Africa’s genius, as you pointed out. I mean, how many people know that the man who the European is credited with the computer age; that he was inspired, his binary code revealed, was inspired by the divination scale of the Congo.

That African fractal helped influence the way in which the technological age would sort of model itself. But everybody’s so focused on Egypt. There’s a wonderful lecture given by a mathematician, Ron Eglash – where he’s talking about the African origin, the modern African origin, of the computer age. But no one knows this because everybody’s so focused on Egypt.

What they’re alleging is that Africans, ancient Africans, dealt with spirituality and outsiders, Arabs and Europeans, introduced something called religion. This would be a very strange thing to say to our ancestors several centuries ago who would have no idea; A, what you’re talking about and B, what this has to do with anything.

Afro-centrist do not even have a working definition of the word religion, first of all, which we can make sense of how they’re applying it. But if we take the word religion to generally refer to a system of rites, rituals, taboos, doctrine, cosmology, and sacrifices that all reinforce an idea about the spiritual aspect of existence. Then the historical reality is that Africans have always practiced spirituality in connection with the aforementioned. That religion was the conveyor of spirituality and its purpose was to reinforce one’s relationship with the tribe, the land of the tribe, and the spirit world.

And so this mantra we often hear ‘I’m spiritual not religious’ is not an African concept at all. But it has its origin in what we call the Theosophical movement of Hellena Blavatsky, who was a Russian occultist. And this whole movement, known as spiritualism, all of this started when people who worked with the East India Company, began translating religious texts from Sanskrit in India into European languages. And that sparked an interest in spiritual concepts outside of Christianity. This, of course, took them into ancient Egypt. They became very obsessed with the idea of magic and having power over the material world.

And so the occultism of Aleister Crowley was a result of these efforts. So theosophy, theology and philosophy, which concentrates on the esoteric concepts of world religion. Hellena Blavatsky states that the goal is to replace these world religions with this spiritualist point of view. So the dichotomy of religion versus spirituality is a purely Orientalist and modern concept, it’s not ancient African at all. And yet it’s something that Afro-centrist has assimilated into they’re sort of talking for.

Now the third and last thing, which is how Afro-centrism functions with a European logic and this is what is most problematic about the contras enterprise and it’s the subject of what we’ve been talking about here today or is their ideas on this level. I mean, Afro-centrist, conscious community, assert that Islam is the usurper of native Africa. And they argue that it was foreign, it’s sort of a foreign pathogen that undermined the cultural and racial purity of Africa and African people. And according to them, the Muslims destroyed and occupy native Egypt, completely undermine indigenous African culture wherever they went. That the Arabs were the first to exploit Africans and the Arab slave trade was equal, if not worse, than the transatlantic slave trade. Making Islam just as culpable in the destruction of African civilization.

And as we’ve been talking about that is completely false, it is beyond an exaggeration. It’s found nowhere in the literature, it’s not anywhere in the literature that would justify it. It is a byproduct of leaning on these orientalists anti-Muslim sources that were created or written to justify the subjugation of Muslim lands in which Islam was the primary opponent against. They did it. The orientalist got Islam wrong and so Afro-centrist, who borrow from Orientalism, are getting Islam wrong.

Islam entered sub-Saharan West Africa by way of merchants via the Trans-Saharan Trade. These Berber merchants attracted West African merchants who converted. The kings converted and then other elites, those under and around him followed suit. The Arabs did not conquer and colonize the Sub-Sahara. The Arab slave trade involved mostly Eastern European slaves not Africans.Black Africa was never conquered by the Arabs. I repeat: Black Africa was never conquered by the Arabs. The sovereignty of black Africa was untouched with the spread of Islam which was an indigenous affair.  There was no conquest of sub-Saharan West Africa by Arabs and the Arabs certainly did not have free range to go around slave raiding.

Professor Shareef Muhammad has taught history at Georgia State University and Islamic studies at Spelman University.  He has a masters in history at Kent State University with his thesis on The Cultural Jihad in the antelbellum South: How Muslim slaves preserved their religious/cultural identity during slavery.

Important Black Muslim Voices You Must Follow

What happened to those strong Black Muslim voices speak forcefully against white supremacy and who call to Islam? They are still here although strong Black Muslim voices are not represented in the mainstream American Muslim establishment. This is to be expected.  Nonetheless, we must work to amplify strong Black Muslim voices.  Subscribe to follow the following Black Muslim voices.

 

Muslim Empowerment Institute Youtube Channel

Muslim Empowerment Institute is actively working for the revival of Islam in the Black community. We seek to restore Islam to having the uplifting transformative effect it once had in eradicating social problems and pathologies in the Black community. Follow the Muslim Empowerment Institute’s  Youtube Channel.

Black Dawah Network Facebook Group 

Follow the Facebook Discussion group  Black Dawah Network to join important conversations and initiatives for Islamic Outreach to Oppressed Black Communities.  To join group you must request access and demonstrate a commitment to Dawah in Black Communities.

Black Dawah Network Podcast 

The Black Network Network podcast brings forth important Black Muslim speakers to discuss Islam and its relevancy to Black America.

 Truth To Power

The Truth to Power Youtube channel of Hakeem Muhammad seeks to continue the Black  Islamic tradition of fighting oppression, tyranny, and structural racism.

M.A.B.I.A.

MA.B.I.A. is an acronym for Muslim and Black in America.  A broadcast put together by Bilal Abdullah where he speaks on news and issues from the perspective of a Black Muslim living in America.

Flamin Crescent Blog Talk Radio  of Salim Abdul-Khaliq

The Flaming Crescent Society was founded  by Salim-Abdul Khaliq in honor of Malcolm X. The Flamin Crescent seeks to uplift the  memory of Malcolm X and correct the misunderstandings people have of Islam.

Only is God by Ismael Bilal Saleem – I.D. Campbell

Mr. Campbell was raised attending both the Christian Church and the Muslim Mosque. He was always inquisitive about religion. Around the age of 14, he decided that Islam was the path for him. However, he was rather secretive about his belief due to the negative perception many had of the religion. When Islam became the topic of any discussion, he maintained the Islamic sympathizer role as the son of a Muslim, while being careful not to be identified as a Muslim himself. The stigma surrounding Islam and Muslims only intensified throughout the years, but so too did his desire to announce to the world that ISLAM IS THE TRUTH. 

 

 

 

 

 

An open letter to GhostFace Killah: Help the Dawah to Islam.

To my Muslim brother Ghostace Killah,

My name is Hakeem Muhammad, I am an student attorney from Chicago focusing on criminal defense and prisoner’s rights. But more importantly, I am a Muslim and was deeply inspired by  a 2013 interview of yours in which you describe your conversion to Islam.

You were asked about books you enjoy reading and you stated “I like reading stuff about the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh and the Qu’ran and stuff.” You were asked about the many multiple issues facing many inner-cities from the drug economy to homicides. You stated  that among many youth “They have no spiritual guidance so they not afraid of anything.” One of the things which our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, taught us is that, “None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.”

As a very influential rapper and also someone who has studied the life of Prophet Muhammad, pbuh and the Qu’ran, I believe you can have a monumental impact in providing spiritual guidance to oppressed Black youth throughout America.  The Black Dawah Network, a Muslim Empowerment Institute Initiative, would like for you to join our efforts to propagate the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, throughout oppressed inner-city communities as part of an ongoing Islamic movement to combat white supremacy.

In one of your songs that has always touched my heart All I Got Is you, you describe your upbringing growing up in Staten Island, New York growing in poverty.  You stated there were days you had to rely upon your neighborhoods for food, and using newspaper instead of toilet paper. You  discuss New York Housing Authority harassing your family by seeking to throw you out of your place after you caught a case. The wretched conditions you describe in your neighborhood growing up emanate from the white oppression of Black communities. A recent study found that  fifty years after the Fair Housing act of 1968,  New York City is in a defacto state of segregation  and poor Blacks were more likely to live in neighborhoods with higher poverty neighborhoods than whites.  

Brother Ghostface Killah, The Black Dawah Network, which  focuses on Islamic outreach to oppressed Black communities,  would like invite you to work with us on a series of dawah videos on the life of Prophet Muhammad pbuh targeted to oppressed Black youth.

We want you to help teach the masses of the people how the  practice of Islam can enable oppressed Black masses confined in inner-cities to challenge wretched conditions the white power structures imposes on Black communities. Lastly, we would like to invite you to join the Dawah and to use the platform you have to call the disenfranchised Black communities throughout the hoods of New York to Islam.

Remember brother,  this life is transitory and our deeds will be weighed by Allah(swt) on the Day of Judgment. If someone becomes Muslim as a result of your actions this will benefit you greatly on the day of judgment.

Contact hakeemmuhammad498@gmail.com to get involved in the dawah.

Sincerely,

Hakeem Muhammad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open Letter to MoneyBagg Yo: Welcome to Islam Brother!

Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” 3:31

To my Black Brother MoneyBagg Yo,

My name is Hakeem Muhammad, I am an student attorney from Chicago focusing on criminal defense and prisoner’s rights. But more importantly, I am a Muslim and was overjoyed to learn of your decision to embrace Islam.  I pray that Allah (swt) blesses you to remain strong in your faith.

In your video you attested to the fact “Muhammad is Allah’s last Prophet and Messenger.” One of the things which our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, taught us is that,  “None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.”
In one of your songs you mentioned growing up in South Memphis where you  “had to hustle just to eat, got my knowledge out the street.” As allude to in many of your rap songs, Black youth throughout South Memphis are living in many wretched conditions. In Memphis, Black youth endure poverty rates at four time the rate of white youth and Black families earn an average income that is roughly half that of whites. These widespread disparities in wealth are directly attributed to the history of white supremacy and it forces many of our black brothers on the streets to hustle. Many of young brothers end up incarcerated as result. In fact one study determined that “While black Tennesseans make up 16.8 percent of the state’s population, they make up 44.1 percent of its prison population.”

The Black Dawah Network, a Muslim Empowerment Institute initiative, focuses on Islamic outreach to oppressed Black communities,  would like invite you to study more about the life of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, through watching the lecture Looking Towards The Prophetic Biography For Black Liberation” by Professor Shareef Muhammad. Please consider watching the videos dear brother to learn how the practice and propagation of Islam can enable oppressed Black masses confined in inner-cities to challenge wretched conditions the white power structures imposes on black communities. Lastly, we would like to invite you to join the Dawah and to use the platform you have to call the disenfranchised black communities of South Memphis to Islam.

Please reach out to HakeemMuhammad498@gmail.com to get involved.

Your brother Hakeem Muhammad

Black Liberation through Islam

To establish Islam in oppressed Black communities, Black Muslim men, regardless of their rank in society, education in the Islamic sciences or academia, must be willing to go into the hood, in the most violent and dangerous of  neighborhoods, and communicate the message of Islam to oppressed Black youth in street gangs, those in the drug economy, drill rappers, and more. That is our responsibility, those are our people and we must save them with Islam.

“Invite to the path of your Lord with wisdom and good advice” (An-Nahl 16:125).

We can no longer wait for speaking engagements or seasonal ‘Black muslim’ conferences to discuss Islam’s relevance to Black people.  Instead, the time is ripe to go to oppressed Black communities all across America to deliver our message that Islam is the only way for freedom, justice and equality.  We must go to our people whether it be in the barbershop, to brothers outside the corner store, or coming out of the trap houses.

Let there be a group of people among you who invite to goodness, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong. (Aal `Imran 3:104)

The masjids must play an active role in the development of Islamic institutions that resolve social ills in the Black community.  This happens when Black men step up and take charge of our communities. It happens when we understand how white supremacy and institutional racism have created the conditions of poverty and violence in oppressed black communities.  Dr. Michael Eric Dyson recently said at Howard University that the reason white supremacy has existed for so long is because the Negro loves the white man more than anyone.

We must begin to love ourselves and our people more than anyone else.  We must be able to articulate how the Prophetic biography and Qu’ranic teachings can address the political realities of Black people and change their life.  The Honorable Elijah Muhammad was given 104 books to study in the Library of Congress by Master Fard Muhammad. One hundred and three of those books dealt with an aspect of the life of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him. The best book, he was given, according to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, was the Holy Quran.  That was the 104th book.

Say: this is my way, I invite to God. (Yusuf 12:108)

 

 

Black Muslims Unlocking the Revolutionary Potential of the Prophetic Biography

(This is part of a transcript between Professor Shareef Muhammad and Hakeem Muhammad on the Black Dawah Network in the discussion titled “Looking Towards the Prophetic Biography for Black Liberation.)

The Prophetic biography is the story of an orphan child who was brought up in a harsh and volatile environment, who belonged to a people who were negligible in the eyes of the world and through a spiritual revolution transformed his people into leaders in the world. The Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) success was connected to his obedience to the Creator. It was power in piety, not piety in power. He did not lean on ‘might makes right’, but rather being right that which is in obedience to the creator who is the sought of all might, might one mighty.

The Prophet Muhammad, (pbuh) showed us how to do religion so that it improves the society in which you live. He showed us how to balance responsibility to one’s people, without becoming a hostage to their shortcomings. We saw that spirituality was something that was practical, that it’s not something that you are but something that you do, and we can be kind, compassionate, chivalrous, and charitable and firm also, in a world of immense cruelty and imbalance.The Prophet Muhammad pbuh was husband, father, statesman, general and activist; all those things.

When one studies his theory, one notices parallels between the Arabs of pre-Islamic times, known as Jahiliyyah or the age of ignorance, and African-Americans: they were a nation without an actual nation. The Arabs would: they lived in anarchy, they didn’t have a head of state; before Islam they didn’t have a government. They were a collection of tribes that in many ways functioned like gangs. They policed themselves through custom and reinforce their rules through vendetta and the threat of ostracism. Your honor, your reputation meant everything. They were giving to fighting, drinking, using drugs, idolatry, which today is sort of mimicked by materialism; the fetish we have for consumables is sort of a new kind of postmodern idolatry.

The pride that pre-Islamic Arabs took in their poetry and the subject matter of that poetry is eerily similar to Hip Hop, which is sort of the trademark of our Jahiliyyah. The Suspended odes, which hung on the Kaaba when it was filled with idols, these were considered the source of Arabic poetry and they valorized the physical prowess, the sexual exploits, they glorified gambling and violence. The things that were written by Antarah and some of the other pre-Islamic poets mirrored in varied ways some of the contents you find in Rick Ross, to be perfectly honest.

So, the theory based on what we just talked about, about the parallels on the Arabs in pre-Islamic times and African-Americans, the theory is that if the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him transformed his people from a people steeped in vice, uneducated and without political power, then following his prophetical example could transform black folk into moral leaders, lovers of learning and acquirers of political sovereignty. In other words, there’s revolutionary potential in his prophetic model.

From the Black Dawah Network comic series “The Inescapable Muslim roots of Black Radical Tradition.”

The idea of using the life of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him as a model for which to achieve black liberation was first uttered by Marcus Garvey, who said in a speech, quote: “Muhammad suffered many defeats at certain times but Muhammad stuck to his faith and ultimately triumphed and Muhammadism was given to the world”. In a publication of Garvey’s UNIA -I think it’s the Champion Magazine- March issue, 1917, it wrote: “The negro is crying for a Muhammad to come forward and give him the Quran of economic and intellectual welfare. Where is he?” In the flagship newspaper of the UNIA, The Negro World, it read: “The prophet of Allah, concentrating his inexhaustible, incandescent energy on the spiritual, material liberation of his people and the herald of the new dawn”, Garvey, stressing with equal view the material, spiritual redemption of his race.

So the life of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was social, political transformation of an entire people and amon the early pan-Africanists and black nationalist nationalists; that’s what it was seen as. And the Prophetic biography had capital in black political thought. We need to unlock the revolutionary potential that is within this religion, which inspired or attracted our forefathers to come to it.

The prophetic revolution contrast with the Marxist revolution is that the Islamic revolution of the prophet pbuh was a revolution that occurred from the inside out, whereas the Marxian revolution was one that sought to take place from the outside-in. So, where the Marxian revolution took the position of ‘change the structures, you change the people’, the Islamic prophetic revolution of Muhammad peace be upon him was ‘you change the person and then, from there, the thing that are outside of that person change’.

The application of the prophetic model of Muhammad (pbuh)  will cause a lot of people to lose a lot of money and the resurrection of the black man and the black woman will cause a lot of people to lose a lot of money.

Take drugs, for example, narcotics; it veils the intellect, it impairs ones judgment. Well, people take narcotics in part to cope with their condition, with their situation. So that prevents them from becoming 100% dissatisfied and uncomfortable with their condition so that Allah will then per his promise, change their condition. So the narcotic, the drug gets in the way of that first step towards a people’s social, political and economic transformation. That’s why the drug dealer is the most counterrevolutionary agent in the black community.

The Qu’ran teaches that Allah would change your condition if you change what it is in yourself. This mean means that you have to purge yourself of the affection that you have towards the very magnet that’s arresting your development. that blunts their attempts or blocks their attempt to change what is in their hearts

You study the Sahaba and you can see… they may remind you of people in your neighborhood. And the people in your neighborhood who have not reached their potential, you may look at them differently when you study the Sahaba because you see that the Sahaba reached their potential and why not the person down the block.

Muhammad(pbuh) who was the greatest alchemist in the metaphorical sense of the word in which he would take something that was rust and turn it into gold; we’re talking about character here, we’re talking about once he would take somebody who metaphorically was rust and sort of transformed them into this gold.

The other thing to sort of contrast the life of Muhammad peace be upon him and the Islamic revolution with that of the Marxian model is that Marx talked about the lumpenproletariat, and, what did he say about the lumpenproletariat? That the Marxian revolution, the communist revolution would happen when capitalism would exhaust itself and the workers would overthrow those who own the means of capitalist production and take over the economy and it would end up in a sort of cooperative commonwealth in which the workers would share equally in the means of production and the product, have access to the product. He said that the lumpenproletariat –these were your criminals, your prostitutes, drug dealers, thieves, etc.-, these people would not only be apart of the revolution but they are in many ways a danger or a threat to the revolution. And so he completely excluded the downfall of the lumpenproletariat from this great transformation that would occur. While Islam, particularly in black America, centered its revolution or its idea of revolution on those very people.

So Malcolm X, el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, was what Marx would’ve considered lumpen, and yet it is from him, from Malcolm that we get this sort of push in this direction towards revolutionary change or transformation, this revolutionary event in religion and thought through the religion of Islam. So the Marxian revolution is a revolution from the outside-in, which excludes the social outcast, where Islam is a revolution from the inside out that not only incorporates those people that Marxists excluded but in many ways can center the change on those very people.

This is why Islam is liberation; it is the solution, the remedy and the answer to what ails oppressed Black communities.

Professor Shareef Muhammad has taught history at Georgia State University and Islamic studies at Spelman University.  He has a masters in history at Kent State University with his thesis on The Cultural Jihad in the antelbellum South: How Muslim slaves preserved their religious/cultural identity during slavery.

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