Advertisements

Black Dawah Network: Lessons from the life of Lady Fidda For Oppressed Black Communities

(During this Black History month, we will look at important Black Muslim historical figures and what we can learn from their lives to improve our community)

Lady Fidda, an Ethiopian Muslim was once on a three day fast with other companions of the Prophet  Muhammad, pbuh. Yet, each day when she and the others sat down to break their fast, a poor person would come to the door to ask for food. Laddy Fidda and the other companions of Prophet Muhammad, pbuh would provide them with their food to eat and break their fast with only water. In laudation of this act of kindness, Allah revealed “They give away food, out of love for Allah to the poor and the orphan and the captive, saying “we feed you only for the sake of Allah, we do not want anything from you, even thanks.”– Qu’ran 76:8

The emergence of  urban food deserts— with limited access to healthy  food sources, high levels of racial segregation and compounded income inequality—emphasizes the critical importance of learning from a  beautiful Ethiopian Muslim woman, Lady Fidda.

In a U.N report titled Structural Racialization and Food Insecurity in the United States, structural racism in American society has resulted in many African-American households being disproportionately food insecure.  One in four African-American households is fact food insecure. Consequently,  many African-Americans throughout depleted urban areas live in communities that have designated as food deserts to to the lack of quality nutrition options. Poverty is a contributing factor to the food insecurity of African-American households in depleted urban areas. 27.4 of African-American households are in poverty which is higher than any other racial or ethnic group.

Throughout the food desserts of the Black ghetto, it is imperative to implement  this ethic of helping to provide food to the poor. We most work to implement acts of kindness looking out for our neighbor. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be up him, stated “A man is not a believer who fills his stomach while his neighbour is hungry.'” We must keep this in mind. Whether it be a struggling Black single mother struggling to provide food  for her children or it be the homeless black brother on the streets, let’s look out for our neighbor and help provide them with meals.

A Black Muslim History Message by brother Hakeem Muhammad

 

During this Black Muslim history month, you will likely find many Black Muslims recounting the stories of Malcolm X, Uthman Dan Fodio, the intellectual heritage of Timbuktu, Black companions of the Prophet pbuh and other such topics.  For what purpose are we doing this?

“Malcolm X is one of our great Muslims heroes.”

Why even talk about Malcolm X unless we are willing to uphold  his main purpose in life which was to deliver the message of Islam through Dawah in oppressed Black communities  tin order to initiate the Islamic resistance to White Supremacy? Why even talk about Malcolm X if we will not go after the Detroit’s Reds throughout America’s urban ghettos who are in desperate need of what the Qu’ran has to offer?

“Timbuktu was a great Islamic center of learning.”

Why even talk about Timbuktu if we are not looking to transform Black ghettos in America, detrimentally impacted by the school to prison pipeline, into modern Timbuktu’s through extensive Islamic outreach? When Ibn Battuta, an Arab explorer, visited Timbuktu he commented that the most flourishing industry in Timbuktu, came from the sell of books. Are we about an agenda to create the thirst of knowledge among our people, to reproduce to this?

“Mansa Musa was the richest man in history.”

Are we going to talk about Mansa Musa or will we seek to  use our wealth in the cause of Islam to support Islamic iniaitives in the Black community?

 

                                    “What about the great Uthman Dan Fodio?”

Why even talk about the great Uthman Dan Fodio  unless we are willing to adopt the same zeal by which he launched the Fulani revolutions to propagate Islam in Black America? In the same way, Uthman Dan Fodio, went toe to toe with the polytheists of his day, are we as Black Muslims going to go toe to toe with the Black orientalists/anti-Islam afrocentrists who have been duped by the white power structure into opposing Islam?

    “There were great Black Sahabah.”

Do we discuss the African origins of Sahabah in a futile attempt to convince colonized Immigrant Muslims wedded to the white power structure to  like us or are we communicating their importance to the masses of oppressed Black communities? Let us use this Black history month, to push Islam forward in Black America. As Black Muslims, our primary focus should be to give the dawah to Islam in Oppressed Black communities.

The Jummah Prayer of Assata Shakur

 

 

The Prisoners Rights Movement in America was greatly spearheaded by Black Muslims who initiated a variety of litigation in order to have the freedom to practice their faith while incarcerated. In the landmark case of Fullwood v Clemmer, the court sought to examine whether the Muslim faith, as practiced by black prisoners, was a legitimate religion and if so, what First Amendment religious rights, Muslims had. This was the first time court ruled, that Muslims are to be recognized by the federal courts as a religious group and should be allowed to hold religious services in prison.

Since then incarcerated Black Muslims have brought forth a variety of legal cases to advance the human rights of prisoners.  However, there is one case brought forth by a Black revolutionary woman, which has not received much attention or acknowledgment in discourse about Black Muslim contributions to Prisoners Right Litigation

 In the case of New Jersey vs. Chesimard, judge Ruggero J. Aldisert  wrote that “Joanne D. Chesimard, the appellant in this court and the defendant in the state criminal proceedings, is a Sunni or Orthodox Muslim who observes Jumah[ or Jumuah (Friday) as her weekly holy day.”

Does the name Joanne Chesimard seem familiar?

Joanne D Chessimard is the “slave name” for Black revolutionary Assata Shakur.  Assata Shakur desired to attend Jummah prayer but was unable to do so because court proceedings for her trial were scheduled for that time.  Assata Shakur moved to have her trial rescheduled in order for her to be able to attend Jummah Prayer.

Assata  Shakur’s autobiography provides more insights on this lawsuit  In her autobiography, Assata Shakur, “ I had always said if I had any religion, it was Islam.”

Shakur expresses interest in learning about Islam but had difficulties reconciling the belief of an all-powerful creator and a world in which Black people are so miserably oppressed. Nonetheless, she says “Muslim services were held regularly on Rikers Island, and Simba and I began to attend.”  Assata Shakur’s desire to attend the Friday Prayer service would result in the case of  New Jersey vs. Chesimard.

During her initial trial, Assata Shakur’s counsel stated that they were willing to have court hours extend to other days and participate in the trial on Saturday. Ultimately, the state court ruled the trial would proceed on Friday and she would have the option of not participating in her trial on Friday. However, Assata Shakur was not satisfied with this option as she would give up the opportunity to be heard as guaranteed by the sixth and fourteenth amendments. As a result, Shakur appealed this decision in the New Jersey’s Court of Appeals. The New Jersey Court of Appeals ultimately ruled that Assata Shakur had not fully exhausted remedies that were available to her at a state level.

Assata Shakur, as a member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army, made numerous contributions to the freedom struggle of Black people. Her willingness to bring forth a lawsuit to attend Jummah Prayer shows a profound level of devotion to the cause. The fact that Assata Shakur fought for her right to attend Jummah Prayer during her court proceedings should inspire Muslims today to overcome all trials and obstacles when it comes to the observance of their faith.

If you enjoyed this article, please consider donating to the Black Dawah Network to help facilitate Islamic outreach to Oppressed Black Communities.

The Anti-Black Zionist Bullying of Tamika Mallory.

Women’s March Organizer, Tamika Mallory has been subjected to a media onslaught for her decision to attend Nation of Islam events and her advocacy on behalf of Palestine.

On the Firing Line, host Margaret Hoover asked Ms. Mallory continuously “Do You believe Israel has a right exist?”

Ms. Mallory responded simply responded that she believes all people have a right to exist. In response, several media outlets have released headlines along the theme of Women’s March Leader Wouldn’t Say in Interview Whether Israel Has Right to Exist.

The reality is: Ms. Mallory and other Black activists should be posing the question to Zionists: Does Israel believe Black people have the right to exist?

Did Israel believe Black people have a right to exist when its former prime minister, Shimon Peres offered to sell apartheid, South Africa a long range ballistic weapon called the burglar? 

Did Israel believe Black people have a right to exist when it sold uzi machine guns and a wide assortment of weapons to the white settler colony of  Rhodesia?  

In fact, Professor Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi concluded that “Israel was clearly committed to the survival of the white regime in Rhodesia, and helped it in substantial ways.”

The General Assembly of the United Nations’ went as far as to declare that actions of  “Israel are the main obstacles that have frustrated international efforts for the elimination of apartheid.”

In the Unnatural Alliance: Israel and South Africa, James Adam, a former board member of the National Security Agency and an expert of warfare strategy analyzed  apartheid, South Africa’s military tactics against the black guerrilla fighters. James Adam concluded that apartheid, South Africa’s “armed forces are equipped by Israel and their counterinsurgency tactics have evolved almost entirely as a result of lessons learned by the Israelis in their fight against the Palestine Liberation Organization.”

During the height of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, Lekgau Mathabane, the head of Soweto’s Committee of Ten, an anti-apartheid civil rights organization, proclaimed: “Israel also supplies arms to South Africa and South Africa uses those arms for killing Black people and even children three years old.”

In light of this history, Zionists have no credibility asking any Black person if they believe Israel as a right to exist. Black people should be asking Zionists if they believe that Black people have a right to exist.

 

The Inextricable Anti-blackness of the American Muslim Community

Logo for CAIR

The mainstream American Muslim community is inextricably anti-black. This anti-blackness of the American Muslim goes beyond the casual references to Black people as abeed(slaves) among Arabs. It goes beyond Asian and Arab Muslim not wanting to pray near Black people. It goes beyond the lack of Black Muslim representation on speaking panels at major Islamic conferences.

The entire mainstream American Muslim community is actively upholding political positions and practices that actively perpetuates the oppression of Black people. By mainstream American Muslim establishment I am specifically referring to the agglomeration of institutions that have significant influence in determining Islamic discourse in America. This includes but is not limited to CAIR, ICNA, Zaytuna Institute and ISNA.

CAIR Honors White Politician Who Supported Apartheid South Africa. 

On August, 25th, the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR ) which claims to be “largest Muslim advocacy and civil rights organization” published a statement in honor of  John McCain.

CAIR’s national executive director Nihad Awad asserted “The American Muslim community joins all Americans in mourning the death of Sen. McCain, a man of principle who served our nation with honor and dignity for so many decades.”

Former senator John McCain voted on six different occasions against placing sanctions on Apartheid, South Africa.  McCain actively supported U.S firms who were doing  business with the racist apartheid regime of South Africa. Simply put, McCain was a white oppressor who deserves no praise or honors from Muslims. CAIR engages in the lauding of this white oppressor as a “man of principle” because their focus is not in aligning with black people in the struggle against white supremacy but they seek to make Muslims more palatable to the white dominant class.

Did Bilal Ibn Rabah mourn over the death of  Umayyah ibn Khalaf and eulogize his former slave master as a “man of principle”?

The Leader of the First Accredited Muslim College Disrespects the Black Struggle 

The mainstream American Muslim establishment actively appoints for leaders in the Muslim community white racists like Hamza Yusuf who has disrespected the struggle of Black Americans on numerous occasions.  This purported “Islamic Scholar” asserted the true problem facing Black Americans is not institutional racism but the break down of the Black family. Consequently, in response to Black people being brutalized by police officers Hamza Yusuf merely asserted that not all police officers are racist.  Hamza Yusuf who actively obfuscates the oppression of Black people leads Zaytuna Institute which is the first accredited American Muslim college. 

 The anti-Black political stances of ICNA 

In a lecture titled A Proud, Patriotic Sharia Practicing Muslim given at an ICNA conference, prominent Muslim leader Yasir Qadhi asserted that “It is obligatory for Muslims to be patriotic in whatever land they live in.”  The question is: how does this political stance account for Muslims who are the descendants of enslaved Africans who were forcibly brought to America against their will?   Yasir Qadhi calling Muslims to be “proud American patriots” stands in sharp contrast to Black Muslim revolutionary Safiya Bukhari and Sekou Odinga who believed in the creation of the Republic of New Africa.

Indeed, it stands in sharp contradiction to Malcolm X who told Black people “You are not an American. You are a victim of America.” 

The fundamental reality is that Black people are not nor have they ever been part of mainstream American society. In the Political Economy of the Black Ghetto by political scientist William K. Tab, the author explains that the Black ghettos have a relationship with America that is similar to   a colonial power to its colony. Since Black people are not part of mainstream American society, Black people can never truly be part of the “American Muslim establishment.” Moreover, Black people have no business being patriotic towards a country that has oppressed them for centuries.

The American Muslim Establishment: An Affront to the Legacy of Malcolm X

The entire mainstream American Muslim establishment is an absolute affront to everything that Malcolm X stood for. The masjids and institutions of the mainstream American Muslim establishment  are more concerned about getting white folks to like Muslims than they are continuing about Malcolm X’s focus of an Islamic commitment to uplifting disenfranchised Black communities.

Our focus as  Muslims should not be seeking to make Islam more palatable to white oppressors. It should be to focus on Islamic outreach and liberation of oppressed Black communities. I invite all Muslims to support these initiatives focused on Islamic liberation  of oppressed Black communities instead of seeking to appease the white ruling class.

 

The Need For Islamic Outreach to the Black Ghetto

And We inspired the soul with knowledge of evil and piety. Those who purify their souls will certainly have everlasting happiness and those who corrupt their soul will certainly be deprived of happiness. (Surah ash-Shams, 91:8-10)

It is the duty of Muslims to confront tyranny and oppression wherever they find it—and what greater tyranny and oppression is there than the ghetto which America has imposed upon its Black population?  In the Political Economy of the Black Ghetto by political scientist William K. Tab, the author explains that the Black ghettos did not emerge out of thin air, rather, the ghetto is an actual unjust political arrangement that the white power structure in America uses to entrap, oppress, and degrade a black underclass which has been systematically ostracized from mainstream American social, political, and economic life.

Islam is about social transformation.  It comes to remove oppression and replace it with justice. Islam never came to appease oppressive power structures but to remove them entirely. Islam is an ever forward movement towards freedom and justice. It comes to replace ignorance with knowledge, replace decadence and immortality with righteousness and piety, and most importantly replace polytheism and atheism with the pure worship of one God.  Islam teaches its adherents to fight in the cause of the oppressed, the weak, and the downtrodden.

In pursuit of this Qur’anic ascribed agenda Muslims must see the need to shine the light of Islam throughout the oppressed ghettos of America.

And what is wrong with you that you fight not in the Cause of Allâh, and for those weak, illtreated and oppressed among men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You one who will protect, and raise for us from You one who will help.” 4:75 Qur’an

The Black Dawah Network believes that within the most dangerous hoods, those Black communities with high concentrations of poverty, home to recurring homicidal gang conflicts, police terrorism is the norm, where bullets take the lives of innocents, drug addiction and the drug economy go hand in hand-that Muslims should be giving Dawah to Islam.

Indeed, it is high time that Muslims heed the word of Marcus Garvey’s United Negro Improvement Association, who declared in their Champion Newspaper,  “The Negro is crying out for a Muhammad, a Prophet to come forth and give him the Qur’an of economic and intellectual warfare.”

From Southside Chicago to Compton, from Baltimore to South Memphis, Black people throughout America have been confined to impoverished ghettoes wherein the drug economy is king, gang violence rules, and too many Black youth expect to end up dead, in prison or both. This is the reality of Black youth life for in the ghetto. Consequently, it should be a goal that Muslims strive to free these communities from their oppression with the establishment of Islam.

Islam has the transformative power to turn the junkie on the corner into a scholar, to instill the spirit of brotherhood and unity amongst feuding gangs, and  to instill within a marginalized population, the courageous spirit, discipline, and determination to confront their oppressors and to  overcome the systemic forces that create, maintain, and perpetuate the maintenance of the ghetto. However, whether this potential is actualized will depend upon the actions of Black Muslim themselves.

If we are just content with primarily working in colonized immigrant Muslim institutions that do not have the interest of the oppressed black masses at heart and work towards assimilation with the white power structure of America–then this potential will never be actualized. And if this is the case, Islam in Black “America” will be a fading memory, we will be left to the nostalgia of the good days about Ali and Malcolm X and other cultural celebrations of Black Muslim identity all without an actual agenda or plan to push Islam forward in the Black community in the 21st century.

But it does not have to be that way.  We can change this trajectory! It will require the strength and conviction that our people are known for.  It will require Dawah like never before and a concentrated effort at expanding Islamic outreach in the most oppressed Black communities.

We are taught in Islam that should a people abandon their religion, Allah will raise up a new people who love Allah(swt)  to carry own the work for the rise of Islam, who do not fear nor concern themselves with the criticism of any critic. The Black Dawah Network contends that within the ghettos of America,  the victims of white capitalism, a class of people can emerge that can carry on the banner of Islam.

The Sahabah, the companions of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, were concerned with the growth and development of Islam throughout the world. The time has come to carry on this mission, to establish Islam in the ghetto.  It is the last hope of our people. It is the faith that can enable and facilitate the liberation of masses of Black people who are trapped in lives of misery and despair.

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, once went to the hostile city of Taif to invite the people to submit to their Creator. The residents of the city violently threw stones at him causing him physical pain. Yet, afterwards, the Prophet(pbuh) merely expressed that so long as Allah(swt) was not displeased with him he did not care what he faced from those people. When an angel arrived asking the Prophet(pbuh) if he wanted Allah(swt) to destroy the city in response to what they had subjected him to, the Prophet (pbuh) indicated he did not want this to happen explaining perhaps one day the city would be Muslim. And indeed, today, the city is all Muslims.

It is with this energy, that Muslims must go into the hostile ghettos of Black America to invite people to submit to their creator. We must see in the local drill rapper whose every lyric glorifies violence the potential to one day be a scholar of this faith and we must see in the low-level drug dealer on the block the potential one day to live a life of piety and  moral excellence. We must direct dawah towards the Black poor and disenfranchised, in the most hostile of blocks, be willing to endure whatever persecution and hardship comes our way and withstand the criticism of any critic. Therefore, lets us go from Atgelds Garden in Chicago to the Baisley Housing Projects of Queens, New York, let us go from Compton to South Memphis, and every hood in America giving dawah to Islam and working tirelessly towards Islamic outreach to the hood with Allah’s blessing every step of the way.

In Honor of Safiya Bukhari

Who taught you to hate yourself? (Political Comic)

 

After studying “Islam” in the white supremacist proxy state of  Saudi Arabia, Toby Muhammad returns to the United States on a determined mission to ensure Black American Muslims replace their forks with their fingers and their polos for Middle Eastern thobes.  Toby  will not stop until all Black Muslims are Arabized and Islam is completely detached from the Black Liberation struggle completely.

 

 

Though African-Americans are already divided due to the syndrome of Willie Lynch with hostilities between light skinned first dark skinned; male vs. female, Toby is determined to create further division by  introducing  to newly forming black Muslims communities medieval Islamic theological and juridical  debates and educate all  black Muslims on all  the deviations of Islamic scholars from the past to the present. Black folks used to ride on the back of the bus but if Toby is not stopped soon they could very will be riding on the back of the camel.

Can Toby be stopped?

Are you a Black Muslim who wants to stand up for the future of Islam in Black America?

       Do you want to Fight Toby Muhammad?

1)Follow the official Muslim Empowerment Institute Facebook page.

2) Subscribe to  Patheos’s Truth To Power. 

3) Purchase,”Toby Muhammad: From the Back of the Bus to the Back of the Camel,” August, 1st!