By Imam Nadim Ali
As we witness the waning days of the month of Ramadan it is important that we reflect on all of the verses that we have read this month. Is also important that we start to internalize the concepts in the Quran.
As we fast it gives us an opportunity to reflect on our origins, and the importance of being good servants of Allah.
When we look in the Qur’an, specifically as people of African descent, we seek to find our story being told because every people is able to see themselves in the Qur’an.
In juz’ 27 there is a focus on the importance of justice and accountability for our actions. To the descendants of slaves, this is something that weighs heavily on us specifically due to the fact that there have been no reparations for the toils of our ancestors. However, what we are to understand as Muslims is that true justice and reparations will be with Allah.
We also see that there is a reward for people who are righteous, and there are various descriptions given on how we can strive for the benefits of this world and the next.
We see that people who have had great power and great wealth in the past challenged Allah, and were chastised and punished for their arrogance and lack of humility. In this, we can reflect on the west and how much power it has been given in this world and how it has abused its power.
It has abused many people from the Native American to the African American to the poor. While the needs of the poor go unaddressed, wealth continues to be distributed among the rich.
When we look at the different verses we see how Allah was trying to warn mankind to lead a life that is good and the consequences for not doing so.
Allah shares with us how the people of Ad and the Thamud and Sodom and Gomorrah—the superpowers of their day—were destroyed for their disobedience.
And in the Thamud (was another sign) Behold they were told, Enjoy your brief day for a little while!
And the Thamud he left no trace of them.
And before them the people of Noah, for that they were all most unjust, and most insolent transgressors.
And he destroyed the overthrown cities (of Sodom and Gomorrah)—51:43-53
Imam Jamil Al-Amin has said: “The Qur’an is not a history book it is news.”
It is a book that tells us what we need in this life and the Hereafter. We see how many of the prophets were driven out of their lands, and how they were not taken seriously.
And as Muslims today we are being challenged by the people who do not believe like we believe, trying to find ways to put us out, and keep us out.
As African American Muslims we have a special responsibility because we have a vested position in this land, the very wealth of this land was acquired through our labor.
So as time goes on we will see the need to step up and step out and in many instances act out. And once we take a stance Allah will assist us.
We see how the signs have been rejected in the past, and we have to understand and overstand that we are a people who have the book; we have to act in a fashion that is assertive.
On the authority of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (ra) who said:
I heard the Messenger of Allah say, “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart—and that is the weakest of faith.
Imam Nadim Ali is the Imam of the Community Majid of Atlanta, and the Convener for the Metro Atlanta Majlis Ash-Shura. Imam Nadim is a therapist and consultant and is married with five adult children.