Dear Beloved Muslims,
Indeed, on this 15th day of Ramadan, as we examine and nurse from Al-Kitab, we must be mindful, aware and alert that we are beset and surrounded by open enemies, who invite us to practices and rebellious ideas that are diametrically opposed to the commandments of Al-Furqan, The Holy Qur’an. To realize this can help to ensure our spiritual and corporeal survival. We look today at Juz’ 15 of the sacred text of Al-Huda with a renewed and sharpened priority for the Believers, because as the old folks say, “looks like the world is coming apart at the seams”. The problems of the world have become like the mythic Greek monster Hydra — multi-headed and fiercely troublesome; crumbling economies, inequitably distributed resources, the rumblings of genocidal war and the ongoing threat of mutations of Covid-19 make daily life challenging in ways that even the wise prognosticators did not expect. That is precisely why the passages that we examine for this reflection are so important: they set things straight, and give us guidance on how to protect ourselves and our families, directly from the unimpeachable word of Allah.
“And say to my servants that they speak what is best. Surely the devil sows dissensions among them. Surely the devil is an open enemy to man.” — 17:53
Where we are asked by Allah “…will you then take him (Iblis, the devil) and his offspring for friends other than Me, and they are your enemies?” — 18:50
Now, I’m no wise man. I make no pretense to be a scriptural scholar or a technician of tafsir, but the Word of the Lord of the Worlds is clear. We are being warned against the tricks and outright opposition of the wicked one and his hosts. Make no mistake — as Black people, as Muslims, as women, as men, we are not universally loved. The question is, how can we navigate such perilous times and find safe harbor in Allah and Islam? Let us begin by “sizing up” our adversary.
The quoted verses from today’s juz’ give us cause to examine two primary expressions of the reprobate mind of evil. In Iblis, there is the proud arrogance that makes one think more of himself than he should. This is the hubris that compels one to value self above all others and see other human beings as inferiors. In Shaitan, we find the scheming machinations of a wicked one whose evil is not just limited to self. Shaitan seeks to seduce others into the ideas and behaviors that will destroy them. He is a deceiver, a tempter and an inviter to waste, debauchery, death and destruction. When a victim falls prey to the wiles of Shaitan and seeks to point a blaming finger at the beast (“The devil made me do it!” in their best Flip Wilson voice), the crafty one replies “…I had no authority over you, except that I called you and you obeyed me; so blame me not but blame yourselves” (14:22).
The question is, how can we navigate such perilous times and find safe harbor in Allah and Islam?
It is our own responsibility as Muslims to guard our souls, our bodies, our families and our communities against the attack of the devil. We cannot shrink in the face of this obligation. We must not fail in our duty!
As we go forth into this day of fasting, prayer, study and the life of a Muslim that we chose for ourselves, let us be reminded that our Allah is a just and equitable creator. Whose mercy always takes precedence over His punishment, but Whose chastisement is real and not an idle threat.
And We send not messengers but as givers of good news and warning, and those who disbelieve contend with falsehood to weaken thereby the Truth, and they take My messages and the warning for a mockery.
And who is more unjust than he who is reminded of the messages of his Lord, then he turns away from them and forgets what his hands have sent before? Surely We have placed veils over their hearts, lest they understand it, and a deafness in their ears. And if thou call them to the guidance, they will even then never follow the right course.
And thy Lord is Forgiving, Full of mercy. Were He to punish them for what they earn, He would certainly hasten the chastisement for them. But for them there is an appointed time from which they will find no refuge.
And these towns — We destroyed them when they did wrong. And We have appointed a time for their destruction. — 18:56-59
May Allah bless you with successful and joyous days of fasting during this Holy Month.
Ramadan Mubarak, Ya Muslimeen!
Love y’all, hear?
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Born and reared in Cincinnati, Mr. Muhammad has been present for or involved in most of the watershed historic events of the last 30 years, particularly as a top assistant to Nation of Islam leader The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Mr. Muhammad has traveled and worked extensively throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, with time in service in Ghana, West Africa, as well.
A hard-driving, inspirational community organizer, Mr. Muhammad served as a pioneering Nation of Islam leader in cities as diverse as New Orleans, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Atlanta. In his capacity as National Spokesman for the Nation of Islam, Minister Jamil has had meaningful and productive dialogue with many of America’s key opinion makers on all sides of all issues.
Mr. Muhammad also appeared on CNN’s “Black in America 2” in his role of Program Director of the Wedded Bliss Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based, non-profit missioned to promote Black marriages and healthy families in at-risk communities from coast to coast. He has served in that capacity for the past 12 years.