Dearest Black Muslim Family,
As salaamu alaikum. Peace be on you.
As we prepare to close out the first month of 2022 and enter February—Black History Month—I want to share my annual message with you.
I extend my warmest regards and humblest prayers for you and your families. These are indeed times of unique and singular trials. Prayers are more than needed—they are desperately required.
I am reminded of timeless lessons from a Friday sermon of His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, in which he reminded us about our responsibilities entering the new year—lessons that apply every year.
I want to draw your attention to three elements from this sermon even as I invite you to study the entire sermon. Our beloved Imam (may Allah strengthen him) was so prophetic in his guidance.
FIRST: His Holiness pointed out that while others are prone to frivolous things and worldly action, Muslims are enjoined to focus on Allah. The Khalifa reminded us that new year festivities take up lots of time, extravagance, and money. But we should engage humbly, meaningfully and with spirit.
SECOND: The Khalifa reminded us, and I quote:
“It is not easy to be a Muslim. Do not be content until you instill obedience of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and the Islamic model in you.”
This first part is critical. I know that we are very busy working on the mission of propagating the message of Islam. And it’s necessary as well as important. But here, our beloved Imam is reminding us that being a Muslim is a grave responsibility. It is hard work!
So we must ask ourselves, why would the people of this nation give up their worldly lives of relative ease in order to tread the difficult path of choosing Islam.
Yes. We know that Allah can and does make it easy. But non-Muslims do not have these glad tidings. So what is it about my character or your character that will make them give up this dunya (world) in order to seek the model of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, and to submit themselves to the Holy Quran?
THIRD: Our beloved Imam tells us in this sermon that we should not isolate ourselves from our families, our communities, and the people in our society. This—like remembering Allah and being obedient—is hard. The difficulties sometimes posed by many of our fellow humans require a special source of grace.
We must live with people and learn to show them compassion and care. Even where we disagree—and the Black Muslim community is by no means a monolyth—we cannot succumb to frustration, anger, or shortness of attitude. Instead, we should hold fast to the rope of Allah and be united, across sectarian and racial lines, as one Ummah. To that end, I look forward to connecting with brothers and sisters from across the country on common causes.
May Allah keep us this year to face the trials of 2022 with an attitude of submission, obedience, and care.
May Allah help all Muslims in their life endeavors.
May we remain united, steadfast, and find opportunities to grow in faith and to find greater access to Allah’s love.
My best and kindest regards to you all.
Pan African Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, USA
St. Louis, Missouri
This letter was adapted from Dr. Basiyr Rodney’s annual letter to the Pan African Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (PAAMA), for which he serves as President. Learn more about PAAMA at paama.us.
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