The American people have looked at all the available data about infections, hospitalization, death rates, potential waiting times for vaccines, recovery rates and at the overall risk benefit ratios of the nationwide lockdown and the changing of life in America as we know it, After all that and despite that there is just as much that we don’t know about COVID-19, as we know, many have decided what risks they are wiling to take in opening up states and getting their lives back to some normalcy. We don’t all agree as a country, but at least we know what our Governor’s, Mayors, our President and even what either side of our opinionated and often biased press has to say on the matter. One thing that Americans as a rule have an intense loathing for, is indecision. However, as Muslim Americans, specifically Back American Muslims and converts, we wallow in indecision. People don’t like when I say that, but alas, I don’t write for likes. Never did.
As Muslims we should engage in the same level of candid and sane discussion about the impact of COVID-19 on our faith, our faith practices, our livelihood, our holiday season and practices, and on the integrity of our religious institutions, just like everyone else. As American citizens, we get to engage in public dialogue with our leaders about what’s going on in real time. We know people’s positions on this pandemic, from competing scientists and academics, to politicians and the man or woman on the street. We freely examine graphs, polls, models, and conspiracy theories, and demand that everything is transparent even though it rarely is fully. Nevertheless, even in protest, we are still engaged. Additionally, as Americans we do something else that as Muslims we rarely do; empower those who are address our condition from the front lines.
As Muslims, most of us do not have designated Imams or leaders or have no idea who the leaders are or what they advise about what. We don’t know who’s making decisions about masaajid, discontinuation of religious practices, what the impact has been on individuals, and we rarely engage in open dialogue amongst leadership about what if anything needs to be done on the religious front. No public dialogue about whether decisions about masaajid closings need to be reconsidered, enhanced or modified or require additional attention. These are normal considerations of any people who refer to themselves as an ummah. Sometimes it seems that we are perpetually stuck in quick sand.
That is the most pathetic anomaly about this whole issue. As American Muslims, especially as Black Muslims, many of us are prisoners to our own civilizational paralysis. We’ve got to do better as civilization. And Allah knows best – Imam Luqman Ahmad.
Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad is a associate Imam and resident scholar at the Toledo Masjid al-Islam, housed in the first building built originally as a Mosque in the state of Ohio. The view represented in this article are his own and not necessarily the views of the Masjid Support at cash app to: $abulaith2