I first rise in humble submission and praises to the One God, Allah, author, creator, governor of the world, almighty, eternal and incomprehensible; my Everything! Honors to His/Our Love-Thought made manifest in the noblest image of our True Lord and Savior Prophet Noble Drew Ali, the Great Physician who brought the antidote for the mental-illness of the Asiatic Nations. Moorish Honors to the Servant of Allah, my Supreme Spiritual Guide and Teacher, Supreme Grand Sheik Dr. Ra Saadi El, our present day Reformer and Moorish Mahdi. Honors to all True and Faithful at this hour. Islam Islam Islam!!!
Study Group #8 in California, Moorish Science Temple of America-1928, had the distinct pleasure of representing our Prophet Noble Drew Ali’s Moorish Divine National Movement in a panel conversation hosted by the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa at Sojourner Truth Universal Church in San Pablo California on Thursday, January 28, 2016. The theme was “Love Your Muslim Neighbor” giving Muslims an opportunity to speak about their own experiences and educate the non-faith and faith communities about Islam. Needless to say, I was very humbled we were invited and at the same time a little nervous, as this was my first time as a panelist. In my salat before I left for the event, my prayer was that Allah would let the words of my mouth be the thoughts of my heart and that my thoughts be of Him.
I also want to be cognizant that I represent the Truth of Allah, Islam, our Prophet and our Moorish Islamic Community intelligently. Needless to say all went well! We were asked to present more information on our Prophet and MSTA and received an offer from the Executive Director of the Interfaith Council to assist us in getting the word out about our next event. We were approached by several of the panelists wanting to know more about our Prophet and MSTA. We also received an invite from a Sufi Muslim woman to visit her Masjid in Oakland, California who gave me a memorable embrace of hugs and more hugs. All Praises due to Allah for his guidance during the panel conversation.
As there were eight panelists presented and limited time to answer all the questions due to time constraints, I’m sharing my responses to the following questions below:
What is it like to be a Muslim in America?
As a Moslem who is Moorish in America living Islam, it’s a beautiful way of life in knowing that you’re One with Allah and is at peace with yourself and everyone around you; as well as being able to practice your Religion in America unmolested.
Share Your Difficulties and Causes for Gratitude.
Well, one of the difficulties we as Moorish Moslems encounter are the different looks we get from non-muslims because of the color of our skin, they think we’re a part of the Nation of Islam or are Black Muslims who practice Al-Islam. Just because we have the same skin, don’t make us kin. We as Moorish Moslems don’t identify ourselves with Black or African American. We are Moorish, descendants of the Ancient Moabites now known as Moors via Morocco. We are a Nation, we have a nationality as brought to us by our Prophet Noble Drew Ali.
The other difficulty is within Orthodox Islam, the Sunni community often look upon as differently because don’t practice Islam the way they do. We don’t pray five times a day, wear a Hijab and our women don’t walk behind our men. The Islam that is being propagated internationally is presenting the Arabic culture as the prima facie of Islam, and it is not. We live a Sufi form of Islam as prescribed to us by our Prophet Drew Ali. We have our own way of life.
I’m grateful we can be a part of interfaith communities like this one where we can come and share who we are, our Prophet and our way of life in living Islam, as well as learn about other faith communities.
Discuss some of the misconceptions of Islam and how to overcome them.
One of the misconceptions is that Prophet Mohammed is the Last Prophet. He is not the last Prophet. Even the Quran and the Bible tells us that Allah (God) sends a Prophet to every nation that speaks their language and is raised from amongst that people. Allah sent us a Prophet and that is Noble Drew Ali.
The other misconception is that as Moorish Moslems, we are not muslims because we don’t declare that Prophet Mohammed is the Messenger and last Prophet of Allah; when in fact, the Quran says that a muslim is one who submits to Allah and that everything is muslim. Before Allah created the first man, he created everything in peace and then formed the first man and placed him in that place of peace and taught him the nature of everything; it is when the first man submitted to Allah that the state known as Islam began. Islam is the intellectual property of Allah. No nation or people can claim Islam as their own.
One of the ways to overcome these misconceptions is not to judge or presume you know anything about anyone’s faith and culture. My Prophet teaches us that “man knows nothing by what he’s told but that for man to know, he himself must be what he knows” so unless you’re a Muslim, Moslem, Christian or Jew you only know what we tell you. Ask questions and then research to get a greater understanding of one another’s faith and culture within the Interfaith. Charity begins at home and then spreads abroad.
In closing, I want to extend a High Islam and Honor to my Spiritual Guide and Teacher Shaykh Ra Saadi El for his guidance in preparing me in the way I should go in demonstrating our Faith of Islam at this event.
Truly, you are my Blessing from Allah and I would follow no other! Peace and Love in Praise to Allah!
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