Imam Siraj Wahaj shares in his talk, “My Story” how he handles a confrontation going into a rough housing project in Brooklyn, New York to call his people to Islam. He encountered two young African-American men whose body language appeared as though they were going to rob them. At this point, Imam Siraj Wahaj says he had a decision to make. Would he turn away or go forward and approach them? However, he thought to himself, “I fear nothing but Allah” and proceeded. One of the men pulled out a gun, hesitated, but then put it back in his pocket expressing that he simply could not bring himself to rob a Muslim.
Such a powerful story demonstrates the respect and honor that Muslims held in Black America at the time.The respect came from years of African-Americans inspired by Islam working to uplift the Black community. This is the work that Muslims return to in Black America. Muslims must be leaders in fighting the institutional racism in Black America, Muslims must be leaders in working to bring peace in the Black America and taking a stand against drugs, gang violence, and other ills. Muslims must be leaders in helping end the Black white achievement gap and encouraging our communities to aspire for the better. Let’s revive the Black Muslim tradition of being in the streets among our people, informing our community about Islam.