Plans are at afoot to form an alliance of three muslim organizations which will emerge as Muslim Alliance Council of America (MACA).
For years, a concernd group of muslim families and individuals of both African and African-American origins–living in and around Virginia, Maryland-DC metro, as well as Baltimore city and county, have been united under different organizational identities such as Haskay, Amaana, and United Muslims of Baltimore (UMBA)–holding meetings and social events to uplift the religious and social welfare of the community.
But come this summer, these different organisations will launch MACA as an umbrella group to represent the entire community at the higher level.
At a dinner held recently to outdoor plans for the alliance , the president of Amaana, Haj Ali Kessie, who gave a welcome address to an expectant audience, shared some thoughts about the background of MACA–detailing how the idea was muted, while emphasizing the need for unity in order to confront the community’s many challenges to become a strong Ummah.
Speaking on „Strengthening Our Community“, the president and of the United Muslims of Baltimore (UMBA), Sheikh Mustapha Mohammed, reminded the audience that after years of living in the United States, they have no any other place to really call home, adding that African Muslims living in Maryland-Prince Georges County, Virginia, and Baltimore city and county have many issues to graple with, but they can only address these issues as a united body.
„We need to help each other, but we cannot do this as individuals. So the wise among us saw the need to come together, sit down, and plan.“ He added.
Sheikh Mustapha said that a constitution for MACA is currently being formulated, and administrators who will run the affairs of the organization will be constituted before the launching at a later date.
He also hinted that a committee is currently discussing the need to secure properties in Virginia, Prince Georges County, and Baltimore, where community events such as marriage, naming ceremony, and funeral prayers shall be held among other events.
Chief Imam of Amaana, Sheikh Firdaws Ladan, who spoke on „Our Youth–Leaders of Tomorrow“, reminded the youth that it is an uphill task to become a leader and that there will be many challenges ahead, but success or lack there of will only depend on a collective resolve to confront these challenges.
To be well equipped for leadership, Sheikh Firdaws urged the youth to seek education in order to become competent leaders; embrace sincererity as a key factor for a successful leadership; adopt humility and modesty as guiding sign posts; avoid showing off to seek people’s attention to what they do as Muslims; and strive to be peace makers by avoiding hearsays and pettiness.
Sheikh Firdaws, who also serves as the Resident Scholar at the Maryland-based Masjid Ibn Taymiyyah, called on the youth to do all it takes to help the alliance gain strength or „die trying“, while cautioning parents not to „socialize Islam“, but “ Islamize socialization“ by adopting an Islamically-compliant alternative means to socialize with, and entertain their children. „It is not enough to just tell them to stop!“
He concluded by a presentation laced with several cases and sayings from the Qura’n, Hadith, as well as works of classical Islamic scholars to support his message.
Speaking on „Our family–Our Community“, a US-based Ghanaian Islamic scholar, Sheikh Rashid Lamptey, took the audience through the causes of family break-up, highlighting the key role that satan plays in matrital homes, while recommending four solutions to fiight againt satanic negative influences in marital homes–in order to build a strong family which will lead to a strong community.
He observed that often soon after getting married, Muslim couples tend to find faults from each other to apportion blames easily, but little do they know that satanic influence play a huge role in controling their actions and the ensuing angry re-actions. He therefore charged Muslim couples to do all they can to control their anger when provoked, to help secure their marital homes.
Sheikh Lamptey also identified communication as another key factor that causes marital break ups, and observed that couples‘ communications often lose their intimate, fun-filled nature. „We are not sharing things and exposing our selves to the communication and therefore our communications tend to be formal and short when talking to each other as couples,“ he added, and urged couples to try to put in the intimate steam that goes with marital communication to ensure a happy family and with it a strong community.
He also mentioned lost of affection as another cause of family break up–with couples often re-visiting old grudges in order to forment trouble and find a way out of the relationship. „While underestimating the dangers of our actions, we then start talking to another person to draw fun from the new person,“ he added and called for the need to practice extreme patience to strengthen „our family and community.“
The event was opened with a Quranic recitation by Abdul-Majeed Mahmoud, and moderated by Haj Ahmed Lamptey.