Many within the faith of Islam following the prescribe customs of Sunni Muslims who observe Ramadan during ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Ramadan month of observance in Al-Islam is not a fixed month as it will change based on the Islamic lunar calendar. The views of the one God is not seen the same to all however as Moorish American Moslems we are given one direction in our understanding practice and prescribe measures of our faith “Islamism” which we all must see Allah alike. Moorish Americans who seek to uphold teachings and customs of Al-Islam seem to be lacking basic understanding and having a dedicated spirit. The mere fact that our beloved Prophet Drew Ali provided Moorish American Moslems teachings from the Moslems of India, Egypt, and Palestine; nowhere is Arabia mentioned as a source for our Divine teachings. When understanding the reason of Ramadan which only means fasting, a deeper applied understanding is commonly absent replace by a foreign or carnal degree of practice.
The observing of fasting within any faith is merely a humble form of spiritual purification; a way of surrendering all physical desires to submit a perfect form in being at and in peace with the Creator of the Universe of All seen and unseen whom we as Moslems call Allah. Ramadan is a time to practice self-restraint; it is a time set out to cleanse the body and replenish soul from impurities and re-focus one’s self on the worship of Allah; which as a perfect practice on any level. As Moorish American Moslems we pray three times a day as prescribed by our Prophet Drew Ali, we have our greeting which is to say “Islam” and leave by saying “Peace and Love.” Our form of Islam was tailored made to fit our conditions in America while embracing the spirit of our ancient Forefathers.
As to the origin of Ramadan from an Al-Islam historical account it is said that the sacred knowledge was revealed to Muhammad during the month of Ramadan. “Laylat al-Qadr” is symbolically regarded as the same night on which the divine knowledge was gifted to Muhammad to be shared with humanity. The followers of Islam consider “Laylat al-Qadr” translate as the “Night of the Power,” the holiest night of the year. As a mark of respect to Allah and to show gratitude for the true knowledge that was gifted to humanity by the relieving of the Holy Quran to Prophet Muhammad. It was said that Prophet Muhammad had asked his true followers of Islam to pass the month of Ramadan in fasting, prayers and other austerities and end the month-long of non-indulgence with festive celebrations which reflected off the customs and traditions of Arabs.
The question for Moorish American Moslems why not pay tribute to your own Prophet Drew Ali? Did he not delivered our Holy Koran within the month of October along with moving us past being a movement but a Clean and Pure Nation? Our Prophet gave us everything we need to save ourselves so why are some many folks claiming to be Moorish American Moslems holding up foreign teachings and customs. If our Prophet Drew Ali instructed Temple leaders not to have a foreigner teach from the roster why then are Moorish Americans going in search of different teachings and customers outside the Temple? We as Moorish American Moslems with the Grand Body of MSTof A- 1928 have nothing against believers in how they choose to practice their faith of Islam. However, we find a majority of us for following our own Prophet in not holding up the idea that Prophet Muhammad is the last and final seal of all Allah’s Prophets. Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and according to the Al-Islam it is considered a lawful observation; however allow us to review all said lawful pillars of Al-Islam.
Declaration of Faith or belief in the Oneness of God and the finality of the prophethood of Muhammad: There is no observing any other Prophet but Muhammad; for a Moorish American Moslem to hold up Prophet Drew Ali as being the last Prophet in this area of time; it is considered haram.
Salat/Establishment of the daily prayers: For a Moorish American Moslem we have our prescribed prayers done three times in a day (Morning, Noon and Evening). Because we do not pray five times a day, it is considered haram. However, there is nothing written in the Quran that specifies praying five time’s a day. Although there is various surah which speaks about one guarding their morning, noon and evenings prayers.
Zakat /Concern for and giving to the needy: We as Moorish American we pay dues and give donations first to our Temples as charity start first at home. Because we do not support Al-Islam Mosques or their agenda, it is considered haram.
Ramadan/ Self-purification through fasting: Many Moorish American will not follow an Al-Islamic custom/law/tradition which is based on the above pillars Ramadan. It behoove us why would any Moorish American choose to participate observing Ramadan during the same time as those in Al-Islam; however, negate serving the other pillars in the same way according to Al-Islamic practice/law/customs.
Hajj /The pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able: Another customary law in Al-Islam; however for Moorish Americans, Chicago is known as our Moorish Mecca as stated by our beloved Prophet Drew Ali. If our Hajj (pilgrimage) to Chicago, Ill is equated in the same manner as Al-Islam Hajj to Makkah in Arabia; why not is the same observation for Ramadan not being observed by ALL Moorish Americans in the same month as our Holy Hajj October. October the same month our Prophet Drew Ali revealed the Holy Koran (Circle 7) to all Moslem’s in North America.Our Prophet said that we are to have our customs, traditions, and laws though using what he formulated as the base for all legitimate Temple to build on. (El, 2005).
Only by having excellent leadership who teaches us how to defend our faith of Islam through many lessons we find within the Holy Quran of Mecca that Prophet Muhammad is not the last Prophet and that a holy book is revealed to every people. Too often many people see customs and traditions a qualifying factor to being Islamic, as Moorish American Moslems we understand that customs and traditions do not alter the nature of truth.
As Moorish American Moslems our book was revealed to us by Prophet Drew Ali. Therefore, we find it not only honorable but a necessity to pay tribute by observing Ramadan within the month of October. Moorish Ramadan has been a practice for many Moorish Americans for over 20 years and continues to grow each year having many Moorish American Moslems submit to honoring their very own Prophet Drew Ali who is our gift from Allah giving us an understanding of our faith, nationality, and history.
Back in March of 2014, the Department of Corrections for the State Michigan had officially recognized Moorish Ramadan in the month of October; our Brothers and Sisters who are incarcerated being active members of MSTofA-1928 are accommodated by receiving their meals before sunrise and after sunset in observing their Moorish Islamic tradition of fasting. A historical measure that was fought for over ten years to be acknowledged within Michigan State prisons; this could not have occurred if not for the consistency of strong leadership and faithful Moorish American Moslems holding fast to their customs and traditions. Our faith of Islam was not presented to us like a buffet where we pick and choose to our carnal taste and desires; while some will say we call ourselves Moslems but choose not to follow Al-Islam. Being a Moslem is no way an indication of following an Arab or Al-Islam degree; Moslem is not some intellectual property formulated by Arabs/Al-Islam as Prophet Drew Ali stated where our Moslem lessons originated from as Arabia was never mentioned.
At present, you will not find within any legitimate Moorish Science Temple of America Grand body other than the MSTofA-1928 where there is a standard with consistency in teaching and practice of our faith. We have seen Temples under the same leadership have a mixture of understanding and various practice of their faith which only leads to confusion. Our Divine lessons are absent from any ambiguity which can only be done by way of clear guidance and a humble heart.
In closing, the genuine and faithful Moorish American Moslems comprehend the inner life by what they see and do, by coming to Allah through ceremonies and forms. We take great pride in who we are and what we do in giving praises to Allah and honors to our beloved Prophet Drew Ali. So for all the true and faithful Moorish American Moslems we looked forward to celebrating in our form with you in the Holy month of October Moorish American Moslems month of Ramadan.
Peace and Love in Praises to Allah.
The Moorish Science Temple of America-1928
Grand Governess Yssis Saadi El
El, R. (2005). Islam In American A Moorish Perspective. Atlanta, GA: Saadi El Publishing.