MISSOURI – An American Imam from Missouri has shared a heart-touching letter he received from two fourth-grade pupils who attend the mosque he administers.
“In class we were learning about helping others and how we should treat others nicely even if they are not nice to us. How we should bring peace and harmony between Muslims and non-Muslims. We learned how Muhammad (s) helped and treated others and we hope to follow in his footsteps,” Moemin and Hussain wrote in the letter, Ilm Feed reported on Tuesday.
“Thank you for being someone that our community can look up to and turn to in times of need,” they added.
Imam Umar expressed that the letter, posted in the mosque’s mailbox, brought a smile to his face.
“Alhamdulillah as Imams we have many duties and responsibilities and we also go through ups and downs which most congregants don’t realize,” said imam Asif Umar.
“Alhamdulillah, when things like this happen it is indeed a blessing from God and makes you feel like you are doing something with Allah’s help to try and make a difference in someone’s life. May Allah give all Ulama and leaders the ability to fulfill their duties properly and with sincerity.”
Umar advised “other Imams to be sure their intention is pure, and if one receives praise in the dunya, this is a bonus from Allah. But don’t let that get to your head, for arrogance and pride will kill the heart take away one’s good deeds and efforts in an instant.”
Islam is the third largest religion in the United States of American after Christianity and Judaism. According to 2016 estimate, there were 3.3 million Muslims in USA, about 1% of the total U.S. population.
American Muslims come from various backgrounds and, according to a 2009 Gallup poll, are one of the most racially diverse religious groups in the United States. Native-born American Muslims are mainly African Americans who make up about a quarter of the total Muslim population.
Many of these have converted to Islam during the last 70 years. While an estimated 10 to 30% of the slaves brought to colonial America from Africa arrived as Muslims.
The first American Muslim institution was the Islamic Center of Washington at Washington, D.C. which was opened in 1957. Nowadays, about 72% of American Muslims are immigrants or second generation.
At present, many mosques are served by imams who immigrate from overseas, as only these imams have certificates from Muslim seminaries. Even tough, more than half of the country’s estimated 2,500 mosques lack a full-time imam.