They Will Wear the Skins of Lambs Over the Hearts of Wolves

They Will Wear the Skins of Lambs Over the Hearts of Wolves March 21, 2023
With all praise to Allah, I am pleased to find myself again at the door of mercy. To be standing at the threshold of the most excellent month of the Islamic year, Ramadan. I find myself on this Willy Wonkaian golden ticket journey of the heart every year. I am continually inspired by the presence of this month in my life. A month of abstaining, controlling my desires in the hopes that the lessons will be instilled and I will celebrate eid with a pure heart.
As an Imam, Ramadan is always about providing the best possible experience for the community you are serving and helping people to conquer their demons and embrace submission to Allah. Many imams leave the month of Ramadan drained and desperate for a vacation. This is because we forget the words of our beloved.
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: مثل الذي يعلم الناس الخير وينسى نفسه كمثل السراج يضيء للناس ويحرق نفسه.
Our beloved صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ” A person who teaches goodness while neglecting his soul is like an oil lamp, which illuminates others while burning itself out.”
The spiritual leader of a community must take the time (not only during Ramadan) to focus on their spiritual life. You can not give from an empty cup, and you can’t force more liquid into one that is full. Finding Ramadan is a necessary reality to propel the student of knowledge into the ultimate truth of service. A masjid is only as strong as its leadership, and most masajid are run by boards that have been spiritually corrupted by power and ego. Therefore, the imam must be a mujahid, someone who is constantly striving to become closer to Allah by following the example of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم), thus mitigating corruption.  We find ourselves surrounded by wolves camouflaged in wool. It is reported that Abul-Aliyah said: There will come upon the people a time when their hearts will be derelict of the Quran; they will find neither sweetness nor pleasure by it. If they fall short of doing what they have been commanded to do, they will say: Allah is most forgiving and merciful (He will forgive us), and if they do what they have been forbidden from doing, they will say: we will be forgiven, we haven’t committed any association or partnership with Allah. Their affairs will all be based on [false] hope, having no truth and sincerity. They will wear the skins of lambs over the hearts of wolves. The best of them in his religion will be someone who compromises.
The imam is engaged in a spiritual war with Shaytan and a spiritual war with the masjid board. I am not saying nor implying that everyone on the board of a masjid is wicked or corrupted. In my and many other imams’ experiences, a majority spread more harm than good. Sahl ibn Sa’d narrated that Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Indeed, this khayr [i.e., all good] are treasures, and these treasures have keys. Glad tidings for a servant who Allah has made a key for good and a lock for evil; and woe to a servant who Allah has made a key for evil and a lock for good.” The imam must be a key of good and a lock of evil.
Three years ago, I left being an imam of a masjid and went into khalwa. Was I a lamp that illuminated others while I was being burned, or did I run out of locks of evil? The ummah of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) deserves better than being forced to find spirituality in third spaces while the masajid are empty. This Ramadan, the masajid will be full of Muslims trying to obtain the peace and tranquility found in the prayer. Many of those Muslims will be held hostage from the salah while someone begs for money and promises of only five more minutes. When eid comes, the masajid will be full of people enjoying the day, the next day, they will be empty again, and all the lessons that this month taught us will be forgotten and replaced with power and ego,
Abu Darda reported: The Messenger of Allah ( صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “If three people in a town or in the desert do not establish prayer among them, then Satan has overcome them. You must establish the congregation, for the wolf eats the isolated sheep.” As long as we face wolves inside and outside the masajid, we will always be devoured by the corrupt. They will wear the skins of lambs over the hearts of wolves. The best of them in his religion will be someone who compromises.

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