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How the concept of “American Muslim” is breaking our society.
American muslim-new-mosque-Ghana,WebP
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How the concept of “American Muslim” is breaking our society.

The Muslim society is facing so much push backs from different cultures. And this often settles on the shoulders of young muslims who want the tag “American Muslim”.

The advent of technology and globalization has led to easy assimilation of cultures. Consequently increasing the feelings of belonging, acceptance and seeking validation from a wider community.

Many of these cultures often go against the foundational principles of Islam. Cultural practices are being curated into music, film, fashion, finance, education for instance. In short, all areas young people are enthused about.The “American dream”.

The young muslim in their quest to navigate life find themselves in this “world” not made for muslims. They sink into the dilemma of embracing their Muslim identity while imbibing other cultures and trends to seem woke. This balance they seek is often unachievable because Islam by nature is independent of cultures that goes against its doctrines.

For instance, a young muslim’s ability to pray five times a day but still go to the nightclub . Stay away from pork but take alcohol. Cover your hair but wear figure hugging clothes. Listen to the Quran but also know every latest song. Keep the beard and quote verses of the Quran and Hadith but also wear mini shorts ,among other scenario will afford you the name ” American Muslim”.

That is to say, you are “Hip, Funky, Modern” and have a balance of Deen and Duniya.

As a result,Muslims who are striving to do the barest minimum are considered “too serious” or “fake” because then, they are not showing their “true colors”. True colors being the human need for belonging and acceptance.

Self discipline and restraint have been shoved under the carpet. Failure to show the slightest form of indiscipline in the same vein, would be considered too serious.

Sadly, anytime the conversation about doing better with our relationship with Allah and islam comes up, we remember verses of the Quran. A way to defend the ego, that, “Faith is in the heart”. We ridicule those who are visibly muslim, not just jalbab/khimar wearing. But also those forbidding haraam publicly. Calling them hypocrites.

We pass comments like, “they are publicly muslims but they commit a lot of evil in secret”. That there are people who engage in haraam(taking alcohol, dressing inappropriately, gambling etc) but are consistent in prayers. We applaud them because they are trying and doing what is most obligatory ,”salah”. We forget that, Allah would rather we commit sin in secret. This prevents the replicating effect of sin.

This is a characteristics of a hypocrite.

Many young people would rather be an “American Muslim” because it gives them the circle of friends. It affords them the feelings of belonging/acceptance/validation they so desire. This feeling is valid. But misplaced.

However, what it does is, to rid them of their identities and ability to discipline themselves. Build on their relationship with Allah and getting to the next best level.

This is not to say that it is bad to practice faith that comes easily to us. This is to point out that we are not seeking for growth in our spirituality and relationship with Allah.

We want to do the barest minimum for the maximum reward. It is important to do more than just having a limit we do not cross in faith. Let us see the urgency in the need to strive for the next best level.

Muslimaatin, Muminaatin, Qaanitaatin, —-Thaaihaatin and it goes on.

The “American Muslim” is a slang by Ghanaian Muslims (mostly zongo). 

ModestCode is only addressing a problem in the Ghanaian Muslim community. We are not associated with stereotyping of any people.

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31 comments
  • It is sad how the current generation of Muslims keep looking for labels to suit our whims. These labels begin as a way to express our wokeness only to drive us into disbelief in the end. Let’s strive to shed off these labels and keep the only title (Muslim) Allah has bestowed upon us. May Allah keep us steadfast on His deen 🙏

  • This is a solid reminder for us to go back to Allah fully and not part-time Muslim…

    Another thing. You’re blessed with a solid writing prowess. Please don’t joke with it. I salute!

  • Let’s keep pushing this article. The habit of using this tag is so serious that even if you dress and don’t have that intention to be called that, they do so all in the name of you are dressed like an American. So the question is how should a Ghanaian Muslim dress or African muslim dress. It doesn’t even make sense. May Allah guide us to the right path.

  • I’ve always pondered on the saying ‘faith is in the heart ‘ . Whatever is “in the heart” will surely reflect on the outside.
    May Allah guide Us All. Aameen 🤲.

  • It’s a thought provoking piece
    I agree with most of the concerns raised it in as I witness a lot on campus.
    And I think as a Muslimah, it’s high time we learn more and realize that halal and haram is explicit, there is no in between. We need to find our identity and stick to it and not be swayed away by current trends.

  • Most of the indecent and an unscrupulous behaviors of our Muslim umma nowadays are caused by parents or guardians. Parents seemed to have been lubricating the wheels of this awful attitude. The reason being that, most of the parents are mute when they see their children putting up certain behavior at their tender age. There’s a say in “Dagbani”that “ Zaham Yinamaha Ka abiporo Oyitikuugi Ka ayanporo Onikabgi “ Meaning (if you fail to twist a fish at the time it’s wet when it’s dried and you try to, it will break) some parents don’t call their children to order when they are going astray. Parents are supposed to talk to their children, advice them and even tell the children the consequences of both good and bad characters but most of the parents don’t. Children at their tender age perceive their parents as their God so it becomes easy to control them at that age then to wait till they become mature. So if parents do not complain about their life style who are you to tell them that the particular life they live is not appropriate. Parents and the society have to do what is expected of them. May Allah guide us all. Aami ###

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    1. Parents should talk to and advise their wards.
    2. Imams should continue preaching to the umma.

    3. We all have to keep praying for ourselves and to those who have gone astride.

    4. Every Muslim should at least sit back once in a day to ponder over their actions and attitude.

    I think if we consider the little I have contributed above will also help to curtail this canker.

  • Maa sha Allah and jazakhallahu khairan for this article.

    It is indeed a jihad navigating our present day world, and honestly it is only by Allah’s support that one cannot be detracted by all the noise around us.

    May almighty Allah aid us, make it easy for us to practice our noble Deen in the manner that’s been prescribed and facilitate our affairs for us such that we would strive to please Him only.

  • Jazakillah khair for the article. The phrase that we are muslims at heart people abuse is so disheartening. What is within should project outside. Even the true american muslims are one of the most steadfast people I have come across. Even with the environment they are in where distractions are all abound and is so easy to go astray, they remain steadfast. The “american muslim” is projected by the western media by non-practicing muslims as a way for integration as they deem true practice as been extremist. We as muslims have to be wary of this fact and be guarded of what influences us. Great write up.

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