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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


A.M. Journal

Muhammad Speaks

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


AMJ: Is there a method for recall if you find that an Imam doesn't live up to the expectations of the community? Can you call for his resignation?

WDM: When I was representing the Council of Imams of the American Muslim Mission, we had what we called a vote of confidence that was taken every year. They (the Council) called it ratification.

I never called it ratification, I called it a vote of confidence — where if the people's support was still sufficient, that Imam could continue in office and they were voting just on their faith in his leadership. That's the way I conceived it, but it was taken out of content.

I feel that if they had that now that would be the best — not a ratification, you don't ratify an Imam -- you just indicate that he has done a good job this year, and that he has your continued support... support is extended to him for another year... that's the way I would like to see it....

Any time he can't get sufficient or majority support, or if a sufficient number of people are against him wherein it calls for them to look at other possible persons to fit into and fulfill that responsibility, they should not require an immediate or abrupt change in that administration.

It was my suggestion to them then, but I'm no longer giving this kind of advice now or this kind of help as an authority; I'm offering advice now as an authority in religion, not as an authority over the masjid — okay?

So, it was my belief that unless the person were guilty of very serious violations such as theft, adultery, physical cruelty or some other very serious misdeed, that person should be allowed to continue in office for a period of from 30 to 90 days -until the community feels satisfied that the new person, the replacement who had been accepted and voted on is ready — so that the duties can be smoothly transferred to that person.

We can't hold them to that now because I am not the administrative head. But I'm just offering that to the readers.

Next week: More on serious misconduct.