The End - 2000 to 2009

Guess who’s Salafi?

  • Author: MR
  • Filed under: Islam, News
  • Date: Sep 9,2006 | 09:49 PM
AlMaghrib.
Shaykh Yasir Qadhi said:

“It’s unprecedented that a Salafi is doing a graduate degree at an Ivy League school,” said Qadhi, 31. “Our forebears would see that as anathema.”

Here is the full article:

For Conservative Muslims, Goal of Isolation a Challenge
9/11 Put Strict Adherents on the Defensive
By Caryle Murphy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 5, 2006; A01

Twelve girls sat in rows at the front of the community room in Silver Spring’s Muslim Community Center, calming their nerves with giggles and girl talk. In their sweaty hands, they held prepared speeches. On their heads, they wore scarves in a rainbow of colors: pink, brown, gold, white and lavender.

The seventh- and eighth-graders were competing in a debate on this question: Is a segregated, all-Islamic upbringing key to protecting your Muslim identity?

Eight of the dozen argued yes, using variants of the theme offered by Fatimah Waseem. Young Muslims “join with the non-Muslims, copy them and look up to them. This is hurting our identity. . . . Sometimes, we turn way from Islam,” she said. “In conclusion, . . . we cannot sway in the wind and become weak. We need to be protected . . . by segregation.”

Takbeer! ” shouted some in the audience of proud, clapping parents as each girl concluded her case. “Let us praise God!”

Like Fatimah, most of the debaters attend Al-Huda School in College Park. It is run by Dar-us-Salaam, one of the Washington area’s most conservative Muslim congregations. Many of its members believe that, in order to be true to their faith, they should live apart from secular society as much as possible. The congregation’s Web site describes how it hopes one day to become a self-contained Islamic community.

The kind of Islam practiced at Dar-us-Salaam, known as Salafism, once had a significant foothold among area Muslims, in large part because of an aggressive missionary effort by the government of Saudi Arabia. Salafism and its strict Saudi version, known as Wahhabism, struck a chord with many Muslim immigrants who took a dim view of the United States’ sexually saturated pop culture and who were ambivalent about participating in a secular political system. It was also attractive to young Muslims searching for a more “authentic” Islam than what their Westernized immigrant parents offered.

But the discovery that 15 of the 19 Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers were Saudi and that their violent al-Qaeda ideology was rooted in Wahhabism had a particularly deep impact on Salafis, whose theology and practices were suddenly suspect.

The attacks “shook the foundations of anyone affiliated with Wahhabism or Salafism,” said Chris Khalil Moore, 31, of Annandale, a convert who became immersed in Wahhabism while studying in Saudi Arabia before abandoning that approach to Islam. “Because they were fingered, pointed at, as being the ideology that helped foster the mentality of those hijackers,” he said, “I think a lot of people got scared.”

One of the area’s most prominent Salafi preachers, Ali al-Timimi, is in prison, convicted on charges that he incited young Muslims to wage war against the United States. Dar al-Arqam Islamic Center in Falls Church, where he preached, is now closed. The Saudi government’s proselytizing campaign has also been rolled up. Its preachers were sent home, and a Saudi-run institute in Fairfax that taught a strict Salafi outlook no longer has any students.

Moderate Muslims have become more vocal in warning about the dangers of separatism and fundamentalism while policing rhetoric that could be construed as radical or extremist. In particular, they increasingly take exception to the sharp divide between Muslims and non-Muslims drawn by some Salafis, saying it can encourage intolerance and violence.

The sense of beleaguerment among many Muslims in the Washington area is particularly strong among Salafis. “In the past, people would say, ‘I’m Salafi.’ Now, I never encounter people who say that,” District resident and Muslim activist Svend White said. “It’s a combination of fear, anxiety and a real change in the community.”

Seeking ‘Pure’ Islam
Taken broadly, practicing Salafism means imitating the ways the prophet Muhammad and his companions in the 7th century practiced their faith, from their clothing to the spiritual principles that guided them. Salafism also stresses a return to fundamentals in pursuit of “pure” or “authentic” Islam.

Wahhabism is an ultra-conservative brand of Salafism that emerged in Saudi Arabia. Its strictest adherents read Islamic scriptures literally, reject centuries of Islamic legal scholarship as unnecessary “innovation” and regard many Western values as un-Islamic. They also regard Jews, Christians and non-Wahhabi Muslims as “unbelievers” who should be avoided.

“Salafis are the fundamentalists of the Muslim world,” said Ihsan Bagby, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Kentucky. “Just as Christian fundamentalists are focused on who’s going to heaven and hell, who’s the true believer and who’s the nonbeliever,” Salafis “are really focused on belief. . . . For the most part, they are apolitical.”

Polling by Bagby found that about 8 percent of worshipers at U.S. mosques favor a Salafi approach. But although Salafi Muslims are more isolated now, some scholars say their approach to Islam could become more appealing in response to increasingly negative views of Muslims among Americans and vitriolic Islam-bashing on the Internet.

“Salafi teachings begin to be more attractive to more Muslims as a defensive response,” said Peter Mandaville, an assistant professor in George Mason University’s Public and International Affairs Department. “In the face of this new global war on Islam, they are saying, we will hold fast and emphasize anew the fundamental tenets of our faith.”

Safi Khan, Dar-us-Salaam’s imam, declined requests to discuss the mosque or his theological beliefs, and Minhaj Hasan, a spokesman for the mosque, said its officials had decided not to talk to Washington Post reporters.

But other Salafis have tried to allay fears that their brand of Islam fosters extremism.

Salafi Society D.C., a group of mostly African American Muslims who worship in an unadorned white brick building in Northeast Washington, has a prominent disclaimer on its Web site stating that “we are free from . . . car bombings, highjackings [sic], suicide killings, and all forms of terrorism.”

Nihad Awad, executive director of the D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Salafis increasingly are prepared to participate in the U.S. political system instead of shunning it. “I have been invited [by Muslims] to talk about election strategy, whereas I would not have been invited before,” he said.

Yasir Qadhi, a lecturer with AlMaghrib Institute, an Islamic educational organization founded by a former prayer leader at Dar-us-Salaam, cited his own experience as an example of how Salafism has adapted in the United States.

Qadhi, who was born in Houston and graduated from Saudi Arabia’s Islamic University of Medina, is getting his doctorate in Islamic studies at Yale University — a sign, he said, of how second-generation Muslims are adapting. “It’s unprecedented that a Salafi is doing a graduate degree at an Ivy League school,” said Qadhi, 31. “Our forebears would see that as anathema.”

In the past, Qadhi said, Salafis debated whether Muslims should even live in the United States. “For me, that question is so utterly ridiculous,” he said. “Where do you want us to go?”

The Saudi Campaign
Nabil Samman’s urgent voice filled the prayer rooms — one for men, one for women — at the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America on a recent Friday afternoon. The white-bearded, Jerusalem-born prayer leader was giving a khutba , or sermon, about the perils of not properly supervising Muslim girls.

Parents should be concerned if “girls start wearing makeup or waiting after school,” he said. “Girls who have secret affairs hide things from their parents.”

The midday prayer service over, scores of Muslim men poured out of the sprawling two-story brick building opposite a sandlot on Hilltop Road in Fairfax. Heading for their cars, they passed a bearded youth hawking materials about Islam at a folding table. Grabbing a handful of DVDs, he yelled, “Take one and share it with a non-Muslim!”

As khutbas go, Samman’s was fairly typical, a man identifying himself only as Ahmed stressed to a visitor. “Now,” he said, “the sermon here is no politics, nothing controversial, only talk about good morals, good behavior. We don’t associate ourselves with any sect or any group.”

These days, the institute is open only for Friday prayers, which draw as many as 800 worshipers. But from the time it opened in 1989 as a satellite campus of a Saudi religious university in the capital Riyadh until it was closed in January, it was a key element in the Saudi campaign to spread Wahhabi Islam, an effort intended to counter radical Shiite Islam coming out of the 1979 Iranian revolution.

The Saudi Embassy’s Islamic Affairs Department, which at its peak in the late 1980s had an annual budget of $8 million and 35 to 40 staff members — many of them with diplomatic visas — ran the campaign. Across the country, they built mosques, distributed Korans and brought in foreign imams to lead congregations.

For many years, the Saudis distributed a widely used English edition of the Koran with commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali. But in the late 1990s, they began giving out a new edition called “The Noble Koran,” with commentary that reflected the Wahhabi outlook of two scholars at the University of Medina.

Many local Muslims were particularly embarrassed by commentary that disparaged Jews and Christians even though neither group is mentioned in the original Arabic. “The outcry was so great. . . . People were disgusted,” said Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, head of Bethesda’s Minaret of Freedom Institute, an Islamic think tank. “And it wasn’t just liberals. I couldn’t find an American Muslim who had anything good to say about that edition. I would call it a Wahhabi Koran.”

The institute in Fairfax was a way for the Saudis to tap the talents of the brightest Muslims in the United States. Its free Arabic classes were a boon for new converts. And those who did well academically were offered full scholarships to study at Saudi universities.

Most of the institute’s faculty were Saudi-born or Saudi-trained religious scholars who had a conservative Salafi or Wahhabi perspective. Sheikh Abdel Aziz Fawzan, who taught Islamic law, drew a theological lesson from the 2004 South Asia tsunami that was similar to the one evangelical Christian Jerry Falwell initially drew from the Sept. 11 attacks. The tsunami, Fawzan declared, was God’s punishment for allowing resorts where “especially at Christmas, fornication and sexual perversion of all kinds are rampant.”

When the U.S. government took a harder look at Saudi activity here after Sept. 11, the Fairfax institute was targeted. Sixteen faculty members were asked to leave the country in December 2003 when the State Department revoked the diplomatic visas of more than 20 Saudis involved in religious outreach.

The revocations were part of an effort to curb what U.S. officials considered intolerant religious rhetoric and ensure that all embassy staffers were engaged in legitimate diplomatic activities, U.S. and Saudi officials said at the time. A senior Saudi official added then that his government intended to “shut down the Islamic affairs section in every embassy.”

In mid-2004, federal agents raided the institute, confiscating computers and documents. But no one closely associated with the facility has ever been charged with a terrorism-related crime.

In a recent interview in his elegant wood-paneled embassy office, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki al-Faisal, said his government had suspended its missionary activities in this country. “We are in a very intense review of all of the past activities that were undertaken,” he said. “And we haven’t yet reached any specific plan for where we’re going for the future.”

Part of that review involves examining religious material “that could in any form, way or shape be interpreted as bigoted or extreme or offensive, not just to non-Muslims, but even some Muslims,” he said. The embassy, he added, distributes only Arabic editions of the Koran, with no commentary.

Turki rejected the idea that his country’s proselytizing might have contributed to the 2001 attacks. The institute in Fairfax and its mother university in Riyadh “have graduated literally thousands of people over the years,” he noted. “If they had been proselytizing for jihadist [ideas] as such, there would have been even more numbers from those thousands . . . who would have turned toward that inclination.”

A Separate Community
The utopian vision of an all-Islamic oasis within the United States’ secular society has taken seed in College Park’s Dar-us-Salaam congregation. Its one-story, red-brick building sits at the end of a narrow, tree-lined street of compact homes built in the early 1950s off Route 1, a few blocks from an IHOP and a Dunkin’ Donuts.

A sign in a corner of the parking lot underscores its strict gender segregation.

“Sisters Only,” it reads.

Inside is the congregation’s prayer room — divided by a tall barrier so men and women cannot see one another during worship — and classrooms for Al-Huda School’s 300 to 400 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Here, too, is Muslim Link, a community newspaper published by Dar-us-Salaam.

The building houses a bookstore, grocery store and a tiny office that runs the mosque’s religious outreach, a top priority for the congregation. Office shelves are stacked with giveaways: English translations of the Koran — both “The Noble Koran” and Yusuf Ali editions — as well as glossy color brochures with instructions on how to become a Muslim. “It is best not to hesitate,” the brochures state, “if you are certain that you believe.”

Dar-us-Salaam, whose Friday prayer services draw 500 to 700 worshipers, describes on its Web site its plan to create an Islamic enclave as a way to sustain its members’ Muslim identity and spread Islam by example. Besides a mosque and school, “such an Islamic environment would include . . . businesses and shops for employment and basic needs, housing, medical and financial institutions.”

This dream reflects the strict Salafi approach of Saudi-trained Safi Khan, Dar-us-Salaam’s imam, who believes that Muslims in this country need close-knit communities to cope with pressures from law enforcement officials and a Western culture alien to Islamic values.

Khan’s outlook is clear from his recorded lectures, which are sold online and appear to have been given in the past few years.

The U.S.-raised son of Pakistani immigrants, Khan invokes the certainty of hellfire for those who flout God’s commandments, and he preaches that attaining a moral Islamic life in contemporary America requires shunning many commonplace things.

“For example, if you go home and watch TV every day . . . that’s not going to help you get close to God,” he says in one lecture. “If you go out to the game . . . or if you go to the movies often, if you love to go to parties, if you love music — all these things are not going to bring you closer to Allah.”

Also forbidden by Islam, Khan teaches, are “love letters, or chatting in the chat room without the presence of a guardian, . . . or writing e-mails that you know you have no business writing.”

Young Muslims in particular must be aware of the dangers to their faith, Khan says, because youth “is the time when there are a lot of temptations . . . when all these Ivy League universities try to take you to brainwash you into the way they want you to grow up, the way they want you to think.” It is the time “that all of America, all of the West, tries to concentrate on you . . . because once they control you, . . . then they have you, and for the rest of your life, you think like them.”

Khan believes that Islamic schools are imperative because Muslim children “now are not equipped to deal with mainstream America without compromising their Islamic values.” Usually, he says, “a big mixture happens between mainstream America and mainstream Islam, and . . . in most cases . . . Islam loses.”

He stresses how Muslims are different from non-Muslims, whom he calls “unbelievers.” Citing the mistreatment of Muslims, he says, “we must come together so we can ward off all these attacks.” Khan adds that by an Islamic community, he means “we begin to buy houses and begin to live right around the [mosque] so we meet each other” during the five daily prayer sessions.

In the hostile environment cited by Khan, Dar-us-Salaam offers a comforting alternative. The congregation has a “real community feel, so a lot of young people are attracted,” said Irfaan Nooruddin, 25, of Silver Spring, a financial analyst who is not a member but sometimes prays there. “I don’t agree with their Salafi [outlook] at all. But I do respect the fact that they’re people who are attempting to understand the religion.”

Mostafiz Chowdhury said he chose Al-Huda, the congregation’s school, because he wants to provide his children with an “Islamic upbringing” and protect them from public-school ills such as drugs and “having free sex.”

Ultimately, if American Muslims continue to feel embattled, Salafism itself could become more attractive. When moderate Muslim groups that promote integration feel they are under scrutiny or discredited by the government, said Najam Haider, an adjunct professor of Islamic studies at Georgetown University, “Muslims turn societally inward, and that turning inward gives Salafism more influence because Salafis aren’t saying we need to integrate.”

What they offer, Haider added, is an alternative: “Muslim identity that is separate from America, grounded in Islamic history, a very demarcated community of Muslims. Those are very separate from American values in a lot of ways.”

Staff writer Mary Beth Sheridan and news researcher Karl Evanzz contributed to this report.


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  • 36 Responses for "Guess who’s Salafi?"

    1. Mujahida September 9th, 2006 at 11:15 pm

      Brother..I havnt actually read this article as yet, but really, u need to get over Yasir Qadhi. It’s like you guys are obsessed with him. Leave the brother alone especially if you claim to dislike him so much.

      SubhanAllah..Muslims these days.

    2. Mujahideen Ryder September 9th, 2006 at 11:18 pm

      Mujahida on September 9, 2006 at 11:15 pm said:

      Brother..I havnt actually read this article as yet, but really, u need to get over Yasir Qadhi. It’s like you guys are obsessed with him. Leave the brother alone especially if you claim to dislike him so much.

      SubhanAllah..Muslims these days.

      All I said is that he’s salafi. What’s the big deal?

    3. Z September 10th, 2006 at 12:16 am

      I really dont see the point to that post at all…. subhnallaah post something that will benfit us inshallaah.
      and not make u look bad!

    4. Mujahideen Ryder September 10th, 2006 at 12:26 am

      Z on September 10, 2006 at 12:16 am said:

      I really dont see the point to that post at all…. subhnallaah post something that will benfit us inshallaah.
      and not make u look bad!

      Umm, this is a blog…

    5. MuslimApple September 10th, 2006 at 12:27 am

      The article is rather misleading. As a member of the Dar us Salaam community, I enumerated some points of disagreement in a post on my blog. Shaykh Yasir rocks.

    6. bliss September 10th, 2006 at 1:10 am

      sorry MR, i second all comments.

      P.s. I didnt know ALmaghrib and Shaykh Yasir were synonymous.

    7. Mujahideen Ryder September 10th, 2006 at 2:07 am

      bliss on September 10, 2006 at 1:10 am said:

      sorry MR, i second all comments.

      P.s. I didnt know ALmaghrib and Shaykh Yasir were synonymous.

      Ovbiously.

      You would say the same for Shaykh Hamza and Zaytuna.

      Why you guys hatin so much? All I’m saying is they Salafi. Is being salafi a bad thing to you guys?

    8. Shoeb September 10th, 2006 at 6:48 am

      I think this article is rather beneficial because it shows that Al-Maghrib does have an affiliation to a certain group/sect/ideology (whatever you may call it). The slogan I usually hear from those that attend their seminars is “We don’t label ourselves as any group, we are simply Muslim”. Yes they are Muslim but they do adhere to the Salafi group.

      So this post is simply to make people aware of Al-Maghrib Institute. All MR is doing is making people aware of their ideology that is all. If you tend towards salafism then by all means please continue to attend their seminars.

      Furthermore, is it a shear coincidence that 4 of the 6 instructors for Al-Maghrib (http://www.almaghrib.org/moreinstructors.php) attended the “Islamic University of Madinah”? Allahu A’lam.

      Why should people get agitated over this? If someone were to put up a post saying “Zaytuna Institute propagates the adherence to one of the four madahib”, I do not think any of us that follow a madhab would get angry over this.

      Lastly, I don’t think we have anything personal against Yasir Qadhi, I even attended his lecture at ISNA. He has a nice personality and is a good lecturer, masha Allah.

    9. Amr W.ِ September 10th, 2006 at 8:59 am

      Salam Alykom,
      I think that labelling people as Salafi, Wahabi, Sufi ,Shit’te and so on is a strategy of the enemies of Islam to break the unity of the Ummah. Through my experience, I have noticed that the mathahib labelling creates alot of hostility between muslim brothers. However, we MUST put our differences aside and we will notice that thre are many similarities between us. We all worship Allah and believe that Muhammed is his prophet…. We should abandon the mathahib labelling and shouldn’t listen to people who who try to weaken our islamic brotherhood and try to prevent the unity of our Ummah…. Wa assalam

    10. Yaser September 10th, 2006 at 11:11 am

      Amr W, I’m not sure what you mean by ‘madhahib labeling’. There were madhahib even when Islam was on top of the world. Only when there were revolts against regular state of thought of the ‘ulema have madhahib been called something bad, or labeling is bad. Humans survive and live off labels, it is not a bad thing, only whatever connotation the person attaches on their own that can be bad.

    11. bliss September 10th, 2006 at 11:38 am

      Shaykh Hamza and zaytuna – dissimilar to Shaykh Yasir and Almaghrib.

      Im not really ‘hating’ anything/anyone..and definetely not ‘salafis’ as you propose. I just think all of this is really immature, i for one know that im a nobody when it comes to religious knowledge, what i kno does not even equal a grain of salt and i just find it apalling for students of students of students of knowledge to have this conspicuous arrogance (or so it seems) towards Shuyukh of our time. As if going to school and being able to gain just a little bit of knowledge has wiped from our hearts adab and what our parents have been teaching us forever. Respecting our elders to say the least. Its like every1 somehow has a license of pointing fingers BLATANTLY without any shame or remorse, its almost an advertisement really. And lets not get into the respect vs. discerning critique of idelogies.

      Doesn’t add up as comfortably as one would hope.

      Wallahu’Alam.

    12. bliss September 10th, 2006 at 11:44 am

      Brother Shoeb, I hear what ur saying.

      Mayb MR’s blog is tone deaf but the posts that are in reference to ‘salafis’ and Shaykh Yasir dont exactly fit into the ‘informed awareness’ category. (i find) they dont come off as ur comment either, they seem to have underlying connotations that pisses alot of people off.

    13. Mujahideen Ryder September 10th, 2006 at 1:04 pm

      bliss on September 10, 2006 at 11:38 am said:

      Shaykh Hamza and zaytuna – dissimilar to Shaykh Yasir and Almaghrib.

      Im not really ‘hating’ anything/anyone..and definetely not ‘salafis’ as you propose. I just think all of this is really immature, i for one know that im a nobody when it comes to religious knowledge, what i kno does not even equal a grain of salt and i just find it apalling for students of students of students of knowledge to have this conspicuous arrogance (or so it seems) towards Shuyukh of our time. As if going to school and being able to gain just a little bit of knowledge has wiped from our hearts adab and what our parents have been teaching us forever. Respecting our elders to say the least. Its like every1 somehow has a license of pointing fingers BLATANTLY without any shame or remorse, its almost an advertisement really. And lets not get into the respect vs. discerning critique of idelogies.

      Doesn’t add up as comfortably as one would hope.

      Wallahu’Alam.

      Shaykh Hamza and Zaytuna is not simliar to that of Shaykh Yasir and AlMaghrib. Are you saying that Shaykh Hamza doesn’t represent Zaytuna? or Shaykh Yasir doesn’t represent AlMaghrib?

      First of all, I am not disrespecting anyone here. I just quoted from the article and posted the article up.

      bliss on September 10, 2006 at 11:44 am said:

      Brother Shoeb, I hear what ur saying.

      Mayb MR’s blog is tone deaf but the posts that are in reference to ‘salafis’ and Shaykh Yasir dont exactly fit into the ‘informed awareness’ category. (i find) they dont come off as ur comment either, they seem to have underlying connotations that pisses alot of people off.

      I’ll be straight up with this now, cuz bliss you dont know. Shaykh Yasir has personally came up to me and basically told me that he supports wat he said on the AlMaghrib forums that one of the greatest ulema to have lived Shaykh al-Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi bin Abbas al-Maliki al-Hasani is a shirk promoter. He said that he was disappointed at AlMaghrib for taking down his posts, because he didn’t get a chance to defend himself. It was a one on one conversation that we have. If he can tell it to my face, then this article is absolutely nothing compared to what he said. You can even ask Shaykh Yasir if he did not talk to me personally for about 20 minutes.

      May Allah (swt) forgive me for anything wrong I have and said. May Allah (swt) forgive all uf us, inshaALlah. Ameen!

    14. shab September 10th, 2006 at 1:47 pm

      lol Subhan’Allah… now Mr will educate ppl about al-maghrib institute and whether we should attend their seminars or not? is that wut u r saying shoaib?? absolutely pathetic!oh yeah LOG seminar is coming to NY and we should allll welcome al-maghrib whole-heartedly. inshaAllah

      its a sign of DOJ, when we start backbiting our scholars and pretend to be more knowledgeable then them. yasir qadhi doesnt represent Al-maghrib cuz he is ONLY a teacher in there (not a founder unlike hamza yusuf, who is the founder of zaytuna)

      Also,useless arguments/debates is a disease which hardens your heart.

    15. Sibgha September 10th, 2006 at 4:32 pm

      “Why you guys hatin so much? All I’m saying is they Salafi. Is being salafi a bad thing to you guys?”

      I think the way you titled and presented the article makes it seem like a bad thing.

      “Guess who’s Salafi?
      AlMaghrib.
      Shaykh Yasir Qadhi said:..”

      Sh Yasir Qadhi is NOT representative of Al MAGhrib as a whole. On a another note keep in mind thru Al Maghrib we get credit for Al Azhar Univ. Alhamdulilah.

    16. MuslimApple September 10th, 2006 at 6:22 pm

      Actually, AlMaghrib is no longer affiliated with Al Azhar or American Open University. They announced this sometime last year. Not sure if this link will work but here it is:

    17. Salman September 10th, 2006 at 9:30 pm

      Salamu `alaykum

      It doesnt really make a difference whether it is MR or the tooth-fairy “educating: us about Salafism. Works have been written in refutaion of Salafis since the very outset by scholars from across all four schools of Sunni thought. If you understand Arabic then feel free to read them.

      Those who excessively bash Salafi’s may be in the wrong in the sense of engaging in that which does not concern them, but at the same time those who staunhcly defend Al Maghrib only do so because they, really, have no sense of traditional Sunni Islam. Sunni methodology is clear and whether Al Maghrib wishes to place a layer of intellectualism in their approach really makes no difference – they are methodologically challenged and will remain so. Shaykh Yasirs `aqida rants are a perfect example.

      I find it odd that the person teaching “beliefs” (ya`ani `aqida) is not a representative of what al Maghrib itself believes AND wishes others to believe. As if the instructors and those running al Maghrib are not aware of what he is propogating. Unlikely…

      Wasalam

    18. shab September 11th, 2006 at 2:01 pm

      Yasir Qadhi has changed his views drastically over the years and he used to be refute Ashari’s but recently he recommended Zaytuna to study Islam and that should clarify alot of misconceptions about him.

    19. jinnzaman September 12th, 2006 at 12:28 am

      Once again, the Al Maghrib “Hive Mind” has been angered.

      Most of the people who defend Al Maghrib have no idea what they are talking about. They support Al Maghrib because it makes them “feel good about Islam.” Or is this what they are referring to when they say “Eman Rush”?

      Islam is defined by the consensus of the ‘Ulema, not the Al Maghrib Institute.

      Al Maghrib Institute is not a separate entity from its instructors. Its views are an aggregate of its instructors. Which one of the Al Maghrib Institutes’ instructors condemned what Yasser Qadhi had to say about Shaykh ‘Alawi? None.

      Al Maghrib has always been Salafi, its obvious that they were Salafi. People who say that they aren’t Salafi are blind to the obvious.

    20. Mujahida September 12th, 2006 at 1:14 am

      You can call them whatever you want. You folks attacking them just makes them stronger in the eyes of others.

      If you dislike them so much,stop ‘advertising’ them here. You guys seem obsessed with them and try to find ANYTHING to slander them. It’s sad really that you have to resort to such tactics.

      Khair, may Allah SWt continue to shower His blessings and Mercy upon this Institute and it’s Instructors. May He continue to grant them success, both in this life and the Hereafter. Ameen.

      May Allah SWT guide everyone to the truth and protect us from those who create fitnah. Ameen.

    21. Ibn Al Hyderabadee September 12th, 2006 at 1:04 pm

      hey….its all good…the schoalrs froma ll 4 madhabs wrote refutations agains tthe saalafis in the past couples centuries, relatiily observing…

      the schoalrs of all the 4 madhabs and more that existed back then wrote refutations and warned and boycotted the sufis as welll….

      And nto to mention the schoarls of all 4 madhabs wrote refutations and chastised and vehemntly disownwed the entire ahl al kalaam as a whole – the ashaairah, the maturidiyyah, the jahmiyya, mutazila and kullabiyyah

      jinnz – go read shaykh alawis book and please summarize and make it available to all of us through the ghazali project and people can see waht yasir qadhi was talkign about. Ther eis no need to write refuations for his book on shirkism. It is self evident what the sufis are callign to worshipping graves and saints.

      Zaytuna is no problem with many people, they are very moderate and dont mind takign classes with them. SunniPath si the hardcore sufi crap.

    22. Ibn Al Hyderabadee September 12th, 2006 at 1:05 pm

      i encourage everyoen to write mroe and more about yasir qadhi…lol…..there is always a benefit in everything – nothing is pure evil in thsi world

    23. jinnzaman September 13th, 2006 at 1:10 am

      Firstly, we aren’t “attacking” them. We are merely spreading more unbiased, objective material and providing an alternative view on the propaganda being espoused by this particular organization. Our critiques of Al Maghrib and the Salafi dawah are not offensive in nature and therefore, cannot be considered “attacks”.

      Secondly, with regards to the accusations of slander, the statements made above are not slander since they are true. It cannot also be said to be backbiting since their are three exceptions to the rule on backbiting: 1. A Marriage Proposal, 2. An Imam, and 3. A Ruler.

      Nothing we have said is false nor is it something which is truly negative.

      If Shaykh Yasser Qadhi has a problem with being identified with the Salafi dawah, then he shouldn’t have given an interview to the Washington Post which is an international newspaper of global reach.

      Thirdly, it is the manifest duty of Ahl us Sunnah waal Jam’ah to expose the innovations and misleading views of those who don’t adhere to it. Discussions like this force certain issues to be discussed.

      Its strange how so many people want to invest blind fanatical defenses to an organization and don’t care to ask “What do the prestigious ‘Ulema of the past and present think about their views?”

      What the Al Maghrib Instructors do in their private lives is irrelevant. We don’t care if they shake hands or not. The issue is what they are teaching to Muslim youth who are highly susceptible to indoctrination since they lack alternative means of confirming or rejecting the information that is being fed to them. What Al Maghrib teaches and its ideological affiliation is a concern for the American Muslim community that needs to be dissected, debated, and discussed openly.

      masalama

    24. Sarita September 13th, 2006 at 11:04 pm

      make chai, not [mindless, misleading, sectarian fueled] fitna. *offers cookie*

    25. keepinitreal September 17th, 2006 at 3:26 am

      asalamu alaikum,

      people need to chill out bro. just because somebody attended an islamic unversity in saudi doesnt mean that you can sit here and label them and discredit them. shaykh abdullah bin bayyah is a professor at a university in saudi, he was hamza yusufs shaykh for those of you that dont know.

      you dont have to agree with everything that a “salafi” has to say, they have a lot to give that is good, leave what you disagree with. i totally agree with Bliss, we really dont know jack and shouldnt act like it.

    26. pls explain September 17th, 2006 at 10:07 am

      Salamu alaikum, brother Mujahideen ryder, when you spoke to shaykh Yasir, did he tell you why he accused Shaykh al-Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi bin Abbas al-Maliki al-Hasani or did he tell you his reasoning?…Pls tell us, I am extremely curious to know why he would say such a thing

      jazak Allah

    27. Azeem September 18th, 2006 at 1:51 pm

      God, when will this end…

    28. Mujahida September 19th, 2006 at 12:06 am

      I was going to write up a huge post in response to a certain poster……however I’ve realized, there’s really no point.

      May Allah swt forgive all of us who slander our shayukh and cause fitnah between muslims.

      Ramdaan is coming up. Ask for forgiveness for any wrong that you have done. I know I will inshAllah.

      ma salam

    29. Tazkiyya2003 September 19th, 2006 at 7:41 pm

      Once again we see the Ummah fracture itself and engage in an autoimmune self-dissection.

      Do something constructive.

      We came no to fill the world with libraries
      We came to fill the world with jannatis

      Fas tabiqu bil Khayraat

      I think the sufis and the salafis should congregate in their respective masaajid at tahajud time and see who can get the largest numbers instead of bashing each other on the internet

    30. Bashira February 26th, 2008 at 6:51 pm

      subhan Allah .Knowledge preceeds speech and actions i think that befor people start speaking out against salafis they need to gain a better understanding on what it is ,and a lot of us muslims need to increase in our imaan and really strive towards impliminting the characteristics of tauhid because antime a kafir or even a fellow muslim cam make you doubt the rasullulah and the 3 generations after him there is a problem and may Allah guide us all As salaamu alaikum

    31. Sherif Mahmoud February 26th, 2008 at 9:56 pm

      Stick together remember who we are

    32. brahim June 30th, 2008 at 3:55 am

      Salafi does not equal wahabism. ok go to this site and see the proofs as to why http://www.thewahhabimyth.com/

      i am a revert from canada i see alot of misguided muslim. the author seems to be from morocco. i aint sayign you are sufi but i know alot of sufi hate salafi. the salafi actually say that terrorism is haram. look up the facts. and what is wrong with sticking to the Quran and the sunnah. you should its what prophet muhammad SAW told us to do. Sopanallah. May allah guide the misguided ones
      Ameen

    33. Mostafa Amini June 30th, 2008 at 9:10 pm

      You know the Ummah is weak when we learn about Islam from a non-muslim. Caryle Murphy.

    34. BM July 2nd, 2008 at 7:50 am

      Thank you Jinnzaman, thoughtful and balanced comments. Needed to be said. People screaming “fitna” are getting a bit melodramatic. Fitna is when communities and families are ripped apart because of a (at best) methodologically challenged ideology.

    35. Arif December 31st, 2008 at 8:45 am

      I really do not think that this article was necessary, MR. You have some nice posts on this site, but this one was totally unnecessary. I mean, all you just did was put a label on a guy. What the heck was the point of that? Are you doing this blog for the traffic or to teach people. What is your intention behind this? I can see that you are clearly not getting anywhere with this post. I am part of the Darussalaam community and they have just brought in some of the randomest allegations and tied them to us. Are you becoming part of their media or are you an alternative source? I mean, if I go around posting on other blogs that MR was a AlMaghrib hater until Imam Suhaib Webb joined, I wouldn’t exactly be lying – I would just be stretching the truth. Think before you write. “Guess who’s Salafi?” Sheesh. Guess who’s someone with too much free time on their hands? I don’t think I need to post the answer.

    36. MR December 31st, 2008 at 9:06 am

      @Atif – Bro, this post was in 2006. A lot has changed.

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