Post ICNA ’07 Reflection and Review

Alhamdulillah, I’m back! Time to do an MR convention review and a speaker/notes reflection! The post is long so make sure you click more to see it all. (I didn’t take any pictures, because well my sister had the camera the whole time).

This is my general review of the convention itself:

  • Speakers
    • The majority of speakers were respectable scholars and amazing speakers.
    • Shaykh Khalid Yasin was there, but he wasn’t on the speaker list. That was very disappointing.
    • Imam W. D. Muhammad was there, which was a surprise. Didn’t get a chance to hear him though, so I can’t say much.
  • Location
    • It’s been in Hartford the past 2 years now. It’s really close to my house, so no complaints from me. 😀
  • Bazaar
    • They should dedicate areas specifically for booksellers, clothing, masjids, organizations, etc. That way it’ll be less traffic congested for those who are simply trying to find a book.
    • NO HALAL RICE KRISPY TREATS! – Extremely disappointed. I wasted hours searching the bazaar for them. In conclusion the bazaar was wack because of this.
    • EDIT: Apparently I was wrong and the bazaar did have halal Rice Krispy Treats. Although I think the vendor didn’t have the normal amount like previous conventions.
  • Entertainment
    • Let brothers have there own entertainment and let sisters have there own. Although the YM-Brothers skit was good (Shout out to Omar S. and the crew!), the restrictions that were placed upon the brothers by the sisters were too much. I guess that’s why they took a bashing by Omar S. “I sincerely apologize sisters for this.” – Omar S. HAHAHA Good stuff!
    • I was hoping for an appearance by Native Deen, but they were no where to be seen.
  • Food
    • The $10 lunch and dinner buffet was wack. It tasted like white people trying to make desi food. Although the pasta was good (the only non-desi food, hhmmm).
    • The concession stand which was selling pizza, chicken tenders, halal hot dogs and soda was good.

So thats my basic review of the conference. Now time for the my speaker review and some notes:

  • Altaf Hussain
    • I actually had to moderate the first Youth Conference session which was a workshop on gender relations. This was probably the worst part of the conference, because I was embarrassed a few times on stage. Alhamdulillah though, it was funny. (Altaf, if you’re reading this, don’t worry I love you for the sake of Allah, :-D). At one point in the lecture he was holding my hand as an example to demonstrate one of his points. He said my hand felt good. :-/ Anyways, time for the serious stuff.
    • He talked about how the religion of Islam is complete and timeless, meaning that the values that Allah (swt) and the Prophet Muhammad (saas) has implemented into our lives are for everyone and for any time and generation. Basically the idea of boundary between genders has nothing to do with culture. It is part of Islam.
    • An amazing point he made was that big corporations today are banning closed door meetings, becuase if a man and a woman are alone during a meeting, there might be an incident of sexual harassment. It comes down to the word of the man and the word of the woman. We all know that most likely in these cases, the woman usually gets her way. So now they are banning closed door meetings and they make sure all meetings are held publicly so people can see what’s going on. The Prophet (saas) said when a man and a woman are alone, the third person is the devil. He (saas) said this over 1,400 years ago. SubhanAllah!
    • He concluded by discussing 3 important letters regarding gender relations: P P L.
      • P – Purposeful. The must be a halal purpose for you to be meeting with the opposite gender.
      • P – Public. It should be in the public. He believes that the mall isn’t a public place, becuase technically no one knows what you could be saying or doing. It all depends on who the public is.
      • L – Limited. It’s about the intention. What is your intention for talking to him/her?
    • Well, that’s basically it. Next speaker
  • Sh. Yasir Qadhi
    • Well, Sh. Yasir and MR has had some history now. Alhamdulillah it was a learning experience. What you are about to read may be dangerous for your eyes and may cause you to drop your jaw wide open. You have been warned.
    • The first lecture he gave was on the ‘Treaty of Hudaybiya’. After the lecture was done, my mouth was wide open and I was in complete shock! I had completely agreed with him 100%. MR agreed with Shaykh Yasir Qadhi 100% fully! (Obviously there was no aqidah involved, hehe.) I’ll go over the points that were amazing to me and then I’ll comment on the “new” Sh. Yasir Qadhi.
    • The Prophet (saas) defended his camel, Qaswa, when the companions were insulting it becuase it was not moving when they were making the pilgrimage to Makkah for the first time after hijra. The Prophet (saas) defended a camel, what about defending the honor of a Muslim? Yet today we have many Muslims (including myself) who ridicule other Muslims for ridiculous reasons. May Allah (swt) forgive us all.
    • Muslims were living in Abyssinia even after the Islamic State was fully established in Madinah. The Prophet (saas) did not tell them to come back. Establishing an Islamic state is not a pragmatic or realistic goal. It’s actually un-Islamic. (MR’s mouth is wide open)
    • The jihad of dawah is greater then the jihad of might. The victory of the hudabiya is far greater than the Muslim battles before (Badr, Uhud, etc.). (MR is shocked!).
    • After this lecture, I was amazed. I felt guilty and bad for having such a negative perception of Sh. Yasir Qadhi after this. I wanted to cry all those times I saw a lecture by him on YouTube and I brushed it off all because his aqidah opinions is not of my teacher’s aqidah opinions. Even my mother and sister loved him. My mother said “he’s changed, he’s really good, mashaAllah”. I have heard rumors of the “new” Sh. Yasir Qadhi, but I had never witnessed it, becuase the last time I had heard him speak was at the Light of Guidance seminar in New Jersey, which a was more than a year ago. That was when he was the “pre-Yale” Sh. Yasir Qadhi.
    • Sh. Yasir Qadhi is the salafi version of Sh. Hamza Yusuf. They are both very well educated and learned and both born in this country and went through a life of a typical young person (like us all). Most salafi’s can’t deny the intelligence of Sh. Hamza Yusuf and most sufis can’t deny the intelligence of Sh. Yasir Qadhi. It is also clear that Sh. YQ is evolving and changing his views and opinions as he gets older and wiser (pre-Yale to post-Yale). This is very similar to Sh. HY evolution from pre-9/11 and post-9/11.
  • Imam Siraj Wahhaj
    • Everyone who is reading this right now, make dua for this caller to Islam. Wallahi, Imam Siraj Wahhaj amazes me every time he speaks. I can’t even count the amount of times he has made me cry internally. Some of the majoir points that I noted down in my notebook were that the Nation of Islam is very close to the Sunnah and might be (inshaAllah!) considered part of Sunni Islam in the future. Allah knows best! Most mosques in the country don’t have strategic thinking and planning for the future. There needs to be a realization of negotiable aspects of Islam in order to promote greater good and benefit for the ummah in North America.
    • The emotional stuff that I was talking about just now was when Imam Siraj started to talk about how we waste so much water making wudhu and millions of children would die just for few drops of it. 🙁 May Allah (swt) make it easy for all those who are suffering in the world. Ameen!
  • Nouman Ali Khan
    • I thought I took notes, but I didn’t. Sorry.
  • Sh. Mokhtar Maghrouri
    • I went to his lecture where he was talking about poetry. So I just dotted down some of my favorite ones.
    • “Give me the love that I have hoped for you (Allah).”
    • “Ya Allah, please don’t give me what I love that you don’t love.”
    • Shirk of love is loving things that which Allah doesn’t love.
    • If love for you is true, then everything else is easy to bear. Everything between you and Allah is filled, and everything between you and dunya is empty. The qalb is filled with love for Allah.
    • “I gave up the world for the one who made the world.”

I want to add some more to the “new” Sh. YQ reflection. I have a lot of respect for Sh. YQ, because in another lecture he said that he had changed and he wouldn’t have said things like this in the past. That’s very commendable to acknowledge that he might have been wrong in the past in some things he said. I would also like to point out that when he called Sh. Alawi a “blatant shirk promoter”, he wasn’t the “new” Sh. YQ. I have a very strong feeling that Sh. YQ would not make statements like this anymore. My proof is that in one of his lectures during the Youth Conference (parallel to ICNA) he said that although under the Sunni Islam umbrella you will find many Muslims that differ on almost every aspect of Islam with them, this should not be a factor to consider when it comes to uniting for the common good of the ummah. He basically said that no matter what the Muslim differences are, we should still be united, so that the non-Muslims can see what we represent and what we’re all about, because to them “quantity counts”. This is a very valid point. Quantity is very important to non-Muslims.

So, I may differ with Sh. YQ on aqidah, fiqh, tasawwuf, the burda, dhikr, music, etc., but if Sh. YQ was calling me to protest against an innocent Muslim brother who was locked up, then I’d join him. Sh. YQ even said that we should work with the Shia to establish rights for Muslims. Anyone who calls them self a Muslim should be worked with in order to establish ourselves as a minority in this country.

Basically, it boils down to this: if it doesn’t compromise your belief, then let’s do it.

54 Replies to “Post ICNA ’07 Reflection and Review”

  1. assalam alaykum

    I want to repond about your last statment about icna 2007 cof. Yusif Qadhi statment about uniting with shia and different sect. I want to see a esample when any one of the rashideen kulafha united with ahul bidah or even took their help.

    I will post some statement of the four imams and some scholars from the tabeen.

    The Messenger of Allaah (swallallahu alaihi wasallam) said,
    “Whoever innovates or accommodates an innovator then upon
    him is the curse of Allaah, His Angels and the whole of
    mankind.” 226
    Qaadee Aboo Ya’laa (d. 333H) said, “There is concensus
    (Ijmaa’) among the Sahaabah and the Taabi’een as regards
    dissociating and cutting-off from the Innovators.” 227
    Al-Qurtubee (d. 671H) said, “And when avoiding the people of
    sin has been established, as we have just explained, then
    avoiding the People of Innovations and Desires is foremost
    (i.e., more befitting).” 228
    Al-Baghawee (d. 535H) said, “And the Sahaabah, the
    Taabi’een, their successors and the Scholars of the Sunnah
    passed away while they were upon this, united and
    unanimously agreed upon having enmity towards the People of
    Innovation and fleeing from them.” 229
    Al-Baghawee also said, “And the Prophet (swallallahu alaihi
    wasallam) has informed about the splitting of this Ummah and
    the appearance of desires and innovations within it. And he
    ruled that deliverance would be for the one who followed his
    Sunnah and the Sunnah of his Companions (radhiyallahu
    anhu). Therefore, it is necessary for the Muslim when he sees a
    man engaging himself with anything from the desires and innovations, believing in them, or belittling anything from the
    Sunnah, that he flees from him, disowns him and leaves him —
    dead or alive. So he does not give salaam to him when he
    meets him and nor does he respond to him if he salutes first
    (and he should continue doing this) until this person abandons
    his innovation and returns to the truth.”
    Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad (d. 187H) said, “Whoever sits with a
    person of innovation, then beware of him and whoever sits with
    a person of innovation has not been given wisdom. I love that
    there was a fort of iron between me and a person of innovation.
    That I eat with a Jew and a Christian is more beloved to me
    than that I eat with a person of innovation.”
    226 Reported by Bukhaaree, 12/41 and Muslim, 9/140
    227 Hajarul-Mubtadi, p. 32
    228 Tafseerul-Qurtubee, 5/418
    229 Sharhus-Sunnah, 1/227
    237 Reported by al-Laalikaa’ee, no. 1149


    And they used to forbid innovations: whatever the Messenger
    (swallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his Companions radiyallaahu
    anhum, were not upon due to His saying: “And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (i.e. this Quraan),
    and be not divided among yourselves.” Aali-’Imraan
    and due to His saying: (in Soorah an-Noor)“If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance.”

    Here is one saying of Imam Shafi rahimalalh

    Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee (d. 204H) said, ‘That a person meets Allaah with
    every sin except Shirk is better than meeting Him upon any one of the
    innovated beliefs.’ Reported by al-Bayhaqee in al-I’tiqaad (p. 158).

    Some of the scholars from the Tabeen use to go on futher and say things like this
    :A1-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad (d. 187H) said, ‘Whoever sits with a person of
    innovation, then beware of him and whoever sits with a person of
    innovation has not been given wisdom. I (would) love that there was a
    fort of iron between me and a person of innovation. That I sat with a Jew
    and a Christian is more beloved to me than that I eat with a person of
    innovation.’ Reported by al-Laalikaa’ee (no. 1149).

    Listen to what Imam Shafi rahimallah say in response to one scholar mashallah may Allah make us like them ameen.

    “Al-Layth ibn Sa’d (d. 175H) said, ‘If I saw a person of desires (i.e., innovations)
    walking upon the water I would not accept from him.’ So Imaam
    ash-Shaafi’ee then said, ‘He (al-Layth) has fallen short. If I saw him
    walking in the air I would not accept from him.’ Reported by as-Suyooti in
    al-Amr bil-’Ittibaa wan-Nahee anil—Ibtidaa’.

    Aboo Hurairah said that Allaah’s Messenger (swallallahu alayhi
    wasallam) said, “All of my Ummah will enter Paradise except those who
    refuse.” It was said, “Who will refuse?” He replied, “Whoever obeys me
    enters Paradise and whoever disobeys me has refused.” Reported by al-

  2. Akhee Muhammad Abdullah, I understand where you are coming from. Sh. Yasir Qadhi didn’t mean it like that at all. What he meant as Muslims in America, if we gather together to protest the War or protest the illegal actions in Guantanamo Bay, we shouldn’t be hesitant to work with the Shia or even non-Muslims. Even its for Muslim rights like prayer at school or halal food at some restaurant or something that gives all Muslims rights, we should work with them, because it does not compromise our aqeedah nor is it against Islam.

    Allah knows best.

  3. Brother I 100 percent disagree with you, Tell me when the Rashideen Kulfha join arms with ahul bidah to fight the kufur never did they did They never ask them for help. and you call your group Mujahideen ryders. They was the Best of al Mujahidoon.

    Its very sad to say, Even us As sunni muslims in US, we do not get along because of race color, for esample ICNA is a racist org, and i say Wallahi to it. ICNA stand for Islamic Circle of North America. You will find the President of ICNA pakistani or orgin from India, and Under the vice prisdent the same and under him the same and under him the same. When ICNA surpose to stand for ISLAMIC CIRCLE OF NORTH AMERICA I am sorry to say but Muslims in US are not all pakistani or Bangali you have Muslims in the US who are African american, White American, Hispanic Americans, Native American, Arab American. But you do not never see ICNA voting a persident or any member under the President as non Pakistani or Bangali or from India. This is straight up Racistism and very far from the Islam. So before you can unite with ahul bidah. We can not even Unite as sunni muslims because we racist against and hate other people because they not from our country. If Yasir Qadhi want to talk about something he need talk a bout how Muslims need to stop being racist. This why we always have two differnt eids during ramadan Indians dont want to follow the arabs and visa versa. We can not even agree upon the things the Sahaba agree upon, like racism. But we talking about getting with the people of bidah.

    Here is a famouse saying of Imam Malik rahimallah ” there is no victory, until we unite upon what the early genration unite upon” Meaning we have the same beleive and method and aqeedah as Abul Qasim sallahu wa alayhe wa sallam. This is when we have victory. Victory come with condations that we Ateatu allah wa Ateatu rasulu. Obey Allah and His messenger.

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