The Imam of America – Shaykh-ul-Amreeka Siraj Wahhaj

May Allah (swt) continue to bless and guide Imam Siraj Wahhaj. May Allah (swt) increase the dawah and enhance the Muslim community of Masjid at-Taqwa. Ameen!

15 Replies to “The Imam of America – Shaykh-ul-Amreeka Siraj Wahhaj”

  1. I don’t really think you can call Imam Siraj Wahhaj, the ‘Imam of America’ as the are many other Shuyukh in America who are working tirelessly hard. Such a title must come from a higher islamic authority (with all respects).

  2. There needs to be a push to appoint an Imam or Mufti for America and/or Canada…no one messes with the head of a religious group–the Pope, Aga Khan, etc–there is more respect because it shows that strength and vitality of a living religion.

    But that said, Imam Siraj is the only American Imam I have heard of who has voiced so much social concern for the American community–not just the Muslims. Do your research and you’ll find out that he is also the fundraiser shaykh–he’s raised more money just by his words than any other American shaykh. So out of all the Amreeki shaykhs–I would give my bayah to Imam Siraj Wahaj.

    In Canada, definitely given to Sh. Said Rageah–hands down. Masha Allah, so much adab and he has looked out so much for the small communities in Canada rather than make them feel ignored–just ask Montrealers.

  3. @Farzana – There are many shuyukh in America working hard, but the reality is those shuyukh won’t exist or won’t be working hard without the Allah’s will for Imam Siraj Wahhaj. Before Sh. Yasir Qadhi, before Sh. Muhammad Alshareef, before AlMaghrib, before Sh. Faraz Rabbani, before SunniPath, before Imam Zaid Shakir, before Sh. Hamza Yusuf, before Zaytuna Institute, before CAIR, before Islamic conventions with 1,000s of Muslims, before all of this there was Imam Siraj Wahhaj.

    Imam Siraj Wahhaj is the first nationally known Muslim American Imam, Shaykh and Scholar.

    When Sh. Hamza Yusuf and Sh. Yasir Qadhi use to listen to Imam Siraj Wahhaj when they were young, that alone is proof that he is the Imam of America or rather America’s Imam.

  4. ASA,

    When we had Imam Siraj do his course on Malcolm X for ILF (Islamic Learning Foundation) it struck me:

    This man is irreplaceable! And he is getting older. I treasure every moment I see him. He came out of the civil rights era. He went through the nation. That is such a unique experience in American History. And its even more important to the history of Islam in America. Im glad we were able to do that 8 hour class. Hopefully the YM brothers will make that DVD available for sale sooner than later.

    If you listen to Louis Farrakhan speak, close your eyes and imagine Imam Siraj Speaking. I swear they have the same voice!

    Imam Siraj must write a book! I was asking myself what is his legacy? And I realized WE have to be his legacy. Everyone he motivated. Read on Suhaib Webb’s blog about how he was the strength for MSAs across the US. Which major institution hasn’t had him fundraise for them? Which masjid hasn’t he been invited to? Remember MSG1 and MSG2 at Taqwa. Remember all those convention main sessions. I remember when I was 13 years old I was told to moderate a YM event. I still remember to this day. The topic was Prophet Ibrahim (A) (aka Abraham). And I remember how he engaged the youth and engaged me. I remember beefing with him in like 2001, and going up to him at a convention and giving him a dirty stare. And he said whats the dirty look for? And I told him you know what its for, you sold out on the youth. He was upset about being given too many sessions at the convention and skipped out on ours. And he felt bad, and wallahi he humbled me by apologizing but also explained his position on not being told about everything on one document.

    Along with a book we should do a DVD documentary where we have people like Mayor David Dinkins from NY speak to their memory of working with Imam Siraj.

    Man, everyone should make duah for this brother for everything that he has ever done for us. He did it feesabeelillah so we should pray that Allah (S) accepts it from him.

    Everyone donate to the campaign and then mail out a check to masjid Taqwa!

  5. @ Dawud Israel…I hear Sh. Said Rageah is a sick bball player too..:)

    yeah man, Imam Siraj, subhanAllah, he was like the first guy I started listening to when I was I’m 25, and everytime I hear aobut him, he keeps working relentlessly for the deen, what an inspiration..

  6. @ avsy…not only is he a sick ball player…but he’s personal friends with Hakeem Olajouan and if you persuade him, he’ll bring him to an event…it’s happened before 😉

  7. I think generates enough traffic to raise funds for a imam siraj documentary. Paypal has tools that can make that happen. A decent film shouldnt cost more than a 100k.

  8. mashallah…alhamdulilah such a intelligent and hard workign muslikm…..that part when imam siraj wahaj talked about the university, i was apalled….mashallah to get people educated about islam is a big thing…may allah help all of us muslims ameen

  9. Salam

    What’s up with “without him, there wouldn’t be this Shaykh”

    All because of Allah that we have so many intelligent God fearing Ulema in North America. There are others that do so much without letting the public know. Mash’Allah. Every Shaykh has a role to play and they doing their best.

    But now we need Mufti of country x.

  10. Harith & Muslim,

    u guys need a history lesson on the history of Islam in America, and what paved the way for the popularity and success of today’s mainstream Muslim scholars and organizations. Learn about the work Imam Siraj did as an Imam in the 80s and 90s – and his pioneering efforts of dawah in america, community activism, having his lectures/khutbahs distributed across the country, gathering the youth towards a desire to learn more about their deen, etc. It was only under this context that all else that follows (like SHaykh hamza, etc. gain their popularity).

    And i know Amir personally – and know his post by no means discredits the great work and success of shaykh hamza, etc. – but if u ask shaykh hamza yusuf himself i’m sure he would come to the same conclusion.

  11. true dat H.Ahmed

    if we could have some kind of imam election for america, (throw in the word khalifah to get the people really scared :D), and hamza yusuf, zaid shakir, the whole al maghrib legacy, and all of the other knockout kings of islam in north america, were all nominated candidates along with Imam Siraj Wahhaj, they would probably just humble themselves out of nomination and let Imam Siraj Wahhaj run the show.

    I know this is just a blog post, but if we had one leader for america that could be THE crystallizing symbol for the unity of our ummah. We should do something beyond this post to really get towards that point. Make a facebook page or something atleast, (500000 muslims to have imam siraj wahhaj as the official shaykh-ul-amreeka!) It could work, inshallah. How about – can somebody please make a facebook group for now atleast?

  12. Assalaam alaykum
    Its nice to know that you all hold Imam siraj wahaj honourably in your speech. However you should remember that you shouldn’t talk of other great shaykhs like this. All of them are great men of Allah, he choose then all for a mission.
    we shouldnt waste our time arguing who is better but try to help them in their cause.
    America doesn’t have to ONE shaykh who is great it should have many who work together.
    This is just an idea, forgive me if i’ve said anything to affend anyone.

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