AlMaghrib Institute steps up and puts knowledge into action in America while combating extremism

There are many organizations, schools, institutes, and places of learning that are teaching and spreading the knowledge of Islam. AlMaghrib Institute is probably one of the most popular ones in America and probably with Canada and UK included as well. This past weekend I attended a special gathering called Ilmfest, which is AlMaghrib’s annual convention in America. This year it was held in Baltimore, Maryland. The word of mouth and hype of the event reached as far as getting a front page story on the Baltimore Sun. They even covered the session called “Reclaiming Islam from the Jihadists” by Shaykh Waleed Basyouni here.

There were around total 800+ attendees and some estimates put it closer to 1,000 making it the largest Ilmfest yet. Most of the audience were from the student groups (student tribes – Qaba’il [singular: Qabeelat]) from New York (Tayybah), New Jersey (Durbah) and the host Maryland-DC-Virginia (Nurayn). There were also people from all the way the West Coast to down south Texas to all the way up north to Seattle, Washington. I also met a brother from the UK. A lot of credit and respect is due to the core set of volunteers (which was very small for such a large event) from Nurayn.

Going back to the title of the post I must say that with all the hate, labeling, negative opinions, etc. on AlMaghrib Institute over the past years (which I myself have engaged in, may Allah forgive me), they have really stood ground, ignored the haters and continued to grow leaving behind the rest of the organizations. They have set the standard year after year and continue to increase it with new ideas and projects. I think Allah took all the barakah from the haters and gave it to AlMaghrib. From almost every perspective, AlMaghrib has excelled, although there is always area for improvement, but overall it is the only organization which I find myself recommending to young Muslims who are trying to get back into or start practicing Islam. Of course I recommend other outlets, but by far the most popular one is AlMaghrib.

Ilm to Action

So how is AlMaghrib putting knowledge into action? They don’t stop after they leave the seminar. Seriously they don’t stop. Over the past few years where ever there is an AlMaghrib Qabeelah (tribe, literally – student group in AlMaghrib) there were consistently doing and planning something in between each seminar. Some of them are planning/doing something once a month (the larger ones in large Muslim populated areas). What do they do? Anything to please Allah. Social work, relief work, dawah, teaching, etc. are some of the areas they try to implement within their local community in order for it to grow.

As an organization, even AlMaghrib has done a lot outside of it’s main focus. They had an online fundraiser for Gaza raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in hours. They joined up with other organizations to help Imam Siraj Wahhaj and also to fight Malaria. They also answered the call from which was trying to get Muslims to answer the call from President Obama to become active in doing social work and projects in their local communities. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the projects that are listed there were done by AlMaghrib students.

It doesn’t even have to be large it could be making a short film or having a picnic for Eid to feeding homeless people or organizing halaqaat to teach those who haven’t attended a seminar what they learned. It’s literally anything that improves their local community and brings them closer to Islam and worshiping Allah. One thing I’ve noticed that AlMaghrib Institute doesn’t really highlight or list all the work each Qabeelah has done over the past several years of it’s existence.  If they were I’m sure it would be a lengthy list of many social, dawah and community projects.  I think this is an extraodniray feat since it’s further proof of their intentions.  They aren’t doing it to show Muslims that AlMaghrib is doing all this good or to show non-Muslims that Muslims are good.  They are doing it simply for the pleasure of Allah (swt) and solely because it is their duty as a Muslim and a firm believer.

Army of Volunteers and Leadership

AlMaghrib is an instant pool of volunteers that can get things done. Wherever there is a qabeelah there is a group of brothers and sisters ready to work for Islam. There are over 15+ cities with active qabeelahs with hundreds of volunteers. On top of this, there is leadership. Each qabeelah has their own Ameer (Leader Male – like my first name) and Ameerah (Leader – female). They report to the AlMaghrib headquarters to get their guidelines and how to run their student group. From what I noticed, it is fairly simple for each Qabeelah to run independently. The obvious and clear guideline is the Islam with the Qur’an and Sunnah. What AlMaghrib headquarters offers is the basic administration advice and help. Other then that the leaders of each qabeelah function by themselves doing whatever work that needs to be done for their local community.

The AlMaghrib shuyukh specifically, Shaykh Muhammad AlShareef, Shaykh Waleed Basyouni and Shaykh Yasir Qadhi are the leaders. The basically run the show and give the final say. This is probably one of the most unique factor and major difference between AlMaghrib and other organizations. Without naming any names, most other organizations have a set group of non-scholars running the show and simply tell the scholar what to do. With AlMaghrib the scholars are actually the ones in control. I believe this is one of the reasons why they are so successful. With an ummah that lacks leadership from the local masjid to an entire Muslim country, AlMaghrib doesn’t lack this. As much as many may differ with their leadership you have to respect the fact they have leaders.

Forget about the bad apples and focus on the action

The theme of this year’s Ilmfest was Generation Islam with each speaker covering various subjects. The main point that was repeated in every lecture I listened to was simply apply our knowledge with action to our communities. From helping the youth to respecting our elders to fighting terrorism to doing social work and more. Now with all groups and organizations there will be a few haters and bad apples. Recently there was some haters complaining of Sh. Waleed’s lecture “Reclaiming Islam from the Jihadists”.  I thought this lecture was extremely important and should be played in front of the entire Muslim community in America.

These haters complained how Sh. Waleed was attacking the “mujahideen” (as they call them).  What mujahideen are they talking about?  The mujahideen of Omar al Mukhtar defended Muslims not kill them.  The mujahideen of Salah ad-Deen defended Muslims not kill them.  These so-called “mujahideen” kill any human that doesn’t agree with them.  The proof is clear and anyone can see who is real and who is fake.  I’d rather call them a bunch of Muslim thugs with guns, big beards and turbans.  They have the heart to kill Muslim women without any hesitation then they are not worthy of the title of ‘mujahideen’.  They buy their kafir-made weapons from kafir drug dealers and kafir human traffickers to kill Muslims. Wow, amazing “jihad”!? Now don’t get me wrong there are true soldiers who are fighting to protect their people and defend their home, but there are those who are just out there for blood from anything.

What’s even more interesting is that if they were alive during the Khilafat of the 1800s or 1700s or 1600s or even back to the 1000s or 1100s they’d be fighting the Caliph since he would be a “deviant” or in other words not following “their way”.   How much more Muslim blood do they have to spill before they stop? Instead of trying to rebuild their countries and stop the violence, they want to continue until everyone who’s not with them is dead.   It’s like their the crips and everyone else is a blood or vice versa (same difference).  In fact they are like the khawarij.

Back to the lecture that Sh. Waleed gave at Ilmfest.  He totally owned them and refuted them.  Especially the young ones who are in America who support these extremists.  One point he made that has stuck in my head was the fact that most of these brothers (mostly brothers, very few sisters) who support this terrorism are inactive in their communities.  They don’t give back to their communities but instead sit online discussing on forums.  They don’t do anything with their lives.  You don’t see them organizing relief efforts or helping raise money for those in need.  All this is so true, because I know a few examples of this. Many of them blog online in America and post online forums sitting in their suburban home while the government watches them.  Ever wonder why innocent people like Aafia Siddiqui or Fahad Hashmi or Sh. Ali Tamimi or Ahmed Abu Ali or Sami Arian end up in jail while these fools are still sitting in front of their computers blatantly and publicly supporting terrorism?  I would not be surprised if they were actually working for the government just to trap more innocent brothers and sisters.

The reality the ones who support this type of terrorism in the name of Jihad are bums.  Straight up online internet bums.  These are the haters that hate on AlMaghrib and all other organizations who are actually doing something.   They are the ones who would blog “media releases” from various media wings from international Muslim gangs.  I applaud Sh. Waleed for calling these fools out and refuting their deviant and violent beliefs.  I pray that the Ilmfest lectures are available soon.

They are like bad apples.  When they hit the ground, no one eats them. They just rot and decay into the ground.  The good apples are the ones that are consumed and make their benefits reach their communities bodies and make them healthier and stronger.  So let’s all be good apples and let the bad apples rot and decay into the ground.  May Allah (swt) increase the good apples and decrease the bad apples.  Ameen!

44 Replies to “AlMaghrib Institute steps up and puts knowledge into action in America while combating extremism”

  1. nice article. very fair and makes me happy to hear back in the states so much good is happening 🙂

    may Allah guide us all and make us close to those whom He loves

    du’as sidi

  2. ‘owned’ them? this is not a game, this is the religion of Allah. The people you claim he has ‘owned’ are sincere Muslims hoping to please Allah, if they have done wrong, advise them, do not be harsh against them as harshness will only push them further away.

  3. Did the Sahabah not fight and kill each other? did Hajjaj not kill hundreds of sahabah? do we call them bad apples too and act as though they are not apart of us? The thing you fail to realize is, out of all of these Jihadi groups none say it is permissable to target a Muslim, they are all against attacks in public places like markets. Can you name any group who has taken the responsibilty of targetting a market etc?

    You are acting as though these people are nuts and will kill anyone who disagrees with them and this is a lie, at least be truthful when talking about them.

  4. Asalaamu Alaikom -This is one of the best articles that shares my opinions I’ve read!

    It’s so true as Muslims we have rights over each other and that is NOT to kill or harm one another- There will always be misguided souls Allah forgive us all. However we are Not ordered to murder we ordered to peace, repentance, and if NECESARY protecting ourselves NOT killing our brothers and sisters in Islam and our “neighbors”.

    Very well put article MashaAllah. I love Al Maghrib, practicing Muslims, and all of the volunteers!

  5. @asim – First you mention the Shabahs killing each other saying it’s okay to kill Muslims, then you say 2 sentences ahead that all jihadi groups say its impermissible to kill Muslims. You entire comment contradicts itself. Are you saying its okay to kill Muslims or its not okay? These people are nuts. Look at Pakistan. They have killed scholars. Even when they disagreed with each other they kill each other. These are reports from Muslims who are living there. This is not the western Media, because they don’t even report this. There are many people in Pakistan who discuss the carnage. You can see many of the reports from the Muslim relief agencies discussing what’s going on. If you want proof, just talk to the Muslims who volunteer to go send aid to them and ask them the stories they have.

    @al-suyuufi – My points are based from the scholars of the Muslim world as well as here. It has nothing to do with the media and everything to do with what the ulema have said and warned against these thugs.

  6. When did I say its okay to kill muslims, I said Sahabah killed each other and this is a fact and it is also true that no group says it is permissable to target muslims. What I am saying is if you have such hatred with the Taliban and other Jihadi groups why do you not have such hatred for the Sahabah?

    As for Pakistan, well Pakistanis tend to exaggerate (I know this because I am Pakistani) and I have seen on many occasions where Pakistanis have blamed the Taliban for things they did not do. One example of this is, a couple months ago women were flogged for comitting fornication, Bbc news mentioned this however the news on Geo (a Pakistani news channel) mentioned they were being flogged for being out side of their home lol.

  7. @Asim – Okay point take. But I’m not talking about ordinary Muslims. I am talking about ulema. What do you think about the ‘Ulema of Deoband condemning the Taliban or Sh. Salman al-Ouda’s letter to Osama bin Laden or the famous debate between a “jihadi” and Sh. al-Albani or the countless articles and fatwas proclaiming that suicide bombings is not jihad and is prohibited in Islam? You mean to say after all this, these groups have pure intentions and are trying to please Allah (swt)?

  8. MR, I remember watching a clip on youtube of a member of the Taliban inviting all those scholars who critisize them to join their ranks and help guide them to act according to the Shariah as many of them are laymen and liable to make mistakes. This is the problem, the ulama of Deoband and Salam al Ouda may critisize them but why not join their struggle and back them up with knowledge?

    People like Waleed Basyouni, Salman al-Ouda and the Ulama of Deoband should in reality not talk about Jihad as Ibn Taymiyyah said that the scholars who are not in the land of battle are not to be asked about Jihad, especially those who have no excuse…As for one who cancels out an obligation on his own while he is able to get to the Muslims and help them, for you to come and ask him about the obligation that he has annulled – assume he replies to you: “I am falling short in this. My son, Jihad is an individual obligation. Go, don’t go, etc,” his reply will remain incomplete and unclear because he has not lived the reality.

    Whoever wants to read more about this, let him look in the fourth volume of ‘al-Fatawa al-Kubra’ of Ibn Taymiyyah in the section on Jihad, and he will see that the scholar who is not in the land of battle is not to be asked about it or about Jihad…”

  9. @Asim – So Asim are you engaging in Jihad? If not it would be wise to take your own advice. Whenever the lecture is available Sh. Waleed refutes the misuse of Shaykh Ibn Taymiya to defend the actions of the extremists.

  10. I wish I could have attended! Darn traveling – studying…

    Does anyone know if they will release full-length videos anytime soon, esp. the one w/ Waleed Bysouni?

  11. MR, you’ve misrepresented the brothers who were critical of Sh. Waleed’s previous statements regarding the mujahideen. The lecture in which he called the Afghani mujahideen losers and unable to fit back into civilised society is widely available.

    That set the tone for all further criticisms directed Sh. Waleed’s way on this topic. He only has himself to blame for this.

    And also, please don’t set up straw man arguments by pretending that these brothers support the bombings of market places in Aghanistan/Iraq, etc.

  12. I have to say that I find it extremely odd to even suggest that no Islamic group is making the haram halal by targeting other Muslims. Ever since the khawarij there have been groups who have targeted Muslims, with the “ikhwan” of the Najd—the “wahhabiyya”—being one of the most famous modern sects to advance such a stance, with the heirs of that heretical sect of mubtadi’un still advancing a similar platform.

    But, sure, if you make enough takfir, you can undoubtedly claim that no Muslims are being targeted, since they are considered kuffar.

    Also, I love this claim and accusation from some that those who condemn “the Taliban” and other extremists are just relying on the lying Western media, all the while the aforementioned are, naturally, sitting on the truth. Many of them gladly defend the extremists and accuse Western media as being biased, but have no problem reading the works and following the opinions of controversial figures with shady ‘aqidas, introducing bida’ in both fiqh and ‘aqida, all the while condemning 1000 years of Islamic knowledge from the four madhahib and the ash’ariyya and muturidiyya schools and scholars.

  13. @AbuSulaiman – Sh. Waleed mentioned something about his previous lectures at ilmfest. InshaAllah once the audio is up it will clarify some points.

  14. @MR
    Now I do agree that these current extreme groups are VERY much OFF the true understanding. However the examples you cited to refute them are not conclusive and won’t make them come back to the true understanding. In fact they can use your examples AGAINST you and tell you that YOU do not know what you’re talking about.
    FOr example Salahudin spent more time fighting OTHER Muslims than he did the christians. This is a FACT. Listen to Zahir Mahmood on WHY he did it though (CD-set on Hoor Al Ayn site). So we need to know WHY Salahideen fought other Muslims. (because they will bring up the fact he did fight muslims)

    All we can do is make dua for these over passionate brothers. THey are misinformed, do not know the rules of warfare (Listen to Hamza Yusuf’s Vision of Islam cd-set for the ROE according to the shariah) and Don’t knwo the difference between the khaliphate and the Islamic State (again listen to Vision of Islam).

    THing is instead of upright refuting them we should learn the TRUE understanding and just preach that and when they listen they will inshALlah realize what they are doing is wrong. (Such as in Vision of Islam by Hamza Yusuf he just tells us what is the correct view of warfare and what not – he also said Jihad is fighting IS mentione din the Quran to any of you haters – but he doesn’t refute ANY group.)

    This is a bad habit that we have of pointing the finger and saying someone is wrong. Because it will only cause that other to hold onto the wrong understanding even with MORE passion. Instead like Hamza Yusuf does it he just teaches it in the CD-set and doesn’t call anyone out or specificly attack anyone. Infact he also says traditionally even if the government was oppressive Scholars wouldn’t tell people to trun against the govt. instead scholars would say what is wrong and what is right and it just so happened the people were doing that right or wrong action they would realize it and then change.

    Furthermore people are misinformed. I knwo plenty of brothers overseas who think that these organizations (the extreme groups) are providing for them and that the govt in oppressing them. An Afghan brother I know told me this that in Afghan they say Pakistan oppresses us but when he actually came to pakistan and then eventually the U.S. he realizied he was misinformed.

    All in All we need to teach the true understanding without pointing out what is the wrong one.
    Simple example:
    Say/teach to :Pray 5 times a day


    Say/teach: pray 5 times a day and btw those guys on muslimwakeup and what not who dont pray are soooooo wrong.

    it’ll just cause that group to hold onto the belief of not praying even more.

  15. Those who are making claims against Shaykh Waleed should speak to him directly or remain silent. He clarified want he meant about the fighters in Afghanistan @Ilmfest.

    For the most part, we ALL need to mature a bit. I ask the brothers above to breathe a little and listen carefully to Shaykh Waleed’s lecture then ask him directly if you have further questions.

  16. The analogy of the Sahaba fighting/killing Sahaba is totally irrelvant because the sahaba did not kill CIVILIANS. Warfare back then consisted of two armies meeting on a battlefied consisting of willing soldiers.

    Todays violent extremists routinely target civilians to accomplish political/military objectives.That is not all Western propoganda it is a FACT. You can ask ANY Afghan about that as far as the war in Afghanistan is concerned. EVERY side involved in the war in Afghanistan over the last 30 years has committed gross atrocities and thats WHY the majority of the Afghan people are already or moving towards a position of “No Americans, no Pakistanis, no Arabs, no Iranians, ALL OF YOU GET OUT and leave us in freakin’ peace!”.

    Muslims who want to live in a total fantasy land and deny the extremists among us and blame America for everything are naive at best or have alterior politcal motives at worst. Sorry, but America doing wrong does not absolve Muslims amongst us from doing wrong.

    To paraphrase the Quran ” don’t let hated of others cause you to committ injustice yourself”. Some of our Muslim brothers have become so obessessed w/ criticizing America or the West and “defeating” them that we have begun to turn a blind eye to the criminal actions within our own communities and acceptance of that has become a type of asabiyyah, plain and simple. We cannot uphold the Islamic ideal if we are sacrificing those ideals for worldly gains. This is NOT a religion where the ends justify the means…PERIOD.

    If we are not willing to accept that fact that we will continue to play into the hands of anti-Muslim bigots and those non-Muslims who propogandize against Islam to accomplish their own nefarious interests. We need to freakin’ wake up already. It’s about time some scholars spoke up and I applaud them.

    @ MR: Your original analysis was 100% on the spot. Don’t compromise and step back! Trying to shift the topic to the US or the wests oppressions is a tactic used to deflect the issue at hand whenever it comes up….Stand tall and proud for what you said. You were NOT wrong.

  17. MR prolly don’t like me sayin’ this–but y’all are failing to see the elephant in the room:

    The Wahhabi-literalist doctrine is the source of this (quasi) Salafi/Sunni extremism. The fact the Muslims have been collectively cowardly in cleaning OUR OWN HOUSE and exposing these deviants/extremists is the reason we are in the situation we are in. In the name of “unity” the Muslims in America did not expose these extremist groups and their deviant theology a generation or more ago. Instead, folks do not want to get down to the root of the problem: IT’S IN THE CREED!

  18. @ZA! your entire premises is flawed. You automatically make the claim that civilians are “innocent.” Many of these so called innocent civilians play a part in conflicts. They are the ones who fund, elect, feed, clothe, shelter, etc., either side of the conflict. An Afghan who works for NATO or the US military in any shaper or form is a viable target for the Taliban. The same goes for any Afghan villager who protects the Taliban, they are a viable target for NATO or the US. If the civilians weren’t showing any support to any side and were truly nuetral the conflict wouldn’t last as long as it has. You can say the same for any conflict throughout history, armed men have always been supported and needed the support of ordinary civilians. Just because a person is not actively holding a weapon doesn’t mean they are innocent, there are numerous other ways to support a side in a conflcit without actually fighting. So to call either side terrorist for killing collabarators is down right foolish. The average Afghan has nothing more then tribal allegiance, they play both sides off on each other to facilitate financial gain for themselves, something they have been doing for centuries. These actions make them active participants, and not “innocent” civilians, but people who are profiting off the war and conflicts.

    These Whabbis who guys like Swarth Moor call terrorist are actually risking life and limb for their religion and culture, while in his jihad all he risk is a case of carpel tunnel. LOL

  19. @Swarth Moor
    Ibn Baaz was one of the first people to talk about and warn against the over passionate extremists we have in our Ummah. And he was a descendant of Abdul Wahab so it is NOT the wahabis who are extreme. In fact some (if not most) extremists POLITCAL Islamists are SUFIS.

    However this doesn’t solve anything. What is th epoint of LABELLING the people who are extreme/wrong? Just teach the proper creed, make sure it gets to the brothers and sisters who are wrong and they inshAllah will realzie they are wrong.
    However if you start a conversation (or end it) with YOU’RE WRONG and THEN teach the proper creed the people who are off the creed will NOT listen to you. THey will go into a defensive stance and defend the wrong creed. It is just psychology of the people.

    Similar one thing i DO NOT agree with MR (this is also @MR) is for callign them thugs. THink abot it if someone calls u a THUG or WRONG or w/e and then tells u their position would you even LISTEN to them??

  20. 1) Al Sudani you need to be careful who you are talking to. Frank is a murtad and i dont know what his motive is for saying those things. just goes to show there a lot of people who do or say things in the name of Islam but their motive is to ruin it.

    2) this is a very sensitive topic that brings out the worst in people. Watch out what you say about your muslim brothers and sisters. You might place yourself in a party you don’t want to be part of.

  21. Did he mentioned how Saudi was founded by “jihad” against the Ottoman Khalifat? And perhaps where Sh. Abdul-Wahhab (whose work is taught at AlMaghrib) figures in that history? If you go to Saudi now, the “anti-terrorism” work that is going on to fight terrorism boils down to brainwashing these terrorists to believe: there is no military jihad in Islam- none whatsoever.

    Imam Ghazali (rahimullah) actually lived in occupied Palestine, much like how Palestine today is occupied by the Jews. But he did not encourage Jihad at the time, because he knew the Muslims did not have a strong understanding or practice of Islam and thus any “jihad” would degenerate into brutal violence and massacres, and would make Islam look bad. Instead, he focused on education- writing the Ihya. And his work, would eventually result in the generation that would bring the Muslims Salahuddin.

    Today we are in a similar situation. Thats why our protests turn into riots and we just disgrace the name of Islam with all our anger. We’ve become savages again, totally ignorant of our religion and you see it everywhere. When you really start actively learning the deen- you realize how we haven’t even come close to touching the tip of the iceberg!

  22. @Dawud Israel
    You said saudi teaches, “there is no military jihad in Islam- none whatsoever. ” really they teach that? So why do Al-Maghrib students attack Hamza Yusuf on what he said about Jihad? (Which He clarified in Vision of Islam btw where he said Military fighting can only be done by the state-and he said he uses the term state loosely)

  23. Blogger,

    The Saudi state was based upon the teachings of a man who promoted extremism. It’s enough to look at the history of the Wahhabis at Ta’if, the seige of Mecca, and the pludering of the Prophet’s Mosque in the early 1800’s to see what these people are about–that’s in addition to their ludicrous corporeal `aqidah.

    We have to call people out BY NAME when you see the Muslim masses are confused on some of the most elementary aspects of the `Aqidah. People need to know what’s what and who’s who–and who’s right and who’s wrong–and for what reasons. If this is not done, deviant groups and personalities will gain greater followings, and it will be that much more difficult to discredit them. The mere fact that people are perplexed about the genesis of the Wahhabis and their kufri doctrines indicates that many Muslims are sleepwalking on matters of Doctrine.

    “Keep reminding yourself of the reality of death, for it is the interuptor of pleasures and the terminator of desires.”

    With Allah is the success.

  24. Zookeeper;

    I’m very well aware of who I’m talking too. I know Frank is a Murtad, and very much in opposition with Islam, according to what he has been posting on here.

    I don’t believe his Religious, Political, or any other background results in me having to disagree with everything he says.

    I accept the truth, no matter who utters it. I believe it’s important we look at what is being said, not whom who speaks.

    So as long as I believe he is speaking the truth, then I will accept it.

  25. “combating extremism”??? i’ll tell you who is extreme…the enemies of Islam. Following our great religion is not extreme except to those who are against us. Let us not get confused.

  26. @sarab – What’s wrong with combating extremism? According to you the enemies of Islam are extreme, so they would be combating the enemies of Islam by your logic. What’s wrong with that?

  27. A good read to end this debate from Sh Qaradawis “Priorities of the Islamic Movement”, in which he talks about the balance of the Islamic Movement.

    The Balanced Ideology’s Attitude Towards Major Issues

    The even balance of this ideology is evident in its attitude towards important major issues, as follows:

    It is balanced between the advocates of strict Madhhabiyyah (adherence, in theology, jurisprudence, etc., to one certain school of Islamic law, such as the Malikite, Hanafite, etc.) and the advocates of loose non-­Madhhabiyyah (freeing oneself from any abidance by rules of whatever school of Muslim law).

    It is balanced between those who support Sufism regardless of whether it deviates or invents, and those who oppose Sufism regardless of whether it is proper and abiding (by Shari’ah).

    It is balanced between the advocates of an uncontrolled open-door policy, and the advocates of an unjustified closed door policy.

    It is balanced between those who refer to reason even if it goes against conclusive text, and those who never refer to reason even in understanding the text.

    It is balanced between those who regard heritage as sacred even if it shows human failures, and those who disregard heritage even when it shows signs of heavenly inspiration.

    It is balanced between those who indulge in politics at the expense of education, and those who neglect politics completely on the pretext of devotion to education.

    It is balanced between those who hurry to pick the fruit before it is ripe, and those who fail to see it until it falls into the hands of others after it becomes ripe.

    It is balanced between those who are preoccupied with the present and do not heed the future, and those who exaggerate in foreseeing into the future as if they were reading from a book.

    It is balanced between those who regard organizational structures as idols to be worshipped, and those who shirk any organized work as if they were beads in a broken string.

    It is balanced between those who go to an extreme in obeying a sheikh or a leader, as if they were dead men committed to the hands of the washer, and those who behave with such freedom as if they were not members of a group.

    It is balanced between the advocates of worldwide action without regard to local conditions, and the advocates of narrow regional action that has no connection with the world movement.

    It is balanced between the overly optimistic who disregard obstacles and dangers, and the overly pessimistic who see nothing but darkness and never hope for the break of dawn.

    And it is balanced between those who go to an extreme in forbidding as if there were nothing halal in this world, and those who exaggerate in allowing as if there were nothing haram in it.

    This is the balanced ideology we seek. However, the rule in our societies today is to go to either extreme, and the exceptions are few!

  28. I regularly take classes from AlMaghrib & have lot of respect for the shuyookh there but that doesn’t mean I agree with everything they have to say.

    Sh. WB says that these individuals are mistaken when they say that schoalrs who are not in the lands of jihad should not pass fatwas or judement on their actions.. well he may be rite but the hypocrisy I see on part of those who have the same stance as Sh. WB in the west (other scholars as well as layman) is that they are saying that the scholars who live in the east should stop passing fatwas for ppl who live in the west as they don’t understand the situation & circumstances.

    So the question is why the double standards.. either the opinion is valid in both situations or it is not.

  29. Abu Rummi – Because an important part of fiqh is taking 3urf [local customs and culture] into account. What works in one country may not be applicable at all halfway around the world.

    So yeah by and large, most Eastern scholars should keep their noses out of Western Muslims’ business.

  30. assalamu `alaykum

    Possibly surprised to say this, but I somewhat agree with Swarthmoor. Yes, fighting extremism is necessary but that fact of the matter is that certain methodological approaches are more conducive to the formulation of an “extreme” outlook than others.

    Regardless, I think it is a result of our intellectual stagnancy and mass-media pomp culture that we find valid criticisms being labeled as “hate” and “negative opinions”. A groups aesthetic appeal, organizational ability, and amassing of crowds is not a sufficient reason to deem their beliefs as being sound. The criterion of soundness is what the `ulema of old, the authorities, have stipulated and outlined.

    This isnt to say that specific groups have not done good. They have and credit is due wherever it is deserved. There are “bigger’ issues that people of divergent viewpoints can work upon, but this does not and should not necessitate the dumbing down of our tradition, the hindering of positive debate, and the further development of the Sunni tradition.

    In the end, someones popularity with the crowd is not the reason why we should accept them as whole.


  31. Maverick – if u read my post… why r the double standards?

    Eastern scholars should keep their noses out of Western Muslims’ business but western scholars & layman can poke their noses in the East. We want to advice not only on they wage war but how they rule their countries… Let’s take the example of Taliban, the laws they ruled by were criticized because they failed to be in line with western values. How come their ‘3urf’ didn’t matter?

  32. I don’t think that’s the case. Please show me widespread examples of Westen scholars commenting on issues specific to Eastern Muslims. They don’t do that.

    But when it comes to challenges where there are universal Islamic values to be considered, then yes of course they can advise Eastern Muslims. In your example about the Taliban, I don’t recall reading any Western shyoukhs’ statements criticizing them for failing to be in line with “Western values”, but rather they were criticized for their actions and excesses that were incompatible with Islam. The issue of womens’ education, the killings of the Hazaraa, etc.

    But if you can show me specific examples, whether in this case with the Taliban or other countries and groups, where Western shyoukh advocated “Western values” that are [in your opinion] incompatible with Islamic values and ethics, that would help me understand your POV much better.

    Regardless, there is the issue of greater leverage available to Western Muslims than is available to their Eastern brethren and the implicit responsibility to use that leverage for the greater good of Muslims all around the world. Political, economic and financial, media, professional, etc. In North America for example there are maybe 10 – 12 million Muslims, if you take liberal estimates. These Muslims have a massively disproportionate influence over world affairs available at their fingertips. The two groups of Muslims are NOT equal and shouldn’t be treated as such either.

  33. … i know nobody is visiting this thread anymore…which is a shame b/c I wasnt to clear some cloud that was put over sh. Waleed. He made some comments about SOME of the Mujahideen of Afghanistan in the 80’s…and it seems he may have been right.

    I don’t know about all his other comments about jihad…but for this one he has a point. Lets give him the benefit of the doubt.

  34. According to Islam, no one has any right to kill anyone unless you are physically attacked and then you killed the attacker to save your life or property.

    No one has a right to become prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner to kill his daughter or sister as honor killing even if she has committed a sexual crime. She must be tried through due process of law. This is what happened in Pakistan.

    A Pakistani tells how he killed 4 daughters
    The laborer, 40, says he took their lives to save his family’s ‘honor’
    Associated Press Dec. 28, 2005

    Nazir Ahmed, 40, who killed his three young daughters and their adult stepsister, is processed in police detention in Gago Mandi near Multan, Pakistan. : AP

    MULTAN, PAKISTAN – Nazir Ahmed appears calm and unrepentant as he recounts how he slit the throats of his three young daughters and their 25-year old stepsister to salvage his family’s “honor” – a crime that shocked some in Pakistan. The 40-year old laborer, speaking to the Associated Press in police detention as he was being shifted to prison, said he had only one regret – that he didn’t kill the stepsister’s alleged lover too.

    Hundreds of girls and women are killed by male relatives each year in this conservative Islamic nation, and rights groups said Wednesday such “honor killings” will only stop when authorities get serious about punishing perpetrators. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said that in more than half of such cases that make it to court, most end with cash settlements paid by relatives to the victims’ families, although the minimum penalty is 10 years and the maximum is death by hanging.

    Ahmed’s killing spree – witnessed by his wife, Rehmat Bibi, as she cradled their 3-month-old baby son – happened Friday night at their home in eastern Punjab province. It is the latest of more than 260 such honor killings documented by the rights commission, mostly from media reports, during the first 11 months of 2005. Ahmed said he killed his stepdaughter because she had committed adultery, and his daughters because he didn’t want them to do the same when they grew up.

    How many Muslims have read this Aya in the Holy Quran and still believe killing of innocent human beings by Talibans in markets, hospitals, girl schools, in mosques is allowed by Allah? Are Muslims the worst enemies of Islam?

    Quran “If any one killed a person … it would be as if he killed all mankind; and if any one saved the life of a person, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.” (Quran V: 32).

    According to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) “Murdering a human being is one of the biggest sins.” He adds: “Be kind to all living beings so that Allah may be kind to you. Allah does not shows His mercy to whosoever shows no mercy to fellow humans. Also learn more from this site …………..mark the word human beings that include all mankind regardless of rheir religion……not just Muslims.

  35. @MR: Salaams from Seattle! It was an absolute pleasure meeting you at IlmFest. You made for a hilarious Kanye! I hope to run into you again; if not in this life then in al-Firdaus!

  36. @MR

    I think it’s unfair to have an event like this that criticizes terrorism (which i also am against), whilst making no effort to highlight who the real mujahideen are. You mentioned in your post briefly that there are sincere ones who’s effort we don’t hear about that are fighting western imperialism whilst fearing Allah and doing their best to avoid civlian deaths. Why not publicise awesome feats such as this:

    Please watch this video. It is a french WOMAN (yes, a woman), who was brave enough to go right up to the mujahideen and interview them and spend time with them. Why is it that we don’t see any support for these kinds of things on blogs such as this. That’s why I think this ilmfest was unfair (i didnt go to it, I’m basing my judgment on this post of yours), because it’s aim is to completely disregard any true physical resistance to imperialism and tyranny.

    If you were to post this vid on your blog – it would be a step in the right direction

    And Allah knows best

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