timimi.jpgOne of the greatest mistakes of the Bush Administration in its national policies to quell radicalization has been its failure to recognize and separate true militants (and hence actual potential terrorists) from normal, practicing Muslims. It is because of this ignorance that many hundreds, in fact thousands, of innocent people have been locked up, deported, or otherwise harassed in the last few years. Sometimes, the very people who would be the best defense against radicalization are the subject of such governmental scrutiny.

Perhaps the most painful of the voices that has been locked up and silenced is that of Dr. Ali al-Timimi, an intellectual theologian and political analyst, and one of the more sophisticated voices of reason representing orthodox Islam in the Western world. On April 26, 2005, after three years of a long witch-hunt led by the Justice Department, he was convicted in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia of soliciting others to levy war against the United States and inducing others to use firearms in violation of federal law.

I personally owe a lot to Sh. al-Timimi, and I can say (with pride) that fifteen years ago, back in the early 90′s, he played an instrumental role in shaping and directing me to take the path that has led me to where I am today. I had the opportunity to be of the first batches of his students – in fact he was the first teacher who taught me the realities and intricacies of tawhid and aqidah, which, to this day, remains my primary focus and speciality. After my return from Madinah, I had the opportunity to visit Dr al-Timimi in May of 2005, when he was under house arrest, awaiting sentencing. He had an electronic bracelet around his ankle which monitored his every movement and precluded him from even stepping outside his house. And even during that meeting, his inevitable sentencing weeks away, he took interest in my life plans, and expressed great happiness at the progress of my studies, even suggesting specific topics and avenues that I should explore as a doctoral student at Yale (I had yet to start back then). It was with great sadness that we all received the news, on the 13th of July, 2005, of his life sentence, along with seventy years, without the possibility of parole.

I believe it was an egregious mistake of the highest order to target Dr. al-Timimi and make him out to be some sort of terrorist mastermind. He has many times, publicly and privately, rebuked the jihadist militants and criticized their errant methodologies. In one lecture, he said “If you consider this [speaking in the context of the reality of jihad], then we can frankly say that certain acts of violence perpetrated by Muslims against non-combatant unbelievers over the last ten or fifteen years clearly contradict Islam. It is exceedingly important that Muslims are the first and foremost to condemn and reject such actions.” After the first World Trade Center bombings, many years before 9/11, he said in a lecture at Purdue, “What I would like to emphasize is that according to Islamic law, this act perpetrated by those Muslims is forbidden. It is exceedingly important that we Muslims have no hesitation in declaring that. Yes we should be strict with our religion. And yes we should hold firm to it. But at the same time, when a Muslim does something criminal we Muslims will all say that it is immoral without any uneasiness on our part to assert that.”

The irony of the matter is that,  far from curbing radicalization, the overzealous actions of the Justice Department in targeting Dr. al-Timimi has in fact exacerbated the situation and made him a cause célèbre to the very groups that the government is seeking to target. It adds more fuel to their already raging fire that they build against the entire 'United States', as it demonstrates, in their eyes, that the whole country is 'out to get Islam and all Muslims'.

But the message of Shaykh was always one of pragmatic realism grounded in the Qur'an and Sunnah. He was indeed critical of many aspects of American foreign policy (these days, which rational human being is not?), but he never espoused any radical message of terrorism, nor did he secretly live a double life as a University academic by day (he had just finished his PhD in computational biology from George Mason), militant extremist by night.

I have had the opportunity to speak to many political players in Washington; from  presentations in the State Department to conferences attended by DHS officials and counter- terrorism experts. In every such gathering at which I have spoken, I have brought up the name and case of Dr. al-Timimi as a prime example of the total ineptitude shown by the D of J and the Attorney General's office. I hope that this has some effect in directing future policy.

Dr al-Timimi's case has been taken on by Jonathan Turley, a professor of law at George Washington Law School. Turley was ranked as 38th in the top 100 most cited “public intellectuals” in a recent study. He was found to be the second most cited law professor in the entire country. Turley alleges that the government acted inappropriately and broke the law in its method of targeting and spying on Dr. al-Timimi, hence he launched an appeal more than two years ago, which is finally coming to a verdict.

This is also a good opportunity for us to show our support of Prof. Turley, who has taken on this and other cases, such as the Sami al-Arian one, because he believes that they show a clear breach of fundamental constitutional rights in the actions of the current administration. It's people like Jonathan Turley who show us, in actions and words, the other side of America; a side that, sadly, many Muslims fail to appreciate and be grateful for. His actions are truly commendable, and we should do our best to show that appreciation to him.

Dr. al-Timimi's appeal will soon be heard in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. A tentative date of October 23rd has been set. The following message is from Sr. Ziyana al-Rawahi, Dr. al-Timimi's wife. Out of all of us, her loss is the most personal and the most difficult to bear.

As we remember Sh. al-Timimi in our duaas, let us also remember his wife and his parents, and ask that Allah grant him a speedy victory, and his family much patience and reward. Ameen Ya Rabb al-Alamin!

Yasir Qadhi

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Ziyana Al-Rawahi

Dear brothers:

Assalamu alaikum:

Insha'Allah you had a nice Ramadan and Eid holiday with your families.

I would like to let you know that there is a hearing on Ali's behalf on October 23 insha'Allah. As the lawyer stated there will be two classified motions to address and the Judge will have to will have to decide whether she is going to order serious relief in the case. The hearing will be closed to the public.

Please spread and make du'a.

Salam,

Ziyana

67 Responses

  1. shirien

    May Allah ‘az wa jal grant him victory in this world and the hereafter, and grant him a speed release. ameeeeeeen. Barak Alalhu feek sheikh for relaying this information, inshaAlalh everyone who has blogs should post something about this- the more people making dua, the better.

    May Allah give his family patience in these difficult times. Wallahul musta’an.

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  2. Abu Hossan

    Jazaak Allaah khayr shaykh for providing this update.

    I am one of those who never met the shaykh, yet benefited immensely from his lectures available online. May Allaah release him from his trials and unite him back with his family and the rest of the ummaah. His brothers and sisters whom he cared so much about and whom he would not betray. May Allaah release him as He released Imam Anwar al-Awlaki from the clutches of the oppressors.

    Whenever I see the shaykh’s picture or hear his mention, the tears well up in my eyes. Truly amongst men are those who remain steadfast on their covenant with Allaah. May Allaah accept the sacrfice and steadfastness of shaykh Ali al-Timimi, increase him in his steadfastness on the faith and lift the trial from him.

    The shaykh is truly an inspiration for the whole ummah. They have managed to lock him up and silence him but inshaaAllaah, they’ll never erase his legacy nor can they take away the love that the true believers feel for him.

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  3. SaqibSaab

    May Allah (SWT) make this move a great one towards the ease of Dr. al-Timimi and his family. InshaAllah this will be like how some of the Quraysh sincerely helped to stop the boycott of the Muslims in Makkah, and the push for justice will be aided with the help of Allah.

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  4. Sister

    Is Prof. Turley taking on the case pro bono? If not, is there a way we can help with legal fees?

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  5. Abu Sabaya

    I would like to say Jazak Allah khayra for highlighting the case of Shaykh ‘Ali. It would not be far from the truth to say that his imprisonment is one of the greatest calamities to befall the Muslims in America.

    If I may, there is a misconception I think should be cleared.

    One of the greatest mistakes of the Bush Administration in its national policies to quell radicalization has been its failure to recognize and separate true militants (and hence actual potential terrorists) from normal, practicing Muslims.

    The paragraph should be reworded to say: One of the greatest mistakes of Muslims who analyze the policies of the government to quell Islam has been their failure to recognize that its policy is not simply to go after terrorists. See the RAND report for a more thorough explanation.

    The overzealous actions of the Justice Department in targeting Dr. al-Timimi has in fact exacerbated the situation and made him a cause célèbre to the very groups that the government is seeking to target. It adds more fuel to their already raging fire that they build against the entire ‘United States’, as it demonstrates, in their eyes, that the whole country is ‘out to get Islam and all Muslims’.

    This is a stretch, as I have never heard anyone – no matter how extreme – claim that literally the entire population of the US is out to get Muslims. Rather, what is clear to many is that it is US government policy to quell the resurgence of Islam, even if this is not openly stated as such, and this is something that is clear to even many non-Muslims. I am reminded of a man I saw last month at sister Aafia’s court hearing. He was a non-Muslim, and he was holding a poster that read ‘This is a war on Islam!’ I walked by and shook my head out of sadness that this non-Muslim so clearly saw what the very targets of this war do not wish to admit.

    We need to realize (or stop pretending we don’t realize) what the reality of the ‘War on Terror’ is. When looking at the indictments of Shaykh ‘Ali, one notices that he isn’t being accused of having committed any terrorist act. One notices the same when looking at the cases of Isma’il Royer, Seifullah Chapman, Mas’ud Khan, Hammad ‘Abd ar-Rahim, and the others in the paintball case. One notices the same in the indictments/arrests of Jose Padilla, Aafia Siddiqui, Daniel Maldonado, Babar Ahmad, Emad Arnaout, Fahd Hashimi, Anwar al-’Awlaqi, and countless others. You want to tell me that none of this is intentional and is simply a tangential slip up or deviation from the government’s otherwise noble pursuit of those who want to hijack planes and blow up buildings? The pattern is that ‘Ali, etc. were all arrested, tried, and imprisoned for allegedly working to defend oppressed Muslims around the world in one way or another, and since the government cannot come out and openly state such (yet), they dress it up with more digestible labels such as ‘violation of the Neutrality Act,’ ‘incitement to wage war against the US,’ ‘tax fraud,’ ‘immigration violation,’ etc.

    The case of Shaykh ‘Ali at-Tamimi and countless others is the result of the precise and deliberate targeting of outspoken and fearless Muslims, not because they were confused with being terrorists. If you look at of each of those prosecuted, you will notice a pattern in regards to their character and efforts in aiding Islam, and you will see that the government knew exactly who they had on their plate.

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  6. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    innalhamdolillah. bismillah.

    shaykh yasir wrote:

    It’s people like Jonathan Turley who show us, in actions and words, the other side of America; a side that, sadly, many Muslims fail to appreciate and be grateful for. His actions are truly commendable, and we should do our best to show that appreciation to him.

    in the few years that i have been studying islam in earnest, one of the events from the seerah which comes to mind time and again is the ending of the years of Qurayshi sanctions against the tribe of Banu Hashim, its supporters, and the Muslims generally.

    no Muslim was able to stand up before Quraysh and convince it to the end sanctions as harsh as anything that modern Western nations have thrown at Muslim populations (because it is always the Muslim populace which suffers first and foremost from Western sanctions and attacks).

    instead Allah subhanahu wata ala used five relatively unknown Qurayshis who staged a challenge to the sanctions that was endorsed in a meeting of Quraysh’s leaders and could not be stopped by men like Abu Jahl.

    i look at the cadre of highly principled American non-Muslim attorneys who defend Muslim prisoners and detainees as the modern analogue of those five men. and professor turley is certainly among them. and non-Muslim American attorneys even go to Israeli courts to fight the Israeli destruction of Palestinian homes. alhamdolillah. i pray for the best for all those attorneys, and so i pray for them Guidance from Allah. but their faith is their choice, and they should be supported whichever choice they make because they are clearly among those who oppose injustice.

    and the prosecution of shaykh Ali al-Timimi is an injustice. and if he is freed, inshaAllah, i would expect America would be fortunate — because his voice speaks for truth, and so he would speak for good even when so much evil has been done to him. may Allah open the ears and hearts of America’s eminent ones to one of their own, professor turley.

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  7. Ikram

    Could be that they want to upset the peace-loving Muslims by convicting some of their best ones. It seems like one of the usual actions of the Jew-controlled America to fire up wars between different nations/religions and the government.
    The real war of our lives is the war for the next world. Whether things get better or worse for us in this world, which is just a battlefield, it is important to make sure that we win the war.
    We shouldn’t sacrifice our deen to win mere battles. i.e. Islamic morals should be upheld in all circumstances.

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  8. Abu Bakr

    The case of Shaykh ‘Ali at-Tamimi and countless others is the result of the precise and deliberate targeting of outspoken and fearless Muslims, not because they were confused with being terrorists

    Jazakallahu khayran for highlighting this point. Shaykh Ali stated just this same point in this interview he gave around the beginning of his case:

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  9. Yasir Qadhi

    @ Abu Bakr and Abu Sabaya,

    I fully understand where you are coming from; if I felt the way you did, though, I wouldn’t be living here.

    I think you have extrapolated the beliefs of a group of people on Washington Hill and painted all of them the same. If you listen to Sh. al-Timimi’s interview, he says ‘certain people’ and not the entire country.

    I have been to Washington a number of times (the most recent one being two weeks ago, where I met with senior academics working at a a number of think-tanks that are consulted by government officials); I can tell you from my own experiences that there are different types of people there in their understanding and stances on Islam. I think it is far from precise to assume they are all on the same wavelength. Yes, there are Islamophobes (perhaps a sizable minority), but there are also many who hold the ideals of multiculturalism and freedom of religion as a given in the Constitution.

    In this last meeting that I attended, the senior-most member present said after my talk “We’ve realized now that we were consulting with the wrong people, that we had the whole picture messed up, and that’s why we need to hear voices from within.” I have heard similar sentiments from other officials as well; they genuinely believed the neo-pundits (such as Schwartz) and it was only the result of their policies which awakened them to the reality of the situation.

    In any case, I don’t want to change the tone of the comments to be a back and forth about this issue – the post is about Sh. al-Timimi and remembering him in your duas. I know where you are coming from, and I respectfully disagree.

    Yasir

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  10. Abu Bakr

    Sh. Yasir, Jazakallahu khayran for the clarification. I don’t disagree with you, and I think I can say I understand where you are coming from.

    I think the only point where we diverge – and I think you may even be able to agree with me here – is that there is a small group which makes up this criminal administration. It has been setting and directing the government’s policies behind the “War on Terror” almost to the exclusion of all other political players in America.

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  11. Abu Sabaya

    In this last meeting that I attended, the senior-most member present said after my talk “We’ve realized now that we were consulting with the wrong people, that we had the whole picture messed up, and that’s why we need to hear voices from within.”

    I’m aware that there are people in Washington who don’t all think the same.

    But I’m curious, what is the extent of their difference in thought? How much of these brothers’ alleged actions would the most sympathetic views of this variance in Washington accomodate? Would they allow Isma’il Royer, Chapman, etc. the right to benignly defend Muslims under attack in accordance with Islamic values, for example? I think not.

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  12. MR

    May Allah (swt) free all those innocent Muslims imprisoned in this country and around the world. Ameen!

    Sh. Yasir – Excellent article. Please let us know what we can do other than making dua.

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  13. Abu Nurah

    As-Salaamu Alaykum,

    As much as it pains me that my brothers and sisters are being held unjustly in these prisons, perhaps it is the rest of us on the “outside” that should be requesting their du’as, for we may be in a worse state.

    As Thorueau observed in his seminal essay Civil Disobedience:

    Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison. The proper place to-day, the only place which Massachusetts has provided for her freer and less desponding spirits, is in her prisons, to be put out and locked out of the State by her own act, as they have already put themselves out by their principles. It is there that the fugitive slave, and the Mexican prisoner on parole, and the Indian come to plead the wrongs of his race, should find them; on that separate, but more free and honorable ground, where the State places those who are not with her, but against her — the only house in a slave State in which a free man can abide with honor. If any think that their influence would be lost there, and their voices no longer afflict the ear of the State, that they would not be as an enemy within its walls, they do not know by how much truth is stronger than error, nor how much more eloquently and effectively he can combat injustice who has experienced a little in his own person.

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  14. Amad

    May Allah free Dr. Ali from the pangs of injustice and return him to his family.

    Let us not exaggerate at the same time that all fearless speakers of truth are in jail, implicitly implying that those who are free must not be fearless speakers of truth. Let’s move beyond conspiracy theories and work within the system to secure release and justice for those who got caught up in webs weaved by certain jurisdictions, prosecuted by certain over-zealous and islamophobic individuals. By generalizing, we are no different from those who generalize about Muslims being all monolithic (with terrorist sympathies).

    P.S. The RAND report was never officially adopted by the government as a policy per-se… though I don’t doubt some government officials “try” to use it. And it was inspired by neocons, who are losing support everyday. The best way to defeat RAND is to have a stronger and more articulate voice that shuts down the religious-progressive voices on the strength of ideas and reason. Anyone can issue a report, no one can force laymen to follow it. And today we see, that despite media support, progressive voices have hardly made a dent among common, mainstream Muslims.

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  15. UmmOsman

    Assalamo elikuim
    Jazak Allah khair for excellent article.

    May Allah swt bring happiness to Dr Ali al-Timimi and his family, Ameen. May the justice be servered.

    We will be praying Inshallah.

    Wasalam
    UmmOsman

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  16. Farhan

    Where will his hearing be? I live in the DC area and I think he is local to me. I could take a day off and attend…

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  17. Saad

    salaam aleikum,

    what this article clearly left out is that there were some amongst Muslims who were very happy at seeing Dr. Al Tammimi convicted and made it a point of saying so on their blogs and websites. This is rank hypocrisy of the highest order and something that can and should be pointed out every time his sad case is brought up.

    Sameer

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  18. Yaser Birjas

    May Allah free sh. Ali Al-Tamimi and reunite him with his family and his loving Ummah.

    Subhana’Allah, we look at unjust imprisonment as an American and western monopoly and hence we forget that more Muslims are being held in Muslim and Arab countries than all those probably held in the western world. And I do not accept the argument that it is been done on their behalf anyways, but I do not deny that many cases of such imprisonment had truly been done for that purpose. May Allah bring ease and freedom to all those who are imprisoned unjustly.

    Many Muslim scholars have been held captives in their own land for the same reason, and many others stayed in the outside fighting their cause on their behalf and for their case. Many notable scholars were silenced to death, and it happened with sabrun jameel ‘beautiful patience’ on their part. Sheikhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah was one of them, reading the story of his imprisonment and his end always brings tears in my eyes wondering why such a great and noble scholar had to go through this? But when I see a Prophet, who is most dear to his creator, like Yusuf alayhis salam and what he had to go through, I realize the divine wisdom of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

    I truly believe there are people in Washington, who take this case as a clash with Islam. I have experienced that first hand, and I don’t really need any reminder of that. But I also believe it is unfair to brush them all with the same ideology, I have also experienced the reasonable and fair ones first hand too. Speaking to the reasonable mind s in Washington does not mean to remain silent over the loud voices of bigotry and ignorance. If we do speak, we should speak with Ihsaan and with that which is best. Education is the key word here, we are dealing with a massive number of people who do not know much about Islam, Muslims and injustice against them except through what they see and hear on the media and from their zealous speakers and preachers, and yes sometimes from some mentally defeated notable and average Muslims as well. Firm language with strong stance is one way of speaking with Ihsaan, and wisdom should determine when and how to use it.
    Unfortunately, there is an assumption that policies coming out from Washington definitely have the support of the public in the American society. Therefore, we find some people make general statements that would alienate the average person who could be of great support to the Muslim case in this environment. And absolutely, with the support of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, we reasonably, are required to seek their support. This is one way of how Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, ‘yudafiu’ and checking one set of people by means of another. And Allah knows best.

    May Allah azza wa jall relieve Dr. Ali and his family from the ordeal they are in, and bring justice and freedom to him and to all those charged unjustly in this particular case.

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  19. Hassan

    Ok why do I find following article disturbing yet funny? Must read. Quote from this article:

    But Islamway is not the only purveyor of Khalid Yasin and Bilal Phillips’ teachings. In fact, the audio sermons and DVDs of these two hate sheikhs are featured prominently by Ilmquest Productions, the media sales arm of the AlMaghrib Institute. AlMaghrib, a wildly popular Islamic studies program, operates chapters in more than a dozen cities in the US and Canada offering dual-weekend long seminars. An Arab News article describes the attraction of AlMaghrib – state-of-the-art advertising, slick graphic presentations, and young Saudi Wahhabi-trained instructors using Western vernacular.

    http://frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=778298C8-BB61-4546-A7E4-1935AF5868D9

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  20. Nirgaz

    JazakAllah Khair for this article Sheikh Yasir…

    I had no idea about this case and the details. I appreciate MM for informing us of such cases.

    However I am far from surprised that such cases exist.
    A couple years back, Yusuf Islam was scheduled to fly to Nashville but upon arriving in the U.S. was denied entry. Yusuf Islam, folk singer turned Muslim who sang “Peace Train” back in the day…ridiculous!

    But despite these faults in our govt and people that hold real hate towards Islam, there are still an overwhelming amount of Americans that truly believe in the freedom of religion and are not so naive to take what the media and others say about Islam at face value.

    Umsalih

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  21. Nirgaz

    Fussilat (Clearly Expounded)
    Chapter 41: Verses 19-20

    Unusual Witnesses
    “On the day when God’s enemies will be gathered together before the fire, they will be driven onwards until, when they reach it, their ears, their eyes and their very skins will bear witness against them, speaking of what they used to do [on earth].”

    These verses tell the unbelievers of God’s power over their own selves. They have no authority over themselves, and no part of them is beyond the reach of His power. Even their ears, eyes and skins obey God. They too disobey them so as to be witnesses against them on the Day of Judgement.

    There is a great surprise in this very difficult situation in which the unbelievers see their own senses and faculties obeying God and doing as they are bid. In this situation they are branded as ‘enemies of God’! They are herded together, from all generations, like a flock of sheep, and driven to the fire. When they stand close to it and the reckoning begins, they find themselves facing witnesses whom they did not reckon with. Their tongues, long used to lie, fabricate falsehood and engage in ridicule are now tied, while their ears, eyes and skins rebel against them obeying their Lord. They report on what they used to consider secret. They used to hide themselves, thinking that God would not see them conceal their intentions and crimes. But they did not try to hide themselves from their own ears, eyes or skins. How could they, when these faculties are part of them? Now, these publicize what the unbelievers thought to be concealed from all creatures and from God Almighty as well.

    Source:
    “In The Shade of the Quran” – Sayyid Qurb, Vol. 15, pp. 109-110

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  22. ilmsummitee

    We will keep the sheikh in our duaas and his family, along with all those who are unjustly imprisoned and robbed of their freedom and humanity. May Allah grant them victory and ease their pains. Ameen.

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  23. Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    JazzakAllahu Khayr Shaykh Yasir Qadhi for this article.

    I will honor your request not to try to alter the tone of this comments thread, inshAllaah all of us will continue to have other forums to address the wider issues. Food for thought on both sides, though:

    The notion that there are millions of beautiful, just people in the United States is I think agreed by all — at least all of us who have lived here and interacted with a wide range of people. Any notion that the U.S. government basically wants to do the right thing but simply sometimes makes honest mistakes (which I don’t think you are saying Shaykh Yasir but which could be one way of interpreting your comments) I think is clearly wrong. What some academics (even academics who advise the government) may say to you Shaykh Yasir is one thing but the public reality of our situation is heading in a very disturbing direction where even association with Orthodox Islamic ideas is unacceptable to the political mainstream. Brother Mazen Asbahi, a lawyer here in Chicago and extremely moderate Muslim was forced almost immediately to resign from working with Obama’s campaign because he served on a board for a very short time with the Imam of one of the largest mosques here in Chicago…You do not see our large mainstream organizations mentioning the cases of Shaykh Ali al-Timimi or other prominent political prisoners because they do not want to be associated with them. Those of us who are converts to Islam realize from observing cases like Imam Jamil al-Amin and John Walker Lindh and Ismail Royer, etc. etc. that to a large degree if the government ever comes after us based on our Islam that although I know that the hearts and emotions of masses of common Muslims will be with us, in terms of public support and advocacy not to mention practical tangible support we will be much more likely to get it from our non-Muslim families than from the mainstream Muslim organizations. This of course is the most fundamental failure on the part of our community, including myself, to allow the government to isolate our political prisoners from the mainstream public face of the community and try to force the community to agree to their persecution through their silence. And although it is a great credit to the non-Muslim families for which I sincerely pray Allaah (swt) will reward them, it must be seen as a shortcoming on the part of the Muslim community that we should inshAllaah work to redress.

    Shaykh Yaser Birjas’ point is one that really hits hard, though. None of us can deny that despite the profound injustices of this government, the “Muslim” governments including those that are puppets of other powers and those that are not, are worse in almost every imgainable way. For every Muslim being tortured by the U.S. there are many many more being tortured by people who call themselves Muslims. In fact, we know that if the U.S. really wants to torture someone, they will hand him over to other “Muslims” who are much more proficient in doing such evil. This is not only true of the governments, whose oppression is obvious and well known, but to all of us. We see how we Muslims in general treat our women, treat our children, treat our poor, treat our handicapped, treat our prisoners, etc. etc. and it is so much that no doubt were it not for our eemaan and confidence in Allaah (swt) and His religion, and of the beauty of the many good people struggling to improve our ummah amongst the Muslims we would surely despair.

    Shaykh Ali Al-Timimi had many people who were his students, like our Shaykh Yasir, who went on to influence so many people. I am sure he had thousands who were able to study with him at least for a class or at a conference, like myself, many of whom he surely does not know by name but who were profoundly influenced by him for the better and who have spent countless hours listening to his tapes…One of the most amazing things I reflect on for our scholars and teachers especially in this age of widespread availability of books and especially tapes, cds, and now digital audio over the internet is how many thousands of people love them, pray for them, benefit from them, and feel like they know them even though the teacher/scholar has no idea who we are. Truly the benefits of gaining and teaching knowledge are fathomable only to Allaah (swt) and truly it is a sign of the sincerity of our teachers when Allaah (swt) puts love for them and acceptance of them in the hearts of the people.

    Allaah knows best.

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  24. Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    Sorry, I hope I did not contradict my initial promise not to try to alter the tone of the thread! My emotions started pouring out a little as I typed. Please inshAllah forgive me for any mistakes I made in my post and please make dua’ for Shaykh Ali al-Timimi and everyone suffering all over the world.

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  25. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah. ameen to the duas for sh. al-timimi and the other oppressed Muslims. :)

    the virtue of so many teachers can be seen in the students they influence, mashaAllah. may Allah make us worthy students of our best shuyukh, as they have proven themselves to be of theirs.

    (i’m re-reading the post i am about to submit… please say ameen to that last dua!)

    mentioning thoreau is interesting, abu nurah. sure he resisted a war, and went to prison for it. and if the government’s prisons then had been what they are now, and if thoreau has tasted what our ulema and rank and file Muslims have had to swallow year after year — you almost wonder whether today’s prisons would be tolerated so easily.

    but thoreau was not like the African Muslims and their descendants whose chattel enslavement transgressed all bounds (the slaves really were America’s Jews, and the slaveholders were the people of Pharoah, except that there were more decent people among the Americans than there were in Pharoah’s people).

    nor was Thoreau like the native americans who were butchered while in custody of the US Army at wounded knee. (and i have stood in the Indian Treaty Room in the then-OEB, next door to the White House. a room that would be more truly named the Room Where Indians Were Most Lied to and Most Betrayed.)

    and those were just nations of men whose treatment by “his fellow Americans” Thoreau could appreciate first hand.

    Thoreau was not like the Japanese who were interred at Manzana (sp?). he was not like the undocumented migrant workers who have to dodge La Migra and vigilante-ranchers alike. and he was not like today’s Muslims suffering prisons, renditions, suspicions, entrapments, betrayals, and more.

    yes, he was a man of conscience, mashaAllah, like so many Americans throughout history from the Quakers to the Turleys.

    but when the eminent of this country looked at Thoreau, at worst they saw a kook. a man who went off and isolated himself from the people, trying to find truth. (sound like any particular group of people?) who would have starved trying to raise his own beans, just because starvation did not lack the virtue of self-reliance. and they obliged his refusal to support their war by locking him up where he could expound on his principles.

    today, what do the eminent ones, and the masses that roll along with them, see?

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  26. Ibrahim

    JazakAllahu khairan for this article. Does he have any children? I’m just curious.

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  27. Amad

    Hassan’s comment quoting Frontpage magazine:

    But Islamway is not the only purveyor of Khalid Yasin and Bilal Phillips’ teachings. In fact, the audio sermons and DVDs of these two hate sheikhs are featured prominently by Ilmquest Productions, the media sales arm of the AlMaghrib Institute.

    The very fact that Frontpage could not get its facts straight in this hit-piece just proves their journalistic credibility (lack thereof) than anything else. Ilmquest is not a media sales arm of AlMaghrib, for instance, never was. On the other hand, the fact is that Frontpagemagazine is a media propaganda arm of the neoconservative movement, and this requires only a cursory look at their magazine and authors to prove.

    Just a snapshot of some of their Islamophobia-manufacturing authors… you will see a lot of commonality between their background and the Obsession-DVD producers/distributors:
    -Ann Coulter (of the “nuke Mecca” fame)
    -David Horowitz (of the “islamofascist week” fame
    -Debbie Schlussel (of the “dumb blonde”/ VA tech shooter was Muslim fame)
    -Joe Kaufman (the Florida “jihad hunter”)
    -Robert Spencer (jihadwatch fame)
    -Steven Emerson (well-known and discredited “jihad expert)

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  28. Abdullah

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    JazzakAllah khair Shaykhuna Yasir Qadhi for the article. I pray Allah jalla thana ‘uh eases the suffering of Dr Ali al-Tamimi, enables his family to be patient and raise his rank among the righteous, siddiqun and the shuhadah.

    wasslam

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  29. anon

    I have an honest question for Sh Yasir- do you really think most Americans are friendly towards Islam? I mean, the Islam of Muhammad (sal Allahu `alayhi wa sallam)? * W’Allahi* this is an honest question, and I really would appreciate your answer.

    I used to believe what you did, Sh Yasir, that most/some kuffar were friendly and really didn’t mind Islam. But any experience will immediately teach you that they find it a repellant anachronism. How many of them would tolerate rajm, even in principle and if never implemented? The answer, surely, is none of them, and the same people find the religion of which it is but a tiny part disgusting. They might toleratre certain forms of Islam- invalid forms- but as for true Islam, how can anyone with any knowledge of public opinion hold the view that you do? I really look up to you, shaykh (masha Allah), but on this issue, quite simply, you’re wrong. I’d really like to see you convince me of your opinion- I’m sincerely seeking the truth- but I doubt very much that this is a case that admits of any other conclusion.

    [Please don't delete this!]

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  30. Yasir Qadhi

    @anon

    Appreciate the honesty.

    I think you’re conflating multiple issues. No one is asking them to accept every minutiae of Islam as valid – in fact this even goes against basic principles of dawah. We start with tawhid, risalah, akhirah, etc. and then if they accept these premises the rest will follow. You cannot expect everyone to accept the entire religion as valid, otherwise they would convert on the spot, no?

    The real question is: what are we asking of them? If you want them to accept the reality of Islam, and nothing less than this, then I think you’re asking for too much. Even the prophets of Allah did not make those whom they came into contact with convert to the truth down to the last individual.

    Another question is: what is our goal as a minority religious group living in secular lands? I have discussed this issue in my talk ‘Towards Establishing a Vision of Muslims in the West’. How we answer this question will play a role in your larger question.

    The position that I hold – which has been commented on positively and negatively, and this is fine because the purpose is to start a debate and reach a conclusion – is that our immediate goal should be to secure our rights to worship Allah, in our daily lives, as we see fit. For me, I state quite openly and explicitly that I am not calling for a political revolution; a supplanting of democracy with Caliphate in America! Rather, I see in the model of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam in Makkah what we need to be striving for: calling others to the worship of Allah, and securing our own rights to be allowed to worship as we see fit.

    By and large, these two principles should be allowed for us according to the Constitution of this land. However, in the past few years, many people have been harassed and even imprisoned for issues that should not be classified as crimes. This was the point of the post.

    Again, though, we stray from the purpose of posting this, which was to remember Sh. al-Timimi in our duas. I am not being a naive idealist, nor am I neglecting the (very) large segments of this land who have nothing but hatred and fear to direct towards us. But my question would be: what should we do about this: run away (to where?!), or confront this ignorance and educate the people to the best of our abilities?

    In the academic world where I presently find myself, I am always surrounded by the two extremes: either those who truly hate Islam and know it better than many Muslims, or those who are generally sympathetic to it and supportive of Muslims’ rights to be Muslims, even if they disagree with certain aspects of our faith.

    I am continuing to deliver lectures and write articles on various topics, and this topic will come up sometime in the future, in a more academic way, and it would be better to discuss it in detail when that happens.

    Wa salaam

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  31. Ikram

    Well said! :)
    The idealists are those who want to apply khilafa on jahil people. It is like feeding a 1-month infant a hamburger. First cure the jahiliyya like the Prophet did and the khilafa will form on its own.

    People are caught up in the Western desire for shortcuts and they want to apply this mindset to Islam unfortunately.

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  32. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah. my sincere apologies if this has been covered in other articles, but just in case the information has been updated, does anyone know a mailing address for Shaykh Ali? is it permitted to send him small gifts or letters or only postcards?

    jazak Allah khayr.

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  33. Fatimah

    Assalamu Alaikum.
    May Allah give Sh. Tamimi the best here and in the Hereafter.
    May Allah give him and his family strength, courage and patience to overcome this tribulation.

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  34. Mirsada

    May Allah (SWT) make this move a great one towards the ease of Dr. al-Timimi and his family. May Allah (SWT) bring him home soon to his family. Amin

    ummfatima

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  35. Ahmad

    assalamu alaikum wr wb,

    The most tested are the Prophets and those who are closest to them. This is one of Allah SWT’s Sunnahs on Earth. I have known Sheikh Ali for many years (but deeply regret not benefiting enough from his knowledge) and alhamdulillah had a dream that was sufficient to show Allah SWTs promise will be fulfilled and he will be released. I also had a dream when he was imprisoned and moved from one jail to another and it happened as I saw it. Patience is one of the greatest tests, and we will all be tested according to our levels.

    Indeed some in this same community were joyous over their Muslim brother, a scholar in his right sense, being imprisoned, and Allah is always just, just recompense (AlAdl), may Allah SWT forgive them for their multiplied ignorance.

    I want to say that Shiekh Ali’s family has endured much, and this of course is more then a life changing event, and I ask Allah SWT the most High to raise their ranks in this life and the next and to bring about his release in the near near term and unite him with his family once again.

    Oppression only leads to oppression, and nothing comes after the truth except falsehood, you are seeing the clear signs of the demise of capitalism due to various forms of oppression and falsehood amongst you now living in the West and you will soon see the rise of Islam if you are patient and work towards the establishment of Islamic institutions, but not before you see much war. Educate yourselves and form institutions for change for you are in the most balanced position of any other nation living in the West and specifically in the States. Pray for Allah SWTs guidance so that you are always on the straight path and pray that Allah SWT shows you the truth as truth and makes you steadfast in everything when the trials as dark as night appear, and pray that Allah SWT keeps you and your heart steadfast upon his religion, for you don’t know who is in a worse position with Allah SWT, the ones in jail or the ones with freedom, but have not spread the message of Allah SWT.

    I miss/regret the days of Shiekh Ali & Shiekh Jaafar (our dear respected Shayookh) and anyone who remembers those days knows now how far away the people have gone from this knowledge just in the DC area, when the bright stars or bright moon (the scholars) do not shine in the same city.
    It is the difference between a living city and a dead city. It was this brotherhood and the knowledge that was being spread that made the hawks within the US government & strategic think tanks vow for vengence and attempt to extinguish the light of Allah SWT (to silence the Muslim voices speaking out against their oppression and exposing their plots from West to East), and what seemed like a likely victory (in their own eyes) for them is now crumbling like coffee cake with Allah SWTs permission (isn’t it beautiful when Allah SWT grants victory to the underdog?). One of the key people responsible is himself under deep investigation, and several others involved in the circle of persecution have either had to leave their positions or are suffering a devastating end to their careers including the architects of the Iraq war.
    The verses of the Quran all come to life with absolute precision so many times when you read and understand and reflect on specific occurances and happenings around us.

    Let their be in every situation a lesson and benefit that we can derive and act upon.

    Many people continue to embrace Islam day in day out in the West, and many Muslims who are Muslim by name are being replaced day by day, this is Allah SWTs Sunnah on Earth. The people of the West are generally a people of justice, a people who take care of the orphans, the oppressed, quick to respond when attacked, many of them have characteristics that make them ideal candidates for being Muslims with the missing ingredient being Islam and its proper application presented in a proper manner and then letting them choose. This has been a rather long period of injustice, and with it will come the repercussions of injustice.

    I pray that Allah SWT guides the Muslims as a whole, increases them in useful knowledge, Iman, and rectifies their affairs, and unifies them as one nation, and releases the many many scholars and du’at from the prisons worldwide (this is a cleansing period), and also releases their tongues so that they may speak the true message of Allah SWT.

    I also wanted to end by pointing something out that there was a story a few years back of a Muslim man I believe he was from Morroco, that had a phone conversation. In the conversation he mixed English with Arabic and said tire-rat (meaning the plural of tires if you mix Arabic and English) and it was recorded and mistranslated as tayar-rat (meaning the plural of planes) and the man was arrested and held for 1-2 or so years without knowing why he was arrested and then was finally released when they got their translation straight (sort of a funny, but sad story).

    If this man was held over tires and then released, I pray that Allah SWT will release Shiekh Ali soon, who is really being held to silence the whims of a few loud hawkish voices with ties to the current administration, and the victory of Allah SWT in near.

    Sorry for the long post,

    Assalamu alaikum wr wb,

    Ahmad

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  36. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah. you can find some of Dr. Ali Timimi’s lectures here. mashaAllah, in his voice you can hear firmness, knowledge, and humility. may Allah increase him in all good things, including safety and security. and may Allah reward his patience and steadfastness with Jannat al Firdaus.

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  37. Abdul Vakil

    As-salaamu ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullah,

    My earnest duas are admitted to our Brothers and Sisters in Islam unjustly scandalized and imprisoned. May Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, grant them refuge from physical and mental harm and a short release. May Ar-Raheem permit ease for them, their families, loved ones and those dearly close to them. I pray to Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, they persevere patiently under such wretched and insufferable circumstances. May their suffering alone be adequate to earn them the highest stations in Jannah. Ameen.

    The only relief I find in light of these cases is in knowing that if Allah, azza wa jall, knew they couldn’t withstand such a burden, He would not have allowed their perdicament. And I pray our Brothers only increase in their endurance and gratitude to our Rabb.

    Jazakum’Allah khayran, Sh. Yasir Qadhi, for this crushing update. Allah only Knows by what other means would I have learned about Dr. Ali al-Timimi and his horrific situation. I must now make it my duty to look up more on our Brother and perhaps some lectures of his if any are in fact available online, in’sha’Allah.

    Unceasingly, should we continue giving our duaas and any possible physical assistance within the boundaries set by Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, for all those unjustly criminalized, suffering, donwtrodden and/or under attack worldwide.

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  38. Surprised Muslim

    …rebuked the jihadist militants…

    ‘Jihadists’? ‘Militants’?

    Are these Shar’i terms, or terms borrowed from Donald Rumsfeld or George Bush?

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  39. ilmsummitee

    Guys, dont forget about the Sheikh in your duaas! His appeal is coming up. Also, make duaa for all those injustly head whom we know about or do not know about. Allah ey farij.

    Just a heads up…………………………………………………

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  40. Kashif N

    Some discussion of the abnormalities regarding Ali al-Timimi’s prosecution can be found here: http://freeali.wordpress.com

    The only additional info i have is as follows:

    “the 23rd will probably be the final hearing for Ali as Turley has completed his last handful of final motions based on the secret info that the judge has allowed him to see”

    therefore, please increase in your du’as in the next couple of days.

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  41. ilmsummitee

    So, his appeal is tomorrow? SubhanAllah.

    Ya Allah farej wa ensur abdaak! Allahuma ejaal lahu makhrajan men haithu la yahtasib. Ameen.

    Please everyone, MAKE DUAAS for the sheikh. Fast tomorrow, with also the intention of it being sunnah ( cuz its Thurs) and increase your duaas for Dr. Ali and all the others imprisoned, oppressed, etc.

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  42. Azara

    Any news on what happened today at the trial? I pray that everything went well for the sheikh. May Allah swt give the sheikh victory ameen and to all Muslims, Allahumma Ameen.

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  43. Abu Jandhal

    Salamalaykum,

    I am not able to get any updates reg the hearing from any sites. Anyone have any good news?

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  44. ilmsummitee

    SubhanAllah, I was wondering about this too.

    Ya, jama’ah, anyone have any news? Please do share, whatever you may know………………!
    As for all of us, lets STILL keep the sheikh in our duaas, iA.

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  45. Anonymous

    The hearing was not closed. Nothing much happened. A motion to unseal additional material was denied. A transcript will be available within a week or so.

    It would have been better to have Professor Turley’s motion to unseal granted. For example, in the secret immigration proceedings involving Rabih Haddad, when the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the proceeding open, the government reversed its position and agreed there was no reason a full transcript could not be made available.

    7 years after the fact continued secrecy just allows government overreaching or misconduct to go unaddressed.

    The light of day serves as disinfectant.

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  46. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    Inna Lillahi wa inna ilahi raji’oon. Allahumma ujurna fi museebatina w’ukhluf lanaa khayran minha. Bismillah. That news is a tragedy for any Muslim as well as for any American who values justice.

    Is there any analysis available from Turley or other lawyers involved in the defense? The article mentions two motions, were both heard/decided? Allah is the One Who Advances and the One Who Delays. Is there anything we can do, those of us who are citizens and those abroad? Also, has Dr. Timimi’s case been picked up by non-Muslim groups like Amnesty International?

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  47. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah. i just did a few casual searches for news and analysis about the case. i did not find any news stories.

    i found that this MM article is the most recent article mentioning the shaykh on Digg — and the next newest is about one year old.

    i found this blog: http://freeali.wordpress.com/ which has an interesting statement by Prof. Turley.

    i found a video on a different blog, http://thesunnah.wordpress.com/2007/07/29/sheikh-ali-al-timimi/ i can’t say much for the blogs because i do not spend much time at them, but after the video’s opening title sequences (some of which is worth skipping) there was an audio clip (starting at about 3:50 into the video) with transcript of Shaykh Al-Timimi speaking on the night of his indictment, just over four years ago now — and exactly four years before the most recent hearing.

    you have to hear and read what he said when he spoke to his parents (at about 6:45) about the pressure by the US govt on him to plea to a lesser crime. his parents, may Allah reward them immensely in this life and the next, remind me immediately of Asma bint Abu Bakr, radi Allaho anhomaa, when she scolded her then-elderly-son Abdullah for wearing armor.

    and then his quotations from the scholars… simply beautiful.

    alhamdolillah (alaa kulli haal) i also found this article with the following excerpt of Shaykh al-Timimi at his sentencing:

    “I will not admit guilt nor seek the Court’s mercy. I do this not out of any disrespect to the Court. I do this simply because I am innocent. My claim of innocence is not because of any inherent misunderstanding on my part as to the nature of the crimes for which I was convicted nor is it because my Muslim belief recognizes sharia rather than secular law. It is merely because I am innocent. … We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. I declare the government’s recitation poor as it stripped those words of their meaning. *** Imprisonment of any term, as this Court well knows, is a crisis for the incarcerated and his or her loved ones. I am no exception to that. But the real crisis brought on my imprisonment, I sincerely believe is America’s. For if my conviction is to stand, it would mean that two hundred and thirty years of America’s tradition of protecting the individual from the tyrannies and whims of the sovereign will have come to an end. And that which is exploited today to persecute a single member of a minority will most assuredly come back to haunt the majority tomorrow.”

    in all that i read and heard, i only had access to bits and pieces of Shaykh Al-Timimi’s thoughts. it really seems to me that those who prosecuted him, who found him guilty, and who still insist that incarceration is just for him, that those people all are driven by fear. so the strength of his character and conviction scares them, because they do not share his belief in Allah. his moral rectitude and forthrightness, mashaAllah, do not reassure them but foment fear in them.

    a brave people would have been fair. a brave people would not have found the evidence offered by the government persuasive. a brave people would have corrected their mistakes by now.

    it may seem that there is little hope for justice for Shaykh Dr. Ali al-Timimi. but Allah is the source of our hope. and just as Yusuf alayhis salam remained steadfast when the servant of the Malik forgot to tell his master about Yusuf’s gifts. we pray Allah will keep Dr. Al-Timimi and every other unjustly imprisoned Muslim steadfast. and that Allah will bring about the means for freeing Dr. al-Timimi just as he brought about the release of Yusuf alayhis salam. and i pray that Allah will make his release as much a boon to America as was the release of Yusuf.

    because Allah is the most Just, and He is always, too, ar-Rahman and ar-Raheem.

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  48. Amad

    I had emailed Turley about a week ago to check status. I was having email problems so even if the good man replied, I may have not gotten it. I’ll try emailing again.

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  49. Khalil

    Salam,

    I read sura’s quran and books of hadith. Why are we in a state of humiliation. Ahh, we have left the folds of islam. Many of our scholars have betrayed us by giving us the watered down version of islam. Where is the pure islam, the islam of Muhammud (pbuh), the islam of Abu Bakr (ra), the islam of Umar ibn Kathab (ra) and so on.

    YA ALLAH, GIVE OUR SCHOLARS STRENGTH TO SPEAK THE TRUTH. AMEEN

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  50. John_Muhammed

    As Salamalaikum Sh. Yasir Qadhi,

    I realy appreciate what Al Maghrib is doing and I love to spend my money at ilmquest. What amazes me having been on both sides of the coin is the Quran is very clear, on that ,the majority of disbelievers can not even be the true friends of the majority believers. This challenge of Allah SWT is very simple and there is no room for any fitna involved in achieving this if they ( Non-believers as a Group) should persue on it. Why have not a single non-believer group be it Hindu, Budhist, Sikh, Christian of any denomination, Jews of any denomination done this for the last 1400 years? We the majority of believers are openly inviting them to be our friends with open arms ( even without them becoming Muslims), what’s keeping them from embracing us as is? do you realy think this will hapen?

    Allahu Aalam,

    JM

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  51. moses seenarine

    i’ve written a novel on this issue -

    http://www.born911.com

    i’d like to do a small, independent documentary on the effect this is having on family and friends.
    can anyone help me get in touch with a family member or friend? where are they mostly located?

    sincerely,
    moses

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  52. Abu Ruba

    We ask Allah SWT for his mercy and blessings, seek refuge unto Him, none will be even able to make a single shake to our belief and trust in Him. We ask for His bountiless vast mercy to Shaikhs and his dear family. We ask Allah SWT to clear our eyes, stop our rolling tears, that soaring Majesty can only fill ou hearts with pleasure to see a Freed Shaikh in the very nearest, soonst future.

    Oh our Lord, your mercy surpasses every things in the whole world, bless us this time with chance to know and realize more on that…

    - wassalam

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  53. Muslim

    Subhannallah I dont’ understand the views of some muslims..especially those who say we are in the Maccan era as an excuse for not speaking about the truth of what Islam teaches.

    Let me just remind you all that muslims in the Meccan period were tortured for speaking the truth and openly denouncing the idols and not weasling out of the tough questions. Just like the muslims today who choose to speak the clear truth and nothing but the truth.

    If they want to specifically say that there are in the period of the AL Arqam house where islam and its teachings stayed between 4 walls then maybe thats a better description for what they should liken their quietness to and their cushioned views

    On the other hand the muslims of nowadays who want to use the Meccan period as an excuse for not being able to openly teach what the Quran and sunnah proclaims …no their main goal is how to justify living comftorbaly and not having their feathers ruffled, dosen’t matter what happens to their brothers and sisters as long as a few helpless tears are shed occasionally.

    But as they say some people just don’t get it and alluding to this group at thats group’s agenda falls on deaf ears that wants to lay comftorbaly , rub shoulders and present compromised views to these same noble people you accuse.

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  54. The PJ Tatler » NY Times Mag promotes “Hoax of the Holocaust” cleric Yasir Qadhi as face of “moderate” American Islam

    [...] In a August 8, 2006 article in the Houston Chronicle, Qadhi admitted that he too was on the terror watch list. Qadhi’s Houston-based media company, IlmQuest, also sold sold sets of CDs of Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar Awlaki — even after he had inspired the Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan — until The Jawa Report called them out on it. Qadhi has taken up the cause of several convicted terrorists, including Ali Al-Tammimi. [...]

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