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Updated#2 (Nadim's input)- The following is the MM's team thoughts and views on the Elections. After my intro, don't miss the pieces by Yasir Qadhi, Yaser Birjas, Navaid Aziz, Abdul Nasir, others – Amad

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Comments CLOSED. Time to focus on what the Shayookh said, instead of arguing.

My fellow Muslims, especially my fellow American Muslims, Assalam Alaikum.

We are now passing from election hype to a surreal sense of what just happened in American history– a black man with none of the “required pedigree” taking over the leadership for the most powerful nation in the world. We all know that Obama really had no “business” running for the Presidency as a viable candidate, let alone winning it. But he did, and he nailed a slogan that will go down in history as one of the most genius political creations ever, “Yes, we can”.

What happened on November 4, 2008 will be discussed, argued, and deciphered for ages. The pundits and academics will make a living out of this election for decades to come. So, this “citizen-journalist” won't bore you much more with more of the same. Rather, I want to take you through a quick journey of politics on MM:

Political discussions on MM have brought out the worst and best among us. We saw the entire spectrum of Muslims commenting on these grounds, from those who wanted Muslims in the West to live as if they were really not living here (i.e. completely divorcing themselves from society), to those who cannot have enough of the American dream, soaking it up as if they were given the keys to Jerusalem.

After we got past the voting-blocK, we heard from both sides of the McCain and Obama camps, truly an opportunity for Muslims to grow beyond sloganeering, and looking at the issues.

I know there are many of you who would prefer an apolitical Islam-only MM, and I respect your desire for that. At the same time, there are many others, including me, who have found this political awakening of sort quite rewarding; what we believe is our own little way of contributing to the Ummah in the West. So, I want to take this opportunity to apologize to the first group for the high-dose of politics over the last few weeks, and want to thank the second group for the encouragement and the support for MM-politics.

A few final thoughts before I leave you with the words of those whose opinions far outweigh mine, in both value and quality.

As I left for work in the morning, my feelings of happiness were all relative: relative to what could have been had it not been Obama. I know that the “Muslim” mistake with Bush in 2000 has been rubbed in at every opportunity. But as Muslims, we learn from our mistakes; we don't stop trying. And perhaps this is a mistake again, wallahu 'alam, but I would rather try and make a mistake, than not try at all.

And so, I leave you with two words regarding Obama: cautious optimism. Obama's choice for Chief of Staff has served well to emphasize the need for caution, and for tempered expectations. Studies in human psychology have shown that a sense of loss is much harder to take than a sense of gain, e.g. losing money that you possessed feels much worse than not gaining the same amount that you were expecting to receive.

I urge you to not put political participation behind you, not to leave it for a short sprint every 4 years. If we continue to depend on political chicken-feed every presidential elections, then we will never get to a point where the politicians will actually start paying attention to us. I cannot but emphasize the importance of involvement in local politics, the city councils, the civic clubs, the school boards, and so on. This is where things happen, and where we can make a difference, and where we can go in with the motto:

“Yes, we can insha'Allah (God-willing)”

And then perhaps by the next election, we will also be able to say,

“Yes, we did mash'Allah (God willed it)”

May Allah forgive me for all my errors.

Your brother, Amad S.

Enough of me, time for the REAL deal…

Yasir Qadhi tells us not to be guilty of hope [Jump to his piece]:

How much more so, then, are we deserving of feeling hope and optimism, when a candidate who WILL directly affect our lives and the lives of millions of people across the world has been elected.

Navaid Aziz, watching from up above (Canada that is), is pleasantly surprised [Jump to his piece]:

Besides all of the hype involved, it was nice to see that American Muslims seem to have a genuine concern for their country and its well being

Yaser Birjas shares a short, but deep thought [Jump to his piece]:

Many people such as Martin Luther King died dreaming for something even less than that, and now here I am living to see some history in the making.

Abdul Nasir Jangda is relieved [Jump to his piece]:

NO MORE SARAH PALIN! Well at least not for a couple of years.

IbnAbeeOmar shares a more interesting story, his struggles between a mother's order to vote, and a desire not to [Jump to his piece]:

She [mom] said go, the lines are short. I said ok, I'll see, I have some work to do. A few minutes later she called again.

SaqibSaab, a true Chicagoan at heart, revels in Obama's ascension, though he treads with caution [Jump to his piece]:

For one, they should've had the starting lineup intro for the Chicago Bulls play, with an all-star Chicago “starting lineup”. Oprah, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Kanye West, Michael Jordan, and finally, the man of the hour, Barack Obama.

Abu Bakr doesn't buy the hype [Jump to his piece]:

I believe in the principle of voting in order to avert the greater of two evils, however I chose not to vote in this election.

Neither does Ahmad Al-Farsi [Jump to his piece]:

I was more afraid of, if I voted for him, thereby endorsing him, and he went off and killed many more Muslims in Afghanistan or Pakistan or elsewhere, that I would feel quite accountable for having voted for him. So, alhamdulillah, I decided to protest the election by not voting.

Tariq Ahmed (AbuAbdullah-the Houstonian) takes a more philosophical approach [Jump to his piece]:

Take note of the moment in history. As Rome turned the tide against Persia, so America has reached a milestone in its continuing epilogue to the end of slavery in these lands.

Haytham Soliman amuses himself before returning to the pretension of studying Haytham Soliman [Jump to his piece]:

“Finally, now I can say it, we don't have to hide it any more…. Assalamu Alaykom Br. Barak Hussein Abdul-Qadir Al-Jilani Chisti Obama”.

Siraaj Muhammad mixes up the optimism and the caution perfectly [Jump to his piece]:

Obama's victory over McCain last night was an emotional one on many levels. There is now hope at the end of the dark tunnel that was George Bush's presidency these past eight years

Nadim reminds us to be realistic [Jump to his piece]:

Let's be realistic, in politics, nothing is what it seems. America has a new leader, but can the winner change the rules of the game?

And finally, here's a special short one-liner from the other Canadian, AnonyMouse (who also tells us that she checked the news on Obama after brushing her teeth and before breakfast, which is a big deal) :

My summary: Everyone is way too excited, and we're all going to be disappointed no matter who's elected… The End :D

signed Zainab bint Younus

Yes, “AnonyMouse” is anonymous no longer. Is this bigger news than Obama winning or what??

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YASIR QADHI

Indeed, all praise is due to Allah, and may peace and salutations be upon the prophets of Allah.

When the Muslims were in Mecca, there was a major war raging in a nearby land; a war that was, relative to its time, of cataclysmic proportion. It was being fought out between the only two super-powers of the era. And even though the Muslims themselves had nothing at stake in that war, even though any win or loss to either side would cause no immediate change in their lives, the Muslims were emotionally attached to one side against the other. Their spirits, their hopes, their optimism, all centered on the army of Heraclius, the emperor of Rome, as he fought against Khusrau Parvez, the King of Sassanid Persia. These early Muslims felt an affinity for the Christian Heraclius as he fought against the fire-worshiping Zoroastrians. So, when the news came that Heraclius had been defeated, the Muslims were in fact dejected, and the pagans of Mecca boasted to the Muslims that their 'team' had lost. It was at this occasion that Allah revealed the first few verses of Surah al-Rum, which gave them the optimistic prophecy that even though Heraclius had lost this battle, he would win a future one, in a few years. Many years later, the Prophet wrote a letter to Heraclius, and Heraclius heard the message of Islam. While respectful of it, he did not convert. Throughout this entire time, the Muslims were not reproached or reprimanded for their feelings of hope towards Heraclius and the Roman Empire.

How much more so, then, are we deserving of feeling hope and optimism, when a candidate who WILL directly affect our lives and the lives of millions of people across the world has been elected. For those who wish to make Muslims even feel guilty for this hope, I say that our religion is a religion of optimism and a religion of reality. We should feel optimistic, at all times, and take the best from every situation. And between the two candidates that were running for the highest office in the most powerful country in the world today, it was clear in the eyes of many, which of these two was more inclined to peace, and which was more inclined to war. It was clear who was able to inspire with hope and optimism, and who was more inclined to inspire through fear and hatred of 'the other'. It was clear who had more intelligence and common sense, and who could not even think clearly enough to choose a qualified running mate.

Make no mistake about it, though. Barack Obama is no messiah, and, as an American political leader, he will inevitably do things that will enrage people around the world, and yes, sometimes even us. But looking at the alternative, in my opinion and the opinion of many in the know, the message was clear: he was the better candidate overall, at this time and place, for Muslims, for America, for the world. And if it so turns out that those who voted for Barack Obama were wrong, well, they can say, in full conscience and with no fear of reprimand, 'O Allah, this is what was apparent to us when we chose, and only You knew the future and what it held.'

Indeed, we thank Allah who will judge us for the sincerity of our intentions rather than the unintended consequences of our actions.

It is indeed an historic moment for this country, when a black leader, with the middle name of Hussein, the son of an African visitor to this land, raised far away from the bastions of political power, can actually win the highest office. It is an historic moment, and I am proud to have witnessed it. But the election yesterday was not about supporting the persona of Barack Obama as much as it was about the scathing indictment of the previous administration. When people voted yesterday, they voted not for Barack, but against the current administration. Obama did not win because he was Obama, but rather because he was for change. And to me, that is huge reason to be optimistic about this country.

There is much good in America, and we need to channel that good and help it overcome the bad. Keep in mind that while Obama won a resounding victory in the electoral votes, he only had a slight lead in the popular vote (52% to Obama, 46 % to McCain). And while it is overly simplistic and wrong to claim that all those who voted for McCain were supportive of the current administration's policies, it is not an exaggeration to state that a fairly large percentage of them would be averse to the positive vision of change that Obama claims to want. And that is a scary thought, one that sobers us up the reality, and shows us that there is a lot of work to do ahead.

As an American, I cannot help but feel a sense of joy, a sense of optimism for the future, and the work ahead for all of us. And as a Muslim, I sincerely pray that Allah wants good for this country, and that He places people in power that will bring about that good through them, and through all of us. The Obama campaign might have stopped now, but our campaign as Muslims, in spreading the truth and calling for justice, never stops as long as we remain in this world.

In this moment of elated happiness, when the nation itself seems swept away with the raw emotion of victory, let us remember that true victory is one's spiritual victory in winning the pleasure of Allah. Let us keep in mind that leaders come and go, nations rise and fall, and one day, after having witnessed much happiness and sorrow, we too shall depart, leaving this world with only our deeds to show.

May Allah make us all beacons of light, calling people to the truth, and being a shining example for others to follow.

Yasir Qadhi
New Haven, CT
Nov 5th, 2008

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NAVAID AZIZ

One of the more appealing Muslim authored articles I stumbled upon during the whole election fiasco was the article written by Br. Zaid Shakir entitled: “Vote for me and I'll set you free“. Not wanting to focus so much on the content of the article, it basically summarized all the things that the up and coming president would need to say, and more importantly do, to get the affairs of the country in order. What I would like to focus on is the title of the article itself, and how it relates the mindset of the average Muslim American voter.

Now, Br. Shakir may have not necessarily been thinking about the frame of mind of the average Muslim American voter when he wrote the article, but I believe the title is nonetheless very applicable. After having observed all the debates and discussion surrounding the two respective candidates one thing that definitely stuck out, like a sore thumb, was how Muslims actually believed that it was this up and coming president that would change their lives, and basically “set them free.” Now such sentiments are not only understandable, but perhaps also expected after GW Bush's eight years in power that have left the country in shambles. Amongst all of those sentiments the greater picture faded away and perhaps was even lost. What is that greater picture? You need not look further than the American dollar bill: “In God we trust”. Yes, with a new president comes great hope and possibly great change, but at the end of the day nothing happens except by the will and power of the almighty. So why is it we witnessed debates about which candidate we should vote for, and heard khutbahs about why we need to be more politically aware, yet nowhere in those lengthy sermons and debates did anyone mention putting our trust in Allah and supplicating that He grant victory to the one that will be the most beneficial for Islam and the Muslims in America. The president is just a means. God is the one that controls your fate.

“Over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing” (12:76)

Not wanting to be a total cynic, I was pleasantly surprised at the interest that Muslim Americans showed during these elections. Besides all of the hype involved, it was nice to see that American Muslims seem to have a genuine concern for their country and its well being. It is such glimpses of hope that allow me to believe that American Muslims will one day unite under a centralized opinion and use that united voice to fight for justice, human rights, and a rectification of domestic and foreign policy. When one is living in a land of democracy, it is only foolish not to make the best of it when one can, while never forgetting that there is no replacement or second to the sharee'ah of Allah.

“And who is better in judgment than Allah for a people who have firm Faith.” (5:50)

May Allah rectify the affairs of Muslims in America and everywhere else, and return this Ummah to the honor and respect it once had.

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YASER BIRJAS

I truly felt more republican on some issues than democrat but couldn't imagine McCain-Palin in the White House. The only thing that struck me while I was watching both McCain and Obama's speeches, that I was watching a truly historical event. Many people such as Martin Luther King died dreaming for something even less than that, and now here I am living to see some history in the making.

How positive or negative the impact of this in the future was not really an issue to me at that moment. The issue was to believe that with hard and sensible work, with enduring prejudice and all kind of stereotypes things by the will of Allah can happen. Silence or negativity during those difficult moments of our time were definitely not an option.

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ABDUL NASIR JANGDA

This was a very interesting and important election for many reasons that have been elaborated upon. I found this election to be of special interest to me, primarily due to the thumping the republican party received both locally here in North Texas and of course nationally. We have been suffering locally, nationally, and even worldwide on the republican watch. So it was nice to see them deal with the consequences of their actions and policies.

NO MORE SARAH PALIN! Well at least not for a couple of years. She's saying she wants to run for president. Looks like Tina Fey doesn't have to worry about a job. :)

Another point that struck me was how far the African American community has been able to come in half a century, despite all the challenges and adversity they faced. It was fascinating to see how things have developed.

Lastly in deciding whether or not to participate in the voting process, we should remember to be respectful towards each other and treat others the way you would like to be treated.

Allah knows best.

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IBN ABEE OMAR

I have perhaps one of the most interesting journeys of the 2008 election (of the MM staff maybe anyways). I have struggled to some extent with where I stand on voting, ultimately deciding that I was not going to partake in the election. My only reason for participating would be with the premise of choosing which candidate would be better for the Muslim Ummah – if such a conclusion could be reached. While debating the issue of who was really the lesser evil, I could not decide. I feel Obama is better for America, but I don't know that it translates into who is necessarily best for Muslims everywhere. And while I understand the arguments of those opposing voting on Islamic grounds, I also personally feel that those allowing it in our situation – using the tools available to you to better your situation until you have a better alternative – have the more compelling argument.

While trying to come to grips with who was better for the Muslims, my gut told me Obama was. I could not help shake my guilty conscience though, that still gnaws at me from 8 years ago. If you recall, back then the “Muslim thing to do” was to vote for Bush. I did my civic duty as a Muslim and made sure I voted for him. I have regretted it every day since.

I learned that while it's important to be involved in society, I concluded that voting didn't need to be one of the ways – legitimate an option for us it may be. I realized that I simply could not identify the lesser of two evils simply based on campaigning and empty stances on canned issues, especially when despite Obama's anti-war stance he is still anti-Palestine. Therefore, I decided to abstain from voting in this election, as I did in the previous election.

Then, in the span of 30 minutes, everything got turned upside down. Parents have a tendency to do that. My mom, of all people, called me while I was working asking me if I had voted. I said no. She said go, the lines are short. I said ok, I'll see, I have some work to do. A few minutes later she called again. I again made some excuse. Then she called a third time, and I said I would see about it after going to the masjid – except this time she got frustrated and said to go ahead and go now and not to miss out.

I am now in what you might call a predicament, a conundrum of sorts. She's not ordering me with something I consider to be blatantly haram, and having an argument with my parents about voting is not my idea of a nice evening at home. So I said khayr, I will obey my mother and go out and vote. Birr al-walidayn overrides an issue of ijtihad such as this in my mind (I have a tendency to create fatwa situations in real life that others would never even think of hypothetically).

The story doesn't end there. I walk in and feel uncomfortable just being there. I made a quick du'a, something along the lines of being guided to whatever was going to be best for me in my affairs. I go to the table, whip out my registration card, and hand it to them. My registration card is from around 1999-2000 (wow I feel old). My name is not in their list. The address on my card was from when I lived at home and was going to college. No problem they said, they'd find where I could go vote and started checking my previous address. That didn't help much because in the last 5 years I have moved probably 4 times, including a 2 year stint in another state. And that's what got me. My registration expired while I was in the other state, and the post office is not allowed to forward mail for voter registration, so I never received my renewal notice. My 'civic duty' when I moved back to my present state would have been to re-register as a resident of the state and be eligible to vote. So I re-registered, but I was not allowed to vote today. So alhamdulillah, I made my mom happy, and I feel at ease for not voting for someone that I might regret later.

As I write this, Obama looks like a run-away winner. I'm happy that he won as opposed to McCain, but what I have learned from 2000 is not to get too excited. Make du'a' for the Ummah, it's much more important. I pray that Allah (swt) makes our affairs easy here, puts barakah in our da'wah efforts, makes it easy for us to combat the negativity spread about us here, and saves the Muslims from the disasters we have seen abroad in the past 8 years.

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SAQIBSAAB

As a Chicagoan, it was something else to see Obama take the victory right in my own home city. I knew people who went to Grant Park for his victory speech and even saw some Muslims I knew on TV. This election and the events that led up to it were truly something else. On a humorous note, my wife and I jokingly kinda wished they would've increased the “Chicagoness” of the celebration. How so? For one, they should've had the starting lineup intro for the Chicago Bulls play, with an all-star Chicago “starting lineup”. Oprah, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Kanye West, Michael Jordan, and finally, the man of the hour, Barack Obama. The bench would consist of Common, Derick Rose, Roger Ebert, Mike Ditka, Al Bundy, Bill Murray, Lupe Fiasco, the Perfect Strangers, Steve Urkel, Christian Bale as Batman from The Dark Knight, okay now I'm just getting carried away.

As a recent college graduate looking for a job in a recession, I'm both relieved the republican party of McCain lost and the democratic Obama team took the stage. As imam Suhaib said, Obama's more about socializing the benefits for the masses, not privatizing them. I personally like Obama's constant focus on the middle to lower class of America and not on supposed plumbers making $250,000+ a year.

As a Muslim, I have two feelings. Firstly, I'm relieved McCain and Sarah Palin weren't elected. Besides the fact that Palin is a walking embodiment of epic fail, their campaign carried a lot of blatant much anti-Muslim baggage. I'm glad the likes of Gayle Quinnell, the McCain supporter that didn't trust Obama because he was “an Arab,” won't have any more say in things than they deserve.

The other feeling I have is of concern for all Muslims in their support for Barack Obama. Most Muslims I know voted and supported Obama, either on the basis of his superior domestic policies or the negative characteristics of McCain and his ilk. Obama's the candidate who explicitly stated supporting the closing of Guantanamo Bay. That, amongst other reasons, is why we can consider him a lesser of two evils. However, I really advise us Muslims to take Obama's victory with a grain of salt.

Obama has stated he wants to send forces into Pakistan, as well as increase focus in Afghanistan. This is very worrisome for me as a Muslim, because with the way US Foreign policy goes, invading primarily Muslim lands has been nothing short of disastrous.

So while we may get excited and get somewhat emotional of having the candidate we voted for win, I want to remind everyone that Barack Obama is not perfect. He is not a savior or Mehdi for us, and he is not our avenue for sole trust in all affairs. He's a human being, and a politician at that. Therefore, he is going to make mistakes. Better to believe this now, and remember it when conflicts between the US' interests come between ours, especially on a foreign level.

We ask Allah protect us and bring us justice.

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ABU BAKR IBN NASIR

I believe in the principle of voting in order to avert the greater of two evils, however I chose not to vote in this election. The following are my concerns about Obama:

  1. It seems he will be continuing the war in Iraq for the foreseeable future.
  2. He is pro-Israel.
  3. He is indicated his readiness to expand the Afghanistan war into Pakistan.
  4. On the domestic front, he approved the Patriot Act.

I would honestly like to believe that with a Democratic Congress and President, there will be an improvement on the civil rights front, but the Democratic Party has been complicit in the gross civil rights violations of the Bush Administration.

I hope I am wrong and that the two wars come to an end soon, but I think that the ongoing economic troubles in the US and the tenacity of the military insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq will have more to do with it than the election of Obama.

I think if the economic troubles continue to grow, the government will be under more and more pressure from the public to end the war. This would be a dilemma however for Muslims in America because the public will also be more receptive to anti-Muslim demagoguery of the sort that has already been seen in many European countries.

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AHMAD AL-FARSI

For a while before the election, I was seriously contemplating voting for Obama, simply because I was quite scared of what McCain would do to the Muslim world, were he to be elected. However, as days got closer to the election, I began to think to myself that, in spite of his rhetoric, Obama probably would not be that different from the status quo. Sure, he said he wants to end the war in Iraq (and I'm not sure if I even trusted him on this one), but he said that in conjunction with saying that he will re-double the military effort in Afghanistan, which implies North Pakistan as well. In addition, hearing Joe Biden's excessive drooling over Israel, and Obama's approval (and many times outright praise himself), made me think that basically, although we might see SOME slight improvements under Obama, things would basically stay the same.

At the end of the day, I was not really 100% convinced that Obama would be the lesser evil… maybe 50% sure, but not sure enough to give my endorsement… and I was more afraid of, if I voted for him, thereby endorsing him, and he went off and killed many more Muslims in Afghanistan or Pakistan or elsewhere, that I would feel quite accountable for having voted for him. So, alhamdulillah, I decided to protest the election by not voting. To those who would criticize my action as “inaction,” I remind that in many countries, people purposely do not vote as a way of voicing their disapproval of the system, and as a way of showing that whoever is elected does not hold the support of the people. Sure, that lack of support did not occur from Americans this election cycle (as people came out in record numbers), but it occurs from the individual, Ahmad AlFarsi, who refused to show his support for either candidate. I think if Ron Paul, or someone who held his non-interventionist views on foreign policy, were running, I would have voted for that candidate.

Although I did not vote, as I did not wish to give my official endorsement, I was closely following the results of the election, still hoping that McCain would lose. I don't have a TV, so I followed on CNN.com. I saw Pennsylvania go Obama, then Ohio, and saw that he had 207 votes without counting any of the west coast states, so at that point I knew he had it in the bag. When CNN officially announced that Obama won, despite my serious doubts about him, I couldn't help but feel happy… if for no other reason, then simply because a presidency by a man named Barack Hussein Obama, who has three very foreign sounding, and two Arabic names, would mean that no matter how racist or prejudiced other Americans wanted to be, they would have to swallow the fact that their president has the middle name Hussein and has close family ties to Muslims, and that his name doesn't sound white or European in the least bit. That in and of itself, is seen by me as form of progress in this country, and it's a true, “in your face” to all the racist rednecks that still live here. Of course, I'm still hoping that the ultra-right wingers were correct, and that Obama has been a closet Muslim this whole time… who knows, insha'Allah, on inauguration day, maybe he will pick up the mic, and begin his speech with “Inna al-hamdalillaah, nahmaduhu wa nasta'eenuhu wa nastaghfiruh…” :) too bad that's not happening … unless we start giving him some serious da'wah starting now… get his half-brother Malik Obama in on this, insha'Allah :)

As a side note, I do have one criticism of Muslim groups that have been advocating Muslim voting. I believe that at times it is being done in such a way that an average Muslim who knows little about his religion will be misled into thinking that secular democracy is legitimate from an Islamic point of view. We should be able to advocate voting, while still mentioning the disclaimer that we do not believe that secular democracy is Islamically-legitimate form of government for Muslims; rather, we are only picking the lesser evil. wa Allahu a'lam.

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T. AHMED

Innalhamdolillah. There is no deity worthy of worship other than Allah. The Lord of Abraham and Isaac. The Lord of Moses and Jesus. The Lord of Muhammad and of every human being. May prayers and blessing be on all the Prophets of Allah.

Indeed Allah is the One Who Rewards, and He is the One Who Advances and the One Who Delays. And Allah does no injustice, ever, to anyone. Allah has taught us in the Qur'an that the wakeels of those who defy Him, the ones in whom the ingrates place their trust, are false idols. While Allah is the One on Whom believers rely. But more than that, Allah is our Mawla, the One Who Can Act on our behalf, while the disbelievers who call on other than Him, have no one to answer them. Yet Allah answers the prayers of anyone who calls on the Lord alone.

The Prophet salallahu alahi wasalam taught us that no one knows what future Allah has Decreed for him until he witnesses it, so a person must strive all the time for what is good and place his trust in Allah. That is tawakkul, that is reliance on Allah: striving combined with trust. Verily, the Prophet taught the truth, alhamdulillah.

So there is no people on earth who should believe more than Muslims that righteous works will be rewarded. And there is no people on earth who should be more steadfast in good works than the Muslims. So how is it that we are a people who constantly say what cannot be done? We have become a people in need of a reminder.

Allah does not disdain to use even a mosquito as an example. And He has used mighty nations who were in Kufr as examples to all the Muslims, and I remind you now of the Surah revealed about the Romans. How Allah told of the loss that Byzantine Rome was suffering against the armies of the Persian Empire. The example is important for us for many reasons: the Muslims were disheartened at the plight of the Romans because the Muslims loved the Christians who also worshipped Allah. And the idolaters of Mecca who persecuted the Muslims were glad for the Persians who were also engaged in shirk, taking false deities besides Allah.

And in that surah, Allah uplifted the Muslims with the foretelling of a Roman victory in the years to come. That bears highlighting, too, Allah uplifted the Muslims with a Promise of victory for the Christian empire.

So, I pray that Allah will accept my joy for America on the occasion of the outcome of its Presidential Election.

In electing a black man, the son of a black Kenyan Muslim and a white Kansan Christian, America has done something good. Something on the scale of the defeat of Persia by Rome. And all Muslims should take note, and take heart.

Take note of the accomplishment. A man whom other black politicians had judged as brash for wanting to seek the office he has now won, did not constantly seek out reasons for failure. He sought out the means to succeed. Did he call out to Allah, perhaps by other names such as “God”? I do not know, and only Allah Knows. And I do not want any of the rights of Allah, among them Allah's Sovereign Right as Lord of All Creation to dispense sustenance, victory, and acclaim to Whomever He Wills. Verily Allah Does as He Pleases, and for me is only to accept His Will with humility.

Take note of the moment in history. As Rome turned the tide against Persia, so America has reached a milestone in its continuing epilogue to the end of slavery in these lands. America was torn apart by a Civil War largely over chattel slavery, which in America had become the most vile incarnation of slavery in history. Before the Civil War, the Supreme Court of the United States in Dred Scott v. Sanford would declare that slaves were not people. And a president from Illinois would emancipate all the slaves. And one hundred years after that president was assassinated, an iconic black preacher would be assassinated for continuing to dream of racial equality in America. We are now some 400 years after the first Africans were brought to Colonial America, and a descendant of their free cousins in Kenya has been elected President of the United States because he and millions of Americans never gave up hope.

Take heart. For Allah has given us an example of His willingness to reward the persistence of hope, and our hope is in Allah. As Muslims, we must never forget the lessons of our Lord. And we must always strive to do what is good. Take heart from the victory of this nation over its own worst demons, and commit yourselves as I do myself to increasing justice for Muslims and all peoples in every corner of the world.

And always, always remember, with the Mercy of Allah, yes, we can.

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HAYTHAM SOLIMAN

The American people have voted in a one-of-a-kind election on Tuesday. Americans were not the only ones waiting for the results of these elections, rather the whole world was. Zooming in to the Muslim community in America, one will still see us divided as ever. Not only on the choice of McCain vs. Obama, but on even a more serious and ruthless argument around the issue of the permissibility of voting itself.

Anyway, as I was walking back home yesterday, I received a phone call from a friend of mine screaming, “Obama won Obama won”. I said “congratulations” and hung up the phone with a question spinning in my head, “will we regret this day like we regretted voting Bush into the White House 8 years ago?” Then I thought about writing a letter to Barak saying, Mr. Obama, even though you dissociated yourself from the Muslims, we voted for you and I pray and hope that you don't screw us like Bush did.

Then I thought that I should sign the letter with the following: “Finally, now I can say it, we don't have to hide it any more…. Assalamu Alaykom Br. Barak Hussein Abdul-Qadir Al-Jilani Chisti Obama”. I laughed out loud , and went back to pretend-studying

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SIRAAJ Muhammad

When I began watching the primary debates what seems like ages ago, I made two picks, one for the Democrats and one for the Republicans – I believed this race would be between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the two most telegenic and oratorically formidable candidates in the race, not to mention strongly competent on the issues facing the nation.

What I did not anticipate were the obstacles both candidates would face about their backgrounds and positions, nor did I properly estimate John McCain's resilience and wider appeal to moderates as I had thrown him in with the rest of the neo-cons due to his position on the Iraq War. Obama persevered and Romney fell, while McCain found new life away from what is often called “The Base”.

Obama's victory over McCain last night was an emotional one on many levels. There is now hope at the end of the dark tunnel that was George Bush's presidency these past eight years. A non-caucasion was finally president, and one could not help but feel emotional watching so many black americans in tears.

Listening to McCain's concession speech, I thought to myself, had this man speaking now been the one running the race throughout, respectfully and dignified, rather than the gnashing at the teeth campaign reminiscient of George Bush's Rove run campaigns, he most likely would have faired better and perhaps even won.

And Obama's speech…that was one for the books (and youtube replays). It struck the right chord at a time when people are so desparately in need to believe that whatever challenges they face now, they have an opportunity to rise to the occasion and do and be better than they had been these past 40 odd years.

One final note of caution – though I'm sure you'll have read many posts already on being wary of Obama, I would additionally add that Muslims now more than ever have to be vigilant of their interests domestically and globally. The Muslim community supported Bush precisely because it viewed Clinton and his actions in the way we are now viewing Bush (Iraq sanctions, Afghanistan sanctions, etc). The democrats are now the majority in the House, the Senate, and of course, they run the White House as well. My experience has been thus far that it is always good to have a balance between the two parties rather than an imbalance, otherwise, the government abuse runs rampant, and we do not want Muslims to be one of the casualties as a result of that.

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NADIM

Obama has turned a page in the American history. He was able to get people united around a central simple idea: yes, we can change the world, if we want to. Above all the debates of ideas and political readiness, Obama has embodied the power of the will. However, let's not fool ourselves by the euphory of the moment. The first Afro-American President in the history must also have taken some positions against his owns, change some of his ideals, work with the dark side to be where he is today. Let's be realistic, in politics, nothing is what it seems. America has a new leader, but can the winner change the rules of the game? I doubt…

105 Responses

  1. AsimG

    interesting read.

    To Allah we prostrate, to Allah we worship, to Allah we trust

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  2. OsmanK

    This definitely deserves a DIGG! Very interesting piece.

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  3. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah. mashaAllah, Amad, you picked a good method for arranging all that text — blurbs with internal links. smiley-face for that :)

    i never write ( S ) when i mention the Prophet, sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam, because i do not think ( S) or PBUH are respectful enough for someone i love more than my own parents.

    and like my comments, all my (other) work on MM is signed abu abdAllah.

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  4. AnonyMouse

    AlHamdulillaah, I have to admit that even through all my cynicism and pretending not to care about you Yanks and your overblown sense of your own importance whether it’s about elections or otherwise, I did get caught up in it at times… if only Canadian politics were half as exciting!
    Now insha’Allah I look forward to what I hope will be a flood of emaan boosters and brain exercises (more quizzes, anyone???) :)

    May Allah guide us all in our affairs, and strengthen this Ummah upon al-Islaam… and let Barack Obama accept Islam (soon)! ;)

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  5. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah. you know what, Amad, have a happy face for my sig on the article, too: it’s a fortunate student who finds that he has expressed an opinion that echoes the teachers he trusts. reading shaykh yasir’s (more impressive) discussion of the Muslims reaction to the war between Rome and Persia was a treat. so on this article, if you change my sig at all, let it be to my full name.

    Tariq Ahmed
    Houston, Texas
    (also known as abu abdAllah)

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  6. Yasir Qadhi

    Ajeeb Tariq, you have the same example as I do!! Ma sha Allah, great work ;)

    PS – this shows the readers that all the writers on MM act and think completely and totally independently :D

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  7. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    Have you ever read the book “A Place Called Heaven”? It’s about Canada, and particularly about blacks in Canada. The name of the book comes from the “code” for the destination on the Underground Railroad, the wonderful network of American and Canadian black and white abolitionists who jointly protected so many slaves seeking freedom in Canada because US law permitted slaveholders to take back slaves found in most any “free state.” The book was written, however, by a black immigrant from the Caribbean and discusses both segments of Canada’s black community… eh. :)

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  8. ibnabeeomar

    to me personally, voting for a 3rd party = not voting.

    (i’m not willing to debate this issue, so don’t flame me for it, but that’s my personal stance on that) :)

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  9. AnonyMouse

    @ abuAbdallah
    Nope, I haven’t read the book… although I did study the Underground Railroad in (elementary) school. It certainly was a fascinating movement, and I think I should go back to reading up on it insha’Allah – I’m positive there are many lessons which we can learn from it. However, considering the numerous things I’m already working on, maybe I should leave that to someone with more time on their hands… like you? :)

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  10. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah. sister Mouse, i like that train of thought…
    …but while i have read that book i think a better article would be from a Canadian Muslim(ah), eh. someone who can amplify that book with recent anecdotal insights from Canuck Muslims of African descent…

    thinking though, of exoduses to the Great White North, remember back when democrats were fleeing America after each of W’s elections? can we start/pray-for a diaspora of neocons? please?

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  11. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    heck, if it’s wrong to pray for our neocons to go be neoconistic in other countries (moving there as opposed to merely invading there), can we at least pray for them to move to Alaska? they can join Palin’s militia, buy her nice new fatigues, and then — because global warming really is a commie plot — when we set them adrift on ice floes, they won’t have anything to worry about. them and the polar bears will be just fine…

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  12. Alia

    i’m glad barack won and i’m even more glad he acknowledged his wife, his best friend for 16 years , his rock, the love of his life, and our next first lady, michelle! =)

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  13. cyma

    I would recommend reading imam anwar awlaki’s perspective on the election on his blog for a completely different view. no body even acknowledged the muslim vote in all the debates and breakdowns on tv. nobody wanted to claim it. i think obama’s background is unique and we can hope but his very first nomination for chief of staff is dissapointing.
    may Allah protect us all.

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  14. Yus from the Nati

    I can tell you one thing….people over here in DC were in the STREETS…LITERALLY.

    I’m at Howard University, and it was like we were getting reparations or something. It was insane. It was funny though because during class today me and and another cat from Canada weren’t all hyped up like everybody else b/c we were displaying “let’s wait and see” type deal and viewed that most people were partying because they wanted to party. Ya….we’re haters, so what.

    Muslims Up, Dajjal System Down.

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  15. M to da T

    Then I thought that I should sign the letter with the following: “Finally, now I can say it, we don’t have to hide it any more…. Assalamu Alaykom Br. Barak Hussein Abdul-Qadir Al-Jilani Chisti Obama”. I laughed out loud , and went back to pretend-studying

    LOL.. that was funny

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  16. Yus from the Nati

    Rosa sat so Martin could walk, so Obama could run, so our children can fly….

    Interesting quote…

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  17. Abu Ma'mar

    An Obama win was the greater of the 2 evils as everyone accoiates McCain with Bush who was the most internationaly hated president in history who no one truested except a few die-hard republicans.

    All world media is falling head over heals for this pathalogical liar. Throwing out names like ” our saviour” ” our hope ” ” another chance” ” President of the world ” and other extreme praise that even Sadam didnt get from his loyalists.

    People don’t get that its not about blue or red , democrat or republicans, and never has been. Its going to be the same agenda, just with a new fresh face to replace the old and hated republicans.

    I mean for gods sake the man got his campaign funding from Banks ! Goldmen and sach’s , JPMorgan and others. When someone is funded by banks he is definitely not the lesser of 2 evils !

    i would also like to make it clear is that the army’s of pakistani’s who voted for this man, the pakistani’s who support this man on this site and the pakistani’s who write silly articles on this site, will all see how nice obama is when he is raining missles down on your relatives in pakistan.

    You were very dissociated when 800,000 of us Arabs were being killed in Iraq for no sin or crime when thousands of women were being raped by your fellow american soldiers in buka, abu ghraib, badush and other detention centers in iraq . when Afghan babys were being killed day in and day out mercilessly and when Afghan villages were being leveled to the ground.

    I will be very sad if anything happens to pakistan as i and majority of muslims are sad every time muslims are harmed no matter where they are but i think it will be very interesting to see how the american patriotic Pakistani’s on this site look at the war on ‘terror’ now obama promised to go into pakistan.

    Im sure there will be a lot more sympathy for the military resistance in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and alot less praising of the likes of Collen Powl

    As for those who directly voted for Obama, or praised him in a way that inspired others to vote for him, then be very sure that all the bloodshed that will come from this man will be on your hands too.

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  18. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah. Yus from the Nati, i can’t even imagine how long U Street must have been filled with people…

    my essay on this page was about how the events of november 4 should remind Muslims never to give up hope. alhamdolillah, even as i read that the man asked to be chief of staff was the son of an Irgun member, i remember that only Allah Knows the future.

    i still believe that Muslims should not return to saying “cannot” all the time: no matter where we live, no matter how oppressive the regimes, armies, and lynch mobs of the world may be — Allah loves those who strive to do good. Allah is our Mawla, and so we can improve our lives, our communities, even our masjid-boards and our nations, inshaAllah, all while guarding and strengthening our deen.

    but i am not going to stop anyone from saying, “i told you so.” yes, you can tell me you told me so.

    when i read about the man asked to be chief of staff at the NYT web site, this quote referring to his upbringing froze me…

    The Boys went to summer camp in Israel, and reveled in the family lore: in 1933, after their uncle Emanuel Auerbach was killed in a skirmish with Arabs in Jerusalem, the family changed its last name to his first, as a tribute.

    when I thawed a little bit (thawing, sweating, and condensation all look the same…) i read a bit further:

    Rahm is one of [then-President Bill] Clinton’s longest-serving advisers – he started in Little Rock in 1991 – and talks nearly as bluntly to the President as he does to everyone else…

    i do not know if the second quote looks better than the first to anyone else, but it does to me. the NYT article at that point had just described an incident in Clinton’s second term when during the NYT interview Clinton summoned this man, who rushed to him and then, after returning, sat in front of a TV and gave a word-for-word recital of an announcement the President was making at the same time. if like me, you do see something positive, it may be that you remember that Clinton brought Yaasir Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin together for the Oslo Accords. the wikipedia article I just checked as a cross-reference is explicit:

    One of his proudest moments during the Clinton administration “was an event that touched his political sensibilities and his personal ties to Israel: the 1993 Rose Garden signing ceremony after the Oslo Accords between Israel and Palestine. Emanuel directed the details of the ceremony, down to the choreography of the famous handshake…”

    what cold irony that the son of an Irgun member, who at a minimum condoned terrorist acts against Arabs and the British, advanced talks that led directly to the assassination of Israel’s Prime Minister by a different Jewish terrorist.

    if our future chief of staff is the same man who helped advance Oslo, and if that is the very best thing that can be said about him, then i am not as worried as i was before about him becoming chief of staff. yes, chief of staff in the coming administration is more critical than chief strategist was in the Clinton Administration.

    what matters more to me, though, is the record of what he has advocated. so keep chanting “i told you so” — i am still listening — but also go dig (one “g”) up more of the record.

    and before you announce how much you hated the Oslo Accords, ask yourself if you hated them as much as did the settlers, yeah, those settlers. you don’t like having something in common with them, eh?

    and for any Hillary Clinton hold-outs who are sure she‘d have picked a different person altogether, consider conceding now, finally, please. also from wiki (but the citation there has an old/incorrect link):

    He declared in April 2006 that he would support Hillary Rodham Clinton should she pursue the presidency in 2008.

    for the abu Ma’mars of the world:

    I do not know, and only Allah Knows. And I do not want any of the rights of Allah…

    ya ikhwaan… believe me, i still do not want any of the rights of Allah. rather than publicly wish for any of your brothers to be punished by Allah, you would impress me if you prayed to Allah to Guide and Forgive us. so let me help you out: every Muslim whose vote has given strength to Obama, i pray that Allah will Forgive you and me if that vote was sinful, even an atom’s weight. every Muslim whose vote for anyone else would have been sinful, even an atom’s weight, i pray that Allah will Forgive you and me. every Muslim who did not vote, talked people out of voting, mocked those who voted, or in any other way that was related to the election thereby brought upon himself or herself some sin, even an atom’s weight, i pray that Allah will Forgive all of you and me.

    you know why i do not want the rights of Allah, other than that would be sinful? Allah has been so Merciful to me. i have made so many mistakes in my life. i have had so much to repent for, and i repent now so much more often than i did when i was doing worse as a Muslim, and you know what? that’s part of why i make istikhara all the time – i know i will make more mistakes! heck, repenting from my mistakes, seeking guidance, and begging for forgiveness — from Allah — those may be the lion’s share of my good deeds, wAllaho’Alim.

    so, while you will likely ignore me, remember this: a Muslim does not ignore the words اتَّقِ اللّهَ

    may Allah protect me and you from the sin of pride. may He Guide me and you. may He Forgive me and you for our sins and excesses. may He save me and you from the Hellfire. ameen.

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  19. aboo

    What do you all make of Obama’s first pick; Israeli/Zionist Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff

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  20. H

    The Muslims who supported Obama must have come crashing down to earth now that its official Rahm Emanuel is chief of staff. If you put your trust in Obama he will certainly disappoint you, put your trust in Allah and He will never disappoint.

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  21. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    “nadaan dost se daana dushman acha hote hai” (an enemy who is wise is better than a friend who is stupid)

    urdu maxim courtesy of my very-Pakistani, all-Muslim much-loved mom.

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  22. SaqibSaab

    @AbdelRahman

    Saqib definitely came up with the format of this article, I feel it ;-)

    O servant of the Beneficent! Credit goes to Amad Bhai for this one. Did a much better job than I ever could have, jazaAllah khair.

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  23. Ibn Fellah

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1034855.html

    Obama’s first pick: the son of a zionist militant?

    We really need to stretch the concept of choosing the lesser of two evils (which I believe is valid- and so is voting), like Nacho’s stretchy pants, on this one.

    So much for “Change“.

    (Oh, and I wholeheartedly agree with AbuBakr and Ahmad al-farsi).

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  24. sammerai

    Obviously the election took over all of the media in the US yesterday. It became a bit tiresome, so when my parents changed it to GEO, there should have been relief. Annoyingly enough, Obama’s win took over 95% of GEO’s airtime. There were analysts and people of all sorts giving their two cents. You would have thought Obama was Pakistan’s President.

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  25. Amatullah

    I was in the same situation as br Ahmad:

    Although I did not vote, as I did not wish to give my official endorsement, I was closely following the results of the election, still hoping that McCain would lose. When CNN officially announced that Obama won, despite my serious doubts about him, I couldn’t help but feel happy… if for no other reason, then simply because a presidency by a man named Barack Hussein Obama, who has three very foreign sounding, and two Arabic names, would mean that no matter how racist or prejudiced other Americans wanted to be, they would have to swallow the fact that their president has the middle name Hussein and has close family ties to Muslims, and that his name doesn’t sound white or European in the least bit. That in and of itself, is seen by me as form of progress in this country, and it’s a true, “in your face” to all the racist rednecks that still live here.

    I did not vote either, but I did closely follow the election, and I was happy for his win. I’m not expecting any miracles from Obama, nor any help for the Muslims–if he does then alhamdulillah, if he doesn’t then alhamdulillah. The happiness is simply stemming from the fact, that as shaykh Yaser Birjas, br Ahmad and more authors put it: a black man with the name Hussein being president of the United States. That’s just amazing in my eyes to see that people elected this man, it shows a lot.

    Also, I think those brothers and sisters who keep trying to make other Muslims who voted “regret” or feel bad about their vote or their happiness that Obama won is really unnecessary. I don’t think we need to question the tawakkul of our fellow Muslims.

    Allahu a’lam.

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  26. Abu Hossan

    Asslaamu ‘alaykum,
    While I do not want to get into the argument of the legitimacy of voting or non-voting, I do want to comment on the lack of empathy I sometimes feel in Muslims living in the US towards their brothers and sisters in the rest of the world. While everyone was cheering Obama’s victory and congratulating each other about it, few if any had on their minds that on the same day a US air strike had killed 40 innocent civilians, yours and my brothers and sisters, in Afghanistan, half of who were children.
    I can understand the optimism that some Muslims may feel, hoping for the lesser evil as opposed to the greater, but is the death of 1 of your brothers as opposed to 2, a cause to celebrate? At best its a sobering reminder of how humiliated our condition is in the world of the present.
    This might not go well here, but I agree on quite a few points with Imam Anwar al-Awlaki about this issue. Muslims are making all kinds of analogies to justify their position, and do not want to face up to the fact that we’re living in a country that is at war with Islam and Muslims, both overtly and covertly. I’ve even heard arguments saying the US is in fact only at war with some of the Muslims and not all. Since when did Muslims stop being one ummah and one body?
    This might seem like a rant, and perhaps it is just the tired and frustrated ranting of a tried and frustrated Muslim. In the end, Allaah is the source of all Power and He alone controls our destiny. I pray to Allaah to forgive us all and guide us to the best of actions.
    Forgive me if I hurt any feelings.
    Assalaamu ‘alaykum

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  27. aarij

    I agree with br Abu Bakr’s views on this. Very well written, ma sha Allah.

    BTW, Obama’s victory speech was like…wow. One thing is for sure, this guy can mesmerize people with his speeches.

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  28. Hala

    assalaamu ‘alaykum

    As sh Yasir so eloquently put it, our religion is a religion of optimism. As for the comments regarding making some people feel guilty for voting, do not forget that this is an issue of ikhtilaaf. Allah subhana wa ta’ala KNOWS best. Instead of countlessly reminding them about the blood shed occurring in Muslim lands, make du’a that Allah subhana wa ta’ala guides us to that which is best for us all!!!

    As for myself, I’m definitely happy that Obama won mainly because I feared a McCain/Palin run country, so I do not regret my support of the Obama/Biden ticket. Alhamdulilah.

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  29. IbnAbbas

    well said Abu Ma’mar. I respect the views of our dear shayyokhs but I think there is something there’re missing on. I know we always have to be optimistic but this is the same person who said he will send more troops to Afghanistan (which will ultimately result in killing civilians) and have shown strong support for Israel (meaning oppress palestinians more)… How can I be happy when the same person has declared such evil sentiments?

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  30. drew

    yes we can… pick Zionist Rahm Emanuel for Chief of Staff…… derr

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  31. Amad

    Firstly, I wouldn’t be surprised, rather I am confident that many of the comments were made even before people took the time to actually read most of the post. Like for instance, the comments about Rahm as if this is new information. In fact, I mentioned it in my post, and how this is a disappointing start. And AbuAbdullah took great pains to explain some nuances around the first-glance. But whoever is willing to give up on Obama by virtue of this one “false start”, then it points to expectations being too high to begin with. Few expected Obama not to capitulate to the AIPAC, and he would not be President if he hadn’t sold part of his soul to them. This is the reality, like it or not.

    Secondly, I find some of the comments about “bloodshed being on our hands” amusing for the lack of better words. This is called the “bubble syndrome”. By some strange implication, if we didn’t vote, then suddenly the bloodshed would disappear, or perhaps McCain would somehow spare Pakistan and Obama wouldn’t. We voted for a chance, with the alternative being no chance. A slightly favorable odd is better than no odd at all.

    Thirdly, people have missed the important point being made about what the election of a black man signals for a nation, and that if racial divides can be healed, then it lends hopes to religious divides. People who live in this country only to exploit its resources with zero social contribution or integration in it, living only until that imaginary “hijrah” happens (which is not a reality for 99% of the Muslims), then you will not understand. You cannot understand what you have not taken the time to appreciate.

    Anyways, unfortunately, this is the same old, same old, some (not all) probably coming from people who don’t even live here, and thus live a different reality. And perhaps if I was living a different reality, living in the East vs. the West, I may have been able to better relate with this emotional but futile rhetoric.

    In conclusion, I apologize to all the Pakistanis, Iraqis, Afghanis, and all other Muslims in the world for being responsible for electing Obama. Had we not voted for Obama, we would have had Mullah McCain for President and he would declare shariah for the entire world, and stop bloodshed in every nook and corner. We would also obviously get the keys to Jerusalem and send Israeli Jews back to where they came from. I am sorry we took the advice of Ibn Uthaymeen, Salah us Sawi and countless other scholars over Imam Anwar, who only truly understands the situation of Muslims in America and the West. I am sorry we even talk politics on MM, instead we should live our quiet lives and get ready to move to, move to, move to… well some place on earth where we will have a job, education for our children, and a place that will gladly accept all 6 million Muslims from America without visas and residencies. Alternatively, we should pick up arms that we may or may not know how to use and even while our hearts and nations our divided, even while the majority of us don’t even complete the basic 5 pillars of Islam, raise the battle-cry against the West.

    I am sorry for being an American. Hope that apology makes you feel much better about yourselves.

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  32. Amad

    I should make one more point about the graphic, which may have led some people to believe that this is a sign of our love for Obama or our exhilaration for his victory.

    Rather, there is a subtle point being made. While Obama feels that we can do anything that we put our hearts to, as Muslims, we know and believe that there is nothing possible in this world without Allah’s will. So, don’t put your faith in Obama or anyone else, put your ultimate hope and trust in Allah, while having hope that Allah will allow Obama to do good. And as a Muslim, our creed teaches us the same… we can do anything that we want better than anyone else, but only if Allah allows it.

    Perhaps that graphic was tripping people, so I thought it would be good to clarify.

    To Aarij’s point… you made an astute observation. To be honest, the magic of speech is something that I believe all charismatic leaders almost HAVE to possess. I mean look through history, dictators, prophets, loved-leaders, etc… all had an amazing knack for beautiful speech. In fact, our Prophet (S) was given concise and eloquent speech as one of his great assets.

    Minus oration, in my opinion, Obama would not be here, not even close. Maybe not even a senator, but definitely not a President. Its his speech that carried him, his ability to mesmerize and inspire. Kind of like JFK and Reagan I guess, but probably better than the two combined (because of the odds against Obama vs. the other two). Let’s see if he walks the talk.

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  33. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah. first, i’ve got something to say to everyone who thinks they know what is in the hearts of other men, you don’t. Allah Knows, and you don’t. it should sadden and frighten any Muslim to presume so much about other people. and all of us should have more respect than that for the Position of Allah, our Lord.

    second, if and only if you want Muslims to feel guilty that they participated in their country’s political process, you have a few ethical options:

    (1) like a conscientious person, you can refuse to pay any US federal taxes — that is, if you are a person from whom they could be collected. taxes? that’s right, federal taxes (and interest-loans) are paying for every US weapon that has been dropped. your lack of participation in the political process means you cannot influence who pulls the trigger or when or where the weapons are aimed. so right now, you are tacitly supporting the status quo. your non-participation — and don’t fool yourselves, picking on people who vote is bullying, but it is not participation — has the same net benefit as saying “go ahead and drop that depleted-uranium warhead or anti-personnel munition anywhere you want. i’m just watching you do it and paying for the bill.”

    option (1) could be called a protest-non-payment. it would also be called a violation of the laws of this country. you might be deported if you are a resident/visiting noncitizen. you might be incarcerated if you are a citizen. your assets may be seized in either case. but your principles would be as loud as your criticisms of others and much stronger.

    (2) if you are in America now, you could leave. pay your bills on your way out, please, they are your debts after all. but see (1) above if you want to combine with that option. leave, not because we don’t like you, but because you don’t want to affect US policy, and US policy is unacceptable to you, right? so, how can you ethically enjoy any of the benefits that living in this country affords you? it’s a country of murderers according to your views. murderers and their accomplices if you are right, may Allah forgive us.

    (3) if you are not in America now, you can stop doing business with the US. that would actually be an amazing act of protest. America has the largest economy on the planet, even though it’s in a depression. so deliberately boycotting every US company, every US product (including those made in China, but still profiting the US), and every company abroad owned by a US entity — don’t let us fool you into doing business with a US-owned foreign entity — that kind of protest would almost take more guts than not paying taxes. reality check: it’s the US. not Denmark.

    (4) you could repent for being so self-righteous and seeking to judge others. no need to self-identify, Allah alone is the One Who Forgives.

    please note: i use the language if and only if on purpose. you really have to be a complete loser in my opinion if you repeatedly rant against people who take action, and your rant is the only action you’ve taken. put up or shut up.

    and for anyone who thinks it’s sufficient to protest by complaining to your coworkers about US policy, or your excuse is “i’m only here to make dawah,” or “i only live here because my parents won’t move.” — i am curious:
    (a) no problem. on the one hand, the co-workers probably watch(ed) 24 (or its re-runs), and have probably already notified DOHS. pretty soon, no taxes, deportation, or incarceration — it will all be decided for you. which should appeal to a person who does not want to take an active role in the country they call home. on the other hand, so are you trying to influence their vote? and voting is halal for them because they aren’t Muslims? is that your idea?
    (b) when i remind you that Allah Knows what is in the hearts of men, that is all of us. “only to make dawah”? that’s the story? may Allah accept from you in that case.
    (c) either you’re not voting because you are too young, or you should be working on an exit strategy. make istikhara, and strive for the means to your freedom: making a fortune abroad. your folks will be happy if you’re moving and making money — and they will at the very least let you build them a big house right next to yours in whatever country will take you.

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  34. MuslimMatters ADMIN

    **Please read this note before posting anymore comments**

    Comments discussing the actual points raised in the article posted above will be allowed, but no more general comments, those have been hashed out on other posts on this site already, and can be (and are) hashed out on other websites and forums.

    To put it another way, if its clear someone hasn’t read the article and are just posting without regards to the points that have already been expressed, or ignoring what has been stated, then those comments will be deleted.

    As an example, if you’d like to engage what someone wrote above directly, then fine, for example comments echoing that you agreed with something in the original article, or a specific point you disagreed with in the article. Please be warned that anything outside of that will most likely be deleted. As an example, this specific post is not the place to discuss specific policies (domestic or foreign), or even who Obama has appointed to what position (despite the fact that most people would be in agreement on it) – this post is not the place for that discussion. Rest assured, there will be plenty of opportunities later to make your opinions known on those issues – on the relevant postings.

    Also please note that anything written in an insulting, threatening, or disrespectful manner will also be deleted.

    Some may consider this extreme, some may consider this a dictatorial stance which is the logical next step of Muslims with bloody hands electing a socialist, however, due to the previous “debates” and degeneration of discussion into name-calling, insults, and attacks, comments will be tightly moderated from here on out on this post.

    As a general rule of thumb, we do not discourage people from expressing opposing viewpoints. We simply ask that they be done respectfully, and politely – as the Sunnah teaches us. When people cannot follow these guidelines, then we are forced to resort to measures such as this with strict moderation.

    To those whose posts have been deleted, as a future note, please keep in mind that if you can express your point without attacking your fellow brothers and sisters, it would be allowed and discussed. If that standard of simple decency cannot be maintained, then we have no choice but to delete inflammatory remarks.

    JazakumAllahu khayran.

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  35. Anisa

    Asalaamu ALaiakum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu

    Oh I am so looking forward to reading this, after some homework.

    *Makes intention to Print out and read later*

    Woah, 14 pages!! :P Nice!!

    Insha’ALlah i will read it, May Allah reward you all for sharing your thoughts, ameen

    BarakAllahu Feekum Jameean,

    Ma’Salama

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  36. Abu Saifudeen

    Its pretty obvious that those who advocate the ‘haram to vote’ opinion are coming from a paradigm that would in fact preclude their living in this land. It is for this reason that those who are the most vocal in this regard had to pack their bags and leave.

    The question is: what exactly are they doing to establish the Shariah in their own (‘Muslim’) lands, instead of harping on us here in America.

    I view such people as being complete idealists, living in an alternate, imaginary universe. We’ve had these same debates on the pages of this website, and other websites that are popular amongst people of such mindsets – in the end, they really have no substantive, productive alternative other than ranting and raving against those who actually DO something, regardless of how ‘watered down’ or ‘compromising’ they think it is.

    As someone else remarked on the Afia case, these people really do need to grow up. They have this perverted world view where only they are clinging on to the last hold of Islam and everyone else is somehow slipping away and watering down. Very dangerous actually, and this self-pietic arrogant presumption of one’s own purity is exactly what led other fanatics like the khaarija to do what they did.

    I actually went through that stage, when I was a younger teenager. Now that I’m married and have lived outside my parents house, now that i realize this is my country and i want to stay here and in fact realy think islamically it is best for me to stay here, that has really changed my own views.

    i suppose we should just wait for most of these kids to grow up, and in the meantime have mercy on them, and don’t be so harsh against them. but the problem is that they cause much damage in their naivete, to Islam and to the Muslims. Very difficult to decide the best way to deal with them.

    In any case, Br. Amad while your comments are spot on and your sarcasm appreciated, it will turn these kids off and only play in to their self-promoting world view of ‘us pure Muslims’ versus ‘you watered down liberal american agents kafir-loving democracy-supporting secular-inclining zionist-cuddling progressive-flirting wanna-be muslims’.

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  37. AsimG

    ^i disagree.

    I made the mistake earlier about putting those that think voting is haraam in the same boat as jihadis and those calling the west darul harb.

    It’s lot more complicated than that and we OWE IT to ourselves to not follow emotion, but the Qur’an and sunnah.

    I used to be heavily involved in politics, but this year I cut back entirely.
    I still voted, but my intentions were entirely different

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  38. haytham

    Zooming in to the Muslim community in America, one will still see us divided as ever. Not only on the choice of McCain vs. Obama, but on even a more serious and ruthless argument around the issue of the permissibility of voting itself.

    I find the most interesting part of this elections the burning desire of those who say that voting is Haram to push their views and those who say the voting is halal (and a MUST i must add) pushing their views that if you dont vote then you are a backward idiot…

    It just kills me man… how come we can just agree that both opinions are valid?!!! There is support from scholars on both opinions…. scholars that we ALL respect and listen to…. khalas… move on … do what you have to do .. give your 25 cents worth of advice… and go find a better way to spend your energy …

    beace :)
    Haytham

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  39. mulsimah

    Asalamualaikum

    SHEIKH YASIR QUADI JAZAKALLAHUKAIR FOR YOUR IMMENSELY BEAUTIFUL SPEECH/LETTER THAT IS FULL OF WISDOM. I ENCOURAGE ALL TO READ IT IF THEY HAVENT. ESPECIALLY BEFORE THEY COMMENT HERE. IT IS ONE OF THE BEST AFTERTHOUGHTS I HAVE READ AFTER OBAMA GETTING ELECTED. I HOPE YOU DONT MIND THAT I POSTED IT IN ANOTHER MUSLIM FORUM AND I REALLY WANT TO SEND IT IN EMAIL.

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  40. Olivia

    This was the first election I ever voted in. I’m happy to be taking a much more proactive approach to understanding politics (thanks, SIraaj! (who sadly can’t vote)). Even though we don’t know what lies ahead it sure feels a heck of a lot better than what we left behind!

    I think it says something that a man with a name like his is the President of this country. America has changed a lot. I’m always very happy that we have a black president. I feel genuinely happy for the African American community.

    And for everyone out there who is divorced from politics, I’m not expecting an overnight coversion by Mr. Obama and the dissolution of Israel or anything like that. But really if you want to make dawah in this country (I think) and spread Islam, it does matter who the leader is. The elite will always affect the way the common folks think and behave. Insha’Allah change is in the air in this regard and I hope for the better.

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  41. LearningArabic

    Jazakallahu Khair to MM for the above article. I really enjoyed reading Shaykh Yasir Qadhi’s part regarding optimism. Having optimism is really important for Muslims especially at this challenging time. And I would also echo the sentiments of having “cautious optimism.” I hope and pray that MM continues to bless us with articles not only on elections and voting, but by also providing practical tips and ideas to the Muslim American community on how to remain civically engaged.

    Like Abu Saifudeen, I too abstained from the political process for many years because I also held some of the views that are being expressed on the forum. I used to be the one ranting and condemning people for voting and holding them accountable for the decisions made by the officials that they elected. This was the first election that I voted in and I voted for one main reason: Action over Inaction. If you look at any positive work that is being done in our community (this doesn’t only apply to politics), one will notice that this work is being done by those that wish to sincerely work for something better (for Allah’s sake) instead of complain and harp about the existing problems. I voted for Barack Obama not because I agree with him on every single issue, but because I would rather try to do something and fail than to not do anything at all.

    Finally, like previous comments, I want to continue to remind myself and the rest of muslim community to stay involved. Yes, innocent people were killed yesterday in Afghanistan (may Allah have mercy on them). But rather than complain and harp about it, let’s make a plan to do something about it. Let’s write letters to elected officials, especially Obama, and voice our concerns in a professional yet articulate manner. We should express our concerns especially on this issue and highlight the loss of civilian life and how this is un-American.

    Our issues, issues affecting the muslim community, are already being discussed and debated. We can either choose to be a part of that discussion or let others discuss it on our behalf and continue to misrepresent us.

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  42. Abu Hossan

    Brother Amad,
    While I appreciate the point that you’re making and love you as a brother, I have to say that I don’t think its appropriate for you, as contributor to MM, to not use such a tone while dealing with a topic thats very sensitive fora lot of our brothers and sisters around the world. Keep in mind that there might be those who’ve lost their loved ones who might read be reading these comments.
    Instead, lets just say to them, that inshaaAllaah those who voted only did so thinking they were doing what was best for themselves and for their brothers and sisters around the world. May Allaah forgive them if they did wrong. Given the unfortunate state of the ummah, this is the best they could do for them. May Allaah help all the Muslimeen and give them victory over the oppressors.

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  43. Farhan

    Salamalaikum Brother Amad,
    While your sarcasm was taken exactly for what it was (sarcasm), i have a couple of concerns. Firstly, let me start off by saying these are my own humble feelings i get from reading your posts, while trying to negate the “us vs. them” mentality among our ummah, it seems as if you are only firing those flames even more. Specifically when you say things such as, “In conclusion, I apologize to all the Pakistanis, Iraqis, Afghanis, and all other Muslims in the world for being responsible for electing Obama” maybe you should think about many of my family members, as well as many of the families of other MM readers, who are being in a country which is being bombed constantly by America. I wonder if you would be able to take such a light hearted stance, if you were to meet them face to face. I have read everything on this post, including all the comments, and i must say my knowledge of the deen is not nearly at the level to “agree” or “disagree” with any of the opinions of the respected brothers and sisters. Strictly from a “human” perspective though, it seems rather inappropriate to feel so strongly about a person who has openly stated he is willing to kill people who are relatives of MM readers, or actual MM readers themselves who may be in Pakistan. While i agree whole heartedly that Obama was definitely the better choice, i feel as a muslim, there should be absolutely no joy in having to pick between a person who will continue to kill thousands and maybe even millions of muslims around the world, and a person who will continue to kill maybe just a little less than that. Please brother as i’m sure you will have a very fair response to this, as Allah has blessed you with strong feelings, and the ability to express those feelings in a beautiful and thoughtful matter mashallah, please keep in mind that while you may feel you are right, it is quite obvious that people completely disagree with you completely. Rather than trying to just pile all those who disagree with you in the “extremist” category please try and understand that maybe their feelings are based not only on “extremist” interpretations of Islam, rather on normal “human” feelings and concerns for our brothers and sisters. and while maybe i have some family the northern areas of Pakistan, i still consider muslims across the world as my brothers and sisters, i’m sorry if that maybe to extreme or cliche for you, but i don’t ever consider the words of our Rasool as cliche, as we all know what hadeeth i am referrring to.
    Wassalam
    p.s. Maybe we should change the name from “muslimmatters” to “Amadmatters”? Hope you can see i’m only being sarcastic in light of this issue of no significance.

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  44. haytham

    We rely on these scholars to promote the haqq, not promote falsehood. Wouldn’t Yasir Qadhi, Yaser Birjas, et al, agree that any form of governance besides Quran and Sunnah is falshood?

    I am sorry… but where do you want to live if that is the case.. last time i checked .. there isnt any country in the world that has a pure “quran and sunnah” governance…

    As I said dude…. take it easy … people have different opinions.. and they have their own proves… lets try not to aggressively fight each other and discredit each other and direct our focus toward more useful stuff…

    Stuff like this… how many muslims do you know who “do not” pray? what about those who smoke? …o o .. wht about those who go clubing and commit zina… are they not muslims too….!!!!

    How many people did you help guide to the deeen?!! maybe you need to take a step back.. look at your own faults (i donno you so i cant assume anything.. but i know you are human and you sin… so yea) and try to fix them…

    beace
    haytham

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  45. Umm Reem

    Keep in mind, especially those outside of U.S., whether Muslims in America had voted or not, one of these two guys would have still been in the office…so by voting Muslims were actually trying to keep the one who they thought would be MORE harmful for Muslims away from gaining that power. That was the intention, inshaAllah, of the Muslims who voted…

    before people move on to blame Muslims for carrying the blood of other Muslims on their heads…keep things in perspective…understand the sincerity of their intention and action…

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  46. Faraz

    But he did, and he nailed a slogan that will go down in history as one of the most genius political creations ever, “Yes, we can.”

    I’m afraid that this slogan was unapologetically stolen from Bob the Builder. “Can we fix it? Yes we can!”

    Oh well. Good for America, though. While I somewhat agree with those criticizing the unquestioning support for Mr. Obama, I do recognize that he was certainly the better candidate, and truly does represent change – for the better, insha-Allah. There is tremendous symbolism in an African American being elected (and as Shaikh Yasir mentioned, with a middle name of “Hussein”), and it certainly helps restore some faith in what I believed was a completely broken political system.

    Mouse mentioned something about wishing Canadian politics were this interesting – I say that we should be thankful that it isn’t nearly this interesting. Sure, our candidates are boring, but they actually talk about issues instead of constantly making ad hominen attacks and repeating tired talking points. I remember a brief period when our political scene got somewhat interesting (Stronach crossing the floor in 2005), and it brought out the worst in our media. Boring is good in politics.

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  47. Farhan

    I don’t believe the issue is about whether or not the muslims should have voted, but more specifically this feeling of “overjoy” that seems to be prevalent among many muslims after the fact. If we really are choosing the lesser of two evils, maybe we should keep that in mind.

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  48. Amad

    Abu Saifudeen/Farhan, jazakAllahkhair for your advice concerning sarcasm. I almost never use sarcasm. Sometimes frustration takes a toll, and there also times when sarcasm can make a point or two unfortunately.

    Br. Farhan,
    FYI, my parents and sister are IN Pakistan by the way. And there are many supporters of Obama, like Ameera, who actually live in Pakistan. So, yes, I am concerned about people there, because I have relatives in Pk. That is why it is important to be careful before making assumptions (and the same message is for me too).

    And finally, please go back and read very carefully what I wrote and what others wrote in this post, and you’ll understand the context and sense of our “joy” (though I never used the word “joy” for my sense of satisfaction).

    That’s it for me on this subject.

    Faraz, I didn’t know that bro…

    But there are many slogans out there or phrases in use. It is the context of the new usage, and how you build it up that was quite amazing.

    Also, you mentioned the “unquestioning support for Mr. Obama”… I really hope you were not talking about ANYONE on MM. I think even the one who supported him the most (probably me) actually voted for McKinney (ok, secret’s out) :) because in Delaware, I couldn’t hurt Obama’s chances (otherwise I would have voted for him). And if anyone checks the history of my articles on Obama and the Elections, one will find tons of criticism and doubt coming from me. No doubt, you will find all of us agreeing that we cannot have unquestioned support for Obama.

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  49. Siraaj

    As a Canadian citizen living in Amrika (for 20 years running and still a greencardholder), I did not vote. RON PAUL REVOLUTION RETURNS ’012!

    Siraaj

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  50. ibnabeeomar

    i made this point elsewhere, but i feel it is worth repeating.

    there is a sense of joy in the symbolism of what has happened, and the significance of this event in regards to civil rights. this has nothing to with obama himself personally, but rather it is the event in general.

    regarding obama personally – there should not be overjoy, but rather as we have seen – we should try to remain optimistic and hope for the best, but we all know the reality of the situation we’re facing.

    if we can separate those 2 issues – 1) the benefit to muslims, and 2) a “non-religious” joy at this historic juncture, then it might give us a better perspective.

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  51. Miako

    Just wanted to note that Rahm Emanuel’s position is not one that makes policies. it’s an “implementor” position — he’s in charge of getting the right people into the room, and cutting the right deals.

    Rahm’s known to be rather a bruiser, so you know that Obama will be doing some things that are not popular. Which is a good thing.

    I continue to worry about Pakistan’s economy.

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  52. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah. Miako, actually a chief of staff is for all practical purposes a gatekeeper, if not the gatekeeper, to the oval office. yes, it can literally be translated as a glorified admin. asst. (though in DC that term is usually a top gatekeeper, too, for lesser offices). but no one thinks that the man who delivered the House to the Democrats in 2006 (as DCCC chair), and who fought tooth and nail beside first Clinton (the male) and then Obama, that he will settle for a boring job. nope, this portfolio will be very political.

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  53. Hassan

    Siraaj said:

    As a Canadian citizen living in Amrika (for 20 years running and still a greencardholder), I did not vote. RON PAUL REVOLUTION RETURNS ‘012!

    Siraaj

    Ron Paul is the best!!

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  54. h. ahmed

    Wow, the responses from the people on these political threads are all over the place.

    I just hope we all are benefiting from this discussion and not just throwing our 2 cents out there without any purpose.

    I may have linked this article in the past, but if not, I highly highly recommend the following article:

    Muslims, Islamic Law and Public Policy in the United States
    By Sherman A. Jackson
    http://www.ispi-usa.org/policy/policy4.html

    Amad – you may want to feature that article in its own post. Without any common ground or understanding of the legitimacy or lack of legitamacy of even living in a non-Muslim land (this itself was debated long ago), or if and how we should get involved in the political arena, following man-made law (the constitution, etc.) [arent we supposed to only live by Islamic law), etc. – i feel like these discussions and various view points only confuse us and dont move us towards any progress.

    and as far as Barack Obama winning goes – i hope and pray for his success, and the success of our country in righting all of its wrongs and changing the United States as well as the world for the better. And if he fails to live up to our expectations and goals we will make sure he hears it and 4 years from now we will be again calling for change.

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  55. Abu Raya

    Sh. Yasir Qadhi mentioned “as an American political leader, he will inevitably do things that will enrage people around the world, and yes, sometimes even us.”

    We already have an example of that… Obama just selecting one of his first appointees; White House Chief of Staff, former IDF soldier, Rehm Emanuel.

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  56. Abu Raya

    Apologies for being repetitive… I actually meant to submit that post early morning.

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  57. Abu Umar

    So much for change we can believe in (I, of course, refer to the choice of fanatic Jewish supremacist Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff). Once again the presidential elections have brought in another friend of the corporate establishment and the Jewish lobby and we (the Muslims) leave empty handed. While Obama runs that next 4-8 years as Bush-lite, I think we, as Muslims, need to reevaluate our role in the political sphere of this country. I think we should not put so much stock in these national elections, which is just a choice between establishment candidate A and establishment candidate B. Rather, I think we should focus our energy and attention on local elections and try to help bring change from the bottom up, as it is not going to come from the top down. I also think we need to network with and cooperate with libertarians (Ron Paul-types) and progressives (Ralph Nader-types) in those areas of mutual political interest (civil liberties, foreign policy, economic issues, etc.). We need to look outside of the “mainstream” and search elsewhere in which to invest our political energy. I really hope this is something that we will all be able to discuss and explore over the next few months.

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  58. Farhan

    I would love to see Dr. Ali Shehata’s opinion on this topic. I have benefited greatly from some of his other posts. He also seems to be very knowledgeable, yet at the same time very aware of the cons which may come with such knowledge. I would love to benefit more from him, as i have heard many good things about the brother from those who know of him, my only exposure to him is through MM and a few things i could find of him on the net.

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  59. Ibrahim

    Yes, I would also like to know what Ali Shehata has to say.

    Br. Amad, look at your last comments…they’re extremely rude and condescending. And, then you expect others who have different opinions to be nice?

    I’m sure this comment won’t go through since I have most probably violated the comment policy that was just inserted a few comments before.

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  60. Amad

    Sorry Ibrahim if my comments didn’t feel right. I don’t expect niceties any more… no more brother love on internet for me :)

    Final point: One can make the case that I am rude at times, but who am I to be condescending to someone else? So on this point, we’ll have to disagree.

    Insha’Allah, I’ll try harder to control my frustrations against attacks that question our very faith and our very humanity, and claims of carrying blood on our hands. It’s not easy, trust me. But I’ll still try.

    wasalam

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  61. AsimG

    First female Muslim elected Michigan legislature!

    DETROIT – Michigan is getting its first female Muslim legislator, thanks in large part to her Jewish boss, the incumbent.

    Rashida Tlaib, a lawyer, community activist and daughter of Palestinian immigrants, easily won a House seat in Tuesday’s general election after emerging from an eight-way Democratic primary with 44 percent of the vote in August.

    Tlaib, 32, said she wouldn’t have run but for the repeated urging of Democratic state Rep. Steve Tobocman, who is stepping down because of term limits. Once she decided to run, she threw herself into it, knocking on 8,000 doors and hitting each household twice.

    Southeastern Michigan has about 300,000 people with roots in the Arab world, but few of them live in Tlaib’s largely black and Hispanic district in southwest Detroit.

    “We view her victory as a sign that Michigan Muslims are welcomed as a part of our state’s multi-faith and multiethnic society,” said Dawud Walid, Michigan director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

    According to the American Muslim Alliance, only nine Muslims were serving in state legislatures nationwide before Tuesday’s elections, and only one of them is a woman. There are two Muslim members of Congress — Democrats Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Andre Carson of Indiana.

    The Michigan Legislature’s first known Muslim member, James Karoub, served three terms in the state House in the 1960s.

    Tobocman said he first met Tlaib about five years ago when she was working for the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, where she did advocacy work for immigrants.

    “I was just really, really impressed,” he said. When he later became majority floor leader and got another staff slot, he recruited Tlaib for the job. He said she brings a passion for social justice and the ability to work with people across the political aisle with very different outlooks.

    “She’s someone who just intuitively understood the process right off the bat,” Tobocman said.

    The election was only one of many firsts for Tlaib. The eldest of 14 children of a retired Ford Motor Co. worker and his wife, she was the first in her family to earn a high school diploma. She went on to finish college and law school while helping raise 13 siblings.

    “My parents … are amazing Americans,” she said. “They never thought this would ever happen.”

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  62. Amad

    Mulsimah:

    I HOPE YOU DONT MIND THAT I POSTED IT IN ANOTHER MUSLIM FORUM AND I REALLY WANT TO SEND IT IN EMAIL.

    Please free to use anything on MM, but pls make sure the source is quoted, because the original is where changes/new-information is added.

    See our FAQ on this

    Jazakillahkhair for spreading the good words of our shaykh.

    H. Ahmed: I’ll definitely review the link you provided… if you are planning to do a writeup on it, maybe we can share?

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  63. Abeedah

    MashaAllah, one of my favourite posts. I really did enjoy MM’s writings on politics.

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  64. OsmanK

    just want to say that I agree with Amad. Lots of people are coming here and instead of just stating opinions, are attacking people who voted saying they have blood on their hands, are committing shirk, etc. How would you like it if someone started saying stuff like that to you on subjects you hold very dearly??

    This is a post on politics in a time when politics is in the news, I see no problem. I’m sure MM will shift to the next current event soon as well as providing us with islamic info that we hardly receive from any other site.

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  65. Abdul Vakil

    As-salaamu ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakuhu,

    Bismillah, wa-Salaatu wa-Salaam ‘ala Rasulillah:

    Alhamdulillah. I’m elated to have come across such an intense dialogue on an issue that seems to be arousing HEAVY concern, and even division, among the Western-bound Ummah. I’m over-joyed, ma’sha’Allah, to see arguments supporting participation in the democratic elections.

    Personally, I chose not to vote this year. I felt morally conflicted to do so and could not justify what appears to be legitimizing a kufr system and avowed enemy to Islam in the Qur’an and Sunnah. This, of course, is based on my record-breakingly poor knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah. But I was well aware of Obama’s staunch support for Israel and plans to intensify the war in Afghanistan. I considered how anything that stands in the way of profit in a capitalist society is sacrificed, be it the environment, human beings, peace, etc. (capatilism produce these horrific effects to survive) and concluded, not that voting is haraam, but that I would be accountable for the very things the government body will be held in account for in al-Qiyama. I decided to take what I perceived to be the “better safe than sorry” approach. I know it was a matter of choosing the lesser of 2 evils, but I’d rather not endorse evil on any level.

    It isn’t illegal not to vote, in fact, it’s a right. Furthermore, most Americans (Muslim and Non) don’t vote, but does this mean they should evacuate? Many Muslims argue that if you want to be critical and abstinent of American politics than leave America. Resonating the yelps of Bill O’Reilly: “you either love it or you leave it!” But a system declaring human beings have the right to legislate, correspondingly declares that Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, does NOT have the right to legislate. And I wonder, earnestly, what is wrong and what have I to be ashamed of thinking it sufficient to place all trust in Allah whilst striving in fulfilling the conditions of “la ilaha ill Allah”?

    I can see how this has been a marvelous achievement for American history, politics and for Black Americans, which I am. It’s indeed a winning touchdown (but the game isn’t over). But of what satisfaction is this to Allah, azza wa jall? Is not every superficial aspect about ourselves, whether nationality, ethnicity, career, hobby, etc., supposed to facilitate our Islam and not the other way around?

    I know, I know, I’m all over the place. It’s only that I’ve been battling this issue inwardly from the start of the campaign and am very confused. I’ve even gone as far as accusing our beloved brothers and sisters of committing a condemnable error. Which is in and of itself a condemnable error that has indeed hardened my heart. I’ve wept over this. What a despicable feeling. I ask my brothers and sisters forgive me and ask Ar-Raheem, Al Ghaffar, have Mercy and Forgive my ignorance. I don’t wish for back-biting or any non-productive, condescending cordiality of any kind. I only ask for a greater understanding in regards to this issue. I’ve heard compelling defenses for both sides, but where are the grounds to justify them in the Qur’an or Sunnah?

    If someone please clarify for me and put things in finer perspective for me, via e-mail or in this very post, I would immensely appreciate it, in’sha’Allah ta’ala. Jazakum’Allahu khayran and Barak’Allah feekum for taking the time to “hear me out”.

    Your Brother,

    AV

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  66. Nadim

    The first Afro-American President in the history must also have taken some positions against his owns, change some of his ideals, work with the dark side to be where he is today.

    If you read “Dreams from my father” today, you will find another Obama than the current President Obama. The political system is such that if you want to win, you have to play by the rules, and even pledge allegiance to causes or group of pressure that you were fighting against

    Here is a very Interesting article:

    An Open Letter to Barack Obama: Between Hope and Reality
    By Ralph Nader

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10809

    “Take, for example, your transformation from an articulate defender of Palestinian rights in Chicago before your run for the U.S. Senate to an acolyte, a dittoman for the hard-line AIPAC lobby, which bolsters the militaristic oppression, occupation, blockage, colonization and land-water seizures over the years of the Palestinian peoples and their shrunken territories in the West Bank and Gaza”

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  67. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah. more cause for optimism: this article discussing new studies and practical programs showing how easy it is to overcome racial intolerance.

    may Allah permit America to become a more tolerant and just community to all its minorities, including its Muslims. and may Allah permit the Muslims to become more tolerant of each other. ameen.

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  68. mulsimah

    salaam

    those of you didnt vote, would you have regretted it if mcain won? I mean seriously im hearing many muslims say that they didnt vote but they are glad that obama won over mcain.. I dont understand deep in their hearts they wished obama won but they didnt do nething for it to happen. what if because of them he didnt?

    yesss change.gov is up!!!!!! that is just awesome .. how many presidents have done that? its time for muslims to get involved more now in politics. now we have a place where our voice can be heard.

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  69. mulsimah

    so noone saw any other backlash done? a black church was burned just hours after obamawon. stay safe people. i wouldnt be surprised if the backlash is toward muslims too and not just african americans because polls show many still think obama is muslim

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  70. Mustafa

    Salam,

    what do people make out what Imam Awlaki said?

    please just post the link instead of copy/pasting articles. -editor

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  71. mulsimah

    salaam plz read Imam Zaids afterthoughts. http://www.zaytuna.org

    yes both mostly did ignore, but obama did appoint a muslims outreach adviser lus supported ‘muslims for obama’ campaign. muslims were writing on his website.

    ok plz everyone its time to get involved. we dont want war.. we are all tired of it. . obama wants to destroy al-quaida. but hasnt the administration done enough damage after 9/11… tell obama its not time for revenge but time to bridge our differences and heal the pain

    he is electednow, isntead of complaining we need to take action.. write to obama,, send him your ideas and thoughts. go to change.gov and pass it around to the muslims.. fill him with your thoughts of war.. tell him to end torture.. NOW ASK him not to go to paksitan. do your part. AND KEEP DOING IT. dont stop .. keep writing to him.. so he getssssss ALOT OF OUR THOUGHTS. plz send to your friends and family. fill himwith anti war ideas.. tell him people have been suffering torture for years.. tell him to free aafia siddiqui. dont stiop and keep tell him.

    comeon people its time to get involved. go to change.gov

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  72. Miako

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/1266275,CST-NWS-sweet07.article
    Rahm not an IDF soldier. Sorry I couldn’t find a better link before, but I really think that people do everyone a disservice when they repeat things that aren’t true — let alone things deliberately spread to hurt someone else!

    Rahm’s position boring? no. he’ll be exceptionally skilled at it, and it suits him extremely well. It’s just not a policy position — it’s a “time to get things done” position. He’s not Secretary of State nor Defense.

    Right now I”m praying we don’t get JPMorgan’s president for Treasury Secretary.

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  73. aboo

    Al-Qaradhawi: The Democrats Are Like a Snake That “Kill[s] You Slowly Without You Noticing”

    In a fatwa published on the eve of the U.S. elections, Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi expressed his preference for Sen. John McCain as president: “Personally, I would prefer for the Republican candidate, [John] McCain, to be elected. This is because I prefer the obvious enemy who does not hypocritically [conceal] his hostility toward you… to the enemy who wears a mask [of friendliness].”

    Al-Qaradhawi added: “Whoever thinks that the Democrats are less hostile to [the Arabs] than the Republicans should know that the number of Iraqis killed during the siege [of Iraq] by the Democrat Bill Clinton is twice as high as the number of [Iraqis] killed by the Republican [George] Bush.

    “The Democrats kill you slowly without you noticing it – and therein lies the danger. They are like a snake whose touch is not felt until its poison enters your body.

    “Therefore, I hope that McCain comes to power, so that the motivation for jihad remains in our hearts, and so that we do not [begin to] rely on the infidels – [which will cause us] to be struck by the fire [of Hell].”

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  74. Abu Umar

    I may have linked this article in the past, but if not, I highly highly recommend the following article:

    Muslims, Islamic Law and Public Policy in the United States
    By Sherman A. Jackson
    http://www.ispi-usa.org/policy/policy4.html

    I read through this article last night. A very interesting piece, thank you for sharing. I think everyone should take the 15-20 minutes needed to read this article.

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  75. shirien

    honestly muslims have acted very naively with this Obama craze. I’ve spoken my two cents on my blog.

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  76. Nabeel Kamboh

    Asalamualaikum warahmatullah

    Although it is an extremely refreshing feeling that we finnaly have an opportunity of change for the better, the reality is that only the test of time will tell us if our notion was right or wrong. In many instances, we have to choose between the lesser of two evils.
    The example of the events in our history that Sheikh Yassir Qadhi pointed out regarding that battle between the romans and the persians show us that it is natural for humans to want to support the party who seems to be more right than wrong.
    The question I have is that during this battle, the muslims did not participate in the battle or the political stadium during this time.
    Although it was not based on a democratic system, the question arises what should our stance as muslims be when it comes to active participation in a system that is not guided by divine laws. In most instances, the nature of the political battle during election period is to say whatever necessary to win the hearts and minds of the people only later to find out that the best candidate is the one who can
    privide the best lip service.
    The concern I would have is being accountable in the end for putting my stamp behind someone/or system other than what is revealed by Allah (swa). Do we put our trust behind Allah to give success to the Muslims around the world or should we as muslims participate accross the levels of the political system even though sometimes you will be required to make decisions that are not based on Islamic values/laws.

    Are there any examples that brothers/sheikhs out there can provide where the companions, or their successors participated in a political system outside of the muslim rule, any instances from Caliphate of the Ottoman or Span perhaps? This would help us understand what our position should be more.

    Jazakallah Khair

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  77. SH

    Mashallah good article.

    Obama winning the election really made me understand what Shaykh Muhammad alshareef talks about when he says with best wishes to see you succeed at the highest level, it really made me rethink of the numerous lectures I’ve heard by all the shayookh on success in this life & next. We won’t know whether we succeeded or not until we die but to see Obama’s victory shows that the road to success requries much hardwork and never resting until one day you are standing in front of Allah SWT and you are told to enter jannah where you will rest forever (inshallah yes we can!!) I am more determined than ever to get there inshallah & to do my best to spread the deen.

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  78. Abu Umar

    Rahm not an IDF soldier. Sorry I couldn’t find a better link before, but I really think that people do everyone a disservice when they repeat things that aren’t true — let alone things deliberately spread to hurt someone else!

    The charge that Rahm Emanuel was a member of IDF comes from the Israeli media: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3616306,00.html

    The fact that during the Gulf War he went to help the Israeli military instead of the American military is very telling. I think it entirely appropriate, indeed necessary, to ask hard questions about the loyalties of people like Mr. Emanuel. The Iraq war was the instigated by individuals who’s primary loyalty was to Israel and sought to use the American military to fight a proxy war to secure Israeli hegemony in the Middle East. We should be very concerned about the reappearance of these Israeli firsters in the developing Obama administration.

    As for spreading things that “hurt someone else” one need look no further than Rahm Emanuel’s father and his disgusting and xenophobic statements against Arabs.

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  79. AsimG

    So he was a ‘volunteer’ for an army base.

    Here’s some more information:

    Rahm Emanuel is no Reason for Hope or Celebration
    by Rabbi Michael Lerner

    Rahm Emanuel has a long history of militarist ideology behind him. His father was a member of the ultra-right- wing terrorist organization Etzel that killed British civilians as part of their anti-British struggle in Palestine in the 1940s. Emanuel, himself a citizen of Israel as well as the United States, has been one of several Congressional leaders enforcing the “Israel Lobby” concensus on the Democrats, in the process shutting out the peace voices that believe Israel’s security would be better served by the U.S. putting pressure on Israel to end the Occupation, move the Wall to inside the pre-67 boundaries, and remove the settlers from the West Bank or tell them to live there as Palestinian citizens.

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  80. abumoosa

    Assalaam’aalaikum Ustaadh Yasir,

    I completely disagree with the Romans/Persians analogy. Were the Romans also fighting the muslims? Were the muslims even on the radar of the Romans and Persians? Were muslims involved in the war in any way? The analogy would apply if the US or Democrats to be specific – were completely free of oppression of muslims (which the Romans were at the time of the sahabah being pleased with their victory). Can we truly say the same applies now?

    You say “Throughout this entire time, the Muslims were not reproached or reprimanded for their feelings of hope towards Heraclius and the Roman Empire.”

    I’d tend to ask-would the same muslims not be reproached were they to feel affinity for the Romans while they were directly engaged in battle against them? Or for those Christians who were fighting the muslims during the crusades? Or those who were involved in the inquisition?

    I dont wish to engage on permissibility of voting or for those who stay in america or even a general sense of being relieved its not a McCain/Palin win. I do – however – think it is a sleight of scholarship to use the Roman/Persian example to legitimatize the growing (and worrisome) militant American centric view that MM is painting of what should matter to muslims.

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  81. Abdallah

    Bismillah,

    As I have said in my previous post that I would prefer two people to reply to the quoted post above. I have asked a reply from them because I believe that specifically Yasir Qadhi knows the political situation and he also has a well established Islamic understanding of politics. Please forgive me if I may offend anyone, but I have put in this to see different opinions and to benefit from each other. This post was not written by me rather a brother who wrote it sent it to me and I felt compelled to post it here without him having to ask me to do so.

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  82. Umm Muslim

    Wasn’t this post written by shaykh anwar al awlaqi , Abdullah?

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  83. abdallah

    Yes, and and as I stated on the post, this was not written by be. Its just a new dimension to add into the already slightly-diverse thread.

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  84. Abu Abdullah

    For those writers who voted Obama – I assume it was on the basis it was the lesser of two evils

    And yet the general joy/ hope sensed from the various posts up does not seem to indicate that, rather that it was quite a willing move to do so
    (after all – who can feel joy at a “lesser evil”, surely it should be “less stress” or some such emotion)

    I think this general joy & hope & also what appears to many on the outside looking in as naivate is the most dissappointing aspect of all this

    You do not look like a group of people who have, under duress, opted for the lesser evil and managed to attain it, and Allah knows best

    Did not the Prophet – peace and blessings be upon him – mention that the believer does not get bitten from the same hole twice?

    wasalam

    comment: no, this is not “abu abdAllah’s” alter ego…

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  85. mulsimah

    For gosh sakes.. talk about obsessed. you know seriously Brother Amad and other mm staff I think american muslims will easily run away from islam after seeing so much obsession and craze. we voted because we felt it was the right thing. nobody has the right to question our feelings or intentions. we are trying to do the right thing and all we are getting from the muslims is that your doing ‘bad’ u know ther are so many islamaphobics but recently Ive seen a rise on americphobics from the muslims and its scary. so much hate. is it not scARY? SHEIKH? iM SURE both sheiks here and Imam suhaib webb are seeing it after putting this forum up.
    If they do use religion to prove to hate and noti be involved and to keep away well then that religion is scary to me
    why doesnt it get into ur peoples head that if we did not vote mcain might have won!!!!!! so we are more relieved. by using our brain we decided that we think more muslims will be killed and tortured by mcain presidency.
    we thought we did this to prevent more harm for the muslims!!!!!!!! and u all are still obsessed when all we have is good intentions???? we are just trying to do good for the ummah instead of just complaining all the time. let me tell u brother and u sister that you sitting their complaining doing nothing is not gonna help the ummah
    so get involved. if you have a problem or not liking something talk to obama in a respectful manner. share your thoughts. whether you like or not he is your president. change.gov

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  86. Amad

    salam Abdallah:
    1) Your comment that was a complete copy and paste of Imam Anwar’s post without citation (against nettiquettes) was removed.
    2) We are all very well aware of his posts and links were already provided before, and so any repeated references are redundant.
    3) The Shayookh are choosing not to respond to the posts by Awlaki. At least not at this time.
    4) From my own personal view and the view of many others that I know, there is no need to respond to such a post that does not maintain basic respect for other Muslims, and resorts to name-calling and offensive slurs, like “house negroes”. We did not expect such from a person of knowledge.
    5) For those who have some knowledge of the situations, it is clear what side Imam Anwar is coming down on. He quotes the hizb-tahreer, “jihadi-salafis” (whatever that means) among others, as “authorities” on the Muslim situation, which is sufficient for people to make their own judgment.
    6) For those who want to adhere to such views, then by all means, feel free to comment on THAT site, not here.

    I don’t want to argue any further on this issue (and I think that the other staffers don’t want to either), because I know that this is what people want from MM, to engage in this foolish online spat. Our Shayookh will deal with issues as time permits, and according to the correct priority. Muslims living here, who call the West their home, have far more urgent issues to deal with (such as raising children, fighting islamophobia, uniting communiities, etc.) than to worry about what one student of knowledge is making an extreme issue out.

    So, I apologize in advance for being too aggressive on moderation regarding this issue.

    wasalam

    P.S. Someone pointed to Jinnzaman’s one post, but missed to post this link to a very appropriate post that does an excellent case against the Awlaki posts.

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  87. OsmanK

    Shaykh Anwar Awlaki is a great student of knowledge who has helped the Ummah with great works, including his set on the seerah. He posted his opinion on his blog of why voting is haraam. He posted his reasoning and his references for such a position. I see nothing wrong with what he has done. I find no problem if someone follows his opinion.

    However, know that hundreds of scholars (and I mean scholars of classical islam, not any “progressives”) have permitted voting. In fact, scholars from almost all the schools of thought have permitted voting. Therefore, I think it is rude and unacceptable to throw words like shirk, kufr, etc. In fact, I would say that scholars with much greater knowledge then Shaykh Awlaki have permitted voting.

    Most of the scholars have provided their proofs, in fact, I’m assuming that the great shaykhs on this site permit voting otherwise they would have stated otherwise. Like many issues in Islam, it is not black and white so one should remain respectful of other points of view.

    Shaykh Awlaki is a great teacher whom we can all learn from, however like Shaykh Yasir Qadhi said, listen to their opinions, do your research about what other scholars say, and then decide. There is no reason for this bickering which is dividing the ummah in a time when unity is much needed.

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