The following message from Imam Siraj was received in a MANA e-letter. You can sign up to receive the newsletter by going to MANA’s website. You can join an online fundraiser for Imam Siraj by checking out this site. The fundraiser features the star-caste of Yasir Qadhi, Suhaib Webb, Zaid Shakir and Faraz Rabbani.
As Salamu Alaikum, Dear Brothers and Sisters!
I am happy to announce that Allah, Most High, has blessed me tremendously in my battle with hypertension and prostate cancer. Treatment for the cancer is going very well; my hypertension is very much under control; and I feel strong and invigorated. Alhamdulillah!
I am so thankful to Allah for all the support I’ve received from so many Muslims, as well as some non-Muslims. I am a firm believer in the power of du’a (supplication). The Prophet (pbuh) has encouraged us to make du’a for one another, and I can definitely feel the effects of your du’as. It truly works! I know how badly I was feeling not so long ago, and I how GREAT I am feeling now. Subhan’Allah! In addition to your du’as, I am also very humbled by and appreciative of the contributions many of you have sent for me and my family. I feel a real connection to all of you. Every time I eat a morsel of bread, drink a sip of water, take medication or receive treatment, I feel that part of the reward will go to all those who have so generously helped me. And you, the Ummah of Muhammad (s), will share in the reward of my return to good health, insha’Allah.
I want to share something with you that has been constantly on my mind. Allah mentions in His Qur’an: “laa taqtuluu anfusakum”, i.e., “do not kill yourselves” (4:29). My advice to the Muslim Ummah, (as well as to others), is “Let us stop killing ourselves”. The most surprising thing to me when I first visited Mecca in 1978, was to see how many Muslims smoked cigarettes. According to the World Health Organization, if the nations of the world do nothing, as many as one billion people will die as a result of smoking cigarettes in the 21st century. That is an obscene number of preventable deaths! Without a doubt, cigarette smoking is HARAM and is absolutely prohibited in Al Islam! (See Fatawa Islamiyah)
EVERY doctor who will ever examine you will ask you three questions: 1) Do you smoke cigarettes, 2) Do you drink alcohol, and 3) Do you take drugs? If we practice our Islam, we should at least be free from these “suicidal” drugs. I hope to go on a Jihad in the very near future to help eliminate cigarette smoking in our Ummah, insha’Allah. But, while cigarette smoking, alcohol and drugs are more obvious vices, there are other subtle ways in which we are killing ourselves. One way is by what we eat, and therefore, it is imperative that we become more conscious of our eating habits. It is no accident that the first sin of our father, Adam (pbuh), is something that he ATE! We are literally eating ourselves to death. Diabetes, hypertension and many other diseases are the result of our diets. Insha’Allah MANA, as well as other organizations, will advance initiatives that promote healthy eating and healthy living. How do we prepare our foods? How much do we eat? What do we eat? These are all questions that we have to answer. I now feel compelled to help in any way that I can to bring experts to help inform us of what is best for us. Insha’Allah, more to come about that in the future. A word of caution: many people will be upset to learn the truth about the poor quality of foods we’ve been eating for so many years. Most of which, nutritionally speaking, does not qualify to be called “food”.
In closing, while I do feel invigorated, I have to remind myself, as well as others, that I am still is the process of healing and must take it easy. Although I have recently done a few khutbahs and taught a few classes, I must take time away in order to focus my energy on healing and restoration. Please know that I look forward to getting back to work in a regular capacity because I belong to you-the community-no doubt about it!
Insha’Allah, in future MANA newsletters you’ll hear from our Deputy Amir, Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid, a true soldier and servant of Allah. Once again, thank you for supporting me and my family, and for your ongoing support of MANA. May Allah, Most High, guide and protect us all. JazakAllah khairan!
Your brother in faith,
Imam Siraj Wahhaj