The Lure of Radicalism Amongst Muslim Youth
10/18/2010

Why is it that a few militant clerics are so popular among some American Muslims? I was asked by an academic at a recent luncheon.

After all, besides being so extreme in their message, don't most of them lack the scholarly credentials of the many mainstream clerics who oppose their militancy?

The questioner was a highly educated person, someone who had a deep understanding of Islamic theology. He also understood quite well the existence of significant variations in the interpretation and understanding of religious texts. He was one of those who had no problem looking past the right-wing Islamophobic rhetoric of Fox News and Robert Spencer et al., yet was still confused as to why second-generation American and British Muslims would find a message of extremism and militancy so appealing.

He correctly pointed out that the clerics espousing militancy were not only in the minority, but were also not as well-trained in the classical sciences as were clerics belonging to the opposing camp. Why then, were their voices so influential?

This academic at the luncheon was not the only one struggling with the question. A recent congressional hearing also tackled this same issue. And of course, this was not the first time that I, myself, had to confront this very question. It was especially driven home after someone with whom I had only briefly interacted Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, the now infamous “underwear bomber” turned radical and tried to blow up innocent men, women and children.

Umar's transformation provides an excellent case-study that can and should be studied further to shed light on the question of radicalism, and this short essay makes a first, humble attempt at doing just that.

I remember Umar as a shy introvert who attended an intensive retreat, the IlmSummit sponsored by Al-Maghrib Institute in Houston, TX, in the summer of 2008. I was among ten instructors at that retreat.

Umar was in fact so quiet and shy that I almost felt obliged to engage him in small talk, asking him mundane questions about where he lived and what he was studying. And that was about the extent of my interaction with him. Never once did he raise his hand in class to ask a question, or seek any advice, or share any concerns, or confront me on any subject.

It appears that the lack of communication or socializing was not limited to the two of us. Rather, it seems that other students at the retreat had the same experience; they didn't remember anything significant about him except his nonchalant, quiet presence.

In fact, my encounter with him had been so brief and dull, that when I saw his pictures being paraded on every website and news magazine cover in December of 2009, I didn't even recognize him until someone alerted me via email that this was the same Umar who had been at the AlMaghrib retreat. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that someone as shy and socially introverted as Umar would have attempted to blow up a plane by stuffing his underwear with explosives!

So, what happened?

From news accounts and our own documentation, we know that the AlMaghrib retreat was his last AlMaghrib course or seminar. We also know that he left England for a Middle Eastern country (where he remained for a few months), and eventually made his way to Yemen, where he interacted with an American-born cleric whose vision of Islam was completely at odds with our own. It was this cleric who apparently inspired him to open a new chapter in his life, and who brainwashed this 19-year old introvert into believing that murdering two hundred innocent people, including many women and children (some of them even fellow Muslims), would somehow bring him closer to his Lord and earn him reward on Judgment Day.

Why did Umar AbdulMutallab, a college-educated young man with a bright future ahead of him, reject the authority and guidance of authentic orthodox Islam, and allow himself to be lured into performing such a destructive and naïve act in the process destroying his own life and possibly that of many others? After all, hadn't he interacted with us (instructors and students of knowledge) and lived with us for two full weeks? Hadn't he observed our level of scholarship, our academic grasp of the religion, and our emphatic opposition to irrational and counterproductive militancy?

Umar might have been a social introvert, but he was clearly not unintelligent. What was it in the message of this Yemeni-American that had caused him to ignore the message and methodology of the many teachers that he interacted with at the AlMaghrib retreat?

Some of what you are about to read might not be ground-breaking, but other points that I mention will raise a few eyebrows and perhaps even anger some. That is to be expected, and I do not expect everyone to agree with everything that I write. The point of this article (as is typically my main intention when writing such pieces) is to jump-start the discussion, and to allow for frank dialogue among all parties.

Let's get to the answer then. It is not rocket science, nor does it require expertise in human psychology. Rather, it is quite simple. There is an external factor, and an internal factor, and when these two factors are coupled together, the result is fertile breeding ground for extremist ideas.

The external factor is an almost total absence of voices from within mainstream Islam (of all varieties: Sufis, Salafis, Deobandis, etc.) that speak to and address the concerns and issues that resonate with the Muslims most prone to extremism. When the only voices that address issues of concern are the voices of radical militant jihadis, it is only natural that young and impressionable minds will gravitate to these voices. From the perspective of these disaffected youth, since the mainstream clerics aren't discussing relevant issues, or involved in the discourses that concern them, how then can they be turned to for guidance?

The internal factor is a very warped understanding of Islamic texts and doctrines, and a romanticized view of Islamic history. It is only with such a skewed and idealistic vision that a Muslim can allow radical voices to bypass simple common sense and a pure Islamic heart, filtering all the way to his inner psyche.

Let us discuss both of these issues in more detail:

The External Factor

The issues and concerns that are fogging the minds of many Muslims (and all those who turn to radicalism) center around the present state of the Ummah, and in particular the political and social struggles that many Muslims around the world are facing. These struggles are significantly complicated (directly or indirectly) by policies put into place by our own American government (and, to a lesser extent, other Western countries). Before 9/11, most of the grievances were solely linked to the Palestinian question, and it was for this reason that radicalization and militant tendencies during that time-frame amongst Western Muslims were almost non-existent (it is not a coincidence that all those who planned and aided in the 9/11 attacks were foreigners).

Post 9/11, our government reacted in ways that has added infinitely more fuel to the fire of extremism (and hence, the rise in radicalism amongst our own Western youth). From the illegal invasion of Iraq to the foolish military endeavors in Afghanistan, from Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo, from Aafia Siddiqui to Ali al-Timimi, from the 'War on Terror' to the 'Patriot Act', it became easier to convince an impressionable mind into accepting the West versus Islam paradigm (as if these two entities can be surgically and neatly delineated, separated and defined).

And instead of such incidents abating with time, every few days a new headline in some newspaper conveys yet another story proving the false paradigm: an American drone missile strike kills a few dozen anonymous, faceless tribe-members in Pakistan, or ever-expanding Israeli settlements steal more land from Palestinians, or a new torture scandal involving Muslim prisoners is leaked, or another military scandal involving the killing of innocent Muslim civilians is exposed. These incidents are a direct or indirect result of either our own American military operations, or our tax-supported military aid, or our turning a blind eye to specific actions of our allies via the use of our veto power in the UN Security Council.

As if such misguided foreign action was not sufficient to enrage a proud young Muslim man, he must also face the constant media onslaught that seeks to portray him and his faith as inherently evil and dangerous. He hears of his friends and families or other Muslims being routinely harassed, humiliated and intimidated at airports and border-crossings, and “randomly” selected for additional screening and questioning. Of course, he too has his own first-hand discriminatory experiences.

His faith attacked on national airwaves, his religiosity treated with suspicion, his co-religionists around the world killed, and his activist brothers and sisters in Western lands jailed, it is no surprise that our young and impressionable Muslim teenager struggles to make sense of all of this.

He wants someone to defend his faith and speak up on behalf of the oppressed. He wishes to hear fiery and angry rhetoric, charging the “free and democratic”nations with hypocrisy, double standards, and the flouting of human rights. It is obvious to him that his government is primarily concerned with acquisition of oil and the control of natural resources, even if that results in the loss of Muslim blood. He clearly sees our politicians pandering more to the interests of corporate sponsors and special-interest donors than to the interests of their own fellow citizens. So, naturally, as a lay-Muslim, he looks to the scholars of his religion, seeking to find solace in angry tirades and verbal lashings against our politicians, leaders, media pundits, and law enforcement agencies who are, in his view, the root cause of all of this anger and terror in the first place.

Instead, all he hears at his local mosque, assuming he is fortunate enough to live in an area where the imam speaks English, are khutbahs that have no political relevance whatsoever. Finding nothing of significance at a local level, he then looks to more influential scholars: famous national clerics and da`ees, staple invitees to any major Islamic conference. Alas, all he hears them do is to regularly criticize his side: the victims in his eyes. Those who stand up to defend the innocent and fight against the real terrorists “from his perspective” are described as “Muslim terrorists.” Instead of supporting the cause of the weak and oppressed, these clerics side with the oppressors, routinely dissociating themselves from their own, giving spectacle fatwas against violence even as they ignore state-sponsored terrorism and what he perceives as the “greater violence.”

Over time, as acts of violence and terror increase in Muslims lands, and as local scholars only increase in their denunciation of “Muslim extremism,” this young man becomes even more disillusioned with these clerics. In his eyes, these Western scholars, no matter how popular among the masses, are nothing more than sell-outs: government-appeasing servile acquiescing cowards who are more concerned about their own safety and popularity than the safety and comfort of their persecuted brothers and sisters around the world.

“Enough of criticizing us! Who speaks up to defend them?” he demands. “Where is the condemnation of our own Western nations, our own policies and our own governments, when they engage in acts of violence, drone bombings, mass-killings, torture, secret renditions and sham trials? Why is such activity not described as terroris, is it not also targeting the innocent? Or is 'terrorism' only when a Muslim commits such acts?”

Alas, the token condemnation against foreign policy that does occasionally come from the mouths of these 'mainstream' clerics is too shallow for his liking, too weak to satiate his own anger, too lost in the convoluted language and footnotes of their larger message. He is always reminded of the words of Malcolm X and the distinction that Malcolm drew between the 'house Negro' and the 'field Negro' and he cannot help but feel that these mainstream scholars are far too entrenched with the powers-that-be to stand up against them.

Not hearing anything from his local or national scholars in the physical world around him, he scours the virtual world instead, looking on the net for voices that will speak to his concerns and address his anger. And in this virtual world, he stumbles across chat-rooms and forums where, for the first time, he finds people who see the world his way. These people, aided by the anonymity of the internet and empowered by the false bravado that only a fake alias can give, finally make our young man feel home, and that he was right all along in his assessment.

It is on these forums that he finds people who list nothing but the political faults of the Western world. It is on these forums where little children pretend to be brave men who can take on the 'big bad wolf.' And it is on these forums that he is introduced to 'clerics who speak the truth' and 'fear none amongst men', of legendary giants that even America fears and will do anything to silence (even if that means sending squads of assassins to murder one of their own citizens without trial). Whereas previously he had trouble finding anyone who would voice his view of the world, here, all the voices on these forums seem to be echoing the same message, spoken from the mouths of militants and circulated online by their testosterone-filled teenage cheerleaders.

And in this worldview espoused by these militants, our young man finds great comfort and solace. According to the militants, every fault in the whole world emanates not from within, but from without. The Muslims are never to blame for anything. It is always the 'West,' and in particular 'Amrika'.

Local persecution of scholars in Muslim lands? 'Amrika,' because they were the ones who propped up the kings, presidents and emirs in the Muslim world in the first place. Bombings that kill innocent Muslims in the streets of Baghdad, or the mosques of Karachi, or the shrines of Najaf? 'Amrika,' through the use of false-flag operations conducted by American agents, or as a result of the wider chaos originally caused by once again, 'Amrik'. The awful state of the economy in Muslim lands? You guessed it, 'Amrika', via the use of loans that the American-controlled IMF gave out and the economic policies that America put in place.

It is a comforting vision, especially for a young teenager: a simple and self-serving view that reclaims the honor of his faith while laying blame on the feet of others. “It's not our fault at all! We are always oppressed, always victimized, it's all America's fault,” he says to himself over and over again. And on the forums that he frequents, the constant interactions with twenty other kids from around the world, some writing secretly from their parent's basement, some from their own 'Star-Wars' posters-lined bedrooms, this chatter begins to sound like the representative voice of the entire Muslim world.

This young 'victim' does not realize that the 'victim-mentality' is not a motif of the Qur'an, nor do we find it ever verbalized in the seerah of our beloved Prophet. It is not a dignified mentality, and even if there are elements of truth in some portions of it, such an attitude does not befit a believer who believes in an All-Mighty Being who Hears and Sees all. Our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) suffered more at the hands of his detractors than any Muslim in our time, yet he maintained a moral dignity and an internal courage that would put to shame the entire paradigm of victim-mentality that these radicals espouse.

The Internal Factors

With regards to the internal factors, it is not likely that a mind well-grounded in authentic texts and traditions will gravitate towards acts of terrorism. Thus, it is no coincidence that one will be hard-pressed to find senior clerics, of any theological persuasion, who justify flying planes into building or strapping bombs onto one's body in order to blow up innocent civilians.

A radical's mind could only have been exposed to cherry-picked religious texts along with their misinterpretations; typically verses from Surah al-Anfal and Surah al-Tawba (both of which were revealed in specific historic situations very different from our own). Such a mind is only versed in Prophetic traditions of a military nature, sheered of their context and shown in isolation from many other traditions that would help paint a more nuanced view.

However, these are not the only verses and ahadith (the Prophetic traditions) pertaining to the topic of jihad. Many other verses, especially those that seem to conflict with their warped understanding of Surah al-Anfal and Tawba, are simply dismissed as belonging to the 'Makkan' phase of revelation. Many Prophetic traditions which would show that military action is not the only way to fight for the truth are simply bypassed or ignored. For every evidence that they quote, there is an almost surreal attempt to isolate that one verse or hadith from the entire corpus of Islamic texts and law. For these militants, it is as if each verse they cherry-pick was actually revealed for their immediate benefit. For them, it is as if every hadith that they quote was stated by the Prophet directly to them and in support of their world-view. Only a mind completely bereft from the necessary hermeneutical tools of usul al-fiqh (the procedure of deriving laws) and maqasid al-Shariah (understanding the goals of Islamic Law) can be so shallow.

With regards to doctrines, a simplistic, black-and-white understanding of wala wa-l-bara is propagated by the extremists; one that the intellectually-challenged (of the ilk of George W. Bush) would have absolutely no difficulty understanding. “You're either with us or against us”, both Bush and Awlaki pontificate.

Yet, the real world that we live in is not as black and white as these Manichean camps would like it to be. A clear and simple argument can be made that on each and every issue, we should stand with the truth, regardless of which side that truth is on. And it is not uncommon that this truth is not on one side, but somewhere in between.

In the context of the very verses that many militants use to justify their black-and-white understandings of wala wa-l-bara, one verse (8:72) specifically mentions that even if Muslims under attack ask for help, and reach out to you based on religious loyalties, you are not obliged to help them if that help will compromise your political alliances. Extrapolating from this, one can state that while American Muslims are with the Palestinians, Iraqis and Kashmiris in wanting freedom, safety and security for them, at the same time we cannot help them militarily if that help will compromise our own safety and the safety of our families and communities, or if such help would contradict our political alliances. We can still help our suffering brethren in many other ways, for example, by educating our fellow countrymen regarding the dismal plight of these people and how our own government has been, many times, complicit in perpetuating or even causing such predicaments.

The point that I am stressing here is that a more nuanced and pragmatic reading of the Qur'an can also just as easily be done “ but it takes more wisdom, foresight and moral courage than many of these testosterone-filled youth are willing to undertake (and for the record, I firmly believe that one of the best ways to de-radicalize these young men is to help them get married early and encourage them to have kids, and I mean this in all seriousness).

Muslims need to understand that anyone who approaches the Qur'an and Sunnah with preconceived notions, wishing to find justification for certain theological or legal opinions, can almost always do so. If one wishes to speak to the texts rather than allow the texts to speak to him, then only his imagination will be a limit to the opinion that he seeks to derive.

With regards to our Islamic history and heritage, our overzealous youngster is told of a few romanticized legends of how a woman cried out for the Caliph Mutasim to come rescue her from the clutches of the enemy, or how Umar b. al-Khattab could not rest even if only one Muslim was in trouble, or how salah al-Din al-Ayyubi almost single-handedly raised up an army to liberate Jerusalem from the clutches of the evil Crusaders.

But this youngster never actually reads a book of Muslim history himself. If he did, he would find a very different story, a very human one. Yes, there is no doubt that there were times in our past when noble men achieved gallant feats and ordinary people faced almost impossible challenges, yet came out as heroes in the end. But, as with any human history, these examples are more the exceptions than the rule.

Politically speaking, the Muslims suffered from as much intrigue, internal backstabbing, civil wars, bureaucratic inefficiencies, secret dealings, internecine warfare, bribery and corruption as just about any other culture and civilization. Were this youngster to read further, he would discover the almost constant insurrections that the Umayyads had to face from various Muslim insurgents, the political intrigues and the civil wars fought multiple times within the Abbasids, the alliances that the Taifa Rulers of Andalus regularly formed with Christian princes against fellow Muslims in order to retain power, the rivalries and fratricide of the Ottoman Sultans, and many, many, many more such sordid facts facts that are not taught in Islamic Sunday school.

Most of the armies that were harnessed and prepared in our fourteen centuries of Islamic history were actually gathered to fight other Muslims for political or material gain, and not to fight the 'inglorious infidel'.  Muslim societies of classical and medieval times struggled with many of the same issues that their modern counterparts do (albeit to different levels), of societal corruption and moral decay and religious indifference. If there were even prostitutes in the holy city of Madinah during the Prophetic era (as our source books clearly mention), does one believe that later societies would somehow be better than our 'pious predecessors'?

What a thorough reading of our history shows us is that our societies and people were not angels, but simply humans. Yes, there was much good as well, and there is no denying that having a Caliphate that ruled according to Islamic law led to a society of greater Islamic accomplishments than what can be obtained in our times. But by the same token, because we live in an age devoid of a Caliphate, the good that does occur in our era is of a different type, and the endeavors and struggles of our times will inevitably form its own legends and heroes for future generations.

It is immature and dangerous to over-glorify our past. By painting an imaginary and overly-romanticized picture of an Islamic epoch, it is easier for misguided clerics to convince energetic but naïve youngsters to reclaim and resuscitate such a fantasy, no matter what the cost might be.

I have no doubt that Umar AbdulMutallab saw a level of academic excellence at AlMaghrib that he would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the Western world. I also have no doubt that he was highly impressed with the scholastic content of our seminars. However, in the end, what was important to him was not what he saw, but what he didn't see. And what he didn't see was an exposition and condemnation of the role our own countries play in spreading terror around the world. What he didn't see were explicit solutions being offered in light of the current situation of the Ummah.

In other words, what he didn't hear was a discourse regarding the current political and social ills that he felt so passionately about, and a frank dialogue about the Islamic method for correcting such ills.

And in that vacuüm, where neither AlMaghrib nor other mainstream voices had anything substantive to offer, the voices of radical extremism proved to be the only bait dangling in front of his eyes. For him, there never was a competition between Orthodox Islam and militancy; there never was an 'either-or' choice to be made because these two visions of Islam (from his perspective) were completely independent of one another. Each one discussed different topics and each was active in a different arena. So convinced was he by that message of radicalism that he was willing to give up his life for it, not realizing that living one's life for the sake of God is far more difficult than committing suicide for His sake (as if the latter can ever truly be for the sake of God!).

By allowing radicals to speak on behalf of the voiceless, we who remained silent simply lost the battle for the hearts and minds of people such as Umar.

If we truly wish to fight radical ideas amongst our youth; if we wish to persuade them away from rash measures drawn from raw emotions, and to persuade them to act upon wisdom and perform real acts of courage,then the first step that we will have to take is to become more vocal about the grievances that drive young men to acts of desperation. We will need to be frank about the role that our governments play in ruining the freedoms and happiness that specific societies around the world deserve. And after discussing these woes, we will need to educate our youth about the proper way forward in solving them: away from foolish and un-Islamic militancy, and towards education, political activism and other positive channels.

Those who choose to take on this task will have much to worry about for themselves. They will have to brave the attention and subsequent fury of a fear-mongering media empire that loves to demonize any who dares disagree with its own romantic notion of a lost American utopia. These individuals will have to put their trust in Allah as they fight legal and political battles against their own governments and law enforcement agencies, as they themselves are wiretapped, monitored, harassed, baited and perhaps even jailed merely because they state the obvious: that it is our own country's domestic and foreign policies that are the greatest source of the anger and resentment fueling radicalism.

It is an awkward position to be in; for some, it appears to be a hopeless battle. How can one simultaneously fight against a powerful government, a pervasive and sensationalist-prone media, and a group of overzealous rash youth who are already predisposed to reject your message because they view you as being a part of the establishment (while, ironically, the 'establishment' never ceases to view you as part of the radicals)?

But there really is no other alternative. We need to protect our religion for our children after us, and we need to preserve what we can of the freedoms this country still offers us. And while I am skeptical that America will ever revert to its innocent pre-9/11 state of affairs; still, despite all that has occurred to change this country, America remains far better than any European equivalent, and we need to appreciate and cherish this fact even as we struggle to balance our loyalties between the requirements of our faith and those that are increasingly being imposed upon us by our country.

The journey ahead of us is long and difficult, and the task is well beyond simply acknowledging the root cause of anger. Real and tangible solutions must be offered, and we must assess the pros and cons of any step that we undertake. This is but one step, and many more arduous miles lie ahead. But even the journey of a thousand miles must begin with one step.

To be continued.

Image courtesy artcornwall.org

285 Responses

  1. Traveller

    Awesome article and very pertinent for our times indeed!

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    • Fawaaz

      -duplicate removed. Posted same comment under “Rayhaan”

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      • Qatada

        thank you so much for the article, now I know where your allegiances lie, I will for sure insha’allah avoid al maghrib institute lectures and media

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  2. Haleh

    This is a very critical article for everyone to read and understand.
    Masha’Allah you have analyzed it very thoroughly.

    I think if our youth are taught this essential verse of the Quran and
    made to understand it they would reconsider any violent act:

    Quran Surah al-Maida 5:32
    If anyone killed a person it would be as if he killed all mankind,
    and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.

    May we all have the correct understanding of our religion and the best implimentation.

    Haleh

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    • ivoryTower

      Just wondering:

      Isn’t this “cherry picking” to support your view point? Why don’t we understand *this* ayah in the context of the entire corpus of islamic texts and scholarship as YQ has suggested?

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      • Sami

        While this verse in Surah Al-Maeda was revealed with reference to the Children of Israel – the scholars of tafsir comment on it and say it is applicable to everyone after them. Ahadith and statements of the sahabah (such as Omar (RA)) support this.

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      • Ahmed

        Complete the verse… “unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land” and find out how the classical scholars explained this part..

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  3. Omar

    Assalamu Alaikum Sheikh Yasir

    Very detailed and intelligent analysis mashaAllah, though the overall tone shuns, scourges and ridicules radicals far more than it does brutal American policy, which is criticized in a more rational tone. This ridicule will only drive radicals further away from mainstream.

    We need to focus on the clear point of “you cannot kill civilians, even if the enemy has killed yours. Their evil does not justify yours.” That I think the vast majority of mainstream Muslims agree to

    However, allow me to ask some uncomfortable questions that are difficult to answer, ones I am sure everyone has thought of, and we need them out in the open.

    What about a Muslim who fights occupying American troops on his soil, and never targets noncombatants? How are American Muslims to feel about such a person’s efforts? Are they supposed to “cheer” for him when he kills US soldiers who invaded his land? If so, how can America as a country trust its Muslim citizens when they have other loyalties (same as Japanese Americans in WW2)? If not, then is this really in line with Islamic teaching on protecting Muslim Lands from aggression?
    Is it permissible for an American Muslim to be in the US army?

    Although the conflict between being American and Muslim isn’t nearly as large as right wing Islamophobes and radical Muslims would have us believe, there definitely is some dissonance between the two.

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    • hassan

      Yes, good questions. Is there a jihad in Afghanistan or Iraq (if no civilians are targetted)?

      I have seen many scholars that I respect and love avoid to answer this question. I guess lack of mentioning where the jihad is going on also frustates young people.

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      • Mustafa

        Are there any scholars who are willing to answer this question? Who fear no one but Allah and will raise their voice against oppression and invasion of Muslim land?

        Is it Jihad fighting invading soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq? or was it only when it was popular against the soviets?

        Condemning radicals is easy and everyone and their uncle is doing it. Please get past this.

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      • naeem

        Yes this is the reason i’ve been searching for a classical book of fiqh on jihad…

        more specically i was lookin for a sharh of bulughul maram…but coudnt find one

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      • HydTech

        C’mon guys!

        Do you really think you’re gonna get an answer to the “Is there a valid qitaal in Afghan or Iraq?” question. There arent too many Ali Tamimis, Zoubir Bouchikis and Ahmad Jibrils in America.

        Let it rest

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      • Abdullah Ali

        Seriously guys, get over it.

        We all know the response to this question. And in their WISDOM, our scholars are not responding to it.

        The very fact that they are NOT giving politically correct answers that would satisfy the government shows that they are not (as Sh. Yasir put it) ‘acquising servile cowards’, but rather they understand the sensitivity.

        Bravery at times requires long-term action rather than short term.

        Those who are wise learn just as much from silence as they do from speech.

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      • Abdullah

        Well it seems that Sh. YQ is now questioning what you claim is wisdom. Because not answering these pertinent questions is what leads to not addressing the social and political issues which concern the youth (and everyone else!).

        Plus this way of thinking is a bit odd. It’s somehow wise not not be critical of American foreign policy when it means negative consequences, but for those of your Muslim brothers who commit wrongs criticising them left, right and centre is wise?

        I think the Ummah is beyond this sort of ‘wisdom’ and it’d be good if the self-claimed moderate folk would smell the coffee and move along too.

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    • Azhar

      Omar

      Your Question:

      What about a Muslim who fights occupying American troops on his soil, and never targets noncombatants? How are American Muslims to feel about such a person’s efforts? Are they supposed to “cheer” for him when he kills US soldiers who invaded his land? If so, how can America as a country trust its Muslim citizens when they have other loyalties (same as Japanese Americans in WW2)?

      Answered already:
      In the context of the very verses that many militants use to justify their black-and-white understandings of wala wa-l-bara, one verse (8:72) specifically mentions that even if Muslims under attack ask for help, and reach out to you based on religious loyalties, you are not obliged to help them if that help will compromise your political alliances. Extrapolating from this, one can state that while American Muslims are with the Palestinians, Iraqis and Kashmiris in wanting freedom, safety and security for them, at the same time we cannot help them militarily if that help will compromise our own safety and the safety of our families and communities, or if such help would contradict our political alliances. We can still help our suffering brethren in many other ways – for example, by educating our fellow countrymen regarding the dismal plight of these people and how our own government has been, many times, complicit in perpetuating or even causing such predicaments.

      I hope Shaykh Yasir addresses your second question in the next part of this analysis.

      Azhar

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      • Rayhaan

        Assalamualaikum wa rahmatallahi wa barakaatuh

        Even i would like to know the islamic ruling on the war in afghanistan. is it jihaad? As for the answer given, this is the case if the person believes his safety or that of his family will be threatened but what if he does not feel that way and want to help his brothers in afghanistan?Will he be sinning if he does that?

        Jazaak Allah khair

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      • SEYFETTÄ°N

        BismillaharRahmanirRahim

        “Even i would like to know the islamic ruling on the war in afghanistan. is it jihaad?”

        How can there be jihad with no khalifa? No Holy Representative; No Holy War, simple.

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      • Fawaaz

        “How can there be jihad with no khalifa? No Holy Representative; No Holy War, simple”

        If there is no khalifa and the crusaders are invading your land, is it not fard ayn to defend it?

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      • Son of Adam

        Bismillah wa-salaatu wa-salaamu ‘ala Rasulullah,

        Let it first be clear the term “Khilafah” does not in any sense imply or mean “holy representative”. Secondly, the term “Jihad” does not in any sense imply or mean “holy war”. This too is emphatically incorrect. But in response to the implied assertion: “No khilafah, no Jihad.” The accuracy of this statement depends on the nature of the jihad. In the case of offensive jihad or Islamic conquest, then indeed the presence of a Khilafah and the verdict of a Caliph is required to carry it out. However, when it comes to the defensive jihad or resisting oppression, occupation, brutality and the like, neither an Islamic State or the decision of Islamic ruler are neccessary to carry it out. It is in fact immediately obligatory upon the able among the subjugated community to defend itself. It’s a mere question of common sense. If someone invades your home presenting themselves as an imminent threat to you and your family, are you going to defend your life and property if able, or beseech the opinion and ruling of some scholars in a faraway land?

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      • Hassan

        Right, do not help them, but whoever is locally over there, are they doing jihad or not?

        How is the current situation is different than when soviets were in Afghanistan? (for locals or people who do not have contract with west)

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      • Omar

        Assalamu Alaikum

        So the Sheikh basically said we help them using all political lobbying means at our disposal and that is fine. But my question was about the legitimacy of the struggle of Muslims against occupying American soldiers (or their allies). Is it Jihad? why or why not?

        If yes, do we say this and voice it to our communities because it is part of the religion? Do we hide this fact from our youth and the media because the government will not like it? Do we skirt and dance around it using political language like politicians, particularly American ones, do? Wouldn’t right wing Islamophobes accuse Muslims of subversion, and being a fifth column?

        If not, then what exactly is Jihad if fighting occupying soldiers on your own land is not? What would be the right thing for them to do in the face of American soldiers?

        These are honest questions that we need to deal with. Both as Muslims in the West, and in view of the Muslim Ummah as a whole.

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    • Injamul

      Even if they kill our civillians, we wouldn’t kill theirs.
      I wish that was the case.

      Wouldn’t you think they will take advantage of this and kill more Muslims, then they will use the media to say these are radicals, even though they are innocent?

      They kill and justify. Thjey make others mad. So they act because Oppression is worse than slaughter, especially the oppression of the mind that that person suffers from…
      He lost his family,relatives, everything…Then he gets backlashed by the Muslims, for acting radically…
      When will they ever get a break?

      Alot of attacks around the world are counter-productive, such as Umar abdul matallab and nadil hasan.
      But what about others? Their situation may have been different. why should we judge the muslims around the world because a fasiq says that they are radicals?
      It’s very easy for Shaykh Yasir Qadhi to say that becasue he is not in a land where persecution is a daily routine. Doesnt people ever wonder that most people that hate america are from the very lands that Americans are supposed to liberate?
      I don’t have a solution for these problems.
      I totally respect the Shaykh. But he left many questions unanswered

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  4. abu Rumay-.s.a.

    I believe this article is the first of its kind directly addressing the most critical issues of extremism/radicalism in the West. I would go as far as endorsing it as an “anti-Radical/anti-Extremist” Manifesto and it should be circulated to all the major islamic/non-islamic institutions concerned with the topic and have signatories in support of its content and message.

    Shk Yasir, it has taken a lot of effort, thought, sincerity, and courage to write this important and needed declaration. May Allah ta`ala elevate your status and reward you without limit..ameen.

    tamim

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  5. HassanAdnan

    Assalam O Alikum Wr Wb,
    Is it me or did the Sheikh really got low on hope at the end? I would have liked a hopeful end. Bi iznillah. All in all a good realistic analysis Alhumdulilah. I think Dr. Nouman in his lecture Future of American Muslim, was right when he said that the Scholars world wide need to come together and decide what Jihad really means, and other controversial issues. I totally agree there needs to be other outlets of expression who are aggrieved because of what is happening with the Ummah etc. There needs to be public universal Muslims Voice and representations and Stands.

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  6. Amad

    jazakAllahkhair Shaykh Yasir.
    I hope that this series translates into a wave of positive effects on the ground inshallah.

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  7. Ify Okoye

    Excellent article, much needed, especially in the last nine years and going forward. One issue not fully addressed in this article that I hope will be addressed going forward, insha’Allah, is the relationship between the focus of orthodox conservative academic Islam on combining between iman and amal.

    Exalted are those who have belief and that belief manifests in actions. So coupled with the romantic notions of the time of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and the early generations, who we are always taught to emulate and go back to for guidance in our affairs, and modern injustices, it is not that surprising that some students from this school of thought, will look to take action as a confirmation of their belief. Of course, not all actions are morally valid. Radicalization does not just happen online, it can happen in the classroom, or by reading general fatawa and listening to lectures, especially when these issues are not spoken about in a clear and direct manner with fuller context and nuance.

    I would say it’s only post 9/11 and maybe really only in the last 4-5 years, that we’ve begun to hear clear and pragmatic messages from western students of knowledge about our roles as Muslims in the West, which differs widely from the message before that. Which leads a questioning mind to ask, what happened, what changed, or why is this message being emphasized more now than before? And is this really what we see in our classical sources, which we are always told to go back to except in this case, and should we trust these students of knowledge?

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    • ivoryTower

      Very thought provoking points.

      When Saudi regime in league with the US was funding, promoting, and recruiting for the Afghan ‘jihad’ everything was kosher. The same ayat and ahadith that YQ and co. now say are ‘cherry picked’ to promote a certain understanding were used by the great scholars of Saudi Arabia (and the world) to lure many poor youth in Pakistan and middle east to become cannon fodder for that war. And BTW, even in those times there were a lot of civilian casualties caused by the ‘Mujahedin’ during their operations, just like it is today. Its just that it wasnt mentioned in the Western dominated media.

      Now those same poor youth left in the lurch after 1988 are ‘extremist’ and ‘radical’ and on the incorrect understanding of the deen whereas before they were invited to Saudi Arabia to sit in the company of great sholars and narrate their tales of bravery. So what changed, the Deen or tohse people?

      I for one have completely lost trust in Islamic scholarship (East or West) when it comes to social and political issues. The fatwas and the opinions change according to political expediency and the flavor of the day. In any case, religious texts can be interpreted to suit certain agendas. Its just that all of us have short memories.

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      • Relwan Onikoyi

        maaaan. I can’t stand this “the scholars are wrong” mentality. It’s such a general claim, and I’m afraid it’s from hastily drawing conclusions.

        as for the note about the different opinions, it’s really a different issue. context matters. Justification for MILITARY ACTION for the Iraqi in Iraq (or for surrounding Muslim allies) whose country is being invaded, is a different issue from justification for the Muslim American in America whose government is doing the invading. The ayaat might support military resistence in one instance, and not in the other (I don’t know…I am not a scholar!). simple as that.

        Aside from that…this comment REALLY has some dangerous religious implications.

        “completely lost trust in Islamic scholarship”? that’s a little far. The deen is saved through the scholars bro; the prophet said “the scholars are the heirs of the prophets”. what you say means there are no more scholars, which is scary, considering that would mean there are no more reliable sources for learning the deen. But of course that’s untrue, the deen is still preserved, Alhamdulillah. You are referring to trust in “social and political issues”…but, what ISN’T covered by that? And from where should I get opinions regarding Islamic issues now that there’s no more trustworthy scholarship–average Joe? that’s what led so many “radicals” astray in the first place.

        If a scholar is learned and informed (i.e., reliable) then his fatwa is to be accepted. Who the heck are we to say otherwise? when we understand the rulings of deriving law, and exactly what led the “great scholars” to rule in the way they did, then we can present an argument for who was right. But we can’t conclude that we can’t trust “Islamic Scholarship” because it has produced different opinions–btw, that’s not necessarily uncommon and/or wrong, especially in political issues; military jihad is called for in varying situations for varying groups of Muslims. context, time and space plays a huge role; it’s the scholars that best understand the conditions of jihad.

        forgive me bro (sis?) if I said anything incorrect or come off as angry–tone is so heard to represent online! :)

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      • ivoryTower

        I’m a bro, and no, you did not come across angry at all :-)

        I understand your point of view. I myself was (when I was younger) enthralled by the islamic scholars and their students (in the West). I used to think that the scholars have the solutions to all of our problems, because after all, they have the knowledge of the (perfect) deen. All we have to do is to listen to and obey their verdicts (fatawa).

        As you grow older, you realize that this is a romanticized vision of Islamic revival, similar to the ‘romanticized’ version of history that YQ claims we are all taught. Human beings, their motives, and human society are more complicated than that.

        So as you grow older you will come to realize that Islam, like any other religion in the hands of an elite ‘clergy’, who reserve only for themselves the right to interpret and explain it, is merely a tool to establish political and social control of the masses. It has been done before, it is being done now, and it will be done in the future.

        Therefore, the clergy will interpret the same religious texts in completely opposite ways based on the results that are required for reasons of political expediency. Part of this involves ignoring, hiding, or down playing certain texts while propogating and highlighting others. Many examples of this can be given. Just get a hold of lectures of the many famous speakers of today from 10-15 years ago and you will realize what I mean. These same speakers who were shouting ‘Kuffar! Kuffar! Bidah! Bidah! Imitation! Imitation! Al wala wal bara!” 10 years ago are now advocating working in soup kitchens for non-muslims with other sufi muslims wearing a suit and tie!!

        So my questions is, instead of following other people whose opinions are always in a state of flux because 1) they are human and 2) weak, or 3) just plain incorrect why don’t I use my OWN COMMON SENSE, which simply tells me to live as a good citizen, work hard and be good to the other people around me. WHY DO I NEED RELIGIOUS CLERGY to tell me which my common sense can tell me in 1 sec?

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      • Abdullah

        Good points Ivory. However I think a more thought-out conclusion is needed. Yes many scholars have done as you state. But not all scholars have done so. Some have remained firm on the truth and not changed in expendient ways. Hence one should seek their guidance.

        End of the day the layman needs guidance. Common sense is not enough to interpret the Qur’an and Sunnah. That much should be obvious.

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      • Relwan Onikoyi

        I completely agree with you that the scholars are not perfect. you are right, it’s important to remember they are human beings; But human beings are in different ranks, and have different levels of knowledge. Because I am not a scholar, I rely upon scholars for their opinions. Of course common sense plays a role in Islam, but common sense won’t tell me what the conditions of jihad are–scholarship (and perhaps then, reasoning, insofar as scholarly tradition allows) will.

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      • ivoryTower

        @ Abdullah

        I am not saying interpret the Qur’an and Sunnah in issues of aqueedah & ibadah. You need scholars because they are trained in that field, just like doctors are trained in medicine and lawyers in legal matters.

        Look at it another way: this whole mess is the result of a group of muslims asking some ‘scholars’ (i.e. people whom they consider trustworthy scholars anyway) about political issues, because they were *taught* by religious figures to consult religious clergy men in these issues. If they just use their heads and common sense (like all other people in the world do) we would not be in this mess.

        I also find your comment “they remained firm on the truth’ very interesting. how do YOU know what the truth is to be able to say that somebody else remained firm on it? Well, you will say because it adheres to the Quran and Sunnah. Really? If you already knew the truth from the Quran and Sunnah then you didnt need the scholar in the first place!!

        Unless you are a scholar, what it really means is that their ‘truth’ matches your preconceived notion what it ought to be based on your OWN INTELLECT i.e. COMMON SENSE.

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  8. Islam

    Interesting, it seems Brother Yasir Qadhi has really become preoccupied with him being labeled a sell-out.

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    • Linda (part II)

      That was a cheap shot dude..

      You left out the the whole article and focused on one word… tells me a lot about your perceptions and biasses.

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  9. johnsmithaustralia

    Mashallah on the academic piece. Know that only specious arguments based on academia, maslahas and buts can justify such a stance.

    Verily the guidance is with Allah and whomsoever he leads astray no one can guide and whomsoever Allah guides no one can misguide.

    Did you stop to contemplate that Allah (SWT) has taken these people by the heart to guide them and raise them to be the defenders of the Deen? A people of honor, who do not fear the blame of the blamers.

    Indeed he raised them when you broke your ammanah:

    If you march not forth, He will punish yo with a painful torment and will replace you by another people, and you cannot harm Him at all, and Allah is able to do all things (9:39)

    Whatever you write in these forums and whomever you have writing them, remember that the guidance is with Allah and Allah will perfect his light. And YES the speech of the person with the Haqq WILL prevail for verily it is Allah promise that his Deen will rule though the disbelievers hate it.

    So my brothers and sisters we should not have these blogs to try to misguide others. Every word against the brothers a perverted moral basis for there death. The death of Muslims! whose only “crime” was that they believed and wanted to establish Shar’iah law.

    Know that this claim is not and advocation for killing civilians but merely as a reminder: Be careful of what you write. Be careful of what you write! And stop supporting the death of your brother and sisters with your words. Stop killing your brothers and sisters with your words

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    • The Thinking Muslim

      “the speech of the person with the Haqq WILL prevail ”

      Yes that is true but am sorry brother the speech of the radicals is not prevailing.

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      • gohar

        Islam doesn’t seem to be prevailing anywhere either, but that’s not a matter of concern for many scholars nowadays.

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      • Tricia

        Islam prevails regardless of what is going on. You are attributing the success of “Islam” to human beings. Islam, as I understand it, is a state of being that you are in with your Lord. However if you are accustomed to stripping it down to the barest concept imaginable–then yes, it will become your ideology and vehicle for your own personal “success” or “failure.” Allah is bigger than all of that.

        “Were this youngster to read further, he would discover… facts that are not taught in Islamic Sunday school.”

        This is the problem Sheikh Yassir. We are fed an idealized history, therefore we regurgitate it. And I believe the buck can be traced back to our scholars, who themselves sterilize and idealize islamic history to make it more palatable to the laymen (who often go on to discover it later at the hands of the missionary). Laymen nowadays are doctors, lawyers, intellectuals….who find critical thinking in every other context but their religion. We are not the tanners, shoemakers, and carpet weavers of the past who got by with fard ayn. New times require new and more critical-thinking based, education for the laymen. Jazakum Allah khair for this first introduction.

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      • johnsmithaustralia

        NEVER BE SORRY FOR THE PROMISE OF ALLAH IS TRUE.

        And btw, which “radicals” are you talking about? The radical so called “muslim leaders” and their supporters killing other muslim scholars, civilians and children or the kuffar killing our muslim scholars, women and children.

        And remember the types of scholars that are out there. If a Sufi goes into Medina university he’s still going to come out as a sufi, except now he’s a sufi with knowledge. If a Jewish kaffir goes to Medina university he still going to come out as a jewish spy, but now he’s a jewish spy with knowledge. Medina university in not Al-Kauthar – it does not have some special water.

        As Allah says in the Quran and we see the ayat walking before our very eyes:

        BY ALLAH THE SCHOLARS ARE THOSE THAT FEAR ALLAH

        The scholars are the ones who have graduated from prisons those who surpassed the fitnah of the kuffar and the unjust rulers to be the defenders of the Deen.

        Think my brothers and sisters!!

        The Deen was not handed down on a silver platter and it will not return to rule on a silver platter. The way of the the prophets and their companions was the way of hardships.

        So be ready. Ready your nafs to embrace this hardship that is around the corner.

        And be one of those who talks against the oppression of the muslims instead of the one who supports their death. May Allah protect us from this.

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  10. Umm Reem

    Finally, someone speaks up!

    JazakiAllah khairan Sh. Yasir, may Allah protect u and ur family…increase u in deen and give u many opportunities to b a source of guidance for the ummah, Amin ya rabbal ‘aalameen.

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  11. Happy Friend

    Nice article, well articulated. As already commented, you just can’t kill an innocent human being. That’s Haraam, Period !!!

    I believe we have to wage an info war on them, spread more and more documentaries on truth of 9/11 to silence their propaganda. We never made these documentaries, its their own ‘American’ ‘Christian’ (and even Non-Zionists Jews) who did and hence we can’t be blamed for being biased.

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  12. Muwahhid25

    Honestly after reading this any remnants of respect I had for Yasir Qadhi just went down the drain

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    • Ify Okoye

      Care to explain your reasons why? It’s not really of any benefit to anyone to make loaded statements without further explanation.

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      • Linda (part II)

        @Muwahhid25 …. funny how emotional responses like yours are never supported by a “logical” reason… simply coz you disagree with somebody, you lose respect with them?! No wonder people like yourself are close minded and ill mannered!

        @The Thinking Muslim….. love your comment. Thank you

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      • Muwahhid25

        It’s clear the only experience Yasir Qadhi has had with ‘radicals’ is from what the US Government have told him or from what he’s been watching on CNN.

        His article is deeply flawed and is refuted by many different shuyookh in their books (though I’m sure there not any who he would consider learned). With the famous excuse ‘those verses don’t apply to our times’, I would like to see him answer to the vast number of ulama who have not thrown away part of the Qur’aan but then most of them are either dead or in prison (may Allaah have mercy on them all). I can hear a lot of excuses for America but for the Muslims it’s the same old speech as the media.

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      • Linda (part II)

        Dude.. did you even read the article?!

        Besides… those “ulma” that you are talking about.. do they have names?! And those books that you quote… do they have titles?!

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      • Muwahhid25

        Yes I read the article hence my response. There are far too many for me to list here but you’ll find them all on at-Tibyan pubs

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  13. darthvaider

    Jazak Allah khayr Shaykh Yasir for the post. I really feel that you hit the nail on the head with your analysis.

    Expanding on a point mentioned in the article: local imams being able to adapt to the responsibilities of religious leadership in this country is critical to resolving this issue. In many Muslim majority countries, the role of an imam is almost exclusively masjid-centric: leading prayers is the crux of what they are asked to do, with few obligations beyond that. In America, Imams are being called on to counsel families, engage in interfaith dialogue, interact with youth, and speak to the variety of socio-cultural challenges facing us as a community. Unfortunately, many are simply ill-equipped to take on such responsibilities and have had little to no training in the aforementioned areas.

    Another point to consider is one of sacrifice. Though we disagree 100% with their positions, no one can deny the fact that many radical clerics have made major sacrifices in espousing their worldview. Someone like Awlake, for example, was fairly popular in the US before his recent metamorphosis, and had he moderated his worldview and worked with existing Muslim institutions, I think its fair to say that he’d be a major draw at any conference and would hold a sizable following. Instead, he chose the path he did, and only Allah knows how he survives day-to-day. Compare that to many leading religious personalities/institutions whose motives can be read in to, coupled with an unwillingness to critique the existing political establishment in any meaningful way, and the perception of who’s more sincere goes to the radical camp, especially for disaffected youth.

    I believe a good first step would be to re-engage our Muslim Organizations to connect with the grassroots and create for them an outlet to voice their concerns. There was a time in which rallies were heavily attended and supported by every major Muslim Organization, and although we can differ over the efficacy of such efforts (I personally dont find them that effective), it is an outlet for the community to engage constructively and voice their outrage over injustices.

    These are just a few thoughts, and I pray that Allah guides our leadership in addressing the variety of challenges they are facing. Ameen. And Allah Knows Best.

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  14. anon

    I had this long drawn out paragraph, but the Shaikh mentioned it …

    “It is an awkward position to be in; for some, it appears to be a hopeless battle. How can one simultaneously fight against a powerful government, a pervasive and sensationalist-prone media, and a group of overzealous rash youth who are already predisposed to reject your message because they view you as being a part of the establishment (while, ironically, the ‘establishment’ never ceases to view you as part of the radicals)?”

    May Allah protect and guide us and you, May Allah strengthen us and you, and May Allah reward us and you. May He bless the transmission of knowledge and protect the duaat from those who cut, paste and imprison for a ‘samanan kaleela’ (a small price). Ameen, Ameen, Ameen…

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  15. SEYFETTÄ°N

    BismillaharRahmanirRahim

    “What was it in the message of this Yemeni-American that had caused him to ignore the message and methodology of the many teachers that he interacted with at the AlMaghrib retreat?”

    Indeed, this is the question I too would like to know. Anyone have any ideas?

    The external factor is an almost total absence of voices from within mainstream Islam (of all varieties: Sufis, Salafis, Deobandis, etc.) that speak to and address the concerns and issues that resonate with the Muslims most prone to extremism.

    I agree that there is an “almost total absence of voices” but there are voices. Perhaps, those voices are not approaching like reactionary college professors (or adjunct professors) by merely trailing every issue with an anti-polemic.

    Perhaps those voices are in-fact addressing REAL issues within these people hearts and minds, that would eventually lead them to make different choices than the former AlMaghrib student. If this were the case and the action of the concerned voices were – dare I say – preemptive with respect to support, help and real solutions, I think the discourse would NOT resemble much of what these young men have previously been presented across the board. I think it would be a different discourse than what they’ve been exposed to, which seems an obvious observation really.

    Just my thoughts, take it or leave it.

    -SEYFETTÄ°N

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    • sunni

      Yes, of course, we should all join the naqshbandi cult in New York, where everyone sings kumbaya and pays homage to moulana, including sajdahs to him (as caught in photos that were later “copyright” extracted by one yursel).

      Same yursel who wrote same old tirade blaming “the wahaabis” for all evil. He forgets the fact that sufi heritage belongs to militants (just and unjust) all over world (chechnya, kashmir) and then there are shia militant like hezbollah. So r they all wahaabis? Even if you look at history, this ridiculous notion that wahaabis are the problem is so boring and so inaccurate, that the one who says it is only a beggar for attention. Basically begging non-muslims to please love us sufis because we r the good guys. Wahaabis might have done wrong in one area, but to use the divide and rule RAND type thought process, will only make matters worse. This is nonsense and reflects lies on our proud sufi heritage of all muslim defending their lands whenever there was righteous cause.

      i like this article as it is neutral to anything sufi, salafi, or whatever. The kids that are going extreme, are all OUR kids, and we have to save them. Because when they paint one, they paint as muslim, not as sufi or salafi or whatever.
      -proud sunni

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      • yursil

        1) what a lame attack. no one was making sajdah.. it was the same as this hadith

        Hadith No. 976 : Suhayb said, “Ali kissed the hand and feet of al-Abbas.” (al-Abbas was Ali’s uncle). – Adab al -Mufrad.

        2) you complain about divide and conquer and yet you are doing the same against muslims you don’t like. :/

        3) ‘militancy’ is not the inherent problem by itself. countries have militaries. its individualism and disconnection from legitimate religious authority, which is the problem here.

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      • SEYFETTÄ°N

        BismillaharRahmanirRahim

        “we should all join the naqshbandi cult in New York”

        This is hubris and slander. Yet expected by mu’min of the Ahir Zaman (the End Times), right? Throughout history we’ve seen Jews label Christians, Christians – most recently in America – calling Islam a cult. So now the circle is complete now Muslims are siding with Jews and Christians calling other Muslims names. Astaghfirullah.

        Holy Prophet said, “You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you inch by inch and step by step so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also.”

        May Allah Almighty keep us far from that fate. Amin.

        -SEYFETTÄ°N

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      • Ibn Mikdad

        I’ll give you one very good reason there’s so much radicalism among Muslims. Sufism. It drives people insane.

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      • Mesut

        @Sunni and Ibn Mikdad

        Your hatred is what drives radicalism. It is the fact that you have been brainwashed to the extent that you would condemn an entire group of Muslims seeking to live according to the Laws of Allah (SWT) and the Sunnah of His Rasool (AS) with the cheapest of insults that leads to mentalities that would allow for the bombings of places like the resting places of Awliya Allah.

        Get off your high horses. Our Mashaikh had a balanced view of the “internal” and “external” factors that Yasir is talking about. Shaykh Shamil, one of the greatest warriors of Islam, was a Naqshbandi. Shaykh Uthman Dan Fodio was of the Ahlu-Sunnah and a follower of Tasawwuf. Shaykh Amadou Bamba, one of the greatest warriors against the French occupation, was the founder of a Tariqa. These men were honorable fighters who lived and died for Islam. And they are our example.

        In our Way we are often told that the Muslim man is incomprehensible to the Western mind because he is capable of waking up in the morning and make his devotions, go out to the field to fight battle, and then come home to play with his children and produce the most beautiful calligraphy. Perhaps such a Muslim is incomprehensible to you as well. Best of luck.

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      • Ibn Mikdad

        “It is the fact that you have been brainwashed to the extent that you would condemn an entire group of Muslims seeking to live according to the Laws of Allah (SWT) and the Sunnah of His Rasool (AS)…”

        Using pious words cannot obscure the reality of your silly, but dangerous, deviation. Neither this, this, this nor this is “accroding to the Laws of Allah (SWT) and the Sunnah of His Rasool (AS)”.

        “Shaykh Uthman Dan Fodio was of the Ahlu-Sunnah and a follower of Tasawwuf. Shaykh Amadou Bamba, one of the greatest warriors against the French occupation, was the founder of a Tariqa. These men were honorable fighters who lived and died for Islam. And they are our example.”

        Most latter-day sufi anti-colonial movements were either defeated (think Emir Abdulqadir, Umar Mukhtar and Imam Shamil) or successful for a relatively short period of time (like the movement of Shaykh Uthman Dan Fodio). While admire these men despite the differences Ahlussunnah have with their understanding of Islam, it is exactly their rooting in sufism, and acceptance of innovation, that created the historical conditions due to which they eventually lost.

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      • Mesut

        BismillahirRahmanirRahim

        Your ignorance is actually funny. So is the fact that you’re sitting behind a keyboard and criticizing those whose blood was spilled in the way of Allah. As to the various videos on Dhikr, it’s pretty easy to look up “Sufi+Bidah+Crazy” on YouTube and then post the results here, isn’t it? Look up “Wahhabi+Homo+Kafir” you get some pretty ridiculous results there too. It doesn’t constitute an argument though.

        Do you fail to recognize that the Ottoman Sultanate, which was entirely based on the doctrine of Ahlu Sunnah wal Jamaa and engendered by a belief in Tasawwuf and respect of Awliya Allah was the longest lasting Muslim dynasty in history? But you probably think they were kafirs…

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      • Ibn Mikdad

        “Your ignorance is actually funny. So is the fact that you’re sitting behind a keyboard and criticizing those whose blood was spilled in the way of Allah. As to the various videos on Dhikr, it’s pretty easy to look up “Sufi+Bidah+Crazy” on YouTube and then post the results here, isn’t it? Look up “Wahhabi+Homo+Kafir” you get some pretty ridiculous results there too. It doesn’t constitute an argument though.”

        “Homo” plays no part in Sunni worldview. But being a D.J. or a cheerleader for bunch of possessed – looking people does in yours; actually, it’s a major part of your lifestyle (or the “shaykh’s” that is), so I’d say those videos are strong evidence for my claim of your deviation.

        “Do you fail to recognize that the Ottoman Sultanate, which was entirely based on the doctrine of Ahlu Sunnah wal Jamaa and engendered by a belief in Tasawwuf and respect of Awliya Allah was the longest lasting Muslim dynasty in history? But you probably think they were kafirs…”

        Kafirs? Astagfirullaah. Ottomans brought Islam to my country, and ruled it for more than 400 years. I think I have a good basic grasp of their understanding of Islam (which, due to Maturidism and sufism, was obviously not Sunni in the strictest sense). Again, using strong words in your sentences won’t make your argument stronger. Since the Second siege of Wienna in 1683. the Empire was in a visible decline; in other words, the last cca 300 years of the “longest lasting dynasty” was a period of a very long suffering, and sufis have to take much of the credit for it (but of course, don’t; how could they when their leaders claim to get direct instruction from the Prophet, s.a.w.s., himself?). For example, they killed one of the most able Grand Viziers the Empire ever had, Sokollu Mehmed Pasa. The list of their blunders is very long, but I think you get my point.

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      • Mesut

        BismillahirRahmanirRahim

        “Being a D.J. or a cheerleader for bunch of possessed – looking people does in yours; actually, it’s a major part of your lifestyle (or the “shaykh’s” that is), so I’d say those videos are strong evidence for my claim of your deviation.”

        None of the videos you posted above have anything to do with me or my Shaykh. If you want to know about him you can look at http://www.naksibendi.org. But if you want to talk about *my* Shaykh, then perhaps you should consider that he spilled his blood and marred his body fighting in the Way of Allah against the Christians who were invading Muslim land in Cyprus. Perhaps you should consider that since the 1970s he has been in America giving Shahadat to people to take them out of the despair of a life not lived in the way of Allah and His Prophet (AS). Who are you?

        Despite saying your effete “astaghfiullah” on my challenge to you about the Ottomans you still say they were not Sunni in the strictest sense. Again, who are you? The Ottomans were the Khulafa’ of this Ummah, the Shadows of Allah on Earth. Indeed, Sultan Mehmet Fatih was praised by the Holy Prophet (AS) in his Hadith. So who are you? Your against Sufism is so weak that you have to resort to the story of a mental retard to prove your claims. It was the Awliya Allah that kept the Ottoman Empire alive and strong. Your characterization of the end of the Empire demonstrates your lack of any knowledge regarding the Sultanate.

        Since you definitely will not listen to my words, here is a Hadith:
        “Anyone who demeans the Sultan will be demeaned by Allah.”- Tirmizi.

        Again, good luck.

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      • Ibn Mikdad.

        “None of the videos you posted above have anything to do with me or my Shaykh. ”

        But I suppose your “shaykh” behaves in a way that is radically different from what we’ve seen in the videos? Allah knows best, but I sincerely doubt it.

        “Despite saying your effete “astaghfiullah” on my challenge to you about the Ottomans you still say they were not Sunni in the strictest sense.”

        They weren’t. Maturidism is not 100% Sunni aqidah, and sufism is a well – known innovation. And both were adopted by the Ottomans, unfortunately.

        ” Again, who are you? The Ottomans were the Khulafa’ of this Ummah, the Shadows of Allah on Earth. Indeed, Sultan Mehmet Fatih was praised by the Holy Prophet (AS) in his Hadith. So who are you?”

        Typical sufi tactics; shutting doors to any questioning and discussion by appealing to authority (that actually isn’t). How could it be different, when what the “shaykh” says is the only thing that is valid and what matters? And by the way, the hadith you mention is of questionable authenticity; another typical sufi tactic: if there’s no authentic hadith to justify a belief, freely use a questioanble one.

        Another troubling aspect of the way you think is this “who are you” parroting. It shows that “who’s who” is the only thing that matters to you people. Personality cults, dynasties, lineages, “status” of this or that person, who’s a wali and who’s not. Kibr is your defining trait.

        “Your against Sufism is so weak that you have to resort to the story of a mental retard to prove your claims.”

        It was more of an illustration than “proof”. And after all, isn’t a good part of the case against sufism a case against mental retards?

        “It was the Awliya Allah that kept the Ottoman Empire alive and strong. Your characterization of the end of the Empire demonstrates your lack of any knowledge regarding the Sultanate.”

        I don’t know about you, but I live in a country whose Muslims are to this day suffering the consequences of the decline of the Ottomans. So I’m not in the least happy that it happened. But it doesn’t change the fact that it did happen, that someone messed up. As time went by, the influence of sufism in the Empire grew stronger. And not only that such development did not stop the decline of the Empire, the decline became more steep. Do the math.

        Throwing charges of “lack of knowledge” at me over and over again just shows that you don’t have anything substantial to say in your defense, only repetitions of Big Words and authoritarian demands for the respect of “Awliya”, “Shadows of Allah” and what not. So you might as well just cut it.

        “Since you definitely will not listen to my words, here is a Hadith:
        “Anyone who demeans the Sultan will be demeaned by Allah.”- Tirmizi.”

        Finally, resorting to correct methods and quoting a hadith. Unfortunately, for the wrong reasons. You misuse it to try to (again and again) shut the door to questioning of you deviation. And misconstruing my argument, which is not against this or that sultan, but against sufi ideology.

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      • Amad

        I am sorry Ibn Mikdad, but I am not sure why everything is blamed on sufis? I think I have read your stance re: sufis are the problem on 3 separate articles dealing with completely different topics.

        The problem is that it takes away from the focus and moves the issue into a completely different tangent that is totally unproductive.

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      • Mesut

        BismillahirRahmanirRahim

        “But I suppose your “shaykh” behaves in a way that is radically different from what we’ve seen in the videos? Allah knows best, but I sincerely doubt it.”

        You are right, Allah knows best. My intention in entering this fray was only to expose you and whoever made the Naqshbandi cult comment as the hate mongering ignorants that you are, and I think that I’ve accomplished that. Additionally, when you attack my Shaykh, an Awliya, or Tasawwuf in general, I will come back at you. Because it is Islam to defend the Truth against falsehood, no matter how much they hate it.

        “They weren’t. Maturidism is not 100% Sunni aqidah, and sufism is a well – known innovation. And both were adopted by the Ottomans, unfortunately.”

        Again, this flies in the face of the understanding of the majority of Ulema throughout time of what defines Ahlu Sunah wal Jamaa. Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama is defined by following one of the four madhahib and following one of the two schools of Aqidah. What you describe as Sunni Aqidah is in fact heresy. But it’s easy to think you’re right when you believe that the majority of Muslims in history simply weren’t “on the manhaj.”

        “Typical sufi tactics; shutting doors to any questioning and discussion by appealing to authority (that actually isn’t). How could it be different, when what the “shaykh” says is the only thing that is valid and what matters? And by the way, the hadith you mention is of questionable authenticity; another typical sufi tactic: if there’s no authentic hadith to justify a belief, freely use a questioanble one.

        Another troubling aspect of the way you think is this “who are you” parroting. It shows that “who’s who” is the only thing that matters to you people. Personality cults, dynasties, lineages, “status” of this or that person, who’s a wali and who’s not. Kibr is your defining trait.”

        As to the Hadith- it is not authentic because it doesn’t suit your argument. Playing with Hadith is playing with Fire. Again, good luck. Additionally, aren’t appeals to authority the basis for any argument in Islam? An appeal to the Quran is an appeal to Allah. An appeal to Hadith is an appeal to the Holy Prophet (AS). An appeal to a legal ruling is an appeal to a righteous scholar. I tremble to think that I would use my own logic or thinking to make a point without an appeal to a higher authority.

        As to “who’s who,” yes, Islam is based on “who’s who.” The Holy Prophet (AS) said to follow him, then his Sahabi, then the Tabieen, then the Tabi’ Tabieen, etc. This religion is based on following people, not books. But it is easier to follow a dead book than a living man because you can interpret it according to your own ego.

        “And after all, isn’t a good part of the case against sufism a case against mental retards?”

        This is juvenile.

        “I don’t know about you, but I live in a country whose Muslims are to this day suffering the consequences of the decline of the Ottomans. So I’m not in the least happy that it happened. But it doesn’t change the fact that it did happen, that someone messed up. As time went by, the influence of sufism in the Empire grew stronger. And not only that such development did not stop the decline of the Empire, the decline became more steep. Do the math.”

        I don’t know about you, but we are connected to the people who lived and breathed in the Ottoman Empire and whose ancestors were its bastions. We are dedicated only to bringing back the Khilafat and the Sultanate, not living in a paradigm that is defined by Kufr. Additionally, it is your way and the fitna of Ibn Saud and Abdul Wahhab that helped to bring down the Ottomans, not Sufism. So perhaps you need to do the math.

        “Throwing charges of “lack of knowledge” at me over and over again just shows that you don’t have anything substantial to say in your defense, only repetitions of Big Words and authoritarian demands for the respect of “Awliya”, “Shadows of Allah” and what not. So you might as well just cut it.”

        Everything I say is substantial. I am not bringing cheap accusations against Sufis as mental retards or Sultans as outside of Sunnism. As to authoritarian demands for respect of Awliya, those come not from me but from Allah. As He says in Hadith Qudsi (which you will surely cut down as it does not suit your twisted theology), ” “Indeed I rage for My Awliya’ as the lion rages in war.” Be careful. As to Shadow of Allah, you are intelligent enough to know that this is the epithet for the Khalifatullah.

        “Finally, resorting to correct methods and quoting a hadith. Unfortunately, for the wrong reasons. You misuse it to try to (again and again) shut the door to questioning of you deviation. And misconstruing my argument, which is not against this or that sultan, but against sufi ideology.”

        I am sorry, I forgot that only you and your ilk understand the way that Hadith are quoted. And even then, you will change the wordings when it fits and you will cut them when they don’t fit. My bad.

        At the end of the day, Islam as you understand it is worlds away from the manner in which it has been traditionally understood by the majority of Muslims in this Ummah, not only today but throughout history. By the Ulema, the Awliya, the Fuqahaa, and the laypeople. And thus, in finality (because I have no interest in this discussion or this website, it was your insulting of the Friends of Allah that prompted me to enter here), I say to you: To you your religion, and to me mine. Because what you follow is unrecognizable as Islam. You are following a path that has no reverence for those we are told to revere, no submission to the temporal authority licensed by Allah, and no respect for those who paved the way for us to be Muslim today.

        I am trying to live according to this ayah, “And the servants of (Allah) Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, “Peace!”

        So, Ibn Mikdad: Salam!

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      • Ibn Mikdad

        Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu Amad,

        I know that this hans’t too much to do with the article, but sufi idiocy never fails to get me started. As for whether they’re to blame for everything; Muslim failure to behave in the right way is due to their failure to believe 100% correctly, and since sufism shares a lot of blame for the proliferation of false beliefs among Muslims, sufis my not be the only culprits, but they’re among the main ones.

        Wassalaam

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      • Ibn Mikdad.

        “My intention in entering this fray was only to expose you and whoever made the Naqshbandi cult comment as the hate mongering ignorants that you are, and I think that I’ve accomplished that.”

        Sufi disconnect from reality obviously can have a comforting function as well.

        “Again, this flies in the face of the understanding of the majority of Ulema throughout time of what defines Ahlu Sunah wal Jamaa. Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama is defined by following one of the four madhahib and following one of the two schools of Aqidah. What you describe as Sunni Aqidah is in fact heresy.”

        Hanbali aqidah is heresy? That’s new. “Through time”? Is that, as shaykh Yasir said in one of his lectures (this one I think), why Ibn Asakir, an Ashari who lived in the 12th century, had to defend his kalami madhhab from charges of innovation due to the fact that they were a minority at the time? Is that why Imam Ahmed forbade people from visiting Ibn Kullab, the forerunner of Ashari kalam, and Abu Harith al Muhasibi, a well know kalamist and sufi?

        “Additionally, it is your way and the fitna of Ibn Saud and Abdul Wahhab that helped to bring down the Ottomans, not Sufism. So perhaps you need to do the math.”

        Oh yes, if it weren’t for the Saudis, the Ottomans would nevere ever go down. Riiiight.

        “As to the Hadith- it is not authentic because it doesn’t suit your argument. Playing with Hadith is playing with Fire. Again, good luck. Additionally, aren’t appeals to authority the basis for any argument in Islam? An appeal to the Quran is an appeal to Allah. An appeal to Hadith is an appeal to the Holy Prophet (AS). An appeal to a legal ruling is an appeal to a righteous scholar. I tremble to think that I would use my own logic or thinking to make a point without an appeal to a higher authority.

        As to “who’s who,” yes, Islam is based on “who’s who.” The Holy Prophet (AS) said to follow him, then his Sahabi, then the Tabieen, then the Tabi’ Tabieen, etc. This religion is based on following people, not books. But it is easier to follow a dead book than a living man because you can interpret it according to your own ego.”

        I didn’t say it’s weak, I said it’s questionable since there’s a disagreement about it’s authenticity.

        Also, you might want to consider some characteristic of Mehmed Fatih before claiming that he was mentioned by the Prophet s.a.w.s. himselfs in a hadith. Didn’t Mehmed, despite his achievements, (re)institute fratricide “for the order of the world”? I.e., it turns out it’s possible to introduce a practice in which it is ok for a Muslim to kill his (blood ) brother Muslim, and to be praised by the Prophet s.a.w.s. in a hadith. Makes sense.

        As to the question of authority; first, whether we have to go back to the authority is besides the point; real question is who or what constitutes authority. A headbanger selling himself as an wali of Allah s.w.t. certainly doesn’t. Also, real Islamic authorities, those deriving their knowledge from the Qur’an and sunnah, don’t close the door to discussion simply by appealing to their sacredness as sufis do when their leaders are scrutinized. Their goal is not to make people stupid by prohibiting them to ask questions. It’s not they who have stated that “if you ask “why” you have committed kufr”.

        You completely miss my point with regards to the “who’s who” comment. You emphasize this issue not because your goal is to preserve knowledge, but because of your pride and desire to be considered great by the people and admired by them by either joining the ranks of “who’s who” or identifying with them. It’s all about kibr, and Islam is not based on kibr.

        “As to authoritarian demands for respect of Awliya, those come not from me but from Allah. As He says in Hadith Qudsi (which you will surely cut down as it does not suit your twisted theology), ” “Indeed I rage for My Awliya’ as the lion rages in war.””

        A true wali of Allah never claims wilaya for himself, let alone demands unquestioning respect from people because of it.

        “I say to you: To you your religion, and to me mine. Because what you follow is unrecognizable as Islam. You are following a path that has no reverence for those we are told to revere, no submission to the temporal authority licensed by Allah, and no respect for those who paved the way for us to be Muslim today.

        I am trying to live according to this ayah, “And the servants of (Allah) Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, “Peace!””

        Talking to me as if I’m a Qurayshi mushrik makes you look really composed and clear – minded. It just proves that years and years of “purification of the heart” by methods which have no origin in Qur’an and Sunnah also have no benefit whatsoever in terms of sanity and self – control.

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  16. The Thinking Muslim

    Excellent needed piece Ya Shaikh Yasir. JZK! I think many Muslim youth would really appreciate it if you could do a similar introductory article on Jihad and it’s proper understanding in the context of the modern world.

    Being a Muslim youth myself, it seems to me that we live in an information and education age now. Education and information has far a greater impact in a society than military nowadays. So I think that Muslims should today be engaging in Jihad intellectually. We should be making the word of Allah superior intellectually. Jihad is of many types and today, it seems to me, would be more affective via education, teaching, debating, dialogue not just at the local level but national and international levels as well.

    And having personally known some youth that are in jail now, I can attest to Shaikh Yasir’s points about having our local imams talk about the contraversial things facing the ummah in their khutbas and the appropriate response and of course gettng them married! It seems to me lots of youth are not getting the appropriate education on HOW to deal with the current affairs and are “googling” their thirst for answers which eventually leads them to close minded view websites which attracts them because they feel they are surrounded by close minded people due to the media constantly emphasizing “Us against them” mentality. Allah Knows Best.

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  17. Abdullah Ali

    I find it ironic that some of those criticizing this article seem to be falling into EXACTLY the same type of mentality that Sh. Yasir so clearly describes.

    These hot-heads need to calm down and think things through Islamicly and rationally.

    All of us are angry at what the US does. Just because we don’t believe in another extreme reaction of murder and killing, it doesn’t make us sell-outs. Maybe it takes more courage to not act in such a foolish manner.

    Abdullah

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    • IbnBatoota

      “I find it ironic that some of those criticizing this article seem to be falling into EXACTLY the same type of mentality that Sh. Yasir so clearly describes. ”

      Akhi you took the words out of my mouth!! I mean if I wanted to see an example of such individuals rather than browsing the web all I have to do is scroll down in the comment sections!

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  18. Middle Ground

    Salam

    Mashallah very good article, well thought out for sure. A lot of things I want to say, will just say one for now. If Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallib felt so strongly about what is happening to the muslim ummah, why didn’t he try and mimic Rachel Corrie?

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  19. 1ummah

    I am just looking forward to what real “Solutions” Yasir Qahdi has for the Ummah according to the very Quran and Sunnah which is postulated in the article as the source that has been neglected. Is it exercising our “democratic” sentiments and getting invloved into the idea of voting to get the “lesser evil.” A point that was emphasised in the Ilm fest in toronto more of less, correct me If I am wrong.
    Instead of using any sort of criteria that I have devised or any sort of Argument based in islamic text interpreted by another scholar, I hold him accountable according Sh Yasir Qahdi’s own standards and reasoning.
    “To follow any sort of system other than the Shariah.” How do you plan to attian this? Through the very system you condemn in the video?

    What is the way forward. We want solutions. Please help us by providing one. Looking forward to your thoughts inshallah

    Yasir Qadhi – Fundamentals of Faith

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  20. Disappointed

    Assalamu alaikum

    I am a revert to Islam from 3 years approx. and I used to very much enjoy Sheikh Yasir Qadhi’s lectures on Tawheed such as “The Two Shahadas” which alhamdulillah brought me closer to practicing Islam and boosted my eman 100 times than what it was. I attended an almaghrib class with him and always wished that I could attend more almaghrib classes with the Sheikh.

    Recently I heard a lecture by Yasir Qadhi, that when I heard it I was disappointed to find that the content of it was in all honesty something I could have watched on the history channel, CNN or fox. My family and I traveled a pretty large distance to go see him talk about this topic when I was looking forward to a talk on dua and tawheed.

    Frankly, I don’t think muslims or ANYONE needs to be told about extremists and condeming actions 24/7 because we hear enough of it on tv. And as Yasir Qadhi you mentioned in your article how people take the Quran and Sunnah out of context. We need to hear more about the Quran and Sunnah and dua and tawheed even the non-muslims should hear. I speak for myself when I say that I am so disappointed with all the topics we can hear in a lecture or in an article from Islam, we choose to focus on this topic.

    I am a little bit biiter, yes and I realize that Yasir Qadhi is human and he is free to write about whatever he wishes. I just miss the times when Quran and Sunnah is what we are learning from him.

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    • The Thinking Muslim

      Wa salam bro,

      I would disagree akhee. I don’t think we hear enough of this stuff but have more stuff on the Quran and Sunnah than these topics. Shaykh Yasir already has numerous lectures, books, and even classes on this issue and other shaykhs as well. But topics like this are hardly ever even mentioned. As far as CNN and other sources you mentioned, then saying “Islam condemns terrorism” is not enough and is repetitive and really boring response. We need to understand why is it wrong? What is the refutation to those who say that it is ok? What is the evidence against the evidence of those who support it with evidence? Etc.

      These things may not be relevant to you but trust me there are many many other people to whom this is very important.

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      • Disappointed

        Sorry I forgot to mention I am a sister btw

        I am just going to clarify that I think this specific topic is of no use to people like me and most people. Overall, there are a handful of individuals who are brainwashed. But then what? Maybe if we teach our brothers and sisters Surah Fatiha so for example, people know and contemplate the meaning of “Guide us on the straight path…” instead of condemning actions and calling our brothers and sisters extreme it would do us more good. Maybe if we learn about the signs of the end of times, people will learn something more beneficial and hopeful for example.

        In case you haven’t noticed, there are more muslims who don’t pray, fast, give zakat, don’t think about going for hajj and just because there are “enough lectures on Quran and Sunnah” that all the Sheikh’s should drop it completely and focus on a smaller problem?

        Maybe if muslims and people in general learn about the Quran and Sunnah, this topic wouldn’t have to exist. I don’t think there is any excuse. The Quran and Sunnah can be applied in all situations and times and there is a remedy for everything in them.

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      • The Thinking Muslim

        Sorry sister to refer to you as “akhee.”

        I think most of us would still disagree and say that it is NOT a minor issue but a major one. And extremism is a problem amongst practicing Muslims mostly so it should be dealt with. And I especially wouldnt agree since I have 5 friends sitting in jail right now on terrorism charges. One of them was a fan of Yasir Qadhi’s “Quran and Sunnah” lectures that you are talking about but at the same time was a fan of Anwar Al-Awlaki’s militant view lectures. The main reason behind this being that no one talks about these kind of things so they get their answers from those who are talking about it but incorrectly (i.e. Anwar Al-Awlaki, etc.). You are free to disagree but we all have our own views based on our experiences, knowledge, and understanding.

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      • chemaatah

        But most Muslims living in the United States don’t know 5 people sitting in prison on terrorism charges. They’re trying to get through their work days, spend time with their families, pay their bills, and get their kids through school and college while at the same time striving to be the best Muslim they can be, and ensuring their wife and children do the same. Those are issues that resonate on a personal basis with Muslims far more than the anomalies of “radicalized” guys plotting the next terror attack. It’s important to address the issues that the shaykh does in this fine article, but at the same time the issue is getting borderline redundant. It’s almost like an American sitting home in Chicago, obsessing over the Ebola virus, while dismissing far more common ailments like heart disease or diabetes, because Ebola just sounds so much scarier and sensationalized, even though the chances of it affecting him are so remote. Sure there’s lots of information out there about Quran and Sunnah and all the basics. But people still need this knowledge, they need it refreshed and presented in new and meaningful ways that will resonate with them as society changes around them. They constantly need help with standing true to their ideals as Muslims while so many things around them change, because so often those society changes are not for the better. Those are far more common issues for Muslims than the occasional anomaly of radicals and extremists turning to terrorism.

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      • Yus from the Nati

        That might be a tempo-centric comment. Just because you have friends that have been involved in X doesn’t mean it’s a major problem. All in all, statistics does not even prove “homegrown radicalization” to a large extent. Realistically speaking, there are not youth going in droves to go “fight jihad”. Nonetheless, it IS an issue..just not such a conflated one as what perceives to be…that’s just my opinion.

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  21. Abu Sauleh

    Wow… for how long have we waited for someone to address this issue. Jazaak Allaah khayr Sh. Yasir for taking the initiative. May Allaah accept this effort from you.
    As you mentioned, this is but a first step. The ummah is in dire need of such a discussion, carried out by brave and honest scholars and students of knowledge. Only then can some of the smog of confusion we live in be dispersed.

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    • Uncle Tom

      The issue hasn’t been addressed. There are no solutions offered. Just obvious 1 sided judgements.

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  22. Farhan

    bismillah, alhumdu lillah wa salatu wa salaam ‘ala rasool Allah

    This article was bloody brilliant. I am glad you wrote this. Very glad. Keep up the good work and may Allah reward you and the MuslimMatter’s team with Jannah!

    My two cents, if I may:

    A) Our situation is terrible. As ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (RA) said, we should deal with our state like a fertile soil upon which our seeds of patience are planted. We should encourage others to have patience (Surah al-‘Asr) in these times. The problem is…patience is a very very unattractive message. It hurts. Hurts a lot.

    If we advice others to patience, I think we need to work on our language. I (think) I understand what it means to ‘accept the Qadr of Allah’, but using the word “accept” sounds very defeatist, almost apathetic. Maybe we can find a better expression? Also, have people recognize that going against the Shari’ah (ie terrorism) in this manor is a type of rejection of the Qadr.

    B) As Shaykh Waleed Basyouni pointed out in his “Reclaiming Islam from the Jihadists” talk, terrorists exist in the world of internet forums, copy-paste daleels, or youtube videos with a nice nasheed playing in the background of a military operation. We need to OPENLY and AGGRESSIVELY challenge the terrorist ideology at these places. I cannot imagine a radical would respond to pointing out problems in their Usool, he probably is not educated in Islamic law and will just call such ‘Ulema “scholars for dollars” and other internet buzz words. Perhaps they will respond to labels like Mubtadi (innovator), Ahl al-Bid’ah (the people of innovation), off the path, etc. Or will that just create a name-calling war? The bottom line is, challenge them THERE.

    C) The basis of their mentality rests in two factors: 1) Declaring Muslims munafiq, 2) Not recognizing the authority of the government in Muslim countries. Both of these have been addressed in ‘Aqidah al-Tahawiyya, a classical book of Islamic theology. He wrote:

    “We call the people of our qiblah Muslims and believers as long as they acknowledge what the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, brought, and accept as true everything that he said and told us about. ”

    So, even if we believe someone is a munafiq, we CANNOT say they are disbelievers, and must treat them as Muslims. Allah judges the hearts, not us.

    Secondly, al-Tahawi wrote:

    “We do not recognize rebellion against our Imam or those in charge of our affairs even if they are unjust, nor do we wish evil on them, nor do we withdraw from following them. We hold that obedience to them is part of obedience to Allah, The Glorified, and therefore obligatory as long as they do not order to commit sins. We pray for their right guidance and pardon from their wrongs.”

    So, declaring the government non-Muslim and then attacking them is absolutely haraam, according to Abu Ja’far al-Tahawi, a Sunni scholar from the earliest periods of Islam (I don’t think he is technically amongst the Salaf, but his teachers were)

    The problem is that some players within Salafism reject both points and declare others kaafir. Perhaps persistent fatawa in English will help combat this. Our own Shaykh Yasir Qadhi in his ‘Aqidah 101 class specifically said its wrong to do this. But, has this message gotten out? Clearly not…

    D) Bring people out of the world of “Internet Shaykhs” and to the masjid. Try to encourage them to work on building up the community. Focus on doing your part and NOT worrying about the results- Allah controls that. Break the mentality of “quick change”.

    E) Lastly, I think our ‘Ulema should openly mention the evils Shaykh Yasir mentioned in “The External Factor” paragraph two. But, talk about the beneficial ways of dealing with this. Point (A) and (D).

    ugh, I hate terrorism. They are the enemies of Islam. On a personal note, I’ve been accused by other Muslims of having that kind of mentality. My friends were questioned, who I hang out with, all that. Not by law enforcement, by other Muslims! I found it offensive and hurtful.

    btw, I don’t expect this article and its likes to get any sort of media coverage. After all, Muslims never speak out against radicalism, right?

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    • Abdullah

      So the ‘Imam’ al-Tahwai (rh) refers to as one we must obey and not rebel against applies to regimes installed and propped up by the kuffar like Mubarak’s in Egypt? C’mon, you have to be kiddin’!

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  23. ordinaryMuslim

    something is missing here..

    WHAT ABOUT THE PALESTINIANS AND THE CIVILIANS IN THE MIDDLE EAST who are witnessing their families being directly attacked, and bombed, every second of their life? WHAT POSITION should they take? Should they keep watching until the last person is shot in the head by the soldiers, and until their last inch of land is taken?

    it’s easy for us to say anything from this end, because we are not personally experiencing the bombs and the horrible atrocities that are being faced by our brothers and sisters in the other corner of the world.

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  24. Mahin F. Islam

    Assalaamu alaikum Shaykh,

    I am glad you wrote this piece and look forward to the continuation. One trend that is for certain is that the lines have been drawn with the militants in that they will not give credence to anything that you or other like-minded individuals write because many of them unfortunately have fallen into ‘group-thinking’. You can logically refute all you want but most of these brothers will not listen. May Allaah Guide Them and May He Guide Us. With that being said, this article was needed so that those on the fence can come to some grips with reality and also those of us who are clear in our position against illegal militancy can reinforce our understanding.

    Ibn Sireen said, “The religion is knowledge so look to you who take your religion from”. Maybe it would be appropriate to hammer home this point to refute the ‘scholars’ of militancy. Often when you ask a brother why ‘so-and-so’ is a scholar by asking him where he studied and whatnot you get a blank look and some vague response. (i.e. “sat in the circles of Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen”(where there are hundreds of students) turns into ‘He was a direct student of Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen’)

    Keep up the good work.

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    • Yus from the Nati

      Was thinking the same thing. This article is no way a refutation, or going to “convince” anybody since YQ is already a “sell-out”. However, I’m sure that wasn’t his purpose neither, was just to start the discussion.

      As far as solutions, I think there needs to be a serious academic discussion in the Fiqh of it with no bullcrap, in English. With devil’s advocate responses. Kind of like that in depth article about Music by the Canadian da’ee رحمه الله.

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      • Relwan Onikoyi

        Asalaamu Alaikum! I know this is slightly off topic, but which in depth article by which da’ee? Do you mind providing his name so I can look iy up? JazakAllahu khair!

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      • Yus from the Nati

        Here. You might be able to find a better/readable version elsewhere.

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      • Relwan Onikoyi

        Thanks for sharing the link, BarakAllahu feek!

        May Allah have mercy on him!

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  25. 1ummah

    I agree with Disappoiinted,
    The whole issue of the extremist/ modernist paradigm to divide Muslims into seperate camps sounds eerily like the RAND report found here http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR1716/MR1716.pdf
    National Security Research Division is a Government think-tank and some of their recommendations were as follows for rooting out “extremists” which essentially boils down to oppostion to US forirgn policy and maintainance of the status quo:

    • Support the traditionalists against the fundamentalists, by
    — publicizing traditionalist criticism of fundamentalist violence and
    extremism and encouraging disagreements between traditionalists and
    fundamentalists
    — preventing alliances between traditionalists and fundamentalists

    • Confront and oppose the fundamentalists, by
    — challenging and exposing the inaccuracies in their views on questions
    of Islamic interpretation
    — exposing their relationships with illegal groups and activities
    — publicizing the consequences of their violent acts
    — demonstrating their inability to rule to the benefit and positive development
    of their communities
    — targeting these messages especially to young people, to pious traditionalist
    populations, to Muslim minorities in the West, and to women
    — avoiding showing respect or admiration for the violent feats of fundamentalist
    extremists and terrorists, instead casting them as disturbed
    and cowardly rather than evil heroes

    Like I said in my previous email, we need to go beyond this extremist/ non extremist paradigm and discuss solutions and practical steps to remove politciol, economical and soical oppression in the Muslim world that intices youth to become “radical jihadists” in the first place.
    Just a thought.

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  26. 1ummajh

    Wow my post was deleted even though it was respectful in every manner. Why?

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  27. Amad

    A note on moderation:
    Please be patient if your comment doesn’t appear immediately. There are lots of word filters, esp if you had made comments in the past that got you on automod.

    Give your comment at least 24 hours before assuming the worst (Shaykh Yasir is kind of a busy guy as you can imagine). I believe that you will see a message that your comment is in moderation if its still under process. If you stop seeing that, and don’t see your comment, then you can pray salatul janazah over it :)

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  28. Rayhaan

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatallahi wa barakaatuh

    I would like to have some clarification on certain issues. The sheik have made reference to surah al anfal chapter 8 verse number 72 where Allah subhana wa ta’ala say:

    “Verily, those who believed, and emigrated and strove hard and fought with their property and their lives in the cause of Allah as well as those who gave (them) asylum and help, — these are (all) allies to one another. And as to those who believed but did not emigrate, you owe no duty of protection to them until they emigrate, but if they seek your help in religion, it is your duty to help them except against a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance; and Allah is the All-Seer of what you do.”

    In his tafseer, ibn katheer recorded the following:

    “Imam Ahmad recorded that Buraydah bin Al-Hasib Al-Aslami said, “When the Messenger of Allah would send a commander with an expedition force or an army, he would advise him to have Taqwa of Allah and be kind to the Muslims under his command. He used to say,

    (Fight in the Name of Allah, in the cause of Allah. Fight those who disbelieve in Allah. When you meet your Mushrik enemy, then call them to one of three choices, and whichever they agree to, then accept it and turn away from them. Call them to embrace Islam, and if they agree, accept it from them and turn away from them. Then call them to leave their area and come to areas in which the Muhajirin reside. Make known to them that if they do this, they will have the rights, as well as, the duties of the Muhajirin. If they refuse and decide to remain in their area, make known to them that they will be just like Muslim bedouins, and that Allah’s law applies to them just as it does to all believers. However, they will not have a share in the war booty or Fai’ (booty without war), unless they perform Jihad along with Muslims. If they refuse all of this, then call them to pay the Jizyah, and if they accept, then take it from them and turn away from them. If they refuse all these ï´¿threeï´¾ options, then trust in Allah and fight them.)

    Muslim collected this Hadith.
    ===================================================================================

    So the issues here, and which is making me confused are as follows: From what the sheikh mentioned:

    In the context of the very verses that many militants use to justify their black-and-white understandings of wala wa-l-bara, one verse (8:72) specifically mentions that even if Muslims under attack ask for help, and reach out to you based on religious loyalties, you are not obliged to help them if that help will compromise your political alliances. Extrapolating from this, one can state that while American Muslims are with the Palestinians, Iraqis and Kashmiris in wanting freedom, safety and security for them, at the same time we cannot help them militarily if that help will compromise our own safety and the safety of our families and communities, or if such help would contradict our political alliances.

    I understand from this that the american muslims are not obliged to help the palestinians for the above stated reasons. Now, what if some body feels that he can help his brothers militarily( as he is not obliged does not mean he is prohibited), what is the ruling on that? As the verse pointed out, and from what ive understood, the americans are not obliged to help the afghans as there is a treaty between the american muslims and ‘america’. But can the afghans ask help from the european muslims against america? Can the palestinians ask help from the american muslims against the zionist jews? Can the somalis ask help from the arab peninsula against the African Union?

    As for the treaty, can someone please explain to me what is the effect on the treaty if if one party is killing the other party between whom there is the treaty?

    Is there a treaty between america and european muslims? if yes, what is the effect on the treaty, if america allies with the european countries to kill european muslims? In such a case, what is the ruling on an european muslim who want to help his brother in afghanistan?

    There are many more questions that demand answers from people specialised in this field.

    Jazaak Allah khair

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    • Tariq

      For the last part of your response, i did bring it up in my post (further up). Its not perfect, but the main point is that ‘contradicting your political alliances’ would mean you wouldn’t be able to help anybody, in non-Muslim AND Muslim countries. For your comfort :-) ill post it here:

      I did like some parts of the article and disagreed with others.

      Lets take a look:

      Extrapolating from this, one can state that while American Muslims are with the Palestinians, Iraqis and Kashmiris in wanting freedom, safety and security for them, at the same time we cannot help them militarily if that help will compromise our own safety and the safety of our families and communities, or if such help would contradict our political alliances. We can still help our suffering brethren in many other ways – for example, by educating our fellow countrymen regarding the dismal plight of these people and how our own government has been, many times, complicit in perpetuating or even causing such predicaments.

      Why cant we help them militarily. Before the 1967 war, the whole Arab world was against Israel, militarily and diplomatically. After the war, when they lost against Israel, their attitude began to change. Palestine today is surrounded by 4 countries and the Med. sea. The 4 coutries: Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebonon. Out of these 4 coutries, only the Shia Hezbollah in Lebonon does not actively prosecute its citizens if they choose to fight in palestine. Egypt, syria and lebonon– well we known where they lie. Egypt helped Israel by building the wall in Gaza, effectively sealing the people inside to Israeli brutality and routinely blows Gaza’s only lifeline-its underground tunnels. Jordan intelligence track down these ‘militants’, not only in palestine but in Iraq and Afghanistan too. Syria, heavily influenced by the secularist baathist ideology also prosecutes its citizens if they choose to help militarily in Palestine. So….., according to this article, we cannot contradict our political alliances and leave the Palestinians to their fate. Even if the Palestinians choose the dignity of fighting, where will the weapons come from?

      Only if people who contradict their political alliances and endanger their family and themselves by refusing to leave the Palestinian people to their fate, and help the Palestians including military help, will the Palestinians ever have a chance to fight Israeli brutality. And that’s what people are doing. Much of the weapons (or the few weapons) that Hamas has, comes from underground tunnels – call it smuggling if you like.

      Afghanistan and Iraq lie in similar situations. Iraq is surrounded by also Egypt and Jordon, and Saudi and Iran, Kuwait and Turkey. Iran is the only country where your political alliances would not be contradicted. Saudi has a despicable relationship with the US government, and track down any ‘militants’ who plan to go to Iraq, then base their intelligence in Iraq to help the Americans! Turkey – even though the prime minister is better than before, the core policies are as secular as possible – its part of Nato. Kuwait. Kuwait is THE military base of the Americans in the Middle east. So, we also leave Iraq to its fate and refuse to support them militarily or by allowing brave Muslims to help their brethren.

      Afghanistan – please do your research before posting useless, sectarian and inaccurate comments on the region. The comments above tell the truth – there is almost no difference on how the American invasion is playing out, and how the Russian invasion played out – and this including the drug trade, violence, and the unfortunate mistreatment of women (much of it exaggerated, or simply accusing the wrong party). But we still support their resistance. The taliban on their part are much unified than the Afghan resistance was during the soviet times, and the iraqi resistance – the latter many times turning their guns on each other. Here is the taliban statement : http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/07/20097278348124813.html
      and back in 2001: http://articles.cnn.com/2001-09-16/us/inv.binladen.denial_1_bin-laden-taliban-supreme-leader-mullah-mohammed-omar?_s=PM:US …………………note when he said “the current leader [Mullah Omar] does not allow me to carry out such operations”
      And surrounding Afghanistan are countries than help the Americans and jail their people for helping the resistance.

      And Chechnya. I’m not commenting on Chechnya. Connect the dots and you’ll start to see a general picture.

      However, there is hope – and that hope is symbolized in a shaheed (inshallah) called Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai from Pakistan (Pathan belt). Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai was a person who the Pakistani govt sought help from quite often (before his martyrdom in 2004) to disperse mobs that were intent on creating chaos because of pakistani foreign policy in Afghanistan (this was in 2001, you can imagine the rage). And you know what – people, including militants, mobs and all of the other hullabaloo – listened to him. Why? He was outspoken in his views on the Afghani resistance against the Americans. He spoke the truth, even in the face of sacrificing and contradicting his political alliances, his family and his own life (he was gunned down, along with his son, by unidentified gunmen). The Pakistani goverment, despite helping American with its ‘war on terror’ still routinely asked for his help: and people listened to him . He easily calmed young men and their ‘high testosterone levels’, but would direct their energies not in fighting the Pakistani govt and its people, but the occupiers in Afghanistan – all the while contradicting their political alliances. Now in 2010, there’s no Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, and the problem has only become much worse.

      No khilafa=no holy war? Please. How is the mahdi going to establish the khilafa if their cant be any Jihad in the first place? Would that mean 1980′s afghani jihad, wasnt a jihad? Or the 1990′s wars in bosnia and chechnya? or the current conflict in Palestine and iraq?

      On the other hand, for the Afghans, they do have a leader whom they consider khalifa, or Amir ul Mu’mineen (he is clear that this title refers to the Afghans only); Mullah Mohammed Umar.

      And yes, he’s human – meaning he is imperfect.

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  29. Let's Not Close the Doors

    Must we ALL agree with what is written by our dear Shaykh Yasir?

    I don’t think that would be a very realistic or productive dialogue. I’m sure not all of our awesome scholars of the west or of the Muslim lands would agree with this.

    This is open for discussion. Remember it’s not black and white. It’s not us vs. them. It’s not your either with us or against us. …….. (us refering shaykh yasir and MM of course!)

    So let’s remember that difference of opinions can be valid. There can be multiple VALID opinons acroding to the rules of figh and usul.

    Just a reminder to not alienate other perspectives, inshaAllah.

    P.S.: I am not “hatin” on the shaykh or calling him a “sellout”. I have learned and continue to learn much from our dear shaykh yasir.

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  30. Faris

    Asalaamu ‘Alaykum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuhu

    Imam Anwar has clearly mentioned in interviews that he DID NOT order AbdulMutallib to do the attack, so the part in this article saying he did is a slander. Its seems that the author prefers the words of his beloved government over the words of his Muslim brother.

    Its funny how he mentions Malcom X (rh) speech without realising he fits the exact description of ‘house-negro’ as described by him. Its like he watched that to learn exactly how a house-negro should behave.

    And just for record,I will never support those who target non-combatants and I dont buy into Awlakis new extreme views (i.e. regarding paying taxes making one a combatant). But a scholar holding one or two extreme views doesnt make him an extremist, if that was the case then even Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen (rh)- for he also believed in equal retaliation even if its on civilians- would be regarded as extremists. What happened to take the good and leave the bad? It seems that principle only applies if ‘our government’ agrees with it.

    And since when did new Western (American) Islam = Orthodox Islam…

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    • Amad

      Sh. Ibn Uthaymeen is also the same one who attacked suicide bombing, saying such a bomber will be in the hell-fire. Taking his one strange opinion, may Allah reward him for all the good he has done and forgive him for his few mistakes, over the corpus of his works which is as from the extremist methodology as the sun from the earth, is a typical weak tactic.

      As for the issue itself, it is refuted by an ijma’ that women and children who are civilians are not to be harmed. If we start following every scholar in his mistake, we’ll have a completely different religion (as YQ mentioned in the article). Another interesting factoid is that the keyboard jihadists are so devoid of scholarly quotations, that you will keep hearing the same fatwa/lines over and over again. You can’t find an argument on jihad where they don’t bring this up and that just shows that their fatwa-bank is so limited that they have to put to good use anything that helps a really perverted view that any Muslim can clearly see as being totally off. Other than this one issue that they love to bring Ibn Uthaymeen into, they will hardly mention him, except in the light of being a government scholar and all the other slander they do of anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

      Refutation Regarding the Targeting of Women and Children
      After mentioning the fatwa of Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymin in which he deems it permissible to target the women and children of the disbelievers in retaliation, Shaykh Abu Basir said:
      1 – The principles of the Shar’i texts indicate that a man is not to be taken to account for the sins of others, as in the Saying of Allah: {“…and none shall carry the burdens of another…”} [al-An’am; 16]

      2 – The Shar’i texts have stringently forbidden targeting the children and women of the polytheists with any type of killing or fighting, no matter what the reasons and causes for doing so, as in the hadith reported by al-Bukhari and others, and narrated by Ibn ‘Umar, that a killed woman was found by the Prophet in one of the battles, and the Prophet forbade the killing of women and children.

      3 – Despite the numerous wars and battles that were fought by the Prophet, his Companions, the Tabi’in who followed them in good from the first three generations – whose virtue was borne witness to by the Prophet – and despite the many wrongdoings and oppressions that the Muslims of these blessed early generations faced, it is not known that either the Prophet, his Companions, or the Tabi’in ever intentionally killed the children or women of the polytheists!

      4 – Children are not to be killed, because according to the Shari’ah, they are pure souls, and are upon the pure fitrah.

      5 – The noble verse that was used as proof: {“…So, whoever transgresses against you, transgress in a similar manner against him…”} [al-Baqarah; 194] does not contain evidence for what it was being used for.

      6 – Regarding this statement that has been put forth despite its strangeness and weakness: it is not from proper wisdom or the politics of the Shari’ah to act upon it in our times, or to circulate it.

      More on here

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    • Uncle Tom

      Actually Awlaki himself said in a video interview that he ordered Abdul Mutallib..I don’t want to link the video here but I am sure you will be able to find it.

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      • Son of Adam

        As-salaamu ‘alaikum. Perhaps you should link the interview because in the one I’ve seen he says that he only SUPPORTED what he did, not that he ORDERED him to do so.

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  31. AbdulRahman

    How I respond to those influenced by radicalism:
    The Shi’a may be right when they say there is a lack of love of the Prophet’s family among us, but that doesn’t mean I should become a Shi’i.
    Sufis may be right when they say we don’t talk about tazkiya enough, but that doesn’t mean I should become a whirling dervish.
    And likewise a Jihadi may be right in saying that we don’t complain enough about the West, but that doesn’t mean I should slaughter undeserving people.

    The journey Sheikh Yasir speaks of begins now even by patiently reading the responses in the comments by our angry brothers. Just as Sheikh Yasir said, we need to speak out, and by speaking out we need to address the questions about jihad that they have. It truly is a tough job, I personally find it too disheartening to read their comments, but someone has to do it, and may God grant Sheikh Yasir the perseverance it takes to continue on this path. Ameen.

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    • Middle Ground

      Salam

      great comments bro, I think you really hit the mark with what you said!

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      • Abdullah

        What is up with you people calling them “angry”? They used to be called Freedom fighters. And everyone supported them because Mighty America supported them. The they became fundamentalists, then they became extremists, then they became terrorists. What bakwaas!

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  32. Muslimah

    Great article Sheikh, looking forward to the rest of the series. This is a serious issue, and insha’Allah it opens the doors for open and frank discussion. It is about time we face these difficult questions.

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  33. Amir (MR)

    There needs to be a contemporary comprehensive study on Jihad (not the Jihad-un-Nafs but Jihad-us-Saif) of which the majority of scholars can agree upon. It probably won’t happen, but I just wanted to mention this thought.

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    • MuslimaCA

      I agree, but how. How can anyone in this day and age even try to come close to teach us this.

      You will just get sent off to a remote prison JUST for us Muslims. Isn’t it just sweet?
      AND
      You will get picked up even if your ill with cancer just like Sh. Dremali, may Allah make it easier for him and his family.

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      • Amir (MR)

        We also said this at that CAIR Meeting on Muslim Youth and Radicalization with Imam Johari. Remember? Haha good times bro. Are you still in the area are you back in the Nati?

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      • MuslimaCA

        “CAIR Meeting on Muslim Youth and Radicalization with Imam Johari”

        How did that go? We are thinking of having something like this out here in the Bay Area.

        Any tips to make something like this successful would be greatly appreciated as well.

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  34. MuslimaCA

    “I have no doubt that Umar AbdulMutallab saw a level of academic excellence at AlMaghrib that he would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the Western world. I also have no doubt that he was highly impressed with the scholastic content of our seminars. However, in the end, what was important to him was not what he saw, but what he didn’t see. And what he didn’t see was an exposition and condemnation of the role our own countries play in spreading terror around the world. What he didn’t see were explicit solutions being offered in light of the current situation of the Ummah.

    In other words, what he didn’t hear was a discourse regarding the current political and social ills that he felt so passionately about, and a frank dialogue about the Islamic method for correcting such ills.”

    I honestly dont think he was even thinking about such crazy ideas then.

    Has anyone watched the movie Syriana?

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    • MuslimaCA

      …opps I didnt press submit what happened?

      Anyways, in the movie it was some workers who were recently laid off that met a shaykh and he slowly convinced them to bomb that American ship.

      I dont think extremist would ever be attracted to AlMaghrib, he must have been “groomed” a few months before that December. We could have been a possible detterent but its not AlMaghrib or its shuyook or even its peers job to sway the thinking of every student.

      Just my 2 cents. My first initial thought was that he really didn’t do it, or at least mentally all together at the time (drugged, intoxicated purposely or forced). This is me being optimistics.

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  35. gohar

    In honesty, after reading article on living with manmade law by YQ, I lost some respect. Not saying that’s right or wrong, and nor do I wish to encourage the same response in others, but just that that’s how I felt. I’m sure people will say its only to my detriment, and although that may be true, if the author wishes to know way people are turned off from some scholars, it might be of some value.

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  36. Abdur-Rahman Syed

    As-salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah, Shaykh Yasir

    May Allah reward you for talking about this. It’s delicate terrain, but more people need to cover it.

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  37. Iesa Galloway

    “This young “victim” does not realize that the “victim-mentality” is not a motif of the Quran, nor do we find it ever verbalized in the seerah of our beloved Prophet. It is not a dignified mentality, and even if there are elements of truth in some portions of it, such an attitude does not befit a believer who believes in an All-Mighty Being who Hears and Sees all. Our Prophet sallallahu alehi wasalam suffered more at the hands of his detractors than any Muslim in our time, yet he maintained a moral dignity and an internal courage that would put to shame the entire paradigm of victim-mentality that these radicals espouse.”

    The victim mentality runs through all of us at different levels. Thank you Sheikh for this quote because we never believe that we have bought into this concept ourselves… Islam is all about self-responsibility. May Allah help us to improve and forgive us!

    Iesa

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  38. Tariq

    I did like some parts of the article and disagreed with others.

    Lets take a look:

    Extrapolating from this, one can state that while American Muslims are with the Palestinians, Iraqis and Kashmiris in wanting freedom, safety and security for them, at the same time we cannot help them militarily if that help will compromise our own safety and the safety of our families and communities, or if such help would contradict our political alliances. We can still help our suffering brethren in many other ways – for example, by educating our fellow countrymen regarding the dismal plight of these people and how our own government has been, many times, complicit in perpetuating or even causing such predicaments.

    Why cant we help them militarily. Before the 1967 war, the whole Arab world was against Israel, militarily and diplomatically. After the war, when they lost against Israel, their attitude began to change. Palestine today is surrounded by 4 countries and the Med. sea. The 4 coutries: Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebonon. Out of these 4 coutries, only the Shia Hezbollah in Lebonon does not actively prosecute its citizens if they choose to fight in palestine. Egypt, syria and lebonon– well we known where they lie. Egypt helped Israel by building the wall in Gaza, effectively sealing the people inside to Israeli brutality and routinely blows Gaza’s only lifeline-its underground tunnels. Jordan intelligence track down these ‘militants’, not only in palestine but in Iraq and Afghanistan too. Syria, heavily influenced by the secularist baathist ideology also prosecutes its citizens if they choose to help militarily in Palestine. So….., according to this article, we cannot contradict our political alliances and leave the Palestinians to their fate. Even if the Palestinians choose the dignity of fighting, where will the weapons come from?

    Only if people who contradict their political alliances and endanger their family and themselves by refusing to leave the Palestinian people to their fate, and help the Palestians including military help, will the Palestinians ever have a chance to fight Israeli brutality. And that’s what people are doing. Much of the weapons (or the few weapons) that Hamas has, comes from underground tunnels – call it smuggling if you like.

    Afghanistan and Iraq lie in similar situations. Iraq is surrounded by also Egypt and Jordon, and Saudi and Iran, Kuwait and Turkey. Iran is the only country where your political alliances would not be contradicted. Saudi has a despicable relationship with the US government, and track down any ‘militants’ who plan to go to Iraq, then base their intelligence in Iraq to help the Americans! Turkey – even though the prime minister is better than before, the core policies are as secular as possible – its part of Nato. Kuwait. Kuwait is THE military base of the Americans in the Middle east. So, we also leave Iraq to its fate and refuse to support them militarily or by allowing brave Muslims to help their brethren.

    Afghanistan – please do your research before posting useless, sectarian and inaccurate comments on the region. The comments above tell the truth – there is almost no difference on how the American invasion is playing out, and how the Russian invasion played out – and this including the drug trade, violence, and the unfortunate mistreatment of women (much of it exaggerated, or simply accusing the wrong party). But we still support their resistance. The taliban on their part are much unified than the Afghan resistance was during the soviet times, and the iraqi resistance – the latter many times turning their guns on each other. Here is the taliban statement : http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/07/20097278348124813.html
    and back in 2001: http://articles.cnn.com/2001-09-16/us/inv.binladen.denial_1_bin-laden-taliban-supreme-leader-mullah-mohammed-omar?_s=PM:US …………………note when he said “the current leader [Mullah Omar] does not allow me to carry out such operations”
    And surrounding Afghanistan are countries than help the Americans and jail their people for helping the resistance.

    And Chechnya. I’m not commenting on Chechnya. Connect the dots and you’ll start to see a general picture.

    However, there is hope – and that hope is symbolized in a shaheed (inshallah) called Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai from Pakistan (Pathan belt). Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai was a person who the Pakistani govt sought help from quite often (before his martyrdom in 2004) to disperse mobs that were intent on creating chaos because of pakistani foreign policy in Afghanistan (this was in 2001, you can imagine the rage). And you know what – people, including militants, mobs and all of the other hullabaloo – listened to him. Why? He was outspoken in his views on the Afghani resistance against the Americans. He spoke the truth, even in the face of sacrificing and contradicting his political alliances, his family and his own life (he was gunned down, along with his son, by unidentified gunmen). The Pakistani goverment, despite helping American with its ‘war on terror’ still routinely asked for his help: and people listened to him . He easily calmed young men and their ‘high testosterone levels’, but would direct their energies not in fighting the Pakistani govt and its people, but the occupiers in Afghanistan – all the while contradicting their political alliances. Now in 2010, there’s no Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, and the problem has only become much worse.

    No khilafa=no holy war? Please. How is the mahdi going to establish the khilafa if their cant be any Jihad in the first place? Would that mean 1980′s afghani jihad, wasnt a jihad? Or the 1990′s wars in bosnia and chechnya? or the current conflict in Palestine and iraq?

    On the other hand, for the Afghans, they do have a leader whom they consider khalifa, or Amir ul Mu’mineen (he is clear that this title refers to the Afghans only); Mullah Mohammed Umar.

    And yes, he’s human – meaning he is imperfect.

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    • Sir

      I think the first paragraph in your post is part of Shaykh Yasir’s article. You should have italicized it. Good post though.

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  39. gohar

    With so much condescension and rhetoric, I don’t see how this article is meant to persuade anyone with a critical and thinking mind of their own.

    Kind of ironic, I suppose.

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    • ivoryTower

      You’re all missing the point.

      This article is not intended to persuade or guide anyone, as is apparent from the condescending and sarcastic tone (actually it seems YQ started to get high on testosterone himself towards the end). These are not the manners of someone offering sincere advice.

      The point of this article is to establish YQ’s crendetials for whatever agency usually monitors these blogs.

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  40. Yus from the Nati

    ما شاء الله. Excellent piece.

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  41. Tariq

    Sorry guys, especially the moderator for unfair accusations. My comment was NOT deleted.

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  42. Amjhad

    I really believe Shaikh yasar has changed alot, haven listened to his previous talks and his recent
    ones, One can’t but feel a changed tone, and direction. i challenge any one to this point!
    I once did and still do listen, to the shaikhs talks, but they do not touch me emotionaly as before.
    The point is if a brother trys to makes a point automatically he is labelled as “Angry, radical and orther such labels”
    I thought we were supposed to have a open debate.
    Question Ya shaikh Yasar do u believe there is any geninue Jehad happening in the world today?
    important becuase if you want to talk about this subject then these questions must be answered! ortherwise it hollow speech. But can u really answer this living in the west! honestly.

    Question what do the scholars of the land say where this aggression is happening? there opinions must be heard, from a honest open heart

    The shaikh Yasar said when asked about the niqab issue of france. what should the muslims do ?
    he said ” you should ask the muslims scholars of France” and he would not be drawn into the issue even though the issue was such a great importance. the shaikh not even giving generals words of support!! to the muslims of France in this particular talk. Even though i was quite shocked with his responce.
    the logic followed by the shaikh was ask the scholars of the land!
    But how on earth! can he comment so freely on issue of afghanistan, Iraq and orther attacked musim lands, should he not leave it to the scholars of the land who know the situation better! is this not a logical point which the shaikh made himself.
    i really beleive we need brave scholars, wareho speak the truth and do not fear the Blame of the Blamers!
    This ummah is one ummah.
    As muslim we have many many mistakes, no doubt but the one who should take most of the blame are scholars and leaders, who by not giving proper direction to the ummah have caused these fitnah to increase
    I do not intend to intentionaly hurt or say anything bad, if it cames out bad what i say here
    I ask Allah to forgive me.

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    • firoz

      Assalaumalaikum ya Shaikh and JazakAllah for your eloquent article.

      With regard to the fact that you condemn ‘radicals’ trying to take out civilians and explain how the get to where they get , we are with you but isnt it also wrong to say that all the mujahids engaged in battle today (fighting american forces in iraq,afhan etc) have got it wrong ? Although some of them stray from the shariah of warfare in islam killing civilians in the process , does that negate the cause ?

      I understand that muslim history,just like any other civilisation is also marred by internal issues and not always as rosy as some scholars convey it to be but how does that again belittle the feats of umar and salahuddin and what inspired them !?

      Umar farooq might have been an overzealous radical but the tone of your article ya sheikh encompasses everybody in the same boat , including the mujahids who might be fighting a legitimate jihad !

      The victory and status of the muslims depends firstly on how pious and close they are with Allah and a lot of introspection has got to be done by muslims in this regard to get there and maybe we do need a few clerics who speak the truth” and “fear none amongst men,” to get there !

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  43. BM

    A very good article. Below are my humble comments/observations:

    01. The concept of Jihad is simple to me. Has it ever happened that the Messenger of Allah took a sword, went to the streets of Madina or the bazaar of Madina, and started killing the non-Muslims there? He never did so. The Messenger of Allah only killed non-Muslims when they attacked Muslim lands.

    02. I agree with the following comment of brother Omar:

    Very detailed and intelligent analysis mashaAllah, though the overall tone shuns, scourges and ridicules radicals far more than it does brutal American policy, which is criticized in a more rational tone. This ridicule will only drive radicals further away from mainstream.

    This is very true. I expected a more authoritative tone from Sheikh Yassir Qadhi. Why? Because we are Muslims, the chosen people of Allah. I do not necessarily want to see angry rhetoric directed towards disbelievers, I just do not like meek voices from the scholars. Because at the end of the day, disbelievers should not be setting the agenda for the Muslims, the Muslims should set the agenda themselves. We work for not to please the disbelievers, but rather to please Allah.

    03. I personally do not believe in labels like moderate, conservative, fundamental, or extreme. There can be only truth or falsehood. Like if a Muslim today believes that killing innocent people is the way to Jannah, I would say that he or she has got the concept of Jihad wrong. Instead of labeling him, I would send him/her to a scholar so that he or she gets the correct knowledge of jihad.

    04. Also the issue of label is a tricky one. By label I do not mean Shia-Sunni. Because when I say Muslim, I refer the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamah, the sole non-deviant group. I personally hate labels like moderate, conservative, fundamental, or extreme, which have been invented by the kuffars to make Muslims divided. This is a truth, whether you agree with me or not. That is why, today we see that the wife of the imam of the controversial Islamic center in ground zero appears like a Christian lady, without any hizab in TV, and claims that Islam can have many different interpretations like liberal, moderate and such.

    Such labeling is a very dangerous thing in my humble opinion, because it opens the door of making unlawful things lawful and vice-versa, which is exactly the reason why Christians and Jews have deviated from the straight path.

    05. While this article is a very good one, I am personally very careful so that my heart does not incline towards disbelievers even in slightest possible manner. We should remember that a Muslim, be he or she is the worst possible criminal, is still better in the sight of Allah than a disbeliever. Because there can no greater crime in the face of this earth then denying Lord of the Alamin and His Honorable Messenger Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). By saying this, I, by any means, neither do encourage Muslims to commit crimes nor do I defend Muslims who have committed crimes or have killed innocent disbelievers. I am rather talking about the status of a person with Allah.

    06. One of the recent trends of the time we are living in is to keep religion within personal boundary. I think we Muslims have been greatly affected by this mantra. That is why when we talk about Islam, jihad especially, some non-Muslims claim that Islam is nothing but a political agenda. I do not care what non-believers say, but Islam is the deen of Allah that legislates your personal, marital, societal, political, international–every aspect of life. Yes, my religion commanded me to fight till the whole world is ruled according to the laws of Allah and His Messenger. Now, personally I am not afraid or embarrassed to say this in front of non-Muslims. At the same time, I do not believe that suicide bombing is the way to establish the law of Allah throughout the earth. What pains me however is the silence from the scholars about this issue in front of non-Muslims. I do not understand what are they afraid of. Are they embarrassed of the truth that the Messenger of Allah brought to us?

    07. I do not like the use of the phrase “our government” in the article. Yassir Qadhi could have used “American Government”. I personally never say “my government”, “my constitution” etc. I say government of country X or constitution of country Y. Because, I believe that a Muslim should only associate with what Allah and His Messenger has brought for us, and dissociate from everything else like democracy, country, nationalism or any man-made ideas. Islam is the sole identity of a Muslim, and a Muslim only gives allegiance to Allah and His Messenger. When you say “my government”, no matter how someone explains this, it actually, may be it is indiscernible, expresses your support or allegiance and creates division among Muslims. Our Messenger never said that he was an Arab Muslim. If you today claim that you are an American Muslim in front of a Muslim who is from a very poor country, he will instantly feel very distant from you, and will never get the feeling of true Islamic brotherhood from you.

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  44. Abdulsalaam

    Salaams to all,

    One quick point. Many people say that the ‘radicals’ only blame the west and never look at themselves or the problems generated by their own communities – whether in the western world or in the middle east etc. This is not true at all. If you actually take the time to read and try to understand the views of those who are often labeled as ‘radicals’ – BTW a term invented by non-muslims, they primarily blame themselves – i.e. the muslim community/ummah for having abandoned Islam as a complete way of life. This idea, actually a verifiable reality, if you think about how many muslims actually even pray, let alone practice Islam as it should be practiced, is a common theme that runs through almost every islamic school of thought and organisation. The differences are not really about the cause of the problem but how to solve it.

    Slms

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    • gohar

      Stop breaking the myth that they’re not all brainwashed stupid people without any intelligence or argument.

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  45. Kashif

    salaam aleikum,

    While there is much here that was well written and discussed, there is also much that clearly needs deeper study, reflection, introspection, and more importantly action/correction in order to have any kind of serious change or impact (if the author is really serious about the issue). The author clearly needs to understand:

    1. It is not simply the lack of “mainstream” “scholars” and “sheikhs” not saying anything about the sociopolitical reality around them but even more obscene are their blatant and overt actions endorsing the status quo, I refer specifically to some of the following:

    a. Co-operation by “sheikhs” and “scholars” with orientalists and the dictators and regimes in the Muslim world to subjugate Muslims:

    Subverting Islam: The Role of Orientalist Centers by Dr. Ahmad Ghorab

    Book also includes a chapter on the “Mecca Document” a fatwa produced in 1990 which was signed by all “mainstream” “sheikhs” both overseas and in North America endorsing the Saudi regime inviting 200,000 American soldiers in Iraq.

    b. the “fatwa” given by Qaradawi (on behest of the U.S. govt) claiming that it is perfectly halal for Muslims in the U.S. army to kill other Muslims overseas, brilliantly given context and mentioned in great detail of how Al Jazeera was used by the State Dept. to further propagate this fatwa in this book here.

    c. Open mention in the media of the intelligence and security services in Western countries of using “sheikhs” to further their own foreign policy goals and objectives in Muslim lands:

    i. RAND Corporation – Civil Democratic Islam, Partners, Resources, and Strategies

    ii. Heart, Minds, & Dollars: America is Spending Millions to Change the Very Face of Islam
    (U.S. News & World Report)

    III. Blair Government’s Strategy to Police Muslims Leaked

    2. “Sheikhs” and “Mainstream”/Celebrity “scholars” taking public stances for political posturing or self promotion at times of political crisis many times blatantly at odds with the shar’iah:

    a. “I am a Jew, I Have Always Been a Jew”

    b. Cheering and clapping alongside Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al whilst Bush makes the very same “with us or against us” proclamation later in his speech on Sept. 18, 2001.

    c. Smiling with a war criminal and the war criminal smiling right back

    3. These same “sheikhs” and “scholars” further going on to take money for their own deluded followers/groupies and organizations from governments who are openly fighting/killing Muslims in both Iraq/Afghanistan:

    Figures of Government Funding for Muslim Organizations Revealed
    ———-

    If you wish to “reach” disaffecteed and emotionally charged up Muslims who think that senseless violence is a solution to the sociopolitical problems plaguing Muslims today having a sound base of knowledge and more importantly a voice of ideological and political credibility would be the first place to start.

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  46. Abu Sanwan

    Ustadh Yasir could you please reply to the excellent comments made by Amjhad.

    Do you have the courage to answer the question posed by many Muslims who are affected with the same frustration as you mentioned and highlighted in your article, and that is:

    Question: “Is their legitimate physical Jihad in Afghanistan, Iraq or anywhere else in the world today?”

    Or will you reply with the standard, “Ask the scholars of that land.”

    If you do, it would seem a little hypocritical as you have already spoken at length and in great detail about issues affecting and surrounding these points.

    As long as the legitimate Western students of knowledge remain silent on these issues, the radicals will win over the hearts and minds of the Western Muslims.

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  47. aadil

    JazakhAllah Sh. Yasir for an excellent piece.

    May Allah (SWT) reward you for your efforts.

    I too am looking forward to part 2

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  48. Ibn Zawaar

    as-salaamu ‘alaik wa rahmat-Allahee wa barakaat-Uhu Sheikh Yasir,

    In Light of Guidance 101, I remember one of your famous class tangents in which you introduced us to the term ‘ad hominem attack’. Regrettably, that is the first term that came to mind after reading this composition. I don’t say this to insult you, or belittle your work, but out of a desire to clarify my perspective, and possibly bring about a serious discourse away from the torrents of diatribe flooding internet forums.

    When I attended your seminars, there were times when I desired to discuss the topic of ideological conflict, but regrettably, the atmosphere which exists in the Muslim Community in general is palatable; it deters any positive discussion from taking place. When you advise us to bring brothers who hold radical beliefs to respected religious figures so that they can be corrected, or public authorities if we fear they might doing something brash, how secure am I to feel about expressing my thoughts? What guarantee do I have that if I express contention with your academic arguments that I won’t be escorted away in handcuffs? You said it yourself, stating the obvious only invites wiretaps and monitoring, if not worse!

    How Is it possible to find that fatherly relationship with my Shuyuukh that Sheikh Waleed beautifully expounded on in Torch Bearers, when I see what I perceive to be the continued abandonment of your former students? The case of Juhaman Al-Otaibi (RA) has been revisited time and time again. Even if we agree that his actions were wrong, didn’t his scholars from Medina visit him in prison? If you truly wished to touch these youth, and be “ground-breaking”, what action would be more beautiful than visiting any of your former students in prison?

    In closing, I will ask you to confer on us lost youth the same scholarly courtesy that Prof. Norman Finkelstein gave to America’s youth. Despite his adamant opposition to the Prof. Dershowitz’s position, he took the time to review his literary work no less than four times, presenting America’s college students and professionals with a refutation worthy of a PhD dissertation. The volumes upon volumes of contemporary Islaamic literature opposing your academic assertion and widely available on and offline. Rather than producing essays which successfully clarify your perspective, couldn’t you take these texts and show us how we’re being led astray?

    Your younger brother in Islaam,

    — Ibn Zawaar

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    • Dawud

      I got to say it. From the comments of students here attacking Shaykh Yasir: I never imagined such disrespect towards one’s own teachers. I guess its that ‘rejectionist’ mentality acting up in not honoring your teachers. Clearly, these students love their own whims and desires more than they do the search for knowledge. What baraka can their be in your words, oh young brother in Islam? Have hayya before Allah for He knows what is in your heart!

      The scholar is there to protect the Muslims- not to appease them. Sometimes things you may not like are for your own good. You may not agree with what shaykh Yasir has to say but at least honor the rank he has above you both as a teacher and as an elder.

      The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasalam) said: al-baraka ma` akabirikum, “Blessing is with your elders.” (Ibn Hibban, al-Hakim) Another narration has: “When the young teach the old, then blessing has been lifted.”

      -Dawud

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    • IbnBatota

      “I remember one of your famous class tangents in which you introduced us to the term ‘ad hominem attack’. Regrettably, that is the first term that came to mind after reading this composition.” Akhi can you eloborate how was the Shaykh being ad hominem.

      The Shaykh would be ad hominem if he was trying to link the validity of the premise to the moral and ethical character of the person but the Shaykh was not clearly trying to do that. Rather he went to great details explaining the premises (the internal and external factors influencing the youth) and then talked about the effects of it on the individual.

      “The volumes upon volumes of contemporary Islaamic literature opposing your academic assertion and widely available on and offline.”

      The Shaykh mentioned how these “contemporary Islamic literature” is at odds with the classical work of the scholars and also at odds with the view of majority of contemporary scholars.

      “Rather than producing essays which successfully clarify your perspective, couldn’t you take these texts and show us how we’re being led astray?”

      Akhi I am afraid your zeal of pointing out someone’s mistake blinded you to even properly read the article the Shaykh wrote. He talked about how selected verses are cherry picked (not his words) while the opposing other verses are very easily sidelined (remember akhi the “That-was-during-the-Mecca-time-so-it-doesn’t-apply”), the tunnel vision of al-walaa wal-bara’a (either your with us or against us), and who can forget the over romanticizing our past history.

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      • Ibn Zawaar

        “Akhi can you eloborate how was the Shaykh being ad hominem.”

        The introductory section (as well as later part) of the piece took considerable time to address the “introverted” character of our brother. True or not, why was it necessary bring light of this? When coupled with various character references of like-minded individuals as “testosterone-filled” youth of “false bravado”, one can’t help but perceive a suggestion that the mindset opposing Sh. Yasir’s is the result of a weak & flawed character, as opposed to a conscious decision or reason.

        “The Shaykh mentioned how these “contemporary Islamic literature” is at odds with the classical work of the scholars and also at odds with the view of majority of contemporary scholars”

        Yes he did, but my request is for him to show me how. He’s not obliged to produce every bit of evidence behind his assertions, but as I mentioned above, taking these texts and showing (as opposed to telling) us how they’re erroneous is more conducive to a healthy discourse.

        “He talked about how selected verses are cherry picked (not his words) while the opposing other verses are very easily sidelined …”

        I’m just asking for something that appeals to my intellect as opposed to my emotion.

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  49. Islamic blog

    NICE POST YASIR really good post nice effort please keep post continue.this is full advice for us .Thanks a lot for sharing.

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  50. AbdelRahman Murphy

    I feel that the article misses a big aspect of the internal factor – I’d like to see a case study on the Underwear Bomber’s personal life: how his family life was, whether or not he was picked on or bullied, whether he was successful in endeavors or felt pressure to succeed according to other’s goals and aspirations for him.

    I feel that a lot of “radical” youth – and I don’t mean California radical – are products of a lack of unconditional affection and love from those who are important to them. In my experience, the radical youth that I hear of or even speak to are broken-down emotionally, and that leads to spiritual voids which are filled by a “shaykh” telling them to do this or that and they will be considered a hero by the Ummah like Salahuddin, they will be loved by all of the oppressed brothers and sisters, and they will instantly get jannah.

    I feel like these “scholars” prey on emotionally battered individuals who come from broken homes (maybe not a physical split-up, but the family life is torn apart) or they feel unreasonable pressures from their parents or culture, and they are just searching for a cause to join so they can achieve that acceptance that they’ve been yearning for since childhood.

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    • johnsmithaustralia

      That’s far from reality.

      A lot of are in fact very educated and come from stable loving families. Of course though when you call to Tawhid there is going to be a backlash. That’s why the prophet (PBUH) said give glad tiding to the STRANGER. A stranger even in his own commu ity

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  51. Dawud

    Salaam aleikum,

    It seems most here are either attacking/defending Sh. Yasir, which is at least a sign it hit a nerve. Shaykh Yasir here is my weak assessment of why this radicalisation is happening:

    1) Though Islam has grown in strength in the West, Populist Islam is what most Muslims have gotten themselves into. Most are content with ‘Muslim culture’ items and youtube shows that don’t involve a real knowledge of the deen. I’m not talking about student of knowledge level, but just the basics level. AlMaghrib has grown and as its grown its really tried to make everything appeal to the widest audience- I hear the best classes were the early ones because they were more heavy on knowledge, but now its more…bland? But populist Islam needs to attracts people and that means ideology is the spice of Islamic knowledge. You can’t really hold people’s attention for very long and its hard to shatter the bravado brainwashing that we’ve done on each other in the past. Scholar’s don’t realize sometimes how what they say can be twisted to support something antithetical to what they stand for- its all about the brainwashing. Often its the simpler the explanation the better. That is why people on here will say, “he’s no longer of the Quran and Sunnah” as if they had any idea what that meant- all it meant to them is it was simple, because “Islam is an easy religion after all.” The explanation requiring the least amount of effort, must be the correct one in their minds. Most of these same people do not read books, nor do they take notes on lectures but take from shaykh Youtube just as much if not more than Islamophobes do. I think some of the scholars, by overemphasizing exclusion (takfir, bid’ah, etc.) and under- emphasizing inclusion (brotherhood, 70 excuses, husnudh-dhan) have helped create this attitude of one-sided salvation unwittingly, not realizing they are basically creating a dangerous closed-mindedness in the minds of students- these students minds are trained to reject xyz and reject this or be suspicious of this because it doesn’t have “sahih” attached to it or only give them a one-sided story so they can’t ever imagine there being another story or explanation. When you hear AA’s story, you’ve made up your mind and its impossible for the other story to be correct. It’s not hard to become an obsequious sycophant from there- especially when all that ‘rejection thinking’ only deepens the spiritual void and debilitates what little life is left in those neurons. The quickest way is to look for the simplest explanation that is persuasive not on scholarly basis but on the basis of emotion. Once you tap into the reservoir of frustrations, it all flows from there. AA’s explanations don’t actually have any scholarly significance, even I can tell that much- they are just angry. He is selling anger to Muslims like a man selling sand to the Arabs- its what Muslims are familiar with and that is why they buy it. We have rarely taught in our community “Anger Management” – something that could definitely curb this problem and many other problems in our community (argumentation, masjid politics, etc).

    2) People in the age range of teens to about their 30s are still trying to figure out who they are. They wrestle with questions of who they want to become at this time. This means a lot of people want to be of significance. You can check out this documentary (http://www.regeneration-themovie.com/trailer.html ) that is coming out that speaks about how this generation (not just Muslims) wants to be significant and help solve the problems of today (pollution, global warming, racism, poverty, etc.) but they all feel powerless. How much more powerless do Muslims feel? A related factor is that most Muslim young men don’t know what manhood is. This generation has few role models that personify masculinity other than OBL and Tupac. So where is the self-confidence, and courage going to come from? Where is the initiative going to come from? Looking at the brothers here, what do you see: most are ‘cooler’ either into drugs, weed and girls or if they aren’t then they are self-important activists or quiet loners or effeminate progressives or at any given time are childishly laughing at something, people who almost seem to live in a bubble- hardly the people one wants to become. And the teachers? Well they may joke around too much and that doesn’t instantly bring the romanticized Umar bin al-Khattab to mind now does it? One can justify it thinking: If the Seerah went linearly from Muslims as a minority to a world power, then we too should be moving in the same direction- and the next step for a minority is acting tough! But really the real motivation may be closer to: this is a jealous, individualistic culture- I gotta be of importance somehow! Or maybe the thinking is more sincere- that if I don’t matter to people, how can I possibly matter to Allah? (We already matter to Allah- a Muslim’s heart is more precious to Allah than the Kaaba) This all worsens a spiritual void. You can’t do tazkiya and come closer to Allah without himmah, and if you have never been shown how to build himmah. Many men today are ‘man-childs’ with weak self-confidence and if marriage is too difficult or doesn’t work out, then the mention of sisters can worsen the nascent inferiority complex. I think the reason they turn to violence then is to reduce the spiritual pain, something of a catharsis and coupled with the above questions of male self-concept, its “an explosion of ego.” We really need to understand emotional intelligence and moral philosophy that relate to self-development and having self-confidence. Its one of the best fields to empower our disillusioned youth. It helps strengthen Islamic values and many religious teachers today have turned to it as a place where we can get insight into our human nature and help diagnose our social problems directly.

    -Dawud

    P.S.

    QUESTION: What do you mean in the part that’s in parentheses?
    So convinced was he by that message of radicalism that he was willing to give up his life for it, not realizing that living one’s life for the sake of God is far more difficult than committing suicide for His sake (as if the latter can ever truly be for the sake of God!).

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    • Atif

      What he meant was, living for the sake of God is more difficult than committing suicide for His Sake; if committing suicide was actually do-able for the sake of God (which it’s not)

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  52. Imran

    Assalaam Alaikum

    While I agree with the jist of the article, I was disappointed with the tone and language used by Sh. Yasir to belittle the youth who are swayed by the militant right. I’m sorry but using phrases such as “testosterone-filled teenage cheerleaders” or “little children” may be counter-productive to the message Sh. Yasir is trying to convey.

    Just my two cents.

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  53. Abdullah

    In the case of these young people who allegedly wanted to harm America and its citizens, did ANY of the contemporary American shuyookh, or communities try to reach out and talk to them and find out what was happening. We are so quick to condemn our brothers and sisters. What about giving them 70 excuses? We quickly take what the media feeds us and make our judgments and conclusions about fellow Muslim Americans.

    The author talks about how getting married and having kids will solve the problem. What about Faisal Shehzad? He was muslim, young, married, and even had children. I remember how the desi community overreacted when that happened. No one, none of the shuyookh or community leaders sought to reach out to him to find out what was going on. Instead they were quick to join hands with the non muslims to quickly denounce their own muslim brother. What if both, him and the alleged underwear bomber were bullied, or were threatened. Who knows the inside story?

    The bias is clearly there in the authors perspective as is apparent by the name calling. Similarly the bias is instilled in the hundreds of muslims in America to quickly denounce their own fellow muslims instead of stopping and thinking and asking questions.

    The author quoted a verse (8:72). It is also interesting to read the verses before and after:

    But if they intend to betray you (O Muhammad SAW), they indeed betrayed Allâh before. So He gave (you) power over them. And Allâh is All-Knower, All-Wise (71)

    Verily, those who believed, and emigrated and strove hard and fought with their property and their lives in the Cause of All̢h as well as those who gave (them) asylum and help, Рthese are (all) allies to one another. And as to those who believed but did not emigrate (to you O Muhammad SAW), you owe no duty of protection to them until they emigrate[], but if they seek your help in religion, it is your duty to help them except against a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance, and All̢h is the All-Seer of what you do. (72)

    And those who disbelieve are allies of one another, (and) if you (Muslims of the whole world collectively) do not do so [i.e. become allies, as one united block under one Khalifah (a chief Muslim ruler for the whole Muslim world) to make victorious Allâh’s religion of Islâmic Monotheism], there will be Fitnah (wars, battles, polytheism) and oppression on the earth, and a great mischief and corruption (appearance of polytheism).[] (73)

    Verse 72 talks about emigrating to WHO? to WHERE? To the Prophet, May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. So what exactly are you extrapolating from that verse Shaykh? It does not even apply to Muslim Americans. Muslims emigrated to America for one thing and one thing only, a better standard of living. It is clear in that verse that it is talking about Muslims emigrating from a non muslim land (i.e. pagan Makkah) TO a muslim land (Madinatun Nabi). I have no idea how you extrapolated your opinion.

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  54. Yasir Qadhi addresses underlying causes of Extremism

    […] Salam a leikum Just thought i should post this. The Sheikh is thought-provoking as always. Yasir Qadhi | The Lure of Radicalism and Extremism Amongst Muslim Youth | MuslimMatters.org __________________ "Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is […]

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  55. Ibn Abdullah

    As-Salamu’alaikum:

    Sheikh Yasir Qadhi’s article is very well articulated, however, it creates more questions than answers. What is very positive about the article is that he eloquently describes how many Muslims feel today, showing that at least for the record, he is “in the loop”, and is aware of what is happening to Muslims here, and abroad. No one can honestly accuse him of being oblivious about the state of affairs for Muslims. However, the problem that Sheikh Yasir faces is that there is a clear conflict of interest at hand. Yasir Qadhi is a U.S. born, American citizen, living in the US, and completing his Ph.D. at Yale. The fact of the matter is, there is only so much he can criticize the US. Sheikh Yasir may not be able to openly admit this, but we Muslims here nonetheless have to recognize this obvious fact, and therefore must take anything Sheikh Yasir says about the type of legitimate Islamic response that the Muslims should have towards the blatant injustice the Ummah is facing, with more than just a grain of salt. We Muslims must understand, that regardless of what age we live in, the fitnah of the taghoot is enormous, as ALLAH shows us in the Qur’an with the example of Fir’aun. This was also witnessed at the time of Imam Ahmad, when he was tortured by the Khalifah (not the President/Prime Minister/Czar/Emperor/Chancellor, but the Khalifah) of his time over the issue of the Divine nature of the Qur’an. While many scholars existed at his time, Imam Ahmad was in the extreme minority who spoke out, unapologetically, unequivocally, for the truth. If this is the fitnah of the rulers from amongst the Muslims, then what of the ones from the kuffar? To put it in layman terms, it’s easy to criticize the Boston Red Sox when one is in Yankee Stadium. To criticize the Boston Red Sox when one is at Fenway Park is another matter.

    When Sheikh Yasir says:

    “..these Western scholars, no matter how popular among the masses, are nothing more than sell-outs: government-appeasing servile acquiescing cowards who are more concerned about their own safety and popularity than the safety and comfort of their persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. ”

    What he needs to understand is that these “Western scholars” have none to blame but themselves for this perception. Take just recently in the month of Ramadan, when the tragic flood hit the Muslim country of Pakistan causing much catastrophe to our brothers and sisters with respect to their homes, and their lives, to which many organizations around the world pointed out that the global response (especially those of the Muslim nations) was luke warm at best, many Western Imams went to Auschwitz recognizing the tragedy of the holocaust, an historic event that is well over 60 years old which Muslims played no role in whatsoever in, and has been exploited by the enemies of Islam to persecute our Brothers and Sisters in Palestine:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/41220.html

    If one argues that the events occurred simultaneously (give or take), and therefore the participants were unaware of the events in Pakistan at that time, did these very Imams, and leaders, ever issue a joint statement condemning the US crimes against the Muslims of Iraq, whether it is about the present war taking place right now, or with respect to the genocide of Muslim children that took place PRE-9/11 during the Clinton Administration?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4&feature=related

    Did they issue a joint statement condemning the atrocities committed by the US soldiers in Abu Ghraib/Bagram/Guantanamo Bay?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-the-truth-about-honour-killings-2075317.html

    These Imams are conspicuously silent. These blatant contradictions that Muslims see today simply cannot be ignored, and the actions of our leaders must be questioned. In the information age we live in, our Ummah is much more aware then they give us credit for. We are an Ummah that takes a middle ground, and does not go into extremes. If Sheikh Yasir is willing to engage a taghoot (whose army is directly responsible for killing, and raping Muslims, while plundering Muslim wealth, in an effort to further weaken the Ummah), as he himself did:

    http://muslimmatters.org/2009/02/04/to-blair-or-not-to-blair-that-is-the-question/

    Then Sheikh Yasir should also find the moral courage to engage the very Muslim leaders whose qualifications he questions (just for the record, the credentials of Sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki are quite comparable, if not superior to Sheikh Yasir’s himself):

    http://mirror.robert-marquardt.com/cryptome/anwar-alawlaki/08-0812.htm

    Sheikh Yasir had a golden opportunity when this exchange occurred between Sheikh Tawfique Choudhry and Sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki only recently:

    http://muslimmatters.org/2009/02/09/muslim-scholars—west’s-natural-allies-in-fighting-scourge-of-terrorism/

    However, Sheikh Yasir avoided involvement. Interestingly enough, Sheikh Yasir, rather than speaking out against Sheikh Anwar, mildly critique’s Sheikh Tawfique’s position in one of the comments. Nothing against Sheikh Anwar.

    More over, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, not too long ago, had an open town hall meeting, where people were allowed to submit their questions online for him to answer. Why didn’t Sheikh Yasir engage Ayman Al-Zawahiri with the issues he is raising here? The issue here is not whether you agree with either Anwar Al-Awlaki, or Ayman Al-Zawahiri, but simply extending the same courtesy to fellow Muslims that you would to the taghoot. If you truly are more knowledgeable than those who are engaged in fighting the kuffar on the front lines, then you as a person of knowledge have an obligation to teach these concepts (the concepts of jihad, wala wal-bara, establishment of khilafah, etc). You as a person of knowledge cannot simply criticize from the sidelines. Our brothers and sisters who are fighting, and defending themselves are indeed human, and will make mistakes. This is a fact. However, our duty first and foremost, is to make excuses for them, defend their honour, support them, and if possible, educate them. If our leaders lack the courage, and the fortitude to engage the enemy head on, then they have an obligation, and a moral duty to not belittle the efforts of those, that do have the courage and the fortitude. As the kuffar say in defending the actions of their barbaric, savage, minions, “support our troops”, so should we. In addition, while Sheikh Yasir indeed has some exemplary credentials with respect to his Islamic education, we must also be aware that he neither has put his life at risk on any battlefield defending the Muslim lands nor to ensure that the banner of Islam is the highest, nor spent any time in prison at the hands of a tyrant like many great Islamic scholars, past and present. Of all people, Sheikh Yasir should understand this point, as he is a signatory to the Pledge of Mutual Respect and Cooperation:

    http://muslimmatters.org/2007/09/22/pledge-of-mutual-respect-and-cooperation/

    The other problem that Sheikh Yasir, and other Imams/leaders of the west must understand is that while they repeatedly argue that it is haram to kill innocent civilians, women, and children in combat (a very strong, legitimate, fiqh opinion), they must understand that it is precisely that: an opinion. The rules of combat of today have significantly changed, and contrary to what Sheikh Yasir said above, some of the greatest Islamic scholars of our time have APPROVED the killing of innocent women, and children during these times:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCnXCb3yyak

    I by no means am defending the above opinion, but the fact remains that when a great scholar of our time makes such a strong, and explicit statement (a scholar whom Sheikh Yasir respects highly), then it is up to people like Sheikh Yasir to either acknowledge this opinion, or provide a scholarly refutation showing why such an opinion is flawed. The other problem that the Imams have on this subject, is that they not only are against killing innocent civilians, but they are also against the killing of soldiers as well (see Fort Hood). If a Muslim of german nationality, was in the Nazi army got up and shot several Nazi soldiers who were either preparing for battle, or returning from battle, such a Muslim would be viewed as a contemporary hero. Why is the Fort Hood incident any different? Is defending jewish lives a greater priority in Islam, then defending Muslim? The message that these Imams and scholars are giving is simply, regardless of whether the kuffar are killing, or raping you, or your families, you may not fight back, because it is haram. What is apparent by this, is that the allegiance of the scholars, and the Imams to the US, and it’s army, is greater than it’s allegiance to the Muslims in other parts of the world. Is this not what is apparent? What other, possible conclusion can be drawn from the above statements from our leaders? Where are the same statements condemning the killing of innocents by the US, and allied forces? Where are these video releases on youtube? Do the kuffar have carte blanche? This is also extremism.

    Moreover, it is also very condescending to dismiss legitimate grievances of Muslims around the world who feel the one responsible is “Amrika”. If the implication of this argument of Sheikh Yasir is that we Muslims are being punished by ALLAH for our many, MANY sins, and neglect of our duties to ALLAH, then he is absolutely correct. That being said, this issue is something we should always be preoccupied with, whether at times of injustice or at ease. No Muslim can ever, ever be complacent about his/her duties to ALLAH. If one was to ask Abu Bakr, or Umar (May ALLAH be pleased with both of them), or any other Sahabi about the need for improvement in their efforts, they would be the first to acknowledge that they are falling short. So this should, by no means, be an excuse to allow us to ignore the responsibilities we have towards our brethren around the world. If one is simply dismissing the crimes committed by “Amrika” because they sincerely don’t believe that this is a war on Islam, nor a clash of civilizations, then how do we reconcile this opinion, with these blatant statements by US politicians?

    “Terrorists’ ultimate aim is to establish a caliphate (Khilafah) covering a region from Spain, across North Africa, through the Middle East and South Asia, all the way to Indonesia -and it wouldn’t stop there,” Sydney Morning Herald, US VP Richard Bruce “Dick” Cheney 1428-2-24 H
    ———————————————————–
    ” If we enhance the recruiting of this jihadist cause, there will be an attempt to re-establish the caliphate
    (Khilafah),… the caliphate (Khilafah) that twice has gone all the way across the Pyrenees, up to the gates of
    Vienna… I am concerned that it will be difficult for Europe to stand and that you will have a re-established
    caliphate (Khilafah) sitting on 58 percent of the world’s oil.” US Lieutenant General William G. Boyk at Manna
    Church for the graduation ceremony of Fayetteville Christian School in North Carolina US 1428-4-9 H
    ———————————————————–
    “They see Iraq as the center of a new caliphate (Khilafah), from which they can stir extremism and violence
    throughout the region” New York Times, US VP Richard Bruce “Dick” Cheney 1428-4-25 H
    ———————————————————–
    “This caliphate (Khilafah) would be a totalitarian Islamic empire encompassing all current and former Muslim
    lands, stretching from Europe to North Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia… They hope to establish a
    violent political utopia across the Middle East, which they call caliphate (Khilafah), where all would be ruled
    according to their hateful ideology.” George Walker Bush 1427-8-12 H
    ———————————————————–
    ” Iraq’s future will either embolden terrorists and expand their reach and ability to re-establish a caliphate
    (Khilafah), or it will deal them a crippling blow ” New York Times reported about the statement of US
    Undersecretary of Defense Eric S. Edelman speaking at Council on Foreign Relations 1426-12-11 H
    ———————————————————–
    ” They want to reestablish the Supreme Caliphate (Khilafah) . It’s in every writing that you ever want to look at it…
    their goal is to start in Iraq, expand their Islamic caliphate (Khilafah) throughout the Middle East to Europe, and
    ultimately across the entire world. ” US Lieutenant General Raymond T. Odierno, assistant to the chairman of the
    joint chiefs of staff given talk at American Enterprise Institute 1426-12-18 H
    ———————————————————–
    ” They talk about wanting to re-establish what you could refer to as the seventh-century caliphate (Khilafah),…
    governed by Sharia law, the most rigid interpretation of the Koran.” US VP Richard Bruce “Dick” Cheney at
    Lake Elmo, Minnesota 1425-8-15 H
    ———————————————————–
    “Do you really want to live in… a Stone Age Islamic caliphate (Khilafah) with no rights, no economy and no
    future? I am confident the answer will be no.” The Independent, James Philip Rubin, was assistant US secretary

    In order for Sheikh Yasir to credibly, and legitimately address these concerns, grievances, and actions of our youth today, he needs to answer the many questions raised above, and others. Our Imams and leaders need to be held accountable, and need to spend a lot of time in self-reflection, and self-criticism, as it is on their watch, that these events are occurring. To simply suggest that one way to end “radicalization” in our youth is to get them married, and have children, is extremely patronizing, as if to suggest that the primary reason for this “problem” is sexual frustration in our young men, or that marriage is a convenient distraction from the problems of the world today. Marriage definitely should be encouraged in our youth to avoid zina, and other haram activities. However, to use marriage as a solution to end the “radical” behaviour in our youth is just plain wrong. Many of the brothers who are engaged in fighting the enemy on the front lines today (and ironically, many of the Toronto18, and Faisal Shahzad), were or are married, and have children. In addition, the Prophet SAW in a beautiful hadith spoke on this matter, WARNING the Ummah about this:

    The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Children are the cause of grief, cowardice, ignorance and miserliness.” (Reported by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, 24/241; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1990). When he said that they are the cause of miserliness, he meant that if a man wants to spend for the sake of Allaah, the Shaytaan reminds him of his children, so he thinks, “My children deserve the money, I will leave it for them when I die, so he is miserly in the sense that he refrains from spending it for the sake of Allaah. When he said that children are the cause of cowardliness, he meant that when a man wants to fight in jihaad for the sake of Allaah, the Shaytaan comes to him and says, “You will be killed and will die, and your children will become orphans, lost and alone,” so he stays home and does not go out for jihaad. When he said that children are the cause of ignorance, he meant that they distract a father from seeking knowledge and trying to acquire learning by attending gatherings and reading books. When he said that children are the cause of grief, he meant that when a child gets sick, the parent feels grief; if the child asks for something that the father cannot provide, this grieves the father; and if the child grows up and rebels against his father, this is a cause of ongoing grief and distress. (Weakness of Faith By Sheikh Saalih Al-Munajjid).

    To argue that marriage, and having children is a way for our youth to avoid “radical” behaviour is to indirectly echo the very attacks the kuffar have spewed against the concept of jihad and the rewards for the martyrs. A more legitimate solution to ending radical behaviour in our youth, would be to simply ban the use of TV, Internet, and newspapers. These are the primary media that our youth learn of the injustices, and atrocities that are happening to the Ummah, and to sensor the sources of this information would definitely be a way to prevent radical behaviour. This idea is not far fetched, as this tactic was employed in medieval times by the vatican to keep christians ignorant of their own scripture, and by adolf hitler through book burnings. Or, our scholars, and Imam’s should stop teaching about brother/sisterhood altogether, and promote nationalism. This would also help curb radical behaviour, and make Muslims more endearing to the leaders of the world today. (sarcasm intended).

    We as Muslims must recognize that Sheikh Yasir is a person of knowledge. However, like great Muslim scholars of the past, he is still human, and therefore prone to error. Our emotions should never interfere with the validity of an Imam’s opinion. Sheikh Yasir has made made many errors before, and will continue to do so. However, it is not up to him to decide when he is correct, and when he is not. Rather, it is the contemporary Imam’s, scholars, and student’s of knowledge to point this out. It is my du’a that Sheikh Yasir take the time to read this, and addresses these issues in either the comments section as a follow up to this post, or in his sequel to the above article. If he chooses to ignore these points, or if this post is removed by the moderators, then unfortunately, Sheikh Yasir will be guilty of the very thing they accuse the scholars, imams, and leaders of jihad today, and that is issuing empty rhetoric, in an attempt to pursue selfish, personal goals. If Sheikh Yasir is simply unable to answer these questions with answers that contain justice, and integrity, then he should simply refuse to comment at all on these matters, as the Prophet SAW said, “Let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day either speak good or keep silent…” (Bukhari)

    JazakAllah Khair.
    Was-Salamu’alaikum

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    • Muwwahid25

      Ma’sha’Allaah, that was a brilliant post! I hope Yasir Qadhi actually decides to read it

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    • Hassan

      There are many things I disagree with you (based on what I been taught). like muslim is only allowed to kill someone (no one tried to kill Abu Jahal) in battlefield during the battle. (so Abu Jahal was indeed killed in battlefield, when he was armed and fighting). There are other things as well that I disagree, but you said the most important thing that I agree which is:

      The shyooukh should debate and engage extremists. This would help a lot, when a person sees Sheikh Yasir Qadhi debating and winning over people like Awlaki, many would turn away or the ones who are confused would end their confusion.

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    • Abdullah

      You resonate my thoughts on YQ’s article and I tried to express them but you did a better job. Excellent response. I too hope YQ decides to read your article and respond. But he has already mentioned in his article that he knows people will disagree with him.

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    • ibn Ali

      Masha’Allah. Great comment.

      Most people who are able to read this article and reply are sitting comfortably in their office chairs with their reverse cycle air conditioners and will fall into a comfortable queen sized bed tonight.

      I am sure the comments will be different if they weren’t so comfortable.

      The voices that we should be hearing, coming from the scholars and people who are in Palestine, Iraq, Chechnya, Somalia, Afghanistan, and the prisons won’t be heard here (Alhamdulillah some have tried to quote them).

      It is clear that the dunia has affected our hearts. We are so confused about the most basic of issues i.e “Is there jihad in Afghansitan/Iraq?”

      Such a sad state we are in.

      May Allah guide us and have mercy on us.

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    • Dawud


      Your comment doesn’t belong here on an American website- it belongs in the editorial section of an Arab Middle Eastern newspaper. Totally misplaced. You totally ignore what capacity people have and what capacity they don’t have. You might as well blame the blind, the deaf, the old and the disabled for not fighting jihad too well you are at it !!

      Things are bad- the house of Islam is in shambles but does that mean we are going to destroy whatever little life is left in it? Ajeeb! If we were to continue with the sort of mentality you are advocating- the type of mentality present in the Muslim world, we would end up with a society like those in the Muslims world- no in fact it’d be WORSE because we are a minority- we’d be like the Muslims in India…even more powerless than we are now! Is that what you want? Just because Muslims are dying in the East doesn’t mean Muslims in the West should start cutting themselves and beating themselves!!

      Is there hasad (envy) in suffering? If there is strength and brotherhood, then we in the West must have sabr and work our community alliances so we can help the Muslims abroad. It sounds hard but its the best way. Diplomacy and strategically strengthening our position in the West is what will help us the most- its how the Jewish state was established and its helped the Kosovar Muslims gain sovereignty.

      You may think its going nowhere but remember the story of Yusuf alayhi salam. Through his patience and perseverance in the face of the exceptional difficulties he went through, Allah brought him from the depths of prison to making him second in command of the world’s greatest superpower at that time. That can happen again…if we work for it.

      -Dawud

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      • Ibn Abdullah

        As-Salamu’alaikum.

        Dawud, respectfully, your comment does not belong on a Muslim website, but rather, it belongs on the comment section of foxnews, or in the comic page of the NYPost.

        First and foremost, I never called for random, wanton violence here in the west (I honestly do not believe in this). However, what we need to learn, understand, and practice, is the Sunnah of the Prophet SAW at all times, good and bad. The problem is, scholars of the west have become in my humble opinion, “Buddhist-Rabbi’s”. Buddhist in the sense that they practice pacifism in light of any, ANY form of violence directed at them whatsoever, and they have become rabbi’s in the sense that they take great pains, to write, articulate, debate about some very intricate Fiqh issues such as (and by no means am I belittling any of these issues):

        – How long should the beard be?
        – Should we raise our hands after ruku’?
        – When we go down in sajdah, do we go down on our hands, or on our knees?
        – Can we eat from the ahlul-kitaab (i.e. McDonald’s)?

        Yet they do not discuss issues of Jihad, wala wal-Bara, or the establishment of khilafah. These scholars are very courageous, and adamant in pointing that grave worship is wrong, and kufr. Yes, grave worship is kufr. kufr, kufr, kufr. Is this the only act of kufr being done by Muslims today? Is this a problem for Muslims here in the west? One thing Sheikh Yasir, and other contemporary Imams are guilty of is that they simply parrot the scholars of old. Ibn Taymiyyah, Sheikh Abdul-Wahhab, and Ibn Taymiyyah, and Sheikh Abdul-Wahhab. And sometimes, every now and then, Ibn Taymiyyah. What we Muslims need to understand about our scholars of the past, is that they studied, and understood the concepts, and principles of Islam, and APPLIED IT TO THE PROBLEMS AND ISSUES OF THEIR TIME. This is what our Imams, and scholars, are NOT doing. They busy themselves teaching everything, but some of the most important concepts of all. Is Jihad, wala wal-Bara, establishment of Khilafah the first thing we learn? Absolutely NOT. But when do we learn them, if at all? Volumes, and volumes of books are published, and re-published on how incorrect grave worship is, or what the correct Aqeedah should be, or on marriage. Where are the volumes, and volumes of literature that discuss the issues of democracy, socialism, secularism, capitalism, political involvement, and participation? Where? These very Muslim leaders who believe that democracy and Islam can co-exist, would be the same ones who, had the Soviet Union won the cold war, be saying the Islam and Communism/Socialism could also co-exist. We don’t need scholars who simply read, and regurgitate the writings of scholars, past. We need scholars who truly understand the principles, and concepts of Aqeedah, and Tawheed, and establish it in the present times we live in. Not change the principles of Shari’ah altogether.

        Dawud, it’s irrelevant how the jewish state was established. We are not jews. If you believe in following the Sunnah of the jews, that’s your problem. You may look at Theodore Herzl as a role model, but for me, I prefer the Ottoman Sultan, and Caliph, Abdul-Hamid II who told Herzl:

        to have the scalpel cut my body is less painful than to witness Palestine being detached from the Khilafah state and this is not going to happen …let the Jews keep their millions and once the Khilafah is torn apart one day, then they can take Palestine without a price.

        The same goes with the establishment of Kosovo. Just because there may be sovereignty, does not mean it was a success. Success is not measured by peace, but whether the principles of Islam are upheld. Today there is peace in the Soviet Union, does that mean their system of government is good? It is better to die fighting to establishing Shari’ah, then to live humiliated the way Muslims are today. If you lack the courage to do so, then don’t attack those that do have the courage. No one is saying that just because Muslims are dying that we should cut and beat ourselves. This is the sunnah of the shi’a.

        You talk about the Muslims of India, and their problems. The Muslims of India have many, many problems, like ours. One of them is Aqeedah, many of them, like others in that part of the world are obsessed with grave worship, and other innovative acts of worship. Major, major problems. That being said, one of the root causes of the problems of the Muslims is that at the time of partition, their leadership was a complete failure. Jinnah’s goal was to establish a secular state, not a Khilafah for Muslims, and the Muslims leaders of India, at no point, taught the masses the concept of jihad to fight the british, hindus, and the sikhs. SubhanALLAH, Muslims today are fighting the US, and are still battling them toe-to-toe nine years later, we defeated the savage russians, and we are still refusing to bow to the zionists. With qualified, knowledgeable, and courageous leadership, Muslims could easily have fought the british for a true independent state. Please Dawud, even the kuffar don’t buy into your warped argument. If they did, the US would never have fought the british for independence (SubhanALLAH, on this note, Muslims need to reflect. The british were not raping, and killing American’s. They weren’t terrorizing them, or making them second class citizens. The Americans wanted equal representation, and fair taxes. For this, they went to war with the British (clearly weaker than the brits), they fought, shed blood, persevered, and eventually, gained independence. The problems of the Muslims is not that they are over-taxed by zionists, or americans, they are being raped and killed. The problems with the Muslims is not that they don’t have equal representation in government, they want to live under Shari’ah. And we are not supposed to fight for this?!!! Shame on you Dawud.

        Besides, are you so cowardly, that you believe the only way to gain victory is by the permission of America? Funny, I thought victory would only be achieved by sincerely learning our Deen, Worshipping ALLAH alone, and practicing the Sunnah of the Prophet SAW. When did the Prophet SAW ever lobby the Quraish for support? In fact, (SubhanALLAH, truly the Prophet SAW was and will always be the best example for all mankind), time, and time again, the quraish approached the Prophet SAW, and made overtures, again, and again, and again. Yet the Prophet SAW refused. When the time came, the Prophet SAW made hijrah. When the time came, the Prophet SAW liberated Makkah. That is my Prophet SAW, my example, and my hero. Not theodore herzl. Not obama. The Prophet Musa AS battled a tyrant of his time (worse than GWB, Blair, Putin, and Sharon), but by obeying ALLAH’s orders, Fir’aun was defeated. Nobody killed him. It was ALLAH who destroyed him. In the same way, we must do whatever we can within our means to support our brothers, and sisters. Even if it is to simply make du’a for them. And just for the record, those of you, including Sheikh Yasir who belittle “keyboard jihadists”, while they may not be physically on the battlefield, they are defending the concept of Jihad, and the honour of our fighters, and victims. This is not me saying this, this is the Prophet of ALLAH SAW saying this.

        As for the example of our Prophet Yusuf AS, you cannot use His example in this situation as it is abrogated by the Shari’ah of the Prophet SAW, the same way at His time, his father, mother, and brothers made sajdah to him, under NO circumstances, can anyone, make sajdah to ANYONE/ANYTHING other than ALLAH. Period. Why? Because the Prophet SAW said so, that’s why.

        For the record, we should look at how the Ottoman Khilafah was established. These brothers were simply a warrior tribe from central asia, who after embracing Islam, swept through Europe like locusts, gained strength, and with heroes like Mehmet II, and Suleyman the Magnificent, were able to establish a powerful Khilafah that lasted 800 years. No present government is that old. And this khilafah rose, AFTER the tragic destruction of the Abbasid dynasty at the hands of the Mongols. SubhanALLAH. From the disastrous slaughter of Baghdad, arose brothers who established a Khilafah, and fulfilled the first half of the Prophecy of the Prophet SAW, and conquered Constantinople. May we witness the fulfillment of the second half of the Prophecy in our lifetime, and witness the conquering of Rome, InshaALLAH.

        Dawud, ALLAH destroyed greater nations than the US before (heck, even the vietnamese were able to humiliate uncle sam). If you genuinely feel that obeying the US, and using whatever “voting” power you have to influence the US foreign policy only exposes your ignorance, and cowardice. Obviously, you have never had a relative killed, or know someone who was raped, for no other reason except they were Muslims. No mainstream Muslim scholar agrees with your extremism, and neither do the kuffar for that matter. The zionists, whom you look up to, NEVER admit that Israel is EVER wrong. Ever. Yet, you are so quick to point out that following the Sunnah is not the way to success, even though ALLAH promises this in the Qur’an. If you still think this, then read the history of the Moors in Spain, and find out why they are extinct.

        Islam was never, EVER established through an existing system, but only by destroying it, and establishing on top of it.

        I will end on this:

        I challenge everyone, and anyone, scholar, or layman, to show me ONE SINGLE PROPHET OF ALLAH from Adam AS to the Prophet SAW, who PEACEFULLY CO-EXISTED with the kuffar, with the enemies of ALLAH. Show me one. Our Prophets (upon all of Whom be Peace) challenged, fought, battled, and if necessary, segregated themselves, and eventually made hijrah from the disbelievers. Always. Always. Always.

        May ALLAH guide you Dawud, and May ALLAH guide us all to the truth.

        Was-Salamu’alaikum
        Fayyaz

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      • ordinaryMuslim

        MashaAllah, well said brother. Yeah, we have to LIVE Islam, democracy and Shariah are not the same.

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      • Ibn Abdullah

        Wa’alaikum Salaam wa RahmatULLAHI wa Barakatuh:

        May HE for whose sake you love me, love you too.

        JazakALLAH Khair.

        Was-Salamu’alaikum

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      • Amatul Wadood

        TabarakAllah, subhanAllah! may AllahSWT increase you in ilm and protect you! and may He grant us all ikhlaas and istiqaamah on His Deen!

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      • Yusuf

        Assalaamualaykum brother ibn Abdullah, your words are being carefully read, discussed and analysed and are reaching people further than you would expect. Don’t fear the blame of the blamers.

        may Allah keep you firm.

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      • Ibn Abdullah

        As-Salamu’alaikum.

        JazakALLAH Khair for your kind words.

        Ameen

        Was-Salamu’alaikum

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    • Islam

      MashAllah, this is an extremely well-written and well-researched rebuttal. I, too, hope that Sheikh Yasir actually reads and take the time to answer the questions that the brother has posed.

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    • Abdullah Ali

      We as Muslims must recognize that Sheikh Yasir is a person of knowledge. However, like great Muslim scholars of the past, he is still human, and therefore prone to error. Our emotions should never interfere with the validity of an Imam’s opinion. Sheikh Yasir has made made many errors before, and will continue to do so. However, it is not up to him to decide when he is correct, and when he is not. Rather, it is the contemporary Imam’s, scholars, and student’s of knowledge to point this out.

      You have a very valid point. So let’s follow it.

      So far, on this article alone, a number of people whom I consider as students of knowledge (and maybe not ‘scholars’ in your sense, but nonetheless the people whom we average Muslims in the West look to and turn to and learn from) have all commented, basically agreeing with the gist of the article.

      Can you quote me people whom you look up to and respect, residing here in Western lands, who would criticize the main points of this article? If so, please have them write their critiques, and let’s hear Sh. Yasir’s response. After all, you wish him to engage directly with Zarqawi (!!) , so let his opponents and peers directly engage with him.

      In the meantime, despite your polite tone (and I guess you are the most polite of all of the critics), you have fallen into some of the same issues that the article critiques.

      Abdullah

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    • H.Fatima

      MashAllah brother, you articulated an absolutely necessary response.

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    • Arif

      Very well done – This mirrors my own thoughts as well. Shaykh Yasir does a clearly terrific job of penetrating the mind of a troubled teenager, but then it all becomes vague and ambiguous with what comes after it. I don’t agree with suicide bombings at all, but I find it hard to believe that we are exempt from the whole world except for our ‘civic participation’. What is the plan forward? To wear an American flag lapel on all of our clothing, to fully assimilate, and then make it such a happy-go-lucky situation when suddenly, all fighting against Muslims stop? We need to stop beating the bush and answer these questions.

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      • Ibn Abdullah

        As-Salamu’alaikum:

        I couldn’t agree with you more. Unfortunately, one finds that the scholars of our time in many cases are causing more confusion, or in some cases, running for cover.

        Was-Salamu’alaikum
        Fayyaz

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    • Abu Arsalan

      masha’allah ibn Abdullah, most constructive post written yet

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    • Lover of Truth

      I was super excited to see if Brother Qadhi replied. Alas! He did not as of yet.. It has been years.. but I was the first one to like your comment! I feel honored! haha

      Let me say, it is refreshing to see that not everyone in the Muslim community has become deaf, dumb, and blind.. it is even more refreshing to have someone state plainly what I would like to state but without me having to spend all the time or energy. Allah protect what you love!

      Brother Qadhi, please respond! You quickly responded to friends of yours, consider me a friend of yours and respond to this Brother’s comment!

      I am sure many people have been waiting three years. It is not haram to say you do not know or do not have an answer, but please say something.

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  56. Muwwahid25

    Yasir Qadhi said: “Extrapolating from this, one can state that while American Muslims are with the Palestinians, Iraqis and Kashmiris in wanting freedom, safety and security for them, at the same time we cannot help them militarily if that help will compromise our own safety and the safety of our families and communities, or if such help would contradict our political alliances.”

    So basically he’s saying that there cannot be any jihaad fisabeelillah if our relationship with America would be put at risk.

    If that statement doesn’t make him a sell-out then I don’t know what to say. I’m hardly going to take advice on al-Walaa wal baraa from someone who puts his country above his religion. You know what they call that? Nationalism.

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    • Kashif

      Yes, i also think that this paragraph from the OP is troublesome.

      “Extrapolating from this, one can state that while American Muslims are with the Palestinians, Iraqis and Kashmiris in wanting freedom, safety and security for them, at the same time we cannot help them militarily if that help will compromise our own safety and the safety of our families and communities, or if such help would contradict our political alliances.”

      Wow! If we held to this line, we would be worse than the kufaar of Banu Hashim whose entire clan endured a three year economic boycott by the other clans when they refused to hand Rasulullah over.

      Bravo to Ibn Abdullah for an excellent response!

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      • Ibn Abdullah

        As-Salamu’alaikum:

        JazakALLAH Khair for your kind words, and for mentioning this very valid point. Mentioning the issue of Banu Hashim and the boycott definitely puts things into perspective.

        May ALLAH increase your love for the Prophet SAW, and make a path to Jannah easy for you and your family.

        Was-Salamu’alaikum

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      • Tariq

        Sidi Ibn Abdullah,
        Would you take a look at my comment (just search ‘tariq’ on this page (control f), it’s the rather long comment. I try to address the certain paragraph intue article. I just want to see what you think of my analysis. Basically I’m saying that we have to contradict our alliances because almost all the contries sorrounding the conflict areas are 98% allained with the invading forces (maybe with the exeption of Iran). If we choose not to contradict our political alliances if we happen to be from those countries, it leaves our brethren with no help. That’s the gist of it. Please don’t be afraid to criticize it.

        Looking forward to Shaykh Yasir’s sequel. Inshallah he will answer most of these questions.

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      • Saad

        On the other hand, being American citizens we have signed an agreement of loyalty to the United States. I think that perhaps the Shaikh is saying we have to give this oath which we have all individually signed as citizens of the US more importance than going and fighting for our brothers which might be counter-intuitive but once you make an oath with people you hve to keep it even if the immediate result is not good for muslims.
        If someone wants to do jihad, then he shud clearly annul the oath before he proceeds, shouldn’t he? Or not sign it in the first place.

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      • Tariq

        I see what you mean. But many of us, including myself, were born americans and didn’t have any choice in the matter, Though some people choosing to become american citizens take the oath, and sign that agreement. Maybe this that ruling applies to them.

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      • Mansoor Ansari

        where does spying fall in all this? It was used by Muslims in classical times and is used now by every country. This includes even Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia… I never heard any scholar by doing so they breaking the covenants or agreements?

        How does ruling on covenant & agreement apply to those Afghanis, Iraqis & Somalis who were helping the occupation in the invasions of their countries? I didn’t hear a peep out of any scholar against these individuals that they r breaking covenants & agreements! We r reminded of these covenants & agreements only if is fighting against a western country or their allies in the east! Is this not double standards & it only creates distrust of the ulema.

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  57. muslim

    YQ is living in a land which is killing muslims in iraq and afghanistan and pakistan and…

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  58. Olivia

    A very good article, Shaykh YQ.

    I agree with you that perhaps the biggest challenge of the Muslim living in America, who is being held responsible for “policing” his or her own community, is the great pressure to remain silent when it comes to the “jihadi question.” We have seen people that we know speak for moderation being questioned by the FBI or spyed on. There can be no intellectual honesty with future radicals because naughty words like suicide bombing or jihad may be mentioned in the discourse. It’s as if just mentioning those words sets off an alarm is some intelligence agency bunker, and it would be a favor if you were allowed any opportunity to defend yourself.

    But what you mentioned is also true-for the sake of the future, or own children, we cannot remain mute. This issue has become the elephant in the room, and if no one talks about it, i guess it will be given voice by young,quiet minds who have to sort it out for themselves. and it only takes 1 person to committ a terrorist attack.

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  59. Abdullah Bukhari

    Assalam alaikum, brother Yaser Qadhi and All brothers sisters of Muslimmatters:

    Conrad Black: Court moderate Muslims, but treat the extremists for what they are

    Read more: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/10/16/conrad-black-court-moderate-muslims-but-treat-the-extremists-for-what-they-are/#ixzz12oL1y9y4

    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/10/16/conrad-black-court-moderate-muslims-but-treat-the-extremists-for-what-they-are/

    Was posted, wondering if a well educated brother caliber of Yaser Qadhi, or active brothers of Muslimmatters can respond to this article…it is full of bias, and subtle attack on the peaceful message of Islaam.

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  60. Yahya Ibrahim

    Bismillah,

    My dear brother Aba ‘ Ammar I anticipate the sequel(s) insha allah.

    I pray that Allah establishs sincerity in your intent.

    I pray for your further successes ya habib.

    Yahya Ibrahim
    Be strong and speak true

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  61. Captain

    I posted the below on one of Sh.Abu Eesa Niamatullah’s facebook thread and thought I should re-post it here:

    MashaAllah it’s a nice piece and I’m glad that he has said that our Scholars and Institutions need to speak about issues that concern the youth and those who are politically/socially concerned.

    However, to be honest, and in my humble miskee……n opinion (whatever that is worth!!), Sh.Yasir doesn’t present anything new that isn’t already known.

    These two elements, the internal and external he (hafidullah) mentions, do contribute in taking people away from Orthodox Sunni Islam and into “extremism”. However there is more to it.

    One other factor/element we can add to this is the concept of “strongest opinion” mentality that has been inculcated into the minds of Muslims, especially over the last two decades or so.

    When a Muslim decides to kill innocent people as a way of Jihad, he or she believes in the fatwa/opinion that allows him/her to do it as the “strongest opinion”.

    When a Muslim scholar declares that Niqab is bidah, or that Hijab is not fard, it is because he/she believes it to be the “strongest opinion”.

    In reality, there is no such thing as “strongest opinion”. Every opinion that was ever held by any Scholar was believed to be the “strongest opinion”. It is a relative term. Every Scholar would tell you that the opinion he/she follows is indeed the strongest opinion. As otherwise they would not be following it in the first place.

    For many years we were being told “Quran and Sunnah” left right and centre, without the caveat of “with the understanding of Scholars”. It is the “Daleel” mentality that has lead to many problems– and I’m sure most you know what I am talking about when I say the “Daleel” mentality.

    The focus was so much on “daleel”, that we forgot the caveat.

    “Daleel” was reduced to only the Texts of Quran and Sunnah.

    People divorced themselves completely from the 4 madahibs and of the opnions of the classical scholars.

    Therefore many opinions that were historically in the minority were propagated heavily under the notion of “strongest opinion”. Example: Insisting on “feet to feet” in prayer or music being halal.

    The proponents of these opinions were not wrong in doing this, it is their prerogative. However what that clearly demonstrated is that people were/are readily accepting opinions without realising or even caring whether it was/is in the minority– if not against ijma.

    Anyone can make a case for their opinion being the “strongest opinion” and many will undoubtedly follow as they do. Look as what Quilliam Foundation et al are doing. They also have their “daleel” and they also claim their opinions to be the “most correct”.

    We were taught that when there are differences of opinions, then we should always go with the one that is the “closest to the Quran and Sunnah” or “spirit of Islam”, thereby asking/requiring the layman to make the JUDGEMENT as to which opinion is the “closest to the Quran and Sunnah” or closest to the “spirit of Islam”.

    When such is taught to people that have no understanding of “Ijma” and “Shaadh opinions”, then we open up paths to TWO extremes:

    1- Those who use “daleel” to justify actions of Jihad that go against Ijma (like the killing of women and children)

    2- Those who use “daleel” to justify the washing down of Islam (for example those who say Hijab is not fard etc)

    As Dalia Mogahed said, these two camps are two sides of the same coin. They both divert from orthodox Sunni Islam by rejecting the opinion of the Majority of the Ummah (if not the Ijma of the Ummah). They both use daleel to only justify their positions irrespective of whether their opinions go against the jamhoor/ijma of the Ummah.

    Therefore what we have to do is fight both of the camps above (1 and 2). Of the ways, I would suggest:

    1. The concept of Ijma has to be propagated heavily.

    When it is known that there is ijma on a particular issue, then Muslims will know that there is no other opinion on the issue, and therefore will not bother in seeking any. For example if Muslims understood that the intentional killing of innocent lives goes against Ijma, then they will easily dismiss any opinion that tells them otherwise.

    Also many muslims dismiss ijma on a particular issue due to there being a difference of opinion on that matter. However in reality this does not negate the ijma. for example: Is Iblis a Jinn or a fallen Angel? The Ummah differed. Does that mean there is no Ijma on this? NO. There is. The Ijma is that Iblis was EITHER a Jinn or an Angel. That is what the ijma is upon. Therefore any other opinion that comes later on, will be a rejected (shaad) opinion. Like for instance some of the modernists who claim that iblis is only our own inner evil thoughts.

    This type of indirect ijma must also be explained and taught to the Muslims.

    I believe once ijma is understood well by the general muslims, it will not only prevent them from going to the two extremes mentioned above, but they will also be able to explain the injunctions of Islam better to non-Muslims.

    2. Acknowledge and give importance to opinions that are clearly in the majority.

    Many Muslims, including Duaats do not acknowledge, as they ought to, the opinions that they happen to disagree with, even if it be an opinion that is held by the majority.

    (On this note, I would like to say that Sh. Abu Eesa Niamatullah always acknowledges the opinions he goes against if they are in the majority. He did so in the Divine Link course. I wish others would do the same)

    The reason why this is important is because many Muslims will not follow opinions that are clearly in the minority. If they had to make taqleed on an issue (as many do), then they would rather make it on what the majority held and not the minority. This will therefore help Muslims stay away from the two extremes mentioned above- as both extremes are always in contradiction with the majority of the Ummah.

    3. Give importance to the four Madahibs, especially their opinions when all four are united upon issues.

    Again both of the extremes always go against what the Imams of the Ummah were united upon.

    These are just some of the things I think can be added to what was discussed in the article, wallahu alam. The Shuyookh and Duaats here can correct me if I’ve said anything wrong.

    Wasalamu alaikum.

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      • Saad

        Salam ya Sheikh,

        Jazak’Allah for the excellent article; I thought you nailed it. Just two questions…

        1) Doesn’t Captain’s post de-emphasize the role of ijtihad and envision a more static ummah that some would argue has been our ummah’s problem since the Mongol invasion? What I mean to say is that perhaps it is a good idea to keep the door to change open?

        2) I am kind of confused with the way you used (8:72). From the context, it seems that this is for the islamic state which makes a treaty with a kafir state. Even if the kafir state abuses its muslims, we are to keep by the treaty (I suppose because it is in the general well-being of the muslims to do this). But does not the context change, say if you are individually giving allegiance to non-muslim state that goes and attacks a muslim country?

        I see that you interpret the verse to mean that the treaty with oppressors (even if non-Muslim) is more important than helping the oppressed (Muslim). Couldn’t you also read it to mean that your action should always be in the general interest of islam from the specific context of the initial verse?

        I am also confused as to whether there is a difference between allegiance and treaty here. Are allegiances with non-muslims allowed if these states are going to go attack Muslim countries? In this case, the taxes that are being paid go to killing our brothers. How do you resolve this problem? What about, like me, one has not given an allegiance to the state yet? Are you allowed to presuming that a) it is non-Muslim and b) it is engaged in military expeditions against muslims?

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    • Muhammad Sheikh

      Salaam,

      I think there are two sides to that coin. Just food for thought.

      Because if you want to stress classical scholarship, you would have to take the good and the bad from our classical scholars.

      For example, a classic book of fiqh “Umdat al-Salik wa Uddat al-Nasik” is one of the few translated, and certified by the scholars of Al-Azhar.

      There are sections of this text that argue female circumcision as obligatory, that female Arab women cannot marry non Arab men strictly on the basis of race, as well as other rulings that aren’t exactly unanimous among scholars.

      However, because this is one of the few books of fiqh translated to English, as well as it’s certification from Al-Azhar as a manual of Shafi’i fiqh, it gains credibility.

      Again, just food for thought.

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  62. Uzair Khan

    As salamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatallahi wa barakathu

    Ya Shaykh, Jazakallah Khair for a wonderful article!

    I anticipate the sequel as well.

    Be firm and keep speaking the truth.

    Uzair Khan

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  63. Abu Majeed

    As-Salamu alaikum,

    May You be rewarded for this wake up call and may our leaders heed it. Brilliant post. Especially how the irony of correlation of false idealism between Muslim ignorant extremsits and the vibe from US politicians and media in this statement,

    “They will have to brave the attention and subsequent fury of a fear-mongering media empire that loves to demonize any who dares disagree with its own romantic notion of a lost American utopia.”

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  64. Snow Day

    JazakAllah khair Sh. Yasir. We need a LOT more discussion on this topic in the Muslim community. We have really failed to act on this issue.

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  65. Shibli Zaman

    The overall theme of this article of Shakh Yasir Qadhi is, indeed, meritorious and a long time coming! However, as some other commenters have noted, there’s a bit of unhealthy exaggeration and condescension. I understand that this is an informal blog piece, but care still should be taken considering who the audience to this piece really is. As I am someone extremely lacking in knowledge (which I hope God blesses me with in time) I ask everyone’s forgiveness for my contentions with some of Shaykh Yasir’s points.

    With regards to our Islamic history and heritage, our overzealous youngster is told of a few romanticized legends – of how a woman cried out for the Caliph Mutasim to come rescue her from the clutches of the enemy, or how Umar b. al-Khattab could not rest even if only one Muslim was in trouble, or how Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi almost single-handedly raised up an army to liberate Jerusalem from the clutches of the evil Crusaders.

    But this youngster never actually reads a book of Muslim history himself. If he did, he would find a very different story – a very human one. Yes, there is no doubt that there were times in our past when noble men achieved gallant feats and ordinary people faced almost impossible challenges, yet came out as heroes in the end. But, as with any human history, these examples are more the exceptions than the rule.

    Politically speaking, the Muslims suffered from as much intrigue, internal backstabbing, civil wars, bureaucratic inefficiencies, secret dealings, internecine warfare, bribery and corruption as just about any other culture and civilization. Were this youngster to read further, he would discover the almost constant insurrections that the Umayyads had to face from various Muslim insurgents, the political intrigues and the civil wars fought multiple times within the Abbasids, the alliances that the Taifa Rulers of Andalus regularly formed with Christian princes against fellow Muslims in order to retain power, the rivalries and fratricide of the Ottoman Sultans, and many, many, many more such sordid facts – facts that are not taught in Islamic Sunday school.

    Most of the armies that were harnessed and prepared in our fourteen centuries of Islamic history were actually gathered to fight other Muslims for political or material gain, and not to fight the “inglorious infidel.”

    I think the bolding I did stands sufficient to highlight the exaggeration and condescension in tone that, if left out, would have made this piece stronger, and God knows best. Still I will try to briefly share some of my thoughts:

    1. One should never berate anyone you feel might benefit from your article. No one wants to be called a “youngster”. Shaykh Yasir, ma sha’ Allah, himselfis very young though his knowledge and wisdom would lead most to think otherwise. So this was unnecessary in my opinion.

    2. The stories of al-Mu`tasim’s defense of the captive Muslimah(قصة وا معتصماه), the concern of `Umar ibn al-Khattab for the believers, etc. are not “romanticized legends”. Why Shaykh Yasir picked those examples when our Ummah is rife wit hthe problem of “romanticized legends”, I have no idea. The story of al-Mu`tasim is reported by Ibn Khaldun, Ibn al-Athir, and Ibn al-`Amad. We really do need to eliminate the ridiculously exaggerated stories of people running into battle wrapped in their burial shrouds at the Battle of Manzikert, and other such yarns, but please do not take ALL of our noble history away in that pursuit. Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    3. To assume the people whom one is presented a counter-perspective to are “youngsters” who never actually read a book is, again, very condescending. With all due respect, what Shaykh Yasir called “romanticized legends” are actually there in the history books.

    4. The one statement I found the most upsetting was “Most of the armies that were harnessed and prepared in our fourteen centuries of Islamic history were actually gathered to fight other Muslims for political or material gain, and not to fight the ‘inglorious infidel’.” Subhan Allah, “most”? That is truly unjust and a dishonor of those who sacrificed everything for this Deen throughout the ages. Imagine if someone were to say “Most of America’s wars were for oil!” That statement profanes the many who gave their lives to end slavery in this country, those who fought in World War II against the Nazis, etc. It would be a fair statement to say “many”, but “most” is very unjust in my opinion and loads a whole round of buckshot for Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, etc.

    It is a very unwise move to completely invalidate young Muslims’ pride in their great feats of their forebears in history by way of exaggeration. The noble and tolerant conduct of the Muslims, without which there would be no Copts left in Egypt, no Maronites left in Lebanon, no Chaldeans or Assyrians left in Iraq and Iran, no Jews left in North Africa, nor any Jews in Palestine for that matter! Had the fairness of our forebears been an exception, I can assure you the minorities who lived under us would have fared far worse and, as a direct result, we probably wouldn’t have even made it as far as we have by God’s Grace and Mercy. We would have been overthrown by one disgruntled confederacy or another eventually.

    This is a time where we have to highlight the fact that, YES, by God’s Grace, our forebears were juggernauts on the battlefield and swept through the world like lightning. However, when they came to power they magnanimous towards the non-Muslims they came to rule. The occurrences otherwise were the exceptions. If you try and make our history out to be a 1500 year long drawn out sequel to the Godfather with everyone whacking each other for power, not only do you rob our youth of examples that they SHOULD follow, you give ammunition to our enemies who draw the exact same caricature of our Islamic history.

    Balance and temperment of tone is the key. Allah knows best. I ask Allah to forgive me for any mistakes I may have made in writing this and I ask everyone else to please forgive me for any offense.

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  66. Rayhaan

    brother but at my place, it is still saying my comment is awaiting moderation. why is that? :( Sorry

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  67. Yasir Qadhi

    Salaam alaikum

    Just a quick note to all the commentators:

    Insha Allah I plan to deal with most (if not all) of these questions in part two.

    Unfortunately, because of my other commitments, I cannot set a date when it shall be published, but I can assure you that all your comments are being read and the main questions and clarifications sought will all be addressed, bi idhini Allah ta’ala.

    Yasir

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  68. Kamran

    Are Western Civilians Legitimate Targets in War?
    http://muslimsforasafeamerica.org/?p=10

    Osama Bin Ladin’s February 23, 1998 fatwa says, “The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies — civilians and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim.”

    Some American Muslims have responded to Osama Bin Ladin’s call. For example, in October 2004, an American Muslim from New York, James Elshafay, pled guilty to conspiring to blow up a New York subway station. In November 2007, an American Muslim from Illinois, Derrick Shareef, pled guilty to plotting to attack a shopping mall with hand grenades. In January 2009, an American Muslim from New York, Bryant Neal Vinas, pled guilty to providing Al Qaeda with information that could have been used to attack the Long Island Rail Road. In April 2010, an American Muslim from New York, Zarein Ahmedzay, pled guilty to plotting to bomb the New York City subway system. Ahmedzay told the judge that he planned to bomb the subway to pressure the U.S. military to withdraw from Afghanistan. In June 2010, an American Muslim from Connecticut, Faisal Shahzad, pled guilty to attempting to set off a car bomb in New York City’s Times Square. When the judge asked Shahzad whether he had realized that his car bomb could have killed children in Times Square, Shahzad said, “It’s a war. I am part of the answer to the U.S. terrorizing the Muslim nations and the Muslim people. On behalf of that, I’m revenging the attack. Living in the United States, Americans only care about their people, but they don’t care about the people elsewhere in the world when they die.” The judge said that civilians in Times Square did not have anything to do with American foreign policy, and Shahzad replied, “The people select the government. We consider them all the same.” Shahzad told the judge he was a “Muslim soldier.” Shahzad said he chose a warm Saturday night in May 2010 for the bombing, because he knew that Times Square would be more crowded on a warm weekend night, so more people would be injured or killed. Several other American Muslims (and Muslims of other nationalities) have been convicted of plotting attacks against targets inside the U.S.

    Many American and European Muslim scholars and organizations have repeatedly condemned attacks on civilians since the 9/11 attacks. Following the London bombings, the Fiqh Council of North America issued a fatwa stating, “Targeting civilians’ life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram — or forbidden.”

    Arguments By Those Who Oppose Attacks on Civilians

    1. Human life must be protected. The Qur’an says, “On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” (5:32) Therefore, killing one American civilian is like killing all of humanity.

    2. Killing civilians is prohibited under Islamic rules of warfare. Even though the new Muslim community was under constant attack, the Prophet (peace be upon him) explicitly prohibited Muslims in combat from killing the elderly, children, women, or monks in monasteries. When he saw the corpse of a woman during a war, he was upset that she had been killed.

    3. Muslims should fight only those who fight them. The American government and military, not American civilians, are responsible for making and implementing foreign policy decisions affecting the Muslim world. In fact, many American civilians oppose American foreign policies. Many American civilians (including children) have nothing to do with their government’s foreign policy.

    4. Al Qaeda and its allies are capable of attacks on governmental or military targets. They attacked American governmental or military targets in Yemen in 1992, Somalia in 1993, Saudi Arabia in 1995 and 1996, Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, Yemen in 2000, and Virginia (the Pentagon) on 9/11. There is no reason for Al Qaeda and its allies to expand their list of targets beyond governmental or military targets.

    5. The U.S. and its allies do not deliberately target Muslim civilians in military conflicts overseas, and they seek to minimize the number of Muslim civilian casualties.

    6. Western Muslim civilians are killed in attacks on Western civilian targets. Muslims working in the World Trade Center and working with rescuers in NY were killed on 9/11, and British Muslim passengers were killed in the London bombings. In addition, when there are attacks on Western civilian targets, there is a backlash against Western Muslim civilians.

    Arguments By Those Who Justify Attacks on Civilians

    1. People, both civilians and others, must be held accountable for their actions. The Qur’an says, “On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” (5:32) Therefore, it is permissible to kill American civilians who help to spread murder and mischief through their political and financial support for American foreign policy.

    2. Attacking American civilians is permitted when Muslim civilians have been attacked, in order to deter future attacks on Muslim civilians. “O ye who believe! the law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the woman for the woman. But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then grant any reasonable demand, and compensate him with handsome gratitude, this is a concession and a Mercy from your Lord. After this whoever exceeds the limits shall be in grave penalty.” (2:178) “The prohibited month for the prohibited month, and so for all things prohibited, there is the law of equality. If then anyone transgresses the prohibition against you, Transgress ye likewise against him. But fear Allah, and know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves.” (2:194) “If ye punish, then punish with the like of that wherewith ye were afflicted. But if ye endure patiently, verily it is better for the patient.” (16:126) While God prefers restraint and patience, revenge is permitted.

    3. Attacks on civilians in democratic states are acceptable when civilians, who have the power to change their government’s foreign policy through the democratic process, continue to elect (or tolerate the election of) leaders who support American foreign policy. Civilians also pay the taxes that make American foreign policy and military attacks possible. “They send their sons to armies to fight us and they continue their financial and moral support, while our countries are burned and our houses are bombed and our people are killed,” Osama Bin Ladin said on an audiotape broadcast by Al Jazeera in April 2006.

    4. Al Qaeda and its allies do not have weapons that would allow them to strike at American governmental and military targets in a sustained and significant manner that would impact American foreign policy.

    5. The U.S. and its allies claim that they seek to minimize the number of Muslim civilian casualties in conflicts in the Muslim world, but they engage in military operations (including the enforcement of economic sanctions) that are one-hundred-percent guaranteed to produce Muslim civilian casualties. The bottom line is that the U.S. and its allies have “unintentionally” killed many times more Muslim civilians than the number of Western civilians killed by Al Qaeda and its allies. In addition, the U.S. has established a precedent for intentionally targeting civilians; the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    6. The deaths of Western Muslim civilians are unavoidable, because Western Muslim civilians choose to live with and work with civilian targets of other faiths. In addition, many Western Muslim civilians deserve what they get because they have rejected their responsibility to try to change Western foreign policy towards the Muslim world.

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  69. yursil

    Someone asked me about how the radicals think, and this was my response. It is something I’d like YQ to consider. By the way, I really do appreciate your attempt at writing something which is a launching point on this discussion:

    Regarding Militants:

    1) They view ‘regular’ muslims as munafiqs or fasiqs. If they are spending time with you, its primarily to reconfirm those feelings, so your words have to be VERY carefully chosen. Talking about solutions such as getting married and having kids like Qadhi does, triggers certain negative portraits they have of regular Muslims who they describe in those categories.

    2) A speaker who has removed the concept of a military jihad (or at least a call to strong leadership) from their rhetoric on Islam and history and the future is giving a neon sign to these youth to avoid the intellectual conclusions of the speaker.

    3) A speaker or organization which has no experience in an armed assault is similarly affected. Someone who doesn’t know how to defend themselves is at an instant loss. The best thing such as speaker can do is acknowledge their weakness on this matter, but move on to a firebrand moving speech.

    4) It is by virtue of worldly sacrifices of their leaders and their own selves, and not by intellectual debate on finer points of aqida or fiqh, that they believe what they are doing is completely right.

    5) They are in love with their leaders, whom they believe represent the strength of Islam. This is a competition not of ideas but of charisma.

    6) Any dialogue with them has to be in their language, the language of strength and not compromise. Think: how would you talk out an uneducated bedoiun from blowing themselves up, not a masters student.

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  70. Muslim Ibn Muslim

    Shaykh Yasser Qadhi Says : –

    “In the context of the very verses that many militants use to justify their black-and-white understandings of wala wa-l-bara, one verse (8:72) specifically mentions that even if Muslims under attack ask for help, and reach out to you based on religious loyalties, you are not obliged to help them if that help will compromise your political alliances “

    The Verse – (8:72) States –

    (( Lo! those who believed and left their homes and strove with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah, and those who took them in and helped them: these are protecting friends one of another. And those who believed but did not leave their homes, ye have no duty to protect them till they leave their homes; but if they seek help from you in the matter of religion then it is your duty to help (them) except against a folk between whom and you there is a treaty. Allah is Seer of what ye do. (72) ))

    ” Those who believed(became muslim) in the Kafir State and did not make Hijra- ” The verse speaks about this case

    USA today is not fighting this people ya shaikh Yasser, they are coming to our Muslim Countries and commiting their massive atrocities in our Lands. – It is very clear that the Aaya could not be used to say that Muslims are not obliged to support their brothers who are being invaded because of political allegiance.

    Whenever the Kaafir attacks Muslims in their lands, it is the duty of All Muslims to help them with all what they got, even the Women not asking her Husband, Child not asking parents. This is black and white, especially for us living in our Muslim Countries. So anyone who says that Muslims Countries are not obliged to help their brothers who are being occupied due to political allegiance to kufaar has not understood the verse well.

    Shaykh Yasser may try to use the verse specifically and exclusively for the Muslims living in the west, but still the verse is talking about a different matter. It is saying, “ The ones who have believed and not made Hijra “ Exclusively.

    Whether western Muslims are not obliged or obliged to act and how they should act is not my concern, but it should be clear that the verse is not speaking about America coming and invading Muslims in their countries and then Muslims should stick to their earlier allegiances with Kufar – Nobody says this.

    قال شيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية رحمه الله تعالى – عندما تكلم عن جهاد الدفع

    جهاد الدفع: وهو جهاد الكفار الذين هاجموا المسلمين في عقر دارهم وراموا احتلال بلاد المسلمين وفرض حكمهم عليهم.

    وهذا النوع من الجهاد هو الذي أفتى فيه أهل العلم بأنه فرض عين على أهل هذا البلد المغزو حسب القدرة المتاحة لهم فإن لم يستطيعوا وجب على من يليهم من بلدان المسلمين نصرتهم، وفي ذلك يقول شيخ الإسلام ابن تيمية _رحمه الله تعالى_: ” وإذا دخل العدو بلاد المسلمين فلا ريب أنه يجب دفعه على الأقرب فالأقرب، إذ بلاد المسلمين كلها بمنزلة البلدة الواحدة”(1).

    وقد نقل _رحمه الله تعالى_ الإجماع على وجوب جهاد الدفع هذا، وأنه لا يشترط له شرط من توافر القدرة التامة والإمكانات، بل إن العدو يدفع حسب الإمكان؛ يقول _رحمه الله تعالى_: “وأما الدفع فهو أشد أنواع دفع الصائل عن الحرمة والدين فواجب إجماعاً، فالعدو الصائل الذي يفسد الذين والدنيا لا شيء أوجب بعد الإيمان من دفعه، فلا يشترط له شرط ØŒ بل يدفع بحسب الإمكان، وقد نص على ذلك العلماء أصحابنا وغيرهم فيجب التفريق بين دفع الصائل الظالم الكافر وبين طلبه في بلاده”(2).

    For those who do not read Arabic, there is no doubt that Muslims are obliged to fight those Kaafirs who occupy Muslim Lands.

    I am not giving Fatwa on what our response as lay Muslims personally should be, I am not responsible for such things. I am only stating that the Issue with USA is not about American kufaar who have converted to Islam and are being fighted, but about occupying Islamic Countries.

    Shaykh Yasser Also says –

    “And while I am skeptical that America will ever revert to its innocent pre-9/11 state of affairs; “

    Innocent pre 9/11 State of Affairs?

    Where shall I start ? Is there any need to list America’s pre 9/11 Crimes ? Only in Iraq, America is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who were banned from necessary medicine. The list is very wrong and I am shocked that Shaykh Yasser can say such a statement – Innocent pres 9/11 State of affairs.

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    • Shibli Zaman

      as-salamu `alaykum, my dear brother. If I am not mistaken you have taken that from the Fatwa of Shaykh `Abd al-Muhsin al-`Ubaykan. I think we should be fair when dealing with such Fiqh issues.

      First, quoting this one Shaykh does not close the deal for you to say, “…there is no doubt that Muslims are obliged to fight those Kaafirs who occupy Muslim Lands.” We derive rulings in a much more diverse and complex manner than that. This statement of yours in itself is problemmatic from a Fiqh perspective.

      Second, what the Shaykh says is clear:

      وهذا النوع من الجهاد هو الذي أفتى فيه أهل العلم بأنه فرض عين على أهل هذا البلد المغزو حسب القدرة المتاحة لهم فإن لم يستطيعوا وجب على من يليهم من بلدان المسلمين نصرتهم

      “Regarding this type of Jihad the People of Knowledge have ruled that it is a collective obligation (fardh `ayn) upon the people of that embattled land to the best of their power and resources at their disposal. In such case that they are not able, then it is obligatory upon those nearby from the Muslim lands to help them.”

      So, this clearly does not apply to someone sitting in Canada when Iraq and Afghanistan have been attacked by non-Muslims, though it may apply to those living in countries bordering those lands, and Allah knows best.

      Yet, when you say “…there is no doubt that Muslims are obliged to fight those Kaafirs who occupy Muslim Lands.” You are stating that there is no doubt that every single able bodied male Muslim in the WORLD, regardless of whether they are in Tajikstan or New Mexico, who does not go to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan are sinning hypocrites. This, above all and with all due respect, includes you, my dear brother. I am quite sure you are not at an internet cafe in Qandahar or Baghdad.

      I appreciate the fact that you clarify that you’re not making a Fatwa, but we can never be sure when the things we say will impact the wrong person at the wrong time and be an impetus for them to do something very wrong regardless of our disclaimers. Let’s leave Fiqh to the scholars of that discipline.

      Allah knows best. Jazakumullahu khayran. was-salam

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  71. nexuses

    Wow, I never imagined that there would be this much upheaval about this and even rejection from quite a few, maybe that’s their way of saying ‘I wanna get married too’: we just have to facilitate, so they hush up!!!

    I liked it though, especially the external part and the reverence to Malcolm X. I think every human, at some level feels powerless against the injustice, that just human, but its what you do with it.

    http://www.halfourdeen.com (its cheap son!) :D

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  72. Joe

    Assalaamualaykum

    Very interesting article, but i feel that some of the claims in the article would hold more strength if it was backed my some sort of research through surveys and statistical analysis to really get into the heads of our youth rather then speculation. As right now its all merely speculation of what we perceive about how the minds of our youth tick rather than truly investigating and inquiring leaving a wide door for everyone to respond with their own perceptions.

    may Allah reward you all.

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  73. Abu Eesa Niamatullah

    Assalamu ‘alaykum everyone

    I have just spent 20 minutes re-reading everything above and I must say that I am shocked and indeed saddened at one or two statements being made from folks in both camps.

    But nothing – NOTHING – was more more shocking than the statement:

    AlMaghrib has grown and as its grown its really tried to make everything appeal to the widest audience- I hear the best classes were the early ones because they were more heavy on knowledge, but now its more…bland?

    Like, dude, have you even attended one of my classes? Are you like kiddingme?!

    Bland?!

    I could understand “difficult to follow”, “dodgy accent”, “too much politics”, “too much fiqh”, “too many attacks on the Somalis” flah flah, but bland?

    We need some of the Banana Mafia and Polarised Paks to come down here and correct this heinous misrepresentation of my good name. I hope Shaykh YQ Saab that you’ll be clarifying this point as a priority in your sequel.

    Thanks.

    AE

    PS: next time YQ you want to change the world, leave me out of it. :-)

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    • Yasir Qadhi

      Salaam Alaikum

      Hats off to you mate…

      Yara, fact is, these people OBVIOUSLY haven’t attended my latest class, ‘From Darkness to Light‘, else they wouldn’t be making such generalized bakwas statements.

      Anyways, jazak Allah for popping by, and by the way, do change your chappals, please. I’ve been hearing some dodgy statements about them recently :)

      Yasir

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      • Yahya Ibrahim

        All the maddri eisha is getting to the both of you ya ahbaab.

        Your post brought me back to the safari dune bashing we did in Port Elizabeth S africa.

        And for the record, bland can not ever be an attribution to the tough talking, gentle giant.
        bakwas or not

        yahya ibrahim

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      • Abu Muhammad

        SubHanAllah… I don’t get it. This is a very very serious discussion, as you can see from the passionate commentary of the readers… and three of the scholars are actually using the comments section as a forum to engage in light banter with one another and to promote their next class? This is insulting. Please have some respect for the seriousness of this dialogue and save the reminiscing for another time.

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      • Lover of Truth

        Seriously bro.. for them to make light of this discussion is something they should censure themselves for in retrospect.

        And it is easy, just delete their own comments. But three years later? They still have not.

        Maybe the “angry commentators” are really onto something when they suggest the speech of these sheyukh is suspicious for a lack of concern for the dignity of the masakeen.

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  74. Tricia

    Sheikh Yasir,
    Again jazak Allah khair for this. But I disagree that the young men find a lack of mainstream scholars and orgs that have not criticized American policy. I have consistently seen scholars from Zaytuna and elsewhere balance a criticism of the umma with a criticism of Western policy. In my opinion, this notion that mainstream scholars are “scholars for dollars,” etc. stems from an internal sickness of wanting to be in the small, saved minority. This is in contrast to the prophet’s teaching about the fundamentally guided nature of as sawad al adhm. We need to stress that a component of righteousness lies with staying with the majority, rather than chasing after the group that says it is the proper manhaj and all others deviant. In this respect we need to be honest and trace these teachings to some scholars in Saudi Arabia. Whenever I hear such rhetoric, its “isnad”, if you will, usually gets traced back to Riyadh and a handful of scholars there.

    I don’t believe there is any lack of attention paid to the Musims overseas. I recall many a politically-charged khutba. But the problem is with the imams and khatibs who whip up the sentiments of Muslim males, and then end their khutba having offered zero solutions on how to channel the emotions they just whipped up. It is easy to see how Muslim males feel emasculated after these khutbas. It is IRRESPONSIBLE for a khatib to use the minbar to rail about the latest news item, while not offering a practical suggestion to our young men. Channel that righteous indignation, or be complicit in whatever results thereafter…

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  75. Abu Ismail

    Asalamu alaikum;

    I have spent much of my recent life reading and studying the current political reality of the Muslim world. I have attended conferences, AlMaghrib classes, and conventions my entire life and had always sensed a void in mainstream Muslim leaders in addressing the issue at hand.
    I must say that this piece by Yasir Qadhi is the most brilliant, truthful, relevant, and eloquent insight into the matter I have ever read. It is a long awaited gem that I pray Allah continues to bless and reward him for.

    I would also like to point that while a void did exist there have always been certain leaders who have addressed these issues openly – fearlessly speaking the truth their entire lives – and I have recognized that in Imam Siraj Wahhaj what is extremely rare among human beings.

    May Allah reward him and you Sheikh Yasir and all other leaders of the Western Muslims and help you to be a guide for us in this life for the Hereafter. Ameen.

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  76. Abdullah Ali

    MUST READ!!!

    Someone basically cussed Sh. Yasir out on Sh. Abu Eesa’s Facebook page, and so another person asked him explicitly what Sh. Abu Eesa’s views were on this article.

    The Shaykhs words were so profound that I really had to copy and paste from his webpage:

    From Abu Eesa’s Facebook page:

    Okay yallah, bismillah:

    Firstly, I have to stop and reflect, because a big person has been mentioned, rahimahullah, may Allah ‘azza wa jall give him and his family Jannah, ameen.

    Secondly, keeping in mind this is FB (!) so I will be “brief” (normally this would be 6 page article on my blog right?) but I need to make my position clear so that no-one is confused:

    I knew Imam Anwar and he was a friend before he took his path that he is upon now and of course now he has to be in hiding because of what is known and I haven’t had any contact with him since perhaps 6-7 years?

    We had discussions. We had agreements. We had disagreements. Back then, he was never as far down the road as he is now of course, but let it be clear – I could not disagree with him more on the issue of killing civilians or some of the positions he holds. I’ve studied this religion properly now for nearly half my life alhamdulillah with scholars from every country and madhab and methodology that you can imagine and that makes me the freak that I am today and as you know so well – and after looking up and down the Qur’an and Sunnah and History and Usul and this and that and Aunt Doris’s Hat, it is clear that I feel that the truth is not with the manhaj that Imam Anwar is on, or the people that he respects, or the scholars that he follows. And I accept that they are scholars, and I accept that these are legal issues of debate, and I accept that any side could be wrong, especially my own. But there you go. I made my call. Just as YQ made his call. Just as Abu Qatadah made his call. Just as Abu Hamza made his call. Just as Hamza Yusuf made his call. Just as whoever that is a person of knowledge, whether a lot or little, makes a call on issues which there is valid ijtihad, valid reasons to differ over, valid reasons to make this abrogated, valid reasons to use this as the abrogator, valid reasons to say we are in a Madinan time, valid reasons to say we are in a Makkan time. Whatever.

    REMEMBER: this is not a discussion like what happens between the Sunni Muslims and the Quilliam fools where we fundamentally are living in different paradigms of Islam and hence they’ve completely lost the plot and live on the skirts of kufr, hence the level of language and discourse between us reflects this.

    No, this is between Sunni Muslims who have differing approaches to issues with the one and same methodology of Islam generally speaking. This discourse cannot be reduced to the kind we may have QF or other apostate organisations whatever they are.

    BUT: once you take a position on such vital and emotional matters like this, it’s not like differing over flavours of Ben and Jerry’s, so I’ll have Rocky Road and you’ll do Strawberry Delight or whatever and we’ll both hold hands and live happily ever after.

    No, we get angry at each other, get frustrated at each other, feel pressure to refute the other, feel pressure to support our own opinions, pressure to rubbish the evidence base of the others yadda yadda. That’s the nature of the topic.

    But whilst doing all this we must always try to keep civil, look out for respective interests for all parties on each side, but only up to a reasonable level. Much of what I have said on this issue is stuff which YQ agrees with, and much what he says is stuff that I agree with, and we of course have other points that we disagree over.

    But I know one thing: he is not wrong in what he said in this piece. He has been correct in identifying some of the major concerns that we have about the youth, and/or their scholars in this regard, and clearly he has missed out a lot of other points which of course would need many more articles to clarify.

    I’ve said probably more and “worse” if that’s the way we gauge these things. I’ve been called Munafiq and Kafir many times and I hope and pray to God that I’m not raised up amongst them, and at the same time I hope and pray that the reward for bearing with such accusations will help me on that Day where I’ll need all the help I can get! Believe me, I need it after my attach on miskeen Wayne Rooney!!

    When you’re on one side, the other side doesn’t have to be many, loud, popular, passionate or motivated, to make you out to be the bogeyman sellout. That comes naturally with the territory. I’ve been lecturing and writing about this for years now and all the stuff is out there on my blogs and various sites and I find the manhaj of those YQ is speaking about to be utterly wrong, confused, and ultimately a stepping stone in the development of one’s own Islam.

    I can certainly remember as will YQ that we’d share similar ideas and theories when we were young. I know it sounds patronising but how the hell do you make this point in any other way when you want to say that you need to get married and have kids and take real responsibility in your life to see if your worldview changes, or that you need to get over 40 years old as both the Prophet and the Qur’an intimate, which is another turning point in one’s thoughts etc.

    Sure, age isn’t everything. Some older scholars will support the manhaj that I am against, but certainly the majority don’t. And there’s a reason why there is barakah and safety with the majority, whatever their reasons or your perceived view of them.

    This is now far too long and rambling and this is not my style – I like to engage people in real time and discuss this as I have been doing so for the last 10 years odd since 9/11. I don’t expect to change the opinions of anyone here or on the net with my other pieces but I’ll certainly stand up and take your queries and treat you and anyone else like my brother. I know the Deen too much to make such a stupid mistake so as to belittle the brotherhood in the Deen.

    Finally, some advice to the brother Ahmed Khan and others like him who hold his positions and feelings and Sam too especially because I’ve just realised that my arms are actually more cut than yours :-) :

    Adab is something that is SO important in the life of a Muslim, I simply cannot explain it. It’s really very very difficult to live to that standard because the Prophet (s) did of course say that only the very best of people will ever have continuously good adab. That’s just hard work. I know. Because I don’t have it myself.

    But I’ll tell you guys that some of the things you’ve said above, or in other places, if you were to come back in a few months or years and look at those words, I swear by Allah you’d be so gutted that you spoke or thought like that. Wallah. You’d be gutted.

    I’m not saying you need to agree with me or YQ. I’m not even saying that we OURSELVES might not have started the bad adab and been abusive etc, but as a reminder to myself and to you folks, does bad adab necessitate bad adab in return? Just because something might be permissible, does it mean it needs to be exercised?

    I think that you have good points that – seriously – if you handed over in a sincere and honest and beautiful fashion, you might benefit from the response, you might be rewarded for your efforts, and you might even effect change in the one you are trying to advise or change his opinion.

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    • HydTech

      Jakallah for that piece.

      The problem is not acknowledging the other opinions. And many might not agree with killing civilians, but the American Muslims are confused as to whether people of Afghanistan and Iraq can fight the occupiers, and more importantly cheer on those who do.

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  77. Siraaj

    Salaam alaykum Ibn Abdullah (brother Fayyaz),

    Firstly, jazakallah khayr for posting your thoughts regarding Shaykh Yasir’s article. You made many points and I wanted to share some of my own thoughts on your input (and I’m sure Shaykh Yasir will have his own to add in the next article, insha’Allah, I just wanted to join the conversation, if you will):

    It was said:

    However, the problem that Sheikh Yasir faces is that there is a clear conflict of interest at hand. Yasir Qadhi is a U.S. born, American citizen, living in the US, and completing his Ph.D. at Yale. The fact of the matter is, there is only so much he can criticize the US. Sheikh Yasir may not be able to openly admit this, but we Muslims here nonetheless have to recognize this obvious fact, and therefore must take anything Sheikh Yasir says about the type of legitimate Islamic response that the Muslims should have towards the blatant injustice the Ummah is facing, with more than just a grain of salt.

    I believe the work required to acquire his PhD is done, and he’s accepted an academic position far away from the hallowed walls of Yale, so I don’t think this is a conflict of interest any longer =) However, regarding law enforcement, media, and public opinion among Muslims (both those who lean towards jihad and those who lean away), I think he acknowledges in the concluding paragraphs of his article the difficulties a da’ee must face in speaking frankly about what is happening to Muslims around the world as well as providing the answers specifically about jihad and its intricacies – not just political activism. My takeaway from this point is that perhaps the time is coming very soon that that frank discussion will unfold, and maybe, just maybe, Shaykh Yasir will attempt it, come what may, and I think if he is hinting at this, that he’s willing to take this on, even if it doesn’t agree with the opinions of those fighting physically overseas, then at least one should have husn adh-dhann and give him the benefit of doubt, rather than label him a sell-out or munafiq (as some do on certain forums, and I don’t see you have in this post, so I’m not implying that).

    When Sheikh Yasir says:

    “..these Western scholars, no matter how popular among the masses, are nothing more than sell-outs: government-appeasing servile acquiescing cowards who are more concerned about their own safety and popularity than the safety and comfort of their persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. ”

    What he needs to understand is that these “Western scholars” have none to blame but themselves for this perception. Take just recently in the month of Ramadan, when the tragic flood hit the Muslim country of Pakistan causing much catastrophe to our brothers and sisters with respect to their homes, and their lives, to which many organizations around the world pointed out that the global response (especially those of the Muslim nations) was luke warm at best, many Western Imams went to Auschwitz recognizing the tragedy of the holocaust, an historic event that is well over 60 years old which Muslims played no role in whatsoever in, and has been exploited by the enemies of Islam to persecute our Brothers and Sisters in Palestine:

    I’m sure you didn’t mean to omit this, but Shaykh Yasir and others in AlMaghrib Institute in the US, UK, and Canada fundraised, and made their best effort through trailers, and worked with Islamic Relief to help out – you would acknowledge this, I’m sure (see almaghrib forums in the announcements section, youtube search for trailers, facebook events, etc).

    If one argues that the events occurred simultaneously (give or take), and therefore the participants were unaware of the events in Pakistan at that time, did these very Imams, and leaders, ever issue a joint statement condemning the US crimes against the Muslims of Iraq, whether it is about the present war taking place right now, or with respect to the genocide of Muslim children that took place PRE-9/11 during the Clinton Administration?

    I think the difference is that there is perception that Muslims have an innate hatred for Jewish people. For Shaykh Yasir in particular, there were some statements he made based on false information which he later recanted. The purpose was to demonstrate that Western Muslim leaders are not holocaust deniers, as most Americans are not aware enough of the differences between sunni muslims and, say, Ahmadinejad shi’ism and may conflate his denials as part and parcel of all Muslim thought.

    It was not, however, a condemnation tour, so I understand the spirit of what you’re trying to say, but there’s not necessarily a one-to-one mapping of analogy, if you get my meaning.

    Did they issue a joint statement condemning the atrocities committed by the US soldiers in Abu Ghraib/Bagram/Guantanamo Bay?

    I think if you look through MM’s Politics, Society, and Civil Rights section at the top of page, you’ll find many articles condemning American action overseas, insha’Allah.

    If Sheikh Yasir is willing to engage a taghoot (whose army is directly responsible for killing, and raping Muslims, while plundering Muslim wealth, in an effort to further weaken the Ummah), as he…did,
    then Sheikh Yasir should also find the moral courage to engage the very Muslim leaders whose qualifications he questions (just for the record, the credentials of Sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki are quite comparable, if not superior to Sheikh Yasir’s himself)

    What’s interesting is that when this issue came up, of Shaykh Yasir taking a class with Blair, it didn’t matter that Shaykh Yasir blasted him during Q & A sessions (see on youtube) for his policies – in the end, because he was in his class, one brother told me he was cozying up with tyrants and therefore compromising al wala w’al bara. If that’s cozying, I would hate to see opposition =) In any event, the point wasn’t to engage Blair in a, “let me understand your point of view and see if what you said is valid,” as would be the case between two scholars / teachers with differences of opinion. So again, I understand the spirit of what you’re saying, but upon closer scrutiny, I don’t think the analogy maps as neatly as it might seem.

    More over, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, not too long ago, had an open town hall meeting, where people were allowed to submit their questions online for him to answer. Why didn’t Sheikh Yasir engage Ayman Al-Zawahiri with the issues he is raising here?

    Is something like this public knowledge?

    If you truly are more knowledgeable than those who are engaged in fighting the kuffar on the front lines, then you as a person of knowledge have an obligation to teach these concepts (the concepts of jihad, wala wal-bara, establishment of khilafah, etc). You as a person of knowledge cannot simply criticize from the sidelines. Our brothers and sisters who are fighting, and defending themselves are indeed human, and will make mistakes. This is a fact. However, our duty first and foremost, is to make excuses for them, defend their honour, support them, and if possible, educate them.

    I believe the new Aqeedah IV class by AlMaghrib covers some of the material you’ve requested. About making excuses, I think in the “internal factors” portion of this post, he does just that and acknowledges that their anger is legitimate. However, I think this is a two-way street – there are many who agree with your points that make it a point to call Shaykh Yasir (and for that matter, everyone on MM) munafiqs, kaafirs, etc. I think just as you wish for Shaykh Yasir to make excuses for Muslims whom he disagrees with, I don’t see the same courtesy extended (at least, not in online forums like IA).

    If our leaders lack the courage, and the fortitude to engage the enemy head on, then they have an obligation, and a moral duty to not belittle the efforts of those, that do have the courage and the fortitude. As the kuffar say in defending the actions of their barbaric, savage, minions, “support our troops”, so should we. In addition, while Sheikh Yasir indeed has some exemplary credentials with respect to his Islamic education, we must also be aware that he neither has put his life at risk on any battlefield defending the Muslim lands nor to ensure that the banner of Islam is the highest, nor spent any time in prison at the hands of a tyrant like many great Islamic scholars, past and present. Of all people, Sheikh Yasir should understand this point, as he is a signatory to the Pledge of Mutual Respect and Cooperation:

    Perhaps, but what you don’t realize is that people like Shaykh Yasir go through much more in dealing with threats and problems with local law enforcement, most of which they don’t share with publicly because they’re not looking for rep points or street cred with the youth. If you were to ask me who I thought was facing greater difficulties domestically due to world events, I would say our teachers, along with their families, are privately bearing the brunt of difficulties, more so than even the brothers and sisters online defending the legitimacy of actions overseas.

    The other problem that Sheikh Yasir, and other Imams/leaders of the west must understand is that while they repeatedly argue that it is haram to kill innocent civilians, women, and children in combat (a very strong, legitimate, fiqh opinion), they must understand that it is precisely that: an opinion. The rules of combat of today have significantly changed, and contrary to what Sheikh Yasir said above, some of the greatest Islamic scholars of our time have APPROVED the killing of innocent women, and children during these times

    I by no means am defending the above opinion, but the fact remains that when a great scholar of our time makes such a strong, and explicit statement (a scholar whom Sheikh Yasir respects highly), then it is up to people like Sheikh Yasir to either acknowledge this opinion, or provide a scholarly refutation showing why such an opinion is flawed.

    Why should Shaykh Yasir have to do it when scores of scholars around the world have already done so?

    The other problem that the Imams have on this subject, is that they not only are against killing innocent civilians, but they are also against the killing of soldiers as well (see Fort Hood).

    Why is it a problem that they are against killing innocent civilians? You’ve already acknowledged it’s a strong, legitimate opinion. Regarding Fort Hood, have you read Imam Zaid Shakir’s paper on the issues involved, and are there any research papers you’re aware of critiquing his position?

    Moreover, it is also very condescending to dismiss legitimate grievances of Muslims around the world who feel the one responsible is “Amrika”. If the implication of this argument of Sheikh Yasir is that we Muslims are being punished by ALLAH for our many, MANY sins, and neglect of our duties to ALLAH, then he is absolutely correct. That being said, this issue is something we should always be preoccupied with, whether at times of injustice or at ease. No Muslim can ever, ever be complacent about his/her duties to ALLAH. If one was to ask Abu Bakr, or Umar (May ALLAH be pleased with both of them), or any other Sahabi about the need for improvement in their efforts, they would be the first to acknowledge that they are falling short. So this should, by no means, be an excuse to allow us to ignore the responsibilities we have towards our brethren around the world. If one is simply dismissing the crimes committed by “Amrika” because they sincerely don’t believe that this is a war on Islam, nor a clash of civilizations, then how do we reconcile this opinion, with these blatant statements by US politicians?

    I believe Shaykh Yasir mentions in his article that one of the difficulties Muslim American scholarship will face is in telling the US government what is wrong with their policies, and as well, that the youth who are angry because of these policies have legitimate feelings on the issues. However, the question is, are our failings solely due to America, or are we having a sort of reverse husn adh-dhann, giving America too much power where in reality they don’t have it, and not taking enough responsibility for ourselves, and our own Muslim countries?

    To simply suggest that one way to end “radicalization” in our youth is to get them married, and have children, is extremely patronizing, as if to suggest that the primary reason for this “problem” is sexual frustration in our young men, or that marriage is a convenient distraction from the problems of the world today. Marriage definitely should be encouraged in our youth to avoid zina, and other haram activities. However, to use marriage as a solution to end the “radical” behaviour in our youth is just plain wrong. Many of the brothers who are engaged in fighting the enemy on the front lines today (and ironically, many of the Toronto18, and Faisal Shahzad), were or are married, and have children.

    Well, it’s doubtful that it can help everyone, but it is something to note that when many of these brothers are given the responsibilities of a family, they seemingly lose the fervor, settle down, and get a job. Although, I’m not quite sure what father would want to marry his daughters off to such brothers, so it doesn’t seem that practical to me.

    Siraaj

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    • IbnBatoota

      Asalaam Alykum Brother Siraaj!

      First of all Brother Siraaj let me start out by informing you that you don’t know me personally and I don’t know you personally either. However I find your blog (Muslim Best Life) very helpful for personal development and brother from my Qabilat (Haqq) have met you at IlmSummit and had to say great things about your character and demeanor. So may Allah (az wa jal) reward you for all your efforts!

      You know the funny thing is throughout reading all the variouis comments (especially from Br. Ibn Abdullah) I was thinking to myself where is Brother Siraaj on all this? I was wondering if Brother got something cooking in his intellect kitchen for the “rebuttal” that Br. Ibn Abdullah provided or is he just going to sit this one out.

      Well lets just say I am glad you decided to wrap your mind around the “piece” Br. Ibn Abdullah wrote and provide us the fruits of such exercise. I thought your response back to Br. Ibn Abdullah’s piece was precise, to-the-point, and very clear.

      Although you did a great job and said everything I had in mind (and then some) to response to his comments, I wanted to add my unworthy .02

      In addition to your rebuttal of Br. Ibn Abdullah’s criticism of lack of action on part of Western scholars for Pakistani victims I wanted to say that various western scholars, Sh. Yasir included, did a lot to contributing in easing the situation in Pakistan. Matter a fact it was Sh. Yasir (and other instructors at AMI) that encouraged his students to raise funds for the victims. Not only that It was Sh. Yasir Qadhi and other instructors at AlMaghrib that went as far as to donate $30 from every registered student from our local chapter (but I think the initiative was not limited to just our chapter rather it was Institute wide initiative).

      Br. Ibn Abdullah criticizes the Shaykh for “engaging the Taghoot” in his first post and in another post he mentions how Imam Ahmed (RA) and Prophet Musa (AS). I am really sorry to say so brother’s peripheral vision is so subdued from his tunnel vision perpective that he doesn’t even realize that each of the examples he provides there was an intellectual discourse between the two opposing parties. Matter a fact in the case of Imam Ahmed historically it is this intellect discourse (one confined within the Islamic tradition of course) that had the Khalifa of that time realize Imam’s point and therefore set him free.
      I wonder did Br. Ibn Abdullah even take into consideration that in certain spheres it might benefit the Muslims to engage an oppressor intellectually as the Shyakh did here or did the brother just saw the headlines “yasir qadhi TAKES A CLASS WITH TONY BLAIR!!!” and jump to the conclusion???From reading his post I think it is safe to say he jumped to conclusion…considering how he never even probably looked at the Youtube footage of the Skaykh confronting Tony B.

      This is all the time I have right now but there were many things I wanted to say (a lot of which you have already covered Br. Siraaj) but once again I was delighted to read your post as always!

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      • Mansoor Ansari

        I agree with u br ibnbatoota but sadly our scholars & rulers are not even indulging in intellectual debate with these occupiers. And when was the last time u heard of any scholar in the Khaleej even intellectually confront the oppressive leaders?

        on a side note… what gives u the impression that Sh. YQ is confronting Tony Blair in the video u posted? btw I don’t really have anything against him taking that class with TB.

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      • IbnBatota

        Jazak Allahu Khair akhi for your response. It is getting late so I will keep this brief.

        You said the following:

        “I agree with u br ibnbatoota but sadly our scholars & rulers are not even indulging in intellectual debate with these occupiers. And when was the last time u heard of any scholar in the Khaleej even intellectually confront the oppressive leaders? ”

        Yes they do (sorry for not having the link to his actual book but the reading is actually from the book) and they will continue to do so, inshAllah.

        “on a side note… what gives u the impression that Sh. YQ is confronting Tony Blair in the video u posted?”

        It does because TB was talking about (if my memory serves me correctly) an initiative that would bring religious relativism to the world and where people of particular religion would have to subdue their exclusivist (ahh can’t spell) mentality about their faith. In response Sh. Qadhi challenges this notion. Not only that the Shaykh goes on to questioning TB about if one can truly keep both politics and faith in equal barium or if a desire for an individual to excel in one will come at the expense of the other.

        Actually you don’t have to be directed to external links to find Shaoukh confronting intellectually against wrong doers you can find them on this very blog.

        Matter a fact you don’t even have to go to another post in the blog you can read this post and find the Shaykh states the atrocities committed by western world in the Muslim land (and not even that he talks about the repercussions on a Du’at when he will speak out against those atrocities)

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      • Mansoor Ansari

        The link from ‘YouseffalKhattab’ – is general condemnation of muslim rulers! It’s like saying we muslims have deviated from the path.

        Shaykh Al-Arifi may Allah bless him & grant him knowledge is m’A hammering Mubarak but not any of the oppressive khaleeji rulers. I m frm Saudi & all I hear is praise for these oppressor never any condemnation.

        and jazak’Allah for the clearing up the QA with TB, it makes more sense now. i had read Sh. YQ earlier post on TB & hence the reason i don’t have anything against him for taking the class with him.

        btw, I do think scholars here in the west condemn Muslim rulers but again they so in generality rather than being specific like they do with those who r hated by America & their allies.

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      • Ibn Abdullah

        As-Salamu’alaikum.

        Ibn Batoota, if you were so distressed by my “piece”, you should have built the courage, and developed the intellectual capacity to have replied to me directly, instead of picking up some pom-pom’s and cheering on brother Siraaj. The fact that you are such a fanboy clearly shows that you lack both(courage, and intellect). While I did respond to his reply, I at least respect his dignified tone, and for raising some legitimate points. That being said, I advise you to read my response to him, which clearly decimate the pathetic, weak arguments you try to raise.

        It truly is shocking to see someone flaunt his ignorance so proudly as yourself.

        May ALLAH guide us all.

        Was-Salamu’alaikum

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      • IbnBatota

        “Ibn Batoota, if you were so distressed by my “piece”, you should have built the courage, and developed the intellectual capacity to have replied to me directly, instead of picking up some pom-pom’s and cheering on brother Siraaj.”

        First of all I was (it least making the effort) to expand on the points of Br. Siraaj. Second of all akhi has it ever occurred to you that I was trying to start on a positive foot by commending a brother for his character and intellect rather than to criticize another right off the gate?!?! No I don’t think this has occurred to you.

        “The fact that you are such a fanboy clearly shows that you lack both(courage, and intellect).”

        Akhi since when admiring a brother for his demeanor and intellect a display of lack of courage? I had a personal reason to commend the brother because I know some of really good friends of mines who have met him and had to say great things about him and additionally I have benefited from his effort that he puts out.

        “While I did respond to his reply, I at least respect his dignified tone, and for raising some legitimate points.”

        Akhi does that mean that my tone was undignified? If you think that then there could be two possibilities for this: A. It could be simply that I let my emotions take the best of me in the heat of the moment (which I thought I had under control but Allahu wa’ alam) B. You read too much into what I had to say. If it is the former then I ask for your apology and apology of Allah (az ‘wa jaal).

        And honestly I can’t find your response to Brother Siraaj but once I do I will read it and IF time permits I will try to respond.

        One thing I will reiterate in terms of criticizing your response and I mean this in a respectful way is that I believe you wrote a lot without saying much. Many of your (and I will leave off quotation marks because I have a feeling you might found them offensive) arguments redundant and one of espousing sensationalism as oppose to raising logic and valid points.

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      • Siraaj

        Salaam alaykum Ibn Batoota,

        I’m happy to read you’re benefiting from the blog, and thanks for the feedback as well on my post in this thread. It’s understandable that this discussion brings out aggressive and emotional discussion because of the number of colliding issues (oppression, war, identity, etc). Insha’Allah, we can share our perspectives, and as brother Eddie from the Deen Show once said to me, to be able to disagree without being disagreeable.

        Siraaj

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    • Ibn Abdullah

      Dear Br. Siraaj:

      As-Salamu’alaikum. JazakALLAH Khair for your respectful response to my comment above. I hope InshaALLAH we can meet one day in person and have coffee together. If you live in Toronto, please let me know.

      Here is my response, to your response :-)

      I believe the work required to acquire his PhD is done, and he’s accepted an academic position far away from the hallowed walls of Yale, so I don’t think this is a conflict of interest any longer =) However, regarding law enforcement, media, and public opinion among Muslims (both those who lean towards jihad and those who lean away), I think he acknowledges in the concluding paragraphs of his article the difficulties a da’ee must face in speaking frankly about what is happening to Muslims around the world as well as providing the answers specifically about jihad and its intricacies – not just political activism. My takeaway from this point is that perhaps the time is coming very soon that that frank discussion will unfold, and maybe, just maybe, Shaykh Yasir will attempt it, come what may, and I think if he is hinting at this, that he’s willing to take this on, even if it doesn’t agree with the opinions of those fighting physically overseas, then at least one should have husn adh-dhann and give him the benefit of doubt, rather than label him a sell-out or munafiq (as some do on certain forums, and I don’t see you have in this post, so I’m not implying that).

      The point I was trying to make earlier with respect to Sheikh Yasir is the fact that he is someone that given his circumstances, he is under tremendous scrutiny, and under the watchful eye of uncle sam. Which is why his comments and statements on the subject must also be understood in light of this context. Can one objectively argue that his opinions would be the same, had he grown up in the occupied territories, or was living in Afghanistan/Iraq and saw a living female relative being raped and murdered? The other thing you must understand is that many of these issues have been discussed before (see Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, Serbian slaughter of Bosnians). What is problematic for us is the fact that the tables have turned on us, and we are now openly seeing the government of our very own country openly killing and raping Muslims. The fact that we live in their countries, don’t make these crimes any less. I will elaborate this point a little later. Many people have hurled some strong statements against him, and I personally think that this should be avoided for the very basic fact that the less we say, the less we are held accountable for on the Day of Judgement. I ask ALLAH that I follow my own advice.

      I’m sure you didn’t mean to omit this, but Shaykh Yasir and others in AlMaghrib Institute in the US, UK, and Canada fundraised, and made their best effort through trailers, and worked with Islamic Relief to help out – you would acknowledge this, I’m sure (see almaghrib forums in the announcements section, youtube search for trailers, facebook events, etc).

      JazakALLAH Khair for raising this point. But remember the point I made about criticizing the red sox when one is in Yankee stadium? Within the confines of Al-Maghrib, and other Islamic organizations AlhamduLILLAH, Sheikh Yasir and other leaders are supporting our brothers and sisters around the world. AlhamduLILLAH. May ALLAH reward them in full. However, in front of US government officials, and members of the jewish community, Sheikh Yasir and the other Imams definitely appears as he said in his own words:


      “..these Western scholars, no matter how popular among the masses, are nothing more than sell-outs: government-appeasing servile acquiescing cowards who are more concerned about their own safety and popularity than the safety and comfort of their persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. ”

      If there was consistency in their behaviour, then this perception from the masses would not exist. These labels don’t just come out of thin air. That’s what I am arguing.

      I think the difference is that there is perception that Muslims have an innate hatred for Jewish people. For Shaykh Yasir in particular, there were some statements he made based on false information which he later recanted. The purpose was to demonstrate that Western Muslim leaders are not holocaust deniers, as most Americans are not aware enough of the differences between sunni muslims and, say, Ahmadinejad shi’ism and may conflate his denials as part and parcel of all Muslim thought.

      It was not, however, a condemnation tour, so I understand the spirit of what you’re trying to say, but there’s not necessarily a one-to-one mapping of analogy, if you get my meaning.

      The point with raising the issue of the Auschwitz visit is that no such visit was ever taken to a land where gross Muslim violations and injustices occurred and where an official statement was released to condemn the actions. Noam Chomsky (a jew by birth) has visited the occupied territories many times, and condemned the Israeli government for its actions, and condemned the US government for its unilateral support for Israel. Did Sheikh Yasir, or anyone else from the west make such a trip, and issue such a statement? First and foremost, anyone can see that this visit definitely had ulterior motives. But that is precisely the point. This motive is irrelevant. Why should public opinion matter? (Yes, why should public opinion matter?) As Muslims, we are supposed to please ALLAH, not the people (how many times has ALLAH commanded us, and even reprimanded the Prophet SAW himself on this very matter?) Regardless of what Yasir Qadhi has said in the past about the holocaust, it shouldn’t, and does not matter. Period. Especially when their is a tremendous amount of injustice occurring at the hands of the very people whom you are extending sympathies. Moreover, Sheikh Yasir has to also choose whose opinions matter to him, the opinion of the US government, the jews, and the american public, or the Muslims. Sheikh Yasir and the other Imams should have thought before conducting this visit about this, how this visit would make them look in the eyes of Muslims around the world. Use whatever logic you can think of, and try to convince a victim of Ghaza how legitimate this visit was.

      I think if you look through MM’s Politics, Society, and Civil Rights section at the top of page, you’ll find many articles condemning American action overseas, insha’Allah.

      This is not the point. The issue is not whether MuslimMatters has criticized the actions of the U.S. The issue is whether the Imams, and leaders of the Muslim community here in the west have collectively come together and issued a statement condemning any action of the western governments, especially against some of the horrendous atrocities that some of our brothers and sisters have just recently experienced. If we saw our leaders come together, and in one voice repeatedly condemned the actions (whether salafi, ash’ari, tablighi, etc), I think our Muslim ummah would have a much different impression of our leaders. On this point, I must say that quite frankly, Sheikh Yasir is quite guilty of playing the role of the victim himself. Don’t like being called, or thought of as being a sell-out? Then avoid doing, or saying things that can be interpreted by the Ummah as such. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck…

      What’s interesting is that when this issue came up, of Shaykh Yasir taking a class with Blair, it didn’t matter that Shaykh Yasir blasted him during Q & A sessions (see on youtube) for his policies – in the end, because he was in his class, one brother told me he was cozying up with tyrants and therefore compromising al wala w’al bara. If that’s cozying, I would hate to see opposition =) In any event, the point wasn’t to engage Blair in a, “let me understand your point of view and see if what you said is valid,” as would be the case between two scholars / teachers with differences of opinion. So again, I understand the spirit of what you’re saying, but upon closer scrutiny, I don’t think the analogy maps as neatly as it might seem.

      Respectfully, this is completely irrelevant. What was Sheikh Yasir hoping to achieve by taking this class? A public apology from Tony Blair? Let me ask you a better question. Would Sheikh Yasir (or you, or anyone else for that matter), take a class with a professor who was guilty of raping one’s sister, and killing one’s brother? Would ANYONE take this class (regardless of this teacher’s qualifications)? I honestly can’t believe anyone can even defend this act. Sheikh Yasir by no means acted towards Tony Blair, the way our Prophet Musa AS spoke to Fir’aun (a much greater tyrant):

      “So go you both to him, and say: ‘Verily, we are Messengers of your Lord, so let the Children of Israel go with us, and torment them not; indeed, we have come with a sign from your Lord! And peace will be upon him who follows the guidance!

      ‘Truly, it has been revealed to us that the torment will be for him who denies [believes not in the Oneness of Allah, and in His Messengers, etc.], and turns away.'(from the truth and obedience of Allah)”

      Surah Ta-Ha: 47-48

      And this is after ALLAH tells Musa AS:

      “And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear Allah.”

      Surah Ta-Ha: 44

      SubhanALLAH. Did Musa ask any questions to Fir’aun? He TOLD Fir’aun to release the children of israel, and threatened him with Hell-Fire if you refused to believe. I ask you to look at the refutation of Sheikh Tawfique Choudhry by Sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki on his alliance with the west, to get further clarification on this matter.

      That being said, if Sheikh Yasir felt the genuine need to take such class (in spite of the arguments I presented above), then all I am saying is extend the same courtesy to other MUSLIMS whom you disagree with. Treat your fellow Muslims who are defending the blood, wealth, and honour of our fellow brothers and sisters, the same as the taghoot that’s all. Is that too much to ask? The fact is, unfortunately, if Sheikh Yasir was to sit with some of these people, he would have a bulls eye on his back by the state dept, and whomever else. Before Sheikh Yasir does an act, he, and any other Imam for that matter, must think twice about the repercussions, and consequences. This is where wala wal-bara comes in.

      Is something like this public knowledge?

      Yes it was. It was mentioned several times on cnn.com well in advance of the meeting. Muslims were invited to submit their questions via various channels for AZ to answer.

      I believe the new Aqeedah IV class by AlMaghrib covers some of the material you’ve requested. About making excuses, I think in the “internal factors” portion of this post, he does just that and acknowledges that their anger is legitimate. However, I think this is a two-way street – there are many who agree with your points that make it a point to call Shaykh Yasir (and for that matter, everyone on MM) munafiqs, kaafirs, etc. I think just as you wish for Shaykh Yasir to make excuses for Muslims whom he disagrees with, I don’t see the same courtesy extended (at least, not in online forums like IA).

      You are correct to point out about some of these comments. Legitimate criticism is needed for the people of knowledge, not rants, name-calling, and tirades. We seriously have a problem with our adab, and akhlaq towards each other. Many great scholars changed their opinions on many issues over the course of time (see Imam Shafi’i), so we should be more respectful to the people of knowledge.


      Perhaps, but what you don’t realize is that people like Shaykh Yasir go through much more in dealing with threats and problems with local law enforcement, most of which they don’t share with publicly because they’re not looking for rep points or street cred with the youth. If you were to ask me who I thought was facing greater difficulties domestically due to world events, I would say our teachers, along with their families, are privately bearing the brunt of difficulties, more so than even the brothers and sisters online defending the legitimacy of actions overseas.

      No doubt, they are under intense scrutiny given their circumstances. I have pointed this out already with respect to the fitnah of the rulers. However, the reality is that this fitnah comes with the territory. All people of knowledge, and leaders of the Ummah have a tremendous responsibility to this Deen, and Ummah, and therefore, we need to hold them accountable. Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) asked from the pulpit: “If I divert away from the straight path what would you do?” One of the companions replied: “We will put you straight with our swords.” This is precisely why, if they are afraid, they should remain silent. It is better they remain silent and put themselves in trouble, then to say something wrong altogether, and risk misleading the people, and carry this burden of ALLAH on the Day of Judgement.

      Why should Shaykh Yasir have to do it when scores of scholars around the world have already done so?

      Refute Sheikh Ibn Uthaimeen? Who, and when? I have read many, many statements by scholars condemning the killing of innocent people (FYI Tahir Qadri does not qualify as a legit scholar), and not one address the very argument, and proofs that Sheikh Ibn Uthaimeen uses. None. However, here lies the real problem. These scholars are not scholars who have any experience on the ground (i.e. they lack any experience fighting jihad themselves), a pre-condition that Sheikh ul-islam Ibn Taymiyyah established himself. In many of these cases, these scholars clearly have an agenda. Moreover, if you read any of these “refutations”, they are very selective in quoting from the Qur’an and Sunnah, and from the Seerah. Such refutations can hardly be deemed credible. These refutations can hardly be referred to as scholarly.

      Why is it a problem that they are against killing innocent civilians? You’ve already acknowledged it’s a strong, legitimate opinion. Regarding Fort Hood, have you read Imam Zaid Shakir’s paper on the issues involved, and are there any research papers you’re aware of critiquing his position?

      It’s not a problem that they are against killing innocent civilians. See my comment above. This is not the issue here. I have read Imam Zaid Shakir’s article on this issue, and it is flawed. Very flawed. While he mentions that there is a concept of trust that is very important in Islam (I’m paraphrasing here), this argument is inconsistent with past historical injustices (by his logic, the black slaves should have remained loyal slaves to their masters, as US law stipulated this…Rosa Parks who refused to sit at the back of the bus, was breaking a US law, and by Imam’s Zaid argument, was wrong to break the law… Muhammad Ali, who refused conscription into the army to fight in Vietnam, was also wrong to defy the US government…Any Muslim living in Germany during the Nazi era, should have been loyal to Hitler). Get the point? If we looked at the big picture using Imam Zaid’s argument’s, we see that Muslims are second class humans. I just simply cannot accept that.

      I believe Shaykh Yasir mentions in his article that one of the difficulties Muslim American scholarship will face is in telling the US government what is wrong with their policies, and as well, that the youth who are angry because of these policies have legitimate feelings on the issues. However, the question is, are our failings solely due to America, or are we having a sort of reverse husn adh-dhann, giving America too much power where in reality they don’t have it, and not taking enough responsibility for ourselves, and our own Muslim countries?

      I agree, absolutely, our leadership in the Muslim world is corrupt, and needs to be changed. However, no scholar, or scholarly body, is doing anything about it, nor condemning them. The only one’s who are? You guessed it…the same brothers fighting the kuffar. My advice to you is read how the leadership was established in the middle east after WWI. Read, “A peace to end all peace” and/or “Kingmakers”. This assault on our religion is much more diabolical then we realize.

      Well, it’s doubtful that it can help everyone, but it is something to note that when many of these brothers are given the responsibilities of a family, they seemingly lose the fervor, settle down, and get a job. Although, I’m not quite sure what father would want to marry his daughters off to such brothers, so it doesn’t seem that practical to me.

      I think I adequately responded to this already. To simply suggest that these youth who are in danger of being “radicalized” will be brought under control through marriage, and having children seems to suggest that these youth are unemployed, and sexually frustrated. News flash: so is the rest of America (sexually frustrated, and unemployed that is). Our youth are angry, because they have been taught about brotherhood/sisterhood, and care about our Ummah (not a bad thing). Our leadership (who likes to play the victim), has failed in trying to reconcile our personal safety here, while standing up and speaking out against the injustices happening to our brethren around the world, while constantly, and actively teaching us how to be good Americans, how we should integrate/assimilate into mainstream society, all the while unable to reconcile the proofs from the Qur’an, Sunnah, and Seerah, on the subject of jihad, wala wal-bara, and living under Shari’ah. Are our scholars afraid to speak the truth, or are we afraid to hear it? Honestly, I’m not sure. Maybe it’s a bit of both.

      I hope brother Siraaj that you find my response to yours respectful, and lucid. I apologize in advance if you find my words, rude, patronizing, or condescending in any way, shape, or form. That certainly was not my intention.

      JazakALLAH Khair for wanting to participate in my “conversation” with Sheikh Yasir. I am flattered.

      Was-Salamu’alaikum.

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      • Mansoor Ansari

        Siraaj & ibnAbdullah,

        regardless of who is right..u both have shown respect to each other & raised valid point. Something rest of the commentators on here can learn something from…

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      • Ibn Abdullah

        As-Salamu’alaikum:

        JazakALLAH Khair. May ALLAH make a path to Jannah easy for you and your family.

        Was-Salamu’alaikum

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      • Siraaj

        As-Salamu’alaikum. JazakALLAH Khair for your respectful response to my comment above. I hope InshaALLAH we can meet one day in person and have coffee together. If you live in Toronto, please let me know.

        Walaykum as salaam br. Fayyaz,

        Man, you’re hitting me in my weak spot :) I’m always game for a cup of joe and late night discussions =) If I ever return, I’ll be sure to look you up, insha’Allah.

        The point I was trying to make earlier with respect to Sheikh Yasir is the fact that he is someone that given his circumstances, he is under tremendous scrutiny, and under the watchful eye of uncle sam. Which is why his comments and statements on the subject must also be understood in light of this context. Can one objectively argue that his opinions would be the same, had he grown up in the occupied territories, or was living in Afghanistan/Iraq and saw a living female relative being raped and murdered?

        I agree – a person who is under scrutiny has much to worry about, and a person who experiences the traumas you’ve mentioned in such a visceral fashion will likely come to different conclusions on how to deal with such criminals. However, I don’t believe a judge must first have experienced a rape or murder within his family in order to pass judgment in a case – his job is to both interpret and implement the law as he believes it to be. The rules are already laid out. In fact, the plaintiff is never judged by the defendant.

        So while I agree there are pressures to be dealt with, and these can affect how scholars come down on issues, I believe more evidence is required to say definitively someone is bowing to pressure and not speaking from knowledge and conscience. If we don’t have the evidence, then we should assume the best until we can prove the worst, insha’Allah.

        As for emotional impact from personal experience, it can also impact judgment, but I believe it can be harmful in coming to a proper judgment.

        The other thing you must understand is that many of these issues have been discussed before (see Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, Serbian slaughter of Bosnians). What is problematic for us is the fact that the tables have turned on us, and we are now openly seeing the government of our very own country openly killing and raping Muslims. The fact that we live in their countries, don’t make these crimes any less. I will elaborate this point a little later.

        I’m not as well-versed in the history of these conflicts, so correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Soviet army invade Afghanistan? And likewise, didn’t the Serbian army likewise go after Bosnians. What I mean to say is that I don’t see where the room was for discussion of the legitimacy for Muslims to go after civilian targets. If you could explain further, I’d appreciate it.

        JazakALLAH Khair for raising this point. But remember the point I made about criticizing the red sox when one is in Yankee stadium? Within the confines of Al-Maghrib, and other Islamic organizations AlhamduLILLAH, Sheikh Yasir and other leaders are supporting our brothers and sisters around the world. AlhamduLILLAH. May ALLAH reward them in full. However, in front of US government officials, and members of the jewish community, Sheikh Yasir and the other Imams definitely appears as he said in his own words:

        “..these Western scholars, no matter how popular among the masses, are nothing more than sell-outs: government-appeasing servile acquiescing cowards who are more concerned about their own safety and popularity than the safety and comfort of their persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. ”

        If there was consistency in their behaviour, then this perception from the masses would not exist. These labels don’t just come out of thin air. That’s what I am arguing.

        It may seem that way, but I can assure that when Shaykh Yasir (can’t speak for others) has spoken to government officials, he has very bluntly laid all the cards on the table, if you will. This past Ilm Summit, we had a roundtable discussion with the FBI, and Shaykh Yasir’s opening statement was straight up blasting US foreign policy.

        In fact, as you’ll be seeing in upcoming series Shaykh Yasir’s been doing with a prominent US news publication, one of the measures he’s been championing is fighting for Muslims to have the ability to openly criticize US foreign policy, to call out and disagree with what is wrong, without repercussion and violation from US domestic intelligence.

        About the fundraiser, I’m not sure I understand the validity of the Boston Fan in Yankee Stadium, or vice versa – he’s still in America, and the event is all over the internet :)

        The point with raising the issue of the Auschwitz visit is that no such visit was ever taken to a land where gross Muslim violations and injustices occurred and where an official statement was released to condemn the actions. Noam Chomsky (a jew by birth) has visited the occupied territories many times, and condemned the Israeli government for its actions, and condemned the US government for its unilateral support for Israel. Did Sheikh Yasir, or anyone else from the west make such a trip, and issue such a statement? First and foremost, anyone can see that this visit definitely had ulterior motives. But that is precisely the point. This motive is irrelevant. Why should public opinion matter? (Yes, why should public opinion matter?) As Muslims, we are supposed to please ALLAH, not the people (how many times has ALLAH commanded us, and even reprimanded the Prophet SAW himself on this very matter?) Regardless of what Yasir Qadhi has said in the past about the holocaust, it shouldn’t, and does not matter. Period. Especially when their is a tremendous amount of injustice occurring at the hands of the very people whom you are extending sympathies. Moreover, Sheikh Yasir has to also choose whose opinions matter to him, the opinion of the US government, the jews, and the american public, or the Muslims. Sheikh Yasir and the other Imams should have thought before conducting this visit about this, how this visit would make them look in the eyes of Muslims around the world. Use whatever logic you can think of, and try to convince a victim of Ghaza how legitimate this visit was.

        I think it’s up to Shaykh Yasir and others to respond to why they have not visited other countries (or even if they haven’t, often our teachers do things and don’t make an event out of it), but to the broader questions you’ve asked about pleasing nonMuslims, injustices, and so on, I think it’s important to keep in mind that just as we have difference and nuance in our own community, so too does the West – a perfect example of that being Noam Chomsky, whom you’ve mentioned. While he’s a more prominent academic, there are others who support Muslims and their causes, for humanitarian reasons, as did Mu’tim ibn Adiyy during the time of the Prophet (SAW).

        So while we should oppose the policies and the policymakers who are out to harm us, I think it’s also important that we build alliances with nonMuslims whom we find trustworthy and principled, and as they existed in the time of the Prophet, they certainly exist now as well. The media dynamic has shifted tremendously in favor of Muslims overall (notwithstanding the Ground Zero mosque, and partially because of it).

        I also don’t believe that by visiting Auschwitz our teachers have negated Ghazzah – I actually believe they’ve built credibility for themselves when they speak out against the atrocities of Ghazzah because if there is anything that builds moral authority in the minds of people (and btw, is a great bridge for daw’ah purposes), it’s a demonstration of fairness and objectivity. For us to acknowledge something evil occurred to others doesn’t require that the others first acknowledge what was done to us.

        This is not the point. The issue is not whether MuslimMatters has criticized the actions of the U.S. The issue is whether the Imams, and leaders of the Muslim community here in the west have collectively come together and issued a statement condemning any action of the western governments, especially against some of the horrendous atrocities that some of our brothers and sisters have just recently experienced. If we saw our leaders come together, and in one voice repeatedly condemned the actions (whether salafi, ash’ari, tablighi, etc), I think our Muslim ummah would have a much different impression of our leaders. On this point, I must say that quite frankly, Sheikh Yasir is quite guilty of playing the role of the victim himself. Don’t like being called, or thought of as being a sell-out? Then avoid doing, or saying things that can be interpreted by the Ummah as such. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck…

        Yes, but MuslimMatters is basically under his supervision.

        Btw, I don’t think condemnation of atrocities is the issue – I believe the condemnation is coming, but it’s one thing to say, “That’s evil,” and quite another to say, “This is how we go about dealing with it.” It is the latter statement that is causing the difficulty. If you look at the articles we have, regarding Ali Timimi, Dr. Aafia, currently Dr. Dremali, and even Imam Anwar, MM was out there condemning what was being done, and YQ with us. I’ll even take it a step further and say that others, even from our theological cousins (as Shaykh Yasir calls them), have been on the forefront of condemnation. I don’t think condemnation is the issue, I think it is the way they are engaging the solution (political activism, identity politics, alliance building with non-Muslims, etc) that gets them the sell-out moniker because it’s simply not as tough as stance.

        I don’t totally disagree that there are other Muslim organizations that use these tools and are basically photo-op and publicity fanatics, and because of these folks, we tend to associate that type of mindset and thought process with that work, but I think the point is that Shaykh Yasir and others are looking to engage these resources for the betterment of the Ummah, as opposed to, say, legitimizing civilian targets for military purposes.

        Respectfully, this is completely irrelevant. What was Sheikh Yasir hoping to achieve by taking this class? A public apology from Tony Blair? Let me ask you a better question. Would Sheikh Yasir (or you, or anyone else for that matter), take a class with a professor who was guilty of raping one’s sister, and killing one’s brother? Would ANYONE take this class (regardless of this teacher’s qualifications)? I honestly can’t believe anyone can even defend this act. Sheikh Yasir by no means acted towards Tony Blair, the way our Prophet Musa AS spoke to Fir’aun (a much greater tyrant):

        “So go you both to him, and say: ‘Verily, we are Messengers of your Lord, so let the Children of Israel go with us, and torment them not; indeed, we have come with a sign from your Lord! And peace will be upon him who follows the guidance!

        ‘Truly, it has been revealed to us that the torment will be for him who denies [believes not in the Oneness of Allah, and in His Messengers, etc.], and turns away.’(from the truth and obedience of Allah)”

        Surah Ta-Ha: 47-48

        And this is after ALLAH tells Musa AS:

        “And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear Allah.”

        Surah Ta-Ha: 44

        SubhanALLAH. Did Musa ask any questions to Fir’aun? He TOLD Fir’aun to release the children of israel, and threatened him with Hell-Fire if you refused to believe. I ask you to look at the refutation of Sheikh Tawfique Choudhry by Sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki on his alliance with the west, to get further clarification on this matter.

        That being said, if Sheikh Yasir felt the genuine need to take such class (in spite of the arguments I presented above), then all I am saying is extend the same courtesy to other MUSLIMS whom you disagree with. Treat your fellow Muslims who are defending the blood, wealth, and honour of our fellow brothers and sisters, the same as the taghoot that’s all. Is that too much to ask? The fact is, unfortunately, if Sheikh Yasir was to sit with some of these people, he would have a bulls eye on his back by the state dept, and whomever else. Before Sheikh Yasir does an act, he, and any other Imam for that matter, must think twice about the repercussions, and consequences. This is where wala wal-bara comes in.

        Firstly, Shaykh Yasir mentions in his article he prayed istikhaara on the matter, consulted with others, and then took the class. If the Creator of the heavens and earth permitted him the time and space to study with this person, I don’t think any amount of back and forth between us will make a whit of difference – the One who is in control of all affairs, when consulted, made the way easy for Him.

        Secondly, I think we should review what Shaykh Yasir himself said because he himself says in the article that the biggest problem for him was being in a classroom with a person who was responsible for so much of what happened in Iraq, and this is what kept him away from the application process for the longest time. However, there were other pros, such as being able to learn from some of the top professors in Yale on the topics covered (Blair was there part of the time, not all the time), and because of the rigor of the application process, only the top students within Yale could get in. Shaykh Yasir mentioned that along with the topic being relevant to his own work, he would be able to have the Muslim perspective heard in a gathering where it normally doesn’t occur. You can re-read the article and his thoughts here when you get a chance, insha’Allah:

        http://muslimmatters.org/2009/02/04/to-blair-or-not-to-blair-that-is-the-question/

        But just to re-iterate, the point of the class was not Blair himself, but the opportunities in such a high caliber gathering – the debates and confrontations with Blair were more of a sideshow and a chance expose those mala’, if you will, to our way of thinking on a number of issues related to faith and globalization.

        Generally speaking, however, I do agree that in dealing with issues of disagreement among ourselves, it is better not to dehumanize others and caricature them as one-dimensional cookie cutter personalities.

        Yes it was. It was mentioned several times on cnn.com well in advance of the meeting. Muslims were invited to submit their questions via various channels for AZ to answer.

        Maybe he missed it? I know I did, and I read the news all the time :) That’s not to say he would have done it anyway, but I’m just saying it could just as easily have been missed.

        No doubt, they are under intense scrutiny given their circumstances. I have pointed this out already with respect to the fitnah of the rulers. However, the reality is that this fitnah comes with the territory. All people of knowledge, and leaders of the Ummah have a tremendous responsibility to this Deen, and Ummah, and therefore, we need to hold them accountable. Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) asked from the pulpit: “If I divert away from the straight path what would you do?” One of the companions replied: “We will put you straight with our swords.” This is precisely why, if they are afraid, they should remain silent. It is better they remain silent and put themselves in trouble, then to say something wrong altogether, and risk misleading the people, and carry this burden of ALLAH on the Day of Judgment.

        Yes, I agree that fitnah comes with the territory, and as well they should be held accountable. However, what ‘Umar was referring to is what is clear, whereas it is not clear for many what the correct way forward is in these circumstances (i.e. there isn’t ijmaa’), and it is also not proven that the choices Shaykh Yasir and others of our teachers are championing are due to that pressure. If we don’t have proof, then we are required to give them the benefit of the doubt that they are not trying to sell out.

        I do believe this cuts both ways in theory, and Shaykh Salman al-Oadah demonstrated this in his letter to Osama Bin Laden (written in 2007, I believe). However, I think in practice, given our situation, our teachers not only speak on behalf of themselves, but also our community, and have to factor in how their statements will represent the Muslim community, though they are not asking for representation from these people. We might point out Imam Ahmad’s strong stance in the face of adversity, but remember that his stance was done to protect the people from deviant knowledge, whereas all other scholars found a way out through equivocation or lying, and when they told him, you have a concession due to circumstance, he didn’t deny it.

        My point in all this is that there is a fine line to walk in terms of both speaking your mind about atrocities, speaking on behalf of the community (largely nonpracticing), and extending a hand out to discuss proper methodology with those whom the government wants to track and take down. These are difficult times, and I don’t believe there is one right or wrong answer, but there are attempted solutions, and everyone is trying to please Allah the best way they know how.

        Refute Sheikh Ibn Uthaimeen? Who, and when? I have read many, many statements by scholars condemning the killing of innocent people (FYI Tahir Qadri does not qualify as a legit scholar), and not one address the very argument, and proofs that Sheikh Ibn Uthaimeen uses. None. However, here lies the real problem. These scholars are not scholars who have any experience on the ground (i.e. they lack any experience fighting jihad themselves), a pre-condition that Sheikh ul-islam Ibn Taymiyyah established himself. In many of these cases, these scholars clearly have an agenda. Moreover, if you read any of these “refutations”, they are very selective in quoting from the Qur’an and Sunnah, and from the Seerah. Such refutations can hardly be deemed credible. These refutations can hardly be referred to as scholarly.

        I’m not in a position to say whose refutation is scholarly and whose isn’t, but just out of curiosity, was shaykh ibn uthaimeen ever on the battlefield (I’m asking because I’m ignorant of this). Also, what are your thoughts on using fatawa on ijtihaadi issues that are divorced not only from location, but time itself?

        It’s not a problem that they are against killing innocent civilians. See my comment above. This is not the issue here. I have read Imam Zaid Shakir’s article on this issue, and it is flawed. Very flawed. While he mentions that there is a concept of trust that is very important in Islam (I’m paraphrasing here), this argument is inconsistent with past historical injustices (by his logic, the black slaves should have remained loyal slaves to their masters, as US law stipulated this…Rosa Parks who refused to sit at the back of the bus, was breaking a US law, and by Imam’s Zaid argument, was wrong to break the law… Muhammad Ali, who refused conscription into the army to fight in Vietnam, was also wrong to defy the US government…Any Muslim living in Germany during the Nazi era, should have been loyal to Hitler). Get the point? If we looked at the big picture using Imam Zaid’s argument’s, we see that Muslims are second class humans. I just simply cannot accept that.

        Respectfully, this is not a scholarly refutation, nor is it dealing with the evidences as they were presented. I think it needs further analysis, and should be spoken in the context of how muslims are to deal with such circumstances in light of the evidences. Meaning, I’d like to see specifically why the evidences were misapplied. What was presented was more emotional rather than juristic, and also demonstrative of the tyranny of the majority in democracy when misapplied, and not a discussion of what happens when a minority lives in a country and agrees to abide by the rules of the country.

        I agree, absolutely, our leadership in the Muslim world is corrupt, and needs to be changed. However, no scholar, or scholarly body, is doing anything about it, nor condemning them. The only one’s who are? You guessed it…the same brothers fighting the kuffar. My advice to you is read how the leadership was established in the middle east after WWI. Read, “A peace to end all peace” and/or “Kingmakers”. This assault on our religion is much more diabolical then we realize.

        Well, I think those within such countries have legitimate excuse not to, but outside it, I believe many of our teachers have roundly condemned (and poked fun at) Muslim world leaders.

        I think I adequately responded to this already. To simply suggest that these youth who are in danger of being “radicalized” will be brought under control through marriage, and having children seems to suggest that these youth are unemployed, and sexually frustrated. News flash: so is the rest of America (sexually frustrated, and unemployed that is).

        I think the point was more that marriage and responsibilities change a person’s perspective in many ways and gives them life experience from a different lens. That’s not to say a person will change their views overnight, or that they’re not capable of carrying out such behavior (Faisal Shahzad being the prime example), but I believe what is meant is that generally speaking, it has a perspective altering effect and can act as a deterrent in this way (not because the brother’s sexual frustration is alleviated).

        Our youth are angry, because they have been taught about brotherhood/sisterhood, and care about our Ummah (not a bad thing). Our leadership (who likes to play the victim), has failed in trying to reconcile our personal safety here, while standing up and speaking out against the injustices happening to our brethren around the world, while constantly, and actively teaching us how to be good Americans, how we should integrate/assimilate into mainstream society, all the while unable to reconcile the proofs from the Qur’an, Sunnah, and Seerah, on the subject of jihad, wala wal-bara, and living under Shari’ah. Are our scholars afraid to speak the truth, or are we afraid to hear it? Honestly, I’m not sure. Maybe it’s a bit of both.

        In Makkah, when the Prophet (SAW) was preaching Islam to the mushrikeen, many of the early Muslims were weak and did not have the backing of tribal affiliations, and were oppressed and tortured as a result. When they came, asking the Prophet (SAW) for help, they were counseled with patience and reminded that others had dealt with far worse in previous nations to protect their faith.

        Let me be clear – I’m not saying we should just be tough and take whatever’s dished out at us. I am saying that trying circumstances require patience, and we have to be intelligent in the choice of means we have at our disposal, given our circumstances. The Muslims of that time wanted to fight back, and Allah could have easily given all of them victory right there, but the purpose of making that community work and struggle and strive was to provide us with an example for a time when we couldn’t just randomly call down a miracle, and would not have access to revelation because that was how the rest of time would follow, and that is where we are now – we have to be intelligent in how we operate, and then we turn to Allah after that to help.

        I hope brother Siraaj that you find my response to yours respectful, and lucid. I apologize in advance if you find my words, rude, patronizing, or condescending in any way, shape, or form. That certainly was not my intention.

        Absolutely not bro, I didn’t find your words rude, as I mentioned to Ibn Batoota, I think we’re all emotionally invested in this because, as you mentioned, we care for our brothers and sisters around the world deeply and want the best for them.

        I’ve been with Shaykh Yasir, and I can see the weight of the struggle on him and others as they try to move forward and make the best decisions for the sake of our community’s betterment, and more importantly, for the sake of pleasing Allah.

        One of the reasons I have a great deal of respect for him is because while he’s had access to many personalities and learning experiences, he’s not arrogant in that he’ll not consider your words, and constructive criticism (provided it’s constructive and not simply inflammatory). I write about this topic somewhat in my blog post Shaykh’s Don’t Know Everything on MuslimBestLife.

        May Allah guide us all to those actions, words, and thoughts that are most pleasing to Him, and unite the hearts and minds of the Muslims upon this.

        Siraaj

        PS – man, these are long posts to write, you owe me two coffees bro ;)

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      • Mansoor Ansari

        I’m not as well-versed in the history of these conflicts, so correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Soviet army invade Afghanistan? And likewise, didn’t the Serbian army likewise go after Bosnians. What I mean to say is that I don’t see where the room was for discussion of the legitimacy for Muslims to go after civilian targets. If you could explain further, I’d appreciate it.

        br. Siraaj most commentators here r not arguing for targeting civilians but asking for our shuyookh & community leaders to vocally acknowledge that there is jihad going on in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia & Palestine to begin with. Are they willing to show support to the cause? They can call them out if & when they target civilians but will they praise them when they attack military targets?

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  78. Amatul Wadood

    Salamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

    Sheikh i did greatly benefit from a number of your works, Alhamdulillah, jazakAllah Khair… BUT i dont agree with your views in this article…

    I wonder if you would write this way if your family was in iraq or palestine or kashmir…

    PS im against killing the innocents…

    but be reminded we have the not so innocent ones spreading evil on earth…. what about them sheikh? should we be ONLY doing “acaedemic islam” …….like ONLY??!!! no ryt?! so address on the topic too…

    why is there so much of zeal to defend a faasiq government at the expense of a Muslim scholar??!! unbelievable!!

    may AllahSWT take away wahn from our hearts!

    Allahumma Rabba Jibraeel wa Mikaeel wa Israfeel, Faatira Samaawati wal Ard. ‘Aalim al ghaib wa shahaadah. Anta tahkumu baina ‘ibaadik feema kaanu feehi thakhthalifoon. Ihdinee limakhthulifa feehi minal haqqi bi iznik, innaka thahdee man thashaa ilaa siraatin mustaqeem

    (O Allah! Lord of Jibraeel, Mikaeel, Israafeel, Creator of the heavens and the earth, Knower of the seen and the unseen. You are the arbitrator between Your Servants in that which they have disputed. guide me to the truth by Your Leave, in that which they have differed, for verily You guide Whom You Will to the straight path)

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    • Amad

      Hmm. Sister, did you even read the article? Defending the government?

      I would suggest taking a deep breath and rereading the article carefully because I am not sure I see where you are coming from.

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      • Amatul Wadood

        Yes brother amad. i did read the article. And i didnt read with a preconceived mind set or i dint just say something which is irrelevant (well it depends on how you see it)…

        i respect and appreciate Sheikh Yasir Qadhi for his efforts in spreading ilm…….but i can never agree with most of the points in this article…and if you read some of the comments you might understand what i mean by defending the goverment… (no im not saying he’s a hypocrite or anything and may AllahSWT guide and increase him in goodness)

        to make it short… when you take a certain stance or voice out certain opinions you could indirectly be doing something which you dont really believe in….

        there has to be a balance…it’s very easy to just put down the ones who are striving to establish the deen of AllahSWT..seriously forget about the black sheeps, you can find them in every sector of human community……

        why is it that we have put the “radicals” under the microscope (and by the way this is exactly what CNN, Fox news, BBC etc try to do right?! ) and in the process we have mixed all of them and address all of them even worser than we would address a faasiq…. there has to be justice maintained…. no place for double standards… if you can give excuses for some evil doers and be “patient” with them then how much more should we make excuse and aid our brothers and sisters who are striving in the right way….

        BE VERY CLEAR im against killing innocents and i highly appreciate people who try to educate their non muslim friends, colleagues etc about islam and who behave with them in a just manner……BUT BE VERY CLEAR TOO…. that i highly appreciate the ones who have sacrificed their AC rooms and luxurious life styles to aid the ummah and also the ones who are “poor” and have nothing but few pebbles to guard and protect their homes from the tyrants…. Im not asking all of you to go out and wage war….but please do a favour of keeping silence instead of ridiculing our brothers and sisters who are suffering and striving with their wealth and lives…

        it’s no fun to be doing what they are doing…..so plz make dua for them…..and may AllahSWT protect us from being among the ones against whom the oppressed ones are making dua…. seriously if i read the article right now watching blood stains all over, hearing children cry in pain and hunger, in gaza, kashmir , or elsewhere where brutalities are carried out by the enemies of AllahSWT, my most likely human reaction would be to make dua against the ones who say that they are not supposed to be doing anything to help the ones suffering…

        may AllahSWT protect us all from the plots of the accursed shaytan and his allies!

        Allahu Ni’mal Wakeel wa Ni’ma Naseer!

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    • kiya

      Sister, you are 100% right! That was the word I was looking for, the word WAHN-Yes! too much hubbu dunya!!!

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  79. The Caravan Is Moving And The Dogs Are Barking

    Written by Shaykh Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi. Fits here pretty well I think:

    “Listen losers, The MujāhidÄ«n do not need your advice that is defeated under the feet of the fake western culture. They do not need your analysis that is low and broken under the boots of the regimes of the collaborators and their masters in Washington, London, Paris and Berlin. How can you while most of you are covering for your masters in the White House, 10 Downing Street and the Elsie Palace, you keep saying that their war on Islām is not a crusade but a war on terror that has damaged the picture of Islām, while your masters contradict you in their statements. Shame on you dwarfs, what do you know? They said it, it is a crusade and it has been declared on Islām the faith of terrorism, those words were repeated by their generals that describe Muslims as worshipers of Idols and devil. It was announced by their courts and organizations that has declared a war on the Hijab (head cover) that is considered terror and a threat to secularism. You choose to close your ears and eyes and insisted on forging the truth.

    The Mujāhidīn do not need you, half men and with no resolve. They do not need any advice on Jihād from scholars who are paid for and defeated. They do not need to ask you if it is okay with you or if their Jihād is compatible with you thinking. No, they do not need that. They have all the wisdom and the vision that they need. Die in your anger, and continue your criticism of the Mujāhidīn. You cannot destroy their resolve; your poisoned pins would not affect their Jihād . Nothing will affect them.

    But you, good MujāhidÄ«n, the best answer to those bad people is ignoring them and to stay with the Jihād and to continue to kill and fight every enemy of Allāh [تعالى]. Disregard their opinion, the caravan is going and the dogs are barking. They enjoy the barking.”

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  80. n

    I am a practicing Muslim who believes in the mainstream sunni orthodoxy and to be perfectly honest, this whole topic is a bit confusing.

    I think the dawah by almaghrib and yasir qadhi etc has been succesful in the west mas’hallah. However, sheikh yasir qadhi, I want u to know that the style you used in this article refuting or commenting on the jihad is a bit off putting. It has slight resemblance to the neo salafi refutations.

    However, when it comes to this topic of jihad. I am confused. Its not that I think its ok to go kill civilians and others who pay taxes. I don’t think thats really the truth.

    However, to say that we should put our alliances above helping other muslims overseas, and that protecting our alliances is more important? Let me be more clear. I’m not saying lets break alliances because that would be WRONG.

    What I am saying is that is it REALLY that important to stay put in a land and encourage all muslims in a land that is slowly becoming so antagonistic towards Muslims. I’m not saying everyone go and make jihad. I’m not qualified for such comments.

    What I am saying is that the LEAST we can do is tell people that if they find a way, that perhaps they should find another land, muslim or non muslim where they can be more respected and not so on the spot as the muslims are becoming in America.

    I just feel like its such a taboo to talk about ‘hijra’ in the muslim community. Even the daees themselves seem so somehow ‘against’ it. Why is that so?

    I dont pay taxes to the US government to go kill my muslim brothers and sisters. Isn’t that something we should strive for??? Something so basic as to not fund other muslim brethen being killed??

    I dont think sheikh yasir qadhi is somehow allied w/ the government as some ppl insinuate. Thats stupidity in my opinon. However, I am starting to think after this article that the pressure in america politically is really too great. and i think the time will come when the shuyookh will start saying things perhaps w/ the best of intentions that somehow scratch your heart and your heart cannot be content with it.

    And Allah Knows Best.

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  81. bigakh

    sh.yasir needs to do a CD set on the fiqh of jihad….do it! do it! do it!

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    • Mansoor Ansari

      I would say we need a seminar on this – mite need to give 1 weekend to Q&A :)

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  82. Tricia

    Ibn Mikdad, we need to define Sufism, because it appears what you are talking about and what we are talking about, are two separate things. When we refer to Sufism we refer to the branch of knowledge called tasawwuf dealing with the inward matters which complements the fiqh that deals with outward rulings. It goes hand in hand with the law and is not to be divorced from it. Just as the sahaba did not have the term “fiqh,” so too did “tasawwuf” come about to describes the spiritual aspects of Islam (tazkiyyat un nafs, which is referred to many times in Quran) which the Prophets and sahaba didnt need to name because it was embodied in their practice. We are talking about the same Sufism our early imams spoke of:

    Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said about the Sufis: “I don’t know people better than them.” Someone said to him: “They listen to music and they reach states of ecstasy.” He said: “Do you prevent them from enjoying an hour with Allah?”
    Imam al- Shafi`i said: “Be both a faqih and a sufi: do not be only one of them! Verily, by Allah’s truth, I am advising you sincerely.
    Imam Malik said: “He who practices tasawwuf without learning Sacred Law corrupts his faith, while he who learns Sacred Law without practicing tasawwuf corrupts himself. Only he who combines the two proves true.”
    For Abu Madyan, an aspirant’s spiritual progress
    could never be separated from his social responsibility:
    “Sufism is not the (mere) observance of rules, nor does it consist of degrees or stages. Instead, Sufism consists of personal integrity, generosity of spirit, the emulation of what has been revealed, knowledge of the (divine) Message, and adhering to the way of the prophets. He who deviates from these sources finds himself grazing in the gardens of Satan, submerged in the ocean of lusts, and wandering in the darkness of ignorance.” [Bidayat al-murid (Basic principles of the Sufi path); Abu Madyan]

    http://www.livingislam.org/tsw.html

    Calling anyone who performs bid’a a Sufi is like those who see terrorism and call it Islam. We are talking about two separate things.

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    • Ibn Mikdad

      Imam Ahmad sanctioning music? That alone does enough to show you have no idea what you’re talking about. That and quoting GF Haddad. I’ll address Mesut’s and perhaps yours comment more thoroughly tomorrow inshaAllah.

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      • Tricia

        Ok Ibn Mikdad, put those two aside. You still have a host of other references by well-known scholars to contend with:

        http://mac.abc.se/~onesr/f/ts/Tasawwuf%20shuyukh.htm

        Also, if you are from the Muslims who look to Saudi Arabia for your religion, the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs has also stated that tasawwuf is part of Islam:

        http://www.al-islam.com/articles/articles-e.asp?fname=tui+ch6

        This is not about you being wrong and me being right. This is about simply acknowledging the existence of this science within the Islamic tradition, not whatever has been attributed to it by way of Orientalists and certain Hanbali sects. Salaamu alaikum.

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      • Brother

        If prophet Muhammed (pbuh) didn’t sanction this kind of dancing to music and call it Sufism, then whatever anyone else says doesn’t really matter.

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      • Ibn Mikdad.

        “When we refer to Sufism we refer to the branch of knowledge called tasawwuf dealing with the inward matters which complements the fiqh that deals with outward rulings”

        If sufism was only about this, I don’t think I would have much of a problem with it. But it’s not. It doesn’t simply deal with human psychology, it reaches into and distorts our theology and fiqh. Contemporary sufism teaches pantheism, practices innovated and digusting forms of “dhikr” and demands blind obedience to a shaykh whose authority rest not upon his knowledge of Qur’an, sunnah and fiqh, but on his alleged / non – existent communication with the Prophet s.a.w.s. and who usually claims to have super human abilities. This is what Haqqani has recently ascribed to himself with regards to the rescued Chilean miners: “He prayed on their behalf, for their safety and well-being, and he asked the Ahl an-Nawba (spiritual guardians) in Chile to look after them and make their rescue easy. He instructed the 33 workers to repeat as much as possible – “there is no god but The God”.” Right.

        “This is about simply acknowledging the existence of this science within the Islamic tradition, not whatever has been attributed to it by way of Orientalists and certain Hanbali sects”

        My problem with sufism has nothing to do with what’s being ascribed to it by orientalists or non – existent sects, but what’s been ascribed to them by the video camera recording the footage I linked to above. That ‘s not Islam. The Prophet s.a.w.s. never behaved like a mad man.

        ” You still have a host of other references by well-known scholars to contend with:

        http://mac.abc.se/~onesr/f/ts/Tasawwuf%20shuyukh.htm

        Also, if you are from the Muslims who look to Saudi Arabia for your religion, the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs has also stated that tasawwuf is part of Islam:

        http://www.al-islam.com/articles/articles-e.asp?fname=tui+ch6

        Linking to Great Fabricator Haddad’s site doesn’t help your argument. To illsutrate: he claims that Mawdudi was a sufi. Anyone familiar with Mawdudi knows that he wasn’t into tariqas and that he didn’t accept their theological convictions nor their blind following of madhhabs. That’s just one example of how he intentionally misconstrues the way scholars have, throughout centuries, used the word “tasawwuf” (which is a term they used to describe asceticism and dedication to self – improvement and purification in general), to ascribe his tariqa – based, pantheism – preaching, innovation – practicing and utterly distorted version of Islam to them.

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      • Tricia

        Ibn Mikdad, my dear brother….

        It seems to me your task is not to dismiss the people who provide you with the info, but to disprove the info itself. It is much easier for you to do the former. Everything outlined in that website can be verified from the books mentioned. You have a host of scholars who talked about something called “tasawwuf” in their books, and you, as a Muslim, now have an obligation to wonder what it was they were talking about? Were they all “astray”?

        What you consider Sufism are cherry-picked examples of extremes…they do not describe what Imam Shafii wrote about when he advised us to be neither a faqih or a sufi, but be both. They do not describe what Imam Malik wrote about when he said fiqh without tasawwuf is problematic and tasawwuf without fiqh is problematic (paraphrase).

        My guess is your Hanbalist Salafist teachers neglected to tell you about this science. I say Hanbalist-Salafist, because there are Hanbali scholars mentioned there who wrote about tasawwuf!

        I used to think Sufism was some Buddhist bid’a brought into Islam. Until I understood tasawwuf. Then I realized why my Islam was so legalistic, I did not have a spiritual dimension to compliment that legalism. I suspect this is the case with you. Good luck on your journey brother, we are all learning and revising what we know, including myself.

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      • Ibn Mikdad.

        I say again, word “tasawwuf” was used to describe different things by different people. Early scholars said “tasawwuf” and meant asceticism, focus on the purification of the heart , etc. Quotes from the two Imams, if and only if they’re authentic, can refer only to that “tasawwuf”. Ibn Taymiyyah said: “If Ibn Araby claims a relationship to “Sufism” it is the sufism of deviants and philosophers, and not the sufism of the people of knowledge, let alone that of a leader of the people of the Quran and the Sunnah. These were people such as Al-Fadheel ibn ‘Iyaadh, Ibrahim ibn Ad-ham, Abi Sulaiman Ad-Daaraani, Ma’roof Al-Karkhi, Al-Junaid ibn Muhammad, Sahl ibn Abdallah At-Tastry, and others like them, may Allah be pleased with them all.”

        Otherwise, they had few nice things to say about the predecessors of contemporary sufis. Imam Shafi’i also said: “If a person exercised Sufism (Tasawafa) at the beginning of the day, he doesn’t come at Zuhur except an idiot”.

        As for Imam Malik, Ibn al-Jawzi narrates in his book “Talbees Iblees” (the Deceptions of Satan) p. 392 that ‘Abdul-Malek ibn Zeyad al-Naseebi said: We were with [Imam] Malik when I mentioned to him the Sufis in my state, I said: They wear the most luxurious garments from Yemen, and they do so and so. He said: Woe to you, are these Muslims?! He said: He then laughed until he lied on his back.

        One of his companions sitting with him said to me: O you, we never saw any who is a greater of a calamity on this Shaykh [i.e. Imam Malik] then you, this is the first time ever we see him laugh.

        A similar story was mentioned in the book “Tarteeb Al-Madarik wa Taqreeb Al-Masalik” (2/54) by Al-Qadi ‘Iyad, from the narration of ‘Abdul-Allah ibn Yusuf al-Taneesi, who was present during this story, and is one of the famous companions of Imam Malik.

        Al-Taneesi said: We were with Malik, and his companions were around him when a man, from the people of Nasibeen, said: O Abu ‘Abdullah (i.e. Imam Malik) we have people that are called al-Soufia (the Sufis) that eat a lot, then recite poetry, and then stand up and dance.

        Malik said: Are they small kids?
        The man replied: No.

        He then asked: Are they Madmen (crazy or insane)?
        The man replied: No, they are old people and over that they are sane

        Malik said: I never heard that anyone of the people of Islam would do such a thing.

        The man added: They eat, and then stand up and dance, some of them hitting their heads, and others slapping their faces.

        Imam Malik laughed, and then stood up, and entered his house.

        Imam Malik’s companions said to the man, you were a misfortune on our companion, we sat with him for thirty-something years and never saw him laugh except on this day.

        I’m not pointing to “extremes” among the sufis; the videos I linked to are contemporary sufis, and if they were some extremists they’d be condemned by the imagnary “moderate” sufis. But they are not, nor will they be because “moderates” do not exist, and this behavior is something none of them have a problem with.

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      • Ibn Mikdad.

        Few other quotes:

        l-Imam Abu Bakr Al-Tartoushi [May Allah have mercy on him] was asked:

        What does our knowledgeable master say about the mazhab of the Sufis?

        And know – May Allah preserve your time – that a group of men gather, and then increase in the mentioning of Allah the Exalted, and the mentioning of Muhammad peace be upon him, after which they hit with a rod on an Adeem, and some of them stand up and dance and Yatawajad, until he falls unconscious, and then they get something to eat.

        Is attending with them permissible or not?

        Answer us, May Allah have mercy on you.

        The answer:

        May Allah have mercy on you, the mazhab of the Sufis is that of Batalah (wastefulness), Jahalah (ignorance), and Dalalah (misguidance). Islam is but the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His messenger.

        As for the dancing and the Tawajud, the first to perform this are the companions of Al-Samiry, when he founded for them an image of a calf that had a sound, so they started dancing around it and Yatawajadoon, thus [this action] is the religion of the Kuffar (unbelievers), and the worshippers of the calf.

        As for the [hitting with the] rod, the first to adopt this action are the Zanadiqah (disbelieving heretics), to distract Muslims from the Book of Allah the Exalted.

        Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him used to sit with his companions, as if birds were standing on their heads from their dignity [tranquility and stillness]. That is why the Sultan and his assistants are required to stop [these people] from gathering in Masjids and in any other place.

        It is not permissible for anyone that believes in Allah and the Hereafter to attend with them, and to assist them in their evil and wastefulness, and that is the Mazhab of Malik, Abu Hanifa, Al-Shafi’y, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and others from the scholars of the Muslims, and from Allah we seek success.

        Source:
        Al-Jami’ Le Ahkam Al-Quran by Al-Imam Al-Qurtubi 11/237-238

        The great scholar Mahmoud Shukri Al-Alousi the Mufti of Baghdad, who exposed the Sufis as people of lies and deceptions, and that they have a Taqiya just as the Rafidahs do. He says in his Tafseer 11/72-73, in his explanation of the verse {And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks} (31:6):

        “What is uglier than this is what is done by the Satans of the Sufis and their Devils. They – May Allah disgrace them – when one objects to them about the falsehood contained in their poetry, they reply: we mean by wine: the love of God, or by drunkenness: it (i.e. the love) taking over [and consuming us], or by Mayah and Layl and Sa’dah for example: the Greatest one loved and that is Allah all Mighty!

        And contained in this from the impoliteness and ill-manner what is clear, [and Allah the Exalted says]: {And the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allâh, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny (or utter impious speech against) His Names} (7:180)”.

        In page 75 he says: “… and from the forbidden things to listen to is what the Sufis of our time listen to; even if it did not contain dancing, since its harms are more than can be counted. In many times they recite poetry that is from the most appalling things recited, and with this they believe that it brings them closer [to Allah]. They claim that the more you seek this, the more you are fearful and loving, May Allah’s Curse be on them, how deluded away from the truth are they!”

        Al-Imam ibn Al-Haj Al-Maliki is one of the scholars who Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar transmitted a lot [of his views] in his book Fath Al-Bari. From the most famous of his works is his book “Al-Madkhal”, in which he refuted many of the innovations of the Sufis.

        He said [May Allah have mercy on him] in his book “Al-Madkhal” (3/99) while talking about Sufis and the innovation of singing and dancing, the following:

        “It was mentioned that some people asked for a fatwa in the year 661 H, and sought and collected the opinions of the four Mazhabs in this matter, and its wording is:

        “What is the opinion of the masters of Fiqh, the Imams of this Religion, and the Scholars of the Muslims – May Allah grant them success to His obedience, and assist them in what Pleases Him – in a group from among the Muslims, who arrived to a city and headed to the Masjid, and started clapping, singing, and dancing, once with their hands and in another time using Doufs and Shababah. Is such an act Islamically permissible in a Masjid, answer us – May Allah the Exalted reward you and have mercy on you?

        The Shafi’is said: Sama’ (Listening [to the above mentioned]) is a Detested form of play which is similar to Batil (Falsehood), and whoever says by it (i.e. agrees on it and accepts it), his testimony would be rejected (Turad Shahadatuh), and Allah knows best.

        The Malikis said: The rulers and the ones responsible should restrain and prevent them [from this], and eject them (expel them) from the Masjids until they Repent and Return [to Allah], and Allah knows best.

        The Hanbalis said: Whoever does this, one should not pray behind him, and his testimony should not be accepted, and his ruling should not be accepted even if he was a judge/ruler, and if he performs a marriage ‘Aqd (contract) then it is Fasid (Void), and Allah knows best.

        The Hanafis said: The rug that they dance on is not to be prayed on until it is washed, and the earth that they dance on is not to be prayed on until its sand is dug and thrown away, and Allah knows best.”

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  83. kiya

    I used to like this sheikh, but now he looks like he is very dangerous to the movement of Khilafah. Very dangerous!!!

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  84. Abu Arsalan

    YQ, If you are indeed a scholar of jihad then write a book on it and explain to the modern world (including the mujahideen) what it is. If you are not a scholar of the topic then don’t comment on anything concerning it. Until then you are just a keyboard critic sitting in an Ivy league college computer lab.

    My feeling is that you will not write a book on it because you are worried what your fellow American citizens that you are working so hard to please, might find out the truth concerning this topic (if you are indeed truthful) and use it against you in one of your luncheons you have with them.

    Before you write a book or give a lecture just think about all the things you will have to explain for, such as events like, the Prophet (saw) executing all the men of the jewish tribe or the Prophet (saw) ordering the assassination of Kaab ibn Ashraf just to name a couple. There is a reason why no scholar living in the west will talk or write about this subject.

    Oh btw, you say we disillusioned youth go to extremism due to problems getting married. I am married with 4 children. alhamdulillah

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  85. Umm Hanifa

    Salaam

    Jazak Allah Khair shaykh for bringing these issues to light. Just a point I would like to make as I myself am a wife of a daee in the west. So I have first hand experience in the troubles we face from the governments and the stresses of daily life.

    From a wife’s perspective, it is so distressing after reading books like “Enemy Combatant” when innocent activists are locked away and tortured. Not to mention the amount of times we get stopped and searched in the airport. Get put in separate rooms and questioned for hours about where we went and what we did.

    So while I understand it is a necessity for our muslim leaders to stand up and speak more openly and frankly about what is happening (as in my opinion the main cause of frustration is that no one is doing this apart from the extremist leaders which is why they are attracting people and I support him in this effort), it is important for others to realise and appreciate that this is not a simple task. And it is a task that will put the daee’s entire family in danger.

    So the way forward needs to be taken with utmost caution and we need the masses to have husn ad dhann and be supportive. This is a collective effort and insha Allah with the help of Allah we will get through this.

    ws

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  86. Br00ke

    “and for the record, I firmly believe that one of the best ways to de-radicalize these young men is to help them get married early and encourage them to have kids, and I mean this in all seriousness”

    And by “help them” you must mean to help the parents to raise righteous and mature men who in turn would not be interest in becoming radicalized, so moot point. It’s heartening to see so many brothers have noted and addressed this dangerous suggestion. Here is a nuanced response as to why it is inappropriate to keep suggesting that marriage/sex is the cure for sick men’s ails:

    Sex as a Cure for Extremism? More Like Abuse of Women.

    So, it is being suggested by Yasir Qadhi that the best way to discourage extremism in young Muslim men is by getting them married off young. Now, I have to say up-front that I am a supporter of early marriage and think there are several benefits to it. But molding young men into moderate, tradition-practicing Muslims doesn’t happen to be a real effect of marriage as far as I know. The only reason that I can imagine it even being suggested is as a bait-and-switch: we’ll give you unlimited sex if you’ll promise not to become radical. Or, we’ll give you the good life here in the dunya if you’ll promise not to become preoccupied with the possibilities of the Afterlife. Perhaps we think promises of sex are the best way to get through to young men, but it seems manipulative and minimizing of the real issues without actually engaging young Muslims where they’re at. I suspect that if we took the time to ask them what they really want and need, marriage might not be at the top of their list.

    Of course, it’s also an overly simplistic solution that has already been proven a failure. Afterall, most of the known Muslim extremists since 9-11 (and probably before that as well) have been married family men, with children even. It did not stop them in any way from engaging in unIslamic behavior (strip clubs, drinking, and gambling, for example) nor did it stop them from attempting or succeeding in carrying out horrible acts of terror. It doesn’t seem that they were thinking at all about how it would affect their families, nor did sexual opportunities seem to have any moderating effect on them. But I don’t actually want to write about all the reasons that Qadhi’s premise is laughable and ineffective. I’d rather talk about how his premise is actually promoting grave harm to your sisters in deen.

    I should begin by saying that I am an American Muslim and therefore can only speak from that perspective. I will not try to tell you what goes on in Muslim communities elsewhere and I recognize that the issues may be very different elsewhere. As a convert, I also cannot speak adequately to the needs and issues that American Muslims raised in Islam might have. I have been Muslim for 12 1/2 years, mashaAllah, and over those years I have had opportunity to talk with sisters from all across this country (and outside this country) and so I know that some of the dynamics I have seen play out in the two communities I have lived in also occur in many other communities. One of the biggest fitnahs in most communities seems to be around the issue of marriage, specifically, how Muslim women are manipulated and coerced into taking responsibility for irresponsible and weak Muslim men. (This should not be understood as a condemnation of Muslim men in general, nor as a statement that women are never trifling and irresponsible.)

    It is very common in many communities for new convert women to be pushed into marriage, often within minutes of their conversion. I had a dead serious proposal within about one minute of officially saying my Shahada. Within days, there were three different brothers vying for my attention, and I was not young, virginal, beautiful or wealthy. From what I have witnessed and heard since then, my experience was not that unusual for a presumed-Anglo convert sister. The proposals slowed down when it was discovered that I was not a white convert, could not have more children, and had my own mind and no fear to speak up. At least, until it was decided that I would be a “perfect” wife to help out “troubled” brothers: brothers coming out of jail, brothers with serious untreated mental illnesses, brothers who had not held a job in years, brothers who were known for “falling into sin”, brothers who freely admitted that they needed multiple wives for one reason only even as they could not pay the rent on a one bedroom apartment or feed their families without the sadaqa of neighbors. I have found that convert sisters are at risk of being pushed into marriages with the brothers no one else wants. There are several reasons for this, but one relevant reason is that there is a belief that marriage will somehow fix or save such brothers from their self-destructive ways. Some people don’t even have any shame when recommending a brother and telling the sister that “He needs a wife to settle him down, you can bring him closer to Allah because you will be pious and educated in your deen and can impart that to him. And when you have children together, he will be connected to you and want to stay on the Straight Path for them.”

    Much like the notion of marriage to keep a brother from becoming extreme in his views, marriage is also used to bring men back into the fold of Islam. But in both cases, the responsibility for his deen is placed squarely on the shoulders of the wife. In this way, brothers are not held accountable for their actions and choices. Instead the wife is told that she must find a way to make him pray, to enforce Islamic manners in the home, to push him to attend the mosque. Or she must give him enough sex to distract him from his growing disaffection with the political and social situations of the Ummah. In either case, it is the wife’s duty to moderate the husband, to push him into the acceptable model of the “good” American Muslim man.

    With all that pressure to create a perfect Muslim man out of a lazy or angry husband, as well as exemplify the perfect Muslim woman, and raise the perfect Muslim children, how can we be surprised that Muslim marriages in this country fail at similar rates to the general population? When the main defining criteria of suitability between partners is whether a woman is willing to have sex as frequently as he demands, do we really wonder why even Muslim women are looking outside an Islamic framework for obtaining any equity in their marriage (not that I believe it is to be found elsewhere. The problem is misapplication of Islam.)?

    So, for the sake of argument, let us say we have a 19 year old Muslim man before us. He is reading online about the plight of the Palestinians and U.S. support for Israel. He is reading about Abu Graib and seeing the pictures, reading about the bombing of hospitals and schools in Afghanistan. He is angry. And he is thinking that there is a solution in Islam. He has heard a “preacher” who “speaks his language”, who understands his anger and frustration and who tells him that he could be a great man by joining the “cause”. Say that his parents, his imam or his friends recognize that he is going in this frightening direction. And they recommend marriage and begin introducing him to lovely young Muslim ladies. Maybe they even encourage him to try to find a love match. Maybe they even drop hints that they wouldn’t object too strenuously to a non-Muslim wife, since she can always convert later.
    What are they telling his prospective bride? How are they selling this young man as a husband? Are they telling sisters “yes, it’s true, he talks a lot about wanting to go join the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, but once you are pregnant with his son he will forget all about that”? Is she aware that even if his plans are thwarted and he “settles” into marriage, she is likely to bear the brunt of his frustrations? Does she realize that a man carrying that much anger is more likely to abuse her, since he cannot take out that anger on the source? And what of the children that are born into this situation? Is a man “trapped” into marriage likely to be a good husband or father? And if we are talking about early marriage, then presumeably the potential wives are also young. Which means that they are probably relatively inexperienced in life and lacking the tools necessary to cope with this kind of pressure. Marriage can be difficult enough: learning to compromise, sharing space, growing up, and soon enough parenting. Adding the additional role of “parent” to the husband is extremely unjust to the woman. We might even consider that a young man who needs a woman to keep him out of trouble probably isn’t ready for the responsibilities of marriage. The potential emotional damage to a young woman being branded a failure can effect her for the rest of her life, and even lead her to compromising her deen because she believes she is not worthy or capable of better.

    The reality is that many of the recent known extremists have had families waiting at home for them, and that did not deter them. If anything, they may have been using their wives and children as a “front” of normalcy. Another unfortunate side effect for the wives has been the government putting them thru hell because law enforcement is convinced that the wives must have known and supported what their husbands were doing. How will the Muslim community treat the wife who, ineviteably, “fails” to keep her husband from following a violent ideology? Will she be told that she must have been a “bad” wife? That she must not have been very good in the bedroom? Will her prospects for finding a responsible and loving husband in the future be overshadowed by rumor and innuendo? Worse, will she be tied in marriage to an imprisoned man who didn’t think of her needs because he was told by some brothers on the internet that marrying her would somehow magically control his extremist tendencies?

    It’s also true that an extremist personality is quite capable of falling into either extreme. Which is probably why so many of the most “extreme” Muslims I’ve personally known (I mean the ones who trained with weapons and talked about going to Palestine or Afghanistan, all of this before 9-11) have since left Islam all-together. Other well-known former extremists have done the same. How many have we heard of who left an extreme ideology to settle into a traditional interpretation of Islam and a healthy family life? I’m guessing not many. Where does it leave wives and children when the husband stops following a crack-pot wanna-be shaykh only to walk away from Islam all together and become a known anti-Islam media darling (or a seemingly little known anti-Islam blog writer)?

    But back to my main point: it is unfair and damaging to suggest that women bear the responsibility to “save” men from their own extreme tendencies. At what point will we recognize that men are responsible for their own choices? Husbands and wives are supporters of each other, and inshaAllah we can encourage each other on the Straight Path. But making wives into a crutch for men, and communities, to blame their failures on is abusive, unfair, and ineffective towards the goal of building strong families and communities. And it doesn’t really work against extremism either.

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