Shaykh Salman al-Oudah’s Ramadan Letter to Osama Bin Laden

A slighly modified version of this was cross-posted on

This letter has already made the rounds on a few Muslim blogs, but the importance of this message and its underlying beauty of style and content deserve its reading in every Muslim and non-Muslim household. oudah.jpgSo, I have appended below the entire letter of Shaykh Salman al-Oadah to Osama Bin Laden. As Muslims, we know that a letter like this can affect the militant and terrorist tendencies of some extreme elements among Muslims a million times more than what a military response or any other Western campaign to “win hearts and minds” could accomplish.


In essence, when Al-Oadah says something, people listen, especially the youth. osama.jpgI think it is easy to understand why something like this would have a greater affect on extremists than other avenues. Let’s consider the example of an ignorant Muslim who makes sajdah to the graves (i.e. engages in grave-worshipping). There would be a much better chance that he would stop doing so if some some scholar or “peer” that he follows tells him that this is polytheism, compared to a “wahhabi sheikh”. You get the point.


Another important benefit of this statement is that it counters the charge of clerics promoting extremism in the Muslim world. The muftis of Saudi, for instance, strongly condemned 9/11 (see here). Recently, we posted a response to the OBL video, including a response video from Dr. Ali Shehata (see here). In fact, when I was organizing Texas Dawah in Houston in 2003, we set up a live videolink with Shaykh Ibn Jibreen, the grand-scholar from Saudi. The conference was much maligned in the media and Ibn Jibreen was called out for his “support” of Osama. Obviously, this was untrue. Otherwise we would have never supported such an event. As it happened, with FOX Noise in the room, the Shaykh condemned 9/11, and spoke about harmony and peace, completely spoiling FOX’s storyline :) To be fair though, I must say that they did air a positive news story on the conference, amazingly!

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A Ramadan Letter to Osama bin Laden from Salman al-Oadah

Sheikh Salman b. Fahd al-Oadah, the general supervisor of, delivered the following address to Osama bin Laden live on NBC television on 14 September, 2007, which corresponds to the second day of Ramadan in Saudi Arabia:

Brother Osama:

How much blood has been spilled? How many innocent children, women, and old people have been killed, maimed, and expelled from their homes in the name of “al-Qaeda”?

Are you happy to meet Allah with this heavy burden on your shoulders? It is a weighty burden indeed – at least hundreds of thousands of innocent people, if not millions.

How could you wish for that? – after knowing that Allah’s Messenger said: “Whoever as much as kills a sparrow in vain will find it crying before Allah on the Day of Judgment: ‘My Lord! That person killed me in vain. He did not kill me for needful sustenance.”

This religion of ours comes to defense of the life of a sparrow. It can never accept the murder of innocent people, regardless of what supposed justification is given for it.

Didn’t you read where the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “One of the prophets once sat under a tree and was bitten by an ant. Because of this, he burnt the ant’s nest. Thereupon, Allah questioned him: ‘Why not only the one ant?’ ” [Sahîh Muslim]

Allah revealed to that prophet: “What? Just because one ant had bitten you, you have set fire to an entire nation that extols Allah’s glory!” [Sahîh Muslim (2241)]

If this is the case for a nest of ants, consider how much worse it must be to visit harm upon human beings.

Who is responsible for all of those young Muslim, who are still in the bloom of their youth, with all the zeal of their age, who have strayed down a path they have no idea where it is headed?

The image of Islam today is tarnished. People around the world are saying how Islam teaches that those who do not accept it must be killed. They are also saying that the adherents of Salafi teachings kill Muslims who do not share their views.

However, the reality of Islam is that our Prophet (peace be upon him) did not kill the treacherous hypocrites in his midst, even though Allah had revealed to him who they were and informed him that they were destined for the deepest depths of Hell. Why did he stay his hand? He gave the following reason: “I will not have people saying that Muhammad kills his companions.”

Brother Osama, what happened on September 11 – crimes that we have condemned vociferously since that very day – was the murder of a few thousand people, possible a little less than three thousand. This is the number that dies in the airplanes as well as in the towers. By contrast, Muslim preachers – who remain unknown and unsung – have succeeded in guiding hundreds of thousands of people to Islam, people who have ever since been guided by the light of faith and whose hearts are filled with the love of Allah. Isn’t the difference between one who kills and one who guides obvious?

Our Lord tells us: “Whosoever kills a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the Earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the lives of all mankind.” [Sûrah al-Mâ’idah: 32]

Guiding one soul to knowledge and faith is a momentous achievement. It is what will earn us great blessings.

Brother Osama, what is to be gained from the destruction of entire nations – which is what we are witnessing in Afghanistan and Iraq – seeing them torn apart with plague and famine? What is to be gained from undermining their stability and every hope of a normal life? Three million refugees are packing into Syria and Jordan alone, not to mention those who are fleeing to the East and the West.

The nightmare of civil war which now reigns supreme in Afghanistan and Iraq brings no joy to the Muslims. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) heard about a man named Harb (meaning “war” in Arabic), he promptly changed his name to something else, because the Prophet hated war.

Allah says: “Fighting is prescribed for you, though you detest it.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 216]

War is something hateful that must only be resorted to under the most dire and compelling of circumstances when no other way is found.

Who stands to benefit from turning a country like Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, or Saudi Arabia – or any other country for that matter – into a battlefield where no one feels safe? Is the goal to obstruct the government? Is that, then, the solution for anything?

Is this the plan – even if it is achieved by marching over the corpses of hundreds of thousands of people – police, soldiers, and civilians, even the common Muslims? Are their deaths to be shrugged off, saying: “They will be resurrected in the Hereafter based on the state of their hearts.”

Indeed, all of those who are slain will be resurrected based on the state of their hearts. The question we must ask ourselves, however, is in what state are we going to be resurrected? How are we going to find ourselves when we meet our Lord? How will it be for someone who has all those countless deaths weighing down upon him, whether he wants to own up to them or not?

The concern for conveying Islam’s message to humanity is one that can influence others and convince them. This is a far greater and far weightier concern than that of using brute force and violence to bend others to one’s will. “Allah sent His Messenger (peace be upon him) as a guide for humanity, not as a tax collector.” as `Umar b. `Abd al-`Azîz used to say.

Who is responsible – brother Osama – for promoting the culture of excommunication which has torn families asunder and has led to sons calling their fathers infidels? Who is responsible for fostering a culture of violence and murder that has led people to shed the blood of their relatives without remorse, rather than nurturing the spirit of love and tranquility that a Muslim family is supposed to have?

Who is responsible for the young men who leave their mothers crying; who abandon their wives; whose small children wake up every day asking when daddy is coming home? What answer can be given, when that father may very well be dead, or missing with no one knowing of his fate?

Who is responsible for Western governments attacking every charitable project in the world, so that the orphans, the poor, and the needy throughout the globe are deprived of food, education, and other essential needs? Who is responsible – brother Osama – for filling the prisons of the Muslim world with our youth, a situation which will only breed more extremism, violence, and murder in our societies?

Muhammad (peace be upon him) – my source of guidance as well as yours – is what he came with not enough for you? He was sent as a mercy for all humanity. Allah says: “And We sent you merely as a mercy for all humanity.” [Sûrah al-Anbiyâ’: 107]

The word “mercy” is not to be found in the lexicon of war. Where is the mercy in murdering people? Where is the mercy in bombing places? Where is the mercy in making people and places into targets? Where is the mercy in turning many Muslim countries into battlefields?

The Prophet (peace be upon him) brought all of Arabia under his sway without a single slaughter, despite all of the battles that were waged against him. The number of people who were killed during the twenty-three years of his mission were less than two hundred people. The Muslims who were killed during that time by their enemies were many times in excess of that number.

What do a hundred people in Algeria, or double that number in Lebanon, or likewise in Saudi Arabia hope to achieve by carrying out acts of violence – or as they say, suicide attacks? These acts are futile.

Let us say – purely hypothetically – that these people manage to take power somewhere in the world. What then? What can people who have no life experience hope to achieve in the sphere of good governance? People who have no knowledge of Islamic law to support them and no understanding of domestic and foreign relations?

Is Islam only about guns and ammunition? Have your means become the ends themselves?

That ideology that so many young people have embraced in many parts of the world, is it revelation from Allah that cannot be questioned or reconsidered? Or is it merely a product of human effort that is subject to error and to being corrected?

Many of your brethren in Egypt, Algeria and elsewhere have come to see the end of the road for that ideology. They realize how destructive and dangerous it is. They have also found the courage to proclaim in their writings and on the air that they were mistaken and that the path they had been on was the path of error. They admit that it cannot lead to anything good. They have sought Allah’s forgiveness for what has passed and have expressed their sincere regrets for what they had done.

Those with brave hearts need just as much to have courageous minds.

Do you not hear the voices of the pious scholars, those who worship Allah day and night and are truly heedful of Allah – don’t you hear them crying out with the very same words that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used when Khâlid b. al-Walîd, the commander-in-chief of his army, acted in error: “O Allah! I plead my innocence to You from what Khâlid has done.”

These same words still echo after 1400 years in the cries of the scholars of Islam: “O Allah! I plead my innocence to You from what Osama is doing, and from those who affiliate themselves to his name or work under his banner.”

I wish to remind you of what our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said to Usâmah b. Zayd – whose name you carry – when he killed a man from Juhaynah in the heat of battle after that man had declared that there is no God but Allah.

After the Prophet (peace be upon him) rebuked him, Usâmah said: “O Messenger of Allah! He only said that because he was scared of the sword.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “How will you fare with the declaration of faith when it comes on the Day of Judgment?”

Usâmah pleaded: “Seek forgiveness for me, O Messenger of Allah.”

He just repeated what he had said: “How will you fare with the declaration of faith when it comes on the Day of Judgment?”

O Osama! What will you do with the declaration of faith when it disputes with you on the Day of Judgment?

Life, Osama, should not be a single lesson. We must face numerous lessons throughout our lives, and these lessons are of a great variety.

My situation is no different than that of a lot of other people who are concerned with Muslim affairs. My heart pains me when I think of the number of young people who had so much potential – who would have made such great and original contributions to society, who had so much to offer that was constructive and positive – who have been turned into living bombs.

Here is the vital question that you need to ask yourself and that others have the right to demand and answer for: What have all these long years of suffering, tragedy, tears, and sacrifice actually achieved?

I ask Allah to bring everyone together upon the truth and right guidance. I pray that he guides us all to what pleases Him.

– Salman b. Fahd al-Oadah

51 / View Comments

51 responses to “Shaykh Salman al-Oudah’s Ramadan Letter to Osama Bin Laden”

  1. Avatar Yus from the Nati says:

    Subhan’Allah…that’s a beautiful letter. He’s a beast.

  2. Avatar Amad says:

    The variation of this posted on dailykos received a lot of praise for the letter, even from people who said they weren’t the religious types:

    The letter is amazing in its eloquence, getting the message laced in Quran and hadith.

  3. Avatar Jamshed says:

    Whilst the letter is indeed eloquent, I do find it presumptuous to lay the blame of 9/11 firmly at Osama’s feet when there is more than enough evidence to suggest that it was not done by him.

    Now, I’m not going to turn this into a conspiracy theory debate (for the record, I believe the theory because it has far more evidence to support it in its favour), but all I will say is “Where did ‘Operation Northwoods’ come from, who are the ones who withheld evidence and blamed Osama (and then decided to stop looking for him), and who are the ones who gained most from 9/11?”

    The story of Ifk comes to mind. And in terms of witnesses, there is more than enough video evidence to demonstrate falsehoods in the entire story.

  4. Avatar Amad says:

    ASA, Someone on a different email list asked the same questions as you Br. Jamshed. A brother, Shibli, provided a succint reply. Hope this suffices:

    1) Shaykh Salman’s mention of 9/11 is a mere gloss as opposed to the real
    underlying problems with Bin Ladin’s harmful ideology which he admonishes and
    reprimands at length.

    2) Regarding whether or not Bin Ladin is actually responsible for 9/11: You have
    to deal with what is apparent and not immediately appeal to what is suspected to
    be concealed. We have Bin Ladin’s own testimony that he is responsible for the
    crimes. Unless you can validly discredit the evidence of his own admission then
    it must stand. This is common legal practice across the various jurisprudential
    codes around the globe.

    Do I personally feel that there is more than meets the eye regarding 9/11? Yes.
    I always have. Does that matter even an iota in a legal context? No. Allah says,
    “O believers, eschew much suspicion; some suspicion is a sin..” and though the
    Tafsir is in regards to being suspicious in order to incriminate each other and
    slander, the essence of the matter is that suspicions are rarely legitimate and
    are often times even sinful. They cause more harm than good.

    We are all entitled to our opinions and I, and everyone else, must respect your
    opinion. Yet, I still maintain that Shaykh Salman is not only entitled to
    reprimand Bin Ladin regarding the harm he has caused this Ummah (can anyone cite
    even a single thing Osama has done to benefit the Ummah?), it is Wajib upon him
    to do so.

  5. Avatar Jamshed says:

    Jazakallah for that Br. Amad. As I said before, I do not wish this to turn into a conspiracy debate so I think it best that I politely suggest that we agree to disagree, and that I should refrain from commenting further on this issue.


  6. Avatar concerned says:

    salam aleykum

    sheikh salman al-owdah is one of the shuyukh i look up to regarding contemporary issues facing muslims and i have tremendous trust in his knowledge in fiqh, history, and hadeeth. However i get disappointed when religious figures specially based in saudia arabia tackle issues like september 11 when complete knowledge of who committed this act and why is not clear to people…and i specifically hate it when they live under a well known oppressive govt but they choose not to speak about it, and to use the excuse of silent advice, i mean to advice the ruling powers face to face..and not to expose their faults to the general populous does not work in the our living conditions now..the thousands upon thousands of muslims dying daily pushes the scholars of today to address these issues immediately…and to attack a person who although seems is hurting islam in a certain way does not compare to the danger of the oppressive powers ruling the muslim countries and who in the minds of many is in direct cause of the millions of muslims effected by the world war today..whether its the american , iranian or the british agenda.

    My disappointment is however measured and to act upon my limited knowledge dont give me the excuse to act irrationally and go off on sh. salman by insulting him or accuse him of what i have no knowledge of…and i wish the teachers here in this blog whether sh. yasir qadhi or sh. yasir birjas can comment on the letter and what pushed sh. salman to release this letter.

  7. MashaAllah this article is really amazing. May Allah reward Sheikh Salman Al-Awdah, ameen.

    I’m wondering: how many of us are willing to submit this article to the local newspaper this week?

    Think of the positive impact it could have on Muslims and non-Muslims in our communities.

  8. Avatar Moiez says:

    I agree with concerned,
    the shaikh is knowledgable but this letter gives me that same deppressed feeling,
    this reminds me of when a group of muslims during the prophet (SA) time went out on a campaign and they ended up fighting and killing some Meccan people in a caravan raid but it was either at a blessed place (Mecca) or a time of no killing. Anyways after the deed was done they returned to find the muslims of medina against what they did because obviously the people of Mecca complained, but Allah revealed in the Quran that yes they did do something wrong but dont over look what the people of Mecca have done to you.
    This is pretty much the same thing we are over here condeming what Osama is doing when yes he should not be doing alot of what he is doing but stay on his side and guide him to the right path, dont condemn him he is a muslim trying to do something and dont forget of what the people of Oppression are doing to us the muslims.

  9. Avatar Omer Choudry says:

    When sheikh Salman was asked shortly after 911 of his opinion regarding OBL, he simply answered “he is a Muslim” and left it at that. That was a time when OBL deliberately left Muslims out in the blue as to whether AlQ had a hand in the attacks – he praised the attacks but never clearly accepted responsibility. It was only days before the reelection of Bush did OBL come out in the open about his involvement in the attacks. Since then he has made many bold references to his hands in the attacks that are not only arrogant but very misleading to disaffected youth in third world countries. That is why people like Sheikh Salman, who initially gave OBL the benefit of the doubt due to lack of evidence now feel it incumbent upon themselves to warn the youth of the danger of AlQ especially seeing its influence with regards to the Iraq conflict. Regardless of whether you believe OBL to have a hand in 911 or not, what he says in his videos and the culture he is fostering is very harmful to the cause of Islam and humanity as a whole. If anything this letter should have been written years ago.

    On a final note, Sheikh Salman’s calls for reform of the sometimes oppressive Saudi government is well known and he has a pretty extensive track record in this regard so that is not a matter of question. Nor has he “forgotten what the people of oppression are doing to the Muslims” – a simple skimming of the articles he writes on his site would show where he places most of the emphasis on…

  10. Avatar Moiez says:

    this isnt for the sake of arguement it is a serious question because I dont know the answer, has shaikh Salman denounced the people of oppression on nbc or some big american tv station.
    Although I do agree that OBL did need something like this to come to him but personally he shouldve not just pointed at him but to others aswell in the same tone and manner just to let the people of oppression know that we are not on their side either

  11. Avatar Amad says:

    I really cannot believe that we are even arguing about this letter subhanAllah.

    It is high time that we get past the conspiracy theories and the million other excuses to recognize that YES, indeed, we do have issues in OUR nation. And every time we talk about our own, it is NOT necessary to drag what the “others” are doing and why they are wrong. Why do we always conflate everything instead of dealing with one issue at a time? Do we not see what the terrorists are doing in the name of Islam all over the world? Do we not recognize that many of them are indeed motivated by Osama’s message or creed?

    It is pretty cut and dry. Osama has brought great harm to the Muslims, directly or indirectly. Yes, oppression has happened from the other side, and we have talked about it on MM extensively. But at least can we stop giving them excuses to do it (regardless how unjust and disproportionate the response is)?

    Let’s focus on the message at hand. It is indeed beautiful and applies to all extremists and their actions, not just OBL and 9/11.

    If we keep harping about what “they” did to us, we will never get our own house in order. If someone comes and burns down your home, and you go and slaughter someone ELSE’s family, is that justice?

  12. Avatar MR says:

    May Allah bless Sh. Salman al Oudah!

  13. Avatar Moiez says:

    So your saying the way to fix our house is to yell at our members of our house for the things that the people of the other house are doing and the people in our house are just trying not to be oppressed, but I get it we need to fix ourselves before confronting the others, that was an eye opener, something I knew and heard on several occasions but forgot about it.


    plain and simple. now that’s a statement which is overlooked all the time even just now

  14. Avatar Sis Shaykha says:

    Asalaamu Alaaikum,

    I like how he used daleel (not pure emotions or attacks). I liked the manner in which he addressed him, and I like the style with which he wrote, very eloquent, and to the point. I’ll hold my tongue, my knowledge is too low for me to be speaking out, and saying this and that, choosing this side over that one. As we know Allah SWT said to verify, so that is what I am going to do for now.

    But I personally look forward to a response from Osama himself. What does he have to say to those questions? I wonder.

    Wa’alaykum Asalaam

  15. Avatar Amad says:

    w/s Sister Shaykha.

    I am not sure if I really look forward to OBL’s response… after all actions speak louder than words… unless of course it is an expression of regret and desire to change inshallah.

    May Allah purify us all.

  16. Avatar Sis Shaykha says:

    With dialogue comes a solution.

    Insha’Allah this sincere advise of the Sheikh reaches their camp, and he adresses some of the questions/concerns.

    Allah Knows Best, who is in the right, and who is in the wrong. May Allah distinguish the truth from falsehood. ameen

    May Allah purify us all.



  17. Avatar concerned says:

    salam aleykum…

    im totally on the same boat with sis shaykha…in not speaking out against the scholars without knowledge…but here is my point..why did sh. salman al-awdah address an incident that happened 6 yrs ago infront of millions who actually watch his show and during ramadan. This is a clear attempt to stir some dialogue..which we are doing in this forum..However my other point is to address the biggest issue in the middle east and the cause of all conflicts in iraq, afghanistan, somalia, philipine and so on…is the use of american army bases in muslim countries..and specifically in saudia arabia..which is what stirred up OBL’s fight to begin with, like 10 yrs ago. This is what i want the big scholars to do, address this issue immediately so we can live in peace…

  18. Avatar Truth of the matter says:

    So, following the current logic, if OBL responds violently to Sh. Salman’s letter, we should blame Sh. Salman correct?

    Where are the letters to Bush? It’s easy to stand up to those who are already infamous.

  19. Avatar Amad says:

    Concerned, I dont know if you noticed, but OBL is not “history”… he just released a “ramadan message” for Muslims. This is an ongoing issue, 9/11 was just one that started the dominoes big time… Better late than never.

  20. Avatar ibnabeeomar says:

    im quite puzzled by some of the comments.

    OBL’s ideology is quite clearly destructive. even if he didnt do 9/11 he is clearly in support of what happened, and has been behind other acts of terrorism that have led to the oppression of muslims all over the globe.

    where’s the logical jump that just because he’s criticizing obl he *also* has to criticize other policies?

    this destructive ideology of obl and people like him is destroying the ummah – they are killing people instead of guiding them. we need more people like sh. salmaan to make these statements so that the public can see this message coming in a unified form from all scholars so that more people aren’t misled by them, and non-muslims can see that these whackos arent representing islam.

  21. Avatar inhibited_laughter says:

    “Do we not see what the terrorists are doing in the name of Islam all over the world?”

    “….and has been behind other acts of terrorism that have led to the oppression of muslims all over the globe.”

    I’m sorry if this is going off topic, but the one thing that makes me cringe is whenever we Muslims use the word “terrorist” to describe our fellow brothers and sisters who might be off track a little. Living here in the US, we are already labeled as “terrorists” by our fellow non-Muslims and to hear it being said by our own Muslims really makes my heart hurt. Maybe we shouldn’t use the same words that were coined by the oppressors. Maybe we could use a term that isn’t reminding us of the stereotype that is already being used against us day in and day out. This is just how I feel about the usage of that word.

    I also have to agree with Sis Shaykha in that only Allah knows who is in the right and who is in the wrong. And what we should do is to treat them all as our fellow Muslims and just pray that Allah guides us and keeps us upon the Haqq. Insha’Allah, if not in this life, then definitely on the DofJ we will come to know who was on the truth and who had deviated.

    Jazakum Allahu Khairan.

    ~Inhibited Laughter

  22. Avatar Mansour says:

    I believe its just one side of the picture. If one wants to be unbiased and also write about what President Bush has done then it’ll take dozens of book to just even mention the destructions done in the muslim world. We cannot just blame something totally on one person. Specially when we dont even know if that person actually exist in reality and is not just a figure made to decieve the world. and besides, why do you think all these people are ready to sacrifice their lives? Because they want to provide safety to their upcoming generations. I mean if one day you enter my house and tie me in ropes, rape my wife, terrify and kill my children, what do you expect from me after that? This letter could definitely shut some of the americans mouths but to say that this letter is telling the truth would be very unjust to the women who have been raped and murdered, to the kids who were traumatized by killing their fathers right infront of their eyes and to those fathers who saw their sons being slaughtered right before them. I totally understand that we need to make people aware of the situation and deal with it politically as much as possible instead of waging a war. But again, who is waging a war? Does osama has an army? NO!!! these are all civilians trying to defend their families from what american soldiers are doing. You would cry seeing dead babies in the streets and these soldiers treating them as dead animals. May Allah bring peace to the muslim world and take our brothers and sisters out of such misery.
    Assalaamualaykum wr.

  23. Avatar Moiez says:

    Im with you all the way I.L

  24. Avatar Mahin F Islam says:

    Interesting point on the use of the word “terrorist/terrorism” but to say that these guys are ‘off track a little’ would be a slight understatement.

    BTW…some of the ulemaa like Sh. Al-Fowzaan refer to OBL and his gang using a different word…”takfeeri kharijite”. I’ve got no issue using that as the term instead of ‘terrorist’.

  25. Avatar Truth of the matter says:

    “where’s the logical jump that just because he’s criticizing obl he *also* has to criticize other policies?”

    Well, if you stand up for truth AND justice, then you should give fair and balanced (not like fox) statements. And it seems that standing up against ubl is easier in this situation than standing up to Bush. So if he was to stand up to both, then I would say that individual is commendable.

    If your going to condemn terrorism, then condemn ALL terrorism. Don’t just condemn the side that you know can’t do anything to you. Nobody stands up to Bush or the tyrants in their lands because they know there will be reprocussions.

    Asalaamu alaikum

  26. Avatar ... says:

    “Nobody stands up to Bush or the tyrants in their lands because they know there will be reprocussions.”

    Well put.

  27. Avatar Sis Shaykha says:

    Good point Truth, Mansour,

    @IL-great post, masha’Allah,


  28. Avatar Amad says:

    Interesting point on the use of the word “terrorist/terrorism” but to say that these guys are ‘off track a little’ would be a slight understatement.

    Not a slight understatement… its a GROSS understatement. And if one were to consider their little “off-trackness”, all the results of this deviance, then it is amazing that one would even make this statement.

    I would be interested to know who lives where? i.e. live in the West or the East (the people who have been actively commentating here). I am sure the perspective may differ depending on the information or propaganda or both one receives.

    And semantics about calling someone terrorist or not is really not important. The important thing is that OBL and the kharijite takfeeris have caused directly or indirectly based on the APPARENT evidence, harm to individuals, terrorizing them and their properties, to people who had done him no harm. That is by definition terrorism, and I dont care who uses this terminology, it doesn’t make it any less valid. Muslims are a JUST nation…. we do not take our sense of justice from the West. It doesn’t matter if they are just or not… we HAVE to be just. And being just is to call it like it is.

    Nearly every major scholar in the world, with any credibility, has condemned Osama and his ilk – sufi, salafi, whatever. The Saudi condemnations from scholars were resounding. The only reason that Shaykh Salman’s words are “news” is that because of his status among the takfiris… who believe that he actually stood up to Saudi govt before.

    I still find it amazing that we are still arguing this… and continuing to conflate all the issues into one.

  29. Avatar Sis Shaykha says:

    Asalaamu Alaiakum,

    I’m from the west, and I’ve had my fair share of propoganda, and information, i would say from both sides. It’s a struggle trying to find the truth these days (which is why i will hold my tongue, because i’m truly ignorant of what’s REALLY happening). This person is saying this, and that. Even the Shayookh might not have a clear understanding of what is going on, the lines between truth and falsehood aren’t that clear anymore…. And May Allah guide us all to that which true, correct,and pleasing to Him. ameen

    With all due respect, you shouldn’t find it amazing that we are discussing this, you after all did post this article on the MM blog for…discussion? People are giving their input, it just might disagree with your viewpoint (although i’ve haven’t really seen the “other side’s” argument just yet)

    Perhaps you should post (or provide links to)fatawaa from other Shayookh (the ones you say condemn him) so we can get a better understanding insha’Allah. That would be really helpful.

    Wa’alaykum Asalaam

  30. Avatar concerned says:

    Exactly everyone condemns OBL and the takfiris and a/q…why we dont hear the open condemnation of american policy…i want to hear that loud and in the open. Something that is not allowed in the gulf states is demonstration against any govt policy, this should be address and we could use the example of people in the west that use demonstration as a valid and working replacement of violence. We could use the example of salamn al farisi r.a when he adviced rasool allah pbuh on a method use by the persians which was digging up a basically saying we can adopt methods used by non muslims when the result can be positive. Freedom to demonstrate is what im asking for muslims in the gulf states..

  31. Avatar Sis Shaykha says:

    jazaakAllah Khair…

  32. Avatar ibnabeeomar says:

    concerned – youre trying very hard to combine 2 issues that are separate issues.

    plenty of ppl speak out against american’s policies – americans themselves included. but its got nothing to do with the destructive ideology of obl which i would contend hurts muslims across the globe far more, and more directly than other political things.

  33. Avatar Omer Choudry says:

    This post is about sheikh Salman. I dont understand why people here are accusing either him or this forum of being one sided. As for Shiekh Salman, just take a look at the many articles and letters he has written on and then judge whether he is one sided. As for this forum then check out the last post about the brother imprisoned in Kenya and America and see that your accusations of this forum being one sided are misplaced.

    Sheikh Salman calls OBL a terrorist and you have a problem with it. Sheikh Bin Baz called OBL a khawarij way before even 911. This isnt a matter of naive apologetics falling into FOX propoganda, its about learned and wise scholars warning young dissaffected youth in the world from falling into a clear and destructive path (of extremism). We have seen the destruction extremism can invite on an entire people most recently in the Nahr al Bared refugee camp.

  34. Avatar Truth of the matter says:

    “which i would contend hurts muslims across the globe far more, and more directly than other political things.”

    You need to do your research.

    Can someone show me where Shaykh Salman has stood up against the US or any well known scholar, for that matter, standing up against injustice of rulers?

    And the learned and wise scholars should look more deeply into their political situation around them and those who are attacking their countries. There are liberals in the US who are more keen on the American Strategy than our Ulema.

  35. Avatar ibnabeeomar says:

    “Can someone show me where Shaykh Salman has stood up against the US or any well known scholar, for that matter, standing up against injustice of rulers?”

    Does the answer to this question in any way affect the accuracy of what he said in the letter to obl? no, because its a separate issue.

  36. Avatar Amad says:

    Sister Shaykha

    you shouldn’t find it amazing that we are discussing this, you after all did post this article on the MM blog for…discussion?

    To clarify, it is not that I have a problem that it is being discussed, I am amazed that people still have these concerns and issues about OBL and 9/11. So, discuss away… the more doubts we can remove, the better.

    jazakAllahkhair Omer for the support.

  37. Avatar Mansour says:

    “Sheikh Bin Baz called OBL a khawarij way before even 911.”

    Brother Omer Chaudry, can you provide me any resource saying this??? and I really wanna know where did you get this information from?

  38. Avatar Mansour says:

    and I would second Sis Shaykha in saying that we should leave the debate to shayookh, because we are not knowledgeable enough to label anyone right or wrong.

  39. Avatar Truth of the matter says:

    “Does the answer to this question in any way affect the accuracy of what he said in the letter to obl? no, because its a separate issue.”

    It does, it shows bias which means that further research needs to be done on the topic that is discussed in the letter.

    I find it surprising that we as readers are expected to submit to points such as obl having done more harm to the ummah and that he is a khariji. Where is the proof for this? How can you call someone anything or make statements like this without proving anything. By calling him khariji without proof is the same trap that the khawaarij fell into when they made takfeer. Blatant, blind labeling.

    If you are truly convinced on your opinions and are firm in them, then write a post refuting obl, his beliefs, his statements, his actions, his methodology. THEN you have provided evidence that something is wrong. All you are doing now is what Bush and Fox news do, except you have Iman so I hold you to higher standards.

    “Oh it’s clear, look at the news” is not an evidence.

  40. Avatar just a bro says:

    as salamu`alaykum,

    interesting discussion.
    Here’s an open letter to George Bush by Sh Safar:

    Br Amad, as a moderator of this forum, I’d expect you to be a bit more open minded to opinions that are contrary to yours. It’s sad to see you using the terms “kharijee and takfeeri” when you know how harmful these are. There’s only a small minority of scholars who have gone to the extreme of calling OBL a kharijee — it’s not necessary for you to take that minority opinion and apply it to him especially during this month.

    Br Omer Chaudry, I’d be interested to see as well when Sh Bin Baz called Osama a Kharijee. I believe it was in 1998/99 when Osama and Sh bin Baz had an exchange of dialogue but I don’t recall Sh Bin Baz ever calling him a kharijee. Now if you’re going to rely on Spubs and Troid’s twisted and exaggerated books and articles as proof, then I don’t have much further to say :)

    In Summary, I hope all of us on this message board agree that Terrorism is un-islamic. I see OBL as a sincere person who has been misguided by people around him and I’m hopeful inshaAllah that Allah guides him back one day to way of Quran and Sunnah.

    I just request you all to withhold your tongues when speaking about other “muslims”. Condemn their action but do not start name calling — please.

    Wallahu `alam

  41. Avatar Sis Shaykha says:

    ^Thanks for the post & link, brother

    “and I would second Sis Shaykha in saying that we should leave the debate to shayookh, because we are not knowledgeable enough to label anyone right or wrong.”

    Right. And Allah Knows Best [Better]

    “To clarify, it is not that I have a problem that it is being discussed, I am amazed that people still have these concerns and issues about OBL and 9/11. So, discuss away… the more doubts we can remove, the better.”

    I see…

    Wa’alaykum Asalaam Wa Rahmatullah

  42. Avatar Sis Shaykha says:

    Just came across another article from Sheikh Salman:

    An Opinion about what has happened in America

    By Shaykh Salmân al-‘Awdah


  43. Avatar Dawud Israel says:

    You said this was on NBC…could you get us a link to a video?

  44. Avatar Amad says:

    if you click on this link:

    That is what it says. I don’t have the link available, but I have no reason to believe that this wasn’t the case. There is also an article in Arabnews:

    As a general comment, we will not allow this forum to become a place for espousing radical jihadi views of “Shaykh” Osama and others like him. It is amazing that those who “used” to respect Shaykh Salman are now ready to ditch him a heartbeat because he is openly going against their preset radical interpretation of world events. I am not referring to anyone who has visible comments above, but rather to commentators who have been moderated already or will be moderated for preaching a violent, fringe and one-dimensional view of jihad.

    It is easy to hide behind anonymous internet presence and espouse hatred… we never even know whether some are real extremists or just the islamophobes trying to push forward their agenda by appearing as extremists.

    Due to this extreme ignorance and the justification of killing of innocents in the name of some strange “jihad” (soiling this divine concept), it only makes the dawah to Allah so much harder and turns more people away from Islam’s beauty. If any of these extremists mean to tell me straight-up (and this is the ultimate bottom line if you peal away all the other cloaks) that it is OK to kill or support the killing of an innocent human being for the murder of another innocent soul, then I can only pray that Allah remove you from the wickedness and evilness of your state to the truth and JUSTICE of Islam.

  45. Avatar Omer Choudry says:

    1. Since the only evidence Ive ever seen of Bin Baz calling Bin Laden as a Khawarij is from spubs I will not quote it. :) I know they are a highly unreliable source but since from the refutations of this fatwa noone ever claimed it to be fabricated, I assumed it to be true.

    2. I find it interesting that the people going against Sheikh Salman on this forum are using the same logic as that used by OBL himself. When he was asked after his famous decleration of war how he can condone the targetting of civilians he simply replied, (paraphrased) “i find it interesting you ask this question when your country has massacred hundreds of thousands in Hiroshema and Nagasaki” he then went on to mention the many atrocities committed by the US throughout the years.
    On the Day of Judgement standing naked before Allah, when Allah calls the extremists and all those that supported them and asks them what crime had the thousands of civilians in the towers committed? For what crime did you endorse the killers of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians in marketplaces blown apart by suicide bombers? On that day I dont think telling Allah that it was America that started the fire will fly as an excuse. Nor will the fact that the Muslims were oppressed fly as an excuse for us oppressing others. Every soul bears the burden of its own deeds.

  46. Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaah,

    It took me a while to formulate my thoughts on this issue, but here they are.

    Firstly, we should all realize that since Sh. Salman is a scholar, and he is exercising his ijtihad on this issue, then he stands between two rewards (if he is correct, regarding bin Ladin’s involvement and in singling him out etc.) and one reward (if he is incorrect). This is how our attitude should be in general towards the ulama, even if we disagree with their opinions.

    Secondly, one of the things I truly admire about Sh. Salman Al-Oadah is the adab and manners displayed in his letter. He constantly referred to bin Ladin as brother Usama.

    In an interview with Asharq Alawsat Newspaper he gives his reasons for doing this:

    According to Al Ouda, these reactions disagreed with the Islamic preacher for calling Osama Bin Laden “my brother Osama”, but the Saudi Muslim cleric said he has no problem with this and added, that “We are all humans. No matter how much we disagree with any person regardless of his approach, we cannot remove him from the circle of Islam, unless he commits a sin of unbelief.”

    MashaAllah, Sh. Salman showed his brother in Islam the respect he deserves for believing in “La ilaha illa Allah.” Even if a person may have committed many heinous crimes, if he believes in the shahadah, then he remains our brother in Islam and deserves all the respect and manners that that entails.

    Notice how not once in this letter did Sh. Salman make any ad hominem attacks against his brother. He did a very good job of separating the ideology from the individual mashaAllah; fiercly attacking the ideology while only advising the individual.

    Finally, before anyone accuses me of anything, let me say straight out that I condemn all acts of wanton, indiscriminate violence against civilians, as they are haram in our religion, including the events of 9/11, 7/7, etc. Alhamdulillah, I am not a “takfeeri,” and I also free myself of such horrific acts of violence.

    May Allah grant us hikmah in these times of trial and allow us to distinguish right from wrong in all of our affairs. May Allah forgive me for anything incorrect I have said. Aameen.


  47. Avatar AbdulRahman says:

    There’s a crucial difference between what the oppressors are doing and what our brothers are doing, is that what our brothers are doing they’re doing in the name of Islam.
    They’re telling people whether through word or action is that we Muslims believe that God wants us to do this, that this is the message the Prophet has brought.
    Of course we cannot stand by as someone defames our beautiful message!

    This is the point here and to stick to the issue at hand gives the letter a stronger impact.

  48. […] Matters posted the whole transcript in English here. There’s a discussion and I made a small contribution to it. There’s a crucial difference […]

  49. Avatar Amad says:

    I really wonder if among the innocents killed on 9/11 or in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, or in many other places that Al Qaida has claimed responsibility for attacking…. if, among these innocent victims, we had a father, a mother, a brother, a sister, a son or a daughter… would we feel the same empathy for this organization and its leader? Would we be saying that the West did so and so, hence the murder of this beloved family member is understandable or has to be “condemned in context”? Would we be stating that the murderers are our “beloved” brothers? I really wonder sometimes, especially after seeing the responses here.

    It is amazing that as we move away, in relation or knowledge from the victim, our whole sense of humanity tends to wrinkle and fade.

    May Allah not make us the victim of oppression, of either the Western or the Eastern terrorists, so that we may not have to one day know (by experience) the answers to the questions I laid out above.

    All that needs to be said and doesn’t need to be said has been said. The topic is closed and I end with a dua and a request.

    I pray to Allah that He establishes the taqwa of Allah in our hearts and makes our conscience recognize all injustice like it is, without justification and without prejudice.

    I request everyone to read this post on Wala wal bara. I can honestly say that this one article from Shaykh Salman changed my perspectives almost in a revolutionary (in the good sense) way :