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Irshad Manji’s Shrill Responses Obliterated by a calm Dalia Mogahed

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Dalia Mogahed, author of the best book ever on Muslim opinion (“Who Speaks for Islam”), calmly dispatches Irshad into the stands for a grand-slam, see must-view video below. You can read MM’s book reviews of the book (through part 3) here: | Intro | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3a | Part 3b

While Jeffrey Goldberg (I reviewed his Atlantic Monthly article on Israel here: Part 1 | Part 2) , the moderator, couldn’t quite keep the discussion impartial (though he does try hard), Dalia remains calm and effectively hammers Irshad’s case for a “new” Islamic reform into the ground.

Dalia’s response can be summed up simply as this: Islamic scholarship, acquired through a system of ijazah and extensive education, is against violence targeted at civilians based on classical interpretation; that the terrorists are in fact the new “mujtahids”, who have reinterpreted Islam, going against the fabric of traditional understanding. So, if we democratize ijtihad, then in fact we allow terrorists to claim the validity of their ijtihad against the ijtihad of any other unqualified individuals (like Manji for instance). To effectively shut down violent interpretations, we have to return the deen back to the scholarship and the traditions, not in fact to “reinterpret” as Manji suggests. Because reinterpretation is only necessary if the terrorists interpretations were correct in the first place. If we all agree that their interpretation is wrong, then the answer is to “go back to original”, and not fix what is not broken.  Basically, Dalia boxes Irshad with OBL, which is quite ingenious… and you can see how Irshad becomes completely speechless, conveniently referring to her silence as rumination.

I believe what Manji needs to ruminate on is to stop “playing Muslim”. She pretty much hates everything about Islamic tradition, but the problem of rejecting faith of course, is to lose all the play you get with “playing Muslim” in the media. Manji should recognize that she got pwned by Dalia… if she is smart, which she no doubt is, or more accurately if she becomes spiritually smart, she would leave her ego behind and become Dalia’s disciple. Then at least, she could learn a thing or two about classical Islam, before trying to reinterpret what she never quite got the correct interpretation of in the first place.

So, Irshad, I say to you: stop lying about this secret fear that all Muslims have in taking you as their Muslim hero. I went to American colleges, I interacted with hundreds of American Muslim youth, 1st and 2nd gens, and if there is one thing that they don’t have enough of, is fear of any authority. So, your unproven, self-serving claim of a massive Manji-loving underground Muslim youth movement has neither any scientific data, nor any significant anecdotal backing. Rather, Muslims, even those with minimal Islamic practice, can’t stand your self-righteousness, egotism, and your role as an Islamophobia-creation tool.

Finally, Irshad, to prove your “level of support” from your own words, you mention how you got 12 emails about Muslims falling in love with non-Muslims… Irshad, do I need to remind you that 12 represents exactly 0.0000008% of Muslims in the world. Even if you have support among 100,000 Muslims (it’s Ramadan so I am being over-generous), that would put your popularity at 0.007% of all Muslims. Considering that the wacky, self-proclaimed prophet (false one no doubt), Mirza Ghulam Ahmed has gotten about 5 million adherents (I am being generous here), your 100,000 pales in comparison. Just goes to show that a few “personal examples” that you love to quote are meaningless in the face of scientific data that Dalia put together. The book, “Who Speaks for Islam” is a piece of work which we are all thankful for, because no longer can people like you, Irshad, claim that you somehow represent Muslims, even in the most minor of ways.

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Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

118 Comments

118 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Amy

    October 23, 2008 at 1:29 AM

    Salaam Amad

    While in general I agree with your sentiments, and I commend you for bringing this debate to the attention of your readers, I thought I should let you know that the image you posted does not seem representative of the scholarly and respectable tenor which I have come to expect and admire on this blog. Do you think that it shows the best of MuslimMatters and even mainstream Islam to new readers who might stop by?

  2. Avatar

    Abû Mûsâ Al-Ḥabashî

    October 23, 2008 at 1:53 AM

    May Allâh give this ignorant Shaytânah Irshad what she deserves. Amin.

  3. Avatar

    AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    October 23, 2008 at 2:19 AM

    bismillah. digg this article :)

  4. Avatar

    Gohar

    October 23, 2008 at 7:00 AM

    Everyone should watch this debate it was that good.

  5. Avatar

    Blasston

    October 23, 2008 at 7:47 AM

    I quote Irshad Manji as saying “One can appreciate the Koran’s inherent worth, as I do, while recognising that it contains ambiguities, inconsistencies, outright contradictions — and the possibility of human editing.”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article1079878.ece

    – Why do we even give this women any press?
    – This above statement is sufficient, in my opinion, to remove her cloak of falsehood.
    – I would request a scholar, who is proficient in the science of takfeer, to make a final ruling on this women. Then we can move on as whole.

  6. Avatar

    Umm Reem

    October 23, 2008 at 7:48 AM

    mashaAllah!

    I was a little skeptical when the debate first started about Dalia being able to refute manji…but mashaAllah I must say it is one of those very few debates that I watched ALL of it!
    sister Dalia is eloquent, confident and soooo calms, mashaAllah ‘alaiha!

  7. Avatar

    Dawud Israel

    October 23, 2008 at 8:14 AM

    Here is another video of Irshad Manji falling on her face (literally): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCcMoFkeLLo
    And there was one more in Toronto where she and an Imam were on TV and she said something and the host asked the Imam what he thoughts and apparently he wasn’t even listening to her: “Oh sorry what? Oh no one listens to her anyways.” LOL

    FORA TV has a bunch of a really cool videos on there website. I highly recommend you check it out…it’s like Youtube, except for educated people. Really awesome if you want to get into modern discourse.

  8. Avatar

    MR

    October 23, 2008 at 8:31 AM

    Mr Manji is in it for the money. Mr. Manji must have problems sleeping at night.

    • Avatar

      YankeeWhisky

      November 11, 2012 at 9:55 AM

      http://www.geraldinesherman.com/Truth.html

      I admire this woman’s intellect and prefer to listen to someone who challenges the negative dogma’s of Islam rather than someone continuing to rely on rote quotations.

      Was it not Luther, Zwingli and Calvijn who did the same with a bloated, opulent Catholic church ?

      Her being a lesbian has no bearing on this.

  9. Avatar

    clearout

    October 23, 2008 at 9:21 AM

    A while back Irshad Manji spoke at UH, and the MSA had a spokesperson on stage with her. She said something to the effect of “I never claimed to be a reformer of Islam? Who said that?” The spokesperson turned and said to her, “With all due respect maam, it says ‘A Call to Reform’ on the title of your book.”

    Owned.

  10. Avatar

    Dawud Israel

    October 23, 2008 at 10:03 AM

    Well, that one older gentleman in the audience hit a point:

    We ARE afraid of speaking out and think we’ll be marginalized by other Muslims and even non-Muslims. And that is the only reason why Manji has so much popularity–because she speaks out and sticks out.
    An example: You post something on the AlMaghrib forums and immediately brothers and sisters start interrogating because to them, if the shaykh doesn’t say it, it’s haraam. Khalaas.

    Is it the personality cults that center around shaykhs (regardless of schools of thought)? Or is it that we are clutching onto Islam so tightly that we are effectively suffocating it’s growth?

    We need to really get into mainstream everyday society rather than sit on our “Hizbi” Islands.

    And to an extent Saudi still exercises a lot of influence our perception of authenticand whatnot. Their interpretation is their interpretation and is meant for Saudi way of life–not the Ummah, but via their embassies, funding and Hajj dawah they can, effectively, control Islam. It’s pretty true and we need to realize that and not just follow along with Saudi, nor should we go to polar opposites.

    This is not to bash or anything, but to say that we DO need to formulate a Western vision of Islam–just as Muslims did for al-Andalus (Muslim Spain). I know some shaykhs are thinking the same thing but probably forgetting that a big part of that is speaking up and speaking out in the open.

    Shaykhs (especially in AlMaghrib, AlKauthar, Bayyinah) need to acknowledge “the other party”, whether it be the “two-man show” (ahem!) rather than referring to them as “He who must not be named” (this is code for Zaytuna and is exactly the point, AlMaghribies NEVER about Zaytuna out of fear from other AlMaghribies of being branded this or that). We need to get out of this shell and yes, I know it has to do with having a following as a shaykh and all that but, it means we are not going to get anywhere if we cannot talk openly amongst ourselves.

    And this is EXACTLY why there is so much controversy everytime someone says “Salafi” or “Sufi or “”Wahabi” because it’s like saying “Nigger”–we make the word lethal to ourselves, we allow it to hurt us and our self-image by not talking about it and how it has impaired our growth as Muslims in the West. Is that where we really want to stay–semantics? If we can get people to move beyond thinking that these words entail conflict then perhaps we can actually move the Muslims forward.

    Listen, the point is not agreement or disagreement but actually moving the community forward–what about the non-practicing Muslims, what about drugs? Or muslims running gangs? Islamophobia? Muslim Political lobbies? How about our refugees living in the West who visit Salvation Army more often then the mosque? How about the issues with families and divorce among Muslims?

    Are these issues issues or are they not? Yes they are!
    Are they bigger issues than tawassul? You can bet your future on it they are.

    These issues do not require scholars to agree on Aqeedah…they require you to agree on humanity. And they do require at least Muslims from different religious groups to come to the same table and look out for the everyday Muslim. The Everday Muslim is the measure of our progress and if these simple fundamental issues are not made the focus, shame on us.

    NONE of these issues can be effectively tackled UNLESS AlMaghrib/MuslimMatters meets Zaytuna (the two upper/middle-class practicing and educated Muslim communities) and focuses on the needs of EVERYDAY Muslims–NOT their own religious constituencies or the interest of making money from classes and seminars and talks.

    Either group on their own CANNOT tackle these issues…but together WE can.
    This MUST happen. And if it doesn’t happen then let Allah replace us with people who are better.

  11. Amad

    Amad

    October 23, 2008 at 10:42 AM

    Whoaaa… Dawud, how did you take a Manji/Dalia discussion into a zaytuna/almaghrib debate? I know u have been trying to get that off your chest for sometime :) , but how does it fit here?

  12. Amad

    Amad

    October 23, 2008 at 10:48 AM

    Wasalam.

    jazakillahkhair Amy.

    Just because the photo was distraction enough to attract even your one comment, I changed it (reluctantly though, as I was rather proud of my little photoshop creativity :) ). I agree about the respectable tenor that we try to maintain here inshallah, but I would like to say that all our articles have not been, and are not meant to be scholarly, just to be fair in receiving praise too :)

  13. Avatar

    Hidaya

    October 23, 2008 at 11:44 AM

    Whoaaa… Dawud, how did you take a Manji/Dalia discussion into a zaytuna/almaghrib debate? I know u have been trying to get that off your chest for sometime :) , but how does it fit here?

    LOL, thats exactly what I was thinking while reading his comment. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading your comment Dawud.

  14. Avatar

    Dawud Israel

    October 23, 2008 at 11:59 AM

    Amad: During that Q and A part…the old man said that he thinks Muslims are afraid of each other and I think they are. A lot of what I said is what other AlMaghrib students have said and it’s about the things that no one wants to talk about.

    Now, if you are scared to touch on this issue and others here, and just try to swat it away, then I think that will just prove my point all the more. :)

    The Zaytuna-AlMaghrib issue should NOT be an issue and that is my point–for that unity in tackling the problems of everyday Muslims. Who was the Muslim in the audience who asked the question of Dalia and Irshad? A non-Hijabi sister which is very common for Muslims. That is the average Muslim in the West–not the Hijabi. Most Muslims aren’t practicing yet they are in touch with society, while the practicing ones are in our little groups, sitting on our islands away from the non-Muslims.

    Now, what I am saying is that the responsibility is on these groups to work for the Muslim cause in the West–TOGETHER. I am not saying to be apologist or we are all one–but to partner for the same common goals. Does that make sense?

    And there are brothers on either side who work together to meet these ends…but the shaykhs do not or at least do not do it beyond signing a document. And this is an obstacle for all of us.

  15. Avatar

    Dawud Israel

    October 23, 2008 at 12:01 PM

    Correction: No shaykh wants to talk about it OPENLY (except for example Suhaib Webb) but everyone wants them to talk about it.

  16. ibnabeeomar

    ibnabeeomar

    October 23, 2008 at 12:36 PM

    @dawud

    it sounds like the issue that should be addressed is:

    Listen, the point is not agreement or disagreement but actually moving the community forward–what about the non-practicing Muslims, what about drugs? Or muslims running gangs? Islamophobia? Muslim Political lobbies? How about our refugees living in the West who visit Salvation Army more often then the mosque? How about the issues with families and divorce among Muslims?

    so why are you trying to turn it into an almaghrib/zaytuna issue? id be considered a very active almaghrib student by most standards, and i really don’t see the point of this discussion. it seems more of an attention getter than anything else. if the primary issue is whats stated above, then address the issue of how to outreach to a specific demographic of the muslim community directly without the other baggage.

    in either case though, neither is directly related to this topic :)

  17. Avatar

    Amy

    October 23, 2008 at 1:16 PM

    JazakAllahu khair Amad. Thanks for considering my comment. :-)

  18. Avatar

    Faisal

    October 23, 2008 at 1:20 PM

    As-salamaulikum,

    Whats the issue of AlMaghrib vs. Zaytuna?

  19. Avatar

    mulsimah

    October 23, 2008 at 2:05 PM

    salaam I would also like the answr to that question. I never understood why Hamza yusuf had tell ‘zaytuna and almagrib to come together;’ and to preach unity? why are they apart in the first place? what the difference. I think we have a right to know.

  20. Avatar

    osman

    October 23, 2008 at 2:16 PM

    I think its best to ignore manji. Dont bring her up, or else it seems like she has legitimate arguments which she obviously doesnt.

  21. Amad

    Amad

    October 23, 2008 at 2:17 PM

    Don’t know Faisal to be honest. I thought things were pretty respectable and calm between the two studen bodies.

  22. ibnabeeomar

    ibnabeeomar

    October 23, 2008 at 2:38 PM

    dawud, i would contend that your approach is in fact an obstacle itself. you’re just rehashing an old issue under a new cover.

    if you really want to address the issues you mention, then address them head on, but those issues are not intrinsic to almaghrib/zaytuna. i said it in my earlier post and i’ll repeat it here, but i think you are just being somewhat sensationalistic.

    one almaghrib or zaytuna students opinions of the other institute doesn’t preclude helping a muslim youth stop doing drugs. if you think it does, then maybe you just need to find a new crowd of people to hang out with :)

  23. Avatar

    MR

    October 23, 2008 at 2:45 PM

    I need to vent AGAIN…

    look out for another controversial venting post by yours truly in the near future.

  24. Amad

    Amad

    October 23, 2008 at 2:48 PM

    I think Dawud you are getting some bad information on this “issue”, because to be honest I have attended AlMaghrib classes in 4 different cities, and don’t remember Zaytuna even being discussed or be a concern, or thought of as their camp vs. our camp. It is possible that some of the people you are talking to may be making it like that, as Omar mentioned, but that has not been an issue for quite some time now, esp. after the pledge thing.

    ANYWAYS… maybe you can use the open thread to bring specific concerns, but this post has really nothing to do with this topic. So, pls, let’s move on and remember that both Zaytuna and AlMaghrib, teachers and students, can agree that Dalia ROCKED, and Manji got PWNED!

    In that spirit of agreement, let’s talk about why someone like Manji can have ANY reach at all. She is very eloquent and intelligent no doubt, but come one, her background of pro-Israel (nearly neoconish) support, her openly pronounced lesbianism, etc… are all quite antithesis to a common Muslim’s beliefs. Even a non-practicing Muslim “gets that”.

  25. Avatar

    aarij

    October 23, 2008 at 4:19 PM

    Yeah…I fail to see why most of the comments are about AlMaghrib v Zaytuna v Dawud Israel.

    My question is, why was that wicked pwned image removed??

  26. Avatar

    Shahid

    October 23, 2008 at 4:22 PM

    Great post.

    I used to be a Qadiani and reverted to Islam in 2004. (If you google my full name, you’ll get the announcement at the top – shahid kamal ahmad)

    I’m confident that Qadianis do not number more than 2 million. (It is hilarious that on their channel MTA, they still claim 200 million!)

    If you’d like to know more about this dangerous and divisive cult, I would recommend that brothers and sisters visit our site at http://www.thecult.info and check out the blog and the forum there. Feel free to join us and we will be happy to advise Muslims on some of the devious arguments these people use.

    We don’t think Qadianis are in any danger of getting large numbers of recruits, but they do try and push themselves to the forefront of discussion whenever they want to distance themselves from the Ummah. Every soul we save from these deviants is good.

    And we should do what we can (as we are doing at thecult.info and on youtube – check out my channel shahidkamal there too) to invite Qadianis to Islam. Who knows? Insha’Allah one day one of them might be like me and writing in defence of Islam!

    Great article btw – and Manji is an interesting case in point, because one or two lapsed Qadiani dissidents who become atheists actually point her out to be a good Muslim example! That’s the kind of rubbish thinking we need to nip in the bud!

  27. Avatar

    Mustafaa

    October 23, 2008 at 4:27 PM

    Irshad Manji is a terrible terrible woman. I pray that she catches some disease and dies by Allah”s leave

  28. Avatar

    sisterindeen

    October 23, 2008 at 4:30 PM

    Masha Allah is all I can say for sr. Dalia…!!!! May Allah give us all ilm and the eloquence and good speech necessary to convey it to others, ameen.

    As for Irshad……. PWNED big time. Did you see her face after sr Dalia likened her ijtihad to OBL and crew? Ouch..

  29. Avatar

    Asim

    October 23, 2008 at 4:31 PM

    First saw this on suhaibwebb.com. Irshad got PWNED big time.

  30. Amad

    Amad

    October 23, 2008 at 4:45 PM

    Aarij, I thought Sr. Amy made a fair request.

    If you really like the picture, this is the link to it :)

  31. Amad

    Amad

    October 23, 2008 at 4:58 PM

    Br. Shahid, may Allah reward you for your courage and your dawah against this evil cult of Qadiyanis.

    I can’t phatom though why anyone would believe this fool, Mirza Ghulam, who claimed “to have been taught Arabic directly by God and that he received the knowledge of 40,000 Arabic roots from God in a single night.”

    And, forbade his followers from fighting British occupation (hello?? anyone see a “British implant”??):
    “Behold! I have come to you people with a directive that henceforth jihad with the sword has come to an end but jihad for the purification of your souls still remains. This injunction is not from me but rather it is the will of God.” (British Government and Jihad pg.15)

  32. Avatar

    Shahid

    October 23, 2008 at 5:09 PM

    Jazkallah khayr!

    If you visit the blog and forum, particularly the blog of late, you will see the most amazing contortions these people go to in order to justify their deviance.

    Mirza was indeed the most contradictory man in the Indian subcontinent. Regardless of all the other issues of kufr in his writings, the one that upsets me the most is his fawning obeisance towards the occupation of his homeland, where his fellow Indians of all religions were ruthlessly oppressed and starved.

    In fact, Mirza set the tone for the dajjalic lying of the big liars today.

  33. Avatar

    Dawud Israel

    October 23, 2008 at 5:29 PM

    I’ll bring it up later in the open thread in sha Allah, but any responses from hereon should be emailed to me (muslimology@gmail.com) so as not to distract from this discussion on the video.

    dawud, i would contend that your approach is in fact an obstacle itself. you’re just rehashing an old issue under a new cover.

    If what ibnabeeomar said is true, and there is no conflict between these camps, then my proposition is that they should work together and if they are not, then my question is why are they not?

    one almaghrib or zaytuna students opinions of the other institute doesn’t preclude helping a muslim youth stop doing drugs. if you think it does, then maybe you just need to find a new crowd of people to hang out with

    You are telling me to ditch BOTH of these groups (I am, like most, an AlMaghribie) if I want to actually do something for the community. And my response is I shouldn’t have to abandon AlMaghrib nor Zaytuna in order to create change. These groups should be focusing on these problem and doing it together, so I don’t have to choose one over another.

    I do NOT belong to anyone’s clique and I do not let them define me. I am focused on pushing our community forward–ALL Muslims, regardless of minute details. And a big obstacle to that is this mentality of groups. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasalam whilst dying cried “Ummati Ummati” (My Ummah, My Ummah)–and this is who he cared for. You can fret about your group, fine, but not at the expense of the Ummah and the Western Muslim community at large, which is what has happened because there is no unity in activism between these Muslim groups!

    In my experience, if you want to get anything beneficial done for our community, often it involves having to make room for another persons interpretation of Islam–which is fine, but when they sound brainwashed, you quickly realize they won’t do anything unless the shaykh at the top whom they admire and look up to so much sanctions it directly. And this is where the crux of the problem endures. And this is why we are suffering. Unless the shuyookh at the top move, we stand still.

    In a nutshell, I went from the issue of fear inside the Muslim community (fear of each other vis-a-vis differences inside and outside camps) as a problem to our growth. Now, I know you have heard “AlMaghrib/Zaytuna” hashed in the past in the context of conflict and that is why I said “vs.” which is reflecting the “problem” we tend to assume exists when in reality it may not be there–but just bringing up the past (when it was there) makes it (re)exist. The only way you can get rid of this dichotomy (AlMaghrib “vs.” Zaytuna) is by having both of them work together. Otherwise, it’s there to stay.

    Now if I caused confusion, havoc and controversy– I apologize and ask your forgiveness, but someone has to say it, and will try and raise this issue up later. Any responses should be emailed to me (muslimology@gmail.com) so as not to distract from this discussion on the video.

    Salaam aleikum

  34. Avatar

    AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    October 23, 2008 at 5:34 PM

    bismillah. amad, i am pretty sure your first picture also lives on at the digg-entry for this article.

    a lot of the comments here are only tangentially related to this article — so here’s an idea for all of you: click the link to digg this article. digg the article and and post a comment there, too! let all your friends digg up your comments as well as the article — and your views will get even more visibility.

    brilliant!?!

  35. Avatar

    B

    October 23, 2008 at 5:42 PM

    Amad: I feel it’s crass to be using words like stupid and idiot. I am sure you can get your point across while maintaining civility.

  36. Avatar

    MR

    October 23, 2008 at 5:45 PM

    the MM logo is now clickable!!!!!

    and yes MM has over 1,000 subscribers mashaAllah!!!!!

  37. Avatar

    Farhan Khan

    October 23, 2008 at 6:01 PM

    Dalia Mogahed is the MAN!
    Can I say that?

  38. Amad

    Amad

    October 23, 2008 at 6:05 PM

    “B”, I removed both words from my post. I DO care about what the readers think :)

    MR: congrats. Just for you man.

    Farhan: Hmmm… I don’t think she’d appreciate being called a man, in any context :) I guess we should let the sisters answer that one! How about Dalia is the woMAN?

  39. Avatar

    Sunie

    October 23, 2008 at 6:21 PM

    I made du’a upon du’a upon du’a for Dalia as I was watching this. We should all do so

    May Allah forgive her, bless her immensely, protect her, and give her strength to serve Islam even better. Ameen yaa Rabbal’arshil’azheem

  40. Amad

    Amad

    October 23, 2008 at 6:32 PM

    Sunie: I have been asking Texas Dawah to bring her as a speaker… I believe they will have her come for promotion events inshallah. She has the intellectual acumen, and a calmness in demeanor, that makes her an asset for the Ummah in the West. May Allah preserve her and increase her benefit for the Ummah.

    On another note, I would encourage everyone to visit the website Br. Shahid pointed to, thecult.info. We have added it to our links under “Connect”. Anyone who has a site or a blog or other means of electronic communications, should spread the info about this website. Because we need to counter the Qadiyani cult, and the best way to do so is education.

  41. AnonyMouse

    AnonyMouse

    October 23, 2008 at 6:45 PM

    Dalia Mogahed is the MAN!
    Can I say that?

    No, you can’t! Don’t you think the hijaab kinda gives it away?!

  42. Avatar

    Zaynab

    October 23, 2008 at 6:51 PM

    It is AMAZING to see an educated, well spoken, Western Muslim sister who actually practices her Deen speaking about Islam :D Love it. We need more qualified, practicing people in the media speaking about Islam.

    May Allah swt protect her, increase her in knowledge and goodness, and protect her heart and tongue from deviating from the truth. Ameen.

    Pardon the digression, but I just have a small point of Naseeha for br.Dawud:

    And this is EXACTLY why there is so much controversy everytime someone says “Salafi” or “Sufi or “”Wahabi” because it’s like saying “Nigger”–we make the word lethal to ourselves, we allow it to hurt us and our self-image by not talking about it and how it has impaired our growth as Muslims in the West. Is that where we really want to stay–semantics? If we can get people to move beyond thinking that these words entail conflict then perhaps we can actually move the Muslims forward.

    I get the analogy, and I see the logic, but it’s not accurate and it belittles the word Nigger and its history. Good clip, and it is applicable when people start using the terms you listed in a derogatory manner, and just good advice over all. But please, refrain from using that example again. You may understand the word intellectually but you don’t understand the experience. May Allah reward you for the best of your intentions and work for His sake. Ameen :)

  43. Avatar

    abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    October 23, 2008 at 7:39 PM

    bismillah. there’s another lesson to take away from post #13: exercise restraint. a good indicator of the lack of restraint? ending a blog post/comment with words that in any way invite the wrath of Allah.

    invoking the wrath of Allah should only be a solemn and deliberate act — so spouses who dispute a charge of adultery that is only levelled between them, they invoke the wrath of Allah. and in the most serious debate/confrontations between learned Muslims and those debating them, they may invoke the wrath of Allah, too.

    but in no good instance is that wrath invoked on all the believers. never.

    now if dalia and irshad had gone that far in their debate…!!!!

  44. Avatar

    Umm Reem

    October 23, 2008 at 8:33 PM

    I don’t think she’d appreciate being called a man, in any context :) I guess we should let the sisters answer that one! How about Dalia is the woMAN?

    NO WAY!!
    Dalia is a woman, talks like a woman, debates like a woman. Remember, no one can win an argument with a woman. Hence, only a woman can defeat a woman in a debate!
    *husbands should esp. know that by now!* :)

  45. Avatar

    ilmsummitee

    October 23, 2008 at 9:31 PM

    I just watched the whole debate…..mashallah la qoowata ela billah.

    May Allah bless sister Dahlia with goodness and increase her benefit to the ummah and as equally may he deal harshly in this world and the next with the other, whom does not deserve to be named.

    I think I’m gonna go buy the book “Who Speaks for Islam”, esp since Dr. Esposito is the co-author; mashallah his books are awesome.

  46. Avatar

    FearAllah

    October 23, 2008 at 9:45 PM

    It’s ironic how her first name is Irshad….

    And has nobody ever though about making du’a for this extremely deviated soul?

    May Allah knock some sense into her……i mean guide her to the true Irshaad, Ameen :)

  47. Avatar

    talib

    October 23, 2008 at 9:58 PM

    anyone know whats sister dalia’s islamic study backgroud. what i found in this website is only her secular studies

    “Mogahed earned her master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in strategy from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. She received her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering. Upon graduation, Mogahed joined Procter & Gamble as a marketing products researcher.”

  48. Avatar

    ibn alHyderabadee

    October 23, 2008 at 10:05 PM

    cool MM logo got the link….i love MR

    i agree with what you are getting at Dawud……i havent seen that pledge put into much action either…but my opinion is relative and probably improper cuz i havent been in the US much in the past year or so

  49. Avatar

    Abu Zayd

    October 23, 2008 at 10:20 PM

    What I found most interesting was her reference to finding “a progressive imam from the West” to write her the interfaith marriages article. She claimed he was trained traditionally (studying in Saudi and Syria) and in the Western context. A little bit of research reveals the shoddiness of her claim. This person supposedly spent some time in King Saud University without earning a degree and some time at a Shiite institution in Damascus, before winding up as head of an ISlamic Studies department at San Diego State University. Among his interests are supporting feminisim, supporting the Jew’s right to Israel, fighting Muslim extremism and anti-Semitism (he includes all mainstream Muslim groups including CAIR and ISNA in this) and sexuality in Islam.

    What he is the “imam” of boggles my mind.

    Clearly there is little integrity behind Irshad and her ilk. They thrive on sensationalism and have little ground to stand on. I believe the approach they deserve is to ignore them and pay them no mind.

  50. ibnabeeomar

    ibnabeeomar

    October 23, 2008 at 10:22 PM

    I do NOT belong to anyone’s clique and I do not let them define me

    so why do you define something as general as reaching out to non-practicing youth in terms of almaghrib/zaytuna?

  51. Avatar

    Olivia

    October 23, 2008 at 10:32 PM

    huh, i didn’t know gay girls carried purses. you learn something new every day!

  52. Avatar

    AsimG

    October 23, 2008 at 10:42 PM

    I wish Irshad Manji would fall down more.

    No but seriously, I’ve said it 2 years ago and I’ll say it again.

    IRSHAD MANJI IS A GREATER THREAT TO OUR UMMAH THAN OBL!

    Why?

    Cause she looks smart, she acts smart and her arguments make sense if your knowledge of Islam is limited.

  53. Avatar

    anon

    October 23, 2008 at 10:44 PM

    “huh, i didn’t know gay girls carried purses. you learn something new every day!”

    What exactly was the point of that comment? To showcase your stupidity?

  54. Avatar

    ibn alHyderabadee

    October 23, 2008 at 10:44 PM

    i know str8 guys that carry purses

  55. Avatar

    anon

    October 23, 2008 at 10:49 PM

    I think people make way to big a deal about Irshad Manji. I had never even heard of the woman up until it seems like every single blog authored by muslims that I had read started writing all these articles about her labeling her as the Great Satan and worse than OBL or something. As always, when you kick up a big fuss about nothing it becomes more interesting to those who have no idea what’s going on. They just want to know what all the fuss is about.

  56. Avatar

    Asim

    October 23, 2008 at 11:08 PM

    I like how we’re having 2 completely different conversations here lol. Tho I would have to agree with Br. Dawud to a large extent but that’s another discussion in and of itself.

    Check out an exclusive interview with Sr. Dalia on suhaibwebb.com: http://www.suhaibwebb.com/blog/interviews/an-exclusive-suhaibwebbcom-interview-with-dalia-mogahed/

  57. Avatar

    Olivia

    October 23, 2008 at 11:29 PM

    okay, so on a more serious note. her description of Muslim scholars it so way off “a very thin layer of elites?” it makes them sound like rich oligarchs who are only it for the money. also, i sense a lot of bitterness and generalizations from her. my husband has a super long beard and i have my own business, so i’d tell Irshad to speak for yourself (or whoever else your “desperate” fans are!).

  58. Avatar

    Olivia

    October 23, 2008 at 11:31 PM

    No, Anon, I was just interjecting some humor into the thread of posts. I’m sure most people who read it laughed, even if you didn’t (perhaps you’re a gay girl with a purse too? just kidding!) ;)

  59. AnonyMouse

    AnonyMouse

    October 23, 2008 at 11:36 PM

    Irshad Manji nauseates me… oh, and she doesn’t even have the appearance of intelligence. She may “look” smart, but the moment she opens her mouth, it’s quite obvious that she has no clue what she’s talking about and that the only people who listen to her are those who have an even lower IQ than she does.

  60. Avatar

    Dalia Mogahed

    October 23, 2008 at 11:36 PM

    Assalamu allikum;

    Jazakum Allahu khairan for all your support, dua and encouragement. I deeply appreciate it.

  61. Avatar

    Olivia

    October 23, 2008 at 11:41 PM

    By the way, anon, if your Muslim I love your for the sake of Allah and I apologize if that comment offended you in any way.

    Peace :)

    Great job sister Dalia!

  62. Avatar

    Olivia

    October 23, 2008 at 11:43 PM

    by the way, i agree with whoever said it above, that Irshad Manji runs on sensationalism. she’s the anne coulter of the islamic world.

  63. Avatar

    MR

    October 23, 2008 at 11:50 PM

    Maybe I. Manji got dumped by her dream man who was Muslim. Now she can’t get over the fact that she got dumped by him, so she is taking it out on the entire Muslim population and Islam.

    Heart broken people do crazy things you know!

  64. Avatar

    anon

    October 24, 2008 at 12:00 AM

    “(perhaps you’re a gay girl with a purse too? just kidding!)”

    LOL, nice :) Afraid i’m not, but who doesn’t love purses. No hard feelings btw :)

  65. Avatar

    cyma

    October 24, 2008 at 12:01 AM

    Irshad wants to change all the basics of islam by sprinkling some fairy dust to make it appear kosher to non conformist muslims. I mean who in their right minds would go to Irshad for Islam based advice on any issue. People like Ayan Hirsi Ali who are pitiable for their defiance of Islam at least do not call themselves muslim anymore. Sister Dalia of course is great in her defence. Scholarship speaks for itself. Self styled pseudo intellectuals like Irshad need to shut up before they make a complete fool of themselves. The sad part is the more you bash islam the more you get lauded in the west, even if you have no scholarship at all.

  66. Avatar

    drew

    October 24, 2008 at 12:05 AM

    People need to go back to basics all this excess contemplating is a distraction..

    Here is a little reminder you may find refreshing..

    5 prayers a day!

    Prolific isn’t it!?

    Yet if people acted on that little statement and spent their focus encouraging others, JUST IN SALAAT, we would be better off than all this bickering. We spend our energy on useless arguing when poor people are starving, neighbors and family are being ignored, Qur’an is not being memorized, Arabic is not being studied. News flash: Irshad Manji can’t even PRONOUNCE some of the words in Arabic much less understand Al Qur’aan al-Kareem. The other debater does make a valiant effort and I applaud her.

    ~Drew

  67. Avatar

    Olivia

    October 24, 2008 at 12:24 AM

    [quote]Maybe I. Manji got dumped by her dream man who was Muslim. Now she can’t get over the fact that she got dumped by him, so she is taking it out on the entire Muslim population and Islam.

    Heart broken people do crazy things you know![/quote]

    um, and taking it out on herself by becoming a lesbian! i was serious about that purse comment….

    anyhoo, do carry on to more valuable discourse!

  68. Avatar

    Abu Umar

    October 24, 2008 at 12:34 AM

    Irshad Manji is from an Isma’ili background, and hence was never a Muslim. She just went from one form of kufr to another form (Isma’ili to outright secularist). The only reason any one even is aware of her existence is because the neocons and others of their ilk tried, and failed I might add, to promote her as someone to incite “reform” in Islam. People like Irshad Manji, ‘Amina Wadud, etc. will, insha’Allah, be swept into the dust bin of history where they belong.

  69. Avatar

    cyma

    October 24, 2008 at 12:58 AM

    whatever her (Irshad’s) background she is doing disservice to islam. she is also endorsing the filthy new book jewel of medina. i would never read it but the review on wikipedia is disgusting.

  70. Avatar

    sister_in_islaam

    October 24, 2008 at 1:01 AM

    Why does Irshad refer to the battle of Badr as part of “Islamic folklore” and part of legends??

    Helloo! Authu billah.

  71. Avatar

    Siraaj

    October 24, 2008 at 1:56 AM

    Irshad Manji looks at Islam and religion as a cultural phenonenon that can be changed and reformed, I believe. She doesn’t consider the Qur’aan perfectly preserved.

    Siraaj

  72. Avatar

    Siraaj

    October 24, 2008 at 1:57 AM

    Mogahed = Mujaahid?

  73. Pingback: Friday Links — October 24, 2008 « Muslimah Media Watch

  74. Avatar

    Abu Alee

    October 24, 2008 at 7:27 AM

    Why did Dalia Mogahed define a moderate Muslim as one who does not believe in violence? (45 mins)

    Is this Islam and is this the belief of those who run this blog?

  75. Avatar

    Ahmad AlFarsi

    October 24, 2008 at 7:47 AM

    Is this Islam and is this the belief of those who run this blog?

    no, that is not our belief. speaking for myself, we believe in the validity of both defensive and offensive jihad, but with the disclaimer that it must be carried out legitimately (i.e. not by killing innocents or acts of terrorism).

    Also, you probably misunderstood what Sr. Dalia meant, as I am quite certain that she did not mean that physical jihad is invalid, but that she was most probably simply condemning terrorism (even if she used a different word).

  76. Amad

    Amad

    October 24, 2008 at 8:20 AM

    Did anyone notice sister Dalia dropping by and giving her props to everyone for their dua and kind words?

    So jazakillah khair Sr Dalia for dropping by with your comment :) we hope to see more of you and less of irshad when there’s a talk on who really speaks for Islam!

    And she spelled her name exactly as reported too, Siraaj :) its an eJyptian thing :)

  77. Avatar

    Ahsan Sayed

    October 24, 2008 at 10:17 AM

    AMad ur awesome!!! lets ust hope Irshad Manji reads this, and has some epiphany the next morning and repents.

  78. Avatar

    Faisal

    October 24, 2008 at 12:22 PM

    All Irshad requires is Tawfiq, which only Allah can bless her with.

  79. Avatar

    Ahsan Sayed

    October 24, 2008 at 12:26 PM

    Of course but who knows through whom or what the blessing comes from allah.

  80. Avatar

    Azam

    October 25, 2008 at 12:20 AM

    بسم الله

    There is a good chance that the author of this article does not get to read this but, InshaAllah, he does. While I agree, of course, with the authors arguments, he was extremely harsh in his article. I understand we are to enjoin good and forbid evil, but we should also do it with respect and in a gentle tongue; as Allah (SWT) says to Musa, speak to him (Pharaoh) in a gentle tongue. Maybe I am not understanding how the blog works, which is likely :), but using phrases like “PWNED” and “best book EVER..” does not seem right. Allahu Allim.

    Wa Salaamu Alaikum!

  81. Avatar

    DrM

    October 25, 2008 at 1:39 AM

  82. Avatar

    AsimG

    October 25, 2008 at 1:06 PM

    Alhamdillah if you don’t think Irshad Manji is a problem, then you’ve been protected from her stupidity.

    Go to a college daw’ah booth and see how people mention her and look at the appeal she has to the ignorant and then you will see her power.

  83. Avatar

    ibn alHyderabadee

    October 25, 2008 at 3:10 PM

    i love this pic of manji

    http://bp0.blogger.com/_2uMRHX-nagE/Rxcr_QCy_LI/AAAAAAAAAIo/m4HeeQhf2y4/s1600-h/twin-a.gif

    looks liek one of my best friends from back in middle school…

    my friend was a guy

  84. Avatar

    Anonymous

    October 25, 2008 at 3:24 PM

    I think the title might be misspelled, I think “Obilerated” should be spelled Obliterated

  85. Amad

    Amad

    October 25, 2008 at 8:36 PM

    thx anonymous … kind of embarrassing to get a title wrong :)

  86. Avatar

    AmatulWadood

    October 25, 2008 at 9:30 PM

    I think it’s more funny that it took 89 comments for someone to notice it! lol

  87. Avatar

    Shahgul

    October 26, 2008 at 1:53 AM

    Well spoken, Mashallah.

    I don’t know whether to pray for Irshad, or to curse her. My heart only curses her when she insults the Prophet, may Allah keep him and his family in peace. Amen.

    If sister Mogahid is reading this: Sister, your reward is only with Allah. One public speaking tip. Keep your hand actions to a minimum. They are distracting, speacially when your hand repeatedly covers your face.

  88. Avatar

    h. ahmed

    October 26, 2008 at 2:17 AM

    as salaam alaikum wr wb,

    2 points:

    1. I agree that irshad manji got ‘pwned’. However, as confused and wrong as she is on many important issues of the deen – she still calls herself Muslim – and all attacks against her should be limited to that regarding substance only, i.e. her views, opinions, etc. – and not against her personally. To read several personal against her is very shameful. We as Muslims should know better, and if anything this can be considered ghiba – and there is NO difference of opinion on the severity of ghiba. I mean c’mon, none of us knows whats in her heart – yet we all can agree that she is severely misguided. Instead of calling her a terrible woman, or questioning her intentions (shes in it for the money, etc.), or doing takfeer on her … why not make dua asking Allah (swt) to guide her.

    (I am not defending her zany viewpoints that are obviously wrong – but lets chill with the ad hominem attacks)

    2. This whole zaytuna/al-maghrib issue is no longer an issue. From top-down, any of us who know any of the scholars from either institutes know that they have nothing but praise for the “other side’s” scholars and institution. They have worked together on signing that pact as mentioned earleir in this thread – and many of them are close friends (zaytuna scholars and al-maghrib scholars). The ‘beef’ comes from ego-driven narcissistic atttitudes that just is doing nothing more than causing fitnah. And we all know the dangers of fitnah and starting it. We all should individually do our duty to calm down, humble, and educate anyone we see contributing to the whole salafi/sufi, zaytuna/al-maghrib, etc. fitnah. We are One Ummah – we all have the same intentions – and we want all of us to enter jannat. And thats that. And Allah knows best.

  89. Avatar

    shahgul

    October 26, 2008 at 9:06 PM

    h. ahmed wrote:
    “…I agree that irshad manji got ‘pwned’. However, as confused and wrong as she is on many important issues of the deen – she still calls herself Muslim …”

    I don’t know about that one. Just saying you are a Muslim and attacking the Quran, the Prophet sws, the sahab, the salaf. Does that qualify being a Muslim. That is sure sign of SERIOUS nifaq at least.

    What I can say with surety is that SHE IS DEFINITELY A DANGEROUS ENEMY OF ISLAM and a FRIEND OF THE ENEMIES OF ISLAM. She definitely tries, not to disagree with any interpretation of Islam, but to denigrate ayahs of the Quran, and the Sunnah of the Rasool sws.

    She refuses to say salah, like a Muslim (not just be lazy or find an excuse like us). She states she does not have to make salah.
    Ulema have declared people outside of Islam, for just not praying.

    Allahu aalim.

  90. Avatar

    h. ahmed

    October 26, 2008 at 9:32 PM

    Let me clarify

    Hher views to discredit interpretations of the quran that are agreed upon by consensus, denigrate anything in the sunnah, saying that salat isnt necessary, etc. – of course is WRONG and we should speak out against that – those saying/actions.

    And of course – by definiion a Muslim is one who prays, fasts (outwardly actions – the five pillars, etc.)

    By no means am i defending irshad manji!!!!!!!!!

    I thought i was pretty clear in my prior comment – but id just like to clarify that.

    May Allah guide us all. And Allah Knows best.

  91. Avatar

    gaze_dropper

    October 26, 2008 at 10:34 PM

    – I dont’ see how it is possible for brothers to watch such a documentary?
    – I think muslimmatters should really consider that in order for us to lower our gaze it is not possible to watch 2 women for 1 hour straight?
    – These posts are clearly directed towards women, and I ask that you put disclaimers on these posts for those who wish to guard their gazes.

    safeguard your work MM writers :)

  92. Avatar

    gaze_dropper_reply

    October 26, 2008 at 11:21 PM

    Gaze_dropper

    These posts are for everyone ok, just because they have women in them does not mean that they’re FOR women.

    So basically these two women should sit in their homes and debate via phone, or will their voices arouse some brothers too?

    Give me a break.

  93. Avatar

    Yusuf Smith

    October 27, 2008 at 5:55 AM

    As-Salaamu ‘alikum,

    Dawud Israel may have been talking about Carlos Menem, ex-President of Argentina, not Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

  94. Avatar

    Ibnkhalil

    October 27, 2008 at 11:00 AM

    bismillah, the debate was really good. Irshad Manji needs to really ruminate. She has been misled and now she is misleading so many people. Her so called ijtihad is nothing but reinterpretation of the authentic sources of Islam.

    Recently, in a class on contemporary issues we covered the issue of reinterpretation. People who are using “Irshad’s ijitihad” have already come to the conclusion and are now distorting the text to fit their respective needs. So whats the point if you are going to reinterpret the whole thing? Audhobillah. May Allah destroy Irshad for making fun of Islam and corrupting it!

  95. Avatar

    Abu Umar

    October 27, 2008 at 11:42 AM

    However, as confused and wrong as she is on many important issues of the deen – she still calls herself Muslim – and all attacks against her should be limited to that regarding substance only, i.e. her views, opinions, etc. – and not against her personally. To read several personal against her is very shameful. We as Muslims should know better, and if anything this can be considered ghiba – and there is NO difference of opinion on the severity of ghiba. I mean c’mon, none of us knows whats in her heart – yet we all can agree that she is severely misguided. Instead of calling her a terrible woman, or questioning her intentions (shes in it for the money, etc.), or doing takfeer on her … why not make dua asking Allah (swt) to guide her.

    Sorry, but the woman is a kafira, we should have no shame in admitting such. Takfir is part of our religion and we need to acknowledge that. Yes there are groups that abuse the concept and go to extremes, but that doesn’t nullify the concept itself. Through out Islamic history scholars have made takfir on various groups and individuals: Jahm bin Safwan was declared a disbelieving heretic and executed by the khilifa, the extremist Sufi al-Hallaj was declared a disbeliever by al-Junayd (himself a Sufi) and executed, al-Ghazali made takfir on the philosophers and the batanis, ibn Taymiyya made takfir of ibn ‘Arabi, the Hanafi scholars of the Uthmani sultanate made takfir on the Safawid Shi’ites, the scholars of the Indian subcontinent made takfir on Ghulam Ahmad and his followers, etc. Irshad Manji is a kafira, of this there can be no doubt. She denies that the whole of the Qur’an is from Allah, she disbelieves in the legal prohibition of homosexuality, she calls to secularism, etc. All of these things are kufr that take one outside the fold of Islam. To make matters worse, she is not only disbelieves, but calls others to her disbelief and away from the true path of guidance. She is an enemy of Allah and of the believers.

  96. Avatar

    h. ahmed

    October 27, 2008 at 5:36 PM

    Through out Islamic history scholars have made takfir on various groups and individuals:

    Key word: Scholars.

  97. Avatar

    Abu Umar

    October 27, 2008 at 5:43 PM

    Key word: Scholars.

    And it doesn’t take a scholar to tell me that Irshad Manji is a kafira anymore than I need a scholar to tell me that Manji’s hero Salman Rushdie is a kafir.

  98. Avatar

    Ibrahima

    November 2, 2008 at 1:35 AM

    Assalam Walaykum,

    I’ve been really impressed with the comments I’ve read on this post regarding this video. Is almost everything I would have wished to say against Irshad. Though I’ve read numerous posts and articles from MM.org throughout these years, I felt I needed to comment on this one.

    Sister Dalia has a tremendous amount of patients, courage and to be on that stage and speak so fluently.

    On the other hand, I Pray to Allah that Muslims aren’t mislead by the advocate of Satan. Ameen
    Although I would love to comment further, I think just reading the posted comments will comfort my view on this issue.

    Assalam.

  99. Avatar

    Ahmed

    November 2, 2008 at 4:12 AM

    Mashallah, the scholar sister was very thorough, well-behaved, and precise. Jakahallah for putting this video on here. I do hope the “irshad” character turns back to Islam and follows it with more sincerity and with right knowledge. Overall, good discussion from the sister;
    I know I benefited from what the sister had to say.

  100. Avatar

    shahgul

    November 6, 2008 at 12:57 PM

    Everything said and done, now is the time to start ignoring this person who’s name I don’t want to take.
    She is not worth the time, energy, video coverage, megabyte storage, air time, gas, mileage and speech effort we are putting in to support her career of nifaaq and fasq.

    I hope no one will ever meet her again to talk to her, look at her, answer her, sit in the same room with her, and therefore legitimize her.

    We had this discussion (sister Reem and I) after she came to Houston and some 500 Muslims turned out to attend her event (including myself), and therefore made her event a whopping success.

  101. Avatar

    Hafsa

    November 11, 2008 at 12:30 AM

    I find it a shame that we Muslims seem to enjoy intimidating and ridiculing other Muslims and not follow the ethics of disagreement in our religion while we expect others to respect or follow the classical methodology in Islam. I found the debate very interesting and I thought both speakers and the chair had organized a wonderful debate. I do feel saddened to see the ignorance on this forum and ask all of you to think about what is actually being said rather than stooping so low and trying to cut and paste coments out of theri context and pick on personal faults of an individual. Allah swt is the judge about who is a pious Muslim and may Allah swt guide us all, ameen.

  102. Avatar

    Bint

    November 13, 2008 at 4:30 AM

    anybody who doesnt practice islaam should not be speaking for islaam, simple as that.

    As far as arab youth go, whether in America or overseas, they are not just disenfranchised but highly misguided in two groups: mostly westernized and having no clue about islaam: they dont bother to practice so offcourse they are going to try to reform it not feel guilty about practicing it in the first place. and secondly the other arab extreme that go become khwariji or terrorists.

    I hope Irshad read this: Why would I take you seriously? you dont wear hijaab, you are a gay woman and you dont even have islaamic scholarship. You dont even have a bachelor in Islaamic studies for crying out loud…. at least get a bachelor.

    Dahlia has a science background she is more educated and more well spoken.

    Besides, I dont like arguing with ignorant people, I dont know why Dahlia bothered to argue………………………..

  103. Avatar

    Gohar

    November 13, 2008 at 10:09 AM

    One point which the gay woman made was that you cannot compare scholars to doctors is because you can sue a doctor but not a imam. I found this argument irritating as it was incomplete, in that there was no explanation as to why this particular difference was important in assessing the validity of the comparison. If anything, it seems to be in favour of the comparison, because if you cannot sue an imam then it is even MORE important that you select a qualified one rather than just anybody. Similarly, since society cannot sue the imam either for any bad judgements he makes even though his individual rulings will have an impact on society, it can even be stretched to argue that society SHOULD be able to stop certain cowboy scholars from passing dodgy fatwas in the name of Islam.

  104. Avatar

    Hafsa

    November 13, 2008 at 2:03 PM

    To Bint and those like her:

    Who are we to judge if someone is a practicing pious religious Muslim or not? Even Allah swt waits until a person dies before passing judgment on him, so how are your negative comments going to help Irshad?

    Do you think the prophet went around doing character assination? How do you think the prophet pbuh dealt with people? Are you following his example? Do you think you will enter paradise while Irshad will enter hell? How do you know what state your iman will be on the day you die? Will your arrogance and pride take you to jannah? By slandering and backbiting you are simply losing all your good deeds. Instead of think ways of eradicating ignorance you are in fact encouraging it and not only that you are sending a potentially good Muslim astray because you are not using the wisdom of the prophet in conveying the true Message of Islam. Irshad is not a ‘gay’ she does not sleep around with other women and you have no right to pick on her juts to slander or find faults in her and there is a whole chapter on finding faults of people in the Quran so I suggest you read that first as you seem ignorant of it. Irshad is simply a Muslim philosopher, lesbianism was not in this debate and she has her concerns and weaknesses, like all of us do in many other things. Irshad is reminding us of our duty as Muslims to acknowledge the real problems at hand and to answer them. She may have tendencies towards lesbianism, but she is still straight and trying to make sense of Islam and the Quran. Just by her talking about her inclinations towards lesbianism doesn’t make her into one so your jibes/slights are not helpful.

  105. Avatar

    Hafsa

    November 13, 2008 at 2:24 PM

    Hijab is not the first pillar of Islam.

    Do you know your five pillars? As for Hijab, do you understand the meaning of hijab? Who are you to make ‘hijab’ as a head covering for women into the first pillar of Islam? If you read the Quran, Hijab is a MUST for men who came to visit the prophet’s wives, (Al-Ahzab 33:53) go and read the Quran as this verse doesn’t tell Muslim women to ‘wear’ a hijab or screen and shroud themselves completely from men in public life, it asks men to do that, because in those days people didn’t knock the door and went straight into peoples houses and bedrooms, it was a command to respect the right to their privacy and decency. The verse that mentions khimar (clothing or covering) is not only necessary a headscarf, neither is a jilbab, it can be any covering which hides the body and covering the hair isn’t even mentioned once in the Quran. However, there are verses for both men and women to cover their private parts and for women to also cover their chests and lengthen their garments for modesty. Inward and outward Modesty is essential for both Muslim men and Muslim women, but the headscarf is not. Only Allah swt has the exclusive right to tell us what is haram and halal and our laws are derived directly from the Quran, so you must give evidence from the Quran and sunnah if you think it is sinful or ‘haram’ for women to show their hair.

  106. Avatar

    Gohar

    November 13, 2008 at 2:35 PM

    Hafsa, people like you don’t live in the real world. Your naieveity is dangerous.

    And Bint was absolutely right. Even if we cannot easily say who speaks for Islam, we can certainly say who doesn’t. Why do you have a problem with that? If she feels no shame for her sins, and she doesn’t pray in the way a muslim should pray (i.e. facing mecca five times a day), then that DOES affect her credibility, and therefore does become a legitimate matter of discussion.

    Lastly, I just wonder whether you’ve ever written with the same passion about not judging or criticising Osama Bin Laden or others like him. No?… i thought not.

  107. Avatar

    Hafsa

    November 13, 2008 at 2:37 PM

    In fact I thought Irshad was very modestly dressed and who are we to judge anyone by their appearance?

    Quran 7:26

    O ye Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame, as well as to be an adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness,- that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition!

    49:11

    O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter are better than the (former): Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong.

    4:94

    O ye who believe! When ye go abroad in the cause of Allah, investigate carefully, and say not to any one who offers you a salutation: “Thou art none of a believer!” Coveting the perishable goods of this life: with Allah are profits and spoils abundant. Even thus were ye yourselves before, till Allah conferred on you His favours: Therefore carefully investigate. For Allah is well aware of all that ye do.

  108. Avatar

    Qas

    November 13, 2008 at 3:04 PM

    Who said Hijab is a pillar?

  109. Avatar

    Suhail

    November 13, 2008 at 4:47 PM

    So we have somebody defending Irshad Manji the known kuffara. She does not believe in Salah which is kufr as it is the main pillar of Islam. She does not give excuses like being lazy etc but she simply does not believe in doing Salah. First learn you deen yourself before lecturing others about what is Islam and what is not.

    And nobody is talking about her dressing sense. She has much bigger problems than dressing. That is the least of the concern.

    She ridicules Quran, Prophet(SAW), Sahaba and the salaf. If you feel problem with our post Hafsa then don’t post it is that simple but she is a Kafir and as is his other crony Salman Rushdie.

  110. Avatar

    Hafsa

    November 13, 2008 at 5:23 PM

    I defend Islam in it’s reality and I have quoted the verses form the Quran which you call indirectly call “kufr”.

    Suhail are you God to pass judgment on other Muslims? What is your first pillar in Islam? Let me answer for you, to believe in the Oneness of Allah, that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger. Irshad is your sister in faith as she testifies there is no God but Allah and she believes the same creed you do. However if you and your friends keep up with your takfir, insults, backbiting and slandering, hate mongering, soon, you will have not only Irshad leaving Islam but also other decent believing Muslim Brothers and Sisters as well (including those wearing the headscarf). Now surely you don’t want the sin of sending other Muslims astray to amount on you on the day of judgement do you? I suggest you and Gohar grow up and start practicing your faith, be real men instead of mice and stop this chauvinism and picking on the weaker sex, women who think differently from you.

    If you really want to do something for Islam, I suggest you start with the basics and read the Quran fully, comprehend it’s meaning in it’s entirety, read the seera of Prophet Muhammad and practice your Islam like good Muslims. Instead of growing a superiority complex, grow a tree of taqwa whose fruits would benefit other living creatures.

    Oh, and btw these verses still apply to you:

    Qur’an 24:23

    Those who slander chaste women, indiscreet but believing,
    are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter:
    for them is a grievous Penalty,-

    Qur’an 49:12
    O ye who believe! avoid suspicion as much (as possible):
    for suspicion in some cases is a sin:
    and spy not on each other nor speak ill of each other behind their backs.
    Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother?
    Nay ye would abhor it…but fear Allah:
    for Allah is Oft-Returning Most Merciful..]

    Qur’an 2:256
    There is no compulsion in religion.
    The right direction is henceforth distinct from error.
    And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped
    a firm handhold which will never break.
    Allah is Hearer, Knower.

  111. Avatar

    Hafsa

    November 13, 2008 at 5:33 PM

    Please note that I will not be responding to anymore personal attacks from arrogant so-called Muslims who neither read nor understand their own religion, having little faith and common sense.

  112. Avatar

    Qas

    November 13, 2008 at 5:54 PM

    Gohar and Suhail are so-called Muslims and Irshad is a Muslim? Come on Hafsa, be serious. Since we are “quoting”, lets listen to Umar bin Al-Khattab (RA), someone who understood the Quran better than you or I ever can:

    Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab:

    People were (sometimes) judged by the revealing of a Divine Inspiration during the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle but now there is no longer any more (new revelation). Now we judge you by the deeds you practice publicly, so we will trust and favor the one who does good deeds in front of us, and we will not call him to account about what he is really doing in secret, for Allah will judge him for that; but we will not trust or believe the one who presents to us with an evil deed even if he claims that his intentions were good.

  113. Avatar

    Hafsa

    November 13, 2008 at 7:20 PM

    This is my final mesage as I am not here to answer to those who use no sense.

    To Qas,

    You forget they attacked Irshad and me and not the other way around. I did not do takfir or insult them, but they have.

    The truth hurts doesn’t it, especially when it’s rebounded? In the same way I’d like you to look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, are Suhail (and others) who are calling another Muslim, Kafir are they behaving as Muslims? They are ‘so-called’ Muslims because they brag about their faith. They can’t be bothered to read and practice the Quran verses or understand that doing takfir can be just as sinful on them and they may be held accountable on the Day of resurrection for it.

    Irshad has the right to speak freely according to Islam, and has the right to participate in debates, and all of you should stop judging her as if you are angels. You do not have to believe her but you also do not have to insult anyone and drive them further away from the deen. If you had bothered to listen to the lecture she was standing up for ordinary mainstream Muslims like you and me. Those of you who were so busy insulting you missed that Dhalia and Irshad were saying almost the same things. I am glad Dhalia shook her hand as clearly Irshad was grateful in meeting her. So learn a lesson and be like Dhalia and pray for Irshad that Allah keeps her guided and on the straight path, because the Non-Muslims like listening to someone who can debate well. Instead of finding faults, search for the cure from homosexuality, through studying Islamic Psychology and Counseling.

    However, I think the first thing most of you who attack others need to do is understand the English language and go back to school, then to an Islamic centre to learn Islamic ADAB and the ethics of disagreement in Islam before preaching to others about their lack of Faith and education.

  114. Avatar

    Qas

    November 13, 2008 at 11:13 PM

    right back at ya, hafs

  115. Avatar

    Gohar

    November 14, 2008 at 6:30 AM

    The problem with not saying anything in order not to hurt Manji’s feelings is that there is a cost. The cost being that for every day we keep quiet, there will be an innocent muslim being misguided by her teachings. How many muslims do we need to watch being misguided before we realise that our duty is not just to her but to others as well.

  116. Avatar

    Bint

    November 15, 2008 at 12:06 AM

    and didnt you pass a character judgement on me? by calling me arrogant? No one is talking about heaven and hell here. I am talking about listening to a leader. Clearly we humans are not All Knowing like Allaah SWT so we have to go by outward manifestations of a persons reflection or institution of faith. Prayer is a pillar of islaam. And furthermore, Prophets were prophets by token of being better than the people.

    The least a leader or someone professing leadership, or someone claiming to speak for the masses is to be like them or similar to them.

    As far as I know flaunting your sins is not an islaamic concept at all. You can read her biography if you would like to know but it is a well known fact that her support of israeli apartheid stems from the fact that she is cohabiting outside of marriage with a “lover” who happens to be Jewish.

    So, no she does not speak for me and “others like me” as you like to call it.

    We follow islaam as much as we can: pray, fast, charity, ramadhaan, furthermore we do as the wives of the prophet did and take their examples as the best example by do covering our hair- as this act of ordained modesty is not just a part of Islaamic scholarship and tradition but indeed has remnants from the past traditions of Prophet Moses and Jesus’ laws and rulings.

    SImilarly, we get married. We do not date….or drink…. or insult the Prophet.

    Qur’aan that you are quoting, I would suggest you read about the verses that talk about hypocrites.

    So as limited in our knowledge, humans are we do have to make judgements about people in the world when we are deciding who we listen.

    And you do not think that Muslims advised her sincerly in the past?
    For sure, I am sure they did.

    But you know she wouldnt get that much attention had she been writing a book on “The Trouble with Foreign Policy in USA”

    rather she spoke about Islaam…. and landed herself a special Oprah recognition.

    articulation, being able to debate, self appointed leadership……they bring in the money yes….truth?……..well you tell me…..

  117. Avatar

    Prof. Hasan Yahya

    April 22, 2009 at 11:16 PM

    I read enough of opposing and supporting comments. From very simple people to very complicated. For All, I want to say this: Islam is not for sale, brothers and sisters. Religion is not a merchandise goes out of stock in business stores. It is similar to any other religion. Began with one person like Jesus and now the followers are counted by billions. Islam is distinguished by its simplicity. Anyone believes that God exists and He is the ONLY God. become immediately Muslim. If they deny this religious fact, and say there is God, but we are not sure, if God was HE or SHE, in this case they do not deny the idea of God, but they do not know the gender of God. These people we call them gnostic, If some do not believe that God exist as one, or two, nothing, those are ateists.
    People are free of their choice, whatever they choose, its up to them, we know that in Islam, in Christianity, Judaism, Hindhouism, or any other faith on earth, people are different in their beliefs and daily life actions. Religions [even some thinkers say: Religions are the creation of MAN] supported by research on primitive tribes, or cultural beliefs in magic and and fear, they still have crtain logic. But these remain uncertain and shakable cultural facts.
    The belief, I believe, cannot be defeated, because there will be some one or some group stand to defend it. All beliefs, I believe, have illogical logic to convince others that their belief is more true than the other beliefs, but in the final analysis, every belief has its supporters and its opponents.
    So relax, and enjoy life. Leave the Muslims for their belief, if like your belief to be believed, not to attack other beliefs, but to act according to your knowledge, and morality standards of the group or community you live in.
    The final analysis, is: No one may defeat any belief believed strongly by its followers. So why some people like to make other people like themselves. God does not need from human to support Greatness, He/She has wishes, and the power to send some to Heaven, and the rest some to Hell. All religions believe that. So I think any debate about religion is a failure between the debators. Because no religion can justify findings depends on facts. Simply, Islam is may be the least strange in its principles, and its practices, it is up to the person, if he or she want to perform religious duties and obligations, the surrounding social environment influence their morals and practices. This is a fact, because culturally, the two brothers or the two sisters are different. Their personality is different, their greedness has levels, their love has levels too. Their emotions are different. So every religion will have strong believer and weak believers, and in between believers. So where the reader fits? Islam at least explains this discripancy and according to its sacred book, [the Qur’an] this fact about human nature: [If you had control of the treasurers of mercy of God, behold, you will keep them back [for yourselves] for fear of spending them. because human being is (ever) niggardly!](17:100], So people are different but they all like to have more all times, therefore, the might strive to have more than the brother, the sister, and the peer. We all love sex, so we are not angels, We all love to have more, but not to be devils. All debators are also levels, some has knowledge with proof [Scientific or magical] some are strong in their oppositions other are strong to defend what they believe. So keep the winner out, don’t look for the loser. BECAUSE ALL OF US ARE LOSERS, ALL HUMAN BEINGS ARE LOSERS. FOR ONE FACT. WHO REMAIN ALIVE FOR EVER? Life is too short, Enjoy life, as humans err and make good in your life, to taste well. I support the idea that peace, is the peace of self. I advise debators to live with this fact. [prof.hasan yahya 2009]
    Final note: President Barack Obama was right in his decision to choose Dalia as an Advisor for Muslim Affairs. So Congradulation Dalia, and thank, Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, you are not the best but the possible for the job. Good Luck!

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#Current Affairs

Criticism, Accountability and the Exclusion of Quran and Sunnah – Critiquing Ahmed Sheikh’s Critique

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Let me begin by making two things clear. First, this article is not seeking to defend the positions of any person nor is it related to the issue of CVE and what it means to the Muslim American community. I am in no way claiming that CVE is not controversial or harmful to the community nor am I suggesting that affiliations with governments are without concern.

Second, this paper is meant to critique the arguments made by the author that encourage holding Islamic scholars accountable. I encourage the reader not to think of this article as an attempt to defend an individual(s) but rather as an attempt to present an important issue through the framework of Islamic discourse – Quran, hadith supported by scholarly opinion. In that spirit, I would love to see articles providing other scholarly views that are contrary to this articles. The goal is to reach the position that is most pleasure to Allah and not the one that best fits our agenda, whims, or world views.

In this article I argue that Islamic scholars in America cannot effectively be held accountable, not because they are above accountability but because (1) accountability in Islam is based on law derived from Quran and hadith and this is the responsibility of Islamic experts not those ignorant of the Islamic sciences. And to be frank, this type of discourse is absent in Muslim America. (2) Muslim Americans have no standard code of law, conduct, or ethics that can be used to judge behavior and decisions of Muslim Americans. I do believe, however, that criticism should be allowed under certain conditions, as I will elaborate in the proceeding paragraphs.

To begin, the evidence used to support the concept of holding leaders accountable is the statement of Abu Bakr upon his appointment to office:

O people, I have been appointed over you, though I am not the best among you. If I do well, then help me; and if I act wrongly, then correct me.

This is a well-known statement of his, and without a doubt part of Islamic discourse applied by the pious companions. However, one should take notice of the context in which Abu Bakr made his statement. Specifically, who he was speaking to. The companions were a generation that embodied and practiced a pristine understanding of Islam and therefore, if anyone were to hold him accountable they would do it in the proper manner. It would be done with pure intentions that they seek to empower Abu Bakr with Quranic and Prophetic principles rather than attack him personally or with ill intentions.

Furthermore, their knowledge of the faith was sufficient to where they understood where and when the boundaries of Allah are transgressed, and therefore understood when he was accountable. However, when these facets of accountability are lost then the validity of accountability is lost as well.

To give an example, during the life of Abu Bakr, prior to appointing Omar (ra) as his successor he took the opinion of several companions. The prospect of Omar’s appointment upset some of the companions because of Omar’s stern character. These companions approached Abu Bakr and asked him “what will you tell Allah when he asks why you appointed the stern and severe (ie Omar).” Abu Bakr replied “I will tell Him that I appointed the best person on earth,” after which Abu Bakr angrily commanded them to turn their backs and leave his presence.

Fast forwarding to the life of Uthman, large groups of Muslims accused Uthman of changing the Sunnah of the Prophet in several manners. Part of this group felt the need to hold Uthman accountable and ended up sieging his home leading to his death. Now, when one researches what this group was criticizing Uthman for, you find that Uthman (ra) did make mistakes in applying the sunnah that even companions such as Ibn Mas’ood expressed concern and disagreement with. However, due to the lack of fiqh and knowledge, these Muslims felt that the actions of Uthman made him guilty of “crimes” against the sunnah and therefore he must be held accountable.

With this I make my first point. A distinction between criticism and accountability must be made. Ibn Mas’ood and others criticized Uthman but, since they were scholars, understood that although Uthman was mistaken his mistakes did not cross the boundaries of Allah, and therefore he was not guilty of anything and thus was not accountable.

Holding Muslim scholars accountable cannot be justified unless evidence from the Quran and hadith indicate transgression against Allah’s law. Thus, before the Muslim American community can call for the accountability of Dr. Jackson, Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, or others, an argument founded in Quran and Sunnah and supplicated by scholarly (classical scholars) research and books must be made.

It is simply against Islamic discourse to claim that a scholar is guilty of unethical decisions or affiliations simply because CVE is a plot against Muslims (as I will detail shortly). Rather, an argument must be made that shows how involvement with CVE is against Quran and sunnah. Again, I emphasize the difference between criticizing their decision because of the potential harms versus accusing them of transgressing Islamic principles.

To further elaborate this distinction I offer the following examples. First, Allah says in context of the battle of Badr and the decision to ransom the prisoners of war,

“It is not fit for a prophet that he should take captives until he has thoroughly subdued the land. You ˹believers˺ settled with the fleeting gains of this world, while Allah’s aim ˹for you˺ is the Hereafter. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise. Had it not been for a prior decree from Allah, you would have certainly been disciplined with a tremendous punishment for whatever ˹ransom˺ you have taken. Now enjoy what you have taken, for it is lawful and good. And be mindful of Allah. Surely Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (8:67-69)

In these verses Allah criticizes the decision taken by the Muslims but then states that ransom money was made permissible by Allah, and therefore they are not guilty of a punishable offense. In other words, Allah criticized their decision because it was a less than ideal choice but did not hold them accountable for their actions since it was permissible.

Another example is the well-known incident of Osama bin Zaid and his killing of the individual who proclaimed shahadah during battle. Despite this, Osama proceeded to slay him. Upon hearing of this the Prophet (s) criticized Osama and said, “did you see what is in his heart?”

Although Osama’s actions resulted in the death of a person the Prophet (s), did not hold Osama accountable for his actions and no punishment was implemented. Similarly, Khalid bin Waleed killed a group of people who accepted Islam accidentally and similarly, the Prophet (s) criticized Khalid but did not hold him accountable.

Why was there no accountability? Because the decisions of Osama and Khalid were based on reasonable – although incorrect – perspectives which falls under the mistake category of Islamic law “And there is no blame upon you for that in which you have erred but [only for] what your hearts intended. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful” (33:5)

The previous examples, among others, are referred to in Islamic discourse as ta’weel (interpretation). There are many examples in the lives of the companions where decisions were made that lead to misapplications of Islam but were considered mistakes worthy of criticism but not crimes worthy of punishment or accountability.

Ta’weel, as Ibn Taymiyya states, is an aspect of Islam that requires deep understanding of the Islamic sciences. It is the grey area that becomes very difficult to navigate except by scholars as the Prophet (s) states in the hadith, “The halal is clear and the haram is clear and between them is a grey area which most people don’t know (ie the rulings for).”

Scholars have commented stating that the hadith does not negate knowledge of the grey entirely and that the scholars are the ones who know how to navigate that area. The problem arises when those ignorant of Islamic law attempt to navigate the grey area or criticize scholars attempting to navigate it.

Going back to Ibn Taymiyya -skip this part if you believe Ibn Taymiyya was a dancing bear- I would like to discuss his own views on associating oneself with oppressive rulers. In his book “Islamic Political Science” (As Siyaasa ash Shar’iah) he details the nuances of fiqh in regards to working with or for oppressive rulers.

It would be beneficial to quote the entire section, but for space sake I will be concise. Ibn Taymiyya argues that the issue of oppressive rulers should not be approached with a black and white mentality. Rather, one must inquire of the relationship between the person and the ruler.

One can legitimately adhere to the verse “And cooperate in righteousness and piety” (5:2) while working for an unjust ruler such as: “performing jihad, applying penal laws, protecting the rights of others, and giving those who deserve. This is in accordance to what Allah and His messenger have commanded and whoever refrains from those things out of fear of assisting the unjust then they have left an obligation under a false form of asceticism (wara’).”

Likewise, accepting a position under an unjust regime may prevent or reduce the harm of that regime, or prevent someone mischievous from taking the position and inflicting even more harm, then such an association is Islamically valid. Furthermore, someone working in a particular department is not responsible or accountable for the crimes being committed in another department nor are they guilty of “cooperat[ing] in sin and aggression” (5:2). He ascribes these fiqh rulings to the majority of scholars including Abu Hanifa, Malik and Ahmed.

The argument against those who are affiliated with the UAE is simply not grounded in fiqh or supported by clear evidences from the Quran and hadith. How does being part of a peace forum make the participants guilty of the crimes in Yemen? The claim that such participation enhances the influence of these regimes is not necessarily consistent with Quran and hadith.

Dr. Jackson, I argue, is in line with Islamic discourse when he says that being part of such initiatives does not mean he agrees with all they do. The same goes for CVE. As Ibn Taymiyya suggests above, participating in such programs is Islamically justifiable if the goal is to reduce the harm and this is what Dr. Jackson claims. Ibn Taymiyya gives the example of someone working as a tax collector for a ruler who unjustly takes taxes from his citizens. If the individual can reduce the amount being taken then his position is Islamically valid.

One might state that such a claim – reducing the harm – is naïve and an excuse to justify their affiliations. No doubt this is a possibility, however, I once again quote Ibn Taymiyya,

“The obligation is to bring about the benefit to the best of their ability and or prevent the harm or at least reduce it. If there are two possible benefits then the individual should pursue the greater of the two even if it leads to losing the lesser. If there are two possible harms to prevent then they should prevent the greater of the two even if it results in the occurrence of the lesser.”

There are ways of determining whether a persons is clearly excusing himself. At the same time, the debate as to whether the benefits outweigh the harm is almost always within the grey area mentioned above. Thus, it is irresponsible to attack Islamic scholars and call for their accountability for positions that are not clearly against Quran and hadith.

Another rebuttal might claim that the rulers during the time of Ibn Taymiyya were better than present day rulers and that his fiqh was addressing his realities which are inconsistent with ours. My response is that although that is true, Ibn Taymiyya’s teachings are not built on contextual realities that are only effective in those realities. Rather, his teachings are built on principles that are formulated in a way that renders it capable of measuring a particular context. In other words, it acts in a way that considers the realities and context as part of the equation and decision process.

A third rebuttal might claim that Ibn Taymiyya, like many others, warned of the harms of befriending rulers. Again, this is accurate, however, an important distinction must be made and that is between spiritual advice and fiqh rulings. An issue can be spiritually problematic but permissible fiqh-wise and this differentiation is seen in the lives of the companions and spiritualists in general.

For example, the companions rejected many worldly pleasures out of zuhd and wara’ (two forms of asceticism) and not because they are forbidden. To be more specific, a person may restrict themselves from drinking green tea not because it is forbidden by Quran or hadith but because of they view it as a desire that distracts them from the next life.

Similarly, the discouragement scholars expressed towards relationships with rulers was because of the spiritual harms and not because of an unequivocal prohibition against it. This is an important facet of Islamic discourse that should be recognized by the Muslim community. That is, a person can critique an issue from various angles (for example the psychological harms of political rhetoric and how it effects a person’s spirituality) while remaining neutral to Islamic law. What I am trying to say is that legitimate criticisms can be made about a particular issues without having to bring a person’s Islamic credibility into the discussion.

To conclude, I’d like to once again emphasize a distinction between criticism and accountability. Criticism is justified when the criticizer is qualified in the topic and when the one being criticized has made a mistake. Accountability is legitimate when a person has transgressed red lines established by Islam itself. But, in order for such accountability to be valid one must invoke the Quran and hadith and here lies the problem.

In the several articles posted against UAE and CVE, Quran and hadith are excluded and such has become Muslim American discourse – we are Muslims who invoke Allah and His messenger yet exclude their words from the conversation. I remind the Muslim American community and myself of the following verse “And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result” (4:59).

I would like to pose the following questions to the Muslim American community:

  • Under what code of law and ethics should scholars be held accountable? In other words, what standards do we use to deem a scholar accountable or guilty? Who determines these laws and principles? Is it other scholars who are well versed in fiqh? Is it American standards or perhaps Muslim American activists and whatever is in line with their agenda?
  • Who or what institution has the authority to hold scholars accountable?
  • To what extent do we consider Quran, hadith, fiqh and scholarly opinions in determining illegal actions, problematic decisions, and or immoral behavior?
  • Are these laws and principles only applicable to scholars or are other Muslim leader figures held to the same standards?
  • Are all scholars “dancing bears” who have no credibility? If not, who, in your opinion, is trustworthy and credible and why do you think so? Is it because they are following Quran and Sunnah, or because they fit activism?
  • Do you believe that certain celebrated Muslim American activists / politicians present theological and moral problems to American Muslims that are corrupting their faith and behavior? Should they be held accountable for their statements and actions? What about the various Muslim organizations that invite them as keynote speakers and continue to show unwavering support?
  • Do you believe it is fair to say that these celebrated activists are not responsible for clarifying to the community their controversial positions and statements because they are not scholars or seen as religious figures?
  • Do you believe that activism is dominating Muslim American discourse and do you believe that there is a serious exclusion of Quran and hadith in that discourse?

I hope the community will acknowledge the concerning reality of the exclusion of Quran and hadith from our affairs. Until we live up to the standards of Quran and sunnah our criticism will only lead to further division and harm.

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Continue Reading

#Society

Do You Know Why Uzma Was Killed?

#JusticeForUzma is a campaign that highlights the many terrible ways household help is treated in places around the world. Here, Fatima Asad writes about how she is raising her children to be the change they want to see in their society.

Support MuslimMatters for Just $2 a Month

MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Last week, Pakistani society was struggling with the story of the horrific murder of Uzma, a teenager, who worked as a house maid in the city of Lahore. The 16-year-old was allegedly tortured for months and then murdered by the woman she worked for…for taking a bite from the daughter’s plate. #JusticeForUzma is a campaign that highlights the many terrible ways household help is treated in places around the world. Here, Fatima Asad writes about how she is raising her children to be the change they want to see in their society. 

By Fatima Asad

Living in Pakistan, my children realize that within the gates of our neighborhood, they will see no littering, they will not experience water or electricity shortages and certainly, no one will be knocking on the door begging for food or money. The reason they have this realization is because I make it the day’s mission to let them know about their privilege, about the ways they have been blessed in comparison to the other, very real, living, breathing little girls and boys outside those gates. Alas, my children come face to face with those very real people as soon as the gates close behind us.

“Why are there so many poor people in Pakistan, Mommy?” they ask, quite regularly now, unsatisfied with the answers I’ve provided so far. The question perpetually makes me nervous, uncomfortable, and I hastily make a lesson plan in my mind to gradually expose this world’s truths to them… ahista, ahista…(slow and steady).

But on days like these, when we find out about the death of yet another underprivilged young girl (they’re becoming redundant, aren’t they?), on days like these, I want to hold them, shake them, scream at them to wake up!

Wake up, my child! Beta jaag jao.

Do you know why that little girl we see outside, always has dirt on her face and her hair is in visible knots?

It is because, there are too many people who can take a shower anytime they want, who have maids to oil, brush and style their hair.

Do you know why there are children with no clothes on their backs?

It is because, there are too many of us with too many on ours. There are too many of us with walk-in closets for mothers and matching wardrobes for their infant daughters. We obsess about tailors, brands, this collection, last season. How often do we hear or say “can’t repeat that one”, “this one is just not my thing anymore…”

Do you know why there are children with their cheeks sunk deep in their skulls, scraping for our leftovers in our trashcans?

Because there are too many of us, who are overstuffed with biryani, burgers, food deliveries, dinner parties, chai get-togethers, themed birthday cupcakes, and bursting appetites for more, more, more, and different, different, different.

There are too many of us craving the exotic and the western, hoping to impress the next guest that comes to lunch with our useless knowledge of foods that should not be our pride, like lasagna, nuggets, cinnamon rolls, banana bread, pizza, minestrone soup, etc.

There are too many of us who do not want to partake from our outdated, simple traditional cuisines… that is, unless we can put a “cool” twist on them.

Do you know why there are children begging on the streets with their parents? Because there are too many of us driving in luxury cars to our favorite staycation spots, rolling up the windows in the beggars’ faces.

We are rather spent our money of watching the latest movies for family nights, handing out cash allowances to our own kids so they won’t feel left out when going out.

Do you know why there are mothers working during the days and sacrificing their nights sewing clothes for meager coins? Why there are fathers, who sacrifice their sleep and energy to guard empty mansions at the cost of their self-respect? Because there are too many of us attending dance rehearsals for weddings of the friends we backstab and envy. Because there are too many of us binge-watching the latest hot shows on Netflix, hosting ghazal nights to pay tribute to dead musicians and our never-ending devotion for them, and many more of us viciously shaking our heads when the political analyst on TV delivers a breaking report on a millionaire’s private assets.

Do you know why there are people who will never hold a book in their hands or learn to write their own names? Do you know why there will never be proof that some people lived, breathed, smiled, or cried? Because there are too many of us who are given the best education money can buy, yet only end up using that education to improve our own selves – and only our own selves. There are too many of us who wear suits and ties, entrusted with building the country, yet too many of our leaders and politicians just use that opportunity to build their own legacies or secret, off shore accounts.

Do you know why children, yes children, are ripped apart from their parents, forced to provide their bodies and energies so that a stranger’s family can raise their kids? Because, there are too many of us who need a separate maid for each child we birth. Because, there are too many of us who have given the verdict that our children are worth more than others’.

Because, there are too many of us who need a maid to prove to frenemies our monetary worth and showcase a higher social class.

Because, there are too many of us who enslave humans, thinking we cannot possibly spoil our youth, energy and time on our own needs, our own tasks, our own lives.

Because, there are too many of us who need to be comfortable, indulged, privileged, spoiled, educated, satisfied, excited, entertained and happy at the expense of other living souls.

And we do all this, thinking—fooling ourselves into believing— that our comforts are actually a way of providing income for another human being. Too many of us think that by indulging in our self-centered lifestyles, we are providing an ongoing charity for society’s neediest.

Too many of us are sinking into a quicksand that is quite literally killing us. This needs to stop immediately. This accelerating trend of possessing and displaying more isn’t going to slow down on its own- in fact, it’s become deadly. Too many of our hearts have hardened, burnt to char.

More of us need to sacrifice our comforts, our desires, our nafs so others can have basic human rights fulfilled. More of us must say no to blind consumerism, envious materialistic competition and the need for instant gratification so others can live. We may have the potential to turn into monsters, but we have exceedingly greater potential to be empathetic, selfless revolutionaries. Too many of us have been living for the here and now, but more of us need to actively start thinking about the future.

Do we want to raise generations that will break bread with the less fortunate or do we want to end up with vicious monsters who starve and murder those they deem unworthy? The monsters who continue to believe that they have been blessed with more, so others can be given less than they are entitled to.

It is time for change andthe change has to start from within these gates.

#justiceforuzma #justiceformaids

 

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OpEd: Breaking Leases Into Pieces

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Ali ibn Talib raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)once said, “Know the truth and you’ll know who’s speaking the truth.” 

I am based in Canada and was recently having coffee with friends. In the course of the conversation, a friend (who I consider knowledgeable) said that it’s okay to pay interest on a leased car because interest doesn’t apply to lease contracts. This completely caught me off guard, because it made no logical sense that interest would become halal based solely on the nature of the contract.

I asked him how this can be true and his response was that the lease contract is signed with the dealer and the interest transaction is between the dealer and the financing company so it has nothing to do with the buyer. Again, this baffled me because I regularly lease cars and this is an incorrect statement: The lease agreement is signed with a third party financing company who is charging you directly for the interest they pay the car dealership. Therefore, any lease contract that has interest associated with it is haram. This is the same as saying your landlord can charge you interest for his mortgage on a rental contract and this would make it halal. I tried to argue this case and explain to my friend that what he was saying was found on false assumptions and one should seriously look into this matter before treating riba in such a light manner.

Upon going home that night, I pulled out all my lease contracts (negotiated to 0% mind you) and sent them over to my friend. They clearly showed that a bill of sale is signed with the dealer, which is an initial commitment to purchase but the actual lease agreement is signed with a third party financing company which is charging you interest directly. If this interest rate is anything above zero it is haram (anything which is haram in a large quantity is also haram in a small quantity).

To my dismay, instead of acknowledging his mistake, my friend played the “Fatwa Card” and sent me a fatwa from a very large fatwa body in North America, which was also basing their argument on this false assumption. Fortunately for me, my friend pointed out the hotline number and the day and time the mufti who gave the fatwa would be available to answer questions.

I got in touch with the scholar and over a series of text messages proceeded to explain to him that his fatwa was based on a wrong assumption and for this reason people would be misled into leasing cars on interest and signing agreements with financing companies which are haram.
He was nice enough to hear my arguments, but still insisted that “maybe things were different in Canada.” Again this disappointed me because giving fatwa is a big responsibility – by saying “maybe” he was implying that full research has not been done and a blanket fatwa has been given for all of North America.

It also meant that if my point was true (for both Canada and the United States) dozens of Muslims maybe engaging in riba due to this fatwa.

The next week I proceeded to call two large dealerships (Honda and Toyota) in the very city where the Fatwa body is registered in the US and asked them about paperwork related to leasing. They both confirmed that when leasing a new vehicle, the lease contract is signed with a third party financing company which has the lien on the vehicle and the dealer is acting on the financing company’s behalf.

It is only when a vehicle is purchased in cash that a contract is signed with the dealer. This proved my point that both in the US and Canada car lease contracts are signed with the financing company and the interest obligations are directly with the consumer, therefore if the interest rate is anything above 0% it is haram. I sent a final text to the mufti and my friend sharing what I had found and letting him know that it was now between them and Allah.

1. As we will stand in front of Allah alone on Yaum al Qiyamah, in many ways we also stand alone in dunya. You would think that world renowned scholars and an entire institution would be basing their fatwas on fact-checked assumptions but this is not the case. You would also think that friends who you deem knowledgable and you trust would also use logic and critical thinking, but many times judgment is clouded for reasons unbeknownst to us. We must not take things at face value. We must do our research and get to the bottom of the truth. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says to stand up for truth and justice even if it be against our ourselves; although it is difficult to do so in front of friends and scholars who you respect, it is the only way.

2. There are too many discussions, debates and arguments that never reach closure or get resolved. It is important to follow up with each other on proofs and facts to bring things to closure, otherwise our deen will slowly be reduced to a swath of grey areas. Alhamdulillah, I now know enough about this subject to provide a 360 degree view and can share this with others. It is critical to bring these discussions to a close whether the result is for you or against you.

3. Many times we have a very pessimistic and half hearted view towards access to information. When I was calling the dealerships from Canada in the US,  part of me said: Why would these guys give me the information? But if you say Bismillah and have your intentions in the right place Allah makes the path easy. One of the sales managers said “I can see you’re calling from Toronto, are you sure you have the right place?” I replied, “I need the information and if you can’t give it to me I don’t mind hanging up.” He was nice enough to provide me with the detailed process and paperwork that goes into leasing a car.

Finally, I haven’t mentioned any names in this opinion and I want to make clear that I am not doubting the intentions of those who I spoke to; I still respect and admire them greatly in their other works. We have to be able to separate individual cases and actions from the overall person.

May Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) guide us to the truth and rid of us any weaknesses or arrogance during the process.

Aameen.

Ed’s Note: The writer is not a religious scholar and is offering his opinion based on his research on leasing contracts in North America.

Suggested reading:

Muslim’s Guide to Debt and Money Management Part 6

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The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

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