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Friday Khutbah: In Response to Anti-Islam Rally in Phoenix

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This Khutbah was given on the same day the Anti-Islam rally was supposed to take place in Phoenix, Arizona.

Among other things, the Khutbah touched on the following:

1. The fact that everything in the universe is based on the Wisdom of Allah.  We have to trust that an unfortunate event, like armed haters intimidating worshipers in front of a mosque, will turn into something good at the end

2. The “myth” of drawing the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, and the “wise” way to respond

3. The two different approaches that the Quran recommends when it comes to people who are open-minded and people who are blinded by hateimage012

Sure enough, part of this came true the very next Monday when people of all faiths showed up at the very mosque that was under protest.  It was a breathtaking scene to witness over 800 people who all came in support of their Muslim neighbors.  Speeches were given, hugs were exchanged, and unity was affirmed.  Evidently, this show outnumbered the hate show of merely 200 people.  I will leave you with some pictures of this unprecedented event that took place at the North Phoenix mosque in the heart of Arizona:

 

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Born and raised in Lebanon, Hlayhel began attending study circles at his local mosque when he was ten. He came to the United States at 17 and studied electrical engineering at the University of Houston. At its MSA, he met Sh Yasir Qadhi and worked together to raise Islamic awareness on campus. Hlayhel studied traditional sciences of Aqeedah (Islamic creed), Fiqh (Islamic law) and Nahw (Arabic grammar) under Sh Waleed Basyouni and Sh Waleed Idriss Meneese among others. After settling in Phoenix AZ, he worked tirelessly, in the capacity of a board member then a chairman, to revive the then dead AZ chapter of CAIR in order to face the growing Islamophobia in that state and to address the resulting civil right violations. Today, he's considered the second founder of a strong CAIR-AZ. In addition, Hlayhel is a part-time imam at the Islamic Center of the Northeast Valley in Phoenix, husband and father of four. His current topics of interest include positive Islam, youth coaching, and countering Islamophobia.

33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Avatar

    ConfusedGuy

    June 11, 2015 at 12:08 PM

    All of you Muslims are being so darn HYPOCRITICAL!

    It is really, truly, and totally mind boggling!

    It’s like a never ending episode of Twilight Zone! (I know that you’ve maybe never watched it as it was made by white devils, but hopefully you’ve at least heard of it?)

    If you look up Double Standards and Hypocrisy in the dictionary, you guys will be there front and center!

    I have said this on other threads, and no surprise (duhhhh!), no one could address or counter my points…. And NOTE: I’m NOT a Zionist, an Israeli apologist, or a Christian… Heck I used to be pro-Palestinian (and probably still am… by default anyone who’s not a rabid, fanatical Zionist probably falls into this category, at least according to the Israel apologists)

    You guys are ALWAYS saying how you want non-Muslims/white people to respect your religion, correct????

    HOWEVER, and this is the kicker… You say that all white people are EVIL, and that all white people are DEVILS!!!!!!!!

    You say that all white people are DEVILS!!!!!!!!!!

    You say that all white people are DEVILS!!!!!!!!!!

    And I personally, and no offense, do not agree with the religion of Christianity and the confusing “Trinity” doctrine (although I totally, 100% respect people of this faith…) HOWEVER, at least they are NOT calling white people (or black people, or Asian people, or Latino people, etc.) DEVILS!!!

    At least they don’t condemn a whole race of people ONLY because of the COLOR of their skin!!!

    • Avatar

      ibn bello

      June 11, 2015 at 4:10 PM

      Hello ,
      Please Dont be offended by them
      Rather look at what the religion teaches instead;

      In the Qur’an, it clearly states:

      “Oh Mankind, We (God) created you from a single pair of a male and a female (Adam and Eve), and made you into tribes and nations so that you may know one another (not so that you despise each other). Verily, the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah (God) is he who is most righteous of you.”
      The Qur’an, Chapter 49, Verse 13

      The Prophet (pbuh) also reiterated this point in his last sermon to the people, as can be seen from the following excerpt:

      “O people, Remember that your Lord is One. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a black has no superiority over white, nor a white has any superiority over black, except by piety and good action (Taqwa). Indeed the best among you is the one with the best character (Taqwa).
      The Prophet’s Last Sermon as reported in Baihaqi.
      So please bro “Islam” and “muslims” are different.

      • Avatar

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

        June 13, 2015 at 11:12 PM

        Dear ibn bello,

        Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. What you posted is nothing but the Truth. People of all races need to reflect on these words.

        Indeed, we all must look at the teachings and texts as far as this religion (and others), and NOT look at individuals, or what people may or may not say, or do and not do. It’s 100% clear that according to the teachings of Islam (including the Quran and the Sunnah) there is no room for racism, bigotry, or prejudice (this is basically true for the other Abrahamic religions as well).

        Again, please forgive me. And thank-you for writing me back, and for posting the beautiful text that you have posted.

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

    • Avatar

      queenrafat

      June 12, 2015 at 2:05 AM

      who ever calls all white people devils is ignorant i don’t mean to be offensive so for you to think that majority of Muslims think white people are bad is unfair. there are so many white people who are Muslims and even those who are non Muslims there are a lot of them who are good. islam those not judge amyone base on skin color.

    • Avatar

      AbuYusuf

      June 15, 2015 at 11:20 PM

      Okay, now ConfusedGuy has got ME confused!

      Great post by the way. I do hope that Muslims throughout the country will remember this response from people of other faiths, and stand in support in others as well. Ultimately, anyone practicing any religion is simply trying to get closer to God. It’s not up to us to judge.

    • Avatar

      Faisal Abbasi

      July 8, 2015 at 7:34 AM

      You couldn’t be further from the truth. Islam is a religion that preaches equality for all people, and was the first religion to banish slavery over 1400 years ago. You are referring to The Nation of Islam which is a political movement in the US lead by Louis Farrakhan. The Nation of Islam was created in the days of the black Civil Rights Movement in America, which was fighting against slavery, and segregation of the African Americans. The founder of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad, who had studied world religions was greatly impressed with the Islamic injunctions regarding the fair treatment of all races of people and the famous last sermon of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) where he stated that a white person was not superior to a black person and a black person was not superior to a white person. Elijah Muhammad was so impressed with these words that he decided to name himself Muhammad and his political organisation, The Nation of Islam. Furthermore, history had shown that many black people that were shackled and shipped over to America from Africa by the white slave traders, were Muslims. But they were stripped of their original names and identities and were given Christian names like Thomas, Luke and Matthew. Because of the cruel history of slavery in America, African Americans took it upon themselves to form various movements, some more militant than others, to fight against the inhumane and unjust treatment of their people across America. This is why the Nation of Islam refers to whites as ‘the devil,’ as you have stated, and has adopted a fairly militant approach to dealing with the race issue in America, especially with its rhetoric. So you should not confuse the world religion Islam, which has over 1.7 billion followers across the globe with the Nation of Islam. They really have nothing in common with each other apart from their similar names and the fact that the members of the Nation of Islam refer to themselves as Muslims and quote from the Qur’an, often out of context. Just because you call yourself a Muslim, it doesn’t make you a Muslim. I hope you are clearer about the points you have raised. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have.

  2. Avatar

    ConfusedGuy

    June 11, 2015 at 4:53 PM

    What?????

    Your prophet was not a “white” man, or what you all refer to as “devils” meaning European!!!!! So spare me the BS, sorry to be blunt. You say don’t worry about what your people say??????? They see me as an evil devil, that was only on the earth to do evil, despicable, heinous satanic things… You believe that we are all evil, dirty and filthy, and you want us gone?

    You think all whites are evil devils!!!!

    And you people are always talking about killing whites and evil crackers, including BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    These are YOU MUSLIMS are saying this over and over and over and over and over and well you get the point…

    There are thousands of videos of this, as you know what you are saying…

    • Avatar

      Aly Balagamwala

      June 12, 2015 at 7:40 AM

      Dear Confused Guy

      Please take some time out to learn Islam, not through random Youtube videos, but by going to the local mosque and talking to real muslims and asking the Imam of the mosque about Islam.

      Best Regards
      Aly

      *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

      • Avatar

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

        June 13, 2015 at 11:03 PM

        Aly Balagamwala,

        Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart.

        Thanks for your advice. I know I can’t learn about Islam from random videos, or shaykh google. I think things can be enhanced to a certain extent, but at the end of the day, it’s nothing at all like going to a mosque/masjid and talking to someone in person, and learning from and asking questions directly to these people. Correct me if I’m wrong, but even of people have been Muslim for 50 years (regardless if they are converts or not), it’s always best to go to a person of knowledge to ask them in person, any questions that they may have.

        I again apologize to you, the MM crew and moderators, and everyone else, and I again want to thank the MM moderators for letting me post again, and letting me apologize to some of the posters here. Again thanks again for your comment.

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

  3. Avatar

    ConfusedGuy

    June 11, 2015 at 5:00 PM

    “Kill em all” – Khallid Abdullah Muhammad

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=biadSUyWr0A

    • Avatar

      queenrafat

      June 12, 2015 at 2:09 AM

      i just watched the video you shared for crying out loud if you watched the video you would know the man wasn’t talking about Islam he was talking from his own personal grief. islam has never supported racism .

      • Avatar

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

        June 13, 2015 at 11:04 PM

        Dear queenrafat,

        Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. What you said was indeed very logical and basically “common sense.” I think that people act like this (as far as the guy in the first video) and have these kinds of beliefs because they have really been traumatized in so many ways (not that this necessarily excuses it though). I’m not a psychologist though, and I’m the one that maybe needs help, lol. But hatred and racism didn’t start 100 years ago. This is something we all as people of bani Adam have suffered from in various degrees, although we must do all that we can to try to not have it in our hearts (as hard as this may be).

        Again, please forgive me, and thanks again for your words.

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

    • Avatar

      erap

      June 12, 2015 at 2:11 AM

      So now Khallid Abdullah Muhammad is your prophet ?

      There are others who said otherwise and yet you choose Khallid Abdullah Muhammad ?

      Now, that’s hypocitical and double-standard.

      Looks like to you ALL Muslims are hypocrites. That’s seems to be the thinking of a narrow-minded person.

  4. Avatar

    ConfusedGuy

    June 12, 2015 at 7:40 AM

    Well, he’s your Muslim brother!!!!!!!! Ohhhhhh, it’s okay because he was only talking about his personal grief!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhh, poor guy, as guess we all should feel sorry for him…..

    Your MUSLIM BROTHER is only talking about KILLING all white people (who you all hate), including BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And that white (DEVIL) woman are factories (when getting pregnant) for future evil WHITE DEVILS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    He even talks about digging up white DEVILS and killing them AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    He is YOUR MUSLIM BROTHER!!!!!!!!!

    What kind of god do you worship that says you can slaughter ALL white people???????!!!!!! (i.e. DEVILS if course)

    You people are the must RACIST, HATEFUL people I have ever heard!!!!!!!!!! You want to kill ALL white DEVILS!!!!! Ohhhh, nothing “personal” right!!!!!!!

    Your Allah and you Muslims says to kill WHITE BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    There are a lot if videos just like this of Muslim preachers!!!

    But, uhhh, nothing personal right??????!!!

    • Avatar

      t

      June 12, 2015 at 3:11 PM

      Hey confused guy, I am white European and muslim. And not a self hating one at that!

      • Avatar

        Jerome Boulter

        June 12, 2015 at 5:08 PM

        I am a white Muslim, too.

        I am also a white Muslim

        Narrated by Hazrat Uns(RZ)
        “Prophet Muhammad(pbuh)’s complexion was glowing white”
        (sahi Muslim, kitab ul Fazail. no 2330)

        Narrated by Hazrat Ali(AS)
        “Prophet Muhammad(pbuh)’s complexion was a beautiful mixture of white and red color”
        (Masnad Imam Humbal, no 944)

      • Avatar

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

        June 13, 2015 at 11:13 PM

        t,

        Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. Of course there are European and white Muslims and Muslims of all different ethnicities and colors.

        I think that in general many non-Muslims are not generally aware of this (I could be very wrong of course, and maybe it’s only a small number?). And I know obviously it’s not that the people that aren’t aware of this are bad or have negative intentions, it’s just that in many countries (especially in the West) the majority of the adherents, including converts, to Islam are people of color (although all people have colors, lol) or non-European derived people, so one can understand why many people may think this.

        I think that there are even less people that are actually aware of the fact that there are majority Muslim countries in Europe, made up of indigenous Muslims, including Albania, Kosovo (I guess now considered to be a country), Bosnia and Herzegovina (although maybe the Muslims are less than 50%), and Chechnya (which was never historically part of Russia or Tzarist Russia until being occupied in the mid/late 1800s (?), and they tried again to get their independence after the fall of the Soviet Union; of course most people in the world – including many Muslims – I believe are not aware of the mass expulsions and ethnic cleansing that they repeatedly suffered from at the hands of Stalin and others).

        Thanks again for writing back to me, and please again forgive me.

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

  5. Avatar

    mir

    June 12, 2015 at 7:44 AM

    verily those who do not understand the truth are misguided….

    • Avatar

      ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

      June 13, 2015 at 11:11 PM

      Jerome Boulter,

      Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart…

      Thanks for writing to me, and of course I know that anyone regardless of race or ethnicity can be Muslim, and I know that the Prophet (pbuh) was sent to the whole of mankind, and I believe also the jinns (what other religions would maybe call “spirits”), so it doesn’t matter how The Lord created us on the outside, all of that is so superficial, and unimportant, etc. He cares who we are on the inside, and how we feel, and what we believe in our hearts.

      And again, thank-you for writing to me.

      ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

  6. Avatar

    Terry Heaton

    June 12, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    I don’t think Confused is as confused as he’d have us believe. Anonymous trolls are like that. He spews hatred, because we react, and that gives him/her the juice to carry on. The reality on the matter is that the American public wouldn’t broadbrush groups like the KKK, Westboro Baptist, the Oklahoma City bombers, and many, many others as “Christian,” because we know better. The same rules, however, don’t apply to Muslims, and this is the propaganda victory of Zionists and other profiteers who live off the confusion. Just because a visible leader calls himself Muslim doesn’t mean that he is, for only God/Allah looks upon the heart. It is sloppy thinking to postulate that all are guilty for the sins of the few. And don’t even get me started on the role our own government (CIA) has played in keeping the pot stirred.

    • Avatar

      ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

      June 13, 2015 at 11:05 PM

      Terry Heaton,

      I don’t blame you for thinking some of these things, because of my immature behavior, and my writing style, and I hope you and others can accept my sincerest apologies (and the same again to the MM crew who I am very thankful have allowed me to post again).

      I may not make sense but I guess I’ll try to kinda explain how I have basically proceeded on my small journey, although maybe it will after all make at least some sense. But that said, to explain all of my ups and downs and the various things I have learned would basically require essays, and as I am writing this I’ve seen other people, beautiful and lovely people indeed, also post, so I intend to follow up with them also… Btw, I’m not able to see the time stamps, although I can see the dates, at least from an iOS device, but I know that you were one of the earliest posts to write to me, so you will be one of the first people, although maybe not the first, I write back to…

      When you (or anyone) are doing research, there are many conflicting things as far as the basic subject(s) of my previous posts. Of course I’ve read about the specific subject matter, and Islam in general and some comparative religion here and there, and I kinda thought that if I did some more web searches (shaykh google right? I know it’s not the best way to learn though), that I would see a lot of very strong stances and refutations pretty quickly (and as far as general web searches, you do see them later on, but not near the top, and I’m talking about specific key words). That said, when doing a general web search, it depends on the search words of course, and I can tell you (or others) exactly the words I initially used. But as far as certain key words, I didn’t get to the first Muslim (orthodox) site until like the 3rd page or so of the Google search. But if you search with specific Arabic/Islamic words you can get more results, and again I can get more specific (something a lot of regular joes might not know necessarily, and there are some words that one “group” basically never uses… So for others including of course Muslims, it’s good to know, if they don’t already know, and I guarantee that if I told most Muslims, that they’d be like, “of course,” but I guarantee that 90% of non-Muslims probably don’t know these various Arabic/Islamic key words). And I did gradually get more results, but a lot of it is really confusing, and hard to decipher. But on a side note, it’s pretty messed up, at least IMO, that when you’re searching (including on google or youtube) that wow, there are A LOT of NOI and other similar (i.e. 5%ers), and “out there” stuff (including, the black Hebrew Israelites, and even debates between the NOI types and this one group…). And if you are confused or “somewhat” confused, seeing all of the info, well, makes you even more confused or at least unsure in so many ways.

      And no offense to anyone, but a lot of this is the fault IMO of Muslim preachers/dawah guys (I’m sure that they would very much agree though), and I’m sure it’s because they are maybe not totally aware of the NOI beliefs or similar beliefs that many “Islamic” groups seem to carry, or at least the percentage of the websites that actually are out there on the web that adhere to these beliefs (or even in the real world). And it’s also because I’m sorry to say, but, IMO many imams and shaykhs do not want to offend or whatever.

      And I know that obviously there are racist, KKK types of “Christian” groups out there also, such as the CI (Christian Identity) movement and others, but this is the most prominent white supremacist type “Christian” group. Of course I wasn’t specifically making searches for the white racist groups or using the keywords that would bring them up, such as whites are the real chosen, or True Christians are white, or true Jews are white, etc., as I was at this point only trying to research Islam or True Islam (of course I’ve heard of them in the past). And ironically they (the CI types) have VERY SIMILAR ideas that the NOI types and also the black Hebrew Israelites have (and I know there are black and/or African American Jews that are not at all racist but I’m referring to the one ‘notorious’ group/groups). I mean it’s really weird how all of these groups have almost the same exact beliefs down to a T! They (the CI, black Hebrew Israelites, and the NOI types) all seem to believe that they are the “real Jews” or the Chosen and/or children of God, have a lot of “hate,” and at least for the most part, do totally believe in the NT word for word and Jesus (the fact that mainstream Jews – minus “messianic Jews” – don’t believe in Jesus or the NT, but only the OT or the Torah notwithstanding). I mean, they really HATE other races (to varying degrees), and while you may know that the NOI really hate whites, they surprisingly really don’t like Arabs (at least the so-called lighter or “white” Arabs) too much, at least to a certain extant, although they may not call them “devils,” and strangely the black Hebrew Israelites for whatever reason seem to not like Asians or people from the Indian Subcontinent (if you have the stomach for it, watch one of their videos from one of the streets of downtown NYC… if nothing else it’s interesting, although it will disturb you), although they seem to give Latinos and Native Americans an important role as far as also being part of “the chosen,” even though many natives of the Americas are believed to have roots from Asia… and some of these “Latino” guys could definitely be mistaken for white/European guys, whether Southern Mediterranean or whatever, but these guys are supposed to be mostly indigenous blooded, and this group also calls whites/Europeans “devils”).

      But I think that most non-Christians, including Muslims (people can correct me if I’m wrong) would not confuse the CI loons with actual Christianity, and Muslims would also not confuse this black Hebrew Israelite group with the Judaism practiced by mainstream Jews (although there are obviously also hateful Israelis/Jews, and a lot of this is somewhat in the mainstream or known, but it’s not the same as these black Hebrew Israelites). And look, there are things that I may understand more (?) that maybe many Muslims (heck many or most Christians!) would not understand about Zionist Christians (or Protestant “Dispensationalist” Evangelical, Scofield Bible, Christians to be more precise) compared to mainstream Protestant and Catholic Christians. I didn’t come from this background myself, but if you’ve for instance, studied the Palestinian issue, and in general the right-wing, neocon (whom are not primarily Christian or even religious), and the Evangelical Christian movement (especially in the US
      of the past 25-30 years or so), and what the origins of the Zionist Christian movement (starting from the late 19th century) you will really see a lot of the different factors and reasons why it seems that no matter what, the US govt. and politicians will support Israel (or mostly support them), and of course there are other factors, and one could argue more significant factors even, like the various lobbies. And no, the fact that the US/UK may eventually go to war against Iran, is not because of “Oil,” as IMO many people seem to believe. Sorry to digress so much…

      Also, I took a brief look at your blog, and I noticed that one of of the main things you write about seems to be social justice, but also advertising and marketing (?). I would be curious if you have ever touched on the subject of so-called “conspiracy theories” (and I don’t look at it in a derogatory way, although most Americans and basically all of the MSM seem to) and/or false flags. Anyway, sorry to go on and on, but I hope that at least you can put yourself in my shoes, or at least maybe understand where I’m coming from, and I will answer any questions you or others would like to ask me, but really right now I do need to focus on one thing!

      ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

      Peace

  7. Avatar

    T.S

    June 12, 2015 at 4:00 PM

    I’m sorry but Guys his name says it all…

  8. Avatar

    ConfusedGuy

    June 12, 2015 at 5:42 PM

    Yes I am confused, and I guess of course my name is really accurate, really, really accurate right? (A little too accurate, I guess)

    If the moderators will please allow me to ask a few questions, as I have been trying to ask these for the last several hours, but I’ve been blocked, and it’s really my fault I know. I profusely apologize to the MM moderators and readers.

    I’m very sorry, because in the past several days (before posting here) I got emotional after just seeing a lot of the all whites are devils, ALL whites literally are “the devil,” whites can’t even be Muslims (if others see them as devils that would be hard) type stuff, and many other things related to that, as I had already mentioned earlier, so again please forgive me. I promise to be calm, collected and cool.

    You know what guys? I won’t bore you with a long story, but I have really thought a lot about being a Muslim… I grew up in a (secular) Christian household and as I alluded to before, for several years I knew in my heart that it makes no sense that god had a son… I mean it’s very ambiguous as Jesus never once said “I am God” or “Worship me.” The New Testament “Our Father” prayer says just that (meaning the “figurative” father to all of us, not the literal father; I’ve never heard Muslims mention this as a selling point, or Jews for that matter, although maybe Muslims/Jews have?), although it’s really a beautiful prayer, IMO: “Our Father who art in Heaven (…)” The bible is replete with son and father being used in figurative ways in many, many places, etc. Even in the OT, God is quoted in a verse as saying that Only God can be a Savior and no man can, I’m paraphrasing of course…

    So long story short, I’ve been I’m looking into Islam. But how can I accept that there are many(?) (or most, or a very small number?), that see me as a devil. One of the posters was nice (more than one), but how can I just not pay attention to it, or just brush it off as just his “personal grief,” (other that that, he’s a great guy! Lol) or something along the lines, and not worry about it? Can you please put yourself in my position, can you please try to emphasize with how I’m feeling???? I say this, ALL OF THIS as a potential Muslim. And when the last message was posted about God not guiding me, I really, really felt sad, and very, very depressed. The guy that wrote that (well intended or not), what if you were in my shoes, and the religion you wanted to maybe enter, made you not sure, because some called your race, only because of the color of you skin, literally the Devil? Please just try to related where I’m coming from…

    Here are my questions again:

    Is the guy in the video Muslim?

    Are the Nation of Islam (sometimes called black Muslims) Muslim yes or no?

    Are the Christians and the Jews of today believers? (I’m pretty sure they’re not, and that’s fine, nothing controversial at all; Christians world say the same about Muslims or Jews, and Jews about Christians, but it helps with my next question…)

    And to follow up, are the Nation of Islam believers? (if you want me to post their specific beliefs about God and His Prophets, etc., please let me know; and know again that they call one race literal devils)

    Thank-you and peace

    The Confused Guy ;)

    • Avatar

      THoltz

      June 12, 2015 at 7:29 PM

      Hi Confused Guy,

      I’m not Muslim but to answer your question about the Nation of Islam being Muslim or not, the answer is pretty much no. It is a black-nationalists religious movement founded in the mid 1900’s that is loosely based on Islam. One of it’s main difference with Islam is the teachings of race: In Islam all races are equal; in the Nation of Islam the white race is a devil race and colored races superior. Many African-Americans have left the Nation of Islam and joined mainstream (usually Sunni) Islam due to the racists philosophy of the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X is probably the most famous.

      The Nation of Islam does continue to evolve, though, at times dipping into Scientology and at others appearing to go more mainstream Islam.

      Hope that helps to clear up the confusion a little.
      http://www.beliefnet.com/Freeform/Faiths/2002/10/Chart-Nation-Of-Islam-And-Traditional-Islam.aspx

      Have a good day all. :)

    • Avatar

      Michael

      June 12, 2015 at 7:51 PM

      As a Muslim I am not permitted to say if the man posting the video is Muslim or not. I do not know what is in his heart, or what he does at his home at night alone. He may have asked God for forgiveness for his hateful speech. What I can say that if he is calling for people to kill white people, and that white people are Devils he is not acting in an Islamic manner. Race, economic status, gender, or any other classifications make one person superior to another. In the eyes of God the only thing that makes one man superior to another is their level of faith.
      When one of the posters mentioned that no one can guide a person who is misguided and no one can misguide someone who is guided, I believe they were referring to the fact that God is the only one who can bring a person to Islam. We can tell people about the faith through words and actions, but God is the one who puts the love of Islam in someone’s heart. Hope this helps.
      I converted 3 years ago and feel so blessed to have been guided to Islam. The path was not easy and was not without growing pains, but through patience, support of the Muslim community (both converts and born Muslims), and the will of God I am still practicing today.
      May Allah forgive me for any mistakes or misinformation I may have inadvertently put into my reply. I pray that the one true God guides you to the path of Islam.

      • Avatar

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

        June 13, 2015 at 11:07 PM

        Michael,

        Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart.

        Thank-you so much for taking the time to write to me. I really appreciate this. Thanks for sharing the the fact that you are also a convert.

        Can you, if you don’t mind, if you feel comfortable, tell me one of the hardest things that you have faced since becoming Muslim.

        And yes, I completely understand the issue of declaring that one is not a Muslim, and the serious ramifications of this. And of course I understand that no one can know what was in one’s heart before they departed the earth (and the guy in the video has since passed away).

        I have just learned that Muslims also will judge from the apparent, or what is outwardly visible and clear, etc., but of course this also means not looking into someone’s heart (only God can do this of course), or assuming so and so has such and such beliefs, etc., but if so and so is out in the open and says they have such and such beliefs then this is maybe a different issue basically.

        Again, thanks so much. I really want to thank-you for taking time to write to me, and I really believe what you have said has really helped me.

        Also thank-you so much for you prayers for me.

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

  9. Avatar

    ConfusedGuy

    June 12, 2015 at 6:51 PM

    Hello,

    The first guy in the video, I don’t even know his name. But I can tell you that I really, really love him. He is a beautiful Muslim brother. It’s as if he in his khutbah (Friday Khutbah, just like the subject of this article) spoke to my heart, like The Lord is guiding me. I love this guy! Please pray for him and pray for me…

    The one below it, is Khalid Yassin, and it’s also good, and saw this prior to the first one I mentioned.

    I really love this brother (still don’t recall his name, but I will try to get in touch with him). You are beautiful and I’ll pray for you, as I thank The Lord, as through him The Lord is guiding me, and I hope this beautiful person will also guide other people and also help other people who may have doubts…

    I again apologize to everyone. I hope the MM mods can post this. Please can you delete my other emotional posts, and leave this and the last one? If not that’s okay.

    Peace

    Nation of Islam (NOI) Vs The Muslims
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=72TmeZvc8dM

    Nation of islam are kuffar (disbelievers) not muslims – khalid yasin

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yHhM7QAi9xU

  10. Avatar

    THoltz

    June 12, 2015 at 7:42 PM

    Hi again,

    This looks like an older article but it discusses Farrakhan and his possible movement toward orthodox Islam as he ages. All people mellow out as they age, especially if they continue to seek and incorporate a spiritual practice into their daily lives. (I’m sure even Khallid Abdullah Muhammed isn’t the same guy now.)

  11. Avatar

    THoltz

    June 12, 2015 at 9:12 PM

    Dear ConfusedGuy,

    I have to apologize for not reading through your posts more thoroughly earlier. I know see more of where you are coming from.

    For starters, you may not be aware that in Islam, questioning the faith of other Muslims is generally frowned upon (see Michael’s post above) so even if a Muslim feels in their heart that a certain individual is in fact not a Muslim, they will generally not directly come out and say so. Such matters are between God and the individual. Different perspectives are tolerated.

    As I am not a Muslim (but more academically oriented in my studies of religion), I can say that the Nation of Islam is not orthodox Islam, but rather a black-nationalist movement that clothed itself in Islamic clothing. The Nation of Islam has only been around for a little less than a hundred years and it’s teachings on race are contrary to Islamic teachings on race.

    I think you might get a lot out of mainstream Muslim figures such as Hamza Yusuf, Yasir Qadhi, and Nouman Ali Khan.

    Here is a beautiful video titled “Islam Kills Racism” about Malcolm X and his journey to orthodox Islam. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MqeSPF48tg

    (Try not to cry when watching it. I can’t!)

    Blessings to you, ConfusedGuy, and to your journey to the truth.

    • Avatar

      ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

      June 13, 2015 at 11:07 PM

      THoltz,

      Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart.

      Thank-you so much for writing to me and taking the time to do this. I really do appreciate this. I think the fact that you are also non-Muslim really shows that people of different faiths (or no faith as it were) and backgrounds can and of course always have worked together for the betterment and progress of the human family. I’m sure everyone here regardless of what they may believe in, really appreciates what you have said, and the links you’ve provided.

      Yes, I have read before that the NOI are basically black nationalists, and that they throw in the garb of Islamic teaching, to go along with this, or to be more specific, have incorporated various quasi Islamic doctrines that put race at the forefront of their actual creed or beliefs. And of course one can say that one of their main beliefs that makes them believers (in their eyes) is their actual race, and of course with this comes things that don’t jibe with the religion of Islam, nor the majority of other religions in the world.

      And thanks so much for the links. I have read the first paragraph or so, in one link, but I intend to sit down, and read the rest of it and also watch the video (and other links that other people may have included). I don’t think Farakhan has changed his views, at as far as what he has said in various videos (from late 2014 and 2015) but maybe he has, and he has a right to believe whatever he wants, of course.

      And yes, as I had mentioned a while ago, I completely do understand the issue of declaring that one is not a Muslim, and the serious ramifications of doing this. And again, of course I understand that no one can know what was in someone’s heart especially before they died (only God knows for sure).

      And thanks you so much for the links. I definitely plan to read this and the other articles and links that people have posted.

      Again, thanks so much. Thanks again for taking the time out to write me.

      ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

  12. Avatar

    Indah Yusuf

    June 14, 2015 at 5:25 PM

    Qur’an 41:34
    “And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.”
    41:35) “But none is granted it except those who are patient, and none is granted it except one having a great portion [of good].”

  13. Avatar

    ymr

    October 11, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    Reminder that criticizing Islam is not being bigoted towards it followers. If Christianity can be criticized by muslims then they have the right to do so as well.

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#Current Affairs

Zahra Billoo Responds To The Women’s March Inc. Voting Her Off The New Board

Zahra Billoo

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Women's March Board

Earlier tonight, I was voted off the Women’s March, Inc. national board. This followed an Islamophobic smear campaign led by the usual antagonists, who have long targeted me, my colleagues, and anyone else who dares speak out in support of Palestinian human rights and the right to self-determination.

The past 48 hours have been a spiral of bad news and smear efforts. Part of the smear campaign is motivated by opponents of the Women’s March, because the organization has traditionally challenged the status quo of power and white supremacy in our country. However, much of the campaign is driven by people who oppose me and my work challenging the occupation of Palestine, our country’s perpetuation of unjust and endless wars, and law enforcement operations targeting the American Muslim community.

The Women’s March, Inc. is an organization I once held dear. I spoke at the first march, spoke at regional marches every year after, spoke at the convention, participated in national actions including the original Kavanaugh protests, and worked to mobilize Muslim women for their efforts.

During the past few years right-wingers, from the President’s son to the Anti-Defamation League and troll armies, have targeted the Women’s March, Inc. For so long, I’ve admired their resilience in speaking truth to power, in working together, and in never cowering. Over and over again, the co-founders of Women’s March, Inc. put their lives on the line, winning power for all women in all of our diversity. The Women’s March, Inc. that voted me off its board tonight is one that no longer demonstrates the strength that inspired millions of women across the country.

To see and experience its new leaders caving to right-wing pressure, and casting aside a woman of color, a Muslim woman, a long-time advocate within the organization, without the willingness to make any efforts to learn and grow, breaks my heart. This isn’t about a lost seat, there will be many seats. The Women’s March, Inc. has drawn a line in the sand, one that will exclude many with my lived experiences and critiques. It has effectively said, we will work on some women’s rights at the expense of others.

To be clear, anti-semitism is indeed a growing and dangerous problem in our country, as is anti-Blackness, anti-immigrant sentiment, Islamophobia, ableism, sexism, and so much more. I condemn any form of bigotry unequivocally, but I also refuse to be silent as allegations of bigotry are weaponized against the most marginalized people, those who find sanctuary and hope in the articulation of truth.

In looking at the tweets in question, I acknowledge that I wrote passionately. While I may have phrased some of my content differently today, I stand by my words. I told the truth as my community and I have lived it, through the FBI’s targeting of my community, as I supported families who have lost loved ones because of US military actions, and as I learned from the horrific experiences of Palestinian life.

In attempting to heal and build in an expedited manner within Women’s March, Inc., I offered to meet with stakeholders to address their concerns and to work with my sisters on the new board to learn, heal, and build together. These efforts were rejected. And in rejecting these efforts, the new Women’s March, Inc. demonstrated that they lack the courage to exhibit allyship in the face of fire.

I came to Women’s March, Inc. to work. My body of work has included leading a chapter of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization for over a decade, growing it now more than six-fold. In my tenure, I have led the team that forced Abercrombie to change its discriminatory employment policies, have been arrested advocating for DACA, partnered with Jewish organizations including Bend the Arc and Jewish Voice for Peace to fight to protect our communities, and was one of the first lawyers to sue the President.

It is not my first time being the target of a smear campaign. The Women’s March, Inc., more than any place, is where I would have expected us to be able to have courageous conversations and dive deep into relationship-building work.

I am happy to have as many conversations as it takes to listen and learn and heal, but I will no longer be able to do that through Women’s March, Inc. This action today demonstrates that this organization’s new leadership is unable to be an ally during challenging times.

My beliefs drive my work, and I am not seeking accolades or positions of power. These past few days have been the greatest test of that. My integrity, my truth, and my strength comes from God and a place of deep conviction. I will continue my work as a civil rights lawyer and a faith-based activist, speaking out against the occupation of Palestine and settler-colonialism everywhere, challenging Islamophobia and all forms of racism and bigotry in the United States, and building with my community and our allies in our quest to be our most authentic and liberated selves.

Onward, God willing.

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#Current Affairs

The Duplicity of American Muslim Influencers And The ‘So-called Muslim Ban’

Dr Joseph Kaminski

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As we approach the beginning of another painful year of the full enforcement of Presidential Proclamation 9645 (a.k.a. ‘the Muslim ban’) that effectively bars citizens of several Muslim majority countries from entering into the United States, the silence remains deafening. As I expected, most of the world has conveniently forgotten about this policy, which thus far has separated over 3,000 American families from their spouses and other immediate relatives. In June 2019, the Brennan Center of Justice notes that: The ban has also kept at least 1,545 children from their American parents and 3,460 parents from their American sons and daughters. While silence and apathy from the general public on this matter is to be expected— after all, it is not their families who are impacted— what is particularly troubling is the response that is beginning to emerge from some corners of the American Muslim social landscape.

While most Muslims and Muslim groups have been vocal in their condemnation of Presidential Proclamation 9645, other prominent voices have not. Shadi Hamid sought to rationalize the executive order on technical grounds arguing that it was a legally plausible interpretation. Perhaps this is true, but some of the other points made by Hamid are quite questionable. For example, he curiously contends that:

The decision does not turn American Muslims like myself into “second-class citizens,” and to insist that it does will make it impossible for us to claim that we have actually become second-class citizens, if such a thing ever happens.

I don’t know— being forced to choose exile in order to remain with one’s family certainly does sound like being turned into a ‘second-class citizen’ to me. Perhaps the executive order does not turn Muslims like himself, as he notes, into second-class citizens, but it definitely does others, unless it is possible in Hamid’s mind to remain a first-class citizen barred from living with his own spouse and children for completely arbitrary reasons, like me. To be fair to Hamid, in the same article he does comment that the executive order is a morally questionable decision, noting that he is “still deeply uncomfortable with the Supreme Court’s ruling” and that “It contributes to the legitimization and mainstreaming of anti-Muslim bigotry.”

On the other hand, more recently others have shown open disdain for those who are angered about the ‘so-called Muslim ban.’ On June 6th, 2019, Abdullah bin Hamid Ali, a Senior Faculty Member at Zaytuna College, Islamic scholar and the founder of the Lamppost Education Initiative, rationalized the ban on spurious security grounds. He commented that,

The so-called Muslim ban, of course, has us on edge about his potential. But, to be fair, a real Muslim ban would mean that no Muslim from any country should be allowed in the US. There are about 50 Muslim majority countries. Trump singled out only 7 of them, most of which are war torn and problem countries. So, it is unfair to claim that he was only motivated by a hatred for Islam and Muslims.

First, despite how redundant and unnecessary this point is to make again, one ought to be reminded that between 1975 and 2015, zero foreigners from the seven nations initially placed on the banned list (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) killed any Americans in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and zero Libyans or Syrians have ever even been convicted of planning a terrorist attack on U.S. soil during that same time period. I do not think these numbers have changed over the last 4 years either. If policy decisions are supposed to be made on sound empirical evidence and data, then there is even less justification for the ban.

Second, Bin Hamid Ali comments that ‘the so-called Muslim ban, of course, has us on edge about his [Trump’s] potential.’ Whoa… hold on; on edge about his potential? For the millions of people banned from entering the United States and the thousands of Muslim families connected to these millions of people, this ‘potential’ has been more than realized. To reduce the ‘so-called Muslim ban’ to just targeting ‘war torn and problem countries’ is to reduce our family members—our husbands, wives, and children—to (inaccurate) statistics and gross stereotypes. Are spouses from Syria or Yemen seeking to reunite with their legally recognized spouses or children any less deserving to be with their immediate family members because they hail from ‘problem countries’? How can one be concerned with stereotypes while saying something like this? Is this not the exact thing that Abdullah bin Hamid Ali seeks to avoid? Surely the Professor would not invoke such stereotypes to justify the racial profiling of black American citizens. What makes black non-Americans, Arabs, and Iranians any different when it comes to draconian immigration profiling? From a purely Islamic perspective, the answer is absolutely nothing.

More recently, Sherman Jackson, a leading Islamic intellectual figure at the University of Southern California, King Faisal Chair in Islamic Thought and Culture and Professor of Religion and American Studies and Ethnicity, also waded into this discussion. In his essay, he reframed the Muslim ban as a question of identity politics rather than basic human right, pitting Muslim immigrants against what he calls ‘blackamericans’ drawing some incredibly questionable, nativist, and bigoted conclusions. Jackson in a recent blog responding to critiques by Ali al-Arian about his own questionable affiliations with authoritarian Arab regimes comments:

Al-Arian mentions that,

“the Muslim American community seemed united at least in its opposition to the Trump administration.”  He and those who make up this alleged consensus are apparently offended by Trump’s so-called Muslim ban.  But a Blackamerican sister in Chicago once asked me rhetorically why she should support having Muslims come to this country who are only going to treat her like crap.

These are baffling comments to make about ‘Trump’s so-called Muslim ban.’ Jackson creates a strawman by bringing up an anecdotal story that offers a gross generalization that clearly has prejudiced undertones of certain Muslim immigrants. Most interesting, however is how self-defeating Jackson’s invocation of identity politics is considering the fact that a large number of the ‘blackamerican’ Muslims that he is concerned about themselves have relatives from Somalia and other countries impacted by the travel ban. As of 2017, there were just over 52,000 Americans with Somali ancestry in the state of Minnesota alone. Are Somali-Americans only worth our sympathy so long as they do not have Somali spouses? What Jackson and Bin Hamid Ali do not seem to understand is that these Muslim immigrants they speak disparagingly of, by in large, are coming on family unification related visas.

Other people with large online followings have praised the comments offered by Abdullah bin Hamid Ali and Sherman Jackson. The controversial administrator of the popular The Muslim Skeptic website, Daniel Haqiqatjou, in defense of Jackson’s comments, stated:

This is the first time I have seen a prominent figure downplay the issue. And I think Jackson’s assessment is exactly right: The average American Muslim doesn’t really care about this. There is no evidence to indicate that this policy has had a significant impact on the community as a whole. Travel to the US from those four countries affected by the ban was already extremely difficult in the Obama era.

What Haqiqatjou seems to not realize is that while travel from these countries was difficult, it was not as ‘extremely difficult’ as he erroneously claims it was. The US issued 7,727 visas to Iranian passport holders in 2016 prior to the ban. After the ban in 2018, that number dropped to 1,449. My own wife was issued a B1/B2 Tourist visa to meet my family in 2016 after approximately 40 days of administrative processing which is standard for US visa seekers who hold Iranian passports. On the other hand, she was rejected for the same B1/B2 Tourist visa in 2018 after a grueling 60+ day wait due to Presidential Proclamation 9645. At the behest of the Counselor Officer where we currently live, she was told to just finish the immigration process since this would put her in a better position to receive one of these nearly impossible to get waivers. She had her interview on November 19, 2018, and we are still awaiting the results of whatever these epic, non-transparent ‘extreme vetting’ procedures yield. Somehow despite my wife being perfectly fine to enter in 2016, three years later, we are entering the 10th month of waiting for one of these elusive waivers with no end time in sight, nor any guarantee that things will work out. Tell me how this is pretty much the same as things have always been?

What these commentators seem to not realize is that the United States immigration system is incredibly rigid. One cannot hop on a plane and say they want to immigrate with an empty wallet to start of Kebab shop in Queens. It seems as if many of these people that take umbrage at the prospects of legal immigration believe that the immigration rules of 2019 are the same as they were in 1819. In the end, it is important to once again reiterate that the Muslim immigrants Jackson, Bin Hamid Ali and others are disparaging are those who most likely are the family members of American Muslim citizens; by belittling the spouses and children of American Muslims, these people are belittling American Muslims themselves.

Neo-nationalism, tribalism, and identity politics of this sort are wholly antithetical to the Islamic enterprise. We have now reached the point where people who are considered authority figures within the American Islamic community are promoting nativism and identity politics at the expense of American Muslim families. Instead of trying to rationalize the ‘so-called Muslim Ban’ via appeals to nativist and nationalist rhetoric, influential Muslim leaders and internet influencers need to demonstrate empathy and compassion for the thousands of US Muslim families being torn apart by this indefinite Muslim ban that we all know will never end so long as Donald Trump remains president. In reality, they should be willing to fight tooth-and-nail for American Muslim families. These are the same people who regularly critique the decline of the family unit and the rise of single-parent households. Do they not see the hypocrisy in their positions of not defending those Muslim families that seek to stay together?

If these people are not willing to advocate on behalf of those of us suffering— some of us living in self-imposed exile in third party countries to remain with our spouses and children— the least they can do is to not downplay our suffering or even worse, turn it into a political football (Social Justice Warrior politics vs. traditional ‘real’ Islam). It seems clear that if liberal Muslim activists were not as outspoken on this matter, these more conservative voices would take a different perspective. With the exception of Shadi Hamid, the other aforementioned names have made efforts to constrain themselves firmly to the ‘traditional’ Muslim camp. There is no reason that this issue, which obviously transcends petty partisan Muslim politics, ought to symbolize one’s allegiance to any particular social movement or camp within contemporary Islamic civil society.

If these people want a ‘traditional’ justification for why Muslim families should not be separated, they ought to be reminded that one of al-Ghazali’s 5 essential principles of the Shari’a was related to the protection of lineage/family and honor (ḥifẓ al-nasl). Our spouses are not cannon fodder for such childish partisan politics. We will continue to protect our families and their honor regardless of how hostile the environment may become for us and regardless of who we have to name and shame in the process.

When I got married over a year prior to Donald Trump being elected President, I vowed that only Allah would separate me from my spouse. I intend on keeping that vow regardless of what consequences that decision may have.

Photo courtesy: Adam Cairns / The Columbus Dispatch

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#Society

Obituary of (Mawlana) Yusuf Sulayman Motala (1366/1946 – 1441/2019)

Monday, September 9, turned out to be a day of profound anguish and sorrow for many around the world. In the early morning hours, news of the death of Mawlana* Yusuf Sulayman Motala, fondly known as “Hazrat” (his eminence) to those who were acquainted with him, spread. He had passed away on Sunday at 8:20 pm EST in Toronto, after suffering a heart attack two weeks earlier.

Dr. Mufti Abdur Rahman ibn Yusuf Mangera

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Dar Al Uloom Bury, Yusuf Sulayman Motala

A master of hadith and Qur’an. A sufi, spiritual guide and teacher to thousands. A pioneer in the establishment of a religious education system. His death reverberated through hearts and across oceans. We are all mourning the loss of a luminary who guided us through increasingly difficult times.

Monday, September 9, turned out to be a day of profound anguish and sorrow for many around the world. In the early morning hours, news of the death of Mawlana* Yusuf Sulayman Motala, fondly known as “Hazrat” (his eminence) to those who were acquainted with him, spread. He had passed away on Sunday at 8:20 pm EST in Toronto, after suffering a heart attack two weeks earlier. (May the Almighty envelope him in His mercy)

His journey in this world had begun more than 70 years ago in the small village of Nani Naroli in Gujarat, India, where he was born on November 25, 1946 (1 Muharram 1366) into a family known for their piety.

His early studies were largely completed at Jami’a Husayniyya, one of the early seminaries of Gujarat, after which he travelled to Mazahir Ulum, the second oldest seminary of the Indian Sub-Continent, in Saharanpur, India, to complete his ‘alimiyya studies. What drew him to this seminary was the presence of one of the most influential and well-known contemporary spiritual guides, Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi (d. 1402/1982), better known as “Hazrat Shaykh.” He had seen Mawlana Zakariyya only briefly at a train stop, but it was enough for him to understand the magnitude of his presence.

Mawlana Yusuf remained in Saharanpur for two years. Despite being younger than many of the other students of Shaykh Zakariya, the shaykh took a great liking to him. Shaykh Zakariya showered him with great attention and even deferred his retirement from teaching Sahih al-Bukhari so that Mawlana Yusuf could study it under his instruction. While in Saharanpur, Mawlana Yusuf also studied under a number of other great scholars, such as Mawlana Muhammad ‘Aqil (author of Al-Durr al-Mandud, an Urdu commentary of Sunan Abi Dawud and current head lecturer of Hadith at the same seminary), Shaykh Yunus Jownpuri (d. 1438/2017) the previous head lecturer of Hadith there), Mawlana As‘adullah Rampuri (d. 1399/1979) and Mufti Muzaffar Husayn (d. 1424/2003).

Upon completion of his studies, Mawlana Yusuf’s marriage was arranged to marry a young woman from the Limbada family that had migrated to the United Kingdom from Gujarat. In 1968, he relocated to the UK and accepted the position of imam at Masjid Zakariya, in Bolton. Although he longed to be in the company of his shaykh, he had explicit instructions to remain in the UK and focus his efforts on establishing a seminary for memorization of Qur’an and teaching of the ‘alimiyya program. The vision being set in motion was to train a generation of Muslims scholars that would educate and guide the growing Muslim community.

Establishing the first Muslim seminary, in the absence of any precedent, was a daunting task. The lack of support from the Muslim community, the lack of integration into the wider British community, and the lack of funds made it seem an impossible endeavour. And yet, Mawlana Yusuf never wavered in his commitment and diligently worked to make the dream of his teacher a reality. In 1973 he purchased the derelict Aitken Sanatorium in the village of Holcombe, near Bury, Lancashire. What had once been a hospice for people suffering from tuberculosis, would become one of the first fully-fledged higher-education Islamic institutes outside of the Indian-Subcontinent teaching the adapted-Nizami syllabus.

The years of struggle by Maulana Yusuf to fulfil this vision paid off handsomely. Today, after four decades, Darul Uloom Al Arabiyya Al Islamiyya, along with its several sister institutes, also founded by Mawlana Yusuf, such as the Jamiatul Imam Muhammad Zakariya seminary in Bradford for girls, have produced well over 2,000 British born (and other international students) male and female ‘alimiyya graduates – many of whom are working as scholars and serving communities across the UK, France, Belgium, Holland, Portugal, the US, Canada, Barbados, Trinidad, Panama, Saudi Arabia, India and New Zealand. Besides these graduates, a countless number of individuals have memorized the Qur’an at these institutes. Moreover, many of the graduates of the Darul Uloom and its sister institutes have set up their own institutes, such as Jamiatul Ilm Wal Huda in Blackburn, Islamic Dawah Academy in Leicester, Jami’ah al-Kawthar in Lancaster, UK, and Darul Uloom Palmela in Portugal, to just mention a few of the larger ones. Within his lifetime, Mawlana Yusuf saw first-hand the fruit of his labours – witnessing his grand students (graduates from his students’ institutes) providing religious instruction and services to communities around the world in their local languages. What started as a relationship of love between a student and teacher, manifested into the transmission of knowledge across continents. In some countries, such as the UK and Portugal, one would be hard-pressed to find a Muslim who had not directly or indirectly benefited from him.

Mawlana Yusuf was a man with deep insights into the needs of Western contemporary society, one that was very different from the one he had grown up and trained in. With a view to contributing to mainstream society, Mawlana Yusuf encouraged his graduates to enter into further education both in post-graduate Islamic courses and western academia, and to diversify their fields of learning through courses at mainstream UK universities. As a result, many ‘alimiyya graduates of his institutes are trained in law, mainstream medicine, natural medicine and homeopathy, mental health, child protection, finance, IT, education, chaplaincy, psychology, philosophy, pharmacy, physics, journalism, engineering, architecture, calligraphy, typography, graphic design, optometry, social services, public health, even British Sign Language. His students also include several who have completed PhDs and lecture at universities. His vision was to train British-born (or other) Muslim scholars who would be well versed in contemporary thought and discipline along with their advanced Islamic learning, equipping them to better contribute to society.

Despite his commitment to the establishment of a public good, the shaykh was an immensely private person and avoided seeking accolade or attention. For many decades he refused invitations to attend conferences or talks around the country, choosing to focus on his students and his family, teaching the academic syllabus and infusing the hearts of many aspirants with the love of Allah through regular gatherings of remembrance (dhikr) and spiritual retreats (i’tikaf) in the way of his shaykh’s Chishti Sufi order.

During my entire stay with him at Darul Uloom (1985–1997), I can say with honesty that I did not come across a single student who spoke ill of him. He commanded such awe and respect that people would find it difficult to speak with him casually. And yet, for those who had the opportunity to converse with him, knew that he was the most compassionate, humble, and loving individual.

He was full of affection for his students and colleagues and had immense concern for the Muslim Ummah, especially in the West. He possessed unparalleled forbearance and self-composure. When he taught or gave a talk, he spoke in a subdued and measured tone, as though he was weighing every word, knowing the import it carried. He would sit, barely moving and without shifting his posture. Even after a surgical procedure for piles, he sat gracefully teaching us Sahih al-Bukhari. Despite the obvious pain, he never made an unpleasant expression or winced from the pain.

Anyone who has listened to his talks or read his books can bear testimony to two things: his immense love for the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and his love for Shaykh Mawlana Muhammad Zakariya Kandhlawi (may Allah have mercy on him). It is probably hard to find a talk in which he did not speak of the two. His shaykh was no doubt his link to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) in both his hadith and spiritual transmissions.

Over the last decade, he had retired from most of his teaching commitments (except Sahih al-Bukhari) and had reduced meeting with people other than his weekly dhikr gatherings. His time was spent with his family and young children and writing books. His written legacy comprises over 20 titles, mostly in Urdu but also a partial tafsir of the Qur’an in classical Arabic.

After the news of his heart attack on Sunday, August 25, and the subsequent effects to his brain, his well-wishers around the world completed hundreds of recitals of the Qur’an, several readings of the entire Sahih al-Bukhari, thousands of litanies and wirds of the formula of faith (kalima tayyiba), and gave charity in his name. However, Allah Most High willed otherwise and intended for him to depart this lowly abode to begin his journey to the next. He passed away two weeks later and reports state that approximately 4,000 people attended his funeral. Had his funeral been in the UK, the number of attendees would have multiplied several folds. But he had always shied away from large crowds and gatherings and maybe this was Allah Most High’s gift to him after his death. He was 75 (in Hijra years, and 72 in Gregorian) at the time of his death and leaves behind eight children and several grandchildren.

Mawlana Yusuf educated, inspired and nourished the minds and hearts of countless across the UK and beyond. May Allah Almighty bless him with the loftiest of abodes in the Gardens of Firdaws in the company of Allah’s beloved Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) and grant all his family, students, and cherishers around the world beautiful patience.

Dr Mufti Abdur-Rahman Mangera
Whitethread Institute, London
(A fortunate graduate of Darul Uloom Bury, 1996–97)

*a learned Muslim scholar especially in India often used as a form of address

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