Rise and Fall of The Salafi Movement ( Complete)

The Rise and Fall of the Salafi Movement in America: A Memoir by Umar Lee will now be available in an expanded and edited version via Kindle at my Amazon author page.

Below I have left the article a sister submitted after the original publication and the comments section from the original posting.

Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem

I had taken all in this ten-part series off of my page and only left the last page which is where the comments are. This is the entire series plus some my clarification and an introduction from a sister.

A Sister’s experiences from 1980’s Salafi Movement

A sister wrote this “prequel” and emailed it to me. Masha Allah, my original series on the 1990s Salafi movement made it to all corners of the globe and insha’Allah will spark some much needed change. However, the sister basically gives a summary of her experiences with the beginnings of the movement in the 1980s:

This isn’t going to be very eloquent because truth to tell, I am saddened and sickened by the whole subject of salafism/wahabbism. I came across Brother Umar Lee’s blog a week or so ago and have been hanging out there ever since. Trying to find the logic in many comments, and when I can’t, trying to point it out. I should have learned from the past. In truth, it can’t be done.

I read Br. Umar’s discourse on “The Rise and Fall of the ‘Salafi Dawah’ in the US”. I think he was spot on in his assessments. Br. Umar began with the 1990’s, because he’s too young to know what US Islamic life was like back in the 80’s, pre-salafism as a defined group with a name. But there were groups of brothers exactly like many salafis today, who would help to create, and/or go on to embrace the movement and call it by the name by which it is known today.

This isn’t a pretty picture, but it is the truth. And in the nearly 25 years since I said my shahada, I am grief-stricken that not much has changed.

When I became acquainted with Islam, I was guided to one of the few masjids in town. It was, I guess you could say, the largest congregation and the most ethnically diverse. It was also located in the heart of the universities area, and attracted a variety of Muslims, both immigrant and indigenous, born Muslim and converted, Arab, Asian, African, European and “American”—in those days primarily “African” American.

The long and short of it is this: This particular masjid was usually only occupied at prayer time, except for a group of young American, convert men who always seemed to be there. Other members of the congregation were either students or employees, or both. Not this particular group. They were neither. I would come to know most of them as I studied Islam before I said my shahada. And sadly I would come to learn what a blight they were on the Islamic community. They were the source of most of the fitnah and destruction of brotherhood/sisterhood among us.

I would first like to say that when one has too much time on his hands, Shaytan uses him as a plaything. Under the guise of “Islamic education”, this group lounged around the masjid day in and day out. There wore the pre-salafia dress, favoring long white jalabiyahs and turbans instead of the “highwaters” and kufis preferred nowadays. They went by the name of the Islamic Propagation League. It was their mission to bring Islam to the masses in my city, and correct the aqeedah of those already Muslim. They went out of their way to catch those inquiring about Islam—or new shahadas—hoping to convert them to their own particular brand of Islam. I guess this was one reason for staying in the masjid all day. If anyone came or called asking about Islam, these brothers were usually the first to pounce on them. They provided “dawah” on Islam, emphasizing rejection of all things western as tools of the devil.

They placed great emphasis on how one was to dress, as western-style clothing was to be abandoned in favor of long robes for the men and full hijab, including niqaab, which they pushed as fard, for the women. There was precious little talk of tawheed, the pillars of Islam, etc. The emphasis was on outward appearances, even down to rejecting your birth name and choosing an Arabic one.

They were my second encounter with Muslims. My first was a man I had met at a party at the university, a Nigerian student who patiently answered all my questions about Islam once I discovered he was a Muslim. My only “knowledge” of Islam in those days what that Allah was an idol in the desert and women were oppressed. Alhamdulilah he set me straight, and guided me to the location of the masjid, and providing me with a number to someone eager to help me whom he described as “part Arab, part European”. But on my first visit I encountered the Islamic Propagation League, of which this Arab/European kid was a part, and very nearly left Islam before I embraced it.

I’m not sure what the token white guy’s qualifications were to have been known around the masjid as someone schooled enough to give dawah. I think he just seemed a bit more acceptable as he was white and a fluent English and Arabic speaker.

It came to be known that white converts—and there were many women especially—were a prized commodity to those slackers who lay in the masjid all day. They tried to snag us at all costs. Somehow they believed the addition of a white feather in their caps would give their group legitimacy—something it was sorely lacking. They often complained that the Arab brothers “stole the white women” away. I don’t know about that, but after listening to dawah lessons from both sides, with the exception of one lecture, I was much more impressed with the Arabs. Why? Because they concentrated on those concepts I mentioned above…tawheed, the five pillars, and cardinal beliefs. They weren’t about damning the West and telling me I needed to get myself into mandatory niqaab and start calling myself Aisha or something.

My first Islamic outfits were sewn by me, long, loose flowing robes and the veils included niqaab. I thought I was doing the right thing. It wasn’t until I met other members of the mosque that I learned niqaab was optional. I thought it was pretty and rather exotic-looking, but I was relieved because my family wasn’t having any part of my conversion to Islam, especially the clothes. So when I left the house on the way to the masjid, in jeans and a t-shirt, changing into Islamic clothing on the way, I was at least relieved to know that showing my face wasn’t a sin.

During my studies, I was also made privy to the kind of life-style these pre-salafis were leading. They were all, with the exception of one, married to black women and on the prowl for a second or third wife—preferably a white one. Their families lived on welfare because it was “haram to work for the kuffar”. The kuffar would not allow you to wear a turban and jalabayih to work, so you couldn’t work for them, as “Islamic” clothing for men was wajib. It was not haram however to take charity from the kuffar. So these families existed on full welfare, which back in those days—before Clinton’s welfare reform—was a bundle. You could very easily raise a family on cash allotments—which by the way increased with the birth of each new child, food stamps—again increased with each new birth, medical care, WIC and free housing or ridiculously low monthly payments via a section 8 housing allowance. Most of these brothers lived better than others who had jibs for a living. They weren’t getting all that help, and struggled to make ends meet.

It was suggested to me that I might like to become the wife of one of these fine brothers. I politely declined, not just because I was uninterested in living on welfare, but because I couldn’t get with the polygamy aspect, being that not only was it illegal, but I would have to lie and pretend I wasn’t married to my husband. This is how the welfare department in our city came to call the Muslim women on the welfare role “the Holy Whores” – because they were often dressed in all black and niqaab and having children (as far as the state was concerned) out of wedlock. The second and subsequent wives could not be legally married to their spouse, and the government didn’t give a damn about or recognize a so-called Islamic marriage. And so the “Holy Whores” were born and I wasn’t eager to join their ranks.

My polite refusal was met with scorn. I was refusing a life with a decent Muslim man just because I thought myself above welfare and being known as a “whore”. Well, truth to tell, I was. I think there’s no shame in that.

To make a long story short, I accepted Islam during a Friday evening halaqa for the brothers at the masjid. My pre-salafi acquaintances were also in attendance. As was my future husband—a moderate Arab. Once my future husband asked about marrying me, we were sort of doomed. The American slackers had lost another white woman to an Arab man—something that apparently happened all too often. I guess my marriage to him was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Because from then on, that group had it in for us.

My husband and I became very active in the masjid and in dawah. I was affiliating myself more with the Arab sector than I was the African-American group—mainly because I saw a better Islam and sensible work/study ethic from the Arabs. Because I was white, it often fell to me to meet other white women who were interested in Islam. I would share my own experiences with them while my husband shared the nuts and bolts of Islamic teachings.

I’m not going to get into the specifics of what happened to us – because that would jeopardize my anonymity – but we were put-down, taunted, accused of heinous things at every turn from a small band of these lazy devils masquerading as righteous Muslims. No matter that the greater Islamic community stood behind us—these pre-salafis were relentless. They would not let up on us in their quest to make our lives a living hell. After one particularly horrible incident, we decided to leave the city. We couldn’t take the pressure any longer.

But I kept in touch with many from my first community, including a few African-American sisters who knew this group, but were not a part of it. Upon hearing news from home, I was always so glad we had left. It was a constant string of gossip coming my way—this one had taken a third wife and divorced the other two. That one had caused a fight in the masjid between Arabs and blacks and the police had to be called. Another family had been set up in what would eventually morph into a rape charge against a very decent Muslim man and his family who had given shelter to a homeless ex-prostitute sent in as a decoy pretending to be interested in Islam. The list of atrocities committed by these pre-salafis was endless.

The funny thing is, in this town there was a totally African-American masjid, but the imam there would have none of their pre-salafi antics or dawah. He had forbidden them the opportunity to take up residence in his masjid. He was a decent, working class man who cared very well for his family. About 20 years later, upon his death, the masjid was taken over by salafis. What was once one of the oldest and most revered African-American masjids in the country is now a joke.

Over the years, even 20 years later—as self admitted followers of the salafi dawah, some members of the original group, were still making problems. Their wives still gossiping about people who had lived there ages ago, and trying to break up marriages and families of 20 years duration. Good deeds, if done by the persons still hated by the salafis, were turned into very near crimes against Islam. It continues to this day.

What happened to the original group? Basically they traded in their jalabiyahs and white turbans for highwaters and kufis. Their beards are down to waists, they reek of jasmine oil and henna, and their women dress like the beloved “black crows” of the Sunnah. But their hearts seem to be equally black. Most – if not all – have long since left that city, and formed or joined some infamous large salafi communities on the East Coast. Many got free trips to study Islam abroad and came back throwing around a few Arabic words in fus-hah and calling themselves “sheikhs”. Their second generation children are leaving the deen and are losing their own children to the dunya. They want no part of this extremist cult.

To this day you will find salafis gathered in person or on the internet, still discussing trivia to the point of insanity…Like the ruling regarding a particular sheikh who made a mistake in prayer, or the ruling on a particular community member who committed a sin. Hours and hours, days, weeks, months, volumes written on one single error—how to deal with it, discuss it, benefit from it, distance from it, ostracize the offender, etc, etc, etc.

Is this the Islam I envisioned when I took my shahada? No, and Alhamdulilah by the grace of Allah I never got sucked into it.

So the rise and fall of the salafi movement in the USA is a reality. It’s probably much worse actually then Brother Umar has indicated. There is a hadith of the Prophet (saw) that says…What starts on wrong is wrong. The beginning of the salafi movement in the
USA started with groups of men who were not willing to do their Islamic duties to Allah, themselves or their families, preferring instead to laze around the masjid in the name of “knowledge”. From my viewpoint, none of that has changed. The salafi dawah started on wrong, and will remain so. Unlike Islam—no sects, no labels, no bull—which will flourish and one day glorify hard-working, true believing Muslims, everywhere.

Comments are now open… Click here to read them.

71 Responses to Rise and Fall of The Salafi Movement ( Complete)

  1. Shamika says:

    I thought this blog was wonderful as a muslim woman who refuse to title myself but follow islam in the correct way to the best of my ability i agree that nmarraige has become a joke and the muslim men and women alike have what i call i wanna be down syndrome i was a muslim during the east orange era and had heard of the muslims but never heard of “salafi” I enjoyed the unity in islam before the word salafi came to philly yes i am from philly born and raise in islam. i speak about this issue often amongst my friends and family it sadden me to see islam become a fade not a way of life .

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  3. Talut Dawood says:

    As salaamu alaikum Umar

    That was quite the history lesson and I commend you for it. You were obviously emotionally involved in the Salafi movement and it showed in your post.

    I do not deny the good intentions of many among the salafis- though I disagree ideologically with the approach to both knowledge and practice. May Allah, Exalted is He, guide all of the Muslims to the straight path.

    One thing that I noticed was your comment on rejecting a madhhab. Is it not true that the 4 Imams of the madhahib were among the Salaf- as well as many of their students? Ibn Taymiyya was certainly not of the Salaf- may Allah have mercy on them all. Imam Abu Hanifa was a Tabi’ Tabi’een for sure and may have been a Tabi’, the other three Imams were certainly Tabi’ Tabi’een.

    The madhahib of fiqh- as well as many of the sciences of Deen such as ilm al-kalam, ilm al-Tafsir (though many of the Sahabah and the Prophet, Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, had commented on many ayaat of the Qur’an), ulum al-Qur’an, et. al- had been developed in response to a need within the community. They should not be simply put down by the wayside in the name of a zeal for ‘what is pure.’ If you give me a call when you are able, I have a challenge for you. I’ll tell you about it when you call inshaAllah.

    Wa alaikum salaam

    Talut

  4. Umar,
    I read these the first time around on your earlier site. Thanks for posting again.

    Tammy Swofford

  5. estrella says:

    Wow , umar.
    you’re a great writer

    and this piece abt this true-believing muslimah really benefits me though i’ve only read the first part.

    The salafi movement projects bad image on islam =[

    estrella.assalamualaikum,

  6. m.jamil says:

    cult is cult! thanks for the history, as limited in time as it was … an american muslim from the 1960’s we lived in a different world prior to this so-called salafi movement … as an expat / muhajir living in the Arab world, I have long experienced the roots of salafi negativity, in a deeply negative, totalitarian world, ridden with fear & guilt under the cover of “islam” … Islam is today threatened by a revanchist form of puritanism as fanatic as the Anglo-saxon (WASP) invaders who founded the USA amidst genocide & slavery … I live 50km from the last slave market in Arabia, which operated into the 1960’s trading in primarily African slaves … what Muslims need to do is read our history from a point of objectivity, which we should not deny nor cover up the fitna from sahaba through the present … see how 12th century Abassid courts corrupted & repressed the previous “golden age” of Islamic science and arts, sowing fear of critical or analytical thinking among Muslims, which continues to this day to plague our societies & send our intellectuals into exile … umar, bro. if you are still stumbling along bin Tamiyya’s path, you are still part of the problem & not yet part of the solution, open up to al-Ghazali, ibn Sina, & all the great thinkers of Islam & find a much broader & deeper & greater Islam with a past full of lessons for the future, problematic as well as hopeful. Islam is deeply enmeshed within a “Western” ethos that extends throughout monotheism all the way to India, and exchanges back & forth with Christianity & Judaism, are more rather than less a part of our common heritage.

  7. Umm Husamuddin says:

    Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu

    JazakAllaah khayrun for this concise account. Here in the UK, we are very familiar with these splits and SP activity.

    May Allaah preserve this Ummah and guide us on the Right Path, ameen.

    Umm Husamuddin, UK.

  8. shamsulrahman says:

    wow….you certainly was introduced to the “extreme” salafi.

  9. Anonymous Muslimah says:

    As salaamu alaikum!
    Thank you so much for this post. This reiterates that I’m not the crazy one. I was sucked in by this stuff at one point. Do you know how many lives have been destroyed by these extremists…from sisters being left with babies that they can’t care for to sisters leaving the deen altogether due to oppression? Many of these people have the WORST characters that I have ever witnessed in my life!!! Lastly, why is it that it’s rare that you see anyone with education in these groups? The majority are always ex-cons and women whose sustenance is provided by the KUFFAR..with Allah’s permission. During my experience, I would be so stressed out! Either I was being badgered for not wearing “jilbab” or for the fact that I didn’t give up my SUV that was almost paid for because of interest. The experience was totally unbelievable!!!

  10. giantstepp says:

    Salamms

    We had some minimum contact/conversations thru the internet some time ago. Last I remembered, you shut down your blog. It’s good to see you up and writing again as I believe that you have things that need to heard in the manner you put them. And I can never get tired of reading this topic from you.

    Peace

  11. Abu Lut says:

    What part of Islam is this?Muslims talking about muslims in a disgusting manner?Wasting time talking about people whose property,lives and honor are supposed to be sacred to each other.May Allah forgive me for reading this mess.Fear Allah and go learn your religion O muslims.One of the things you will be asked about on Yawmul Qiyam is your time and how you spent it.You won’t be asked about fulan and how he spent his time.What benefit is there in badgering other muslims?Does Allah promise the one who badgers the best a lofty place in His Jannat?Our beloved Prophet said whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day speaks good or remains silent.Is this good that is being spoken on this site.The Prophet also said that this Ummah is one body and if the head hurts then the rest of the body hurts also.
    So when you are speaking about your brothers and sisters who have sicknesses know that you are a part of the same body and you also are suffering from a sickness(sin,transgression,wrong-doing)and also know that even if you are correct in what you are saying and it is true about the people you are talking about ,Allah’s Messenger told us that whoever exposes the faults of a muslim in this life that He will expose their faults in this life and in the hereafter even if he/she is hiding in his/her home.
    Fear Allah O muslims

  12. iyare iyare iyare says:

    Is there anything wrong with Americans going to other PROFESSIONAL Americans to deal with their social issues? Psychiatrist, psychologist, social services?

  13. bigahk the kaffir smacka says:

    i was kinda disturbed about how the sister was describing other sister for wearing niqab as “black crows”

    besides that it was great article.

    i agree with somethings other things i haven’t experienced…but i must say one of the greatest speakers ive ever heard in my life is dawud adib.

  14. Aishah says:

    Asalaamu Alaikum

    I’m so glad I read this just days before reading The Realities of Submission by Umm Zakiyah. I think I wouldn’t have really understood what she was talking about in her book if I hadn’t. Have you read this book? If not you should.

  15. SaNa says:

    Not from the US but very sad to read how the salafi dawah is so cult like. Unfortunately its like that in the UK too and have made many turn away from islam because they now see salafi=cult rather than simply following the Quran and Sunnah on the manhaj of the salaf and accepting a difference of opinion.
    Also that politics seems to be something written out to these salafis- when infact it is a reality. Anyone who has a political opinion seems to be an ikhwani/qutbi/kharijee etc. If only we could get rid of these labels and stop being judgmental towards others I’m sure that the true message of the Salafi dawah (meaning the aqeedah and the base of it, not the cult likeness/us&them/in our own world part) could be known again.
    Interesting though how this cult plague is only in the West :(

  16. gobstopper says:

    “Anyone who actually reads my posts should not get the idea – as some from all sides of this issue have – that I was saying that the dawah itself was inherently false. I was not saying that. The Dawah of Islam is true in all times and all places but it was high-jacked by people (some of whom posted in the response of the last post) that wanted to spread thought reform and injustice for all”
    So basically these anti-salafi sites are completely pointless. If the dawah is not at fault as you say ,then it is SOME of those who are following it. We already know man is weak and follows his desires.Are all the muslims in other movements without fault? People leave the “movement” largely because they are looking for the wrong things in it.. be it Sisterhood, Brotherhood, an image etc or in the case of the U.S.A a gang replacement. The salafi dawah is the pot of truth from which we should draw. There is no guarantee that everyone drawing from that pot will be a perfect example of a believer.

  17. Abu Hannah says:

    Wow. This was a real eye opener to me. I have been following the Salafi Manhaj for some time now, but have been grappling with the issue of labeling myself Salafi. I didn’t even know how the label originated. Yes, it feels like it is the natural dawah, but the labeling and stigmatizing others issue has always bothered me.

  18. Daud says:

    I actually read the the sister’s story and I think it’s nonsense. Did she live in Philly? I was around when the Da’wah first came and I NEVER witnessed the kind of nonsense she’s talking about.

  19. Anonymous brother says:

    Salam alaykom,

    I agree that New Muslims are often an ‘afterthought’ – if that. There isnt much that is designed for Reverts. However, texas/maghrib/others have actually started a real deal, fully functioning program that did what it set out to do – and fairly successful I might add. Why dont you do the same? If there’s a problem that youve identified, odds are you arent the only one thats noticed. Ive noticed, and so have many others. InshAllah, get the ball rolling! Start a program that caters to the American Muslim. We could go on all day about what our brothers/sisters ‘havent’ done, and what our centers, Masajid, etc ‘could’ be doing. Let’s just do it – we don’t need anyone’s permission or approval. Conversely, I think we would have a LOT of support if what’s being talked about actually materializes. It could shape the future of Islam in America… could. If only we would.

  20. samar says:

    I was sooo glad and relieved when i came across this site. I am from an island in the Caribbean and the trajectory of the super salafis in US mirrors what transpired here.

    I maintain that the brand of salafism that they practise is a cult. they have all the characteristics of a cult.

    and the worst types of characters seem to be drawn into this movement.

    MY experiences with this cult have been so negative that up to now i remain disturbed by the way that these extreme salafis operate. I have been watching daily for the past 6 years as they have proceeded to destroy an entire community through their extremist policies.

    The kinds of pressures that people have to face lead them to do things as if they have no minds of their own.
    the ‘leadership’ of this movement here proceeded to take ‘knowledge’ from some guy called abu kadija and his crony abu hakim. people’s marriages, families everything was destroyed because of the advice that this abu kadija doled out

    wearing nikab became the hallmark of if you were a good woman or not

    but at the end of the day
    this movement attracts the worst kinds of people. people who use Islam for their own nasty motives. I saw first hand a group of previously unheard of, uneducated (in Islam as well as in the western sense) and people with issues take control of a mosque. can you believe that they used to give classes on Polygamy? some of their students are not even literate!!!
    ex-cons, women who have had histories of abuse and rape, unemployed and uneducated people

    rememer that black people in the Caribbean has a similar history to African-Americans. why is it that black people find this extremist salafist movement so attractive?

    i am still dealing with the fallout of my involvement with these people.

  21. Abdullah says:

    As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh,

    Bismillaah wal-Hamdulillaah was-Salaatu was-Salaamu ‘alaa Rasoolillaah

    Important: In no way is the following meant to offend anyone in any way, shape, fashion, or form but rather several honest questions to pertinent and important issues:

    Questions to our brothers and sisters of the Salafiyyah methodology from an X-Salafi:

    1. Why is it that when a Muslim studies the history of Islaam that he/she finds a version of Islaam that is quite different from the Islaam preached and practised by todays Salafiyyah?

    2. Why is it that a vast chunk of the Sunni Imaams throughout the history of the Ummah were madhhab-following Soofis and were of the Ash’aree, Maatureedee, and Atharee creeds?

    3. One finds that if the Imaams were not of the Ash’ariyyah, they were of the Maatureediyyah, and vice-versa. If they were neither, they were of the Athariyyah; and if they were none of these three creeds they would be considered outside of the Sunni sect unless if their creeds coincided with any of the three creeds mentioned. How do the Salafiyyah reconcile this historical fact with their understanding of history?

    4. Why is that the Salafiyyah praise Imaam an-Nawawee (Rahimullaah) and at the same time make Tadleel of the Ash’ariyyah and Soofiyyah when Imaam an-Nawawee (Rahimullaah) himself was of the Ashaa’irah and Soofiyyah?

    5. Why is that the Salafiyyah praise Ibn Rajab al-Hanbalee (Rahimullaah) when it was known that he was of the Athariyyah and a Hanbalee Soofi?

    6. Why is it that the Salafiyyah praise Imaams such as Hasan al-Basree (Rahimullaah) and other giants of the Sunnah and interestingly enough – after some investigation and research – one finds that they (the Imaams) were of the Soofiyyah after studying their biographies?

    7. If the Ash’ariyyah, Maatureediyyah, and Soofiyyah are deviant – as the Salafiyyah claim – then how do they reconcile this with the historical fact that the Ottoman Empire was a Sunni, Hanafee, Soofi caliphate and were proponents of the Ash’aree/Maatureedee creeds? Do we consider the Ottomans deviants and put them outside the fold of Islaam?

    8. How do the Salafiyyah reconcile their anti-Soofi stance with the historical fact that Tasawwuf was incorporated into the educational curriculum of all the major Sunni institutions within the Muslim world such as the Qarawayn in Morocco, the Zaytoona in Tunisia, the al-Azhar in Egypt, the Deoband in Islamic India, etc? How do the Salafiyyah explain the rapid spread and acceptance of Tasawwuf and its many turuq within the Muslim world, from the times of the Umayyads, to the Abbaasids, to the Ayyoobis, to the Ottomans, etc? Did it take the Muslim Ummah over 1400 years to figure out that Tasawwuf was a reprehensible innovation (bid’ah)? Were all the Sunni Imaams tricked and deluded into accepting and propagating Tasawwuf, or do we treat Tasawwuf as the H1N1 virus of the Muslim world?

    9. Is it conceivable to conclude that the Ummah went astray for over 1000 years in terms of scholarship and methodology and just in recent history the Sunni Muslims have been guided back to the so called “Salafi Manhaj”!? Are the Salafiyyah saying that the thousands of Imaams that have lived during the period of the Khalaf went astray and that Shaykh Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhaab (Rahimullaah), after several centuries, brought us back to the correct understanding of our Deen!?

    10. How do the Salafiyyah reconcile with the historical fact that many Mujahideen throughout the history of Islaam were of the Soofiyyah? What do the Salafiyyah say of the following Sunni Soofi Mujahideen:

    a. Muhammad al-Faatih (Rahimullaah) : The Ottoman Sultan whom conquered Constantinople and is known to be a Hanafee, Maatureedee, Soofi (our Beloved Messenger, Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam, prophesied about him in a well known hadeeth).

    b. Salaah ad-Deen al-Ayyoobee : The Warrior of Islaam that liberated the Holy Land of Palestine from the Crusaders and is known to be a Shafi’ee, Ash’aree, Soofi.

    c. Imaam Shameel : The Naqshbandi Imaam whom fought the Russians in the Caucasus (Chechnya and Dagestan) and is known to be a Hanafee, Maatureedee, Soofi.

    d. Abdul Qaadir Al-Jazaa`iree : The Algerian scholar whom fought the French invasion of Algeria and is known to be a Malakee, Ash’aree, Soofi.

    e. ‘Umar al-Mukhtaar : The Lion of the Desert whom fought the Italian invasion of Libya and is known to be a Malakee, Ash’aree, Soofi.

    f. Izz ad-Deen al-Qassaam : Perhaps the first Muslim to fight the Zionist invasion of Palestine and is known to be a Shafi’ee, Ash’aree, Soofi of the Qaadiriyyah tareeqah.

    Are all of the Sunni heroes of Islaam mentioned above deviants?

    11. Why is it that the Salafiyyah tamper with classical Sunni texts of the Imaams of the past, for example erasing any mention of Ash’ariyyah or Soofiyyah, etc. when revising or translating classical works into other languages?

    12. Why is it that the Salafiyyah claim to be following the Sunnah but many of them are known to sport the Saudi red chequered Kufiyyah when it is well known that the Prophet, Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam, wore a turban? Isn’t this contrary to the Sunnah?

    13. Why is it that the Salafiyyah of Arabia have forced the Najdi culture upon the people of Hijaaz when the Hijaazis have a distinct culture from the rest of Arabia?

    14. Why are the Salafiyyah of Arabia systematically destroying historical Mecca and Medina? For example destroying the tombs, relics, and homes of the companions and Ahl al-Bayt in order to make way for hotels and parking lots instead of investing in their preservation. Accurate reports show that over 90% of historical Mecca and Medina have been wiped out of existence and to this day the destruction of the heritage of Hijaaz continues.

    15. Why do the Salafiyyah condemn Sunni Muslims for celebrating the birth (Mawlid) of the Prophet, Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam, when history shows us that it had been celebrated and accepted by the vast majority of the Imaams of the Sunnah for almost 900 years? Today it is celebrated in many of the Muslim lands from Morocco in the west to Indonesia and Malaysia in the east. Are the Salafiyyah saying that it took our bright and illustrious Imaams 900 years to figure out that the Mawlid was a reprehensible innovation (bid’ah)!?

    A Final Note:

    Due to the many inconsistencies amongst the Salafiyyah I have come to the conclusion that there is a sinister agenda in wanting to re-write or even erase our history in order to reform our Deen underneath the slogan “Qur`aan wa Sunnah” when true historical facts clearly show that the methodology of our scholars and Imaams, from amongst the Salaf and Khalaf, were significantly different then what the Salafiyyah are upon today, unless if someone can prove otherwise.

  22. umm Jamil says:

    AsSalaamu Alaikum Brother,

    Jazak’Allah Khairun for this blog, it was very interesting to read about the history of the Salafi Movement from your eyes and the eyes of the sister who wrote your prequel.

    I was attracted to your website from an article you wrote on Sufism. Then I saw your picture and your children. Ok, this looks very familiar. Being that my husband is white and I am black. I started reading the prequel and said wow, I have been talking about these welfare multiple wives for years, but never knew the history. I also never said it as eloquently.

    Then I read your 10part piece and said “wow”. Although, I converted to Islam 10 years ago in Northern California there is plenty of familiarity. And like you said many of the African-American jamaats (Muhammad Sharif, Imam Jamil, Imam Musa and others) seem to have taken a whole lot from the Salafi-“foot to foot, shoulder to shoulder”.

    I lived within walking distance to the Masjid in an apartment complex with many Muslim families, a great nostalgic feeling still comes to me when I think about the sense of community. However, there was abuse of woman and polygamy, and not just by men, but by previous feminist woman who sought power and needed to be in control, usually telling themselves the lie “I am his main wife.” Or woman who were looking to pimp other woman saying things like “I want my husband to marry a Khadijah, so she can take of our family”. There was also stagnant behavior, people leaving the deen, and just many problems…period. Not just with that Masjid, with the other jamaat my husband joined after being called “a blond hair-blue eyed-fill in the blank” by the leader of the previous Masjid.

    I am originally from DC, so I know firsthand and/or have been to many of the places you mention. I have friends who attended the schools in Northern Virginia. All this to say that I could relate to everything you said, up to “The Future of Dawah.”

    Like some of the comments, maybe the whole Salafi movement may not be the answer to your problems or the community as a whole. I just can’t get with the literal translation of everything and that is my personal bias. My Lord does not sit on an actual throne. You mentioned over criticism of others to be a problem in your essay, but maybe it is something that would come naturally if unchecked by not extremely working on ones heart. Not where you are like Rumi in your Sufi essay, becoming self-absorbed, but really working on purifying ones heart. That’s just saying I have criticism of Rumi also, but you can’t throw away the baby with the bathwater.
    Besides, the person who told you, you need to pick a madhab comes from the same background as a Salafi who forces you to pick a side, everyone thinks their way is the best. But the proof is in the pudding.

    Just as I was open to listen to what you had to say, I challenge you and whoever else to listen to these free downloads and give your honest opinions. If you do not think by following this method that it can not change someones heart, to change someones household, to change someones community.

    Furthermore, if someone happens to rise to leadership, they will already know the signs of unchecked Nafs and ego and will be able to rise above it.

    Also please do not listen to bits and pieces or worse just one recording and say “no, I don’t agree or this is bidda.” The best thing is to pick something you have a problem with like depression and listen to a general talk on depression. Or start with the Zad al-Talibin hadith lectures. Like I said everything is free, he even has a really good Arabic learning book and audio as a free download. So there is nothing to loose.

    http://www.sacredlearning.org/classrooms/hadith/zad_talibin/index.htm

  23. naafas says:

    The salafi dawah as introduced to philly was indeed very harsh. Abu Muslimah was calling to his own understanding of salafiyyah(hizbiyyah). No muslim with an intact aql can deny the islam given to allahs messenger and directly taught to his companions. So salafiyyah is Islam and vice versa. Muslims also have to understand that allah refuted shirk, bidah, kufr, nifaq, and false desires in the quran. allahs messenger fought against shirk,nifaq and its people; and he harshly warned against innovation(any/all). The salaf actually fought(literally)pen, and sword against the bidah that appeared after the death of allahs messenger. So islam is about tawheed and the rejection of shirk. You cannot be a muslim unless you renounce shirk and its people. Same thing with the sunnah you cannot be upon the sunnah while going against the usool(fundamentals) of it. Oh yes the sahaba did differ in subsidiary issues in the religion; but we cannot make it bigger that what they did!! wallahu muwaffaq.

  24. Jawwad says:

    this is why we are in the condition we are in respect the Scholar of Da’wah Salafyyah and nobody is bigger then AllaahSWT and His Messenger[saas] who told fatimah he was her Salaf. These people who want to attack this Da’wah read 4:115 Noble Qur’aan and adhere to this saying of Mubarak Rahimallaah: If talking is from Silver then silence is golden Please be Silent Goldy

  25. aysam says:

    this was a beautiful piece work. much wisdom in it that obviously came from all that experience. May Allah Bless you.

  26. Pingback: The Rise and Fall of the Salafi Movement in America « ajeeb.

  27. I find it interesting that you have al link to Salafi Publications ie Shaykh Nasirudeen Al-Albani. Obviously aren’t familiar with his Dawa because he was the biggest proponent of the Salafi Dawa, and was one who called for the singling out oneself as a Salafi as a opposed to a Khalafi as yourself. The Salafi dawa is well and alive in America in the Philly/New Jersey Area, in the South in Georgia, and in the Midwest Detroit, Chicago, Ohio, and in Utah, and California. The numbers aren’t overwhelming because thats not the important thing. You can’t water it down for the sake of numbers. I’m sure you are familiar with the hadith where the Prophet mentions that there would be there would be 73 sects, and all of them are in the fire except one. So look at one compared to seventy-two others and you will see that the numbers correspond. Stop following your desires. This is not a religion of opinions, this is a religion of daleel,ie. quran, sunnah, and the agreement of the sahabah.

  28. Ahmed says:

    Suphan’Allah, it is shame how groups such as those you spoke about call themselves ‘salafis’ when obviously they were khawariji, and extreme.

    Alhumdulilah, I follow the Manhaj of teh Salaf as Salih, as did the Great scholars of teh Ummah, such as Imam Abu hanifa, Malik, shafii, and Ahmed ibn Hanbal. This is the correct Islam. This is the Islam, as teh sister mentioned, that Ibn Taymiyyah was upon and the same that Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab and our many great Contemporary Ulemat are upon.

    They follow the Madhab of the Salaf. Hence, they can be called ‘salafi’. But, it is not the same thing as those people who label themselves as salafi and become bigoted against other muslims who are also on teh correct understanding, yet might have a differing opinion to them according to Ihktilaf among the scholars of Ahlu Sunnah wa Jamma.

    Oh Allah, keep us upon obedience to you, Ameen.

    This obedience in Adherence to Allah and his Messenger, the Quran and teh Sunnah. And in order to understand it correctly, it must be upon the understand of teh Salaf. Why?

    Because the prophet(pbuh) said, “The best of my people are my generation then those who come after them, then those who come after them, then there will come a people in whom there will be no good”

    It is clear, this is the wisdom.

    Also, Ibn Taymiyyah said, “There is no criticism for the one who proclaims the madhab of the Salaf, who attaches himself to it and refers to it. Rather, it is obligatory to accept that from him by unanimous agreement because the way of the Salaf is nothing but the truth.”[10]

    So do not say ill of those who follow the way of the Salaf, or call themself salafi, as we know those who were upon the sunnah used to be referred to as “Salafi”. It is clear to know who is a true Salafi, since he will be upon teh Sunnah, and who is a “fake” salafi, because he will be as teh sister explained in her article.

    As a reply to some of the commenters,

    Imam Ghazali was a great scholar of his time, May Allah have mercy on him and grant him jennah, ameen. Yet he had grave mistakes in his Aqeedah and Methodoldy. So while we can learn much from him and other scholars like him, we should not follow him or his Madhab. We must follow Allah and his Messenger(pbuh). We follow no man blindly, except teh Prophet Muhammad(pbuh).

    As for following a Madhab, this is permissable for the layperson. But, it is impermissable for any Muslim to follow a certain madhab blindly. Meaning, if something in their Madhab contradicts the Sunnah, then it should be left off for what is correct.

    And Allah knows best.

  29. As Salaamu Alaykum…..WOW! This whole who is and who isn’t thing is mind blowing. I am no scholar, however should a topic divide a nation like this one I think I will stay away from the grey area…

    May Allah (swt) guide us all to what is correct….

    I sincerely send my deepest concerns and compassion out to all of my brothers and sisters in Islam.

  30. Ex-Fuqra member says:

    I am a former member of Sheikh Gilanis group, the sufi gang from NY. I came to the Quran and sunnah because of his hatred of the “wahabi” I had no idea what it was , but from the research I did I was glad to leave them , if u want to know what real shirk , bidah and taqleed is go visit them…he was and still is a jihadi sufi , and if u tell me theres no such thing , then you are fooled. All this bickering gets us no where, yet it can be beneficial , I was a hard core” salafi” after the gilani experience , now I am a muslim who follows the Quran and sunnah. I married one of those sisters who was left in the wind by these philly salafis , I must say , they did some real damage. Mashallaah tho. I know this ” off it” list well. some I can see why we do not take from , but come on , Bilal philips is a good man , I would rather listen to him than dawud adib. even tho adib gives good khutbahs the marriage thing with him and the 48 wives is outlandish. I only pray that all this can get resolved. I am tired of hearing khutbahs about other masajid and their bidah, who cares, if u know they do it , just dont go there. its that easy.

  31. Umm Ayan says:

    From Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said:

    “Indeed Allaah is gentle and loves gentleness, and gives due to gentleness that which He does not give to harshness.”

    Reported by Ibn Majah [no. 3688] and Ibn Hibaan [no. 549]

    NOTES

    So through gentleness hearts become united in friendship and love, and good becomes widespread. Whereas through its opposite ill feelings and distrust prevails and people forsake one another.

    •Forty Hadeeth on the Islamic Personality
    by Shaikh Ali Hasan al-Halabi

  32. ABU ABDULLAH says:

    ASALAM ALAYKUM
    the article covered some of the social issues that never really were catered to but at the same time the article failed to pinpoint the deviations of certain individuals who were made to like like victims .my overall opinion is that the author like many were wounded , but thats no justification to throw the dawa behind and attack it from the sidelines .. no one said the road to jenna is easy and as believers our faith will always be tested from the nation , to ansar to crack to 911 to whatever form the trial comes u have to roll with punches and stay focussed on the quran and sunnah and apply the aqeedah and manhaj of the salaf in all affairs troid made mistakes and so did we all
    but u never mentioned the danger and fitnah that anwar alwaki and ali tamimi and iana brought so the article was imbalanced
    i think u were hurt and lashed out
    ok were human we all have feelings
    but we cant let emotion cloud our judgement on the reality of certain issues

  33. Abu AbdilKareem says:

    Salaam Alaykum Umar Lee

    Do you still consider your self to be Salafi then Akee ? just not part of “The Salafis” i.e the brothers claiming everyone is off the manhaj.

  34. ABU ABDULLAH says:

    ASALAM ALAYKUM
    another sad issue pertaining to this whole rise and fall series is the ignorance of the title the salafi dawa has already been established and its here to stay until the day of judgement with or without the masses of course people will come and go but numbers are not the issue
    the issue or better the title should be the filtering period or the tarbiyah and tazkiyah of the salafi dawa in the states
    some people got rubbed the wrong way and flocked to the people of hizbiyyah and got more and more confused because their feelings got hurt or a sister was rude to them or a brother was harsh come on this thing isnt about emotion its about tawheed ,
    people are getting purified and its not overnight
    the men are known by the truth the truth is not known by the way of pen

    abu muslimah was planted and abu usamh as well to liquidate the salafis get them attached to personalities and then come with the ikwaani agenda
    so allah exposed all othe the fitnah makers
    zarabozo , ali tamim ,anwar alwaki . abu muslimah sayid adly ,bilal phillips , jafar idris
    and look what happened to them jafar idris got deported , abu usamah got exposed and left the usa , abu muslimah lost his community and is like a soap box preacher now , zarabozo got shook when iana crumbled and went underground , ali tami is wearing soap on a roap
    and enshalalh al-wacky is toast
    ALLAH removed and exposed all of the
    false claimants – and all their organizations went down the drain
    iana , qss , ssna , ect

    notice salafi publications is still going strong
    holding conferences , translating sticking to the mashaykh , educating the peopel and there school is solid
    troid as well is still going strong and salafi masjids have sprouted up evreywhere calling the people in the usa and uk to tawheed
    which is the call of the prophets

    look at masjid rahmah and the effect abu uwais had on the world and the schoalrs love for him rahimahullah

    who did ali tami think he was to start inciting the youth and al wacky to start inciting the youth into terrorism trying to groom them on the books of qutb and the whole revolutionary manhaj of the khawarijj
    these people lost the focus and brought shame and fitnah on the community in the united states
    so the title of the series is all wrong it should be the process of purification of the salafi tarbiyyah in the usa weeding out the snakes and fakes

    • Maimounah SB says:

      as salaamu alaykum,

      The ‘salafis’ are full of Hizbiyah and fakers and they got some big nerve to try to exposed people when they got MAD SINS GOING ON. ALLAH IS THE DISPOSER OF ALL AFFAIRS. I feel so sorry for the weak minded ones and the new shahadas that get caught up with these people and be in the midst and afriad of leaving them.
      My advice:
      1. Take care of your wives properly without having the Kufar’s help (section 8, welfare ect ect)
      2. Stop selling oils and insence and trying to have 4 wives while knowing you are just full of jahilyaah (pimp dreaming) as usual and calling it ‘following the sunnah’
      3. Teach your women to stop making fitna about colors of clothing and niqabs and stop boycotting and side swiping, full of cliques and sooo jahilyaah and dirty in their houses. Telll them to learn how to cook and stop running their mouths and cursing and saying’ MARSHA’ALLAH, UHKTI’ SUBHANA’ALLAH..’ they know every takbir but cant stop being nasty and full of ‘lil kim’ acts LOOOL.
      4. get a job ‘salafi’ bros.
      5. get a ‘salafi’ school for your children. everyone else got it going on BUT YALL.
      6. Please stop giving dawah to each other and proceed to give dawah to the Kufar and the ‘deviant’ sects that you so call love exposing sooo much.
      7. Stop being jealous, harsh, envious, and just plain DUMB!! ARGHHHHH.
      8. Please stop being sneaky and getting fatwas from your favorite shaykhs to help BRING DOWN someone you dont like..urghhhhhh.
      9. im glad abu usamah and abu muslimah and the rest got away from yall..
      10. Everybody want to be chief. Let’s see whos gonna be chief on yamul Kyama..? it is going to be a hected day.
      11. Please stop using religious text, sayings, and hadith for your personal agendas and assaults on people. Allah is THE ALL-SEER, ALL-KNOWER

      Once you accomplish these for 11. steps…insha’Allah..then come and see me.

      • umm abdillaah says:

        Asalamu alaykum ukhti, you seem to be attributing the issues that some salafis (particularly in the states) to dawatus-salaffiyah it’s quite ignorant, childish and futile! The issues you’ve highlighted are issues affecting certain communities, and is not the issue of having the correct understanding of Islaam. The bad akhlaaq and adaab of some brothers and sisters doesn’t represent the aqeedah and minhaj of salaffiyah. That’s just like the kuffar seeing some muslims do things that are not from islaam, and swearing it is because muslims did it. Wheras there is no proof from the kitaab and sunnah for their claims. SMH

  35. Thank you Umar for a an excellent and comprehensive history of not only the rise and fall the Salafi movement, but the emotional experience that came with this upheaval.

    I was also first taken in by the Salafi movement, but that was in Canada, so my experience was very different from yours. So your US version was very enlightening.

    I think, as you point out, the initial attraction to the Salafi was that they appeared to be the only group dedicated to practicing Islam fully, out of mosques of Muslims who barely did so. So the appearance they gave was of Muslims merely trying to practice the Deen as it ought to.

    As a convert as well, I didn’t realize all the historical baggage that accompanied this movement. By not speaking Arabic, us converts are often grossly ignorant of the political aspect of Muslim societies, and it greatly limits our understanding of the communities we surround ourselves with.

    For example, the recurring theme of Saudi rulers. Or the long-standing significance of the “Ikhwan” or Muslim Brotherhood. This is the core of the issue.

    I highly recommend an excellent book by David Commins, called The Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia. I’m sorry to recommend a book by a non-Muslim, but this is a book that should have been written by Muslims, but hasn’t and likely will not. Just like we have an advantage by having been brought up in North America, and understanding this society, so too is it necessary for us to learn about Saudi Arabia, and other Muslim societies, to understand the background of the interpretations of Islam that are being presented to us when we come to this religion. It would be fine if we could rely on only the Qur’an and Sunnah, but most often we are dependent on the intermediary of foreigners to advance our knowledge. That “knowledge” often comes with a whole lot of baggage, and that’s what we need to understand to make informed decisions.

    The rise and fall of the Salafi is a typical example, being wholly absorbed by keen converts, who were insufficiently aware of the political background of this movement.

    The problem is that “scholars” in our time have been so focused on elements of the Deen, that they have utterly failed in either apprehending the current context that we live in, or teaching it to others.

    The reality is there has been a long-standing plan to have the West confront Islam, in a “Clash of Civilizations”. Already Dan Quayle announced it back in 1994, but it was in play long before that. Christianity had already been undermined, but following it’s collapse, the remaining obstacle would always be Islam.

    Failing to understand this is at the core of what is wrecking the NA Muslim community. Because, how does this take place?

    The entire basis of American foreign policy over the last 40 years has been first the Cold War and now the War on Terror. The one was set to precede and lead into the other. Called the “Bernard Lewis Plan”, American strategy was to confront the Soviet Union and then China by igniting a band of Islamic fundamentalism across central Asia. This started with arming the “Mujahideen” in Afghanistan, being a faction of the Muslim Brotherhood, who have had ties with the CIA ever since WWII. It became the largest CIA operation in history, funded by the
    Iran-Contra Operation. The main players were America, Israel, Iran, Pakistani ISI and Saudi Arabia.

    So SA was directly involved in the primary plot to attack Islam. However, by their Salafi agitators, it was taught as a “Jihad”. It was nothing of the sort. As we well know, SA is the leading petroleum resource in the world. This is the context to understand why the Salafi movement is so concerned with obeisance to “rulers”.

    This is only part of the picture. There is much more in a book that I have collaborated on with Sahib Mustaqim Bleher, called Surrendering Islam.

    • My book, Surrendering Islam, written in collaboration with Sahib Mustaqim Bleher, is now published. It exposes the whole dark history of the Salafi movement.

      By and large, Muslims today are afraid to delve into a history deep enough to expose the depth of the condition they are living. They have succumbed to the propaganda of dismissing certain discussions as “conspiracy theory”. But it is the Qur’an that tells us repeatedly of the secret plots of the Kuffar.
      And more importantly, it is the Qur’an that reveals to us that the origin of most of these trends have their origin in Babylon, from the magic learned from Harut and Marut. This refers to the Kabbalah, which is the basis of the Western occult tradition, most popularly exemplified by the Freemasons.

      Brothers and sisters, I implore you to sincerely ask Allah’s guidance. Do not underestimate the plotting of the Shayateen. Do not allow yourselves to be mislead through unconditional allegiance to certain so-called leaders. Your allegiance should be to Allah alone. When your leaders do right, follow them. But when they turn to right guidance, reject them.

      The Salafi movement has its origins in Egyptian Freemasonry. It is part of a larger plot to undermine Islam. Since, it has been united with the Wahhabi ideology, a state which was created by the British, and then fostered by the Americans to provide cheap oil. To this day, they are collaborating with Israel, Britain, America, Turkey and Pakistan in the greater scheme intended to bring about a “Clash of Civilizations”, that is, a war against Islam. The Qur’an warns you to beware of the hypocrites. So know that posing as importers has been a main strategy to mislead from within.
      The solution is easy. We have to reject the false claims of the Wahhabi/Salafi and return to our Islam, by going back to our classical heritage, which is found all clearly outlined in the Mathhabs.

  36. Bismillaah.
    After reading what brother Umar Lee has written, than for those who have expereinced that time would but agree that it is partly true and it is still occuring by some who call themselves Salafis and yet are harsh, severe and hasty in dealing with people that it is those who clamied to be Salafies had fallen in error and not the teachings of the Salafi Dawah. Bur Umar Lee has steriotyped and like many others even today in 2010 still steriotype anyone who is a Salafi, trying to follow the original Islam based upon the book and the Sunnah as understood and implemented by the early Muslims in belief, knowledge, statements and actions. Yet no doubt there are some, a minorty who claim to be salafi have given a bad impression and image to this blessed Dawah. And due to them, the truthfull ones are also steriotyped as being harsh, severe and hasty. The teachings of the Salafi Dawah is free from this and this types of people. It is like the kuffaar steriotyping all Muslims to be terrorists due to the actions of a few misguided Muslims, of suicide and terrorism. Islam is free from this yet muslims are labelled as terrorists. So Salafi Dawah is free from those Hizbi Salafis, those who declare ones who dont agree with them not to be salafi.

    Those who are aware of the situations of the Muslims and are educated from the Book of Allaah and the Ahadeeth of the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, and follow the Scholars of the Sunnah will know that the Muslim are devided and disunited. As for those who learn and adhere to the original, correct Islam , the Islam of the Prophet Muhammad and his Companions, then it will remain for those who search for it until the last day. And it is nothing but the Salafi Dawah, Ahlus-Sunnah , Ahlul-Hadeeth, Ahlul-Athar, Firqatul Najiya, Taiffatul Mansoora as the original Islam is known by these names and terminologies. So some may judge the original islam due to the few who call themselves salafis, yet make the most noise in a negative manner, which is totally wrong. But rather we should look at the teaching of the salafi dawah and compare it with all other islamic dawah and groups and parties and sects and compare as to whom are upon the truth based upon the book and the sunnah and the correct understanding. These Hizbi Salafi from the salafi publication, Troid and al-Athariyah will always tell people that they are the true salafi, unless Allaah guides them, yet the Salafi Scholars like the three Imaams of our time, Ibn Baz, Al-Albani and Ibn Uthaymeen have advised them to not be Hizbi Salafi. Like wise also other Shayks have advised them like Abdul Muhsin al-Abbaad, Wasullaah Abbaas, Rabie al-Madhkhali, Khaled ar-Raddaade and others have advised that we must follow the Aqeedah and Manhaj of our Salaf as-Saalih in beleif, knowledge, statements and actions. Be a truse Salafi, but NOT BE A HIZBI SALAFI. Where anyone that differs with us on in minor issues are struck off the manhaj. If a person is known generally to have the correct Islamic Aqeedah and manhaj and loves the Scholars he/she is a salafi, even though that person may have slight mistakes or misconceptions. Also we should not have any problems in calling ourselves Salafi to distuingish from other Muslims. But it should be used as a badge or a label, but only as an ascription, as an identification. As this is legislated. We should not be embarrsed in calling ourselves Salfi just because of being steriotyped, should we stop calling ourselevs Muslims??? due to Terrorist Muslims.
    So the Salafi Dawah will always be here and will always be strong, insha’Allaah. But in certain places it may weak, be looked at in a negative manner due to some Hizbi Salafis, who due to lack of ilm and hawa give a bad name to it. May Allah guide us all to the original islam and make us die upon it.

  37. Also we should not have any problems in calling ourselves Salafi to distuingish from other Muslims. But it should NOT be used as a badge or a label, but only as an ascription, as an identification. As this is legislated. We should not be embarrsed in calling ourselves Salafi just because of being steriotyped, should we stop calling ourselevs Muslims??? due to Terrorist Muslims.
    So the Salafi Dawah will always be here and will always be strong, insha’Allaah. But in certain places it may weak, be looked at in a negative manner due to some Hizbi Salafis, who due to lack of ilm and hawa give a bad name to it. May Allah guide us all to the original islam and make us die upon it

  38. muh says:

    May Allah unify us on all on the correct manhaaj . AMEEN

  39. elias ahmed says:

    Nowadays, many amatuer Muslim scholars have started giving extreme and unpractical fatwas based on the blind following of some ulemas on certain iss;ues such as face veils. Their representations seem to be a disastrous deprture from the true message oo Islam carried out from Salaf and sticking on to less significant issues, hampering the spread of Islam.

  40. Abu Ubaydillah says:

    Jazaakallahu Khayran katheera. Wallaahi this really opened my eyes and gave me such a good insight, ive understood things much better. im a convert and have pretty much always been deobandi-ish with salafi tendancies (if thats poss). Wanting to understand the salafi movement properly as a few salafi friends i have really put me off.
    Its helped me reach the conclusion that, the theological differences, the dawah, the ulama, are not the problem, and are all valid. Rather its the movements issues and the way these things have been applied by some.
    Allah reward you.

  41. Jamil says:

    Ya Abdulla Hoja many blessings for telling it like it is & was … this new phase of puritanical creeds that look backward without seeing the whole of history or even the origins of Islam as it came through Muhammed the Messenger. Too many of the posters on this site fall into a shirk of putting Muhammed on a high tower, whereas he was a man, like the rest of us, only chosen to carry a message. When we put more emphasis on the messenger than the message … problems arise … read the sira and learn about the politics among the ansari & muhajir, and forget about how short the cloth or long the beard. Those are distractions from the main thread, the true path or shariah, not the law books that were written by men, but the inner light and peace from surrender of the ego / nafs & delusion of external power and proper behavior, when it is the soul and spirit we are to cultivate … as an American I am so sad that so many bros & sis got caught up in such a narrow view & understanding of Islam, entering the door & standing in a broom closet when the whole palace is open, from garden to rooftop many rooms to experience … but this cult-like phase will pass on as have many other such myopic visions of the broad, deep splendor of Islam, neo Kharajites or Salafi, Wahabi, or whatever … when American Muslims find ourselves we will sing with the winds, roar with the ocean waves, sit still like ice, climb mountains, experience the wonders of Allah through Creation as Nature, explorations of mind, peace of heart, and come to understand the oneness, the Tawheed of it all …

  42. Abdullah64 says:

    This was a great article I read it a year or so ago but glad I came upon it again. Jazak Allah khair.
    I am a traditional muslim, I follow a school of thought (Hanafi), but I strongly believe in Muslim unity. Unfortunately, quite a few salafi brothers do not think unity is as important as being harsh with other muslims. I listen to salafi speakers’ lectures and traditional speakers’ lectures…but what is described in the article is very true. I go to a traditional masjid and we have salafis praying here too and we’ve had salafis yell at the imam during jummah khutbah and even fight with the imam in front of the entire congregation on a ishaa after salaah when the imam gave a talk. Our masjid is not a sufi masjid, the imam is deobandi and when he is not there he has no problem letting a salafi brother (who is a normal brother,not extreme) give khutbah, lead salaah,etc. I am a hanafi but definitely lead towards deobandis myself as far as celebrating Prophet’ saw birthday,etc. There are good bidah, there are bad bidah. Salafis have to realize that they are (and always will be) the minority of muslims and so if the some of them want to be isolated from everyone else, then they can continue doing what they are doing, passing takfeer left and right, but meanwhile they will miss out on a lot of great things including brotherhood, which is also a part of Islam. I have close salafi friends but we don’t get into discussions of salafi versus non salafi-we are all muslims, and we have a lot where we can unite. A lot of salafis I have met are very harsh as well and to be fair, so are some traditional muslims and I know of traditional muslims also that pass takfeer easily. Let’s be brotherly and treat each other well and not be extremist in any way.

  43. jamil says:

    it seems some of us americans get wrapped up in exotics, foreign language like arabic, we can say everything we need to say about islam in plain english, allah never said that arabic should be the only language of muslims, but too much gets confused in the esoteric aspects of rhetoric — the sister who said she refuses to hang a label on herself must be blessed in our eyes as it is by labeling subtexts that we cause fitna- discord.

    every muslim should be a bit of a sufi or mystic as far as they are able to reach their inner spiritual self, rather than rumble around in externalities, like how your feet are pointed, of being seduced by one preacher or another,

    islam is really simple, just believe in the unity of all creation and a common process of creation that unites us with each being and with the creator or creative force … weak minded have to anthropomorphize — or try to package that creativeity in human language and symbols, like calling allah a he and thinking of everything in human terms, after all allah created billions of different species from single cell amoeba to mold spores, viral communities, redwood trees, elephants & dinasauers — all have their roles to play in the big earth planet dance … as do stones, lava, magma, hydrological processes, H2O, carbons, atoms, neutrons, electrons, quarks, radio waves, light rays, ultraviolet, and radioactive salts in the earth …

    just live in peace with your neighbors, the plants and animals that feed us, and those that don’t ….

    that’s all really that the creator asks, all the rest of the mumbo-jumbo just confuses the naturalness of life and living in harmony with the rest of creation

  44. Abul Qayyim Faheem ibn Talut says:

    As salaamu alaikum,

    I would like to see someone respond to the questions raised by the brother Abdullah

  45. Hamas says:

    …and now almost dead and you may wonder way?

    Here:

    http://salafiaqeedah.blogspot.com/

  46. Assalamu alaykum

    Do read the following:

    THE CONDUCT OF THE PIOUS SAINTS & SHARIAH AND TARIQAH: http://www.raza.co.za/publications_conduct_of_the_pious_saints.html

    Glimpses of the Sufi Path, Love by Faqeer Saeed Ali Chopdat Sarweri Qaderi: http://sultanbahu.org.za/pdfdocs/irfan_shawaal_2009.pdf

    THE DOCTRINE OF AHL AL-SUNNA VERSUS THE “SALAFI” MOVEMENT: http://www.sunnah.org/publication/fajr/fajr.htm

    Al-Albani Unveiled, An Exposition of His Errors
    and other important issues Compiled by Sayf ad-Din Ahmed ibn Muhammad: http://www.ummah.net/Al_adaab/albintro.html

    Islamic websites:
    Shaykh Sayed Muhammad bin Yahya al-Husayni an-Ninowy’s homepage: http://alhaqq.net/alhaqq/

    Shaykh Sayed Muhammad al-Yaqoubi al-Hassani: http://www.sacredknowledge.co.uk/

    http://www.islamicacademy.org
    http://www.razaNW.org

    The Khanqah of the Chishti Nizami Habibi Soofie International Sufi Order, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 100year old Khanqah:
    1) Download the MUST HEAR English lecture by Qaid-e-Ahle Sunnat Hazrat Molana Shah Ahmed Noorani Siddiqui al-Qadri R.A. son of the Great Muballigh of Islam Hazrat Molana Mohammed Abdul Aleem Siddiqui al-Qadri R.A. entitled “Dismantling of the Caliphate and Wahabiism” at:http://sufi.co.za/audio_lecturesulama.htm

    2) Read the translated into English speeches of Hazrat Molana Mohammed Shafee Okarvi al-Qadri R.A. at: http://sufi.co.za/translated.htm

    Watch Aqeedah of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat by Molana Arshad Misbahi (Manchester,UK): http://www.youtube.com/abdulmustafa786#g/c/8A5D80F85D3CDEFB

    Download the Taswwuf lecture by Hazrat Molana Fazlur Rahman Ansari al-Qadri R.A.: http://www.fazlurrahmanansari.org/?page_id=26

    http://www.islam786.com

    Islamic bookstores:
    UK: http://www.MadaniPropagation.com
    South Africa: http://www.raza.co.za

    JazakAllah
    Assalamu alaykum
    Zaynul Abideen
    http://www.youtube.com/abdulmustafa786

  47. MsCarver says:

    I think what you wrote was very real and honest to your experience. You spoke the truth and there is nothing wrong with that. Interesting article

  48. t.numan says:

    Excellent article everytime I read the comments I realized that my fam and I have done the right thing by leaving this cult called salafism. Islam is way of life, Allah is the only One and Only diety Worthy of our complete submission to not human beings..Allah is our judge not human beings, Only Allah will enter us into Jannah or Jahanam not human beings

  49. Swarthmoor says:

    Abul-Qayyim,

    I am in NO WAY affiliated with the so-called Salafis (Wahhabis), but i will try to answer some of the points. First and foremost, the correct Aqidah has to be established in a person’s mind: Allah does not need or resemble the creations. Allah is not an object, and Allah exists without time, place, or direction. This is the Muslim belief. The Wahhabis, on the other hand, pray to a giant shadow casting smiling face entity with two feet, one shin, eyes, 10 or 12 fingers on two right hands. This is their belief with no distortion. The Muslims and the Wahhabis have two different beliefs about the Creator of the universe. It is not possible for Muslims to unite with people under the banner of Islam with people who are masquerading as Muslims while calling people to kufr.

    With all that said, the Wahhabis do have a strong sense of ordering the good and forbidding the evil (in their own distorted sense). They understand that unity cannot be established on ignorance, misguidance, or differences in core `Aqidah issues. They also have the notion of takfeer. Making takfeer is not a bad thing—it is a GREAT thing when done in conformity with the Laws of the Religion. If we refuse to make takfeer, then the likes of Irshad Manji, Louis Farrakhan, and those at the Pink Mosque who claim homosexuality is halaal, would all be able to call themselves “Muslims” and we would not be able to call these people out.

    Every Muslim must be clear in his (or her) mind that there is a distinction between Islam and kufr. There are things that one cannot hesitate in deeming as kufr, such as, believing Allah is an object, or that Allah is not the Creator of everything, or that throwing the Qur’an in the trash. It is important that we not abandon the principle of takfeer; otherwise, we will see that the contagion being promoted in the West by the likes of Sherman Jackson, Hamza Yusuf, the neo-Wahhabis (e.g., Yassir Qadhi), and the Zaytunis, which is based upon sullying the distinction between Islam and disbelief and suppressing the knowledge about kufr and apostasy.

  50. umm fulaan says:

    بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
    الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه ومن والاه وبعد
    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
    Subhanallaah May Allah forgive me for reading this mess. O muslim Fear Allah and go learn your religion. The Salafi Da’wah is that of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. It is the Religion of Islam – pure and free from any additions, deletions or alterations. It is to adhere to the Path of the Messenger (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and of the True Believers (as-Salaf us-Salih). As-Salaf is a collective term referring to the Pious Pioneers in Islam and all those who follow in their footsteps in belief, actions and morals. Allah has said (what means): Whoever contends with and contradicts the Messenger after guidance has been clearly conveyed to him, and follows a path other than that of the Faithful Believers, We shall leave him in the Path he has chosen and land him in Hell, what an evil destination! [An Nisa 4:115].
    We ask Allah (ta’ala) to guide us to the truth, to steady our feet, and to forgive our shortcomings.
    سبحانك اللهم وبحمدك أشهد أن لا إله إلا أنتأستغفرك وأتوب إليك

  51. Abu Anas As Salafi says:

    Ahkee,?
    What does this have to do with the Minhaj of the Prophets? Yes, we have some social issues. So, you wrote off the Minhaj of the Prophets because someone was MEAN to you? Or someone was mean to this sister?

    “White women are a rare commodity”…what kind of slanderous speech is this against our brothers…..it seems like you have more of a problem with someone then this dawah.

    • umm abdillaah says:

      Na’am

    • Magnoona Fi Misr says:

      No, the problem is THE DAWAH and the MORONS that follow it. They and their scholars have rose from the Horn Of the Shaitan……….Salafis read such skewed history and are so worried about the length of their pants, women hoochies in hijab and niqab, calling each other ukti and collecting welfare. If they don’t breathe like Bin Baz it is bidaa. May Allah save us all from this deviant sect. The time is now and they are being exposed for the haters of Ahl ul Bayt they are………….

  52. Abu bin Aboo says:

    The Salafi dawah is dead! … so Dead.

    the word ‘Dawah’ next to Salafi (Wahabi) is an oxymoron. Dawah means to invite someone to Islam, someone you care, love for. People only invite others to their houses if they respect, love and enjoy their company, Salafi do not see others these manners even amongst themselves. Look at all the websites they operate filled with backbiting. They arguments are so stupid and childish…something like this

    ” It has come to our attention that our Abu Jahil al-Stupido al Manhattaniyyah al New Yorkani al Amriki al-wanna bee in the Minhaj has misled you and others; you ask why? he has said that it is permissible to buy car insurance because we are in the land of mushrik. He is not from the Minhaj—he is a Sufi, innovator and ahlul-bidah”

    Does how stupid their arguments are.

    No Saudi money? No Salafiyyah. Like it or not they are nothing but nuisance.

  53. thequestioner says:

    Abu Anas As Salafi, if we thought that you Salafis followed the “Minhaj of the Prophets” we wouldn’t be disputing you in the first place.

  54. Pingback: Dawud Adib: letting it eat away? | Indigo Jo Blogs

  55. As-Salaam alaikum, Umar. I am very saddened to hear that you, and other past or present Salafis ever willingly subjected yourselves to such mean-spirited mind control. I feel so favored that Allah (SWT) always guided me away from “the Dawah”. Long before I had really studied Sunni Islam, it was plain to me that Salafis were some of the most unhappy people I had ever known.

    They lived in a grim, joyless world where EVERYTHING was either “Shirk” or “Bid’ah”, and therefore haram. Nobody and nothing was “on the Haqq”. I felt sorry for them, and wanted none of their brand of Islam. If there is no happiness or peace in someone’s religion, something’s very wrong.

    Now, as a happy Hanafi, I know quite well the errors of the Salafi Manhaj. Self-taught “Scholars”, following opinions of deviant Scholars, one of whom died in prison, and worst of all, anthropomorphism. May Allah guide us all to the Truth, Ameen.

  56. Abu sadness says:

    I was part of the salafi dawah until the broke my family up, boycotted me and lied to me and about me. I am sad to see people claim such piety yet are so mean, I called a prominent salafi masjid in philly, I begin with the salam, and proceeded to tell them what happened to me, their words were ” forget about her and get another one” , after 3 yrs a child and spending every day and night together, you want me to forget her? really? can anyone of you show me a hadeeth, ayah or even any of the words from the “salafi ulama” that this is correct? I doubt it.

  57. Abu Ismail says:

    As Salamu Alaikum,
    When I took Shahadah in the 90s I lived in the community in question and attended Dar Al Arqam for a time. There was some good brothers there mashallah. I was around when things started to really fall apart and it was sad and dishearting to say the least. I always had some concerns and issues with Salafi Dawah however my position then and now was that we should make a better effort to be united as the Muslims are in a challenging situation right now. At the same time in their defense I feel I learned a lot about the deen during my brief time there. For the most part I feel they have good intentions but for some of them their methodology is off.

    There are some things that went on there toward the end that aren’t mentioned here, I believe if the readers here knew it would make you drop to your knees in disbelief. May Allah guide us and show us the error of our ways ad may he forgive us for our short comings. I should mention that you will find issues in other communities as well. Perhaps not to this extent but they do exist. It is my understanding that we should be balanced in our approach and not lean too far in either direction. I disagree with labels personally and just prefer to be called Muslim. Make dua for me family and I will do the same for you.

  58. mohammed says:

    Mr Umar lee and others who condemn Salafi’s , it can clearly be understood about their ignorance and making immature statements.
    All those ranting against Salafis are talking with half knowledge. Do you know that all Salafis are not Same. And that all those whom claim themselves Salafis dont just become Salafis.
    I have personally met a Salafi jamaat members who are very kind,polite and have qualities of a momen.
    these Salafi haters have one very decieving tactic , They lie and make accusations which are not true. This way they make others into believing that salafis are extremist. Ask yourself people , is Calling people to way of Prophet SAWS and his Companions an act of extremism?

    What about you Sufis who go to graves and worship the dead… Collecting money and cheating people who make ziyarat to graves and ammassing a fortune. following practices which in no way were practiced by the Prophet saws or Sahaba.

    you havew this Sufi dumbo called snake Nazim(of naqshabandi) and when i read his teachings i was about to puke. He says he will come and help you answer the Questions which the angel will ask when you are in the grave(provided you are his follower) ……Can you imagine this nonsense??? He goes to the point of claiming that he is Present at 7 different places at the same time ( an attribute only to Allah SWT) …………..

    This idiot snake nazim also denies Jihad and says that Jihad is not neccessary till the Mehdi arrives.I ask this moron , did the Sahaba R.A did a mistake by going to Jihad, and did Salahuddin Ayubi did a mistake by liberating jerusalem.

    Even your own Sheikh , Mr .Umar leee has a cultish personality.He says he communicates with Awliyah who are no more in this world. He claims to travel thousands of miles when his disciples call him for help and assists them . what is this a joke ? Even Sahaba’s did not perform these kinds of feat …who are these guys i ask?
    I am not a part of the salafi jamaat , but i know they are not like how it is described in this report. So anyone ranting against Salafis, first look how degraded you yourself are ………..and without knowing about all Salafi jamaat’s dont talk ignorantly.!!

  59. john says:

    Look what Umar lee’s Sheikh says about himself –
    “:When I was the age of ten, my grandmother, use to say, it was very common for her to behold with open eyes Hazrat Ali (Karam Allahu Wajhu) (k.w.). He would appear from nowhere and would pick me up, and take me away with him. She would cry because of my departure, but Hazrat Ali (k.w._ would put his finger to his lips directing her to be silent and assuring her that he would bring me back. He would take me away for some time and then he would bring me back. I was being prepared to play my future role. One could say this was my first unsolved mystery – only those who understand know well that Hazrat Ali (k.w.) is the king of Walis and Sufis.”

    In another place it mentions ” While growing up I had many experiences that at the time I did not understand. I use to receive visits from many non-human beings. They became my followers. They would serve me and served me well. Though in my youth, I did not engage myself in intensive dhikr and riyadha, Hazrat Ali (k.w.) had laid down a very strong foundation as obviously he was looking after me as I mentioned in the previous chapter.Hazrat Ali (k.w.) was and still is my sheikh. He is also the sheikh of my talibs and talibahs. For example, I taught the recitation of the famous supplication of Hazrat Ali (k.w.) to one of my young lady talibahs in the USA. She is now a very famous singer of Islamic songs. From the beginning we always thought her recitation of this special dua was quite beautiful. However, we did not know there was still room for improvement until Hazrat Ali (k.w.) appeared to her and taught her how to recite it properly. ”

    i was shocked that people can even believe in such nonsense nonsense.If this Sheikh of yours is really meeting Hazrat Ali. How come , many other leading Scholars like those of Azhar university and elswhere are unable to meet Hazrat Ali . More importantly , how come the 2nd and 3rd generation of Muslims could not meet Hazrat Ali after his death …………This is a question to all those ranting against Salafi path.

  60. Ngakhadir says:

    To brother Umar:
    I first came across this article while researching an article in the June 2010 issues of the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. The article was written by Shadeed Elmasry and it was entitled “The Salafis in America: the Rise, Decline and Prospects for a Sunni Muslim Movement among African Americans”. I found it very refreshing and relevant and I was eager to find the “book” by Umar Lee, in which Elmasry gathered the bulk of his information. It was my wish to recommend it for our library collection. Of course I didn’t realize it was a blog. My point is that I think that it can/should eventually be a book. I must say was thrown off by the “prequel” you included by the sister. I do not care to post my response to her on this blog due to its length. I would however greatly appreciate if you can find a way to make sure she receives it.
    Disclaimer: What I am about to say is from my personal observations and are general in nature. I will single out particular races for the purposes of knowing one another and not dividing. However many brothers and sisters who belong to the sub groups are dear to my heart and I want to make it clear that I understand fully that the negative ones I make mention of do not represent in the least, your own practices, behaiviors, or beleifs. thAny negative aspects I may point out are not indicative of everyone in this particular race.
    In order to avoid confusion I start with definitions
    “white” – It is used in quotations in order to acknowledge that I don’t fully ascribe to such racial categorizations. I use it out of convenience
    AA – African American (African descendants that can trace their history to Antebellum America
    Arab / Asian / Foreigner – I use the terms generically and interchangeably. The generally define Muslims who cannot trace their history to Antebellum America (This includes their 1st 2nd and 3rd generation children)
    Indigenous – Americans irrespective of race that can trace their history to Antebellum America
    Abeed / a – I have never personally used the term to refer to a black person as I find it offensive. I only use it in the paper when personifying those Arabs I have heard using it.
    I must however take issue with many of the assumptions our sister puts forth in the prequel. My first impression upon reading it is that it smacked of arrogance then racism. It sounded initially like the form of racism typically propagated by foreign born Muslims, who are ever eager to malign and step on African American (AA) Muslims in order to achieve a head start in their race to economic and social upward mobility.
    The peculiar case of the white female convert.
    I find the case of the white American female convert to Islam an interesting case. White supremacy is a social ill that many (including AA Muslims) struggle to overcome. In my personal experience white males who accept Islam seem more capable of overcoming white supremacy than their female counter parts. I am Muslim father and husband. I do not claim any allegiance to a particular community. I am educated and I currently work in academia. I have taught at western institutions as well as Islamic institutions both domestically and abroad. I am not an Imam, not have I dedicated my life to the study of Islamic sciences at any similar level, however my position in various communities has placed me into contact with a similar wide range and number of Muslims individuals and families as might be expected by an Imam. By working very closely with Imam’s in the US and abroad I have observed marriages and marriage patterns among many groups and it is my observations that I have never come across any indication that indigenous American Muslims (White, Black, or other) considers white Muslim converts a “Prized possession”
    Busting the “White-Muslimah Prized Commodity” Myth”
    Making White female converts, or white converts in general, into a prized commodity is a phenomena found almost exclusively in the foreign community (see Arab / Asian). In masjids run by first generation foreigners they are given celebrity status, granted the mimbar, granted media attention, lecture tours, audio recordings, publishing opportunities, and placed the boards of masjids and national Muslim organizations. I have witnessed in one masjid, a new white shahada barely a few months into Islam, granted to the mimbar in order to give a Friday Khutbah. This was done by the foreign Imam inspite of the fact that many learned pioneers existed in the congregation, but happened to be AA. My wife’s close friend (an AA Muslimah) recalls her first experience with racism in the masjid when she and her “white friend” took shahadah on the same day. Instantly her friend was granted hugs kisses, phone numbers, emails, and dinner invitations, while she virtually ignored.
    Many “white” brothers I know tend to shun this instant celebrity status. Some of them avoid foreign dominated masjids due to the embarrassment. A good friend of mine, a medical doctor studying for the priesthood, was a living gold mine in the South Asian dominated masjid in his vicinity but is content with the simple friendship and annonyminity he receives at the AA dominated masjid further away from him.
    White Muslims are largely ignored by the rest of us.
    As for the allegation that white muslimah’s are a “prized commodity” to AA Muslims, this is simply not true. White Muslimah’s are not even considered prized commodities among “white” Muslim brothers who tend to marry foreign and even AA Muslimah’s. As for the “white” Muslimah the masjid boards where they sit, mimbars where they speak, and national organizations they preside over are in the large part controlled by foreign Muslims.
    I do not suggest that none of them have become very talented while serving in this capacity, what I do mean to say is that many foreign Muslims seem to fall prey to white supremacy by trampling over the base of Islam (AA pioneers) in order to hand the mimbar over to the white convert neophyte, to whom they feel his/her whiteness will single handedly improve the image of Islam by single mindedly focusing on the American elite (See white America) at the expense of the masses, who although they may be poor and misguided, may have been more sincere. Allah speaks of this mistake made by our prophet in Surah (80) Abasa
    The celebrity status that “white” converts receive from foreigners simply has no currency in indigenous American Muslim circles who, to the contrary are struggling hard to abandon such relics of white supremacy.
    The African American Muslim men follow similar marriage patterns. South Asian Muslims rarely marry outside of their race although they may make an occasional exception for some white women. By and large however the two main groups that “prize” marriage to white Muslimah’s are Gulf / Levantine Arabs and some Persian men.
    Historical patterns of African American interracial marriage.
    African American Men:
    Interracial marriages between AA and “white” Muslims do exist and as every American knows they have existed for a long before Islam was prevalent among the two groups in America. This is a fact that many first generation foreigners don’t seem to grasp. African Americans have historically married into every racial or ethnic group that they have come into close contact with. Entire tribes such as the Seminoles, exist out of generations of intermarriage between AA and Native Americans. The inhibition that AA people have toward interracial marriage is unparalleled among other groups in America and it was the fact that interracial marriage was so common, that the ruling elite felt they had to make laws against it.
    A good book on this subject is intimacy Interracial Intimacy: The Regulation of Race and Romance.
    What is lost on the first generation foreigner is that, no matter the message we put across to the world, blacks and whites in America are more intimate (for better or for worse) than any outsider can ever understand. So It’s ridiculous for a foreigner to assume, much less propagate the myth that, AA somehow had to wait to become Muslim in order to marry a white women. It’s even more ridiculous for an American Muslim to actually buy into it.
    Image of white Women in African American Muslims
    Islam gained a foothold in America buy its African American adherents, most of which came from the Nation of Islam. The death of Elijah’s death and rise of Warinth Deen Muhammad’s (WDM) so the largest single group conversion to Islam in American history. It is upon these institutions and leaders, that Islam in American is built upon. To understand the stance that AA muslim’s have toward white women today, you have to understand the stance which many adhered back in the NOI. During those days the common line was that “white women” were “She Devils.” While no WDM Muslim I know of today subscribes to the “white women are she devils” philosophy, It is peculiar to note that very few white women are given priority for marriage to AA Muslims in these circles.
    Although the above mentioned cultural and pseudo Islamic practices are relics on an un-Islamic past, we cannot pretend that they do not present themselves as cultural baggage for American Muslim converts. Just as a keen observer has an eye for such marriage patterns of AA Muslims given the historical and cultural context, a keen observer should also note a peculiarity in the marriage patterns of the white female convert.
    Some people notice an interesting phenomena of the white female convert is that as she grows in her Iman, she (rightfully) proceeds to smash every false idol of her native western culture yet for some peculiar reason she knowingly, or unknowingly lets live the idol, of not marrying the AA man.
    Marriage is a choice between a man and a women, so I am not suggesting that marriage to any particular person stand as some sort of acid test of faith. It is nevertheless baffling for the rest of world to watch white convert categorically reject eligible Muslim men from the one racial and cultural group that:
    (1) Is most numerically readily available to them (numerically there are more African American Muslims a than any other single ethnic group including white males)
    (2) The one culture she is most familiar with (No one black, white, or other grows up in America without becoming familiar with African American culture.
    (3) Has the strongest historical precedence of intermarriage (chances are Blacks have already been introduced to her family lineage long before any Arabs)
    (4) The group that she was probably most likely to have dated (sometimes even exclusively) (before Islam)

    Birth of a Nation
    What bothers me most about the sisters narrative is that it bears a striking similarity to the white supremacist “Birth of a Nation-myth.” This motion picture (falsely) depicting the reconstruction has been seared in the mind of Americans for decades to come. For those who are unfamiliar the basic premise is that “Black men, are lazy, criminal, and irresponsible and if the Black man in given his freedom, the first thing he will do to validate himself is to attempt to marry a white woman.” The only difference in my sisters narrative is a change of the characters. Freedom is replaced with Islam, The American landscape is replaced with the Masjid, the role of Gus (the newly emacipated Slave) is played by the lazy lecherous polygamist Salafi, and the role of the white knight hero on horseback (Klansman) played by the Arab fiancé turned husband.
    70 Excuses …here we go
    I do not mean to accuse all of my “white” sisters of knowingly buying into white supremacy. I think that it is important to lay these facts bare. Namely for those who are not familiar with AA Islam and whose only introduction to it has been presented by the negative examples of the Salafi, a short lived fringe movement of no substantial influence outside of EO NJ, Philly, or VA/DC. It is in the spirit of Islam and fairness (one and the same) that I provide all of my brothers and sisters with excuses that may likely apply for those who do not believe themselves to be in this category.
    Alternative reasons why white converts are not marrying AA males
    Although I know it when I see it, I do not believe that EVERYTHING is born out of racism. Our mother Khadijah r.a. sought out marriage with our prophet (pbuh) however many women, even in the west are too shy to be so bold when it comes to marriage. Thus some women will accept marriage from those who persistently pursue them. In some cases they will neglect marrying with those who they may have been interested simply because the latter didn’t “try hard enough.” What “white” converts are probably noticing is that these “Black” Muslims, for what ever reason are “Not trying hard enough” After all from reading the post I was surprised that my sister never mentioned that any of these ‘polygamous salafi slackers’ actually made a single proposal to her. Which is strange given the fact that she was told that women like her were a prized commodity.

    Other barriers to interracial marriage
    White women are looked down upon by some racists when they marry an AA. This is especially the case among foreign Muslims. Many “white” converts may know of a suitable AA muslim yet they fear the social stigma that will occur if they do marry. This exists, by the way on both sides.
    The “Uncle Tom” stigma of marrying a “white girl” may still follow some African American brothers into Islam. In other cases it’s a bit more complicated among AA muslimahs whose reality dictate that they can only marry Muslims , and imagination dictates that they can only marry AA Muslims at that. These realities combined with preferences further restrict the pool from AA Muslimahs to chose from.
    How African American Muslimah’s make it difficult
    There are many AA sisters that are bitter at the phenomena of eligible brothers marrying Christian women, whilst there are still single Muslimahs in the community. Much of their frustration is of their own making due to the fact that they have declared the brother ineligible before he was actually ineligible in Islam (but that’s another conversation) Now throw in the fact that the Christian convert was a “white girl” and watch the sparks fly.
    This is one of the reasons that brothers “don’t try hard enough” and would rather simply avoid what to the neutral observer seems like a natural pair. After all why else wouldn’t the fastest growing indigenous Muslim population being married to the largest single indigenous population.
    Social-Economic reasons white converts may not marry AA Muslims
    Although I know of a few examples I have yet to become aware of a mass phenomena of poor white women accepting Islam. If these “white” female converts are of the middle class and upper class then it is more than likely that they would meet their future on a college campus, or at the workplace as opposed to “sitting in the masjid” at all hours of the day. White males are not entering into Islam in large numbers so if a convert were to meet her future husband among her colleagues it would most likely be a foreign Muslim as opposed to an AA Muslim. Now when trailer park women began to enter into Islam in droves then I would like to see how this new demographic plays out.
    White Women in the Arab Mind
    Arabs and Asians have an obsession with whiteness which is beyond that of white people. While many American whites wear suntan oil and lay on the beach or tanning bed, Arabs and Asians wear skin whitening lotion, and slink about from one shaded place to the next avoiding the sun.
    There was no comparable Black pride movement in Arab lands. There is also no history of white slave owner ship in these lands eithers. The lack of these realities translates into a lack of stigma toward the Arab in seeking out the white women and thus the Arab man does so unabashedly, not fearing the label “sellout” or “Uncle Tom”. Since his family back homes prizes such a union he is not afraid to put her on a pedestal once he “has” her . With no fault of her own, the “white” woman like any woman would naturally do, responds to the attention and gladly accepts a proposal to marry the man who adores her dearly and enter into a family who loves her so.
    So in the end it is the foreign Arab Muslim, not the indigenous African American Muslim, that wants the white feather in his hat. This has been the case evidenced in writing as early as Ibn Battuta to as recent as Sayyid Qutb. That being the case it now we can understand why he would project that accusation onto the America Muslims, whom he sees as his competition.
    In short the slave and slave mistress fantasy is long dead in the minds of African American men, if not in white women. However the Shiekh and the white girl in the Harem fantasy lives on in the mind of Arabs.
    Black women in the Arab Mind
    Arabs have a different obsession with Black women, one that stems from sexual lust rather than purity. Arab slave raids into African rarely constituted a search for chattel workers but rather domestic servants, most of whom were females. While many of the more pious Muslims, could and did marry their slaves others simply used them for their sexual pleasure.
    These attitudes carry on today among many Arabs. They do not hesitate, as much as South Asians do, to marry what they refer to as “an abeeda” (derogatory term for black girl / Literally: Slave) but they do hesitate when it comes to treating them as proper wives.

    The Green card ATM
    Many Imams and community members from the WDM community actively bar proposals from foreign men towards AA Muslimahs. Initially I criticized this activity until I witnessed the abuse that these men were carrying out on my sisters. These marriages typically ended with the brother neglecting his “wife” after the brother obtained his green card. After divorce sometimes the brother will marry the Arab girl who his family had arranged for him back in his village, or he will bring his wife (that he never told his “abeeda” about) over to America. I other cases he will marry a true American bride (See White Convert).
    “Slackers” deserve 70 excuses also
    A possible scenario
    Usually by the time the white female convert receives a proposal her Arab fiancé would have now been stable, legally employed in the country and ready for marriage. The “abeeda” that he neglected years ago will only be taken in by her own. She may even become a second wife to another AA Muslim who the Arab will disdainfully refer to as a group of lazy “abeedoon” and he will do his best to keep his new white wife away from. Sometimes he will even insist that they relocate or change communities lest this group inform his new wife about the truth of his past deeds.
    The pathologies of these so-called Salafi’s are bad, I have witnessed them as well and I don’t deny them. However African Americans have been plagued with the stereotype of being lazy, ignorant ecetera ever since the time of Slavery so, as negative as the image may be it is nothing new. So which image has done more damage to Islam in American, the ever recycled image of the lazy black-who is now Muslim, or the foreign Muslim terrorist.
    Laws and restriction have never been made against the former, yet an entire new world order was based on the later.

  61. Ngakhadir says:

    Syntax corrections:
    In the section titled African American Men:
    I said “The inhibition that AA people have toward interracial marriage is unparalleled among other groups in America”
    I meant: “The LACK of inhibition”
    In the section titled Interacial Intimacy: The Regulation of Race and Romance I left out the author.
    (Rachel F. Moran)

    I left out the bracket term: no matter the message we put across to the world…(in the media)

    I said: The death of Elijah’s death and rise of Warinth Deen Muhammad’s (WDM) so the largest single group conversion to Islam in American history.
    I meant: The death of Elijah and the Rise of Warinth Deen Muhammad (WDM) SAW the largest single group conversion to Islam in American history.
    In the section titled Birth of a Nation Myth
    I said: and if the Black man in given his freedom
    I meant: and if the Black man IS given his freedom

  62. umm abdillaah says:

    Asalamu’alaykum Bro umar, this is a really unfair post done in a very distasteful manner, regardless of how many people swear it’s excellence. So you are going to deny the legitamacy of the beliefs and actions of our Noble Messenger(sallahu alayhi wa sallam) because some brothers didn’t follow that way either in their manners or dawah. Come on, we don’t accept the dawah based on how we feel, we testify to we on knowledge and uphold it with sincerity. We have some people in our communities who act contrary to the salaf, but they are human and people fall short this is the characteristic of baani Aadam alayhi wa salam. You have bad sufi’s, bad takfeeri’s bad ikhwaani’s but what makes Ahlul-sunnah(salaffiyah) different is in creed creed and minhaj they are correct and they will always refer back to the kitaab and the sunnah upon the correct understanding in all matters.
    Don’t sell yourself short akhi, by waging war upon salaffiyah because this is the path that Allaah is pleased with. Being upon the haqq you should have followed this command ….

    O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger, and those of you who are in authority. If you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger if you believe in Allaah and the Last Day. This is better and more suitable for final determination.” (Sura #4 ayah #59)

  63. Fairmuslimmaiden says:

    Salafis should be exterminated from the planet. They and their scholars will rise from the Horn Of the Shaitan………They need to worry less about their Pee-Wee Herman pants, and welfare collecting hoochie women in hijab and niqab………..They want to the ummah to grow with their illiterate spawn……I wouldn’t even touch the food of these heathens!

  64. Badu says:

    Bismillahi Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem Watching and writing on this page using Lee and his sister to write these bad things about islam and the salafi way .This is All work from them out brothers and sisters are with them so dont follower them and they info about salafi experiences from 1980’s Salafi Movement and Rise and Fall of The Salafi Movement wow i can say i seen it all.

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