Clarification and more thoughts

After completing the ten-part rise and fall of the Salafi Dawah in America series I wanted it to marinate for a while and for readers to be able to voice their opinions on what had been written and their own observations. Before giving further comments, I received numerous emails asking me to clarify the title of these posts. After thinking about it, I should have called these posts “The Rise and Fall of the Salafi Movement in the US”.

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. This ultimately brought the entire movement down. The mistakes and zealousness of the TROID/SP/QSS elements does not stop truth from being truth for all times. There was no vision on how to deal with social problems other than BLASTING a brother for his faults, making him/her feel like crap and boycotting them. This methodology of blasting and boycotting was a failure and this is what I was referring to – along the failure to deal with it and adjust to the post 9/11 world. I hope that this makes things clear. To the brothers that were attacking Ali At-Timimi, you all need to be for real. He never abused sisters like some of those that attacked him.

To proceed, masha’ Allah there was a lot of interesting discussion on the topic by those who were intimately involved in the dawah and those who looked in from the outside. I have been deeply moved by the comments of the sisters, many of whom were deeply hurt and abused by brothers that were supposed to be following the minhaj of the Salaf and that issue, of the dysfunctional marriages within the American-Muslim community in general, and the Salafi community in particular, represents dirty laundry that needs to be aired. Some have come to me and said that maybe these issues don’t need to be discussed in such a public format while recognizing that these problems exist. Others are still in denial. It is my assertion that if these issues are not discussed here they will not be discussed anywhere and people will be left to cry to themselves at night and think that they are all alone.

This and other forums will, Insha Allah, be a means to improve this situation instead of continuing to ignore it. There is a loneliness to being a Muslim in America, and there is a depression that permeates those that follow the Sunnah that Muhammad Al Shareef attributes to the fact that we are living a dual existence as Muslims in behaving and speaking one way around Muslims, another way around our coworkers and fellow students (and to add my own view possibly even a third way around our families).

If we cannot talk about these problems for fear of other people witnessing the conversation then the problems will often go unattended to. Marriage is an issue that came to think about after reading the comments. I have known for some time that there were speakers in Salafi circles who had been married and divorced 20 times and that it was very common for brothers to be married 10 or 15 times. Just as these brothers did in the streets before they were Muslims, they left a trail of children that they are not taking care of and abandoned women behind as they talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk. In the comments to the series we have heard the pain of these sisters who were sincere in the deen, devout in their practice, and had a love of the Sunnah; but were abused by a community that did not take the interests of sisters to heart.

Many of these abused sisters have left the deen, and may Allah guide them back to the Haqq, and many, masha’ Allah, have remained in the deen. One sister commented that problems began when “marriage became a joke” and can anyone argue that did not occur when you had speakers who would come in town for lectures and marry a sister they met that night and consummate the marriage only to never see the sister again?

Does anyone believe that the young Muslim children from such relationships do not have a positive Muslim male role-model in their lives? If they are not getting it from their fathers they are surely not getting it from the public schools they probably go to or their non-Muslim grandparents. The next time they will get attention from Muslim men will be when they girls are being chastised for wearing revealing clothes as teenagers and the boys are out on the streets. If the community is going to go into a positive direction then it is going to have to address the problem of marriage and family in the community. It must no longer be acceptable for brothers and elders in the community to prey on sisters.

We must also recognize that those of us who are converts, and come from dysfunctional homes and backgrounds of poverty, more than likely have never seen a functional marriage up-close and that we will need classes and counseling on this issue.

People will say “this is not from the Sunnah”, and will say what counseling did the Sahabah get, and that is all good, but the fact of the matter is that “game” has entered the community in the form of brothers that have been raised to believe skills in the art of deception are a virtue and that Islam is just another thing to game and play with and therefore it is more important to look and talk like a believer then actually behave and believe like one.

Can anyone be surprised that a brother from a broken-home, who barely knows has father, watched his mother get beaten by multiple boyfriends, and has two or three “baby-mammas” enters Islam and gets divorced ten times and has a few Muslim kids he isn’t taking care of? Is sitting around and loitering in Yemen for a few months supposed to stop this behavior? Or can he just listen to some CD’s or lectures while driving around checking out girls wearing tight-jeans and saying “subhannallahu akh, Id like to get that in hijab” and that will teach him how to be a good husband? Then again, maybe he can go and listen to a lecture in person from one of the lecturers who is skilled in the art of “hit and run” Muslim marriages.

If the community is going to go into a positive direction then it is going to have to address the problem of marriage and family in the community. It must no longer be acceptable for brothers and elders in the community to prey on sisters. We must also recognize that those of us who are converts, and come from dysfunctional homes and backgrounds of poverty, more than likely have never seen a functional marriage up-close and that we will need classes and counseling on this issue. This IS something of benefit!

What these brothers need are classes and time to develop and they don’t need to be rushed into marriage by the community and need to be taught that contrary to what they heard on the streets it is possible for a man to go without sex for a little while and this is what separates us from the animal kingdom. When we enter the deen we need to be reprogrammed, and this goes for those who came from educated backgrounds as well, just as what is in the streets is false, what you have learned at college in many of your classes and the media represents another falsehood. The sisters are not perfect, far from it, and just as the brothers learned the wrong things coming up so did the sisters, and thus has made many of them less than desirable. However, they have clearly taken the brunt of the beating amongst the community and whatever problems they have I am sure sisters can address.

The Future of the Dawah

Several months after I had taken shahadah I was with the Jama’at-Tabligh in Chicago and a brother from New York told me ” since you are now a Muslim it is a must that choose a madhab” and I had never heard the word madhab and asked him what it meant and he gave me a brief explanation and told me of the 4 different schools of thought. Without knowing anything I looked at him and said “I want to follow the madhab of the Prophet and the same one as the Sahabah”. I couldn’t understand how it could be mandatory for a Muslim to follow a madhab when they came about after the Prophet (s.a.s.). Allah blessed me with that understanding at a primitive stage in the deen and it was reinforced over the years by teachers of mine such as Sheikh Abdul-Rahman Basheer, Sheikh Ali al-Timimi and Abu Muslimah. Today I still hold true to that, and seek to follow the dawah of Ibn Taymiyyah.

Unlike any other group in the ummah that has a beginning and a founder after the Prophet Muhammad (sas) the founder of this dawah is the Messenger of Allah (s.a.s.) and in following the dawah of the Salaf we are seeking to go back to the root and remove man made traditions, cultural baggage, and superstitions to call to and strive for what is pure. Because of the fact seek to go back to the root, and not let the teachings and traditions of men supercede what the earliest generations were upon, we are strangers in this world. Despite what problems may exist within the community, and what we had to go through as highlighted in this series, it is that desire for purity in religion that I still strive for and I know many of you do as well. The enemies of the Salafi Dawah, and the callers to the ways of culture and tradition and modernism and any other ism that is at odds with the Sunnah, should not delight, this deen, as taught by the Messenger of Allah (sas) has been preserved until the Day of Judgment when all else shall vanish.


25 thoughts on “Clarification and more thoughts

  1. Umar,

    I havent had the heart to comment on your series because I like TROID, Salafi Publication, and love the books that they sell on their sites. Alot of what I have learned about Islam have been from brothers who are down with them like Abu Khadeejah, the late Abu Uwais, Hasan As Somali, Dawood Adeeb, and others.

    Dont you think we all need to be a bit discerning?

  2. Bikhair,

    I am not saying that every single thing the brothers you mentioned or TROID/SP was bad, but there is no doubt that they and others led the inquisition and insisted on the splitting that happened. The people under them led the hi tech lynchings, boycotting, and general chaos

  3. It’s probably because of the fact that moderate scholars generally don’t speak about these problems in public that they continue to spread. The average layman doesn’t realize that scholars are against performing jarh and ta’deel on the people of today.

  4. where to go now?

    i believe we need to educate ourselves on issues such family, sisterhood… brothers are too busy doing i don’t know what but failing us husbands, fathers,brothers, role models.

    Same with the sisters, subhanallaah how many times have you told a sister she should wear black? when was the last time you asked her how she was? how is her eemaan doing? how is her heart? or did you just sit in a circle and spend your timing discussing which imam/daee/shaykh is on it, off it?!

    i think the salafees need to step away from the name droping, even calling yourselves salafee, just for a short priod, our dawaah is IMPORTANT but not what we call yourselves, esp if it will deter people from listening to your message.
    (i will write more later)

  5. As Salaamu Alaikum wa rahmatuAllahi wa barakatuh,

    “He gave me a brief explanation and told me of the 4 different schools of thought. Without knowing anything I looked at him and said “I want to follow the madhab of the Prophet and the same one as the Sahabah””.

    MashaAllah. May Allah keep us all on the straight path, ameen.

  6. Assalamu Alaykum

    I think a lot of people forgot that when they were making dawa that they needed to be making dawa to themselves. AHkee I really loved your series(Did I tell you that already?) and I really loved your clarification although I dont think there was any need for that.I dont know what can be done to repair the pain, bitterness and evil that infected the salafees in the US. Unfortunately we can not go back in time and correct the initial mistakes and La Hawla Wala Quwatta Illa Billah but I do know this. We have a major responsibility to teach our children right fron wrong in an Islamic way.
    Troid and Sp etc have a HUGE responsibility for the era of character assasination and so yes the books they sell may be beneficial but the harm their websites inflicted on the muslims was a great evil. And lets be real. They selll books. They dont receive Wahy from Allah! The duaat that were popular in the US and were treated like Rock Stars need to be held accountable for their actions also. Sometimes it felt like Cmon now…another email blitz explaining the explanation (again!).
    Alhamdullah We’re older, fatter, wiser and over all that now.
    We have a wonderful opportunity to change the status quo. To break the mold and create a better more worthier a more sincere way of “being” in the US.I really urge all of us to start within and then to work our way out. Brothers..if you know men that have children and you havent heard about those kids for years…advise the brothers…..encourage them to contact those kids. ….and sisters…dont be afraid to MAKE those brothers BE responsible. Theres child support. Theres things that we should be doing to FORCE responsibility because thats only right. Yes we can do it by ourselves but all we do is enable those men to keep on having children with newer naieve women…thats not right.
    Anyways its lates o Gnite all!

  7. Assalamu alaikum, “following the madhhab of the Prophet” “following the Qur’an and Sunnah”, all of that sounds really good. OK, so let’s just forget that I follow a madhhab for a second. Let’s just say that I came to Islam today, and don’t know anything except La ilaha ill Allah, Muhammadah Rasulullah.

    Where do I go from here? If I want to “follow the Qur’an and Sunnah”, where do I go? Who are the “correct” scholars, and who are the “deviant” ones? When you talk about Fiqh? What kind of “fiqh” do you follow? Who or what do you take your knowledge from? When you talk about “referring it back to the Qur’an and Sunnah” “the book and the messenger” how do you go about doing this?

    What if I don’t know Arabic? Are the English translations of the Qur’an, Bukhari and Muslim, etc., are they good translations?

    When you take into account the thousands of ahadith which are out there, how do you try to operationalize this and make this in to the “Sunnah”? Do you think that the hadith and Sunnah are the same thing? Do you think that Muslims were deviant from the time of the Salaf until Ibn Tamiyah came along? What of the disagreements between the prophet’s companions and the salaf as a whole? Should there be differences of opinion on a given issue? Would you think or consider that the prophet may have done something differently, such as praying in a slightly different way at a given time, as an example?

    What exactly do you think is *wrong* with the people who do not follow the Salafi dawa? Where do you think we stand as Muslims? Do you think we are deviants, hypocrites, kafir?

    Do you think that those of us who do not subscribe to the Salafi dawa are “not following the Quran and Sunnah”? If not, how so? What do you think we are doing wrong?

    And all of these questions, along with the comments regarding your series of posts, are exactly why I *can’t* follow the Salafi dawa. Because which “dawa” is correct? Because even in the “Salafi dawa”, you see people labeling Shaykh So-and-So as “on the haqq”, while at the same time labelling another shaykh as “off it”, as you term it, or “deviatn”, or whatever. Is this really “getting back to the Qur’an and Sunnah”?

    Methinks not. Getting back to the Quran and Sunnah means following what Allah commands of us, and staying away from what He dislikes. It means following the Sunnah, and this doesn’t mean quoting a few ahadith here and there, and making a ruling from that, but trying to find out, exactly how the Prophet lived, how he treated people, his wives, his family, his neighbors, his companions, and try to exemplify that! “traditional”, as it has come to be called, does not mean “progressive”, or a “watered-down” “feel-good” version of Islam. In fact, it seems to me that “traditional Muslims” and “Salafis”, really have a lot more in common than we do wit the “progressives”, etc. However, when reading comments and reading things by some who call to the “Salafi dawa”, you’d think that they were the only “real” Muslims, and the rest of us are at best, “deviant” or “astray”, and at worst, “kafir”, or at least, heading dangerously close to kufr. It’s almost as if the rest of us aren’t even Muslim at all, which as we see, can lead to a dangerous slope, as it pertains to declaring Muslims as apostates, and then having the very fringe groups saying it is thus OK to kill them. It would seem to me that even if one follows the “Salafi dawa”, there has to be some recognition as to the danger of abandoning the seeking of knowledge, or Islamic scholarship entirely for a “cut-and-paste” “everything reduced to a slogan”, “anyone can be a scholar and make a fatwa” kind of Islam.

    But anyway, my point is, to me, the “Salafis” are not much different than those who would call themselves”Traditionalists”, though I’m not sure I really like that word! I’d say that all of us are trying to follow the Qur’an and Sunnah, and I don’t think that any orthodox practicing Muslim worth their salt would say otherwise.

    Even Salafis have to have some sort of methodology, some sort of fiqh (which is all a madhhab really is anyway). You have to have some methodology for deriving rulings and applying them in daily life. Not everyone has that ability. Not everyone can just go through the Qur’an, go through the varius collections of ahadith, and pick out rulings. We, even Salafis, have to follow people who know more than us, and get rulings from them.

    To me “following the madhhab of the prophet and his companions” sounds good, but how, in actuality, do you put that into practice? To me, a “traditionalist” would say that you would pick a madhhab, as the four madhhabs do use the Qur’an and haddith to derive rulings (and you think that we dont?).

    Basically, what I’m saying is that the slogans of “following the Qur’an and Sunnah”, or “following the madhhab of the prophet”, just don’t work, unless you can come up with some sort of framework to put those sorts of things into practice. My question is, among many others by now, is how do the Salafis do that? What is their foundation for their methodology? OK, “following the Qur’an and Sunnah” I get that, but how? How does the average, every day (and dont’ forget I’ve not put my madhhabi cap back on yet), Muslim do this? Let’s say I follow Scholar A today, but then all of a sudden, receive an email from a group declaring that Scholar A is “off the manhaj”, what do I do? How do I, as an average, every day Muslim, know who is right and who is wrong? Do you see where this could get very confusing? Do you see how this could be not only confusing, but damaging to the faith of converts?

    Anyway, I’m, frankly, getting very exhausted over this whole discussion. Watching the turn the comments on your series has taken is enough to make me want to stay as clear away from the “Salafi dawa”, as I can. And frankly, perhaps this is the wrong place to either ask my questions or explain my position, because to the Salafis, or to most of them anyway, those of us who ascribe to “traditional Islam”, are deviants who are not “following the Quran and Sunnah” anyway, (I mean why would your slogan need to be “going back to the Qur’an and Sunnah” anyway if you thought that “traditional” Muslims were already doing this?) and perhaps you feel that our questions just don’t need to be answered.

    There may indeed be many cultural things that many Muslims have mixed up into Islam, however, throwing away 1,000 years of Islamic scholarship in the name of “going back to the Salaf us Salih” just doesn’t seem right to me, it’s like re-inventing the wheel, or throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    Perhaps the healing can start by firstly not criticizing Muslims who follow a different “manhaj” than yourself, and also realizing that there may be different opinions on a given issue, and perhaps once people realize that there are more than *one way* or *one group of scholars* who are suitable to follow, we might start getting somewhere as Muslims. Perhaps instead of making sarcastic, snide remarks against scholars whose particular “manhaj” you don’t agree with, perhaps you, as somehow who says they follow the “Salafi dawa”, could work on putting that house in order

    Personally, we as Muslims are in some serious trouble and it’s really going to take some serious house-cleaning, both individually or collectively, before we can get our house in order. Going back to some mythical time, that perhaps never existed anyway (as there were schisms among the Muslims soon after the prophet’s death anyway), just isn’t going to work. Saying “Oh well the traditioanl Muslims had deviants among them too”, doesn’t take away from the fact that there might be some “deviants” within the “Salafis” as well. And certain strains of “Salafism”, such as the jihadi / takfiri varieyt, you can’t just sweep them under the rug, prtend it is the figment of the evil mind of the Western media’s imagination, and then just not address those and other issues which are uncomfortable to you.

    But I guess it’s easier,and I include myself in this, to criticize everyone else, point out everyone else’s shortcomings, than it is to work on your own shortcomings and to strive to make yourself a better person.

  8. I would like to know what shaykhs were labeled as “on the haqq” and others as “off of it” and does anyone actually have the tools to understand why these alleged labels exist?

  9. Aboo Abdillaah U, why don’t you tell us the wonder benefits of every single brother and sister being involved in this “on the haqq” and “off the haqq” labeling and boycotting?

  10. As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

    It is impossible for someone of our generation to simply follow “the madhab of the Prophet and the same one as the Sahabah” because neither are with us today and because the Sahaba (radhi Allahu ‘anhum) themselves had differing opinions, because Islam was not delivered in a classroom situation but in the life and sayings of a man (sall’ Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) over twenty years, which differed from time to time and situation to situation. The four madhhabs emerged precisely because, a century or two on from the passing of the Prophet (sall’ Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and after even the last of the Sahaba had passed away, the scholars differed not only as to what was the correct ruling but as to how to derive a ruling. Most famously, Imam Malik held to the idea that the practices of the people of Madinah took precedence over hadeeth, because it could be relied upon that the people of Madinah continued the practice of the Sahaba; it was in itself a type of tawatur (mass transmission) back to the Prophet (sall’ Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).

    Today, any attempt to produce a “unified madhhab” will result only in producing yet another, or more likely, several more, all of them based on the opinions of contemporary scholars (at best), none of whom have achieved anything like the status in scholarship of the four imams and their contemporaries, none of whom are of the salaf themselves (as all of the four imams were) and none of whom have memorised anything like the number of hadeeth that scholars of old did – many of them were haafidh of hadeeth, meaning someone who memorised 100,000 hadeeth, including isnaad.

    So, we follow one of the four madhhabs because we prefer their efforts to those of contemporary shuyookh to “rectify their mistakes” as if those mistakes were abundant, and as if their successors (who are still easily head and shoulders above the scholars the anti-taqleed brigade follow today) did not rectify the few mistakes they made.

  11. Myopic Vision,

    Did you say Child support??? I was told by a brother (not by my Ex because he knows I’ll do it anyway) that child support is committing shirk because you’re putting the Kaffir court’s laws above Allah’s (swt) laws. I guess that was only spouted by those sorry brothers who want to make sisters feel guilty for forcing them to take responsibility for taking care of their OWN kids. These same brothers make sisters feel bad for putting them on child support but have no problem’s taking handouts from the government. The hypocrisy is unreal…

  12. I agree with the whole madhahib issue. But most Salafis aren’t against madhahib, they’re against strictly adherence of the madhahib to the extent of ignoring some Ahadith, or basing a ruling on a weak hadith when an authentic one exists and so and so on. At least, this is how I’ve understood it.

  13. Assalamu Alaykum
    Yes Ma’am..I said child support. Actually this was one of the questions asked by the sisters a few years back and the answer was if the Muslims do not by going to brothers who would advise the negligent father first..if that didnt work then it was permitted to seek child support. See Shattered Islam is not as black and white as some would wish it to be. Child Support is very much allowed if there is n o other means. Now is the Child Support system fair? not at all. The man ends up paying way more to the state to run the program(if the woman is on welfare) than she actually gets in her hand but nowadays you will be forced to apply for child support as a condition of getting simple benefits. Such as Medicaid and/or TANF.
    The thing is a lot of men will make “hijrah” as soon as they see that envelope coming from Child Suport and they wont see their kids so a lot of times you have to ask yourself is it worth it. BUT the US has agreements with a lot of countries now and it is possible to get childsupport when the ex is in another country. Also if he is ordered to pay CS and is out of the will just build up until one of two things happens..It gets so high that as soon as he does step back into the country he is arrested at the Port Of Entry or he is denied a passport when he tried to get one.The sister needs to do what she feels is best for the children. Aint nothing nice about going to apply for food stamps in hijaab. Aint nothing nice looking at your child wearing the same one pair of pants while you KNOW the father is living a nice little life elsewhere…so do what you got to do and dont be afraid.
    I think thats the problem with our muslim communities..we want to keep everything hidden and act like these arent problems so as not to show a negative light on Islam when at the end of the day its Ourselves that we are exposing not the Deen.

    Ginny–Theres nothing wrong with following a mathaab. You are no less a bonifide muslim for doing so. The problem comes with taqleed..that is the blind following of a proof or shaykh at the detriment to a more worthy proof. Shaylh AlAlbanee said that it was permissable to follow a mathaab.

  14. I’m against Muslim sectarianism. The only label it gives us to apply to ourselves, as far as I know, in the holy Qu’ran, is Muslim. All respect to the scholars but I’m not following any scholar when he tells me go against the Qu’ran and Sunnah. That’s why I could never follow a madhab. All respect to the true Sahaba, but I’m not sure everything we were told about Islamic history should be taken at face value, and while I’m not Shia I cannot say I have any love for the Ummayads who betrayed, oppressed, and ultimately murdered members of the prophet’s (saws) family. I don’t hate Salafis or even consider them anything but brothers and sisters in Islam; however, when I’m told that it’s not a sect, it’s real Islam, what am I going to do but roll my eyes? Every sect says that. Everyone is the 73rd sect.

  15. Assalamu alaikum, but then again, the assumption or insinuation is being made that you either follow a madhhab or you follow the Sunnah. And, how does one determine whetehr a particular ruling of a particular madhhab goes against the Sunnah? Considering that there are thousands of ahadith out there (and not just in Bukhari and Muslim), how would the average, everyday Muslim be able to figure this out? Again, this goes back to why following a madhhab might be best for most people, as, for many rulings, you can’t just pull out some verses of the Qur’an and some ahadith here and there and then you get a ruling! Some ahadith mgiht contradict each other, for example, and also it’s not just about memorizing hadith, bu also understanding the contexts behind why the events contianed int he ahadith happened the way that they did.

    There is such a wealth of Islamic scholarship out there, and so much knowledge to be gained, and to me, it’s sad to reduce it to just the Qur’an, Bukhari and Muslim, and Al-Bani and Ibn Taymiyah, and then just stop!

    I’d venture to say that those of us who choose to follow a madhhab are, also, like the Salafis, striving to follow the Qur’an and Sunnah. And although we follow madhhabs, we don’t give “labels” to ourselves. The only way anyone mgiht know that someone follows a particular madhhab is if they maybe don’t recite the bismillah out loud in pryaer, or whether or not they say the “Ameen” aloud or silently. I mean, you don’t see traditioanal Muslims running around saying “I’m a Hanafi, I’m ont he haqq, I follow the Qur’an and Sunnah better than you”, or at least, if you do, it’s limited.

    Also, for the most part, Muslims who follow different madhhabs respect the opinions of the other madhhab, and in certain situations, if you follow one madhhab, you can take a position from antoher madhhab, if you need to.

    A case in point would be, if someone follows the Hanafi madhhab, and they are using a dog guide, they may find it easier on them if they take the opinion of the Maliki school that all living things are considered to be pure, including dogs, and also including their saliva. As handling a dog may cause hardship on a person, if they followed the other rulings regarding the dog’s purity, or lack of it, as the case may be.

    Thus, the madhhabs aren’t as rigid as some would think, and based on my experience, are not as rigid as the hard-core Salafis.

    t It seems that one problem with the Salafi dawa int he US is that they did not recognize differences of opinion among the scholars, and perhaps that would be one step in rectifying the situation in which they find themselves. However, I’m not sure how easy this would be, if people have the belief that there is only *one way* and *only one way* of doing things, and thus, reducing Islam to a monolithic, us vs. them. black and white thing.

    If If we want to take steps toward dealing with the pretentiousness that goes on in the Muslim community, perhaps one way to do that would be to recognize reality and that in the real world, and yes int he real world of Islam included, there is a lot of gray area.

  16. Actually, Ginny, I should have added as relates to following a mathaab..that Shaykh AlAlbanee said you could follow a mathaab if you werent able to do exactly what you said.Ie sort through all the different hadeeths. Shaykh Al-Albanee was a scholar of Hadeeth so he had the ability to discern better than you and I. Im sure you know whats involved as relates to the chain of narration(isnad), knowing whether the narrators are good or weak..whether that affects a hadeeth or not..whether the hadeeth is strong and so on and so forth. Its too much for the lay muslim so we seek guidance in our scholars. Imam Ahmed is as much a Salafee scholar as is Imam Shafiee’..meaning that we take and accept from ALL of them and if we find anything that is contradicted by another scholar…then we find the saying that is stronger(We meaning the knowledgable ones)
    If you want to follow a mathaab..its ok sis. Its fine. Noone thinks of you as lesser or less of a muslim. You’re a muslimah insha Allah and you wont be any less accountable than anyone else on Yaum Ad Deen..I mean bottom line….all this work, ebadah and discourse is only to get us to Jannah in the end.

  17. Ginny,

    I do not have the time, or the knowledge, to do this topic justice, but for me reading the Evolution of Fiqh by Bilal Phillips was very helpful masha’Allah.

    The choice is not between being the sunnah and following a madhab, the two are not mutually exclusive, it is fine to follow a madhab I have always been taught, so long as when there is clear evidence from the Quran and Sunnah that something within that madhab is less than satisfactory you go with the daleel.

  18. Salaamz,

    So what of the Da’wah of our other brothers such as Imam Siraj Wahhaj, Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, Imam Zaid Shakir, Imam Suhaib Webb and their likes …. they seem to do well with converts and in helping them assimilate into Islam?

    Man you guys in the states have it hard … it’s not so bad here in the UK – Alhamdu Lillah.

    May Allah bless you all and keep you firm on the deen.

    Was Salaam

    Your brother in Islam

    Jashim (London)

  19. ASWK,

    Your writings are very insightful. Keep doing so.

    As on Fiqh and “School of Thoughts” issue, I have seen lots of Salafis/Ahle-Hadith guys in my country who after reading few books consider themselves graduate enough to argue and initiate dialog on topics of Fiqh & Masaeel. And this is no inane act – the crazy thing is they do this with layman.

    The other common point across all these guys are non of them has read about the traditional scholars of past, their lives, their work, their books, about their students, the rational behind their rulings in every-matter and thus easily fall prey to habit of belittle their work and status in Islamic Uloom – even to extent of calling the 4 great scholars as innovators.

    I regularly follow the blogs from your region and its very sad to keep hearing about the marriage issue & treatment of women, which seems to be quite wide-spread and common.

  20. Salaams Umar,

    Firstly, I wanted to say thank you for your recent series of posts on the Salafi dawah in the US. They were obviously the product of hard work, and real emotion. Though I’ve never described myself as a salafi, I certainly moved in those circles the late 90s.

    The more I think about things, the more I realise just how limiting the labels we take to ourselves are. ‘Salafi’ this or ‘Sufi’ that, ‘Traditional’ this or ‘Progressive’ the other! Personally, I’d rather talk as human beings, as fellow believers in Allah and Islam than divide into groups.

    I’ve known many brothers and sisters sincerely struggling towards God, from all sorts of backgrounds – salafi, madhhabi, sufi, progressive, modernist, traditional, shia, sunni, barelwi, deobandi – Ya Allah! the list goes on and on. All of them earnestly and honestly striving to follow Islam’s teachings in their day to day lives, to pray, fast and make hajj.

    The older I become, the more I realise just how little I know, and just how vast God’s mercy is. I don’t want to fight. I just want to talk, to build relationships, to draw closer to God.

    Ya Allah! Lead us all towards You in mercy.

    Your brother in Islam,
    Abdur Rahman

  21. Assalaamu alaykum bro,

    I just wanted to thank you for posting this insightful and moving series, the subsequent discussion, as well as this epilogue. Insha Allah we will all take something beneficial away from it, though it maybe something different for each of us.


  22. as salaamu alaikum,

    your article is thought provoking. it provides an excellent opportunity to do some healing. will we benefit from our nistakes or shall we use this as an oportunity in spite of our past pain and dissapointment, to seek forgiveness from being ungrateful to Allah and seek forgiviveness for whoever we have wronged, knowingly or unknowingly., or should we using it as a time for exposing and blaming?

  23. As Salamu laikum

    The whole concept of Muslim’s tossing off taqlid and deducing rulings from the primary text of Islam for themselves when they are not qualified to do so was innovated by the khawarij.

    The Khawarij believed they could just follow Quran and Sunnah without submitting themselves to the Khalifah or the ijtihad of the Ulemah of the Sahabah raa. So they thought they where following the quran and sunnah and the superior ilm of people like Abdullah Ibn Abbas ra who came to them to refute them when they wanted to toss Ali ra ” off the manhaj” didn’t fit in with their program. Some of them accepted His raa explanation of the ayat about whomever doesn’t rule by what Allah has revealed is a disbeliever not applying to Ali raa but others from among them didn’t, and we know what became of that a rightly guided Khalifah was murdered by ignorant Muslim’s who thought they understood the Quran better then then mujtahid Ulemah.

    Today this ideology is ripping the Ummah apart from it’s extreme end of Muslim killing other Muslim in the name of deen, to the more subtle end of Muslim’s declaring other Muslim as innovators just because they don’t follow them in fiqh issues. Ibn Abdul Wahhab ra and Ibn Taymiyyah ra are not the end all to be all in Islamic scholarship, nor regradless of the propaganda Saudi Arabia puts out are they Kabeer Ulemah of all times, nor did they themselves or the people of their time period claim them to be so.

    The Salafi manhaj as it is called is extremely simplistic and narrow minded it is not good enough to replaced the established Sunni system of fiqh that has been accepted by 85% of the Muslim’s on earth. May Allah have mercy on Bin Baz ra and Uthameen ra but I wish some people would wake up to the fact that Islam is bigger then them, their rulings are not necessary the haqq, in fact they where wrong about many things.

  24. I’ve been reading your website for the last six to eight months and I can feel what your’re saying I used to be down with the so called Salafi Dawah starting back for myself 1994 and like I said you’re right on point with all that u say Insha Allah I’ll share some experiences later on when I have more time to write…..

  25. Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullaah.

    Agree with Umar point when commenting to bi khair.

    To Ukhtee: to syeikh Al Albani and to me ofcourse name is important to direct our minds to the real meaning of that,when we say the name,as it reflects a meaning.

    To Ginny,I like Muhammad Nashiruddin al Albani,subhanallah. I want to say that simply to simplify. If some people don’t like Mujaddid,we could still like Mujaddid,alhamdulillah ‘ala kulli haal. Ahmad Ibn Taimiyah was a Mujaddid,just as the 4 Imams rahimahullah were Mujaddids,in Salaf period. We’re going to have the best Muslims as well,in the era of Muhammad bin Abdullah(imam Mahdi’s name is same as our prophet according to Abul Qasim Shalallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam in his hadits).
    There are Ijma’ Global and Ijma’ Sukuti. Right ?. And your intended meaning is honest cause there is a human being that didn’t know that there wasn’t ijma’ at that time about specific thing,but she thought there was. We must preserve the religion and do not follow the same mistakes such as the mistakes of the ummah from AHLI KITAB before us,although Allahu Jalla allows that to happen. Many Muslims(Salaf Ahlus Sunnah)aren’t cristalyzing way of wudhu to 3 times and the synonim for SALAF is “people who bring salaam to fellow Muslims and peace itself to the universe”.
    I personally feel that many Salafis aren’t two faced and they are softer to AHLUL BID’AH,compare to how ahlul bid’ah treat another ahlul bid’ah.
    You see G,that Salafiyyah are The Way that when I choose mazhab for us,is the time when I ‘m realizing the empirical FACT that the aqidah and MANHAJ of akhi Rasulullah Al Auza’i,Sufyan bin Uyainah,Al Laitsi,Al Bukhari and other akhi Rasulullah were ONE,in fact ONE about USHUL FIQH,USHUL HADITS,and their preposition of the branches,fruits aren’t EXCLUSIVE within one another. Akhi Muhammad Shalallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam are picking the opinions of Imams that are already been TARJIH by Ulama Mujaddid,whom are not of the same level,but the TRUTH is that they absorb knowledge to make the tarjih from those excellent in Allahu Subhanahu sight THEMSELVES. Do you undestand ?,that’s it.
    Have myself actualized the thinking that we couldn’t follow the mistakes of SOMEONE who already admit his mistakes. Such,is Imam Abul Hasan Asy’ari in his book of right aqidah,al Ibanah. Al Ghazali taubat from PHILOSOPHY and he died while embracing Bukhari ASHSHAHIH,he regret the idea he didn’t account to that earlier.

    To Yusuf Smith: I want to say that APPLICATING the ushul of the Imams and following them in the right way is instead what is intended in Umar Lee’s point,there. When men follow only one Mazhab in Ushul,that’s okay. But Allah’s Azza Wajalla rahmat is vast,anyway… the disciples of Imams have done tarjih,this is SALAFIYYAH standpoint.

    To Myopic Visions: Knowing that every adult Muslims in kuffar countries instead have the obligation to be Du’at,and have the proposition by Allah’s word to save the American people from kaafirness,by Allah’s hidaayah,rather than just doing “cancelled hijrah”.

    To Ginny: What Salafiyyah willed is indeed the true manhaj instead NATO and Fiqhul Waqi’ is suggested. People of knowledge,by their dedication in every aspects of Islam,became learned Muhaddits(ahlul sanad and matan). The Four Imams were ahlul hadits(muhaddits) not just one of them. So,by doing the result of WRONG IJTIHAD,women would receive one tsawab not two,however,Muslimah could get out of KHILAFIYYAH at this century,so don’t you waste it.

    Assalamu’alaikum Warahmatullah. May be well of you.

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