Saturday, September 22, 2007

Finally--May the Ummah be united! Ameen!

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Pledge of Mutual Respect and Cooperation Between Sunni Muslim Scholars, Organizations, and Students of Sacred Knowledge

Hold fast to the Rope of Allah, all together, and be not divided. (Qur’an, 3:103)

Surely, those who have made divisions in their religion and turned into factions, you have nothing to do with them. Their case rests with Allah; then He will inform them of what they used to do. (Qur’an, 6:159)

In light of the Divine Word, we recognize that the historical nature of Sunni Islam is a broad one that proceeds from a shared respect for the Qur’an and Sunnah, a shared dependence on the interpretations and derivations of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them), and a shared respect for the writings of a vast array of scholars who have been identified by their support for and affiliation with the Sunni Muslims and have been accepted as the luminaries of Sunni Islam - as broadly defined.

Likewise, detailed discussions in matters of theology are the specific domain of trained specialists, and proceed on the basis of well-defined principles and methodologies, which are beyond the knowledge of the generality of Muslims.

Our forebears in faith, with all the dedication, brilliance and sincerity clearly manifested in their works, have debated and discussed abstruse and complex issues of creed and practice, and have failed in most instances to convince their opponents of the veracity and accuracy of their positions.

The average Muslim is only responsible for knowing the basics of creed as they relate to a simple belief in Allah, His Angels, Scriptures, the Prophets and Messengers, the Last Day, and the Divine Decree.

Recognizing that the specter of sectarianism threatens to further weaken and debilitate our struggling Muslim community at this critical time in human affairs, and recognizing that Allah, Exalted is He, has given the Muslim community in the West a unique historical opportunity to advance the cause of peace, cooperation, and goodwill amongst the people of the world, we the undersigned respectfully:

- Urge Muslims to categorically cease all attacks on individual Muslims and organizations whose varying positions can be substantiated based on the broad scholarly tradition of the Sunni Muslims. We especially urge the immediate cessation of all implicit or explicit charges of disbelief;

- Urge Muslim scholars and students of sacred knowledge to take the lead in working to end ad hominem attacks on other scholars and students; to cease unproductive, overly polemical writings and oral discourse; and to work to stimulate greater understanding and cooperation between Muslims, at both the level of the leadership and the general community;

-Urge Muslims in the West, especially our youth, to leave off unproductive and divisive discussions of involved theological issues that are the proper domain of trained specialists, and we especially discourage participation in those internet chat rooms, campus discussion groups, and other forums that only serve to create ill-will among many Muslims, while fostering a divisive, sectarian spirit;

-Urge all teachers to instruct their students, especially those attending intensive programs, to respect the diverse nature of our communities and to refrain from aggressive challenges to local scholars, especially those known for their learning and piety;

- Urge our brothers and sisters in faith to concentrate on enriching their lives by deepening their practice of Islam through properly learning the basics of the faith, adopting a consistent regimen of Qur’anic recitation, endeavoring to remember and invoke Allah in the morning and evening, learning the basics of jurisprudence, attempting to engage in voluntary fasting as much as possible, studying the Prophetic biography on a consistent basis, studying the etiquettes that guide our interactions with our fellow Muslims, and the performance of other beneficial religious acts, to the extent practical for their circumstances;

- Finally, we urge the Believers to attempt to undertake individual and collective actions that will help to counter the growing campaign of anti-Islamic misinformation and propaganda that attempts to portray our religion as a violence-prone relic of the past unsuitable for modern society, and by so doing justify indiscriminate wars against Muslim peoples, occupation of Muslim lands, and usurpation of their resources.

Saying this, we do not deny the reality of legitimate differences and approaches, nor the passionate advocacy of specific positions based on those differences. Such issues should be rightfully discussed observing established rules of debate. However, we urge the above measures to help prevent those differences from destroying the historical unity and integrity of the Muslim community, and creating irreparable divisions between our hearts. Further, we do not deny the urgency, especially in light of the situation in Iraq, of efforts to foster greater cooperation between diverse Muslim communities. Hence, this document should not be seen as negating any statements, or declarations designed to foster greater peace and harmony between diverse Muslim communities. However, we feel, as Sunni Muslims, a pressing need to first set our own affairs in order.

In conclusion, having called our brothers and sisters to act on these points, we, the undersigned, pledge to be the first to actively implement them in response to the Divine Word:

Do you enjoin righteousness on the people and refuse to follow it yourselves and all along you are reciting the scripture!? Will you not reflect? (Qur’an (2:44)

We ask Allah for the ability to do that which He loves. And Allah alone is the Grantor of Success.


Abdelrahman Helbawi

Abdul Karim Khalil

Abdullah Adhami

Abdurraheem Green

Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf Mangera

Abu Aaliyah Surkheel Sharif

Abu Eesa Niamatullah

Aisha Faleh AlThani

Asma Mirza

Cheikhna B. Bayyah

Dawood Yasin

Ebadur Rahman

Faraz Rabbani

Fuad Nahdi

Gul Mohammad

Haitham al-Haddad

Hamza Yusuf

Hasan al-Banna

Ibrahim Osi-Efa

Jihad Hashim Brown

M. Abdul Latif Finch

M. Afifi al-Akiti

Mehdi Kader

Mokhtar Maghroui

Muhammad Alshareef

Muhammad Ash-Shaybani

Muhammad ibn Adam

Omar Qureshi

S. Abdal-Hakim Jackson

Shamira Chothia Ahmed

Siddique Abdullah

Suhaib Webb

Tahir Anwar

Talal Al-Azem

Tanveer Hussain

Tawfique Chowdhury

Usama Canon

Usama Hasan

Walead Mosaad

Yahya Rhodus

Yasir Qadhi

Zaid Shakir

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Somebody is leaving..

From an Email:

Without Shaytaan in the picture, all sins are due to one’s own habits – time to control the Nafs (jealousy, envy, backbiting, non-prayer, temper, unkindness)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Sh. Faraz Rabbani's Khutbah

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani gave a beautiful khutbah at ICOI in Irvine today. His main point being that our goal in life should not just be to increase our own love for Allah (swt), but to have Him [increase his] love for us. But to have Allah (swt) love us, which is the greatest of goals, we must perfect our servitude to Him, and this is only through following the way of the Prophet (saw). To be like the Prophet (saw) we should practice on these points--and we should dedicate our Ramadan to implementing them:

1. To fulfill the rights of others
2. To not wrong others
3. To be of a cheerful and positive disposition
4. If someone does good to you, then do better to them (first we need to acknowledge and thank the good from others before returning their good with better)
5. If someone wrongs you, then return it with good.

If we can practice on these principles in Ramadan, then insha'Allah we can establish our whole lives on the perfect example of the Prophet (saw) who was sent to perfect good character and was sent as a Mercy to all of mankind.

Tawfiq, insha'Allah!


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Ramadan Fiqh Prep

A great way to prepare for Ramadan with all of your fiqh questions answered--

Fiqh of Fasting by Mufti Abdur Rahman ibn Yusuf

About Mufti Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf

(Shaykh Mufti) Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf Mangera has been studying the traditional Islamic sciences and writing scholarly works for most of his life. He completed the bulk of his studies at Darul Uloom Bury, North England, where he memorized the Qur'an by age fifteen and thereafter went on to complete a rigorous, six-year Shari'a program. He graduated from this program with authentic certifications [ijaza] in numerous Islamic disciplines, including Arabic, Islamic jurisprudence, and hadith (with particular emphasis on the six authentic books of hadith [Sihah Sitta] and the Muwattas of Imam Malik and Imam Muhammad). His teachers at Darul Uloom Bury included Shaykh Yusuf Motala and other students of Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi.

After graduating, the author traveled to South Africa, where he attended Madrasah Zakariyyah part-time to gain specialized training in answering legal questions [ifta'] under Mufti Rada al-Haq. While in South Africa, he also completed a B.A. with honors in Islamic studies at Rand Afrikaans University, Johannesburg, under Professor Abdur-Rahman Doi, Ph.D. [ Read the Full Biography ]