Regarding Al-Qaradawi and Shi’ah

With the name of G’d, the Merciful Benefactor, the Merciful Redeemer

Shaykh Al-Qaradawi & "Hujjatul Islam" Rafsanjani

Shaykh Al-Qaradawi &

*DISCLAIMER* - I’ve posted the article below as an alternative voice to many of the statements that have been said about and against Shaykh Al-Qaradawi as it refers to his concerns about the spreading of Ja’fari Shi’i school of thought in majority Sunni countries.

I do not agree with Al-Qaradawi’s position regarding suicide bombings; I agree with other scholars positions against suicide bombings.  I also do not think that any alarms should be rang about the spread of Shi’ism in Sunni areas.

Moreover, Al-Qaradawi’s statements about the spread of Shi’ism in Sunni lands seems more like a politically driven statement than one based upon concerns over doctrine although he stated concerns such as self-mutilation when mourning over Al-Husayn (RA) . The top Shi’i scholars have issued fataawa against this practice, which leads me to believe that these statements are political in nature, not primarily over creed.

I beleive in dialectics and debate.  If he beleives that Shi’is are indeed true Muslims with some innovations, then let there be the opportunity to have open discussion.  Al-Qur’an says, “Let there be no compulsion in the religion for right guidance is clear from error.”  This means educating people more in regards to doctrine with wisdom and beautiful preaching, not by attempting to stifle debate.  Intellect becomes more refined when challenged.

And if it is soley Hizbullah’s “resistance” that is being leveraged to attract Sunnis, then what does that say about Sunnis  in the region?

I don’t see the logic and wisdom in some of Al-Qaradawi’s statements.

I also disagree with some of the reactions of a few American Shi’i leaders in inflaming a matter that is truly a discourse within the Middle East that has little to no social relevance in AMERICA except to cause “fitnah”.

We should be careful when invoking the curse of G’d upon those who make “fitnah”; we could be invoking a curse upon ourselves.

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In defense of Sheikh Yousuf al-Qaradawi

By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine

29 September, 2008

Earlier this month, a semi-official Iranian news agency lashed out at Dr. Yousuf al Qaradawi, widely considered one of the most eminent living Muslim religious scholars. The agency, called Muhr, castigated the great Alim, or religious scholar, for an interview he had given to an Egyptian newspaper in which he warned against organized efforts by some Shiite circles to convert Sunni Muslims to the Shiite branch of Islam. The Iranian news agency went as far as accusing al-Qaradawi of playing into the hands of Zionists and Jewish rabbis!!

I don’t usually write on religious matters, especially Sunni-Shia affairs. However, I do believe that a clear and unmistakable message should be sent to Shiite circles in Iran and elsewhere, namely that Sunnis are not about to become Shiites and that public support for Iran and Hezbullah in some Sunni countries doesn’t indicate that Sunni Muslims are infatuated with the Shiite faith.

The Sunni masses do support Hezbullah because this is the right thing to do. Hezbullah after all is fighting Israel, the evil brat of Zionism which is the ultimate enemy of Islam and Muslims.

The same thing applies to public support for Iran against the Zionist-controlled American administration which is trying so hard to deprive Iran of its right to develop nuclear technology.

People, regardless of their religious affiliations, support just causes irrespective of other considerations.

However, Sunni support for Iran against American hegemony doesn’t mean that the Sunni masses, which constitute more than 90% of Muslims worldwide, are coming to terms with the despicable habit of cursing the Companions of Prophet Muhammed, such as Abu Bakr, Omar Ibn al Khattab and Othman Ibn Affan.

Let us be very clear about this, cursing the Sahaba, as far as Sunni Muslims are concerned, is and will always remain the ultimate redline.

There can be no Muslim unity unless the Shiites brothers, especially in Iran, abandon this hateful and provocative ritual.

Luckily, some Shiite Ulema or scholars have realized this fact and adopted positive positions toward showing respect to the feelings of their Sunni brothers.


This writer has always supported Iran against Western, especially American predators.

While studying in the United States nearly three decades ago, I regularly took part in anti-Shah demonstrations on American campuses.

We shouted aloud “Tau Margi Shahi Kha’en, Nehzat Idameh dorat” (until the death of the treacherous Shah, the struggle will continue), and “ Istiklal, Azadee, Hokomati Islamee” (Independence , Freedom, Islamic Government.”

I have also written numerous articles in support of Iran and Hezbullah and will continue to do so for reasons having to do with the moral principle of siding with the weak and the oppressed against the unjust and the insolent.

Hence, the Iranian brothers, especially the people at Muhr, shouldn’t think that this defense of Sheikh Qaradawi is coming from a “Zionist agent” as they are almost innately tempted to dismiss criticisms of some of their objectionable practices and attitudes.

I had the honor to meet with Sheikh Qaradawi many years ago. And I have ever since been following up rather closely his pronouncements and positions which I have found to be quite rational and wise.

Sheikh Qaradawi has been a fierce critic of Israeli criminality and the Nazi-like oppression the Zionist regime is meting out to the helpless Palestinians. However, he has never voiced hatred or hostility toward Jews as Jews, as Zionist propaganda circles claim.

He has been a constantly loud voice urging Muslims and Arabs to show solidarity with the Palestinians.

Indeed, one would exaggerate little by saying that had it not been for Qaradawi’s efforts, the Palestinian ordeal would have been much worse.

As to his positions on Iran and Shiites, al- Qaradawi has always adopted decidedly moderate positions in this regard.

He had warmly welcomed the Iranian revolution back in 1978 as the vast bulk of Sunni Muslims did. He also stood against the Iran-Iraq war, calling it a catastrophe.

In recent years, al-Qaradawi stood against extremist Sunni groups such as al-Qaida which adopted a radical theological stance viewing Shiites, especially the Ithna Ashari Shiites (followers of the Twelve Imams) as heretical.

This position invited hostile reactions from some of the Salafi groups (fundamentalist puritanical Orthodox Sunni Muslims) especially in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region.

Indeed, Qaradawi’s uncompromising views on Israel, American imperialism, the Palestinian plight and the ongoing American war on Islam, dubbed deceptively as “the war on terror” have prompted many western governments such as the US and UK to declare him a persona non grata.

So how could a man as such be serving Zionist interests when the Zionists themselves have spared no efforts vilifying and inciting against him?

Shiites circles in Iran and elsewhere miss no opportunity urging Muslims to get united in the face of Israeli aggression and expansionism. This is certainly a commendable and admirable stance.

However, true Muslim unity can’t be achieved while some influential Shiite circles in Iran and probably elsewhere retain the old repulsive practice of cursing the Sahaba of Rasullullah, or companions of the Prophet.

Is Shiism a religion based on cursing?

A few months ago, the highest-ranking Shiite Marjie (religious scholar) in Lebanon, Rev. Sheikh Muhammed Hussein Fadulullah issued a fatwa or religious edict prohibiting the cursing of the Sahaba.

Sunni Muslims warmly welcomed the fatwa and many Sunni intellectuals and religious leaders hoped that it would lead to a genuine reconciliation between the two camps.

However, that fatwa was eventually met with widespread opposition by some influential Shiite ulema in Iraq and Iran who couldn’t abandon the malicious canard that Sunni Muslims were Nassibi or Nawaseb (enemies of Imam Ali), the First Shiite Imam who is also the Fourth Sunni Caliph.

In truth, Sunni Muslims don’t hate Ali and his family. On the contrary, they love them so much. Don’t Sunni Muslims, as do all Muslims, recite at the end of their daily prayers “O God, may thy Peace and blessings be upon Muhammd and the family of Muhammed as Thou had bestowed they peace and blessing on Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim.”?

Besides, history shows that Imam Ali had an active working relationship with the very people many Shiites claim they hated him and dispossessed him of his divine right to become the leader of Muslims after the death of the Prophet.

Not only that, Ali actually had his own daughter married to Omar Ibn al Khattab, the man many Shiites hate most.

Well, does a man have his own daughter married to the man he hates most?

In addition, Imam Ali had three of his sons named after Abu Bakr, Omar and Othman, the first three Caliphs. Hence, one is prompted to seriously question the Shiite claims that Ali hated these caliphs. Well, a man doesn’t name his own children after his worst enemies.

Ali was known of his exemplary bravery and courage. This is why it is highly unlikely that his collaboration with the caliphs occurred under duress. Ali was not the type of man who would cower under duress. He was not the type of man who would play the role of a hypocrite. His heart and his tongue were the same.

In a nutshell, the Shiite brothers should realize that Muslim unity can’t be achieved while certain Shiites keep up reviving ancient hatred by cursing and vilifying historical figures Sunni Muslims glorify and love.

Such behavior would only perpetuate Muslim disunity. It would also prove that some Shiite religious circles are not really serious about Muslim unity.

City Pulse: DVD Debate [Regarding hate film "Obsession"]

DVD debate

Should the Lansing State Journal have distributed “Obsession,” a mov ie produced by a right wing organi zation that depicts Muslims in a bad light? Members of Greater Lansing’s Islamic community are taking offense. The Journal is silent.

Tafiqul Islam was alone Monday after noon inside the Lansing Islamic Center studying the Koran until he was inter rupted by a reporter who wanted to inter view him about the “Islamophobic” movie, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West,” which was distributed to all Lansing State Journal Sunday subscribers in the Sept. 14 edition.After inspecting a copy of the movie, which was delivered to LSJ subscribers attached to the back of a thin piece of cardboard emblazoned with praise for the film (the producer of the terrorism-themed show “24” calls it “required viewing,”), Islam began talking about harmony and keeping a family intact: You don’t go around insult ing members of your family, he said, if you want to keep the family together.

“This,” Islam said gently, holding up a copy of “Obsession,” “this will not generate any peace.” “Obsession” paints a nasty “Us vs. Them” picture of an unidentifiably large radical Islamist movement bent on world domination — the radical Islamists “might” number as large as the population of the United States. The movie has caused outrage among the Islamic community in Lansing and across the country — “Obsession” was distributed to subscribers in key voting states in upward of 70 papers across the country, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and reached an estimated 28 million people. 

Although at the beginning of “Obsession” the filmmakers point out that the movie is not meant to damn all Muslims, that state ment is debased as the movie shows imag es of Muslims aligned with Adolf Hitler; Palestinian children reciting adoring poems about martyrs; and jubilation in the entire Islamic world on 9/11. The movie’s most ridiculous moment brings us a movie, pur portedly from an Islamic television network with “millions of viewers,” depicting a rabbi questing for the blood of a Christian child so he can make matzos.

Along with the content of the film, ques tions have been raised about the ethics of newspapers in accepting money to distrib ute a film that has been described by some as “racist propaganda.” “No.1, the DVD is overtly Islamophobic and it gives out false information,” Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan Council on American Islamic Relations, said. “We’re very confident that these same newspapers would not distribute a DVD projecting the image that we should be wor ried about black men because they all might potentially be gang members or murderers; or they wouldn’t put out anti-Semitic mate

rial about Jews that says they are the main source for financial problems. That would be bigoted and un-American.”

The film was produced and distributed to newspapers by the Clarion Fund, a New York-based nonprofit started in 2006 by Canadian Rabbi Raphael Shore. Attempts to contact Clarion, which also maintains the Web site www.radicalislam.org (on the site, the “L” at the end of radical and the “I” at the beginning of Islam are represented by the Twin Towers), were met by answer ing machines, and messages left were not returned.The Lansing State Journal has been quiet on its role in distributing “Obsession.” Two letters to the editor appeared this week damning the Journal’s decision.

 

 “The inclusion of the anti-Muslim DVD, “Obsession” in the Sept. 14 LSJ does a gross disservice to our community. While radi cals may claim affiliation with any religious group, their true culture is one of intoler ance and violence. By contrast, Islam is known as a religion that values peace and equilibrium above all else,” wrote Michael Forman of East Lansing.Forman adds that the LSJ should have identified the origins and backgrounds of the filmmakers. Jack Smith of Williamston in his letter calls the film a calculated move to score votes for the party of national security (cough, the Republicans) in the upcoming presidential election. “This is the politics of fear, plain and simple,” Smith wrote. Smith may be on to something — radi calislam.org had an article up recently basically endorsing John McCain. That article was recently removed.

 

At least one newspaper has turned down the opportunity to distribute “Obsession,” the News and Record in Greensboro, N.C., according to the trade publication Editor&Publisher.“I asked our publisher about it. He said it was divisive and plays on people’s fears and served no educational purpose. The revenue it would have brought in was not a motivator,” Record Editor John Robinson was quoted as saying. “As I’ve said on other occasions about news decisions, just because you can publish doesn’t mean you should.”

Walid said that the Detroit Free Press — like the LSJ, owned by Gannett — chose not to distribute the movie because it is aware of the large Muslim population in its readership. “The newspapers (in the Detroit/ Dearborn area) are keenly aware of the mis information contained in this movie,” Walid said. Walid was cautious when asked whether the LSJ would be boycotted. But he did say that the paper has a lot of Muslim readers, and some who own gas stations and stores that distribute the paper. 
Maybe those business people would consider canceling their subscriptions, Walid said. Mustafa Osman, a 17-year-old Muslim who was standing inside the Al Haramain grocery store on Kalamazoo Street Monday, said that he hadn’t seen or heard of “Obsession,” but that it’s probably full of baloney. “What I’ve learned is that Islam is a peaceful religion,” Osman said. People like the creators of “Obsession” “get the worst thing out of the Koran and use it for politics,” he added.Another member of the Islamic com munity, who works at a grocery store on Michigan Avenue but wished not to be named, said the movie makes him feel very bad. A friend who works at the LSJ gave him a copy of “Obsession,” but he has not watched it. “I think (the LSJ) should do research better,” said the man. “We have a nice community here.


People are upset about this.” Merton Prescott, who was seated in the backyard of his Fairview Avenue home on Lansing’s east side on Monday afternoon, said that he received “Obsession” in his Sunday LSJ, but didn’t bother to watch it. Prescott said that the term “radical Islam” conjures images of 9/11, but he said that blanket statements about a group can lead to the injury of an entire community. The LSJ should have thought twice about dis tributing it, he said, unless it plans to stand behind the ideas expressed in the movie. “But, if it is radical Islam, maybe it’s right to bring it to our attention,” he said. David Mindell, president of the Michigan State University Jewish Student Union, watched the beginning of “Obsession” after being asked about it by this reporter.“I think it’s important to understand the threat that radical Islam poses,” Mindell said. “But I wouldn’t rely on this as my solesource on radical Islam.”

 

Mindell said that the movie should be seen and discussed, even if it is propaganda. He also said that the LSJ should make clear whether the DVD represents the paper’s view. Mike MacLaren, executive director of the Michigan Press Association, which rep resents some 320 newspapers in the state, said that whether “Obsession” contains false information, it would be wrong to ban its distribution without letting people make up their own minds.“All sorts of newspapers and other media outlets on occasion, write, print produce, telecast, (or) e-mail material that one group may be upset about,” MacLaren said. “And I’ve not seen the DVD, but I would feel very uncomfortable if anybody’s proposing that there ought to be censorship of distribut ing this kind of material in a free and open society.”

When asked whether it could be con sidered censorship to not distribute “Obsession,” Tafiqul Islam said no. “Would it be censorship to ask a thief not to steal something?” he said. “If it is not true, and I know (the information in “Obsession”) is not true, then newspapers should not be distributing this. “Money is important. But you shouldn’t earn money in any way you can.”

Eid al-Fitr in Detroit & Dearborn will be on…

For those following the Marja’ Sayyid Fadlullah (Shi’i), it has been announced that Eid is tomorrow, September 30, making Ramadan 29 days since his followers started on September 1.  SEE: http://english.bayynat.org.lb/news/bayan_25092008_1_1.htm

The majority of mosques whether starting the fast on September 1 or September 2 will have Eid on October 1; those who started on September 2 would have fasted 29 days.  Those who started Ramadan on September 1 are obligated to break fasting on October 1 if not on September 30 because Ramadan cannot be 31 days.

According to Zaytuna, there is a decent chance that Eid will be on October 2, but this only applies to those who started fasting on September 2.  SEE: www.cresecentwatch.org

Walid speaks at historic Congressional Black Caucus program

On panel with Rev. Jesse Jackson

On panel with Rev. Jesse Jackson

Yesterday was a first in American Muslim history when the community participated in its first panel discussion focusing on Muslim – African American interfaith dialogue at a national forum.

“African-American/Muslim-American Dialogue: Building an Interfaith Movement” was yesterday’s panel at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, DC.

Some of the panelists included Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN), Mahdi Bray (MAS), Rev. Jesse Jackson and myself.

The panel was sponsored and moderated by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN).

Press TV News story:

http://217.218.67.244/presstv/20080927/OUTPUT_03-55-00-SNG-JIHAN-WASHINGTON.wmv

Audio of panel: http://share.ovi.com/media/DawudWalid.public/DawudWalid.10124

Message for Friday – Guard against ignorance

بِسمِ ٱلله الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيـمِ

الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه ومن والاه وبعد:

 

من قال: أنا عالم فهو جاهل

‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (RH) stated, “Whoever says ‘I am a knowledgable person’, he is an ignorant person.”

One of the most dangerous and ignorant persons that walks the earth is a self proclaimed “know it all.” The “know it all” is ignorant because he IGNORES or is not open to consider different perspectives. The “know it all” is a danger to himself because he closed his mind and structured preconceived notions about subjects and events, which causes him to miss information that can save him from spiritual or social harm. He then puts others in jeopardy by acting upon or shoving his ignorance onto others, many times without evil intent.

The “know it all” mentality is also anti-social. Who likes to be in the company for protracted periods of time with a “know it all”? How about the person, who is educated in topics that constantly refers to himself as a “scholar?”  What about the one who seeks to be the leader because no one else knows anything?

This person should not attribute scholarship to himself; he should allow others to recognize his scholarship. How many Phd’s have we seen that lack common sense and interpersonal intelligence? How many of these people are screwing up the socio-political world as we speak?!?

So in the quest for becoming educated, the real educated person understands that learning is a life long endeavor. The truly knowledgable person recognizes his own lack of knowledge because the more information he comes into contact with, the more he realizes how little he truly knows! 

In others words, humility is a sign of a person who has truly obtained beneficial knowledge.

The supplication of the true scholar is:
يا إلهي إنك عليم و إني جاهل

“Oh my G’d! Surely You are All-Knowing, and I do not know.”

And surely G’d knows best.