Salafiyyah – The Conversation Really Continues

I’m gonna post my comments from this conversation below to push it to the fore front of the blog a little. Please read the 2nd post and the original one as well. And of course, we’d love to hear your take on it.

I’ve had really good responses and I thank all of you. My
purpose for this is precisely that – a dialog. So I hope to hear from
more of you.

I will try to address a few points here:

The brother said, “I tend to agree with Qardawi in that there needs to be a way of addressing a number of current issue, while staying inside of the fold
of Islaam (I won’t say there is a need of a new Fiqh because that
usually draws ire from a number of circles)”

Why not a new fiqh? What would constitute a new fiqh? What does fiqh
even mean? We may have the dictionary definition as jurisprudence (the
theory and/or philosophy of law), but what does it really mean for us
in its application? This is why we had the formation of a fiqh council, although some of its founding members have left due to various reasons.

The Salafis as a group do not address (and I believe it was never their intention

to address) the needs and situations of Western Muslims. It is shocking
and appalling to see East Coast Salafi ranks swelled by Blackamerican
Muslims, whom for many, live in poverty, drug and gang-ridden
neighborhoods. Their populations have little to no access to health
care, educational or economic opportunities. They are often taught an
anti-Jewish, anti-Western rhetoric (which for the vast majority of
which never had bad relations with Jews and on the reverse, many had a
legitimate gripe with the established white authority). Combating white
supremacy or institutionalized racism has taken a back seat to the
Palestinian/Israeli conflict (which is made out to be the 6th Pillar of
Islam). Having been convinced that everything about their Western
heritage is haram and corrupt, many of these Muslims focus on
“learning the Deen” or “going overseas” to learn Arabic when most have
a less than a 3rd or 4th-grade grammatical education (I can say this
from experience – I’ve tried teaching Arabic courses in places like
these and most people lack rudimentary grammar skills). The men spend
all day in the mosques soaking up this “knowledge” instead of getting
an education and or a job so they can take care of themselves, their
families and contribute something to this society instead of just
bitching about it.

P.S. – What ever happened to just soaking up the ethical message of Islam and incorporating that into the daily life? Nah…

It also begs the question: Did these brothers and sisters think by
becoming Muslims that they could just leave their demographics? AIDS
plagues our inner city black communities, Muslim or non-Muslim.

If I can also address ‘Umar’s comments. He said, “define
Islamic Pluralsim as it means to you? are there any limitations to
this? Or do we have to sit back and wait for lesbian imams?”

I think I made myself fairly clear by what I mean by Pluralism but I’ll
say it again: There is more than one way of being Muslim. There is more
than one way of practicing Islam. Not all Muslims agree on all matters.
And in the absence of Unanimous Consensus (ijma’), we must
agree to disagree. In other words, in the absence of Unanimous
Consensus or the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) coming back and
saying Bob is right and Marqas is wrong (why am I always wrong??), then we must simply agree to disagree. I must tolerate your practice and you must tolerate mine. Does this mean we’ll have lesbian imams? I dunno. I doubt it. Define lesbian imam? Someone who is a lesbian and calls themselves an imam? They could do so but would they be accepted by the greater community? And in all honesty, don’t we have bigger issues to deal with than a thousand “what
if’s?” Poverty is a real issue. Health care is a real issue. Economic
disparity is a real issue. Being misunderstood, marginalized and
disenfranchised are real issues of the day we ought to be dealing with. Just my two cents. Thanks for the thoughts.

10 Comments Salafiyyah – The Conversation Really Continues

  1. Irisblue

    From my understanding fiqh means jurisprudence which is created based on certain standards( qur’an and sunnah), precedents set by ealier jurists and a clear knowledge of the context the people are living in at the moment. A new fiqh would deal with issues facing the Muslims in the West, which are unique to our situation. As minorities living in the West we face may unique challenges that fall anywhere between mild inconveniences to faith-shaking dilemmas. Being put out by the words ‘new fiqh’ seems a little silly. It reminds me of when Dr. Abdul Hakim Jackson was speaking about how Muslims need to intergrate and people started freakin because they heard ‘assimilate’…I wanted to throw a dictionary at them.
    One of the biggest problems we face as Muslims is our not being able to unite. Certainly we are not a homogeneous group with one culture and one language, but our inability to truly unite as a group with a common goal is disappointing. I don’t like to place blame on anyone group for such a big problem, but the Salafi are definitely not helping the situation. Their rudimentary knowledge of what it means to truly be Muslim is mind boggling for people who profess to spend so much time studying the deen. I cannot recognize the Islam I have heard spouted from some of them. It is like living in a world without colour…your soul cannot take flight. I marvel at a person’s willingness to take part in something so bleak. The Salafis I have heard speak reject everything Western as evil, and live alife of complete separation from the rest of society. For Western born Muslims of Western parents that would involve a healthy amount of self-hate and a negation of our unique history, which I am not willing to do. I have had women tell me that instead of getting an education I should be home reading qur’an and raising kids. I have watched as a women are berated for their lack of islam because they choose to wear anything but a black jilbaab.
    There is also a complete lack of response to some of the bigger issues in the community here. When the biggest crisis the GLTB group on campus faced this year was the number of Muslims coming in looking for support, are the Salafis equipped or even interested in finding a solution? They won’t even discuss it, preferring rather to spit in disgust and start talking about cliffs and stoning…

    We cannot face external pressures if internally we are constantly weakenened.
    That being said, I really do not feel comfortable maligning people or labelling people, and I also don’t feel good about dismissing what might be sincerity in worship. It is the ideology I blame and those who lead the uneducated and weak.
    As much as it would be easy to blame the Salafi for all our woes, I think we should also be aware of the people in our community who seem to be incapable of acting with any reason regardless of what their ideology is. When we cannot sit and discuss Palestine without foaming at the mouth and spewing hatred at the Jews, how can we be surprised that the situation hasn’t been resolved? How many times have I watched parents say the most vile things about Jews in front of their children, thereby keeping this ridiculous prejudice alive? I have gotten into it with one to many Muslims about this. Women’s rights…try mentioning feminism to a Muslim and watch what happens.
    I could go on and on. My philosophy right now is ‘Search for Peace’ wherever I can. If I find it in a Jewish friend that I can express my hope for peace with, or an uneducated Salafi sister who has been abused by her husband but maintains probably more faith that I will ever have, then so be it.
    I have gone on way too long. I do that sometimes. Beklager!

  2. Tariq Nelson

    As you can see, this conversation is hot because of the damage that has been done. Br. Marqas you hit on some points that are taboo to talk about in most of their circles.

    Like you, I don’t want to bash for its sake and all that I say is out of concern.

  3. Anonymous

    Better be careful bro, before you see a question on one of their websites to one of their shaykhs that look like this:

    “Ya Shaykh, there is this man using big words such as “academics” and “culturally reinforced quagmire” and uses things such as “facts” against the noble salafis. What should we do?”

  4. JasonSpalding

    Did you know that the Gulf Cooperation Council of Nations Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates employee nearly 10 million migrant workers mostly for southeast Asia. Did you also know that the countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council have an economy growing at a rate greater that 6%? Did you know that the Palestinians have a workforce of 800,000 people? The Palestinians also have an unemployment rate of 67%. This mean that about 270,000 Palestinians are without work. But the Arabic Nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council employ 10,000,000 migrant workers. Why do the unemployed Palestinians stay living in a battle zone? Did you know that a trip from the Gaza Strip to Dubai is 2149 km or 1335 miles? The UAE has about 2,000,000 migrant workers. They also have a booming economy.

  5. Ginny

    Assalamu alaikum, I already commented about this on the first post regarding this subject. I just want to stress, it’s not the “people” that I have a problem with, it’s the methodology and the ideology and how said Methodology / ideology leads people to do things and act in ways that end up being contrary to what Islam really should be. Does that make sense?

  6. Hood

    The biggest problem is with those that use the label Salafi to justify there clichish gangland attitude, in the same way some use Sufi to justify thier superficial kissup character.

    We live in a time when the easiest thing to do is label (yourself or others) in order to ostracize yourslef from the community and shirk your legitimate islamic duties.

    Marqas, I appreciate your comments on the educational level of many that claim certain callings. It is said to see so many children trapped in families that will not provide them a proper education, simply because they cant themselves, or because they are afraid of “teaching the kids Kuffar stuff”
    As if math and science were part and parcel of kufr.

    As for the discussion, then everyone (Salafi or non) should remember the statement of one of the Salaf, AbulRahman ibn Yahya, when he said “the people of Ahlu-sunnah mention about themselves that which is for them and that which is against them. The people of innovation only mention that which is in thier favor.”

  7. Tha "R"

    Salaams to all,

    I’m new and I just want to say that Marqas and the rest of the commentors have done a good job of articulating what I think is potentially one of the worst problems American Muslims, espicially indigenous American Muslims face. If the hard-core Saudi trained salafists (who are now ashamed of the word Salafi btw) would pass through our nice little planet Earth every now and again, they would see that their ‘Da’wah’is causing extreme enmity for the religion of Islam – from both non-Muslims AND Muslims. Brothers and Sisters of the blog (lol) Muslims are on the verge of LEAVING Islam because the only Islam that they have been introduced to and nurtured via the INternet is ‘Saudi’ Islam. A way of life that is so extreme to American Muslims that in my humble opinion it causes a form of Psychosis in our brothers and sisters when they try to adhere to such austere and lofty pretenses. ‘Burnout’ indeed brutha! I’ve been a Muslim for almost thirty years in this country. My father excepted Islam early in my life. I’ve seen trends come and go. In the past, if you kept ‘Laa ilaaha illallah/Muhammadan Rasulullah’ and didnt eat pork you were doing pretty darn good. Now with the ‘saudi’ standard of ‘haraam, haraam, haraam, bid’ah, bid’ah, bid’ah – Islam becomes something less natural and organic but something cold and mechanical. And why are saudi taught ‘du’aat’ so obsessed with rulings??? The rulings of this and the rulings of that??? How is this ‘everything is codified and has a ruling’ version of Islam attractive to our non-Muslim relatives, friends, co-workers, etc? How is the average regular Joe Jamal going to sustain this over his entire life? Burnout Indeed.

    Hey Marqas, I like Jazz too – inspite of the Saudis haha. Peace.

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