Sunday, September 07, 2008

Reply to Miguel Abu Sufyan

Miguel Sufyan said the following:

Salaam Khalil,

Once in a while I check your blog, but I think it doesnt invite non-Muslims even Muslims for that matter.

First, you praised all this latinismo but your name is all Arabised, at least change some of it, like Khalil el Boricua, Khalil the Puerto Rican, I am not sure whats your real first name but its Jose, write Jose Khalil for those who don't know Arabic.

I think brothers that study Islam in other countries tend become part of that country and culture and abandon their own. We shouldn't abandon our beautiful culture but modified it, as the Prophet (s) did with his culture and we know that arabs had a harsh culture.

As for Muslims, I think we are tire of slogans, Quran n Sunnah, Minhaj of the Salaf, Minhaj of the Saved Sect, Minhaj of this and that, Let the Sunnah go forth...and its getting old and dry --these slogans are not from the Salaf.

Also the world does not revolve around the Saudi Kingdom.

thats my dos monedas.

Wa Salaam
Miguel Abu.Sufyan

My reply is as follows:

Assalamu alaikum (can I say that or is that too Arab for you?)

First let me say that I do not endorse any form of nationalism be it Latinism, Puerto Rican Nationalism, Black Nationalism, or Arabism. One of the goals or objectives of my blog is to discuss Puerto Rican/New York Puerto Rican culture. When I speak about this I am coming from a perspective of a New York born Puerto Rican Muslim. Many may not agree with me when I speak about these issues. Despite what you may think, I do not ever try to deny the fact that I am a Boricua. However, I do not believe in an orthodox definition of puertoriquenidad. Rather, I try to highlight this fact because it is part of my essence and being. I am not an island born Puerto Rican; nor was I born into a Spanish-speaking household. My parents were both born in New York, their dominant language is English, so this is the language they imparted upon me.

In terms of Latinidad and promotion of that, I do not feel that my blog promotes it. I have problems with the concept, especially since it is a Eurocentric concept. Puerto Rican culture, both from the island and more so stateside, does not fit in well with the whole Latinidad project. I really hate to use this over-arching term of “Latino” because what does it really mean to be a Latino? Culture is a living creature. It is not static. What could be Puerto Rican culture today may be very different tomorrow. My goal is to make Puerto Rican culture in line with Islam. I truly believe in Islamization.

About my name, it may be Arab in a sense but it is definitely 100% Islamic. I do not carry for its Arabness, but rather for its Islamicity. This naming system is from Islam. One only look at the great books of hadeeth or ilmur-rijal and see all of the names having using the yaa nisab (the 'y' of attribution) to a particular land. Just look at Al-Bukhari. The well-known scholar was not an Arab by descent, but came from the land of Bukhara in Central Asia. Look at At-Tirmidhi (also not an Arab) who was from Tirmidh in Central Asia as well. And the list goes on. Even in Islamic Spain there were great scholars known by the city they were from such the great mufassir Al-Qurtubi (from Qurtuba or Cordoba). As far as the Khalil part, this is a name I like and adopted when I came to Islam. Yes, it is Arab but again I do not hold it because of its Arabness but for its Islamness. This was the name nickname of Ibrahim (may Allah mention him amongst His angels). I go by this name of Khalil amongst the Muslims. At work and around my family I go by my given name of Danny. I just chose to call myself Khalil around the Muslims. That is my prerogative and for my love of Islam. Why do you feel I need to call myself Danny Abu Ishaq or something like that? Even you have adopt this Arab (yet Islamic) concept by the way you call yourself Abu Sufyan. You just chose to put “Abu Sufyan” after Miguel. How can you criticize me for something you do as well. I am sorry if my given name and adopted name are not “Latino” enough for you.

My blog invites Muslims and non-Muslims. Perhaps I have more critiques than fans. There are some people who regularly visit my site. My position on Islam is not based upon “slogans.” I believe in a true return to the Quran and Sunnah according to the methodology of the Salaf. That is not a slogan, it is my position. Whether you agree with the position is quite irrelevant.

About brothers going overseas and adopting the culture from where they are studying, perhaps this may be true. I think this is a natural phenomenon of any people who go to another country. Look at immigrants who come to this country. Many of them want to assimilate and just fit right in. No one wants to be an outcast. I agree that some may “throw the baby away with the bathwater.” I have spoken about issues like this in my blog. My position is that all that is permissible from culture should or could be maintained. We do not have to adopt another culture in order to be true Muslims. There are many things from our culture(s) that is (are) permissible.
Finally, I am fully aware that the world does not revolve around Saudi Arabia. I never once said that. My blog rarely if ever revolves around Saudi. Even though I have much to say about Saudi Arabia, I almost never share my views on this blog. So what was the point of that comment? I love Muslims from all Muslims countries. I do, however, tend to base my knowledge and fatawa from ulama who happen to be from Saudi. That is because they are upon the same minhaj (methodology) of Salafiyyah and madh-hab (school of law) of Hanabilah. This does not mean that I think the world revolves around Saudi Arabia.

Khalil Al-Puerto Rikani

1 comment:

  1. Ibrahim al BoriqeeSat Sep 13, 06:07:00 PM

    As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
    I have one, two or maybe even three points to make but before I do I want to congratulate you on a very good defense Khalil,

    First I would like to state that it is very sad to see a Muslim offended when another Muslim takes a Muslim name (by the way all Muslim names are in Arabic), especially when both Muslim share the same heritage. I hope that it does not offend one of the brothers in question when I say that my name is Ibrahim Rivera Cardona. Yes I have a name that I go by with some of my family but it is not the name I use. I chose to change it for personal reason. In Egypt and in Kuwait I am known as Ibrahim Al Boriqee. This is due to the fact that I am Puerto Rican by ethnicity having been born on the Island and spent many years there. Also both my parents were born and raised there. Unfortunately, when one speaks in arabic it can get difficult to help some one pronounce Puerto Ricani. Hence al Boriqee. I just to also mention that it is from the Sunnah to take a Muslim name when one reverts to Islam. Ofcourse it is not obligatory unless your name means something like pig or dog or something that is offensive.
    Second, Narrated Anas: I will narrate to you a Hadith and none other than I will tell you about after it. I heard Allah's Apostle saying: From among the portents of the Hour are (the following): 1. Religious knowledge will decrease (by the death of religious learned men). 2. Religious ignorance will prevail. 3. There will be prevalence of open illegal sexual intercourse. 4. Women will increase in number and men will decrease in number so much so that fifty women will be looked after by one man. (Sahih Al Bukhari Book #3, Hadith #81) I mention this because of the comment on studying Islam in other countries. Brother, if there was a place to study Islam in America that is not corrupted by Sufism, Nationalism and some other isms then I might have stayed. Actually no I wouldn't have. You see, as I come to my last point, when I reverted to Islam I became a Muslim. That means I left behind all the tappings of the culture that I had before. See Islam is my, no our culture. It is sad to hear any one say that Dar ul Kuffar is beautiful. Look when it comes down to it I rather hear the call to prayer five times a day and pray in congration five times a day. I am not a Da'ee (caller to Islam) so I have no business in the Land of the Non believers. Insha Allah, I hope to one day be able to have the knowledge to do this and when I do it will be to everyone. I will concentrate on Puerto Rico as it is my country.
    That being said I hope that I have not offended anyone and if I have than I ask that you forgive me.
    Ramadan Mubarak

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