Thursday, November 18, 2010

Four in 10 say marriage is becoming obsolete

I am not suprised by the direction that marriage is taking in our country. There is no incentive for marriage. There was a time when one can look forward to "enjoying" his/her partner after he/she had gotten married. That is not the case anymore. Nowadays, all the acts of marriage are taking place before marriage. Marriage nowadays is not viewed in spiritual terms but in legal terms.

Once marriage simply become a legal matter, one looks at the issue of divorce and gay marriages are important issues. There is the fear of all the expenses to get divorced. This is also coppled with the great taboo of getting divorced in the West that was originally prompted by the Catholic Church. Nowadays, this taboo continues and divorced is seen as a greater concern to some than committing fornication. In our times fornication and chastity are becoming a foreign word to many in society. Committing fornication is no longer consider at sin. It may be, at best, considering something that may be frowned upon for those under 18. That is at best it may be viewed in such terms. Islam never banned divorced, and yet many Americans deem Islam as a backward religion The drive away from religion also fuels the way that marriaged is perceived in society.  ~Khalil Alpuertorikani

Four in 10 say marriage is becoming obsolete

By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Hope Yen, Associated Press – Thu Nov 18, 6:20 am ET

WASHINGTON – Is marriage becoming obsolete?

As families gather for Thanksgiving this year, nearly one in three American children is living with a parent who is divorced, separated or never-married. More people are accepting the view that wedding bells aren't needed to have a family.

A study by the Pew Research Center, in association with Time magazine, highlights rapidly changing notions of the American family. And the Census Bureau, too, is planning to incorporate broader definitions of family when measuring poverty, a shift caused partly by recent jumps in unmarried couples living together.

About 29 percent of children under 18 now live with a parent or parents who are unwed or no longer married, a fivefold increase from 1960, according to the Pew report being released Thursday. Broken down further, about 15 percent have parents who are divorced or separated and 14 percent who were never married. Within those two groups, a sizable chunk — 6 percent — have parents who are live-in couples who opted to raise kids together without getting married.

Indeed, about 39 percent of Americans said marriage was becoming obsolete. And that sentiment follows U.S. census data released in September that showed marriages hit an all-time low of 52 percent for adults 18 and over.

In 1978, just 28 percent believed marriage was becoming obsolete.

When asked what constitutes a family, the vast majority of Americans agree that a married couple, with or without children, fits that description. But four of five surveyed pointed also to an unmarried, opposite-sex couple with children or a single parent. Three of 5 people said a same-sex couple with children was a family.

"Marriage is still very important in this country, but it doesn't dominate family life like it used to," said Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University. "Now there are several ways to have a successful family life, and more people accept them."

The broadening views of family are expected to have an impact at Thanksgiving. About nine in 10 Americans say they will share a Thanksgiving meal next week with family, sitting at a table with 12 people on average. About one-fourth of respondents said there will be 20 or more family members.

"More Americans are living in these new families, so it seems safe to assume that there will be more of them around the Thanksgiving dinner table," said Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center.

The changing views of family are being driven largely by young adults 18-29, who are more likely than older generations to have an unmarried or divorced parent or have friends who do. Young adults also tend to have more liberal attitudes when it comes to spousal roles and living together before marriage, the survey found.

But economic factors, too, are playing a role. The Census Bureau recently reported that opposite-sex unmarried couples living together jumped 13 percent this year to 7.5 million. It was a sharp one-year increase that analysts largely attributed to people unwilling to make long-term marriage commitments in the face of persistent unemployment.

Beginning next year, the Census Bureau will publish new, supplemental poverty figures that move away from the traditional concept of family as a husband and wife with two children. It will broaden the definition to include unmarried couples, such as same-sex partners, as well as foster children who are not related by blood or adoption.

Officials say such a move will reduce the number of families and children who are considered poor based on the new supplemental measure, which will be used as a guide for federal and state agencies to set anti-poverty policies. That's because two unmarried partners who live together with children and work are currently not counted by census as a single "family" with higher pooled incomes, but are officially defined as two separate units — one being a single parent and child, the other a single person — who aren't sharing household resources.

"People are rethinking what family means," Cherlin said. "Given the growth, I think we need to accept cohabitation relationships as a basis for some of the fringe benefits offered to families, such as health insurance."

Still, the study indicates that marriage isn't going to disappear anytime soon. Despite a growing view that marriage may not be necessary, 67 percent of Americans were upbeat about the future of marriage and family. That's higher than their optimism for the nation's educational system (50 percent), economy (46 percent) or its morals and ethics (41 percent).

And about half of all currently unmarried adults, 46 percent, say they want to get married. Among those unmarried who are living with a partner, the share rises to 64 percent.

Other findings:

_About 34 percent of Americans called the growing variety of family living arrangements good for society, while 32 percent said it didn't make a difference and 29 percent said it was troubling.

_About 44 percent of people say they have lived with a partner without being married; for 30-to-49-year-olds, that share rose to 57 percent. In most cases, those couples said they considered cohabitation as a step toward marriage.

_About 62 percent say that the best marriage is one where the husband and wife both work and both take care of the household and children. That's up from 48 percent who held that view in 1977.

The Pew study was based on interviews with 2,691 adults by cell phone or landline from Oct. 1-21. The survey has a total margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points, larger for subgroups. Pew also analyzed 2008 census data, and used surveys conducted by Time magazine to identify trends from earlier decades.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Historical trip to Puerto Rico unites islanders to the mainland

Originally Posted at:

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Historical trip to Puerto Rico unites islanders to the mainland.

For Imam Yusef making history seems to follow him everywhere. Although he converted to al Islam at the tender age of 16 he has constantly been among the movers and shakers of Dawah to Latinos.

Historical trip to Puerto Rico unites islanders to the mainland.

By Imam Yusef Maisonet and Sr Khadijah Rivera

A man may plan but ALLAH is still the best of planners. Everything comes at the time that it was meant to be. For over 25 years I had dreamed of returning to Puerto Rico. But my work as a Merchant seaman took me to ports in Central and South America with work turned into Dawah . All that time Puerto Rico was in the back of my mind.

Last year I prepared to take that ground breaking trip to Puerto Rico which was brought about by a New York Puerto Rican who felt that there was a lacking on the island of dawah among her people and a lack of Islamic education to the native Latino Muslims of the island. Although, I yearned to feel the rich Boriquen soil beneath my feett we felt some slight hostility there and some obstacles here on the Mainland. It was as if the native Puerto Ricans and the immigrant Muslims on the island could not figure me out. They thought I was out for some selfish reason. Little did they know this old man who had no illustrious reasoning behind going to Puerto Rico except to understand why the spread of Islam was not flourishing considering the rate of reverts here in the USA. But in December of “08 , a trip came about to accompany some Latina Sisters to the UAE for American Leadership Program.. And there under the Abu Dhabi dessert and under impossible odds three Latinos discussed our dreams for Puerto Rico. Face to face with Sr Shinoa who had written the initial letter and Sr Khadijah who had broadcast it nationally. We discussed the need and how we could make this trip benefit ALL Latinos.

On the 20th of March my dreams came to a reality as I took off to what we call the Island of Enchantment ( Isla Del Encanto) Puerto Rico. Did you know that there are more Puerto Ricans living outside Puerto Rico than there are on the Island? For starters , it was a well thought of and considered trip that I discussed and planned with the Latino Muslim Community of the mainland. We agreed that it was time for a Representative of the Latino Community to go on a fact finding Mission and see how we could bridge the gap between Puerto Rico and the Muslims in the U.S.A. The trip was planned with input from PIEDAD of Florida/Metro NJ , ALMA from Atlanta , LALMA from Los Angeles , the Latino Muslim Community of Chicago and Mobile, AL they fundraised to make this historical trip a reality.

I flew out off Mobile, AL and was later met by a dear friend: Diaab Ali from Shorter, AL who found out about my trip on a visit to Mobile and wanted to share this experience with me. We were met by brother Yasser Reyes and Hajji Wilfredo Amr Ruiz a Lawyer and a Chaplain in the Prison system in Puerto Rico , we had made Hajj together in 2007 but we never saw each other until that day in Puerto Rico. Subhannallah what a plan!
After our salat together we made proceeded to meet with the Muslim youth and the Muslims I had been talking electronically via phone and mail with, to address their concerns .

Palestinian refugees resettled in Puerto Rico and raised families. As their families grew they built Masjids and opened weekend schools for their children. Khutbahs are in Arabic but with little or no translation. Thus leaving an entire Muslim population in the dark in their own land.

Almost immediately we had our first meeting was with the youth in San Juan at the Islamic Center of Puerto Rico. They received me with warm and open arms they described their concerns which were

1. Khutbas in Arabic only- The Latino Muslims would attend Khutbahs they could not decipher. With so many beautiful masjids throughout the island there were a seeming emptiness that accompanied them. Attending Salatul Jumaah without translation when it is a known fact that the khutbah must be in the language of the people. Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States although most Boricuas as they are called speak English . Few speak Arabic.
2. No Puerto Rican imam is available on the entire island.
3. Urgent need for Islamic Literature mostly Qur'ans and Prayer Books.
4. Daiis and Daiyettes-Need for brothers and sisters willing to give Dawah in Puerto Rico , and wanting to have some kind of bridge between , the Indigenous Puerto Rican Muslims and Latinos in mainland USA..

Diaab Ali and myself we were invited to eat some of those delicious dishes that the island is so famous for. Salat followed and our next appointment for a Masjid in Vega Alta . Here a Palestinian , Imam Zaid offered Khutbahs in Arabic and Spanish and had just begun classes for the youth on Sundays.

After getting much needed rest that evening , we started our day with Fajr in Hatillo and we went to a Puerto Rican Restaurant , Later we went to the next town which is called Camuy to visit my friend Yasser Reyes and Wife Fatima who dared to cook an island delicacy of Fish soup followed by Halal Chicken with Spanish rice(Sabroso). As a Self proclaimed connaiseur of fine Latin dishes it was hard for me to keep all those dishes out of print to make room for our Islamic purpose.
Accompanied by Hajji Wilfredo Amr Ruiz and Siste Migdalia Rivera of Ponce,( Puerto Rico) we headed towards Vega Alta to Masjid Al Faruq to meet with the Imam Zaid. All of us were pleasantly surprised by his dedication and spirituality. While there we met with the sisters and the youth during some classes that were at the mosque and since our visit they have started Arabic classes for the Latinos on Sundays. He is a dedicated Imam and a beautiful human being, may Allah give him Jannah for all of his work. While in Puerto Rico I established him to be the only Imam that I found whole heartedly caring for the Latino Muslims.

After Camuy we headed for Mayaguez to visit some inmates that br. Wilfredo and br. Yasser had made arrangements for me to visit while I was in Puerto Rico. We went to the youth section first and we were able to give Da’wah to 6 inmates. We also noticed that the both the male and female guards were just as interested to learn about Islam. They treated us with the utmost respect and led us to the bigger population of awaiting inmates. These men were so happy to have a Muslim visitor from the states and gave us their full attention for over an hour for a taleem in Spanish. With Allah’s plan , three wonderful brothers took Shahadah , we gave them El Sagrado Coran (Quran) , prayer books and lots of other Islamic literature. I later visited several of the 12 mosques located throughout the island and found some to be abandoned. This wrenched my heart to see the possibilities vs realities of the fall of the empire so to speak.

After a fruitful day we went to another town called Hormiguero to visit my brother and sister from my father’s side and my brother had called Hajji Wilfredo to find out what to cook and what not to cook for the Muslims. My brother Miguel and my sister Edna just couldn't contain themselves, so while they cooked (Arroz con gandules with bisteak encebollado)rice with ganduls and steak with a lot of onions, brother Yasser and myself were able to make salat in total peace with plenty of love for Islam, after that my dear freind Yasser broke out with a little Dawah . It was received with warmth and believe me they loved it, the people in Puerto Rico are just waiting for someone to step forward to bring them some truth.
After spending a day like this is Puerto Rico my Brother and Sister just weren't ready to let me go so I had to drive brother Yasser back to Camuy , so that night we drank Puerto Rican coffee which I know to be the best coffee in the world and we exchanged stories about our father . That night I rested peacefully under the palm trees and moonlight of the Caribbean wonderful as it was Mobile, Al is my home.

As I woke and made my Fajr and remembered that I make a commitment to an incarcerated brother back in the states in Jessup, Ga that i would visit his mother who lives in Carolina, Puerto Rico. I started to get dress again, by this time my sister in law was making that Puerto Rican coffee and I just had to drink two cups and tell my brother the news that I was not going to be able to spend the day with him Alhamduillah that he understood and I was able to get on my way to Carolina which is next to San Juan it took me 2 hours driving to get to San Juan to my Hotel to change clothes and also to phone Ms Norma Rivera to let her know that I would visit her about 2 o'clock , it took me longer than I thought to get to her house but i finally found the house and was able to give her a hug and a big kiss from her son whom she had not seen in 18 years! I told her that her son found Islam while incarcerated and had acquired a PhD while in prison and would inshallah regain his freedom by the end of the Year . With this I could finally say” Mission accomplished “ on my trip to Puerto Rico.
At the airport I was shopping for some souvenirs, a young lady working there mistook me for a singer and was asking about my names origin , I took this as an opportunity for da’wah. She said she had always desired a Qur'an in Spanish. She also stated that she had never quite accepted the trinity and had secretly always believed in one G-d. It just so happened I had a Spanish / Arabic Qur'an in my briefcase and that was my final good deed in Puerto Rico.

Revisiting my homeland fortified my beliefs that Islam could change the face of our people. It could end racism, gangs and poverty. It could bring about positive changes in our attitude and way of conduct as a people. I love a little pic I found of this sister holding up some plaques and how Islam alters your personality in a positive way.

In order for Islam to flourish in Puerto Rico they need Spanish Language Islamic Literature on all levels . A library in Vega Alta would be a good start. Puerto Ricans need scholars to visit and teach Quran, Fiqh, Seerah, Aqeedah and Hadiths etc. They need the most sincere and bright minds to further their studies overseas and to prepare them to run the masjids and integrate the Muslims with the community at large. Whether we are speaking of interfaith work alongside Christians on service programs or Intrafaith among immigrants and natives. There is a lot of work to be done and it is ONLY the beginning. I would like to see the sisters participate and develop more Islamic weekend schools and possibly a Madrassa. To do this we need dedication and pure intentions to serve and seek ONLY the pleasure of ALLAH swt.

We need a united front with the Latino organizations in the mainland. I am speaking of the ones run by Latinos themselves. We need a concerted effort to make this happen now and by the end of the year to see definitive results. Anyone who wants to contribute books for the library or sponsor a scholar should contact me until we can get a working organization to bridge island to mainland Latinos.

On July 10-11, 2009 The international Museum of Islamic Culture in Jackson, Mississippi will be hosting a national conference workshop entitled “Latino Renaissance” . Join me and other Latinos who are reviving and working on the framework of this Renaissance. Be part of the journey!

Start a Library to benefit the Latinos on the island. Send your New or gently used Islamic literature, prayer rugs and videos .
For more information or to contact me at:

Latino Islam
Imam Yusef Maisonet
1319 Bay ave
Mobile, Al 36605

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Miss Sexy in a Hijab

Posted: March 11, 2010 by Ruwayda Mustafah at  Quantcast

The way we dress, conduct ourselves and express ourselves tend to convey pieces of our character. The image we create through the way we dress, talk and even walk manifest our attitude and character. Let’s examine, perhaps subjectively so the justification or the reasoning behind make-up with a Hijab which creates what I call “Miss sexy in a Hijab”.

Truthfully and bluntly speaking being sexy, looking sexy and desired is something all women care about and admire. This can be derived in the Halal way – yes! We don’t talk about looking sexy, and not just that but also feeling sexy because of a culture of silence that has a draconian effect on society. Hijab is modesty, a bit of make up adds sassiness and off course looking sexy makes one look fashionable – but let’s call it ‘presentable’ since this is a word used loosely among many and even preferred.

Looking sexy, to whom?
You can be as sassy, sexy and flirtatious to your lawful partner as you want. This is desirable and recommended in Islam because it’s a good thing that will keep your marriage spicy and exciting so don’t loose grips of it – take pride in yourself, your looks, charm and beauty. However, inviting the attention of men to yourself by wearing excessive make-up and skimpy clothing is not permissible (in accordance to Islam) and many Muslim women from the east to the west struggle with this. Take this as a stern warning, from the beloved and merciful Mohammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم‎)
There are two types of people who will enter the Hell-fire, whom I have not (as yet) seen: People having whips similar to ox-tails with which they will beat people, and (secondly) women who will be dressed yet appear to be naked. They will seduce men and be inclined towards them. Their heads will be like the swaying humps of bacterial camels. They will neither enter paradise, nor smell its fragrance, even though its fragrance can be smelt from such and such distance.” (Narrated by Abu Hurairah, Recorded in Sahih Muslim, no. 2128)

Clearly one could say but I don’t wear Make-up to seduce strange men, I could not careless about them but I wear it for myself because it makes me feel better, more confident and comfortable in my own body. You might not be wearing Make-up to seduce strange men, but you are in effect doing so. A mother may be trying to secure a good career for her son but in effect she might be making him miserable because he doesn’t want to become a pharmaceutical student. Sometimes we might be unaware of the effect of our actions regardless of our intentions – clearly actions are by intentions but the intention must be consistent with the action but perhaps, and I hope this is not the case that you don’t really care – So what if I dress seductively, I enjoy it, what’s your problem? Clearly I’m not bothering you nor impinging upon your private life, so mind your own business and stop being so judgemental. In this case you dress to please strange men, but I doubt any decent woman would say such a thing.

University changes people for the better and worse, and I hope in my case it’s for the better. Every morning, rushing to get into the lecture theatre on time, finding a place to park your car, or patiently waiting for the bus to go just a tad bit faster is a tedious experience for many, but regardless of all this you will find among women on Campus the finest make-up put on with much effort and precision. It’s surprising that if you see a woman without make-up she won’t even look at you in the eye, as if a part of her is missing or that she is no longer worthy to be looked at. Beauty is admirable and not everyone has the best of features but the most beautiful woman if accompanied by a rigid, selfish and arrogant personality will soon cease to be beautiful. Confidence is not derived from looks, this is an illusion because true confidence is derived from knowledge, certainty and conviction. Building your confidence through bettering your self-image the right way and not artificially by applying excessive make-up is long lasting and achievable because confidence is not a powder you put on your face, it’s a mentality which comes from experience.

Insecure women always try to find ways to make themselves feel more secure about how they look, act and behave. The Muslim woman is just as cautious as any other woman when it comes to her looks, how she smells, and whether she looks ‘normal’. The question I’ve wondered about, are women really sexy with Hijab and excessive Make-up? Personally, the answer is a obvious no-no sweetie. The eye-shadow, Mac Kohl and blusher, lip gloss, mascara and whatever else that is on makes most women look rather ugly and unnatural but, this is secondary to the point I’m trying to make.

Please don’t understand what I’m trying to say as a form of justification to belittle, humiliate, mock or make any derogatory comments about women who wear Hijab – and I understand each person has different views and beliefs on matters as such.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Juan Williams is an Idiot

The elite journalist Juan Williams is simply an idiot, and I am glad he has gotten fired.  I wonder to what degree does he deny his African heritage since he tries to disassociate himself from his Panamanian (and Hispanic) roots.

My question to Juan (or shall I say "John") is would you also be afraid of an African wearing traditional African (and Muslim) garb?  Would you be taken a back if you heard a White man say that he would be afraid of a Black man in African clothing? Or would be it only be a problem when it is non-African, Muslim garb?

By that way, when was the last time you heard of a Muslim terrorist doing any terrorism while wearing Muslim garb? Never! Is it Muslim garb you are afraid of or true Islam?

You're an idiot!

Khalil Al-Puerto Rikani
Louisville, KY (will be back home tomorrow, inshAllah)

Dispelling the myths about who is Allah

Monday, August 09, 2010

Nashville Masjids Decide to Follow to Sunnah in Sighting While Clarksville Follows ISNA

Alhamdulillah, I was at one of the local masjid tonight in Nashville, and I decided to see if this masjid was with the whole modernist fiqh position of ISNA in regards to the sighting.  He told me that his masjid and all of the other masjids were having a meeting, and that they were waiting for the actual sighting.  He agree that going by calculation was not the correct way.

I also called one of the brothers tonight from the Islamic Center of Clarksville, TN and he was telling me that masjid is still going to go by ISNA.  The brothers there claim this is unity, but what really is is the tyranny of the majority.  They are imposing that fiqh position on those that live in that locality.  I am glad that I do not live in Clarksville any more.

Khalil Alpuertorikani
Nashville, TN

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dawah to Allah in Nashville / Middle Tennessee

It is amazing the way that there is so much opposition to the establishment of masajid (pl. mosques) in Middle Tennessee.  What type of country do we live in where a Muslim cannot practice his/her religion without being harrassed and tormented.  "They want to turn off the light of Allah with their mouth, but Allah will complete His light even if the polytheist hate it."

Anyone interested in engaging in serious dawah to Allah (i.e. calling to Allah's oneness), please contact me. 

Khalil Alpuertorikani
Yonkers, NY
July 31, 2010
The Salafi "Position" in Regards to Placing the Hands in Salah

Two Fridays ago several brothers came together at Masjid Al-Salam in Nashville, TN, to clarify the correct position in regards to the placement of the hands.  Representing one side of the debate was Imam Abdullah Al-Ansary (student of Shaykh Ghudayan - rahimahullah) of the Islamic Center of Tennessee and representing another side of the debate was Imam Abdiaziz Irobie (student of Shaykh Muqbil - rahimahullah).

The end result, I believe, was that both of the imams brought there proof, and the such differences in the religion is permissiable.  There is no one Salafi position regarding this issue.  Salafiyyah is not a school of fiqh.  Every position and Salafi holds today stands on the backs of all those before us.  Whether one prayer with his/her hands below the navel, on the chest, in between the two, or at one's side, the main matter in the din is in regards to the `aqidah and the overall minhaj of our religion.

Khalil Alpuertorikani
Yonkers, New York
July 31, 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Writer's Block

Assalamu 'ala man 'ittaba' al-huda

Hey! What's going on world? I have been extremely busy lately and have when I come online, I really to not have anything to post. I don't know. Maybe you can say that I have a bit of writer's block. Please share your ideas with me. I like it when people give me feedback. The way that I envision my blog is as a sort of forum where people can exchange ideas. Let me know what think about anything. Preferably, can you stick the the theme of this page or speak about my blog in particular.

Muchisima Gracias,

Khalil Al-Puertorikani

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Congress approves referendum on Puerto Rico future

Associated Press
By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer Jim Abrams, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The House on Thursday approved legislation that could set in motion changes in Puerto Rico's 112-year relationship with the United States, including a transition to statehood or independence. The House bill would give the 4 million residents of the island commonwealth a two-step path to expressing how they envision their political future. It passed 223-169 and now must be considered by the Senate.

Initially, eligible voters, including those born in Puerto Rico but residing in the United States, would vote on whether they wish to keep their current political status or opt for a different direction.

If a majority are in favor of changing the current situation, the Puerto Rican government would be authorized to conduct a second vote and people would choose among four options: statehood, independence, the current commonwealth status or sovereignty in association with the United States. Congress would have to vote on whether Puerto Rico becomes a state.

Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico's nonvoting delegate to the House, said that while the island has had votes on similar issues in the past, Congress has never authorized a process where Puerto Ricans state whether they should remain a U.S. territory or seek a nonterritorial status.

"The American way is to allow people to vote, to express themselves and to tell their elected officials how they feel about their political arrangements," said Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno at a news conference with Pierluisi. "For 112 years, we haven't had the chance ... to fully participate in one way or another in the decisions that affect our daily lives."

Puerto Rico became a U.S. territory at the end of the Spanish-American War. Those born on the island were granted U.S. citizenship in 1917 and Puerto Rico gained commonwealth status in 1952.

Today, Puerto Ricans serve in the military but can't vote in presidential elections. They do not pay federal income tax on income earned on the island.

In the last referendum, "none of the above" garnered 50 percent of the vote, topping the other options, including statehood at 46.5 percent and independence at 2.5 percent.

Some of those differences were evident among lawmakers of Puerto Rican background. Puerto Rico-born Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., whose parents were from Puerto Rico, strongly opposed the measure, saying it was designed to push a statehood agenda. "This is the Puerto Rico 51st state bill," said Gutierrez, an independence proponent. "The deck is stacked."

But another Puerto Rico-born lawmaker, Democrat Jose Serrano of New York, backed it. "I support it because for the first time in 112 years the people of Puerto Rico will have an opportunity to express themselves."

Opposition to the House bill included Republican concerns about the consequences of Puerto Rico, where Spanish, as well as English, is the official language, becoming a state. Republicans said Puerto Rico would get some six seats in the House, possibly at the expense of other states, and that statehood would impose further burdens on the federal Treasury.

Republicans, led by Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., unsuccessfully tried to attach a provision that ballots favoring statehood make clear that a Puerto Rican state would adopt English as its official language and abide by Second Amendment gun rights. The proposal was defeated 198-194.

Associated Press writer Ann Sanner contributed to this report.

The bill is H.R. 2499

On the Net:


Monday, April 26, 2010

Has Chuck Schumer EVER Criticized Israel or its Leadership in the Way He Just Unloaded on Obama?

By, Steve Clemons
Thursday, Apr 22 2010, 10:24PM

Senator Chuck Schumer may have just lost any shot at succeeding Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader if the Nevada Senator stumbles in the upcoming tough 2010 challenge he is facing.

Politico's Ben Smith shares word of a very harsh critique that Schumer publicly shared with a conservative Jewish show today of Obama's Middle East policy.

Schumer's screed gets to the edge of sounding as if he is more a Senator working in the Knesset than working in the United States Senate.

This is the 2nd time I know of that Schumer has publicly crossed the line when it came to zealously blaming his own government and colleagues in delicate matters of US-Israel-Palestine policy.

During the third of three major efforts of the George W. Bush administration to get the recess appointed US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton confirmed in the US Senate, Senator Schumer launched a passionate personal campaign to help Bolton succeed.

Schumer called many Democratic Senate colleagues and bluntly said, "A vote against John Bolton is a vote against Israel."

Senator Christopher Dodd finally challenged Schumer's advocacy for Bolton and this statement in a meeting of the weekly Democratic Senate Caucus at the time -- and put an end to Schumer's campaign.

What Schumer was distorting was that every administration, Republican and Democrat, had in the past been a good friend of Israel. Bolton represented the face of Jesse Helms-inspired pugnacious American nationalism largely disdainful of international institutions and engagement, and it was well within the latitude of the United States Senate to reject Bolton, or in this case filibuster him, on numerous grounds without having the Israel card pulled.

Schumer has an Israel blind spot.

From Ben Smith's entry today:

New York Senator Chuck Schumer harshly criticized the Obama Administration's attempts to exert pressure on Israel today, making him the highest-ranking Democrat to object to Obama's policies in such blunt terms.

Schumer, along with a majority of members of the House and Senate, signed on to letters politely suggesting the U.S. keep its disagreements with Israel private, a tacit objection to the administration's very public rebuke of the Jewish State over construction in Jerusalem last month.

But Schumer dramatically sharpened his tone on the politically conservative Jewish Nachum Segal Show today, calling the White House stance to date "counter-productive" and describing his own threat to "blast" the Administration had the State Department not backed down from its "terrible" tough talk toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Schumer, a hawkish ally of Israel since his days as a Brooklyn Congressman, described "a battle going on inside the administration" over Middle East policy.

"This has to stop," he said of the administration's policy of publicly pressuring Israel to end construction in Jerusalem.

"I told the President, I told Rahm Emanuel and others in the administration that I thought the policy they took to try to bring about negotiations is counter-productive, because when you give the Palestinians hope that the United States will do its negotiating for them, they are not going to sit down and talk," Schumer told Segal. "Palestinians don't really believe in a state of Israel. They, unlike a majority of Israelis, who have come to the conclusion that they can live with a two-state solution to be determined by the parties, the majority of Palestinians are still very reluctant, and they need to be pushed to get there.

Note to Senator Schumer: you have certainly unloaded a lot of blame on the White House today. I have done a quick lexis and Thomas search and have been unable to find a single instance in which you criticized the behavior of the Israeli government at any time on any issue.

If we are wrong, we would very much like to be corrected. Please let us know.

-- Steve Clemons

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Clarksville Muslims achieve milestone: City's new Islamic Center holds open house
By ANN WALLACE • The Leaf-Chronicle • March 14, 2010
                   Dr. Abu Sarwar, left, and Dr. Ahmad Joudah talk in the men's prayer room
during the open house for the new Islamic Center of Clarksville
Saturday afternoon. (Beth Liggett Cogbill/The Leaf-Chronicle)
Saturday marked a milestone for the local Clarksville Muslim community.

The Islamic Center of Clarksville hosted an open house Saturday in a newly renovated building on Uffelman Drive that will serve as a multipurpose mosque and education center.

"We are very joyful," said Jerome Heath, a local businessman born in America who converted to Islam nine years ago. "We now have a place that is permanent. We want to help with local charitable organizations. We want to share our faith and live in harmony alongside our neighbors."

Ahmad Joudah, current president of the center, stressed the new Islamic Center will serve for worship and outreach.

"This is more than a house of prayer for us," he said. "It is also a center where we educate our children in our faith and whoever wants to learn more about Islam.

"We invite the American community to come visit, to see us," Joudah added. "We are open for everyone. We would like for this center to be a place of learning, teaching and a place to reach out to others.

"We are open to speaking to anyone about Islam. We are very happy to explain as much as we can about Islam."

Joudah and Heath stressed their status as American Muslims.

"We teach our children that we are Americans and our religion is Islam," Joudah said. "As Muslims, we are not terrorists, and there is a tremendous difference."

Heath stressed Muslim parents are compelled to teach their children "Islam is a religion of peace and harmony."

"We are committed Americans who want our country to succeed and prosper," Joudah said. "

And many of us are helping to do that. We are productive citizens as professors, physicians, engineers, businessmen and merchants."

Joudah estimated about 75 percent of local Muslims are American citizens.

Several countries of origin are represented in the local Muslim community, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Palestine, Jordan, Yemen, India and the United States.

"We became American citizens by choice, out of the conviction that we can contribute to the buildup of our country as much as our country can contribute to the building up of our ourselves and our families," Joudah said.

Heath nodded agreement, adding, "I love those bumper stickers with all the different symbols that translate into 'coexist.'"

"We are looking forward to standing side by side with other faiths in giving back to the community," Heath said.

Winding road

Since moving to Clarksville in 1992, Joudah said he has noticed the Muslim community has expanded.

"When we first moved here, there were about three or four families. Now there are about 20-25 families," said Joudah, who is a naturalized American citizen.

Almost two decades ago, the small group of local Muslims alternated meeting for worship in each other's homes. They rented the Crow Community Center for special prayers held each Friday and for holidays special to their faith.

Later the group rented property on Madison Street.

Eventually the group purchased property on Rossview Road with hopes to build a permanent mosque for worship.

"We wanted to build, but we couldn't raise the funds," Joudah said.

He emphasized when the Uffelman Drive property became available local Muslim leaders were excited to purchase a "better location in the heart of town."

Joudah recognizes in the aftermath of 9/11 that many people have honest questions about Islam.

He said the local Muslim community prays for understanding and tolerance.

"You don't have to look at CNN or such TV media for answers about what Muslims believe," Joudah said. "Now that our center is open, people can say, 'Hey, there's a local mosque right here that I can go to and speak with local Muslims to know what is real.'"

House of prayer

The new Islamic Center of Clarksville is a place for worship for men, women and children of the Muslim community.

It is a tangible location where prayer takes place.

Prayer is a fundamental tenet of Islam. Muslims are expected to pray five times a day, which is referred to as "Salat."

And those prayers are recommended to be shared alongside fellow Muslims.

It is preferable for Muslims to join the congregational prayers, but sometimes that is not possible because of employment commitments.

Prayers are usually performed before sunrise, at noon, mid-afternoon, at sunset and the last daily prayer, "Isha," is usually voiced about an hour after sunset.

The Friday noon prayer is the only one that is required to be spoken with the congregation, and this is the time when two sermons are delivered.

Women and men come for Friday prayers, but pray in separate groups.

Sundays are usually set aside for Muslim women and children to gather at the center for classes similar to a Sunday school in Christian churches.

Huda Nasir, 7, from left, Zoha Nasir, 9, Arwa Nasir, 4, Rayan Mohsun, 4,
         and Fellah Mohsun, 7, play in the children's room Saturday at the new Islamic
                Center of Clarksville on Uffelman Drive. (Beth Liggett Cogbill/The Leaf-Chronicle)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Parting Message For My Blog
By, Umar Lee

I would like to share this e-mail to you all in the blogging would. It send to me from Umar Lee. In this e-mail he speaks about the origins and the end of his blog.

While I may differ with him on many points, I feel that he is a voice in the Muslim community here in the U.S. that cannot be ignored. He represents the growing post-Salafi trend here in the U.S. May Allah guide all of the Muslims back to this blessed dawah, amin.

A Parting Message For My Blog

By, Umar Lee

Beginning of Blogging

Before I began blogging in 2005 I had periodically written for a number of Muslim publications. However, after 9-11, when I felt so much personal stress due to the ordeals of good friends of mine like Ismail Royer and my beloved Sheikh Ali al-Timimi I focused more on writing for boxing sites and doing some media work for some fighters.

Once Allah’ SWT puts the love for the Muslim community in your heart though it is hard to ignore the issues in our community ( especially when you see many important issues being ignored by the major Muslim leaders and organizations). So, in 2005 I began blogging in order to discuss the issues that I felt were being ignored such as the class-divide in the community, racial division in the community, Muslim organizations and mosques not addressing our needs, and the pro Takfiri Jihadi sentiment that was prevalent amongst many in our community, crazy anti-Jewish conspiracies, and other things.

I soon realized that very few bloggers came from the parts of the Muslim community I came from. While my experience has been diverse having attended hundreds of mosques throughout America from liberal affluent suburban masjids to hardcore taabliqui masjids in immigrant neighborhoods to “hood” masjids throught the country; it is a fact that the brothers I was closest to were always those brothers, mostly African-American, who were adherents to the Salafi Dawah, and with Arabs who were either Salafi or had a MAS-oriented approach to the deen in America.

This came after I had been educated in the deen by my teacher Sheikh Abdul-Rahman Basir who taught us from the traditional books of fiqh and aqeedah, the books of Sheikh Abu Ameena Bilal Phillips, the books of Syed Qutb, the speeches of Maloclm X and the political works of Frantz Fanon.

The Sheikh would say ” Islam is a you have to move” and carry the dawah with you. Almost all of the brothers I was educated with at that time were black, from the inner-city, and had criminal pasts and the Sheikh saw it as his calling to bring the dawah to the hood and on many occasions he said in every city he has been in he has looked for the “gang-bangers” to give dawah to.These were young men who were in a one-way path to prison on the graveyard and the Sheikh worked to transform their lives. I saw young men go from the corners and within 6 months be well-schooled in aqeedah, basic fiqh, know the salat, and read Quran in Arabic. A lot of Muslims would turn their backs on such men, look down on them, refer to them as ” low-lying fruit in the ghetto”, and a lot of non-Muslims would rather see them in dead or in jail than being Muslim ( a good friend of mine from the Bronx remarked that guys who he grew up who were Latin Kings had dealt drugs, menaced, fought and killed since Junior High and had never been sweated by the FBI and he lived an upright life not breaking any laws but because he is a Muslim has been constantly harassed). The story of these brothers and this segment of the community I came from did not have a home in the blogosphere just as these brothers have no place, or welcome, from the Institutes and “Suburban Capitalist” Islam Brother Yursil Kidwai has written of.

The strength of the teachings of the Sheikh was based on some very basic principals; we, our families, our neighborhoods, our nation, and our world is in a bad way because we have no Islam and have lost touch with Allah. No political movement, philosophy, or organization, can help humanity if it is not rooted in the Quran and the Sunnah. All secular knowledge and thought, and indeed our culture, must be filtered through the Quran and Sunnah. The Sheikh was “movement oriented” having been raised in Brooklyn in the 1940’s and being a part of the Black Power movement of the 1960’s. Like Imam Jamil al-Amin ( who I also spent a little bit of time with) and Imam Abdul-Alim Musa, who had come from similar backgrounds, he realized that Nationalism was not the way and being caught up in Western political and thought paradigms was not the way and that the only way to change a corrupt and oppressive Western-dominated world was through the Islamic Movement which sought to replace the secular order in Muslim countries with a Shariah-based Islamic system that could be a light of truth in a world of kufr.

Another white guy around at this time was Suhaib Webb who I used to sleep on the floor with at a storefront mosque in North St. Louis and have conversations about hip-hop and Islam over Mother’s Fish (Suhaib had been given shahadah by the Sheikh in Oklahoma). He would go on to become a prominent Imam and famous. I do not agree with him on all things and I think he is dealing with a lot of pressures; but at the end of the day I always give Brother Suhaib the benefit of the doubt because I know in his heart he has a love for the Islamic Movement. He has a voice amongst those whose ears are deaf to people like the Sheikh and any other grassroots figures and I pray that Allah uses him as a force for good. Today, he is in the blogosphere, and I think he can shed light on many of the issues that I have talked about in the past with much more knowledge.

Tariq Nelson, Rise and Fall, and “Traditional Feuds”

When my old friend Tariq Nelson ( who I met at the IANA Convention in Detroit in 1995) began blogging I rushed to contact him. I told him ” look, blogging in the Muslim community is overwhelmingly Sufi, liberal, and there are very few blacks…so do not be too hard on the people”. I told him then what I will say today; blogs are not reflective of our community.

It was a blessing having him blog because we often bounced ideas off of each other. More often than not I would agree to write something and take on the role of bad guy while he would sit back and laugh.

The Rise and Fall of the Salafi Movement could not have been written without Tariq. We were both around in those times and he reminded me of things I had forgotten.

That series was probably read by over 100,000 people and was copied onto dozens of other websites and was even printed as a booklet by someone I don’t even know. It was written because it needed to be written. A lot of people knew more than me but remained silent; but as I saw more and more people suffering and depressed I knew it was time to open that discussion.

Some good came from it in that people who were suffering could openly talk about their pain and get help. People with the same ideas could come out of the closet. But, many bad things came from it. Those whose motives were not pure used it to advance their partisan agenda when they had skeletons in their own closet.

After writing the Rise and Fall my blog grew in popularity and I became exposed to segments of the community I had previously ignored; Traditionalists, Sufis, Liberals, Progressives, Modernists, Green Muslims, Gay Muslims, Vegetarian Muslims, Anarchist Muslims, Neo-Con Muslims, people who say they are Muslims but do not believe in the Quran and Sunnah, etc.

Now, I am not lumping all of these different groups together. A Traditionalist Muslim or a legit Sufi is obviously better than the rest of those groups; but all of these groups tend to hang together, support one another, and defend one another. A lot of this could be because they are internet-oriented groups and are familiar with one another and a lot of it could be class in the sense that they all tend to come from the suburban middle to upper class, are well-educated, are generally more in favor of secular political thought and social thought than Islamic thought, and have those ways and mannerisms about them.

After being revolted by a lot of what I saw and read I decided to take on the issues that I saw on that side of the spectrum just as I had argued with Muslims in 2000 over voting for Bush and getting too close to conservatives. Islam is a way of its own, we do not need the Left, the Right or the Greens, we need the Book and the Sunnah and the knowledge of the rightly-guided ulama.

I took on their pet issues; a softened position or an outright support for homosexuality, rewriting Islam to be compliant with atheistic feminism, and the list goes on and on.

I wasted a lot of time and energy on this until one day Brother Traiq told me ” Look man, these people do not care about Islam or what the correct Islamic opinion is. What is real to them is what they learn in their secular education not what is in the Quran and Sunnah. ” I knew he was right. They were creating a made-up version of Islam, based on their own opinions, that would be compliant with the Western Secular Humanism they were being taught at school and those who clung to the Quran and Sunnah were seen by them as ignorant peasants.

It was also a mistake to get sidetracked into some kind of a feud with the followers of Nu Ha Mim Keller and Hamza Yusuf. Although, I think I was right for the most part and those ideas do not seem too controversial amongst the brothers I know in real life, the internet is their domain and it was pointless to argue with people who do not listen in a format where they make up the majority ( unlike in the vast majority of masjids in America) and I did not present my opinions in the best of manners. And, in real life, I do not beef with these brothers. I just saw a brother at jumma who just got back from a Sufi school in Yemen. I invited him to dinner and he said " maybe we can have a mawlid" and we both started laughing. He knows he has his was and I have mine and there would be a mawlid in my home over my dead body; but at the end of the day we are still brothers and can be friends.

Digital Divide: The Masjid and the Bloggers and Online Community

It is important to note that, as I said before, the Muslim blogosphere and online community does not reflect the Muslim community of America. In city after city that I go the masjids are largely controlled by fairly conservative Muslims. It is very hard for me to find a masjid with an Imam or group of brothers who are Green or Progressive or what not but those ideas are prominent online. When was the last time you have been to a Taqwacore masjid? A Quranist masjid? Now how many masjids do you find with Deobandi educated brothers, al-Azhar educated brothers, and Medina and Mecca educated brothers? African-American brothers from the American movements? There are even, by far, more imams educated in places like Yemen and Sudan in very conservative Salafi or Sufi schools than self-proclaimed progressive Imams.

What has happened online is that those marginalized groups, some who are Muslims others that are apostate and claiming to be Muslim without belief, have found a sanctuary online in blogs and Muslim group discussions. But, you will not find them in the lines of the masjid at salat-ul-fajr, or waiting for the adhan for maghrib . Nor will you find them struggling to raise righteous Muslim children.

Post 9-11: Intelligence Services, Selling Out, The Rise of Modernist Muslims and the Neo-Colonialists

9-11 dramatically changed our community. Imams stopped giving fiery khutbas, many people stopped saying what they really believed, and in many ways we became a community of deceivers. A brother would tell you he would give his right arm for Hamas over lunch on Tuesday and then be at a lunch at a synagogue on Wednesday.

Brothers like me became isolated. I believed in an Islamic Revival and the Islamic Movement before 9-11 and I believed in it after 9-11. I loved Sheikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiya, Syed Qutb, and those groups fighting to establish Islam before 9-11 and I loved them after 9-11.

There are many brothers like me; but most are now silent. Others have sold out and changed their opinions on Islamic matters not based on daleel; but based on the fear of the power of the kafir.

We also have to deal with the issue of the FBI and other intelligence services in our community in the post 9-11 era. I will not deny that you have some fools in our community who need to be watched; but those same fools can be found in every community.
What we have today is a climate of fear in our community. People are scared to voice their opinion because if they say the wrong thing they will have the FBI knocking at their door. There is no freedom of speech for the Muslim in America. As an example; a Muslim is free to support the US-Sanctioned Fatah Party in Palestine, but voicing support for Hamas can get you put in prison. Pat Robertson can get on TV and advocate assassinations and and say that bad things are happening in America because our sinful ways and Sheikh Ali al-Timimi says the same things and gets a life-sentence. An Imam gives a fiery heartfelt khutbah on Friday and on Monday he has an FBI agent calling him to see if they can have lunch to talk about what he meant. How many Christian preachers get that call?

If you or your masjid is Salafi, MAS controlled, Deobandi, or any conservative strain of Islam you can be guaranteed that you and your masjid will be monitored and harassed. If you are an immigrant and a Muslim do not be surprised if you are pressured to keep an eye on your brothers if you want to keep your legal status. What will these brothers do? Most will be scared away from the Muslim community and keep their families from the masjid and that is what they want.

These are complicated matters. The FBI, which is overwhelmingly white and right, does not understand the community and many times are dealing with bad information. Muslims trying to use the FBI to take out their competitors, neo-con think-tanks and groups dedicated to perpetuating warfare between America and the Muslim World have the ear of the FBI and many times more responsible voices do not.

There are a few terrorists in the community, this is true and May Allah Guide them not to moderation but to more constructive means of achieving their goals. But I would argue that the real terrorist threat in America from the days of the Confederacy, to the days of the Klan, to lynchings and jury nullification, to J. Edgar Hoover and Bull Connor, to Timothy McVeigh, to the Tea Party of today to the guy who just flew a plane into a federal building in Texas, has always been from the White Right. And, if you never read anything from me again, mark my word that in the future of these United States will be a violent backlash from the White Right ( fueled by Evangelical Protestantism and Racism) as they become a minority in this nation that may even split the Republic. You could take 95% of the agents dedicated to harassing Muslims off the case and let them police their own people and it would be a much more valuable use of resources.

One response to the post 9-11 community has been to sell out. Some who had been advocates for suffering Muslims in the ummah have now turned their backs on them. Some who believed in the Sunnah now mock the Sunnah for fear of being called a misogynist or a homophobe by the kafir. They turned from being men to being cowards.

While the FBI and the other sellouts in the community have attacked the people of the Sunnah it has allowed fringe progressive and modernist groups to rise. But, alhamdudilah, while these leaders are propped up, and sometimes even funded by those hostile to Islam, we have seen in America that they have gained very little traction outside of the bourgeois set.
The Neo-Colonial groups such as the Progressives , Taqwacore and Green Muslims have failed due to their own deeds. If someone does not like Islam, does not like the Sunnah, and does not like the Shariah, most will just not be a Muslim. Those who do not like the Quran and Sunnah but are looking for some group to join and could not find a home at the Kabala Center, Zen Buddhist Center, or Church of Scientology, we often see now coming to Islam because being a Muslim seems cooler. But, instead of embracing the deen, they just take the label Muslim say they are “spiritual not religious” as some kind of a group label and do not submit to the Quran and Sunnah or believe in it and try and influence the Muslims based on Western Secular Humanist principals and ideologies. These mostly white converts and their Desi and few other cohorts they have are just the latest in a long line of Darwinian ( “white mans burden”) neo-colonialists trying to subdue a movement and people they feel threatened by using the tactic of deception.

The deviants can have a home on the internet; but the people of the Sunnah will have the masjid. The believers in Quran and Sunnah will be those who wake for fajir, who seek the blessings of the jamaa in the masjid, who will sit and read Quran with their children, and who will strive and struggle for the deen. They will teach the next generation the Quran, the Sira of the Messenger of Allah ( s.a.s.) , the stories of the Salaf, aqeedah, fiqh, will find a Muslim school for them or start one, will help them find good Muslim spouse, and die as old people in the lines of salat. All others will fade away because deviance cannot trump faith and the non-observant will never have the fervor of the observant.

The People of the Sunnah Will Cling to Being Strangers

We have to thank those who came before us in America. The Muslim slaves who kept their deen as the white Christian slave master tried to beat them into a love for the Church. The early Muslim immigrant groups from Poland, Turkey, Albania, Yemen and other places who established masjids in places such as Iowa and Michigan. The brothers, many from the Muslim Brotherhood, who founded many of the institutions of our community such as Dr. Jamal Badawi and the early Islamic Centers. The Islamic Movements such as the Dar al Islam Movement, the Islamic Party, Imam W.D. Mohammad, the Community of Jamil al-Amin, the Muslims of America, Sheikh Abdul-Rahman Basir and others. Thank Allah for those such as Sheikh Muhammad Syed Adly who later brought ilm to our community along with the likes of Imam Zaid Shakir, Abu Muslima, Imam Siraj Wahhaj,and others. These are our forefathers.

In the future we will have success if we cling to the Quran and the Sunnah and if we want to maintain our purity from the kufr we are surrounded in and maintain our children in this deen we must constantly strive to be Strangers and being strange is the key to our survival in America. Assimilation, moderation, and the mainstream are nothing but tools for the Shaytan to lead us astray. Our place is on the outside calling to the Haqq, giving the dawah of this blessed deen, and not watering it down to gain the favor of non-Muslims. Islam must remain, not the mainstream, but as Imam Zaid once said ” a radical alternative to the mainstream”.

Most of the best blogs are already gone. Umm Zaid, the best of all the bloggers, shut her blog down a while back. Tariq Nelson shut his blog down. Amir Sahib shut his down and I have heard that Marc Manley may be shutting his down. Izzy Mo and so many others are also gone. So, I must do so myself.

I will continue to write occasionally for MQ Magazine and sometimes Islamonline and to work on books; but I think the blogging format is dead in the community after having been very vibrant. It is also a fact that I am very busy. With four children in my home and a stay at home wife I have to stay focused on money. Making money at my job now and looking for bigger and better things to earn more money for my family insha’Allah. The time I spend blogging I could be working. There is also the fact that what is a better use of time; blogging or spending more time in the masjid with the believers? Reading the Quran or reading Twitter? Reading Ibn Kathir or the Daily Beast? Bilal Phillips or the Huffington Post? Watching a Youtube video or listening to an Islamic lecture?

We spend way too much time reading blogs, wasting time on Facebook, watching TV and not enough time in the masjid or studying the knowledge of this deen. We should be in the masjid not just in Friday, but everyday, and be trying to make as many salat as possible in the masjid. More time on dhikr ( according to the sunnah) and less time chatting. If you watch four hours of TV a day why not just cut that in half and give two hours to Allah’ SWT and spend it in the masjid? We are being corrupted by the TV and internet. Muslims brothers don’t want to let their beards flow because they want to look like some geek on The Office. Sisters do not want to cover properly because they want to look like some floosie they saw on Tyra Banks. Young people want to wear their pants hanging off their butts like the birdbrains on BET videos.

This deen is simple. Stick to the Quran and Sunnah and you will not go astray and if what you learn does not conform to Quran and Sunnah then it can only lead you astray.

Umar Lee

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Report Faults Binghamton’s Leaders in Scandal


February 12, 2010

Report Faults Binghamton’s Leaders in Scandal


What began at Binghamton University as a dream of basketball success and culminated in its first trip to the N.C.A.A. men’s tournament last March came crashing down on Thursday. A four-month investigation detailed just how far administrators were willing to go in pursuit of athletic glory.

The investigation’s 99-page report showed how a lack of oversight from the university’s president and athletic director allowed the basketball program to spin out of control.

One player who transferred to Binghamton received credit for courses like Bowling I and Theories of Softball, according to the report. An assistant coach and a player discussed cash payments and having the assistant write part of a paper for him.

And at a meeting with admissions officials, the report said, an athletic official asked, “Why do you care if we take six players who don’t attend classes?”

It was a drastic change for a university that over the years has built an academic reputation as the crown jewel of the State University of New York system.

“I am disappointed that a great institution like Binghamton University would, in any way, because of its athletic program, compromise its terrific academic reputation,” Nancy L. Zimpher, who is the SUNY chancellor and ordered the investigation four months ago, said in a conference call with reporters Thursday.

Nobody pushed the vision of athletic success more than Lois B. DeFleur, the university’s president since 1990, and Joel Thirer, the athletic director. They shepherded a move to Division I, college basketball’s highest level, over the concerns of many faculty members in 2001 and spearheaded the construction of a $33 million arena. They dismissed the team’s longtime coach, Al Walker, in 2007 in favor of Kevin Broadus, an assistant at Georgetown, who brought an aggressive edge to recruiting players.

Since that galvanizing moment in March, when the team clinched its N.C.A.A. tournament bid and students flooded the court, the fall has been swift and steep.

In September, the star guard Emanuel Mayben was arrested on charges of possession and sale of crack cocaine. Mr. Thirer refers to that arrest in the report as “the tipping point.” Soon after, six players were dismissed for a variety of offenses that ranged from drug possession to buying goods with a stolen debit card. Thirer also resigned as athletic director.

Mr. Broadus, whose quick turnaround of the team’s fortunes led to a contract extension in the spring, was placed on paid administrative leave, where he remains as the university figures out what to do next.

Mr. Broadus, the report said, could not have worked without the administration’s blessing. Ms. DeFleur fostered an environment of lax academic and ethical standards, the report said; at one point Ms. DeFleur’s zeal to admit a basketball player with a questionable academic background was so strong that the provost said she had a “blind spot for athletics.”

As problems arose in the program, Ms. DeFleur and Mr. Thirer failed to have “sufficient objectivity” and “self inquiry,” the report said.

“The president took no corrective action in her role as the supervisor of the athletic department and the person charged with ultimate responsibility for B.U.’s intercollegiate athletic program,” the report concluded.

Binghamton admitted one player with an arrest record and others from academically suspect high schools. Some transfer students brought coursework that had “limited, if any, academic content,” the report said.

When objections were raised, Ms. DeFleur reasoned that Binghamton was undergoing an “experiment,” the report said, and she cast the lower admission standards as part of the university’s effort for more diversity.

Investigators questioned that reasoning. “Those opportunities become illusory if the institution does not have a sufficient support network already in place to help these individuals succeed,” the report said.

The report also showed Binghamton to be unprepared for so many high-risk academic athletes. For example, two players’ failing grades were turned into passing grades after late work was handed in, the report said. Another failing grade was turned into an incomplete after Mr. Broadus lobbied the professor.

In addition, the university channeled its academically at-risk students into the Human Development Department, which had lower admissions standards and whose chairman, Leo Wilton, was seen as friendly to the team.

One e-mail message between Mr. Wilton and Mr. Broadus illustrated how the players were steered into courses with sympathetic instructors. “It is not often that I teach this required course,” Mr. Wilton wrote in the spring of 2009. “I would recommend that the athletes take it with me if possible.”

In multiple instances, basketball players dropped other classes for independent study courses to remain eligible, the report said. The independent study grade was usually a B or a B-plus, on a team whose average grade was a C.

In a statement, SUNY’s board said it accepted the audit’s findings and would follow its recommendations to improve oversight and accountability. Binghamton said in a statement that Ms. DeFleur, 73, would work with Ms. Zimpher on any changes until Ms. DeFleur’s retirement in July.

The investigation cost $913,381 and was led by Judith S. Kaye, the former chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, along with other lawyers from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Her team conducted more than 80 interviews and examined thousands of e-mail messages, text messages and documents.

When the SUNY executive committee next meets March 23, Ms. Zimpher plans to make recommendations on what to do with the program. The situation is tenuous, with the president leaving, no athletic director and the likelihood of having to hire a coach.

The audit is also expected to be forwarded to the N.C.A.A., which will determine, among other things, if the university showed a lack of institutional control and if any penalties are warranted.

“I think that’s really up to folks in charge of doing that,” said Patrick Nero, the commissioner of America East, Binghamton’s conference. “That’s for the N.C.A.A. to look at and the chancellor to decide on.”

The most damning information may be a series of text-message exchanges in which the assistant coach Marc Hsu discussed providing Malik Alvin, a star player, with money for gas and later a court fine after his arrest on charges of stealing condoms from a Wal-Mart. N.C.A.A. rules prohibit coaches from providing cash to players.

Mr. Alvin’s exchanges were casual, asking, “Yo, you got money on you?” At a later date, the report said, he asked Mr. Hsu if he was “going to give me the money in the morning so I can pay my fine.”

In a later exchange in which Mr. Alvin complained that he had no gas, Mr. Hsu responded that he had not gone to the bank and wrote, “Ask coach for a couple of dollars.” The report said that Mr. Hsu had denied giving money or other benefits to Mr. Alvin and that the text messages were meant to “silent Mr. Alvin’s requests.”

Mr. Alvin, who had left Texas-El Paso, in part because of academic difficulties, asked Mr. Hsu to reword part of a paper because he “got that from the Internet.” Mr. Alvin then wrote, “Add a conclusion on violence.”

In a later text-message exchange, Mr. Alvin asked Mr. Hsu to manipulate part of an assignment to “change it up” so it would not be “the same exact paper.”

Mr. Hsu denied helping Mr. Alvin in an inappropriate manner.

Mr. Broadus did not return a telephone call seeking comment. He would comment only through his lawyer, Don Jackson, who said Mr. Broadus committed no major N.C.A.A. violations and was prepared to return to his job as head coach.

“He has considered it to be his responsibility to assist them through their misdeeds, discipline them when necessary, nurture them when needed and assist them in their sometimes awkward progression into manhood,” Mr. Jackson said. “He makes no apologies for that. That is his responsibility as a coach and an African-American man.”

While Mr. Broadus awaits his fate, some in the Binghamton community would like to see a balance restored to athletics. “I hope that this university as well as others can use the report to remind us what can happen when a university puts winning athletic events over the well-being of the institution,” said Dennis Lasser, Binghamton’s former faculty athletic representative and an associate professor of finance.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: February 15, 2010

Because of an editing error, an article on Friday about a critical audit of the men’s basketball program at Binghamton University misstated the year the team moved up to Division I. And the Sports of The Times column on Friday, also about the report, gave another incorrect year for the move. Binghamton became a Division I school in 2001 — not in 1991 or in 2006.
Shaikh Muqbil bin Haadee Al-Waadi’ee (Autobiography)


Died 1422H: Imaam Muqbil bin Haadee Al-Waadi’ee

AUTHOR: Shaikh Muqbil bin Haadee Al-Waadi’ee (Autobiography)

SOURCE: Tarjamah Abee ‘Abdir-Rahmaan (pg. 16-29, with minor abridgement) [2nd Edition; 1999]


I come from Waadi’ah, which is a place to the east of the city of Sa’adah from the valley of Dammaaj. My name is Muqbil bin Haadee bin Muqbil bin Qaa’idah al-Hamdaanee al-Waadi’ee al-Khallaalee, from the tribe of Aali Raashid. [1]

All praise due to Allaah, most of the people of Waadi’ah, who neighbor Sa’adah defend me and the Da’wah. Some of them wish to defend the Religion while others defend their tribal devotion. If it were not for Allaah first, then them, the enemies of the (Salafi) Da'wah, particularly the Shee’ah of Sa’adah, would not have left behind any signs or traces of us.

I will mention some examples of them for which I ask Allaah to reward them, one of which was when I faced severe opposition in the Haadee Mosque because I turned people away from the (Shiite) Da’wah there. So some men from Waadi’ah and others stood by me to the point that Allaah saved me through their hands. The Shiites desired to rule against me. This was at the time of Ibraaheem Al-Hamdee. And evil people amongst the Communists and Shiites raised their heads and imprisoned me for a period of eleven days during Ramadaan. About fifty of the youth from Waad’iah would come to visit me in prison during some of the nights, while another hundred and fifty of their men would also go to the prison caretakers during these nights, so much so that the caretakers got fed up and released me from jail, all praise be to Allaah.

Another example is that the enemies of the Da’wah would sometimes come to Dammaaj with their weapons, so the people of Dammaaj would drive them away and they would be forced to leave in humiliation.

Another example is during our journeys. When I would say: “We wish to travel”, they would compete with one other, may Allaah preserve them, to see who would accompany and guard me. So sometimes we would go out on some of our travels in about 15 cars!

During these days, the Da’wah was progressing in a superb manner because, all praise be to Allaah, I had grown older. Perhaps at this point I have reached about 62 years of age. So it was the calamities and the advice from those who love the Da’wah that drove me to have kindness and to not keep up with the enemies, who don’t have anything but insults and abuses.

Also, due to my teaching, writing and giving Da’wah, I was not able to find time to keep up with those enemies. So let them say what they want for my sins are many, and perhaps because of their slander, my sins will be lightened for me and instead fall upon their shoulders.

My Studies and Teachers:

I studied at school until I completed the school’s curriculum. Then a long time passed without me seeking knowledge since there was no one who would encourage me or assist me in seeking knowledge. And I used to love seeking knowledge. So I sought knowledge from the Al-Haadee Mosque but I was not assisted in that.

After some time, I left my homeland (of Yemen) and went to the sacred lands (Makkah/Madeenah) and Najd. I would listen to the speakers and be fascinated by their sermons. So I sought the advice of some of the speakers on what beneficial books I should buy? They advised me to get Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree, Buloogh al-Maraam, Riyaadh as-Saaliheen, and Fath-ul-Majeed, the explanation of Kitaab at-Tawheed. And they gave me copies of the textbooks from the Tawheed courses.

At that time, I used to work as a security guard in a building in Makkah, and so I would cling tightly to those books, and the material would stick to my head because what the people in our country did was the opposite of what was in these books, especially Fath-ul-Majeed. After some time had passed, I returned to my country and began to rebuke everything I saw that contradicted what was in those books, such as offering sacrifices to other than Allaah, building shrines over the graves, and calling unto the deceased. So news of this reached the Shiites and they began to censure what I was upon. One of them would say (the hadeeth): “Whoever changes his religion, then kill him.” Another one sent a letter to my relatives saying: “If you don’t prevent him, we will imprison him!” But after that, they agreed to let me enter the Haadee Mosque in order to study with them, so that they may (perhaps) remove the misconceptions that had clung to my heart.

So after that, I was admitted to study with them in the Haadee Mosque. The head of education there was the Judge Mutahhir Hanash. I studied the book Al-‘Aqd-uth-Thameen and ath-Thalaatheen Mas’alah, along with its explanation by Haabis. From the teachers that taught me there was Muhammad bin Hasan al-Mutamayyiz. One time we were discussing the subject of seeing Allaah in the Hereafter, so he began to mock and ridicule Ibn Khuzaimah and other Imaams of Ahlus-Sunnah, but I used to conceal my creed. Despite that, I was too weak to put my right hand over my left hand during prayer, and I would pray with my hands by my side. We studied the text of al-Azhaar up to the section on Marriage.

I also studied an explanation of the Laws of Inheritance from a large book that was above the standard level, but I did not benefit from it. So I saw that the assigned books were not beneficial, except for Grammar, since I studied the books al-Aajroomiyyah and Qatar an-Nadaa with them. Then I asked the Judge, Qaasim bin Yahyaa ash-Shuwayl, to teach me Buloogh al-Maraam. So we started it, but then we were disapproved of, so we left it.

So when I saw that the assigned study books were of a Shiite and Mu’tazlite nature, I agreed to only take from the books of Grammar. So I studied Qatar an-Nadaa several times under Isma’eel al-Hatbah, may Allaah have mercy on him, in the masjid that I would live in and he would pray in. And he would give us a lot of time and attention. One time, Muhammad bin Hooriyyah came to the masjid and I advised him to abandon astrology (tanjeem). So he advised the people there to kick me out of the study program, but they interceded on my behalf and he kept quiet.

Some of the Shiites would pass by me while I was studying Qatar an-Nadaa and say something with the meaning that education would not have any effect on me. But I would just remain silent and benefit from the books on Grammar. I did this until the revolution started in Yemen, when we left our country and settled in Najraan. There I studied with Abul-Husayn Majd-ud-Deen al-Mu’eed and benefited from him particularly in the Arabic Language. I stayed in Najraan for the length of two years. Then when I became sure that the war between the Republic party and the King’s party (in Yemen) was all for the sake of worldly reasons, I resolved to travel to the sacred lands (Makkah/Madeenah) and to Najd. I lived in Najd for one and a half months in a school for Qur’aanic memorization, which was run by Shaikh Muhammad bin Sinaan Al-Hadaa’ee. He was very hospitable to me because he saw that I benefited from the knowledge. And he advised me to stay for a while until he could send me to the Islamic University (of Madeenah). But the environment in Riyaadh changed for me and I decided to travel to Makkah.

I used to work whenever I found work, and I would seek knowledge at night, attending the lessons of Shaikh Yahyaa bin ‘Uthmaan al-Paakistaanee on Tafseer Ibn Katheer, Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree and Saheeh Muslim.

I would go over several books and there I met two noble Shaikhs from the scholars of Yemen:

First: The Judge, Yahyaa al-Ashwal. I would study Subul-us-Salaam of as-San’aanee with him and he would teach me any subject that I asked him about.

Second: Shaikh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ash-Shaahidhee al-Muhwaytee. He would also teach me whatever I asked him about.

Then the educational institute in Makkah opened and I took the entrance exam with a group of students, and I passed, all praise be to Allaah.

The most distinguished of our teachers there was Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez as-Subayyal. I, along with a group of students from the institute, would also study with Shaikh ‘Abdullaah bin Muhammad bin Humayd, may Allaah have mercy on him, the book at-Tuhfah as-Saniyyah after ‘Ishaa at the Haram. He, may Allaah have mercy on him, would bring many points of benefit from Ibn ‘Aqeel and other scholars’ explanation. The lessons were above the level of my colleagues, so they began to slip away until he eventually stopped the class.

I also studied along with a group of students with Shaikh Muhammad as-Subayyal, may Allaah preserve him, the subject of the Laws of Inheritance.

After staying in the institute for some time, I left to go to my family in Najraan. Then I brought them to live with me in Makkah. We resided there together for the length of my studies in the institute and the Haram itself, which lasted six years.

The blessing of studying in the masaajid is well known. Do not ask about the friendly environment and relaxation we felt while in the masaajid. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) indeed spoke the truth when he said: “A group of people do not gather together in one of the Houses of Allaah, reciting the Book of Allaah and studying it amongst themselves, except that tranquility descends upon them, angels surround them, mercy engulfs them, and Allaah mentions them to those by Him.”

So I would spend the day studying in the institute, and all of the lessons would assist my Creed and Religion. Then from after ‘Asr till after the ‘Ishaa prayer, I would go to the Haram and drink from the Zamzam water, about which the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Verily, it is a drink that satiates and a cure for diseases.”

And we would listen to the speakers that came to Makkah from different lands to perform Hajj or ‘Umrah.

From the teachers that we learned from at the Haram between Maghrib and ‘Ishaa was Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Raashid an-Najdee, author of the book “Tayseer-ul-Wahyain fil-Iqtisaar ‘alal-Qur’aani was-Saheehain”, in which he has errors that we don’t agree with him on. He, may Allaah have mercy on him, used to say: “The authentic ahaadeeth that are not found in the two Saheeh Collections can be counted on one’s fingers.” This statement of his stuck to my mind since I had objections to it. This was all the way until I decided to write “As-Saheeh-ul-Musnad mimmaa laysa fis-Saheehain” after which I became more certain about the falsehood of his statement, Allaah have mercy on him.

However, he was a man of Tawheed, who had strong knowledge of the Science of Hadeeth and was able to distinguish the authentic from the weak and the defective from the pure with regard to hadeeth. What amazed me about him was that he would call people away from taqleed (blind-following), to the point that he wrote a treatise called “At-Tawaagheet-ul-Muqanna’” [Masked Deities of Falsehood]. So the government, and likewise some of the senior scholars, thought that he intended them by it. So the committee of senior scholars gathered together to debate with him. They said: “Did you intend us and the government with this book?” So he replied: “If you feel that you possess the characteristics that I mentioned in the book, then it includes you. And if you feel that you do not possess those characteristics that I mentioned in the book, then it doesn’t include you.” Thereafter, the book was banned from entering into the Kingdom. I was informed about this.

One night, he was asked to give a class, but it was as if to only test him. So he began his class with Allaah’s statement: “Follow that which has been revealed to you from your Lord and do not follow false gods besides Him. Little do you remember.” [Surah Al-A’raaf: 3] He followed that with numerous ayaat that prove the prohibition of taqleed (blind-following). After this, he was restricted from teaching at the Haram, and we ask Allaah’s aid.

And from my teachers at the Grand Mosque (Haram) of Makkah who I benefited from was Shaikh Muhammad bin ‘Abdillaah as-Sumaalee, for I attended his lessons for about seven or more months. And he was an ayah (manifest sign) in terms of knowledge of the narrators used by the two Shaikhs (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim). I benefited immensely from him in the Science of Hadeeth. All praise to my Lord, since I started seeking knowledge, I didn’t love anything except knowledge of the Book and the Sunnah.

After I completed the intermediate and secondary levels of the educational institute in Makkah, and after completing all of my religious lessons, I moved to Madeenah to go to the Islamic University there. Most of us transferred to the Faculty of Da’wah and Usool-ud-Deen. The most distinguished of those who taught us there were: Shaikh as-Sayyid Muhammad al-Hakeem and Shaikh Mahmood ‘Abdul-Wahhaab Faa’id, both from Egypt. When vacation time came, I feared that time would go by wasted so I joined the Faculty of Sharee’ah, due to two reasons, the first of which was to acquire knowledge:

This was since some of the classes there were successive while others were combined. So it was a like a repetition of what we had studied in the Faculty of Da’wah. I completed both Faculty courses, all praise be to Allaah, and I was given two degrees. However, all praise be to Allaah, I give no regard to certificates; what merits recognition in my opinion is knowledge.

In the same year that I finished the two College courses, an advanced studies program opened in the Islamic University, which they called the Masters program. So I went for the interview exam and passed, all praise be to Allaah. The advanced studies course was on the Science of Hadeeth. All praise be to Allaah, I studied the subject that I loved the most. The most prominent of those who taught us there was Shaikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Misree, may Allaah have mercy on him, Shaikh As-Sayyid Muhammad al-Hakeem al-Misree, and during the last part of my studies, Shaikh Hammaad bin Muhammad al-Ansaaree. On some nights, I would attend the classes of Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz in the Prophet’s Mosque (in Madeenah) on the subject of Saheeh Muslim. I would also attend the gatherings of Shaikh Al-Albaanee, which were specified to only the students of knowledge, in order to learn from him.

While I was in Makkah, I would teach some of the students of knowledge from the books Qatar-un-Nadaa and at-Tuhfah as-Saniyyah. And while I was in Madeenah, I would teach some of my brothers the book at-Tuhfah as-Saniyyah in the Prophet’s Mosque. Then I promised my Muslim brothers that I would hold classes on the Jaami’ (Sunan) of at-Tirmidhee, Qatar-un-Nadaa and Al-Baa’ith-ul-Hatheeth for them in my house after ‘Asr.

So a great wave of Da’wah spread from Madeenah, which filled the world in the time-span of six years. It was some righteous people who were ones who took on the task of financing it, while Muqbil bin Haadee and his Muslim brothers were the ones who took on the task of teaching their fellow brothers. As for traveling for the purpose of Calling to Allaah throughout all regions of the Kingdom, then this was shared between all of the brothers – the student of knowledge so that he can acquire knowledge and benefit others, and the common person so that he could learn. This was such that many of the common folk benefited and grew to love the (Salafi) Da’wah.

One of our Muslim brothers from amongst the students of knowledge was an Imam of a masjid in Riyadh. One time some people of knowledge rebuked him for using a sutrah. So he said: “We are unable to in front of you, but by Allaah, no one but a common person will get up to teach you the ahaadeeth of the Sutrah.” So he called a brother from the general folk who loved the Da’wah and had memorized the ahaadeeth of the Sutrah from “Al-Lu’lu wal-Marjaan feemataffaqa ‘alayhi ash-Shaikhaan.” So he got up and narrated these ahaadeeth, after which the opposers felt ashamed and stayed quiet.

After this, the blind followers and the scholars of evil began to set in motion, and the reason for this stirring of the blind-followers, who were considered scholars in the eyes of the people, was because whenever they would find a young student of knowledge amongst our students and they would use a hadeeth as proof, the student would say to them: “Who reported the hadeeth?” And this was something they were not accustomed to. Then he would say to them: “What is the status (i.e. grading) of the hadeeth?” This was something that they also weren’t accustomed to. So they would embarrass them in front of the people. And sometimes the student would say to them: “This is a weak hadeeth. There is so and so in its chain of narration and so and so declared him weak.” So upon hearing this, it is as if the earth would become constricted beneath these blind-followers. And they would then go about spreading lies that these students were Khawaarij, when in fact the brothers were not from the Khawaarij who make it lawful to shed a Muslim’s blood and who deem a Muslim a disbeliever on the count of sins.

However, there would occur some errors on the part of some of the new brothers, and this was because the beginner is almost always overwhelmed with excessive zeal. At that time, I was preparing my Master’s dissertation, when all of a sudden one night, before I knew what was happening, they arrested me and arrested almost one hundred and fifty others. Some people were able to escape, but the earth trembled between those who opposed and those who agreed with out arrest. We remained in prison for a month or a month and a half. After that we were set free, all praise be to Allaah.

Shortly after this, the treatises from Juhaymaan were released and a group of us were again arrested. [2] During the interrogation, they asked me: “Where you the one who wrote this?” What, Juhaymaan can’t write? So I denied this, and Allaah knows that I didn’t write it nor did I assist in any part of it. But after staying in jail for three months, an order was made for foreigners to be deported.

When I arrived at Yemen, I went back to my village and stayed there for a while teaching the children Qur’aan. Before I knew it, it seemed like the whole world was in an all-out battle against me. It was as if I had come out to destroy the country, the Religion and the rulership. At that time, I didn’t know any leader or tribal chief. So I would say: “Allaah is sufficient for me and the best of Guardians.” When things would get tight, I would go to San’aa or to Haashid or to Dhimmaar, and also to Ta’iz, Ibb and Hudaydah to give Da’wah and to visit the Muslims brothers.

After some days, some good-doers sent me my library from Madeenah. They sent the books to Sa’adah where the head of shipments there was malicious of the Sunnah. Some of our companions went to request the books from him, so he said: “Come back after Dhuhr, Allaah willing.” But he didn’t return after Dhuhr. Instead, some Shiites mobilized and requested the caretakers to confiscate the books because they were Wahaabbi books!

Do not ask about the monetary fees, hardships and injustice that occurred to me as a result of trying to get my books! Many of the brothers from the inhabitants of my country made great efforts to follow that up, including Shaikh ‘Abdullaah bin Husayn al-Ahmar, Shaikh Hazaa’ Dab’aan, the caretakers of the Guidance and Counseling Center, such as the Judge Yahyaa al-Fasayyal, may Allaah have mercy on him, and brother ‘Aa’id bin ‘Alee Mismaar. After a long difficulty, the people of Sa’adah sent a telegraph to the President ‘Alee bin ‘Abdillaah bin Saalih, so he assigned the case to the judge, ‘Alee as-Samaan. The judge sent me a letter and promised that he would turn over the library to me. And he said: “The people of Sa’adah are very strict. They call the scholars of San’aa disbelievers.” So I went to San’aa to get my books. Allaah decreed that my books arrive there while the judge ‘Alee Samaan was out of the country on a mission. So when some of the brothers went to ask for it, the head of the Ministry of Endowments told them: “These books need to be inspected.” So some of our Muslim brothers at the Center for Guidance and Counseling mobilized and went to request the books. So they said: “These books are under our jurisdiction. We must examine them, so whatever is upright, we will hand over to al-Waadi’ee and whatever violates the Religion, we will keep it with us.” So by doing this, they discovered that the books were in fact purely religious and turned the them over to me without inspecting them, so may Allaah reward them.

I brought the books into my country, all praise be to Allaah. And my close ones, may Allaah reward them, built a small library and a small masjid. And they said: “We will pray Jumu’ah here to avoid hardships and problems. Sometimes we would pray there with only six people present.

One time the governor Haadee al-Hasheeshi asked for me, so I went to Shaikh Qaa’id Majlee, may Allaah have mercy on him, who then called him and said: “What do you want from al-Waadi’ee?” He said: “Nothing, except to get to know him.” So he said: “We will look for him in his institute.”

In another instance, some other leader asked for me and so Husayn bin Qaa’id Majlee went with me to see him. He (Majlee) began to talk against the Shee’ah and explain to him that we call to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and that the Shee’ah hate us because of that because they fear that the truth will come out about them, so this leader said: “Indeed, the Shiites have tainted the history of Yemen, so as long as your Da’wah (call) is as you say it is, then call to it and we are with you.”

After this I spent some time with my library. Only a few days had passed when some Egyptian brothers came and we started classes on some of the books of Hadeeth and the Arabic Language. After this, students continued to come from Egypt, Kuwait, the Sacred Lands (Makkah and Madeenah), Najd, ‘Aden, Hadramaut, Algeria, Libya, Somalia, Belgium, and other Muslim and non-Muslim countries.

The number of students has now reached between six to seven hundred students, amongst which are a hundred and seventy families.[3] And Allaah is the One who provides them with sustenance. And all of this is not because of our might or power, nor due to the amount of knowledge we have or because of our courage or eloquence in speech. Rather, this is something that Allaah willed to be. So He was the One, all praise to Allaah, that granted us this blessing.

[End of Translation of Shaikh Muqbil’s Autobiography]

His Death:

Shaikh Muqbil bin Haadee Al-Waadi’ee passed away on the 2nd of Jumaadal-Oolaa, 1422H (7/21/2001) due to a liver disease that he was suffering from for a long time, and due to which he traveled to America, Germany and Saudi Arabia during the last part of his life to seek treatment for. He was around seventy years of age when he died in Jeddah. His funeral prayer was held in Makkah and he was buried in the Al-‘Adl Cemetery near the graves of Shaikhs Ibn Baaz and Ibn Al-‘Uthaimeen, may Allaah have mercy on all of them.

The Scholars’ Praise for him:

Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen said: “Tell him that I consider him to be a mujaddid.”

Shaikh Al-Albaanee said: “So degrading and belittling these two Shaikhs (Rabee' and Muqbil), who call to the Qur'aan and the Sunnah and what the Salaf As-Saalih were upon and who wage war against those who oppose this correct methodology. As is quite clear to everyone, it either comes from one of two types of people. Either it comes from someone who is ignorant or someone who follows his desires... If he is ignorant, then he can be taught. But if he is one who follows his desires, then we seek Allaah's refuge from the evil of this person. And we ask Allaah, Mighty and Sublime, to either guide him or break his back." [The Audio series Silsilah al-Hudaa wan-Noor: 1/851]

Shaikh Yahyaa al-Hajooree reported that Shaikh Rabee’ Al-Madkhalee said about him: “He is the mujaddid in the lands of Yemen” and that he said: “there can’t be found from the time of ‘Abdur-Razaaq as-San’aanee to this present day someone who established the Da’wah and revived it as the likes of Al-Waadi’ee.” [4]



[1] Translator’s Note: In her biographical account of her father, Umm ‘Abdillaah Al-Waadi’iyyah said: “His father died while he was young and he didn’t know him. So he grew up as an orphan and under the care of his mother for a period of time. She would ask him to work to make money and order him to look at the state of his community so that he could be like them. But he would turn away from this and say: ‘I will go out to study.’ So she would say: ‘May Allaah guide you.’ She would supplicate for him to be guided, as several women who were around at that time informed me. Perhaps her supplication coincided with the time when supplications are accepted since he became one of the guided, guiding others.” [Nubdhah Mukhtasarah: pg. 18]

[2] Translator’s Note: This refers to Juhaymaan bin Muhammad al-‘Utaybee, a deviant from Saudi Arabia who took over the Grand Mosque of Makkah with hundreds of followers in 1979, and held it for several days, after which the senior scholars allowed force to be used in the sacred site of the Ka’bah in order to regain it. The Saudi National Guard subdued them about two weeks later after much blood was shed and casualties were lost on the part of the rebels and the Saudi army. The remaining dissidents that were captured were later beheaded. Shaikh Al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) mentioned this Juhaymaan in his book as-Saheehah (5/872), saying: “…And like the followers of the Saudi Juhaymaan, who caused the fitnah in the Grand Mosque in Makkah at the beginning of the 1400’s (Hijree). He claimed that the awaited Mahdee was with him and sought from those present in the Mosque to give him bay’ah (allegiance). Some of the simple-minded, heedless and evil people followed him. Then Allaah put an end to their fitnah after they had shed much of the Muslims’ blood.”

[3] Translator’s Note: It must be re-emphasized here that this statement comes from the second edition of his autobiography, which was printed in 1999. Since then these numbers have continued to increase, such that in present times, the Shaikh's school, which is now taught and supervised by Shaikh Yahyaa Al-Hajooree has around 1000 students and 500 families, all praise be to Allaah.

[4] Translator’s Note: These quotes are from the book Nubdhah Mukhtasarah of Shaikh Muqbil’s daughter Umm ‘Abdillaah (pg. 46}