The Catholic Church, the Pope, & Palestine

I take my hat off to the Catholic Church and the Pope for its recognition of Palestine. In a world fueled by extremism’s cheap gas, the honesty and integrity of the Catholic Church is commendable.

My Reading List for the Summer

The Arabic books are for review – really long. I hope to skim through them. Please share your reading plans for the summer as well. Is there anything I must read?

Suspicion

“Suspicion leads to sin” Is a powerful prophetic tradition because it can cause so much harm. Often, suspicion is a trap set by Satan for the righteous because most of their life is in order. He lassos them with suspicion to weaken the power of their good, harm relations and ruin other’s lives.

The Straight Path

Work with others and communicate when you feel threatened. If they do something wrong, try to understand why. Perhaps your understanding will lift them up

The Gift

The word in Arabic for guidance is from the same root as the word gift.

Reflections on Being Balanced

The point, is that going hard, rooted in insecurities is not always the best option, even when its sincere. The same can be said for irresponsible ease, also. The goal is balance and that is not easy.

The Light

“The light of the Prophet ﷺ, when it casts on dark hearts, it brings people to it.”

The Sinner

“If a person falls into sin because of a desire, I fear not because Adam ate from the tree, repented and was forgiven. However, if a person sins because of arrogance, I fear for him because Satan sinned in arrogance and was cursed.”

"Indeed, Allah decorated the universe with lamps."

“Indeed, Allah decorated the universe with lamps.” God’s will is rooted in beauty and perfection. Take this Friday by the horns and dress your best for Friday Prayers! A photo posted by Suhaib Webb (@suhaibwebb) on Apr 3, 2015 at 10:38am...

Literacy

“The Qurān began by ordering us to read. A few chapters later, it swore by the pen. Thus, in its infancy, the Qur’an taught the importance of literacy.” Sh. Sh’arawī #Turkey #transit #reviewing #Imamsuhaibwebb #MalikiFiqh #MukhtasarKhalīl A...

Wise words from our Shaikh, Hamza Yusuf

While the hashtag is appropriate given that the lives of Muslims do matter, as a community, we need to be more vigilant about bringing attention to other hate crimes in less fortunate communities

Muslim Leaders in U.S. Seek to Counteract Extremist Recruiters

He said that in more than 15 years as an imam, he had encountered only five Muslims who were considering whether they should join violent militant groups, but that none of them had actually left the United States to fight. “They were all males,” said Imam Webb, and “they all had daddy issues.” He added, “They were not really drawn to this on theological grounds.”

Centered Muslims

The pious have their role: a specific role for specific types of people. I would argue a special few. The masses of Muslims: the artists, those who grind from 9-5, those who struggle to raise their kids, their grades and their faith those who don’t fit the “religious” mold, are the most apt at presenting Islam.

Appreciate Beauty and Swag

The notion that Islam does not appreciate beauty and swag is a foolish one carried by insecure souls whose goal is to make Islam unlivable. The reality is balance: enjoy this world responsibly with an eye on the Hereafter.

Things My Heart Has Heard!

Join me as I share moments in my life that woke my heart and set me on a different course in today’s Friday sermon with a special focus on Deah Barakāt’s dream.

Social, Religious and Cultural Pressures

The Qur’an promises to leave a light on and have a warm meal waiting for those who come back home, come back to Him, “Those who do evil and turn back to Allah will find him forgiving, merciful.”

Follow Your Heart?

Often, we make decisions based on our hearts. This is rooted in the statement of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم), “Ask your heart.”

Peace

“A person’s speech is the strongest witness to the state of his heart and soul.”

Mistakes

When commencing his prayer, the Prophet عليه السلام would ask God to clean his mistakes (he was free of sin/ longer discussion that can be had another time) with clean pure snow.

Challenges of Imams in America

I posted this to illustrate the challenges of Imams in America, regardless of their denomination. The expectations they face are so high, but the real support is often not there. I was happy to see his community support him towards the end. The end of the video is emotional and challenging.

Satan's Traps (Part One)

“One of Satan’s greatest traps is to cause a person to think evil and abandon a scholar due to false allegations brought against that scholar by those who hate him unjustly, a sickness in that person’s heart, ignorance, or blind group allegiance. Sadly, the best person for his/her relationship with Allah and faith is the scholar Satan caused him/her to hate.”

Reflection: Mercy

“If Allah forgives him and all his evil, than what about us and all our good? It is a communal obligation to pray for a deceased Muslim and in the janāzah, the Sunna is to pray for the person’s mercy.'”

Embrace Your Mistakes and You Will Succeed

Often, when you set out to do something, you run into a brick wall: mistakes. Those mistakes are menacing, seeking to tire you. Don’t give up! Your success lies on the other side of that wall. Climb! One of the greatest scholars had the same experience. But he...

Assumptions are Debilitating!

They had a host of questions about some recent events and were looking for a trained person to help navigate the theological and even thornier, cultural issues they planned to address.

It is always a pleasure when people take the extra steps to understand each other. It is scary; but the fruit of knowing and appreciating others is sweeter.

Dreams, Loneliness and Sura Duhā (Part One): Shine!

Dreamers shine bright because their ideas, their bravery, isolate them from others. So, in your loneliness and in your concern, in your dreams and in your hopes, you are shining at your apex. You are illuminating. Don’t be sad. Shine!

What type of Imām are you?

Once, I hosted a forum on sexual abuse with two trained clinicians. I was asked a question that I had no knowledge of, so I referred the questioner to my two colleagues, brilliant women with advanced degrees on the subject. Both, as was excepted, provided excellent...

My wife is pushing me to go with Tabligh! Who are they and what to do?

Tablighi Jamat is a movement designed to bring faith back into the lives of the Muslims. They focus on five major duties and travel to different locations in order to spread the message of faith and dawa (calling to Allah) to other Muslims. They serve as one of the important alarm clocks whose job is to awaken a sleeping Umma, and remind it of its noble position and tasks.

Statement: Paris Tragedy

There is no religious justification for the horrible murders that took place in Paris yesterday. I and a large number of “trained” Imams, unconditionally denounce these acts of treachery and we extend our prayers to those who lost loved ones and the people of France.

Thank You Boston

Assalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh Dear Brothers and Sisters, I am writing you today with a heart heavy with emotions. I want to share with you the news that on January 1, 2015 I will be transitioning from Boston to an opportunity that will allow me to take...

Shame on Me: A Commitment to Discourse Instead of Demonization

Moving forward, I promise myself to address ideas instead of people, to be critical of thoughts instead of personalities and commit to ethics as best I can. That will create a better climate to unpack and examine current trends in our community, but ensure that I recognize other’s humanity and worth.

Difficult Conversations, Commitments and Growth

It was a very difficult summer.  For many people throughout the world, from Ferguson to Iraq and the recent news of spousal and child abuse, we have witnessed far too many acts of bigotry and violence this summer. As it set in, this summer brought increased tension to...

Today, Tomorrow and the Caliph

”If the word Caliph vanished from the lives of Muslims today, it would not harm them in their religious responsibilities at all. But, when justice vanishes, consultation vanishes, and ruling by shari’ah vanishes (from their lives individually and collectively), even...

Don’t Get Conned Out of Your Conscience!

“A person who clings to books (classical tests without thinking) is deviant, leading others to misguidance.”   Imam al-Qarāfi Sh. Bin Bayya explained saying that a student of knowledge may be gifted in reading and finding things in ancient texts that are rooted...

God's Wisdom Breeds Worship: Why the Night of Power is Hidden

“Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala – exalted is He) concealed this night like He did with many things. He concealed His pleasure with acts of obedience so people will strive towards them their entire life. He concealed the response to supplications so people will work...

Ramadān and Mortality

A poet wrote that death was like arrows; it may miss you and hit someone else. But one day, it will capture you. Nothing humbles us as much as our own mortality. It is one of the most effective ways to lasso a soul gone wild, a soul intoxicated by itself and the world...

Advice to Start Ramadan: Seven Tips

You should start Ramadān with the same passion, focus and commitment that you completed the last ten days of last year’s Ramadān.

If you didn’t end it well last year, stay tuned for another short reminder soon: “How to fix a broken Ramadān?

Just Thoughts?

“Look out for bad thoughts. Because, if you don’t, they will turn into desires. If they turn into desires, declare war against them. Because, if you don’t, they will become aspirations. If they become aspirations, amputate them. Because, if you...

Can a non-Muslim person be in the Masjid?

Even scholars who forbade Non-Muslims from entering the mosques allowed it if there was a benefit of da’wah (outreach) or creating good relations. “If there is a benefit of da’wah, increasing good relations or improving the image of Islam, it is allowed.”

The Night Before Eid: Substance Abuse in the Muslim Community

As the last moments of Ramadan made their swan song, worshipers at the mosque I serve in Boston began to shine a sense of happiness, relief and accomplishment that lit the building. After the sunset prayer, people began to hug each other, congratulating each other for...

Welcoming in Muharram and the New Year

As salamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatahu, A letter from Imam Suhaib: Welcoming in Muharram and the New Year: Muharram represents a new year, new beginnings and a time to assess our lives. Where we are headed and where we are going? As a community, last year was...

At the Door of Greatness—The Fruits of Sitting with a Teacher

Once a student sat with a teacher to read a text. As he opened the book, the teacher turned to him and said, “Have you ever asked yourself why the scholars use the word bāb (door) to title what you call chapters in English?” The student responded, “Yes, but I did not...

A Living Faith

Faith is more than just a definition found in books of theology. It is a reality that touches every aspect of our lives. Faith’s centrality in our lives is a proof of our Prophet’s ﷺ (peace be upon him) role as a teacher and proof of his greatness because he expanded it beyond a theological concept, beyond gnosis, to every facet of our being, to, as Chaplain Marc Manley likes to call it, “Operational Islām.”

In life and words, Muslim leader bridges cultures

Webb, for his part, had his own big plan — to establish one of the first Muslim seminaries in the country. He wanted to nurture a new generation of American imams and Muslim women scholars — orthodox, but culturally conversant and civically involved — and to educate more casual students about their faith.

No Room for Radicals

JUST hours after the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing were identified as Muslims, Representative Peter T. King of New York, the Republican chairman of the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, called for an “increased surveillance” of...

Letter of Love to Boston Community

This Friday is not a normal Friday. I am deeply saddened and shocked by the recent events. Our city’s peace was taken away in a blink of an eye. Our faith is once again being called to suspicion. Innocent people are being hurt. What is needed now is meeting hate with love, trials with patience and fear with increased worship. Each and every one of us needs to be a shelter in this storm.

Is Hijab an Obligation? Don’t Religious Rules Change?

I advise you to wear the Hjiab instead of the Niqab. I base this on the fact that it is a contentious issue and we have a legal axiom that allows us, in the face of contentious issues, to take the more appropriate course for our time and place.

A Question About Islamic Schools of Thought

The four madhahib are important in areas of worship, but in areas related to takhrij al-manat, tehsil al-Masalih and tahqiq of the maqasid (in short, what is best for you in the Hereafter, based on your current situation), I strongly advise you to ask contemporary scholars since “a fatwa [ruling] can change according to its time, place and the reality of the person asking.” Allah knows best.

Hajj 2011 Reflections

In late September, my life began to smear. A horrid pace began to take its toll. Ramadan had just concluded and I was off to Malaysia to film 26 episodes of Reflections for T.V. al-Hijrah (to be done in 5 days), my wife’s visa status still hung in the balance, my...

Reflections from Imam Ibn al-Qayyim and Imam al-‘Ayni

It is true that the superiority of the Qur’an over other forms of speech is like the superiority of God to His creation but, for every situation there is a word that fits, and when that situation changes, the right word or phrase loses its wisdom, and its benefit is no longer sought.”

11 Anchors for the Beginner

Shaykh ‘Ali was from the great scholars of al-Azhar. He wrote that 11 sciences (‘Uloom) should be mastered by anyone who truly wanted to start on a path towards becoming from the people of knowledge and da’wah (the call to Islam). This curriculum is still taught in al-Azhar (though modified with some short comings and some improvements), forming the basis of my own approach towards learning and teaching.

Separating the Rows in a Congregation?

The Question The hall that we rented has experienced overflow for the taraweeh prayers (the late night prayers offered in Ramadan). We started to pray outside, but the neighbors complained and we were forced to rent the room adjacent to the one we pray in. Some...

Imam teaches Islam with a distinct U.S. style

Oklahoma-born convert Suhaib Webb, who sprinkles public addresses with pop culture references, has a growing following, especially among young Muslims. Traditionalists are leery. “Are we going to reach them with an Arab message or with a Pakistani message? Or are we going to reach them with an American message?” asks Webb, 38, of Santa Clara.

5 levels of Taqwa and 4 Ways to Acquire it!

At the end of the day, these steps are like tools hanging in our garages. If we use them, we will build something. If we neglect them, making excuses, being lazy or having bad feelings about our Lord, then we have none to blame but ourselves. Start by observing the obligatory acts, increase the number of sunnah, charity and civic engagement. All of those, if done for Allah alone, are Red Bulls for taqwa without the withdrawal!

Islam is all-American for one U.S. Muslim leader

For Webb, that answer comes through study and in the form of distinct, high-quality American Muslim institutions like Zaytuna College in California and Muslim community centers like Ta’leef Collective in Fremont, California instead of stigmatized mosques.

“Muslims in America are going to have to somehow engage American culture in order to offer the answers to American culture, the problems of American culture,” he said.

“We stand united as Muslim American faith and community leaders and recognize that we have a shared responsibility to continue to work together with leaders of all faiths and their communities to fight the dehumanization of all peoples based on their religion, race or ethnicity. With the disturbing rise of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of hatred, rhetoric and bigotry, now more than ever, people of faith must stand together for truth,”

I’m a Homosexual and I want to Embrace Islam

Our true nature is inclined to serve our Lord. However, there are times when that nature can be misdirected to things which are unbecoming of worship. False deities, fame, and success caused many people to slip and fall from the noble station that the Creator has given them. Thus, by submitting to something other than the true Creator and Sustainer of all, people will feel depressed, saddened, and lost.

Life’s Reflections. The 30’s

The soul takes a hit in the thirties. We become busy and, in many ways, we feel that we’re not respected. If the thirties were a child it would have to be the middle one. Not quite old enough to handle things and not too small to be absolved of responsibility. Thus, and I’ve found this in my own person, taking advice and humbling one’s self is not easy. “I’m thirty not twenty!” I have that one gray hair there on the front of my beard give me some respect.

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