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Islamic Studies

Dr. Munir Farid Wasli: Reflections on Hajj and Islamic Discourse

Asalamu alaykum,

Dr. Munir Farid Wasil was the former Mufti of Egypt and happens to live less than a block from my house. He prays Jum’ah near my home and I try to pray there so I can, at least, ask him one question a week or hear him answer someone other person’s question. Today, after Jum’ah, he gave an important reminder about Hajj. Dr. Wasil is a real humble person, la uzaki ‘ala Allah ahad. He walks to the mosque, wears simple, but nice, dress and sits with the people after prayer.

Some nice points from his talk today:

The Purpose of Hajj is to revive the soul. For that reason it makes no sense for people to commit acts that could harm themselves or another.

If one wants to make Hajj he cannot leave his family in a poor state. In other words, he must have the means to support his journey and his family why he is gone. This is important because protection of one’s life fall under the daruriyat [essentials]. Thus, one is not allowed to make Hajj if it could harm him or others.

We must understand our role in presenting a clear, balanced truthful discourse. It is very important for those holding pens in their hands and mics to their lips to deliver the correct message regarding Islam. Jihad is not a reign to kill or harm anyone. It is an ethic based struggle, “If you kill one person with out just right, it is as though you’ve killed humanity in its entirety.”

Some things I noticed about his method of fatwa and legal presentation:

1. He does not stick to one school but gives the opinion of the majority on issues. He seems to always give the opinion that, although being correct, is easiest on the people. Sh. Rayan told us, “Make things easy on the people and refer to different schools if needed.”
2. If there is an opinion from one of the four legal schools that differs with the Jamhour he mentions it.
3. He refers to the major councils of scholars that exist in the Muslim world: The Council in Jedda was referenced when he qualified the opinion that the time for throwing the pebbles is 24 hours. Dr. Taha Jabril al-Awani told us that in today’s times we need to reference such large bodies of scholars in order to insure a safer scholarly discourse.

It was really a pleasure to listen to Dr. Wasli and I hope to meet him again soon.

SDW

About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship.

Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010 and his website, www.SuhaibWebb.com, was voted the best “Blog of the Year” by the 2009 Brass Crescent awards.

Suhaib Webb has lectured extensively around the world including in the Middle East, East Asia, Europe, North Africa and North America. Upon returning from his studies in Egypt, Webb lived in the Bay Area, California, where he worked with the Muslim American Society from Fall 2010 to Winter 2011. He currently serves as the Imam of the Islamic Society of Boston’s Cultural Center (ISBCC).

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  • Could you elaborate more on the opinion of stoning 24 hours per day? On my last Hajj, there was a booklet distributed by the Saudi Arabian government regarding different dispensations to be taken during the Hajj. This was one of the opinions mentiioned and the booklet also included a fatwa by Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah (May Allah preserve him) acceptable dispensations?

  • Assalamu Alaikum Sheikh Webb,

    Do you know if Dr. Wasil personally sticks to one Fiqh opinion or if he also follows various opinions on different matters (as oppose to following one Fiqh opinion on all matters).

    Gazaak Allah Kheir for your many lectures and all that you’ve been doing to benefit this Ummah and especially the youth. I wanted to know if you could email me to see if we could set up a lecture event or halaqaa here at the University of Texas at Austin? I know that this would benefit myself and many other Muslim college students greatly. Ever been to Austin?

    Salaamat

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