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Islamic Studies

Introducing a Future Imam of the West: Suhail Mulla al-Azhari

Asalamu alaykum,

As I continue my climb as a student of knowledge there is one brother who will always stick out in my mind as the example, Sh. Suhail Mulla. Sh. Suhail is one of the few people I’ve known who I’ve never seen get angry. Born in raised in L.A and an active member of the Muslim American Society, Sh. Suhail represents a unique hybrid, born to immigrant parents, attained a B.S in African American Studies, a M.A in Social work, worked as a young professional for a number of years, set off to study and most importantly he’s an ‘Alim in the Hanafi tradition and an Azhari.

I remember when Sh. Suhail came to Egypt with his entire family, his wonderful wife Lubna and his two, now three, beautiful children. I said to myself, this effort, leaving a big job for the sake of knowledge will not go unrewarded. I was amazed that a brother who had it all in the States would pack up his whole family to come and study. Indeed, with Sh. Suhail one smells the sent of the Companions [ra].

Sh. Suhail set off on a path that few will attain: He completed his Azhari high school program and mastered Arabic, which he already knew, in a years time, completed a two year program which he was blessed to sit with the major scholars of Egypt studying every major subject one could imagine under the direction of Dr. ‘Alim Guma , memorized a great portion of the Qur’an and mastered the Hanafi school of law all while attending al-Azhar University, raising two kids and constantly giving me advice and guidance. Ohh how I miss your guidance akhi!

Sh. Suhail set back for the states last year landing in L.A. I would encourage all MSA’s, MAS chapters and anyone interested in taking their studies to another level to invite him and utilize this gem of a brother and scholar.He sits in the Valley in L.A teaching hadith, fiqh and language to a group of brothers and sisters. Go, as sfor him and study.

wa la uzaki ‘ala allahi ahadaan.
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).

17 Comments

  • Sh. Suhail and his family are sorely missed in Egypt. They were sources of inspiration for all of us, and we ask Allah to reward them and to increase them in knowledge and benefit for the community.

  • When I first arrived in Cairo – end of 2007 – Shaykh Sohail was a friendly face, an inspiration and a guide. His family, generous hosts and a constant source of support, warmth and cooperation for other families.

    Through Shaykh Sohail and his commitment to attending circles of knowledge regardless of the distance, I discovered many classes in Cairo from which I am still benefiting immensely today.

    We all miss you shaykh!, may Allah subhan wa ta’ala grant you all the success in this world and the next. Looking forward to seeing you next time you are in Cairo.

  • why isn't the egyptian youth taking advantage of the presence of mash'Allah such great people like shaykh Suhail?
    we should be aware of that… ( when i say egyptian youth i mean the young people who have been educated in a more or less americanized way of life or lived abroad, they could have some kind of connection with western Muslims)

    Jazak Allah kheir Ustadh Suhaib for posting this

  • Shaykh Suhail was a inspiration to a large number of brothers & sisters who studied in Egypt and saw in him and his family an example of determination, love and striving for Allah and true students of knowledge.

    Shaykh Suhail was kind enough to even rent me his apartment for a month, just after my wedding. Amazing brother and family. May Allah reward them immensely.

  • One has to respect that level of commitment and success, mashallaah. I think the time has come for every American Muslim to look inward and start holding himself to a higher standard of excellence, ihsan, not in every aspect all at once, but what are one or two key areas you'd like to drill down on? http://www.distinctionsmag.com

  • thank you–that's what I'm talkin about. I'd love to hear more about these hidden gems in our midst, both brothers and sisters who are excelling in their sacred knowledge and are returning to teach and benefit! : ) Jazakum Allahu Khair

  • Suhail Bhai!!! Mashallah, that is amazing…I miss those days! Alhumdulillah, we are beginning to see a new era of Islam in America inshallah!

    May Allah bless all of you!

  • AS

    Of the qualities which should be made clear about the methodology of Sh. Suhail ( h) was his balance in dealing with Salafis and Sufis alike he put being Muslim before any category and in that demonstrated one of the greatest lessons of Islamic Movement not in theory but practice. Allah is the Knower hearts and we praise none except He. May Allah put baraka in Sh Suhail's efforts and in his intention and in his family and may he be one who empties himself for Allah and stands impoverished before him in love.

    Muslim American Society is fortunate to have brothers like Sh Suhail.

  • Salamu alaykum shaykhna,,

    I know you were just being polite, but I don't feel that it's appropriate to refer to another man's wife as 'wonderful' in any context.

    Yours respectfully,

    Omar

  • Come on man!! lol chill out..how true the saying goes in Arabic “Al Mar'u Yaqeesu 'ala Nafsih”..it was just a positive adjective.

  • Asalamu alaykum,

    WM:

    wM:
    Share with us your Islamic background- who you've studied with, for how long and how much Qur'an you've memorized. This is important because “you feel” something and in order for that “feeling” to be considered you should be a scholar. Your thinking really doesn't matter until you are able to back your feelings. You have very little adab; your pressumtions are reflective of your perverse nature founded in a Najadi bedouin cultural ethos. A man can't even praise another man's wife in this community!

    Bilal

  • As-salaamulaaykum.

    He sounds like a great teacher and brother. How can I ask him a question about Hanafi fiqh? I have read that it is disliked (in the Hanafi school) for women to pray together with a female imam. I would like to understand more about this verdict from the Hanafi school.

  • Dear Br. Abu Adam, Imam Suhaib and all

    In Sharh Al-'Inaayah 'Ala al-Hidayah (on Hanafi Fiqh) we read: “It is disliked for women to pray in jama'ah (congregation) because their establishment of a jama'ah (entails in and of itself) something that is makrooh; for a woman to be an imam, (there are two possible scenarios by which) she can lead: (1) by either standing in front of the congregation or (2) standing in the middle of the congregation (in-line with the musalleen). In the first case, the woman imam is exposed beyond normal and this is makrooh. In the second scenario, the woman imam leaves the designated place of the imam (which is in front of the congregation) and that is also makrooh. (The overriding principle being that) to pray in congregation is Sunnah and to leave a Sunnah act takes precedence over partaking in something that is makrooh. (In other words, it is better for women to leave the jama'ah – which is sunnah – than it is for them to have a woman as an imam – which is makrooh.)

    Now that's a mouthful! Jazakumallah Khair to all our bros and sis for their nice words and thoughts. May Allah put baraka in the the time of our bros and sis still studying in Egypt and bring them back to us to be pillars of light in our communties here in America. Ameen!

    My email is shmulla@gmail.com

    Your brother,

    Suhail Mulla

  • I listened to the Khutbah of Imam Suhail Mullah today 1/9/15 in a masjid in Fullerton. This was my first time to listen to this Sheikh. I was very happy to listen to his Khutbah and the lessons of Surat Alkahf He talked about the challenges that face a Muslim at all times. I never heard of him before as I live 3 hours away. I listened to a scholar with deep understanding. masha Allah.

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