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Message from Cairo – Imam Suhaib Webb

BismilLah al-Rahman al-Raheem | In the name of God, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Dear brothers and sisters in humanity,

I write to you from the honorable city of Cairo. Cairo is a city where, from one block to another, you will encounter thousands of years of history. The city is now witnessing another historic moment.

As you all know, the brave people of Egypt are standing and asking for one thing: their basic freedom and right to live under the shade of justice. Sadly, there are those in the Middle East, as well as Washington, who are irresponsible enough to question such a right. How can we be satisfied with exporting everything from iPhones to MTV, but fail to share in exporting the foundations of our own country? Foundations we claim to hold as dear?

As a global community, we can all relate to the cry of the Egyptian people. It is a cry for justice. A cry for fairness. A cry for democracy, and a just system of rule. This call rings even louder since it has corresponded with Black History Month. I witnessed the two Million Man March yesterday. I have not felt such love for humanity captured in the mass movement of people, except for the day Martin Luther King Jr. gave his important “I Have a Dream” speech.

Muslim scholars agree that a person is allowed to use his good deeds to draw nearer to God and seek divine aid. Thursday is a commendable day to fast for Muslims, as we believe good deeds are presented to God. I am asking everyone who can to fast this Thursday. At sunset, the time for breaking the fast, we can all say a special prayer for our brethren in Egypt – Christians, Jews, Muslims and all other brothers in humanity. In the Qur’an we find the following verse,

2:153

“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” (2:153)

Most commentators of the Qur’an say that “patience” here means fasting. I hope you will join me in this call. I will be traveling but still hope to observe the fast, seeking God’s help and peace for the beloved people of Egypt.

May God bless us to be agents of peace, freedom and love for our fellow brothers and sisters in humanity.

Yours,
Imam Suhaib Webb

Cairo, Egypt
February 2nd, 2011

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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  • Salam Imam Suhaib,
    Thank you for the beauiful reminder. Having spoken with family members in Cairo today, it appears that they are articulating the same points that you made. Have a safe trip and I hope to see you soon, Insha’Allah.

    Fee aman ilah.

  • As Salamu Alaikum Imam Suhaib,

    Insha Allah only the best comes out of this.

    Tausal amrika bisalama insha Allah :)

    I actually live in New York city–will you be lecturing at the 96th Street Masjid (Islamic Cultural Center of NY) this Friday? Or any other Masjid?

    Jazak Allahu khairan

  • JAK brother Suhaib!

    I appreciate your support of the Egyptian people’s right to democracy and a life without tyranny and oppression. However, I have one question/ concern. How is it that Al Azhar has not supported the protestors, and instead of even being neutral, has supported Mubarak and the gov’t? Is that not a major betrayal?

    And Allah swt knows best.

  • Asalamo Alikom

    Thank you all for your support.May Allah reward all of you with the best in donia and ala7’era and we’ll all be in Aljannah InshaAllah

  • Takbeer. ameen. jazakAllah khayr Imam.

    Without justice there can never be peace. A world in which Adam has been divided, peace must not be divided. I am with my sisters and brothers in faith and humanity.

  • Assalamu alaykum Brother,

    Your call to fast today reached the UK. I’d been feeling helpless sitting here, hearing and watching the news about what was happening to our brothers and sisters over there. So I was very honoured to be asked to join with everyone else who was fasting today and to be able do my bit for justice in Egypt and the Muslim world.

    May Allah bring khair from all that is happening throughout Egypt and the Arab world!

  • As a new member to the Faith, and knowing about Shahadah I will fast and pray for peace and justice. May we remember to love others and forgive even if it hurts to do so, I will pray for our leaders here in America that they will be compelled to help the Egyptian People. Allah bless us as we unite with one voice and stay strong and faithful as we read the scriptures and pray pray pray. love from Prayer angel *Sis*

  • May Allah bless Egypt and all the Freedom seeking Egyptians… May Allah Accept all those who passed fighting tyranny in Tahrir Square , Alexandria, Suiz and rest of Egypt as martyrs and reward the highest level in Jennah. Egyptians and Tunisians are making me proud to a Muslim, an Arab and a human being. Who’s next … Inchallah all of them

  • ASSALUMUALEIKUM,

    as certainly noticed in the recent time in Cairo, we all must agree to this call and being brothers in faith and humanity must contribute to this revolution.

    may ALLAH(SWT) be with the righteous and patient.

    AMEEN

  • Salaam Shaykh,

    If there were to be a change in government how do you see Al-Azhar changing, if at all. As it’s pretty much unanimously held that Al-Azhar is far from what it once was. I think even you touched upon this in one of your articles.

  • Salaam Imam Webb,
    I attended your juma lecture yesterday, your lecture that evening, and the q&A session at the ICNYU conference today. I was very moved by your words on the beauty of the Egyptian people, but I have to tell you everything, absolutely everything, you said was very moving. At the Q&A session where you answered the question about ‘doom and gloom’ imams, I started bawling like a loser. I was moved, relieved, and amazed at your eloquence and beautiful way of handling the issues. I have never cried at an Islamic lecture before (and I have attended a bunch of lectures by the ‘famous’ shaykhs/imams)
    I wanted to thank you so very much for ALL of it, but I did not have the opportunity to do so at the conference.
    I hope inshaAllah that I am able to attend more lectures and conferences that have you as a guest speaker, and hopefully one day inshaAllah take a course with you.
    I know this is probably not the place to leave such a comment, but I didn’t know where else to send this message.
    JazakAllah Khair for everything,
    Abeer

  • Abeer,

    Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh:

    Your words are truly touching. All good comes from Allah alone. We are simply His servants- any good that comes from us is due to His favors and mercies. I’m very touched by your comments. I hope you will please keep me in your prayers.

    Thank you for your kind words,
    Suhaib

  • Very tragic news: Lara Logan of CBS News sustained a brutal beating and sexual assault (of an undetermined nature) when she was attacked by a crowd of Egyptian men. It is unclear if they were thugs of the outgoing regime, protesters against the regime or random criminals. Currently she has been been airlifted out of the country for medical treatment and recovery. Personally when you have some 100 people doing something like this to one defenseless woman it probably represents the mentality of a broad cross section of Egyptian society. Freedom and democracy are great, but I won’t ever support a wave of misogyny, sexism and the public molesting (or public gang rape) of vulnerable people. My advice to the Egyptian people: get your house in order quick. This story (which has hit the blogs) will probably kill most of the public support for the Egyptian people in the US… in about 45 minutes, unless the Egyptian authorities (whoever they are?) make an earnest effort to find & punish the guilty parties soon. What this means for the future of the country, I have no idea, nor do I have the energy to speculate on all the possible nightmarish outcomes.

  • Again, Jazak Allahu khairan, Imam Webb. But my question is this…how can I support our brothers and sisters in Egypt through zakat or financial means? I have watched and toiled over their losses and want to aid them, not only through prayer, but through finances.

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