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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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  • Some notes from the lecture:

    1- Memorization of Quran; in less than 2 years if you are serious.
    If you cannot do the whole book, memorize at least 1-2 juz.
    Even if it takes you your whole life to memorize the Quran, there’s nothing wrong with that.

    2- Study language.
    Don’t start with the classical texts.
    Start with Madinah Series for example; even on youtube. Or Al-Arabiya bayna Yadayk.

    Nahw:
    Then An-Nahw al Wadih vol. 1 & 2. Uses contemporary words and sentences.
    Then go to classical works like Al-Ajarumiyya.
    Then Qatra un Nada by Ibn Hisham
    Then Shudhur adh-Dhahab. This uses every verse in the Quran and gives the grammar analysis of it.
    Then Alfiyya ibn Malik with the explanation of Ibn Hisham.

    Sarf:
    Bina ul Af’al
    Lamiyatul Af’al
    Shadha ul Urf
    Al-Hidaya

    Balagha/Rhetoric:
    Matn of Samarqandi
    Bughiyatul Idah

    Rasm/Writing:

    Shi’r:
    Qawafi
    Buhur
    Al-Kamil

    3- Fiqh
    Study according to a madhab; everything is already set up and ready.

    Maliki fiqh for example:
    Al-Akhdari
    Al-Ashmawi, on akhlaq and 5 pillars
    Al-Izziya on other chapters of fiqh: marriage, inheritance
    Risala of Abi Zaid al Qayrawani with Hashiya of Al-Thamrudani. Is translated into English.
    Sharh al Saghir by Ad-Dardir. Used for the mufti in the madhab.
    Sharh al Kabir by Ad-Dardir, on Khalil.

    4- Usul al Fiqh
    Start with a contemporary text like Al-Wadih fi Usul al Fiqh by Umar al Ashqar.
    In English: a book by Sh Taha Jabir al Alwani.
    Later on, a book by Dr. Hashim Kamali (Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence)

    Al-Waraqat of Al-Juwayni.
    Emiriti’s poem of Al-Waraqat, with explanation by Ibn Hattab. (in Maliki Fiqh)
    Ibn Tunasani: Miftah al Wusul ila Ilm al Usul.
    Ibn Rashiq: explanation of Mahsul of al-Razi.
    Al-Subki: Jam’ al Jawami’ w/ explanation of Al-Hulul al Maliki
    Maraqi’ al Suud by Ash-Shanqiti.

    5- Quran
    Memorize Quran
    Memorize Poem by al-Jumhuri
    Memorize Ibn Al-Jazari
    Al-Shatibiya

    • Jazaka Allahu khayran! May Allah grant you the full knowledge of these books and much, much more, ameen. :)

      I plan to get cracking on these books soon. I hope I make some headway at the very least. My only reflection on this talk was, it was more of an outline for an aalim course, i.e. what shaykh Suhaib studied in al-Azhar.

      Maybe there is some discrepancy in what Muslim activist means? My understanding was bros and sisters who are community organizers, youth workers, Muslims who are trying new things and how they balance personally ilm and amal, how they implement knowledge, how they deal with politics, challenges, etc- like more of tried-and-tested experiences of ordinary Muslims, you know? I think getting some of those brothers and sisters in on the discussion would be nice- like some of the people Shaykh Suhaib mentioned and see how they do it so successfully, their secrets and habits and whatnot.

  • My question is what if you want to study, but one doesn’t have teachers accessible. Unfortunately, we don’t have this dars Nithaami nor the scholarship that’s available on the west coast.

    Would Imam Suhaib suggest Sunni Path? It appears to offer the most comprehensive learning platform. I really feel like I’m at a stand still.

  • The context gives an important, fuller understanding of what was meant by Imam Suhaib, but still some excerpts to tide one over until they might have time to listen to the lecture in full inshAllah =) :

    5:49 On the importance of having a relationship with Allah for activists, broken into three parts: knowledge, spirituality, and practice.

    ~13:00 For the early tradition of Muslims it was understood that knowidge IS practice. You don’t separate knowledge of allah from servitude to Allah.

    14:29 Learn how to say “hecka” in arabic LoL

    ~16:10 If you have knowledge in your head and it’s not practiced, it’s as if it doesn’t exist; it’s equivalent to ignorance. (i.e. knowledge is what benefits) knowledge without practicing that knowledge, is equated to ignorance.

    (?) this life is like a harvest – we’l reap what we sow hereafter

    32:00 lists the classical works in order of recommended study, the ones Br. Ahmed lists out in his comments

    53:54 The Prophet did not succeed because of a theology alone but he succeeded because he helped the Arabs with their lives. He brought change to their lives. He brought benefit to their lives. ….read about how he impacted them socially, spiritually, AND intellectually

    ~58:57 – your generation is the generation for building institutions.

    73:00 a bit on gender relations

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