Formerly SuhaibWebb.com
Community Video

Answers, Directions and Horizons

Asalamu alaykum,

Since the announcement, I’ve struggled with what to write and how to express myself. As an active member of the Muslim American Society and teacher at the American Islamic University, I felt it was time to lead by example. Let’s move beyond talking about unity and start living it. This video contains my positions on these issues. Think about them hard, let them settle in your mind and give me your thoughts.

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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  • Salaam

    Ya Sheikh, I’d like to congratulate you for taking the first step in North America towards unity amongst Ahl as Sunnah…the first tangible step by a notable scholar such as yourself

  • us salaam alikuim,

    Jezkallah khair for addressing the issue of intrAfaith. It seems it rarely talked about, and even less lived.

    Of the many people in America, few have actually lived it and you are one of them. Its funny, sometimes ive been amongst people and they ask each other, is Imam Webb salafi ? Is he Sufi ? Its great you cause this confusion by working with a lot of different Muslim personalities.

    In America, we can make this difference when we see Ulama actively working on different initiatives with people from the ‘other’ side without compromising their beliefs.
    Secondly, one of the biggest causes of this division are the students or follower of various scholars. Scholars might not be caught up in labeling but unfortunately, many immature/early students get caught up in it. I think Ulama need to do more active job on checking this type of activity.

    May Allah bless you and your efforts.

    Ahmed Arshad

    us salaam alikuim

  • Aslamaua alaikum,

    I guess my question is on a practical level are we supposed to totally overlook our differences or are we supposed to talk about our differnces?

    In other words when we are dealing with people of different thinking patterns, should we focus on what is common and ignore the differnces…where do we draw the line?

    W’salams

    D

  • There is alot of pressure everywhere to disunite. To call oneself such-and-such name and stay away from such-and-such group.

    Truth be told, I think Jama’ah refers to the united body of Muslims.
    Not those belonging to this group or that group or any 1 group…the moment you make a group of you own, excluding another group of MUSLIMs who ACTIVELY PRACTICE Quran and Sunnah…there is a problem. Divisions are made. Boundries are set. Shaytaan is pleased.

    We who claim to follow Quran and Sunnah MUST unite on our common goals. As Sheikh Yasir once said, when the need arises, and YES our Ummah is in DIRE need of unity, we must join hands, despite differences. The differences we have are not something that should be a cause of pride, looking down ones nose at others, calling their views inferior, abandonment, or anything of that sort. The differences have a time and place to be discussed, debated perhaps. The time and place is NOT when there is a war going on against Islam, Muslims are suffering all over the world. We have a greater goal to accomplish, BUT to do so we must unite.

    If we are true to Allah, we will not create divisions amongst those who follow the Quran and Sunnah, we may acknowledge differences, but as Sheikh Suhaib has said, we are MATURE about differences.

    Remember, while we yak about our differences, weakening the Ummah by dividing, there are Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, ETC. dying and suffering due to our indifference and overinvolvement in these your sect my sect lets draw a dividing line debates.

    May Allah swt give us Taweeq to do the right thing, May we embody the Sunnah, May we all remain steadfast together on Siraat Al Mustaqeem!

    Allah knows best.

  • Jazzak Allaahu Khayr for your actions Yaa Ustadh.

    I truly believe that there are so many of us from the youth and the common people who want to move beyond these divisions. We can and will still have our disagreements, but we are a single community.

    I have wide experience with Muslims from all over the spectrum. I, as a lay person and student, have never felt difficulty with the fact that I attended classes with AlMaghrib and with Deobandis and with Zaytuna and with Nawawi and with whoever else.

    I think there are many others among the common people like me but sometimes in the past as we have tried to advance in studies and be more serious, we have felt pressure to choose one group to associate with. I truly do not believe that this pressure comes mainly from the Scholars and Teachers, but instead from people with just a little knowledge and no understanding.

    The problem is, however, as the Ustadh mentions while we would get nice speeches from the Leaders, Scholars and Teachers we would sometimes see them sticking to their own like minded groups in practice, and this was a mixed message. Words are cheap, we look to people’s actions.

    I again ask Allaah (swt) to shower his rewards upon AlMaghrib and upon Ustadh Suhaib Webb for taking the step of actions, I truly believe that we are already seeing the blessings that will result from this leap of emaan because we, the common people and the students are ready to unite if we are shown the way.

    For those who find this hard to accept for whatever reason, I pray that Allaah (swt) will open their heart to know that no one is calling on them to abandon what they believe to be true and important but to work together in what is good and to realize what unites is much greater than whatever differences we have.

  • I think the fact that you have to defend yourself is a poor indication of the Muslim community. I personally am sympathetic with the Sufis but I respect the Salafis and consider them my brothers in Islam as long as they do not fall into things like takfir and tajsim. I will still disagree with them on things but I will do it respectful and if I or they cannot, I will not and we will focus on what we have in common. After all, ikhtilaf in Islam is almost as old as Islam itself.

  • Assalaamu Alaikum Imam Suhaib,

    My first thoughts after reading this announcement were toward your family. Al-Maghrib is very mobile Masha Allah! I am speaking as your sister in Islam. Please, please make sure to find time for your wife and children. This is a challenge for our teachers of today where the adab has changed from us going to our teachers, to now inviting our teachers to come to us. May Allah subhana wa ta’ala bless and protect your family.

    Secondly, Allahu Akbar Imam Suhaib! As someone who lives in an area where a lot of different views are practiced, I think you are setting an amazing example.

    I do have one question :) When you teach with organizations like Sunni-path, Islamic University, or Al-Maghrib, are your lessons edited? I mean do you have to teach a certain way?

    May Allah subhana wa ta’ala always show you the straightest path to him, and give you tawfeeq, means and desire to follow that path.

    BTW can we buy stocks in virtualmosque.com :) I heard their market value just went up :)

    Umm Qaasim

  • MashALlah very well said, and much needed reminder. What you said “How can we expect to work with the non-mulsims, when we cant even work with ourselves.” Something really to dwell over.

  • Salaam Alaikum Akhi wa Habibi Ustadh Suhaib,

    Jazak Allah khayr for your poignant message (btw I was in the audience listening intently to what you said that day!!).

    May Allah put barakah in all our efforts, and allow us all to be leaders by example, and not just speech.

    Barak Allah feek…

    Your brother in Islam,

    Yasir Qadhi

  • jazakAllah for this! beautiful thoughts but it is difficult to get out of the “groupie” mentality that many have been indoctrinated with. This phenomenon is a problem of the ages and all we can do is relate the message of unity on the truth.

  • Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah

    The next page contains my positions on these issues.

    Great speech, mashallah. However, I am eager to learn how we move from great speeches, onto great actions, inshallah. Where is the link for this page, or did you mean your next entry will cover these issues?

    Jazakallah khair.

    Wa’salam

  • “Scholars might not be caught up in labeling but unfortunately, many immature/early students get caught up in it. I think Ulama need to do more active job on checking this type of activity.”

    Totally agree with the above statement! Why is everyone so eager to put a label on every teacher…it’s like anytime you bring up anyone they ask what is he? Why can’t you accept him as a Muslim brother?? These days labeling oneself as part of any group is not beneficial, because sometimes the connotations behind the group DO NOT fit the scholar. Just say he is a Muslim and leave it at that. If there are differences among his views and those of other groups, is it neccesary to put a label on him? I’m seriously wondering about this.

  • Yeessssssssssssss We are muslims!!!!!!!!! we dont need no artificial flavours afterrole its a just a flavour and its remains ICE CREAM.

    I never used to hear or know all this flavors until lately.One night “someone told me ” Hi its only this flavor that teaches the truth .But Alhamdullilah I defended myself and answered “am a muslim “.

    I even called my DAD who is all the way “in another continent ” Woke him up in the middle of the night ( he is 80 + old) just to ask him .Whats all this flavors about SINCE HE KNOWS MORE THAN I DO HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN MY TEACHER .(AND I LOVE HIM ) and He told me .

    YOU ARE A MUSLIM”

    yes shaikh Suhaib we are all behind you Inshallah.WE ARE MUSLIMS

  • I guess what am trying to say is manshallah Shaikh Suhaib May Allah reward you for reminding us all. We should all respect each other no matter what flavor it is and be united always for we all are muslims.

    Shaikh keep up the Good J O B Inshallah.

    jazakAllah for this! beautiful thoughts

  • I am so happy that someone can move beyond speeches and do what it takes to do the real deal. I am so happy AlMaghrib admin maintains the integrity of reaching out to teachers without having to categorizing any. This is probably one of the most intellectual decission by both parties that will shape the future of North American Muslims and Muslims globally, bi-idhnillahi ta’ala

  • AS

    Thank you for clarifying the methodology of the Ulema and the righteous predecessors. Of late I heard a lecture from Shaikh Muhammad Amin al-Jame al-Ethiopi who was of the top scholars in aqeeda in Madina Munawaara and he said something that is very interesting on the 6 tape of his explanation of fatwa al-hamawiyyah of Ibn Taymiyah he said:

    “We [referring to the Salafis] need to deal with those who subscribe to the Ashari school with ease and gentleness [rifq] and this does not mean we collapse our differences…” [tape 6 explanation of Hamawiyyah]

    This is a great principle because it affords us the opportunity to discuss based on knowledge although we may disagree with each other at least there is a call to adab and to discuss matters with maturity. Very few are concerned with making clear what is common between us it seems as there is an unspoken rule that we are obliged to declare differences first.

    shakereen auwi

    Abul-Hussein

  • Majority of people neither understand nor care about these differences. I think they’re happy to be Muslim and get on with their lives. I think it’s just the ones who get really religious that fall into these discussions.

    Going back to the analogy of the ship in which the good people have to come down and tell the bad people to stop opening a hole in the bottom to quench their thirst, I think right now, the people at the top spend so much time fighting one another, no one gets down to those people (except a few) to call them to practicing Islam.

    Wallahu A’lam.

    Siraaj

  • Salam! I just don’t get how anyone could not want unity, given the Muslims’ plight :-( InshaAllah with Allah’s help we will get there one day. But until we’re prepared to look inwardly, and check our own prejudices, and intentions, it’s going to be a hard slog. ‘InnaLlaha la yugayyiru ma bi qawmin hatta yughayyiru ma bi anfusihim.’

    And how can we reach out to our non-Muslim friends, family, colleagues unless we can find a way to ‘gel’ with those who are under the banner of the shahadatayn, even if we differ on specific issues? I don’t think those pushing for unity should have to explain the need – rather, those who don’t want it need to provide a rationale for allowing such misanthropy and tunnel-mindedness to take over their heads and hearts.

    Also related to this issue is the question of how we find a way to communicate the values of our faith, the maqasid of shari’a, to those who think it’s OK to blow up civilians and themselves. If we stood united on our foundational principles, would the interpretative positions that enable such actions even arise?

    Wa biLlahi al-tawfiq.
    Praying for success in this and all our endeavours! Your sis Fozia

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