Islamic Studies

Joys, Hopes and Aspirations

Asalamu alaykum,

I would like to congratulate Sen. Obama, his campaign and the American people on this year’s election. I was nearly moved to tears by the large showing of people racing to lend their voices for change, the three hour lines and the commitment to values that brought us beyond the simplistic nature of color, faith and race. I was especially moved by the following quote:

“I heard that he won and I instinctively came here,” said Hollis Gentry, 45, who lives about six blocks away. “I came down here to make a prayer… that we’ll be able to change the nation and the world.”

While we are excited about an Obama presidency, we must never forget that our trust, hopes and ambitions rest solely with Allah. The worst thing we can do is to idolize Obama. This would undermine our unique ability to call him to account on issues and examine him with a critical eye and, at the same time, afford him the elastic to error and grow.

While many of us feel he is an excellent choice, we must never forget that until America is able to export the values it exposes to others, declare a war on the causes of poverty, offer universal health care, quality education and address its ethical lapses, we will continue to be seen by many as hypocrites.

We ask Allah to guide Obama to what pleases Allah, bless our country, bring justice to the oppressed and use us for goodness.


About the author

Suhaib Webb

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.

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  • those of us in canada who migrated here post 911 fearing that the world had changed irrevocably, obama’s entrance lifts a little of that shroud of gloom and speaks of the power of Allah(swt) who changes the heart.

  • We picked the lesser evil, but not doubt Obama is also evil who will kill many innocent Muslims in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Allah knows where else…

    May Allah protect the ummah

  • AMEN. Not the Mahdi, not the Najashee from Abyssinia during the time of the Prophet [saw] – he’s Barack Obama. And although he’s a refreshing change from the regime we’ve had lead this country for the last 8 years, remember that in the end, politics is not controlled by just one man and his ideas – it is an intricate system (game?) that has to follow rules. So while I believe his intentions are noble and his goals are upright, there are a lot of promises that he may not be able to keep.

    He’s a charismatic guy with a possibly bright future, but remember that he is not God, he is not the Prophet [saw], he’s not someone we should look at and be dependent upon, nor should we put all our trust in him; our trust and hopes and dreams and wishes and wants and needs are for Allah to hear and for Allah to grant, whether it’s through Obama or someone else.

    May Allah help this ummah insha Allah, ameen.

  • Asalamualaikum wrt wb,

    Jazakumallahu khairan Ustadh for your leadership and reminders to keep our hearts focused on Allah. May Allah use this moment in history to open doors for Islam, restore the rights of the believers, bring about a flourishing of Islam in America and the West, and open the doors for the scholars to come to America and spread the knowledge. I also pray that many Muslims are appointed to high positions in the new government and institutions. Ameen!

  • Some brothers are feeling their Imaan and trust in Islam almost “threatened” by the Obamania, but I think they are forgetting that this could be the answer to our prayers of ending the war with Iraq, closing Guantanamo and a new beginning for Muslims around the world.

    Ponder this for a moment:

    If this is the joy of Obama…think of how much greater the joy of having Imam Mahdi or Eesa alayhi salam will be?


    ‘Nuff said.

  • Bismillahir rahmanir raheem

    I thank Allah ta’aalaa for guiding me not to vote this year.

    First, Obama has repeatedly called for intensified war on Muslims in Afghanistan and elsewhere. He calls the enemy and targets of these wars by the same name he and Bush call their enemies in Iraq–“Taliban” and “al-qaeda”. Second, Obama has repeatedly promised Zionists his unwavering support of Israel. He selected Joe “I-am-a-Zionist” Biden as his VP. There is more, much more, as we know, but these two are enough. We know this, and I recognize that those of you Muslims who voted for him did so for reasons other than intending to support these two campaigns against us. Essentially, it seems you who voted for him did so to voice your opposition to war against Muslims and the like, and your support of all that is good, all Obama says he supports that is good, and all he should support but says he doesn’t. Given that Obama has repeatedly supported war against Muslims, I disagree with that strategy.

    In the future, rather than casting civic participation for Muslims as voting for the democratic candidate, as ISNA and numbered scholars have done in each of the last three elections, we lay people and scholars may be more constructive in our civic participation and in our promotion of truth and justice in America and around the world if we encourage our ulama to gather, nominate one among them to run for US president, and then 15 million of us can vote for him. To put it another way, if Maulana/Imam/Shaykh [enter name of respected, articulate, American born scholar over 35 years old here], for instance, were running this year as a third-party candidate like others who know they won’t win but run on principle like Nader or Barr, would you have voted for Obama? Who will you vote for if said scholar were to run in 2012? Please note that I wrote that promoting a third party Muslim candidate may be better; it is not clear to me that it would be. This is one idea, there are others. I hope I will be voting in 2012, should Allah ta’aalaa give me life, though I don’t at this time expect suitable conditions to obtain by then.

    I did not vote for Obama because I lend my support people who support all that is good, and I support with a vote neither evil nor what appears less evil, unless scholars I trust instruct me that I have a compelling reason (i.e., moral obligation) to do so. I received no such instruction during this election year. (And I did listen to your speech about voting, Imam Suhaib.) I didn’t vote for someone else because I took a couple of minutes to research the third-party candidates and found that all of them support one or another terrible wrong for society, so I could not justify voting for them for the sake of Allah ta’aalaa, even if I could do so without waiting a moment in line. Further, I knew that if I were to vote, my individual vote, like your individual vote, would have an impact in this world that does not even deserve to be called negligible. In fact, the good dawah you did while standing in line at the polling center if you looked reognizably Muslim and acted as one should or if you discussed Islam with one or more non-Muslims was practically infinitely more impactful than your vote. But that dawah and impact didn’t depend on your entering the booth. Likewise, my commenting here is practically infinitely more impactful, though its impact is small, than no-vote.

    That choice of ours in that booth, however, or out of it, was and will remain perfectly recorded in our Book of Deeds; our choice, then, was a profound one–a word I recall Imam Suhaib used a few months ago in his post urging us readers to vote for Obama and to make a profound choice. I hope Allah ta’aalaa accepts my profound choice not to vote for Obama, just as I pray to Allah to accept any and all profundity and goodness that accompanied any person’s voting for Obama with good intentions while recoiling from any bad one that should accompany voting for a person who supports the bad that Obama supports. For the non-Muslims who voted for him with the intention that God Almighty bring a change to the policy of war against Muslims and the policies of exporting injustice and of neglecting to right wrongs in our country, I ask Allah to guide them to Islam and to His pleasure. He has promised that He will guide any who believes in Him. The goodness that Imam Suhaib perceived in the throngs of people voting and which brought tears to his eyes, is part of what makes me excited for the future of Islam in America.

    But, no! I didn’t vote. Nor did nearly 100 million other eligible voters, many millions of whom are at least as concerned about American and its people as most of those who did vote. And our not voting didn’t change which of the two evils would win. The apparently lesser evil won this time, and that may be good, and I hope it is, and Allah ta’aalaa knows best.

    If Obama continues and escalates the war in Afghanistan as he has repeatedly assured the world intends to do, we will all feel bad–both the minority of accredited American Muslim scholars who voted for Obama and those who followed them, as well as the majority of accredited American Muslim scholars who didn’t vote for Obama and those who followed them. If more war happens at his hands–may Allah protect us from it–or even if less war happens, all of us will feel bad about that carnage launched from our country, by our president, against Muslims. We will feel very, very bad.

    But will you who voted feel bad for having voted for him in that booth, while knowing Allah ta’aalaa was watching, while doing it, in fact, for His sake? If Obama or others through him continue with wars against Muslims or escalate any of them or start any new ones, will you who voted for Obama, individually, feel bad that you voted for him? Will you feel bad for casting that secret ballet that none saw or sees a record of but Allah, a vote which did not affect who became president, a vote which, along with those of other Muslims voting, contributed to a collective Muslim support for a candidate who has taken every means to distance himself from the honorable accusation that he is a Muslim?

    Imam Suhaib, ameen to the duas you’ve written in this post, and jazakallahu khairan for the guidance to trust on Allah ta’aalaa and not on Obama (subhaanallaah–how beautiful Surah Yusuf and Ibrahim are, and the whole Quran!), and to correct him as we are uniquely suited to do–kuntum khaira ummatin ukhrijat linnaas…

    I wrote all of this with the intention of pleasing Allah. I ask him to accept the best of my intentions and to make these words of benefit to you who have read it.

    Wa sallallaahu ‘alaa nabiyyinaa muhammad, walhamdulillaahi rabbil ‘aalameen

  • Barak Obama is no friend of Islam, he is no friend of Palestinians. He is a friend of big American corporations and Wall Street banks who largely financed his campaign. He has clearly stated that he wants to increase and enlarge the US presence in Afghanistan. This man is all show and TV presence. If Arab-Americans and Muslim Americans voted for this man, believing him to be their friend, they are going to be very, very disappointed. You should have voted for Ralph Nader, a man of true integrity and honesty.

  • Assalamu alaikum,

    Jazakallahu Khair for the reminder Shaykh Suhaib.

    Now that the election is over, we must now ask ourselves how we can contribute to the betterment of society. Alhamdulillah, Muslims are very optimistic about change. However, positive change will only come if our community is willing to work towards it.

    I say this as a reminder first and foremost to myself. Civic engagement, especially from the Muslim community, must continue and increase after the election if we want to truly see a change.

    May Allah give us all the strength and ability to work for this deen and for the betterment of humanity at large.

  • Salam

    Not to put a damper on things but… when I look at the reality of things, Obama has got into bed with the Israel lobby, despite being much more even handed years ago(see this link for a good article on this: I think we’d all agree that the biggest cause of fitnah between America and Islam is America’s unjust, one sided support of Israel: until this changes, I see more conflict, not less. May Allah protect the muslims, Ameen.

  • Someone tell Barak Obama to read this. He should know that the Muslims got his back.

    But seriously, subhanallah, I ask Allah (SWT) to allow him to read this article and comments. Stuff like this is what can easily change the outlook of Muslims on any non muslim.

  • Emanuel offered top Obama slot
    Posted: Tuesday, November 04, 2008 8:29 PM by Carrie Dann
    From NBC’s Mike Viqueira

    Three House Democratic sources confirmed Rep. Rahm Emanuel has been offered a Chief of Staff job with an Obama White House and is currently “agonizing” over whether to take the job.

    Rahm Emanuel is a WONDERFUL candidate. Go Obama!

    Ibn Muhammad

  • As-Salam Alaykum.

    Imam Obama’s first act as President-elect was to nominate a former Zionist soldier–and son of a Zionist terrorist–to be his chief-of-staff.

    Fi Aman Allah.

  • “If this is the joy of Obama…think of how much greater the joy of having Imam Mahdi or Eesa alayhi salam will be?”

    Salam, can I steal this quote of yours for my gchat status?

  • Assalaamu’alaikum,
    It is important that we realise that this change will never come to be unless we muslims and fellow america strive and work hard to change this world. “No struggle, No Progress” We can’t expect Obama to do it all for us. We are on the front line. The economy here in the US is diminishing because of the overwhelming amount of intrest existing here in the sosiety. We can help the society by preaching our religion. And maby later by the will of allah, they will see how intrest, adultry, gay marrege currupts and distroys society. America will never be better If we muslims step in. And Subhanallah, we already have 2 muslims in the congress with another on its way insha’allah. It is our time to make some change in this world.

    It is our time to change the NWO to really what it has been said to be “where diverse nations are drawn together on the common cause to acheive the universal aspiration of mankind, peace and security, freedom, and the rule of law.”

  • Rahm Emmanuel is less of a problem as chief of staff than he would be in the Congress where he has a lot of power and could be a roadblock to Obama’s policy goals. Play the game people, play the game.

  • dear brother, thank you thank you thank you for this….

    i was really hurt because i went to br. anwar al awlaki’s website and basically called the americans fools and arrogant for voting in this years election. this post is a breath of fresh air.

    brothers and sisters….if this election has taught us anything, it’s that in order to achieve victory in this world we must plan, organize, and be proactive. the world won’t change the way we want it if we are hiding in a corner being angry at ‘the system’.

    please, let follow in obama’s footsteps. let’s organize ourselves, leave our differences aside, unite as an ummah…

  • Salam Shaykh Suhaib,

    I think we need to get some perspective here. I have seen in the last couple of days many Muslim organisations welcoming the election of Barack Obama.

    I could not bring myself to feel the same levels of euphoria that these brothers and sisters have – simply because I find it unsettling to welcome anyone who threatens the lives of other Muslims.

    Obama – certainly has made those threats and as some have mentioned here – he maybe a different colour but the policies seem to be pretty much the same. Will he call for a UN resolution before bombing Pakistan? And will that UN resolution absolve us of our hurt and duties to those that are attacked and killed? I pray that you can shed some light on this.

    Please do not think I am against engagement or particpation – i am all for it, I just believe it should be on our own terms not ones dictated to us or those who we seek to appease.

    I read an article by a shaykh you know, stating that Obama has time for Muslims because he sent his top aides during the campaign to meet Muslims. Also he was very supportive of grassroots campaign such as Obama for president. I find this quite disturbing that we would celebrate meetings with his aides – could he not bother himself? Also – why on earth will Obama not support any campaign that seeks to get him elected?

    If these are the proofs set forward for this massive election campaign by Muslims in America then I can fully understand why Shaykh Awlaki’s views would resonate more with Muslims.

    I pray that you can shed some light.


  • Change?
    There will be no change. Americans again have been fooled by sugar
    coated words and charismatic speeches.

    If you check McCain’s and Obama’s policies then you will understand there isn’t much of a difference and they are working for the same team. Understand that Obama is related to George Bush, The Royal Family, Cheny, Rockefeller, Rothschild etc He is part of an illustrious bloodline which has run for a long time. So you should already make the link that he is an illuminati agent just like George ‘the idiot’ Bush is. He has more zionist in his blood than you can imagine.
    The Illuminati are making their plans but Allah(swt) is the best of planners.


  • Assalaamu’alaikum “Thank you”,
    We can’t blame Sh. Anwar al awlaki for carrying such a point of view on the election and politics. Sh. Anwar al awlaki was arrested and prisoned for span of 2 years. He was oppressed for a long time with 2 years of his life wasted. This is a big effect among scholers who wouldnt waste a single minuite and then all of a sudden, they must waste a a whole 2 years of minuites. Before Sh. Anwar al awlaki was arested, he was in the middle of many works and lecture series which he had to leave. He had made a huge impact to those who took the benifits of his work. But then he got arrested, seperated from his family, oppressed by the CIA. His rights was taken away from the government of the “United Snakes”.

    How do you expect him to share our feelings of voting for the people who are the same type of people who opressed him for 2 years? Obama Mcain is the same old person like Bush Chainy. Both of them are our enemies. Obama is only 5 percent better then Mcain. Its just a matter of voting for the person who will at the least cause less hurt to the world. Obama isnt going to make any change in foreign policy. Obama is no savoir nor is he a sala’adin. We muslims vote because it is our duty to pick out the BETTER Canidate. And we did.

    How would you feel if you were put up in Guantanomo bay and tortured under the name of the US government for 10 years. Once you come out, you would hate the US. You would think every politician in the government all the same. The 2 years of inprisonedment of Sh. Anwar al awlaki, really effected Sh. Anwar al awlaki. Ever since the interveiws and release of Sh. Anwar al awlaki, he has viewed the government as he hadn’t before his arrest.
    So therefore one must understand the side Sh. Anwar al awlaki stands on and not make any wrong assuptions looking upon his blog.

  • subhanallah there some hot stuff on imam Awlakis website, would love to get stuck in it, dont have any time oh well…..

  • Ithink brother Ali was asking if Obama turned out to be bad for muslims then those of us who voted are we gonna feel bad that we did? no i wont . because Allah swt judges us for our intentions. and we voted in the intention that we were saving the muslims from a worse harm. i did not vote going in there thinking that he would not do harm to muslims . i went there voting thinking he would do less harm than a mccain presidency.

    to understand more I would recommend you read sheikh Yasir Qadis afterthoughts. He explains a lot better than I can and did.

  • There are two brother Ali’s on this. I am the brother Ali that DIDN’T put that ginormous statement (not that ginormous statements are bad).

    Honestly, both candidates are not that good, but at least Obama is a little better then McCain. He, at least, is trying to offer solutions to the problems that are facing Americans. What we need to do as Muslims is capitalize on this.

    Oh yea, Rahm Emanuel is known as the pit bull. Just thought I throw that out.

  • well said muslimah, the principle of less harm sounds like a good model to apply this time, however brother ali’s proposal of a third party block vote is something to ponder on for future. whatever the question is, the answer is always frame on the context. muslim exit polls result show economy (64%)hung heavier than the two plus wars (16%) as a determining factor. Although voter turn out was 89% only 8% were of them earned below the national average. This is indicative of how mainstream our fears and aspirations have become, but for a GOP who sees us too diverse to have a group interest, may continue to ignore our iftar invitations.

  • Salam alaikum,

    Naam, Moaz, exactly, but it’s not just because of what he went thru. The truth hurts is often bitter, esp. in these times.

    Anyways, أَفَحُكْمَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ يَبْغُونَ Tafseer of Surah Maidah: Ayah 5.
    Commentary on “Do they then seek the judgement of Jahiliyyah?” [5:50]

    by Ibn Katheer

    Source: Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), Volume 3, pages 202-203 – English

    Courtesy Of:

    “Do they then seek the judgement of (the days of) ignorance? And who is better in judgement than Allah for a people who have firm faith?” [Al-Maa’idah (5):50]

    Allah criticizes those who ignore Allah’s commandments which include every type of righteous good thing and prohibit every type of evil, but they refer instead to opinions, desires and customs that people themselves invented, all of which have no basis in Allah’s religion. During the time of Jahiliyyah, the people used to abide by the misguidance and ignorance that they invented by sheer opinion and lusts. The Tatar (Mongols) abided by the law that they inherited from their king Genghis Khan who wrote Al-Yaasiq for them. This book contains some rulings that were derived from various religions, such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Many of these rulings were derived from his own opinion and desires. Later on, these rulings became the followed law among his children, preferring them to the Law of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam. Therefore, whoever does this, he is a disbeliever who deserves to be fought against, until he reverts to Allah’s and His Messenger’s decisions, so that no law, minor or major, is referred to except by His Law. Allah said,”Do they then seek the judgement of (the days of) ignorance?”

    “And who is better in judgement than Allah for a people who have firm faith?”

    Who is more just in decision than Allah for those who comprehend Allah’s Law, believe in Him, who are certain that Allah is the best among those who give decisions and that He is more merciful with His creation than the mother with her own child? Allah has perfect knowledge of everything, is able to do all things, and He is just in all matters.Meaning, they desire and want this and ignore Allah’s Jugdement.

    Al-Hafiz Abu Al-Qasim At-Tabarani recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, said:

    “The most hated person to Allah is the Muslim who seeks the ways of the days of ignorance and he who seeks to shed the blood of a person without justification.” [At-Tabarani 10:374]

    Al-Bukhari recorded Abu Al-Yaman narrating a similar hadith with some addition. [Fath al-Bari 12:219]

  • A brief response to Shaykh Anwar’s Article:

    In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

    Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh

    We have read the comments made by Sheikh Anwar al-Awlaki on the link provided, and do not concur with the approach employed by the Shaikh.

    Firstly, all the arguments the Shaikh has raised are based on the rationale that our participation in voting is a tacit acceptance on our behalf to play by the rules of the democratic system. This rationale is incorrect, as we have clarified in our former response that if we go by this rationale, then our living in the country and paying of taxes to the government will also mean that we support the evils of the country. Hence, we will be left with no option but to leave the country for another country that does not incorporate such evils. However, if we do not accept this rationale and justify our staying in the country, then we will have to abide by their existing system.

    Secondly, once we have opted to reside in the country, then we would rather vote for such members that will advance our views and help the course of Islam and minimize harm on ourselves. If we opt not to vote, then we are in fact benefiting the party we do not wish to be elected. For example, if 2 million Muslims were to vote for party A, but were discouraged to do so; then party A would lose out 2 million votes which would benefit party B, who would otherwise be lagging by 2 million votes. Hence, by voting we are actually selecting a party that would be less harmful to Islam; and by not voting we are giving preference to the party that would be more detrimental to Islam.

    Moreover, what we have mentioned is also in accordance the principle of Islam which states that if we are faced with a situation in which we have to choose from one of the two evils, then we should choose the lesser evil.

    ثم الأصل في جنس هذه المسائل أن من ابتلي ببليتين وهما متساويتان يأخذ بأيتهما شاء وإن اختلفتا يختار أهونهما

    (Al-Ashbah wa al-Nazair Pg.90 – Qadeemi Kutub Khana)

    And Allah knows best


    Ml. Abu Yahya,
    Student Darul Iftaa

    Checked and Approved by:

    Mufti Ebrahim Desai
    Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah

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