Community Domestic Affairs Video

Articulating Our Role as American Muslims

Note: The khutbah was given in an Arab speaking Masjid so the Arabic language was used occasionally throughout the khutbah.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

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.

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  • Assalamo’alaikom wa rahmatoALLAHi ta’ala wa barakatoh.

    I start in the name of ALLAH. All praise is due to ALLAH, the most high, the most merciful. I ask Allah to bless us, to guide us, to cleanse our harts from any evil, and to put Iman in it, to put ta9wa in it, to put fear in it, to put patience in it, I ask Allah to remove any love that we have for this Dunia, and replace it with love for Akhira, to replace it with love for Allah Sobhanaho wa ta’ala the Most High and for our Beloved Prophet, may peace and blessings be upon him. I ask Allah to forgive our sins, big ones and small ones, and to grant us Jannato’lFirdaws. Allah’omma AMIN.

    I would like to thank Imam and our brother Suhaib Webb for making a difference in my life. You may think that holding up this website, and posting information in it is a minor thing, but wallahi by ALLAH who created me, you have made a major impact in my life. MashaALLAH you touch on very important issues.

    I ask ALLAH to bless you and your family, to make things easy for you and your family, to give success to you and your familiy, to grant you what’s good in this life, but to grant you what’s better in the next. I ask ALLAH to give you the strenght to keep on doing the work that you do for muslim yoth in America and in Europe.

    The majority of the young comunity in Norway (Oslo) love you for the sake of ALLAH azzawajal, were always visiting your websites, and listening to your khutbas on youtube. And we discuss accordingly what we as muslims can do to be ambassadors of this amazing Islam that ALLAH blessed us with. YOU keep on reminding us of the responsibility that we have as Muslims, may ALLAH reward you for that. We will inshaALLAH keep you in our prayers.

    The majority of the Muslim community in Oslo (Holmlia) sends you their Salams, and inshaALLAH hope to see you for the sake of ALLAH one day.

    My brother is the Imam of a local Mosque here in Oslo, so we ask ALLAH to give you the time and strength to leave your family to come see us here in Oslo InshaALLAH.

    JazakaALLAH khair – May Allah, bless us and guide us to his path. For indeed there is no path but His, and indeed without Him we are lost, and indeed ALLAH alone gives success.

    Wa’ALLAHo a’alam.

    Wassalamo’alaikom wa rahmato Allah wa Barakatoh.

  • Assalamu alaikum,

    Jazakallahu khairun for such a beneficial khutbah! I have saved a lot of gems from this, and in sha Allah they shall benefit not only me but many people.

    My favorite part was when you explained this verse:

    “And we did not send you except as a mercy to the worlds.” [21:107]

    However, I have a question on another part. You mentioned that Iblees came to Nuh (may peace be upon him) and said he wanted to repent. Could you provide some evidence for this if at all possible?

    Jazak Allahu khair again.

    May Allah (SWT) continue to make you a source of benefit for all of us.

  • Asalam Aleikum wr wb

    Jzkheri for sharing the khutbah once again May Allah swt reward you and your family.

    sir Miriam::: such a beautiful response! manshallah :
    And May Allah swt reward you, protect you ,your family ,friends and your community (oslo). Ameen

    May Allah SWT have mercy upon us, guide us and grant us sustenance.


  • Waalaikomo’ssalam wa rahmatoALLAHi ta’ala wa barakatoh.

    JazakaALLAHu khair ‘umm m’ for your dua for the Muslim community here in Oslo, may ALLAH reward you. I think we all benifit in our own way by entering this website, mashaALLAH at least i feel i do.

    May ALLAH bless us all, give us wisdom and knowledge. And like ‘umm m’ wrote – May ALLAH azzawajall have mercy upon us and grant us sustenance.

    It’s morning here in Oslo and i would like to share thikr that i always try to say in the morning, and that our beloved Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him) used to say:

    Arabic: HasbiyaALLAHu la ilaha illa huwa, alayhi tawakkalto wa huwa rabbu larshi l3athim.

    English: ALLAH is sufficient for me. There is none worthy of worship but HIM. I have placed my trust in HIM. HE is the Lord of the Magistic Throne.

    Remember ALLAH in the morning by saying the above and inshaALLAH ALLAH the most high the most merciful will give us a great reward inshaALLAH. (7 times)


    Wassalamo’alaikom wa rahmato Allah wa Barakatoh.

  • Salaam Shaykh,

    Hope yout in good health, masha’Allah excellent khutbah, brought back many memories. Insha’Allah see you soon in the UK,

    Suleman (Omar Hefney lol)

  • imam suhaib. salam and fraternal greetings. your khutbas are as thoughtful as ever, infact the part about getting a new theology in america got me thinking in line with what you are preparing for in al-azhar. by the way you look terrificly similar the way you looked back in edmond. stay well and happy dear friend.

  • As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah
    Dear brother I’m writing this in regards to comments from your khutba which seem to be recurring themes on your posts and other speeches related to Aqeedah and your belittling of it’s importance to muslims in general and more specifically with American and/or western muslims. The comments that caught my attention were your saying, “So now in America we don’t need a theology based on medieval texts which are attacking the Mu’tazilah and the jabariya,….”

    Unfortunately comments like this show a lack of critical study in regards to these sects, understanding their shubuhaat or doubts and shows a lack of investigating the issue in a modern context. Most of the sects and the shubuhaat or doubts discussed in the books of Aqeedah are still around today. One of the most apparent and relevant ones being the modern day takfeeris and their having almost the same if not exact approach and shubahaat as the khawaarij of old (such as khuruuj from the rulers, takfeer for the major sins, rejection of hadith, takfeer of the ulama, etc.). This in addition to other sects and their distorted beliefs that still are present today even thought those people who may hold these misguided beliefs may not ascribed themselves to those sects written about in the aqeedah books of old.
    Imam Ahmad in his introduction to his book, “Radd ‘ala al-Jahmiya”, after stating how there are people who opposed the salaf in regards to aqeedah says, “and there will be from EVERY subsequent generation those upright individuals who carry this knowledge disavowing the misguidance of extremists and the misguided path of those who nullify Allah’s attributes and the corrupting of the texts done by the ignorant.” And it is well known that from amongst the doubts and ideologies that Imam Ahmad refuted were the doubts and beliefs of the Mu’tazilah and its clear he thought this was an obligation upon the ulama and not an attack on them as you have claimed it to be. Rather the Ulama of Ahl Sunna throughout the generations after the Prophet and his companions deemed it necessary and obligatory to spell out in detail what is the belief of Ahl sunna and to explain in detail the misguidance of those groups that opposed ahl sunna . They thereby helped in preserving the aqeedah of ahl sunna which is a noble deed as it preserved and will preserve for the following generations the most important thing in the religion, i.e. aqeedah. As Shaykh ul Islam Ibn Taymiya has stated in regard to Imam Ahmad’s above statement,” and he means that there are those from this umma –May allah be praised- who are aware of and able to discern the falsehood of the people kalaam and refute their misguidance…” Again illustrating that the refutation of the people who oppose the aqeedah of ahl sunna is a noble thing in addition to being a responsibility of the ulama. The books of the aqeedah of ahl sunna are replete with refutations of those individuals and groups who opposed the aqeedah of ahl sunna and not one of them considered it to be an attack on these groups like you’ve mentioned.

    You stated in your speech, ‘Aqeedah is now engineering, this group is right and this group is wrong, that’s why the muslims have no ethics…?!”

    Again akhi this is a slap in the face to all the ulama who dedicated there lives to explaining the Aqeedah of ahl sunna and detailing specifically those misguided groups and the doubts that they had (point by point) and in what way they opposed the aqeedah of ahl sunna, which in your words is essentially “this group is right, this group is wrong”. No one from ahl sunna claimed this to be bad for one’s ethics !! By the ulama explaining the correct belief there will logically be people who are excluded because of their opposition to the aqeedah of ahl sunna both past and present and they were very staunch and strong in their refutations to these people after it was clear that they did not want to follow the truth. Ibn Taymiya says in his aqeedah al Waasitiya, “and this is the belief of the firqtu an-naajiya al-mansoora (or saved sect) until the day of judgment” It’s understood that there are and will be groups that oppose this aqeedah as the Prophet peace be upon him mentioned this in the hadith of the 73 sects. So a division based upon right and wrong is not a bad thing. Allah described His book as Al-Furqaan, which divides between truth and falsehood. In regards to groups, this division itself is not the goal, but rather a side effect, because historically there have been those individuals and groups that have opposed the aqeedah of ahl sunna and have been unyielding enemies of the sunna. The subsequent clarification of ahl sunna of these groups’ mistakes is not the cause of division but rather these groups’ adhering to their bida is the cause of division, which is the reason the ulama have labeled them ahl bida wa firaq or the people of bida and divisions. Nothing is more evident of that then the misguided groups spoken about in the books of aqeedah, their remnants today and the new beliefs/ideologies of today that oppose the belief of ahl sunna.
    In a western context, although their may be a fault with some individuals today who lack wisdom in giving da’wa and tend to push people away or become harsh with them where harshness is not the best method or not even needed, or those people who take issues that the common Muslim is not aware of and then make rulings on these individuals labeling them as people of bidah when in actuality these people may be excused for one reason or another, doesn’t mean aqeedah shouldn’t be taught or there should be a special aqeedah for American muslims. And as a community leader you shouldn’t drive people away from learning aqeedah or thus studying it or describing the books of aqeedah as medieval books that attack on group or another. The vast majority of ulama (and you can find them throughout every century after the prophet’s time) who thought it important enough to describe the belief of ahl sunna did so because of the beliefs and ideologies that were in around in their time that were in opposition to the belief of ahl sunna. And we don’t find them saying, “this will lead to you losing your ethics!” Is it possible for a Muslim to rewarded for his ethics but falling into shirk (as many muslims have today) or describing Allah with that which he hasn’t described himself (of which many muslims do) or nullifying Allah’s names and attributes ( which is common amongst many muslims). Allah says, “wa man adallu man iftara ‘ala Allahi kadhiba” and who is more misguided than the person who lies about Allah.” Is it possible that Allah will be pleased with a person’s ethics if he his misguided with regards to his Aqeedah ?? Of course the muslim should be affected positively by his aqeedah and it definitely should lead him to have the best of qualities. Like Ibn taymiya described ahl sunna, “hum a’alam an naas bil khaaliq, arhamu an naas bil makhluuq” The people of ahl sunna are the most knowledgeable people of the creator and the most merciful to the creation.

    You suggest that, “What we need in America is a theology that’s going to enable me to stay away from the muharramat, preserve my family, myself, and to enjoy my relationship with Allah, to love Allah.” Can this be achieved without having the correct aqeedah and teaching it and explaining that which opposes it. Again this shows a lack of conceptualizing the importance of explaining matters of belief to an audience of western muslims who in addition to not knowing Arabic tend to bring with them concepts, ideologies, and beliefs which may affect their aqeedah or even contradict it. This in addition to many of them not knowing the most fundamental issues of Aqeedah, i.e At-Tawheed. Is it possible for one to love Allah, and for Allah to love him, (because the issue is not loving Allah, the issue is Allah loving the slave and the muslim doing what he must seeking Allah’s love, the Christians claim to love Allah as well as the extreme Sufis but b/c it is lacking in substance it has no bearing on the day of judgment) and not have the correct Aqeedah. You quote Ibn Qayyim’s statement that loving Allah is the highest of manazil but Ibn Al Qayyim didn’t just leave it at that, in many of his writings he tells the muslim how this love is achieved. Like his statement in his book “Sawa’iq al mursala” ” there is no life for the hearts, no happiness, no pleasure, no enjoyment, no security, except the heart that knows his Lord the only One deserving of his worship along with knowing His names, attributes and actions and these being the most beloved thing to him more so than anything else. ” So how can a person know Allah’s names, attributes and His actions and understand them in the correct manner without a study of the correct aqeedah and a study of those ideas that oppose it?

  • Asalamu alaykum,

    Aba Jeenan:

    Many thanks for this important advice and I hope that I can benefit from the good in your words. I think perhaps you have misunderstood me but truly appreciate you bringing your feelings to me straight.

    My question is, are you advocating that we take the Wasatiyah and the Hamawiyah and teach these texts to the masses? Are you implying that if someone does not know the secondary masail related to Aqidah that he or she is not from Ahl-Sunna? Did Allah [the Most high] obligate this upon the masses? If not, then isn’t teaching such an Aqida, to the non-Scholars and non serious students, a means of creating problems in the community?

    Sheikh Ahmed Taha Rayan told me today that Imam Malik did not relate the hadith that mentioned Allah’s hands and His Istiwa in front of the masses because he was fearful that it would lead to fitna. Imam Ibn Jawzi [ra] attacked those who taught Aqida based on such methods as well as, towards the end of his life, al-Ghazzali who stated that such a method could never create the faith that the Qur’an and the Sunna bring about.

    Thus, while I admire your love for Ibn Taymiyyah and the Hanbali school, I prefer, as my teachers did, to teach the Qur’an and Sunna based on the understanding of the early generations. I’ve studied those texts, and even the Ashari ones and found that none of them brought tears to my eyes, made be a better husband nor made me of benefit to society like the Book of Allah and the Sunna of the Prophet. Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah stated that “If you want to taste the sweetness of faith, then flee to the Qur’an.” Therefore, while I respect these texts, I realize that:

    1. They were not written for the masses
    2. They were written in a specific time and place

    When I talk of an American theology I am referring to contextualizing our Aqida so we address the realities of our society, bring it solutions and enhance it through our creed. I would much rather see us present a creed that intertwines itself into the fabric of our society, then sit and argue with you about Imam Maliks understanding of faith and al-Baqillani’s concept of Tafwid.

    Until now we have not seen this approach. But what we have seen is and approach that hasn’t brought much to our communities save doom and gloom and in some cases violence. The salafis [themselves as well] are still blasting the Ashari’s and so on. However, I propose, as well as others much more qualified then myself, that we take our theology to the people and address the realities that they are dealing with. The Prophet [sa] brought solutions and lead people based on general principles of creed. Thus, while some may enjoy getting stuck in the classical theological arguments of 3rd century Baghdad, I personally would like to see the creed of the Muslims engage Obama’s nomination, Katrina, poverty and the sad state of post modern man. To do so, I choose to focus on the method found in the Qur’an and Sunna and not teaching such texts to the masses. We have to realize that there is an organic component to creed very similar to language. Thus, you will find many people who have memorized text after text in language, but that doesn’t guarantee they will have the ability to speak.

    If we look at most forums online and the posts that deal with creed we will find very few that are addressing the problems facing the world. Instead, they are busy labeling such and such sheikh as not on the Manhaj and so on. Thus, while I truly appreciate your advice, I fail to agree with your conclusions. It was not my intent to slap any scholar in the face, but I’m sure that they would agree the each generation has its time and place and role to play. I think we can agree that 21st century Chicago is much different then 15th century Sham. or even 21st century Qassim. Although the fundamentals stay the same, methods and styles will not.


  • as salaamu alaikum wa alaikum wa rahmatullha
    Jazak Allah khairan for your reply. akhi suhaib I agree with you in that the secondary issues of aqeedah are not for the masses of people (n the genera sense) and can, if handled with a lack of wisdom create fitna, but your approach seems to be one of the throwing the baby out with the bath water. While teaching the communities of the west aqeedah, they should be provided with a basic text like muqadimah ar risala of ibn abi zaid (which was written for children) and at least have an understanding of the basic fundamentals or guiding principles of the Aqeedah of ahl sunna. Saying that these issues are not compulsory then do you take that same stance for fiqh issues as well? Since most of your viewers aren’t obligated to know the different particular stances of one scholar or another and can’t differentiate between the dalil as well. Also, is knowing “Obama’s nomination, Katrina, poverty and the sad state of post modern man” is not obilgatory on every muslim let alone being more important than issues of aqeedah , (primary or secondary!)
    My issue was with your belittling of the importance of Aqeedah and continuous references to 15th century or thrid century cities, as if to say these issues are only in the past. Also with reference to the Prophet’s time,the Prophet peace be upon him didn’t have to address certain issues of aqeedah as the companions had superios understanding of the Arabic language and understood what was read in the Quran or said from the prophet peace be upon him, also the people of bidah were not present nor were the doubts that they brought forth But when you look at the preceding generations , the scholars of ahl sunna thought it necessary to clarify the isues of aqeedah and answer the doubts or misguided beliefs carried by the people of bidah by writing numerous books explaining the correct position. as far as the relation from Imam Malik, what is the sanad? we know that when the man came to Imam Malik and said “kayf al istiwa?” Imam malik answered, “al istiwa ma’loom, al kayf majhool wa al Iman bihi waajib wa la araak illa rajal as su’u” Thereby providing a general rule of ahl sunna as regard to the sifaat of Allah and he didn’t say,”you’re a commoner , this is above your head, you won’t comprehend this, etc.”
    Another case in point, Ibn Taymiya was involved in actual physical Jihad. The umma was at war!! (There is no situation more severe and more of a reason for muslim unification) and with that he never stopped in refuting the people of bidah or clarifying the doubts they put forth under the guise that “this is not the time, there are more pressing issues” and this is at a time where the umma was under attack!
    Again akh the middle ground is giving everything its due. Teaching aqeedah and its effect on on the muslim shoud transpire to what you spoke about of positively affecting the larger community/nation etc. without a doubt, but to take the stance that these issues only divide and they’re not obligatory is (in my opinion) not correct. We both know that in normal circumstances certain things may not be obligatory but due to a change in these circumstances those same things become obiligatory. If you’re a community leader and you feel certain issues in aqeedah are not obiligatory, fine. But when you see that many people have the wrong belief or the wrong conceptualization of certain issues related to aqeedah it becomes imperative on you to clarify them!!
    Again akhi, the issues you brought forth are definatley relevant and need to be addressed but with proper attention given towards aqeedah b/c this is the related to the heart. and we know the hadith of the prophet peace be upon him “if it is healthy, then the entire body is healthy indeed this is the heart” and when you look at the muslim world today (eastern of western) the most basic issues of aqeedah are not understood. You have countries rampant with shirk, ideologies, and other practices that are far from the aqeedah of islam and this transpires and affects the hearts of these people which then is manifested in their actions.

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