Archive for December, 2012

Remembering Sister Naimah

Eleven years ago, I walked into “The New Shahaadah Class” at Germantown Masjid as a shy and nervous revert looking to learn more about my newfound religion. The teacher, Sister Naimah Thomas (may Allah  have mercy on her) welcomed me with warmth, love, and a strong dose of Qur’aan and authentic Sunnah.

As a modest group of 10-20 students, we learned about our Lord, His Prophet (peace be upon him), and the fundamentals of His religion. From performing a ghusl, to hijab tips, to listening to each student recite the tashahhud, Sister Naimah (may Allah have mercy on her) made every effort to ensure that her students were prepared for life as a Muslim woman.

Outside of being the primary New Shahaadah teacher, Sister Naimah (may Allah have mercy on her) also conducted various workshops and programs to help benefit the Muslim community, bring unity, and strengthen the ties of sisterhood. She became known as the go-to person not only for new Muslims, but also for those wanting to learn about Janazahs (funeral processions).

Over the past 11 years, that same “New Shahaadah Class” has grown from a modest 10-20 students to sometimes over 200 women (Muslims and non-Muslims). Al-hamdulillah, I had the opportunity to work with Sister Naimah (may Allah have mercy on her) and her class this past summer. It was apparent that while the numbers had grown, warmth, love, and a strong dose of Qur’an and authentic Sunnah remained as its core.

May Allah the Most High have mercy on her, make her grave spacious, and bless her with Jannatul-Firdaws al-A’ala, Aameen.

Written by:
Sahar Gordon
Makkah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
15th of Safar, 1434 / December 29, 2012

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All praise is due to Allah, and may exaltation and safety be granted to Muhammad, his family, his companions, and those who aid them. To proceed:

Before the reader is a written conversation that took place between some of the youth and Shaykh Ahmad Bazmool concerning doubts that are circulated on the internet (1). A person writes:

As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum,

My beloved brothers for [the sake of] Allah, Ahlus-Sunnah, may Allah bless you wherever you are and whatever your circumstances may be.

What is your response to a person who says: “I found a page on Facebook called: ‘Clear Refutations on the Doubts of al-Jaamiyyah and al-Madaakhilah (2).’ ”

He goes on to say, “I placed some strange things on this page so that I could see their doubts and then show them to the Salafee brothers so they can clarify them.”

What are your opinions about this speech? The brother deserves aid and help from you all so that he can be firm upon the true methodology. Benefit me concerning this issue, may Allah bless you all.

Shaykh Ahmad Bazmool, may Allah protect him, answered:

As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum wa Rahamatullahi wa Barakaatu,

My brothers, as it relates to the question of the brother pertaining to al-Bayyinah website, visiting it, then relaying the doubts on it with the intent of refuting them, then the answer is as follows:

It is not permissible for him to visit that website. This for may reasons:

[1]: It is against Islamic texts (i.e. the Qur’aan and Sunnah) that warn against listening to the people of innovation (ahlul-bid’ah);

[2]: It is against the methodology of the Salaf as-Saalih; rather, they would not listen to them at all, even if it was the Qur’aan, just as it is found in the story of Ayyoob as-Sikhtiyaanee;

[3]: Doubts will snatch you way! The one who transmits this speech and the reader are not able to guarantee that doubts will not enter their hearts, and they will not be able to remove them;

[4]: The people of innovation present doubts in a deceptive and disgusting manner. This is opposite of a Salafee scholar. The majority of the time, a Salafee scholar presents doubts (i.e. to be refuted) in a fashion which they do not stick to the hearts, and it is possible that he will not mention them at all. Not everything is meant to be mentioned.

[5]: It is upon a Muslim to be diligent and busy himself with what will benefit him from beneficial knowledge, he should leave these issue (i.e. refuting doubts) to the scholars. They are those who are able to handle these affairs;

[6]: Refuting doubts is the job of the scholars. It is not for everyone to clarify them.

These angles of proof prove that it is impermissible to take on this task.


(1) This benefit was brought to my attention and forwarded to me by my classmate, ‘Umar al-Ethiyoopee, may Allah bless him.

(2) [TN]: These are two nicknames that were given to the Salafees by those with sick hearts. Al-Jaamiyyah is a reference to Muhammad Amaan al-Jaamee, may Allah have mercy on him, and al-Madaakhilah is in reference to Shaykh Rabee’ Ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee, may Allah protect him. Both of these derogatory nicknames are meant to imply that the Salafees are lead by these two noble scholars.

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All praise is due to Allah, and may exaltation and safety be granted to Muhammad, his family, his companions, and those who aid them. To proceed:

I recently purchased “An Explanation of the Virtue of Islam” by Shaykh Saalih Aali ash-Shaykh, which is an explanation the book “The Virtue of Islam” by Shaykh Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab [d. 1206 AH], may Allah have abundant mercy on him.

Shaykh Saalih Aali ash-Shaykh, may Allah protect him, said about Shaykh Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab’s book, “The Virtue of Islam:”

The importance of this treatise is manifest in the fact that it highlights the methodology that distinguishes the carriers of monotheism (at-Tawheed) and the followers of the Salaf as-Saalih (the pious predecessors) from the general people.

It also clarifies many points of research and issues connected to engaging in d’awah (calling to Allah), and how a Muslim who is a follower of the Salaf as-Saalih interacts with people of all different viewpoints, understandings and desires.

I asked Shaykh Ahmad Bazmool a while ago about good books to expose the general people to pertaining to methodology (manhaj); he said to me, “Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab’s book, ‘The Virtue of Islam’ is good. It has an entire section in the rear discussing innovation.”

"Explanation of The Virtue of Islam"

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All praise is due to Allah, and may exaltation and safety be granted to Muhammad, his family, his companions, and those who aid them. To proceed:

Allah, the Most High, says: “And purify your clothing.” [Soorah al-Mudaththir (74): 4] – Shaykh Ahmad Bazmool, may Allah protect him, said about this verse:

The scholars have mentioned three meanings for this verse:

[1]: ‘And purify your clothing’ means: purify your heart from polytheism (i.e. shirk) with Islam;

[2]: ‘And purify your clothing’ means: purify innovation with the Sunnah;

[3]: ‘And purify your clothing’ means: to purify your actual clothing from filth. (1)

(1) “Short Hand Notes from Tafseer Class at Umm al-Quraa University”

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All praise is due to Allah, and may exaltation and safety be granted to Muhammad, his family, his companions, and those who aid them. To proceed:

Before the reader is a portion of a letter written by a former member of the Ikhwaan al-Muslimoon (1) highlighting some of their errors. It is found in the book “al-Fataawaa al-Jaliyyah” by the Former Muftee of Jaazaan, Ahmad an-Najmee [d. 1429 AH]. It reads:

The Ikhwaan al-Muslimoon (The Muslim Brotherhood) do not give any importance to monotheism (at-tawheed), nor the correct creed (al-‘aqeedah). If one of them speaks about at-tawheed, then it will only be about ar-ruboobiyyah (Allah’s lordship). As for discussing tawheed al-uloohiyyah (worshipping Allah) and polytheistic practices, they don’t discuss these issues, because it will cause them to lose the support of the people.

They have given precedence to the support of people, even if achieving their support is at the expense of the correct creed of at-tawheed. They do not rebuke those who make statements of polytheism (shirk) concerning worshipping Allah, except for those whom Allah has had mercy on.

As for innovation, then the situation of innovation within the Ikhwaan al-Muslimoon is: ‘innovate, and it’s no problem.’ This is because innovation with them has become uncontested. Rather, they are at the forefront of sitting in the gatherings of the people of innovation and fables: such as commemorating the Prophet’s birthday on the 12th of Rabee’ al-Awwal, the 27th of Rajab, the 15th of Sh’abaan, and other than these days on which things that are not legislated in the religion of Allah have been legislated.

This is because if they speak ill about these things, innovators will not be pleased with them, and they will not choose them for government, and they will not vote for them (2). Thus, they flatter them at the expense of the Qur’aan and Sunnah being opposed.

And if they see anyone from their group speaking about and warning against innovation, they rush to him and advise him to abandon speaking about innovation, and they warn him not to return to such behavior. And if he returns, they cast blame on him, scold him, and detach themselves from him.

And if he is the type of person who openly proclaims the truth and doesn’t care about the consequences, they rise to oppose him, and they defend innovation and innovators… (3)

Shaykh Rabee’ al-Madkhalee, may Allah protect him, said:

The war against Ahlus-Sunnah’s refutations in contemporary times began with the Ikhwaan al-Muslimoon. They were spreading false statements, corrupt beliefs, books that misguide [people], and oppressive defamation of Ahlus-Sunnah.

Therefore, when some of Ahlus-Sunnah stood up to refute their falsehood, tribulations and deceitful plots, they implanted into the minds of the people that they should speak ill of those who [take on the task] of refuting [falsehood] and that they should speak ill of books written on the topic of refutation.

And we are extremely sorry to say that we see some of Ahlus-Sunnah repeating the negative sayings of the Ikhwaan al-Muslimoon concerning books written on the topic of refutation, and they also repeat the statements of the Ikhwaan al-Muslimoon regarding refuting of the people of innovation, tribulation, and misguidance. (4)

(1) [TN]: They are a group that Shakyh‘Abdul-Azeez Ibn Baaz [d. 1420 AH], may Allah have mercy on him, has declared to be from the deviated sects, and Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, may Allah protect him, has declared them to be a partisan group (i.e. hizbiyoon).

They implement the erroneous principle of: “we will cooperate concerning what we agree about, and we will disregard our differences.” Thus, you find a complete lack of allegiance and disassociation (al-walaa wal-baraa) within them.

Some American organizations who are strikingly similar to them -if they aren’t them- are, for example: I.S.N.A, I.C.N.A, M.S.A. and C.A.I.R.

The correct methodology is what Ahlus-Sunnah, Ahlul-Hadeeth, the Salafees implement: and that is basing one’s allegiance and disassociation on that which is in agreement with the Qur’aan and Sunnah as understood by the Companions.

So, whatever and whoever are in agreement with these foundations, deserve allegiance, and whatever and whoever are in disagreement with these foundations, deserve disassociation.

(2) [TN]: Likewise in America. You find organizations such as I.S.N.A, I.C.N.A, M.S.A, and C.A.I.R. involved and deeply concerned about the political scene.

(3) al-Fataawaa al-Jaliyyah, A Letter from a Yemeni Brother about the Ikhwaan al-Muslimeen, 1/92-93 – (Daar al-Manhaaj)

(4) Rabee’ al-Madkhalee, “A Clarification Concerning the Deficiencies and Violations in Ibraheem ar-Ruhaylee’s Advice [to Ahlus-Sunnah],” 58 – (Daar al-Miraath an-Nabawee)

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All praise is due to Allah, and may exaltation and safety be granted to Muhammad, his family, his companions, and those who aid them. To proceed:

Allah, the Most High, says: “And bring to witness two trustworthy men from among you.” [Soorah at-Talaaq (65): 2].

But what if the trustworthiness of a man is in question? It has been said, “This witness is trustworthy,” and it has also been said, “This witness is not trustworthy.”

In cases such as this, the scholars of Islam have laid down a principle: “Criticism Based on Proof Takes Precedence over General Praise.” Thus, when a lack of trustworthiness has been proven, general praise for him is disregarded, and he is not used as a witness.

Al-Buhootee [d. 1120 AH], may Allah have mercy on him, said, “And criticism [based on proof] is given precedence over [general] praise.” (1)

Ibn Qaasim an-Najdee [d. 1392 AH], may Allah have mercy on him, commented (2) on this passage by writing:

This is because criticism [based on proof] provides additional knowledge concerning a hidden affair, which the one issuing praise is unaware of. The one who testifies to the trustworthiness of a person is informing [others] according to what is apparent [to him].

[Also], the person issuing criticism is establishing [a fact], while the one issuing praise is in a state of denial, and the statement of someone establishing a fact is given precedence over someone who is denying it.

(1) Mansoor al-Buhootee, ar-Rawd al-Murbi’, 675 – (Daar ar-Risaalah)

(2) Ibn Qaasim an-Najdee, Footnotes on Ar-Rawd, 7/551

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