Written by Abu Muwahhid al-Khurasaani with some additions by Abu Baraa’
24 Shawwaal 1431
Indeed the Muslim Ummah today is living in an incredibly unique and strange situation. We are living in the time of ghurbah (strangeness), harj (hardship) and fitan (trials).
Our ideology, identity, history, sanctity and honour are all under attack across the world from all directions by the Kuffaar, their allies from the hypocrites, and the orientalists (those who study Islam in order to attack it).
The evil disease of irjaa’ (separating one’s Imaan from actions) has become rife, which has led to the mass apostasy of hundreds of thousands of Muslims worldwide, who believe they can say and do whatever they want as long as they believe in their hearts. Our leaders have committed clear apostasy, allied with the disbelievers and turned their backs to the Sharee’ah (laws) of Allah, replacing them with man-made laws and kufr constitutions.
But the story doesn’t end here. On top of all that, Muslim land is being occupied (Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine); the crusades have been re-ignited; Muslim women and even children are being arrested, tortured and raped behind bars; our so-called scholars are calling for interfaith, equality and unity between people of all faiths; our noble Prophet (SAW) is under constant attack; and Muslims all over the world are committing apostasy on a mass scale by joining the forces of the Kuffaar (police, military, etc.), arbitrating to man-made law and kufr courts (taaghout), and participating in the kufr electoral process, voting for those who wish to steal the Attributes of Allah and play God in parliament.
For over 86 years now, since 1924, Muslims have been living without a shield – the Khaleefah, Imaam of the Muslims – to protect them. There can be no doubt that re-establishing this Imaam is of utmost importance and one of the greatest obligations in Islam today – that is, after Tawheed. This duty is a collective duty by nature, as one cannot establish the Islamic state, the state of Tawheed, by oneself. The work to establish this state is of paramount importance, as well as commanding the good which is absent, forbidding the evil which is prevalent all over the world today (namely the murder of innocent Muslims by the crusaders, kufr law and the shirk of ruling and judging by it), and jihad in the way of Allah.
However, despite all this, and to add insult to injury, it is sad to find pockets of ignorant individuals in the West, particularly in Britain, having nothing better to do than to attack those who are working to establish Allah’s Deen, calling for the Sharee’ah and supporting the jihad against the crusaders in any way they can, verbally, physically or financially – whatever is within their capacity. They leave all the disbelievers, their plots and the apostates (who have allied with them by speech or action), and instead turn all their attention towards the du’aat (callers to Tawheed) and outspoken Muslim activists such as Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad (HA), publishing articles about them and creating blogs, forums and websites in order to “expose” their “unwise” (not makrooh, haraam, kufr or any other type of munkar) actions which come into direct conflict with their hawaa (desires) and personal interests – that is to live among the Kuffaar in peace and not enter into any struggle against the baatil (falsehood) and kufr because of the possible consequences (imprisonment or extradition).
For years we have ignored these individuals and have placed our trust in Allah to defend the believers, for Allah says in the Qur’an: “And it is incumbent upon Us to help the believers,” (EMQ 30:47) and, “Truly, Allah defends those who believe,” (EMQ 22:38). We can bear witness that Allah has certainly helped us against the disbelievers and those who parrot their accusations. The proof for this can be seen in the fact that despite all these attacks and accusations spreading all over the internet and in unblessed discussion circles, over the years more and more people have joined the bandwagon of working collectively to establish Allah’s Deen and commanding the good and forbidding the evil.
So there is no need and it is not necessary for us, even to this day, to respond to these accusations. We are far too busy engaging in the vital obligations of today, directing all our efforts towards the Kuffaar, crusaders, tawaagheet and apostates to respond to people who have the attributes of the ruwaybidah (a worthless individual who speaks about the affairs of the Ummah without knowledge). So we prefer to leave these people to Allah and let Him deal with them. And one of the ways Allah could deal with them is by leaving them the way they are, in their doubts, hatred and nifaaq.
However, we nonetheless still wanted to respond to these accusations because they are so easy to dispel, refute and clarify. Furthermore, the one who helps his Muslim brother (in need or by supporting him) – in this case it is Sheikh Omar Bakri – Allah will certainly help him. And this is the main reason why we wanted to respond to these accusations. Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said: “He who defends the honour of his (Muslim) brother, Allah will secure his face against the Fire (Hell) on the Day of Judgement.” (At-Tirmidhi)
There is one particular individual in the UK who has been, for the past decade or so, carrying the words of the Kuffaar (whatever he hears from the media) and accusing Sheikh Omar Bakri out of ignorance and blind hatred towards him. This man has made it his sole aim in life to attack the Sheikh, defame him, pick on his errors and mistakes (dhallaat), dig for faults and “expose” him. It is our belief that he harbours a severe grudge (hiqd) against the Sheikh for whatever reason it may be. At first we wanted to expose this individual by name because of his blatant lies, fabrication and distortion, but after careful consideration we felt that it would be better not to mention him for the following reasons: Firstly because he is nobody of substance or credibility and therefore there is no benefit in mentioning him; secondly because people can change, and perhaps – if Allah wills – he may one day change and repent to Allah; and thirdly because we prefer to discuss the subject matter rather than the individual – we do not like to make personal attacks on anybody even if they attack us personally.
So with this in mind we will begin to refute whatever accusations we have come across, particularly those which have been spread by so-called Muslims (from the fake Salafis, hypocrites and secularists).
1) Concerning Sheikh Omar Bakri’s background
Among the accusations that are being spread about Sheikh Omar is that he has lied about his background, credentials and biography. It is claimed that the Sheikh has lied about where he was born, where he studied and from whom he studied. These claims are being spread by individuals who have had – and indeed still do have – the opportunity to verify these matters with the Sheikh directly, yet they prefer not to do this.
I, Abu Muwahhid, and Abu Baraa’ have personally been following the Sheikh since 1998 and 2001 respectively, and have endeavoured to attend as many of his classes as possible. Up until today we have never heard the Sheikh say, publicise or talk about his background in the way the accusers have described.
These individuals have accused the Sheikh of “lying to his non-Arabic speaking followers” for the past two decades concerning his past. They claim that he boasts to have studied at and graduated from “renowned” institutions such as Damascus University, Al-Azhar University, Umm al-Qura in Makkah and al-Jamia al-Islamiyyah in Madinah in order to ‘impress’ his non-Arab followers. They also claim that his followers are blindly following him because they are so awe-inspired by these claims and that they use his biography as some kind of evidence of his knowledge or correct manhaj; yet, as two of his students, we have personally never heard him make such claims. (That is not to say he has not studied at any of these institutes.) In other words, we have never heard Sheikh Omar ‘boast’ about his shuyookh or education and have even found that hardly any of his followers know the names of his shuyookh or education or have any interest in that, let alone to be “following him solely, mainly or even slightly in awe of them.”
The reason for this is simple. The Sheikh has always been eager for people to follow the haq (the Qur’an and Sunnah by the understanding of the Sahaabah) as opposed to following him personally. He has never made himself the issue – despite being under so much attack – and I cannot recall him ever talking about his background unless someone asked him about it. What I do remember for certain, however, is that the Sheikh used to always criticise and condemn institutions such as Al-Azhar for being secular and corrupt. Moreover, I know the Sheikh quite well and I’m sure there is no “renowned” institution in the world today that he would be proud to have attended or graduated from.
Besides, even if the Sheikh did study at “the world’s most renowned institutions” and under the greatest and most famous scholars of our time, what would that prove? Would it be written in stone that he was a man of haq and someone trustworthy? Obviously not. We know the haq by the daleel (evidence), not by men, the length of one’s beards, certificates or credentials. Even if a person has received the highest honours, tazkiyah and ijaazah, this does not make him safe from misguidance and apostasy. Indeed, there were men who attended some of the talks and gatherings of the Prophet (SAW) and were blessed to have heard his words, yet they turned their backs after he passed away and died as hypocrites or apostates.
Moreover, a person could have studied under many deviant and misguided scholars, but this does not mean that he cannot change, become a man of haq and start following Nahj us-Salaf. There were many scholars in the past who used to be deviant but then Allah guided them to Nahj us-Salaf (the way of the Salaf), such as the great Imaam Abul Hasan al-Ash’ari (RH).
Note: Bearing this principle in mind, it is strange that those who make these accusations never even tried to claim that the ‘aqeedah or manhaj of Sheikh Omar (today, not twenty years ago) is anything but haq; they only want to pick on him as a person in attempt to ‘prove’ he is not on the haq. Is this the yardstick they would have the “non-Arab youth” or anyone else follow?
Neither I, Abu Muwahhid, nor Abu Baraa’ have personally met any of the Sheikh’s teachers; however, while we were in Lebanon in November/December 2005, we had the pleasure of meeting Sheikh Abdul Naasir who was the principal/teacher of an Islamic College in Beirut. Sheikh Abdul Naasir and Sheikh Omar both studied under Sheikh Osama al-Khaani and we heard them discussing their studies with that sheikh.
I have asked Sheikh Omar in the past about his teachers but the Sheikh used to say that most of his teachers were deviant from Nahj us-Salaf (the path of the Salaf). For us, the names of his teachers were irrelevant. We trusted the Sheikh for our Deen because we saw him engaging in the duties of the Anbiyaa’, supporting the jihad, commanding good, forbidding evil, and calling society to Islam. Furthermore, we never heard or saw him contradict anything known from Islam by necessity, and the fact that he is under attack by the Kuffaar and munaafiqeen (as the Anbiyaa’ were) is a clear sign he is upon the haq. Contrast this with the likes of Ibn Baaz who was immensely praised by one of the former prime ministers of Israel and enemy of Allah, Yitzhak Rabin – what did that say about the Deen of Ibn Baaz, especially in light of the Aayah, “The Jews and Christians will never be pleased with you until you follow their millah.”? It is strange how people leave all the scholars that promote kufr and shirk (whether that be voting for man-made law, interfaith, giving bay’ah to taaghout or allying with the disbelievers) but attack those who call and work for the implementation of Tawheed on an individual and societal level.
It is important to bear in mind that the Sheikh is living in a very different and difficult situation in Lebanon. Since he arrived there in August 2005, the Lebanese authorities have been trying to extradite the Sheikh to Syria on their request. But the Sheikh’s position towards the Lebanese authorities has been, “How can you extradite me to Syria [where I will be incarcerated and tortured] when I have Lebanese citizenship?”
I do not wish to delve into this matter because the Sheikh is facing a very difficult situation in Lebanon concerning his security. Any decent, ordinary Muslim would give Sheikh Omar the benefit of the doubt concerning what he has recently said about his background (as this is his right as a Muslim) and understand that he even has the permit to make tawriyah (i.e. say something but mean something else) in order to avoid extradition and possible torture at the hands of the Syrians.
As for the issue of Sheikh Omar claiming to have studied at Umm ul-Qura University, this was not the case. When Sheikh Omar used to be with HT (while he was deviant from the Salaf) he told the brothers who published the book “Essential Fiqh” that he studied in Umm ul-Qura, not Umm ul-Qura University. Umm ul-Qura (“the Mother of all Cities”) is another name for Makkah. However, the brothers who published the book mistakenly thought the Sheikh meant Umm ul-Qura University (at that time the Sheikh couldn’t speak English). In Umm ul-Qura (i.e. Makkah) he attended Madrasah Al-Saltiyyah, whose teachers were mostly Matureedis.
2) Lying about the Prophet (SAW)
Another accusation being spread about the Sheikh is that he has lied about the Prophet (SAW) and fabricated ahadeeth (ahadeeth marfoo’ah). This claim is completely ludicrous and nonsensical.
It is well known that the Sheikh completely rejects weak hadeeths (hadeeth da’eef) even for “virtuous acts” (fadaa’il) – unlike most staunch Hanafis – so how could he accept fabricated hadeeths?!
If the Sheikh ever did mention a hadeeth which he later found to be weak he would stop quoting it. This is a sign of someone who is sincere and on the right path. And suppose the Sheikh mistakenly mentioned a hadeeth which had been fabricated, should we not give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he believed the hadeeth was good? After all, it is not part of his Usool (foundations) to accept weak hadeeths for any matter of the Deen, let alone fabricated ones. Therefore, he would never knowingly quote a fabricated hadeeth. The Sheikh only accepts authentic hadeeth, whether mutawaatir or aahaad, hadeeth marfoo’ and mawqoof.
How can one accuse any Muslim of lying about the Prophet (SAW) if they unknowingly cited a hadeeth which is fabricated (mawdoo’)? There are thousands of Muslims all over the world that cite weak or fabricated hadeeths unknowingly, hadeeths such as, “Seek knowledge even as far as China” and, “My Companions are like stars…” and, “Jannah is at the feet of the mother,” etc. Can we accuse them of lying about the Prophet (SAW) due to this error and call for capital punishment (death) to be established upon them? Or do we give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they do not know such hadeeths are fabricated?
And how many classical scholars (such as Ibn Katheer and al-Tabaraani) have mistakenly mentioned hadeeths which are fabricated or weak, according to some? Are we going to consequently brand them as liars and accuse them of lying about the Prophet (SAW)?!
Anyway, as for some of the hadeeths they claim the Sheikh has fabricated, they are as follows:
- “Whoever doesn’t fear Allah, backbiting him is not blameworthy”
The Sheikh was recently asked about this hadeeth, and he said, “This is what some scholars from the Salaf used to say.” The Sheikh did not say this is a hadeeth of the Prophet (SAW). Furthermore, if he did attribute it to the Prophet (SAW) in the past, it could have been a slip of the tongue.
I have given many talks over the past few years and I can remember on a number of occasions saying “hadeeth” when I meant “aayah”, and vice versa (by mistake). I have also heard the Sheikh say “hadeeth” without to clarify whether it was a hadeeth of the Prophet or a saying of the Companions or athar of the Salaf, and so for a less knowledgeable listener this could have been confusing. This mistake can happen to daa’ies and public speakers, especially those like Sheikh Omar, who used to sometimes deliver more than forty lectures/bayaans in a week (without any exaggeration), sometimes teaching until he became so exhausted that he would fall asleep during his lecture. I, Abu Baraa’, can testify that I have never met anybody as dedicated to giving da’wah and teaching the Deen as Sheikh Omar in my life. But those who do not engage in da’wah or teaching the Deen will not understand how this mistake could occur. Are we going to nullify all the goodness (khair) the ulamaa (such as Sheikh Omar) and the daa’ies do just because they have made some mistakes in the past? Sheikh Abu Yahya al-Leebi (may Allah preserve him), the Mujaahid, said:
“So the affair of the scholars is very great, even if they slip, and even if they make a mistake. For Allah (SWT) did not create his creation, the human beings, protected from mistakes. Who said that the human does not make mistakes? Who said the human being never succumbs to desire, sometimes taking him left or right?
“However, our ruling in the Deen of Islam is that the good deeds remove the evil deeds, and not that the evil deeds remove the good deeds. We don’t go to a scholar who put all his effort and his lifetime into calling to Allah, teaching people and making them understand (the Deen), and then he made a mistake or slipped in an issue or two, and then we insult him and revile him and wipe away all these good deeds of his. This is not from the scale of the Sharee’ah, this is the scale of desire. And we are not from the people of desire.” (Balancing between Jihad and Seeking Knowledge)
And for your information, the hadeeth in question, “There is no backbiting for a faasiq (Laisa li-Faasiq gheebah),” was attributed to the Prophet (SAW) by Al-Imaam at-Tabaraani (RH) in his book, Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabeer (vol. 19, p. 419). Should we now obliterate all the goodness Imaam at-Tabaraani has done and publish articles and blogs accusing him of lying about the Prophet (SAW)?!
Although the hadeeth is not marfoo’ to the Prophet (SAW), the principle is accepted among the ‘ulamaa, past and present, because there are other hadeeths which are similar in meaning. No doubt those who slander Sheikh Omar would use the same principle to justify their grudges and slander.
- “I am the Prophet who kills while laughing”
This hadeeth was mentioned by Ibn Katheer in his Tafseer as well as a number of other scholars, such as Ibn Taymiyyah (in Al-Siyaasah Al-Shar’iyyah), Ibn ul-Qayyim, Imaam adh-Dhahabi and others. So should we now accuse all these great ‘ulamaa of lying about the Prophet (SAW) as well?!
This hadeeth can be understood in two ways. It could either mean, “I am the one who laughs while I kill,” or, “I am the one who laughs and kills.” Ibn Katheer mentioned this hadeeth as a hadeeth of the Prophet in his tafseer of 9:123 (unabridged, Arabic version). Nonetheless, it cannot be denied that both laughing and killing were from the attributes (sifaat) of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). If it is the translation or explanation that is being disputed, then most ahadeeth are translated in different words and sometimes completely different wording by different translators, are they all lying about the Messenger except the one we agree with?
We are not going to delve into every single hadeeth the “blamers” have accused the Sheikh of fabricating as we simply do not have the time. The above explanation is more than enough for one to realise that those who are spreading such rumours are just plain ignorant, and nothing they say about Sheikh Omar, or any other Muslim for that matter, should be believed or accepted.
3) Sensational claims
The Sheikh is famous for his “sensational statements”. When I, Abu Muwahhid, asked him many years ago about what his response would be to the one who says, “You seek publicity” he replied, “We seek publicity for the call (message) and for the Deen of Allah,” or words to that affect. The Sheikh’s main concern has always been to convey the message, not for people to follow him personally and to take him as the standard.
Among the proofs of this is that he never wasted his time speaking to the media just to defend himself against the thousands of accusations levied against him nor to seek favour or popularity with the Kuffaar or secular Muslims. Rather, every opportunity he had to speak with the media was utilised to speak about Islam as an alternative to man-made laws, or condemning the Kuffaar for their oppression of Muslims here and abroad, or promoting the Mujahideen, and he was never bothered about the defamation of his own name that inevitably followed. If he wanted to be popular by deceiving non-Arab youth, he could have played “the moderate” like Tahirul-Qadri or MCB etc. and saved himself a lot of trouble and hardship.
As for his past statements to the press in which he reportedly said “hundreds (or thousands) of Muslims are leaving Britain to go to jihad,” only an extremely ignorant person would not understand what the Sheikh was doing at that time. The Prophet (SAW) said, “War is deception.” In the time of war we do not tell the enemy, “We have nobody, we have nothing, there’s nothing we can do, no one is going to fight you if you invade Muslim land,” and so forth. Rather, we instil fear in their hearts, demoralise them, frustrate them and their efforts, put doubt in their minds and give them the impression that we are larger and stronger than they think. We let them know that Muslims all around the world are behind the mujahideen and against their enemies regardless of nationality, race, language, location or citizenship. There is no doubt that these statements are beneficial to the mujahideen and the oppressed Muslims around the world, and is harmful to the disbelievers and to their war against Islam, and counters the propaganda of the Kuffaar who seek to claim that the Muslims here and abroad do not oppose their foreign policy except ‘a tiny band of fanatics’. This is something even the Sahaabah (RA) did when they fought the Romans. It is also important to note that at the time of some of those sayings, it was not illegal (in the UK) to attend a training camp in Kashmir or Afghanistan or even to raise money for Jihadi groups in Chechnya or Palestine.
Unfortunately, despite their sincerity and good deeds, Azzam Publications failed to understand this basic policy of war (and they are not infallible and free from error or mistake) and as a result they published an article on their website attacking Sheikh Omar and branding his statements as false. At the same time, it is not clear if Azzam Publications was really responsible for this article and we always give our Muslim brothers the benefit of the doubt. It could even be that the same person who has been fighting a vendetta against Sheikh Omar all these years was himself responsible for the article, hijacking the good name and reputation of Azzam Publications to back his own personal grudge, and Allah knows best.
Indeed as there is nobody who can be identified as really being members of Azzam, it is difficult to verify, and if there was, it would not be possible to mention them publicly. Even those accused by the Kuffaar of being Azzam have nothing to do with Azzam really and are completely innocent of the accusations against them, just as Sheikh Omar is innocent of the accusations of Syria against him. Neither those accused of being Azzam or Sheikh Omar have had any connection or collaboration with terrorists and as Sheikh Omar has mentioned, he was not even present in Syria during the events that Syria accuses him of.
Declaring this unequivocal innocence of these three sincere Muslims publicly in this way is not a ‘blatant lie’ as only the munafiqeen and Kuffaar would claim, but sensible and responsible speech by any Muslim defending his own life or that of his brothers in Islam.
4) Returning to the UK
It was reported by the British press in the summer of 2006 that Sheikh Omar attempted to flee from Lebanon and return to the UK after war broke out between Israel and Hezbollah.
Unfortunately, many ignorant people from the Ummah took what the Kuffaar said about the Sheikh without to verify with him in order to seize yet another opportunity to attack him and accuse the Sheikh of attempting to “flee from the battlefield of jihad.”
Before I clarify what exactly happened, I would just like to firstly make the point that the 2006 Lebanon-Israel war was not a “battlefield” for the Muslims. It was the battlefield of the Jews and Shee’ah Raafidah from Hezbollah (Mushriks). The war between Israel and the Raafidi Hezbollah had nothing to do with the Ummah of Muhammad (SAW). It was not our war and therefore not our battlefield. It was a war between two entities of Mushrikeen. So, for argument’s sake, even if the Sheikh did attempt to leave Lebanon, would it have been wrong for him to retreat from the battlefield of the disbelievers? In fact, to partake in such a battle and ally with either party would not even be allowed. So how could it have been considered a battlefield (for jihad)?!
As for the claim that the Sheikh tried to leave Lebanon, there were a number of conflicting reports (from the Kuffaar) about this. Some claimed that he attempted to board a British ship in a bid to return to the UK, while according to other reports the Sheikh attempted to board the ship in order to travel to Cyprus and meet his family there. However, rather than taking the Kuffaar as our sources we decided to verify exactly what happened with a brother from the UK who was with the Sheikh in Lebanon at the time. He narrated a totally different story to the Kuffaar and hypocrites. Our ‘aqeedah dictates that it is completely forbidden to doubt a trustworthy Muslim, but, on the contrary, a duty to doubt whatever the disbelievers say or report.
The brother said, “I and another brother were with the Sheikh in Lebanon at the time. When the war broke out the Sheikh advised us to leave immediately, saying that if we do not leave now the British will interrogate us when we return to the UK for being here during war. So he took us to the port in Jounieh, because the airport had been shut down, but there were no ships there at all.”
I asked the brother about some reports claiming that Sheikh Omar tried to board the ship but he was refused because he didn’t have a British passport. He replied, “This is all nonsense. The Sheikh was playing them, that’s all it was. He was trying to make the point that even if he did want to return to the UK what would be wrong with that?”
Indeed, the only one who was “exposed” – if you like – by that whole incident was the British government. The point Sheikh Omar was trying to make to the media was that even if he wanted to return to Britain (which he had no intention of doing), what would be wrong with that considering he left on his own free will and had never been convicted of a crime during his 20-years or so in Britain? Unfortunately, some people behaved as though the Sheikh committed a major sin or even apostasy just for apparently attempting to return to his home in the UK! When did it become a sin or even kufr (and cause for backbiting) to leave one place and then attempt to return there at a later date?
Moreover, we find many people nowadays claiming that the Ummah is weak and cannot fight jihad without a state and others who call themselves mujaahids while they never even attend jihad. Sheikh Omar on the other hand never claimed that he is mujaahid or that jihad is not compulsory because of our weakness, despite the fact that he himself has a legitimate exemption from jihad i.e. his disability. Sheikh Omar does not publicise his exemption as he teaches people the original rule and not the exception, and does not encourage people to look for excuses to avoid jihad. However, it is an agreed upon principle that those who are disabled such that they cannot run are from Ahl al-Athaar (people of exemption) as Allah (SWT) says, “There is no harm upon the disabled (if they didn’t fight).” And this is also detailed in Hanbali books such as al-Mughni. As such, there was never a question of him “running away from jihad”, even if Hizbollah’s battle was considered jihad.
Rather, Sheikh Omar always fulfilled his duties besides the physical jihad by his tongue including to command good, forbid evil, frustrate the Kuffaar, promote the Muslims, declare his walaa and baraa’ clearly for Islam and against its enemies and countering anti-jihad propaganda, etc. And he used to give us the same advice regarding our role as Muslims unable to reach a battlefield as Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi and other real Salafi ulamaa’ have given. Verily, no-one living freely and securely in Britain, far away from the lands of jihad, can claim to be free of any sin, if we did not do the same while we were capable.
5) Non-Arabic speaking followers
Another accusation being spread about the Sheikh is that most of his followers do not speak Arabic. This argument is completely flawed from the start.
The haq does not rest with the Arabs or non-Arabs. And we do not recognise the haq by the number of Arabic-speaking people who follow it. In fact, the Arabs reportedly only make up less than a quarter of the entire Muslim population, and most practising Muslims today do not know how to speak Arabic. If one studies history one will come to realise that those who were the most fluent and well-versed in the Arabic language were the Mushriks (e.g. Quraysh) and People of the Book. The Quraysh could arguably speak better Arabic than most Arab Muslims today (especially the blamers), but does that make the Quraysh closer to the haq?
So, for argument’s sake, even if most of Sheikh Omar’s followers do not know how to speak Arabic, what does that prove? It doesn’t prove anything, except that perhaps the Arabs today are far from Islam. However, to say the Sheikh has no Arabic-speaking followers is a lie anyway. While we were in Lebanon we saw with our own eyes the amount of respect the “Arabic-speaking” people had for the Sheikh, including the Imaams and leaders of Islamic institutions and mosques. We also witnessed in person, during our short visit, a Salafi college in Tripoli inviting the Sheikh to deliver a lecture in Arabic at their college, introducing him to the Talabat ul-‘Ilm there with praise and acknowledgement of his knowledge and da’wah. Furthermore, the Sheikh regularly holds online lectures and talks on Paltalk in the room “Minbarr Al Ansarr” (whose spokesperson was Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, may Allah free him), sometimes addressing up to 100 or more Arabic-speaking people from across the Middle East. He has also spoken in the Serdaab room, one of the admins of which we have also met in person. However, we know the haq by the daleel, not by the number of Arabic-speaking people who follow it.
As for the terms he has apparently made up to his “non-Arabic speaking followers”, such as the terms, “fard kifaayah” and “fard muhattam”, even if one does not like the use of these words, these concepts can only be denied by someone who is extremely ignorant about fiqh.
Fard kifaayah is a communal (collective) obligation which may or may not have a time limit. If the fard is accomplished by some of the community within that time limit, it is considered fulfilled and no sin is incurred upon the rest of the community. However, if it is not accomplished by the local community within the time limit, the sin and the burden will fall on the entire community to fulfil it, i.e. it becomes “fard muhattam”.
In other words, an obligation (whether kifayah or ‘ayn) becomes muhattam when the time limit for the duty has passed, and so there is a burden remaining on the mukallaf person(s) to complete the duty, and a sin will be recorded against them which cannot be removed except by completing this duty.
Even if other scholars have not used this specific terminology (and using different terms and classifications for the same principle is permissible in Islam), no one knowledgeable has ever denied the meaning of fard kifaayah or how an obligation becomes muhattam (i.e. inevitable and binding upon every individual) when the community (or person) has failed to fulfil their duty.
The terms “fard muhattam” and “fard kifaayah” can also be found even with a quick Google search (in Arabic) in works about Usool ul-Fiqh, including Hanbali scholars such as Ibn Najjaar and in books such as Sharh Kawkab al-Muneer. So it is not as some have claimed that these terms and others he has used in relation to the different types /attributes of waajibaat such as (mutlaq, muqayyad, muwassa’, mudayyaq, ‘ayn, kifaayah, mu’ayyan, etc.) were “invented by Sheikh Omar to deceive the non-Arabic speaking youth.”
6) The Sheikh’s students
As for the Sheikh’s students, it is claimed that both Maajid Nawaz and Ed Husain of the Quillium Foundation have become “apostates” after having been students of Sheikh Omar. The Sheikh was recently asked if he ever taught any of these two individuals and he replied by saying they were never his students. He said that they may have been with Hizb ut-Tahrir while he headed the organisation in Britain (before being guided to Nahj us-Salaf) but they never studied under him. Besides, even if they did attend one or two of his lectures, they are to blame for their own sins and alleged apostasy. It has already been mentioned that there were people in the time of the Prophet (SAW) who sat with him and listened to his words but later died as apostates or hypocrites. Are we to blame the Prophet (SAW) now for their apostasy?!
7) Fatah al-Islam
Another blatant lie and fabrication which had been propagated by the ignorant haters of Sheikh Omar is that during the conflict between Fatah al-Islam and the Lebanese army in 2007 southeast of Tripoli, the Sheikh condemned Fatah al-Islam and accused them of transgression. This blatant lie and distortion of what the Sheikh said was inconceivable.
When the Sheikh described them as transgressors he was in fact supporting them! But it was only the ignoramuses who couldn’t understand that. Again, during this incident the Sheikh was facing a difficult situation with the Lebanese authorities and therefore used terminology that the Kuffaar and apostates would not easily understand as praise, but those who were learned in the Deen understood that he was actually supporting them.
The transgression Fatah al-Islam (in Lebanon) had committed was the praised form of transgression as legislated by the Shari’ah and in response to the Aayah: “Whoever does transgression to you, transgress against them in a similar manner.” (EMQ 2:194)
Unfortunately, however, the ignorant haters of the Sheikh took this as yet another opportunity to attack him and accuse him of attacking mujaahideen, despite his history of praising and supporting them through fataawaa, speech, and so forth. Ironically, however, when their own “sheikhs” attack the jihad they can find countless excuses for them.
Furthermore, it is important to add here that Fatah al-Islam were originally a nationalistic Palestinian movement – “Fataha” standing for Harakah al-Tahreer al-Filasteeniyyah (the Movement for Palestinian Liberation, more commonly known in English as the PLO). So if the Sheikh was ever critical of them in the past, the way he is of the nationalistic Hamas movement, it was for their ‘asabiyyah (nationalistic cause). Furthermore, some members of Fatah used to be pro-Syria, while others were pro-Hariri. Others left this jaahiliyyah (of ‘asabiyyah) and began fighting for the sake of Allah.
It should be clear now for any sincere Muslim to see what the causes of all these rumours were: failing to verify, having evil doubts (soo’ az-zan) about sincere Muslims without evidence and failing to give the benefit of the doubt to Muslims and repeating unverified rumours and nameemah.
Verification is a pillar of the Deen and an obligation. If most of the people who spread these rumours bothered to verify with those in question they would have realised that most of what is reported by the Kuffaar is nothing but lies and distortion. But those who have a grudge against the Sheikh (because of the fact that his da’wah comes into direct conflict with their personal interests) deliberately do not wish to verify so that they can spread these rumours and defame him, as well as other daa’ies.
As for those who circulate these kinds of accusations without verifying, they are just as bad as those who invent the accusations, and their actions prove that they are liars. The Prophet (SAW) said, “It is enough for a man to prove himself a liar when he goes around narrating whatever he hears.” (Saheeh Muslim)
We do not have the time to deal with such issues again (except face to face) as we much rather prefer to study the Deen and engage in our responsibilities of carrying da’wah to society, commanding good and forbidding evil, and supporting the jihad against the tawaagheet and crusaders. We are not bothered about the blame of the blamers.
Those who have the time to write articles and create websites and blogs dedicated to attacking the daa’ies and ‘ulamaa such as Sheikh Omar should be ashamed of themselves. They leave all the disbelievers, hypocrites and tawaagheet and instead focus all their efforts on the daa’ies.
If those who are deliberately spreading these rumours and fabricating whatever the Sheikh (or any other Muslim) says are hypocrites, we ask Allah to expose and disgrace them. But if they are ignorant and misguided Muslims, we ask Allah to guide them (and us) to tawbah, ikhlaas, ‘ilm and to the fareedah (obligations) of today.
Any mistakes should be attributed to me (and I ask Allah to forgive me) and anything haq is from Almighty Allah (SWT).