Imam Suhaib Webb at the 2nd Annual Global Peace and Unity Conference in the UK:
…The topics addressed include the qualities of the Ummah, being conscious law abiding Western Muslims, Islamic unity, and the youth…
You can listen to singers, you should listen to your imams.
We need to eschew being sufi or salafi or ikhwani or tableeghi and realize that first and foremost we are Muslims.
Ibn Hajar al Asqalani, a sufi and an Ashari criticized Ibn Taymiyyah but said that Ibn Taymiyyah has a right to these decisions because of his level in knowledge.
I am a child of the west, I am an American Muslim and I have no shame, it is not an antonym for me to say American and Muslim.
More important than the debate surrounding niqab in terms of intergration is the fact that many immigrants and children of immigrants in the Britain, do not feel able to be a part of the British identity.
I look at my cousins that were born and raised in the UK and still identify solely as Nigerian never British nor English. Those of us that were born and raised in the US and even my mother that has since become a naturalized American citizen see ourselves as Nigerian-American or Americans of Nigerian descent.
Useless Disunity & Sectarianism
There is far too much immature and un-nuanced debate about differences amongst Muslims. There are sufis that cannot find anything good to say about salafis but have no problem working with and praising non-Muslims. Nonsense.
There are those that claim to be following some form of tawsawuf, 1400 years of tradition, and one of the four madhabs yet they have so much rancour in their hearts for their salafo-wahabbi brethren whom they also claim are rank modernists although not progressives with an innovated and corrupted ideology which began in the 18th century. Nonsense.
There are super zealous salafis that think they are on the only ones on the haqq and claim to be following the real shuyukh that all happen to reside in Saudi Arabia. I once saw a list of the supposed real salafi masajid in the US and the list did not have more than 20-30 masajid on it and that is being generous, all of the rest were deviant. Much of their advice comes couched in clichéd phrases like “don’t you know that the scholars have warned us against so and so”, “there are no scholars in the west”, and “you have to submit to the haqq”. Nonsense.
Hijrah & Western Muslim Identity
The debate around whether or not hijrah is an obligation and western Muslim identity is extremely pertinent. So often, as Dr. Sherman Jackson points out that Muslims in the west and their cultural traditons are devalued, mocked, and ignored by those coming from predominantly Muslim countries who stubbornly cling to their own cultural traditions.
Many Muslims in the west encounter an atmosphere in which they feel a need to legitimize their Islam to appease foreign or immigrant Muslims attitudes. Some of these western Muslims are ashamed of their own cultures and identities and desire to imitate these imported cultural customs by changing their names, wearing non-western clothes, moving abroad, marrying immigrants, cooking non-Western foods (it’s a rare occurence but always a refreshing surprise to have staple American dishes af iftars), and parroting foreign accents all in an attempt to legitimize or validate their Islam as if the qadr of their birth in or emigration to a western country is something of which to be ashamed.
Well I, like Imam Suhaib am not ashamed of being a western Muslim. Islam does not just belong to people in Muslim countries with stereotypical “Muslim” names that like to eat biryani and qatayef. Islam belongs to us western Muslims as well and we are not going anywhere.
Islam has universal values and a system of built-in flexibility so that the understanding and application of these values vary between cultures. It is therefore, not surprising that the manifestations of Islam in Saudi Arabia differ from that in Egypt, Senegal, South Africa, Bosnia, India, China, Indonesia, and America.
Shout out to Rabbi Zidni Ilma.