Muslims Not Doing Enough to Fight Terrorism/Extremism? Wrong!

We often here some non-Muslims rant on about how Muslims are not doing enough to fight against terrorism and extremism in their communities.  However, this has no basis, in fact, Muslims are doing a lot of work in this area but the media refuses to cover it.  Following are just a handful of examples:

  1. On November 30, 2007, leaders from the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish communities launched the United To Protect campaign at a National Press Club luncheon in Washington D.C. The partnership is grounded on an interfaith condemnation of terrorism and an affirmation of the need to protect the United States and its people.
  2. Al-Maghrib Institute’s theme for their annual event, called Ilmfest, last year in 2010 was ‘religious extremism’ where the speakers talked openly about jihad and how the extremists misunderstand it and Shaykh Waleed Basyouni gave a beautiful lecture on what the scholars of the past said about it.  And this is something that they have done persistently, for example, they also had two talks by Shaykh Waleed in their 2009 Ilmfest event two years ago entitled, Reclaiming Islam From The Extremists and Violence In The Name of God.  Both of these videos are available on youtube.
  3. Yasir Qadhi wrote an article for entitled The Lure of Radicalism and Extremism Amongst Muslim Youth, which caused quite a stir among radical websites.
  4. The website here lists over a 100 links to Muslim scholars, activists and organizations condemning and speaking against violence in the name of Islam as a response to non-Muslim claims that Muslims are not doing enough to condemn terrorism.  And according to CBS News article entitled, Muslim Scholars Condemn Terror,  that the Muslims have consistently condemned terrorism and disassociated themselves with it.
  5. Imam Magid, current ISNA president from the ADAMS community in Sterling, VA, spoke out against religious extremism and those who call to it among Muslims in the youtube video entitled American Muslim Scholars Speak Out.  Imam Magid also wrote a neat article for Huffington Post entitled Muslims Must Stand Up Against the Horrific Attacks Against Christians in Nigeria.
  6. On September 10, 2011, a group of Muslim scholars, intellectuals and activists did a large conference in Washington D.C.  They talked on issues of extremism and what American Muslims should be striving for as citizens of the United States.  The conference was entitled United For Change and you can view Yasir Qadhi’s excellent speech during it attacking extremism entitled Mobilizing the Muslim Youth: Strengthening Faith, Fostering Action.
  7. The ICNA organization responded to Anwar Al-Awlaki’s radical remarks in an article entitled ICNA Shariah Council Responds to Al Awlaki directing it towards the Muslim youth.  And if you see the comments below it from readers, it is clear that the radicals did not appreciate the response very well.
  8. Dr. Essam Omeish, a surgeon and Islamic activist in Northern Virginia who also served as the President of the Muslim American Society (MAS), took part in a MAS organized press conference on July 25, 2005 on the Muslim response to terrorism.
  9. Shaykh Salman Al-Oadah, a prominent preacher in Saudi Arabia with a large following in the country and outside, delivered an open and blunt address to Osama bin Laden live on MBC, a widely watched Middle Eastern television network, on September 14, 2007.  The whole text of the address can be read on Islamtoday’s website.  In it, Salman Al-Oadah condemns Osama for his actions and his use of violence against innocent civilians.  It is important to note that Shaykh Salman is also an ex-mentor to Osama bin Laden as indicated in the New York Time’s piece on his address entitled His Mentor  Turns on Bin Laden.
  10. Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf Islahi, a chief patron of Project WhyIslam from Pakistan and a very well known writer and orator of Urdu language, strongly condemned violent actions from terrorists in this message and pointed out that Islam, “condemns this act and sees this is as a wounding scar on the face of humanity. I appeal to Muslims to strongly condemn this act, express unity with the victims’ relatives, donate blood, money and do whatever it takes to help the affected people.”
  11. CNN posted an article entitled Study: Threat of Muslim-American terrorism in U.S. exaggerated.  The study showed that “Muslim-American organizations and the vast majority of individuals that we interviewed firmly reject the radical extremist ideology that justifies the use of violence to achieve political ends.”  The article also quotes Charles Kurzman, professor of sociology at UNC, stating, “Muslim-American communities have been active in preventing radicalization.”  Also “it is the Muslim-American communities themselves who play a large role in keeping the number of radicalized members low through their own practices, according to the study.  Leaders and Muslim-American organizations denounce violent acts, for instance, in messages that have weight within communities.”

Muslims Are Not to Judge Who Specifically Is or Isn’t Going to Hell

It is not the job of a Muslim to judge specifically who is or isn’t going to the Hell Fire. We don’t know how Allah will judge people on individual levels. Allah Says, meaning of which is, in many places in the Qur’an:

Not for you, [O Muhammad, but for Allah ], is the decision whether He should [cut them down] or forgive them or punish them, for indeed, they are wrongdoers. And to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. He forgives whom He wills and punishes whom He wills. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. [Qur’an 3:128-129]

And [there are] others deferred until the command of Allah – whether He will punish them or whether He will forgive them. And Allah is Knowing and Wise. [Qur’an 9:106]

You are human beings from among those He has created. He forgives whom He wills, and He punishes whom He wills. [Qur’an 5:18]

Here is also a nice short talk on this topic by Sh. Omar Suleiman:


Have Muslim Extremists Paid Their Penalties for Killing Innocent Muslims as Ordained in the Qur’an?

There is no doubt that more Muslims are killed at the hands of Muslim extremists than non-Muslims. My question is, have Muslim extremist groups paid their penalties for killing Muslims? The Qur’an commands Muslims to pay kaffarah (expiation) for killing a Muslim by mistake even at times of war. I mean they couldn’t be killing them intentionally right because for that the Qur’an is very clear:

But whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment. (Qur’an 4:93)

So I’m assuming their killing them by mistake? So what is the penalty for a Muslim for killing a fellow Muslim by mistake? Well, let’s see:

And never is it for a believer to kill a believer except by mistake. And whoever kills a believer by mistake – then the freeing of a believing slave and a compensation payment presented to the deceased’s family [is required] unless they give [up their right as] charity. But if the deceased was from a people at war with you and he was a believer – then [only] the freeing of a believing slave; and if he was from a people with whom you have a treaty – then a compensation payment presented to his family and the freeing of a believing slave. And whoever does not find [one or cannot afford to buy one] – then [instead], a fast for two months consecutively, [seeking] acceptance of repentance from Allah . And Allah is ever Knowing and Wise. (Qur’an 4:92)

Now, I’m sure these guys don’t have any Muslim slaves so have they been consecutively fasting for two months as an expiation for their crimes? Have they given compensation to the Muslim families of their victims?

The verse above is interesting because it’s saying that even during times of war, if a believer is killed who happens to live among enemy’s territory, there is a penalty for it. So their whole rant about if a Muslim lives among the enemy, he is an infidel garbage is completely baseless.

Now, an extremist might say that the so called “Muslims” that they kill are not really Muslims so there is no penalty. That’s interesting because the Qur’an refutes that ideology:

O you who have believed, when you go forth [to fight] in the cause of Allah , investigate; and do not say to one who gives you [a greeting of] peace “You are not a believer,” aspiring for the goods of worldly life; for with Allah are many acquisitions. You [yourselves] were like that before; then Allah conferred His favor upon you, so investigate. Indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted. (Qur’an 4:94)

This is what Tafsir Al-Jalalayn, one of the classical and most popular Qur’anic exegesis among Sunnis says about the above verse:

The following (Qur’an 4:94) was revealed when a group from among the Companions passed by a man from the Banū Sulaym driving his flock of sheep, and he offered them a greeting of peace. But they said, ‘He only greeted us dissimulating, out of fear’. So they killed him and took away his flock: O you who believe, when you are going forth, travelling in order to struggle, in the way of God, be discriminating (fa-tabayyanū; a variant reading has fa-tathabbatū, ‘ascertain’, here and further below); and do not say to him who offers you peace (read al-salām or al-salam), that is, the greeting, or [offers you] submission, declaring the profession of faith (shahāda), which is an indication of being a Muslim: ‘You are not a believer: you are only saying this to dissimulate for fear of your life and property’, so that you then end up killing him, desiring, seeking by this, the transient goods of the life of this world, that is, its enjoyment, in the way of spoils. With God are plenteous spoils, rendering you free of the need to kill such a person for his property. So you were formerly, when your lives and property were protected simply upon your professing the faith; but God has been gracious to you, making you known for your faith and uprightness. So be discriminating, lest you kill a believer and treat those entering the religion as you were treated [formerly]. Surely God is ever Aware of what you do, and will requite you for it.

As for killing non-combatant non-Muslims at times of war, then the Qur’an is also very explicitly clear:

Those who come to you, their hearts strained at [the prospect of] fighting you or fighting their own people. And if Allah had willed, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you. So if they remove themselves from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not made for you a cause [for fighting] against them. (Qur’an 4:90)

And also:

Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. (Qur’an 60:8)

If you were to delve more into books of Quranic exegesis for the above verses, you would find much more information that refutes Muslim extremist claims. I haven’t even included the hadiths which also offers so much more information.

Muslims in the West: Prophetic Guidance on Dealing With Bad Perception & Persecution

Us Muslims here in the U.S. are facing three main problems with regards to our image and rights:

  • Weak political support
  • Bad public opinion
  • Islamophobia

In many ways, this is no different than the Meccan phase of the da’wah during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). They too had the above three problems. As Muslims, I think it is important for us to look into how he dealt with it. After all, he is our ultimate guide.

When I personally reflect over the biography of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and how he dealt with the above mentioned problems, I can recall at least three steps that he took to deal with them:

Step 1 – Always hold on to Islamic principles and values and never negotiate on them

We know that the Meccans offered the Prophet (ﷺ) many worldly possessions in favor of him giving up his religious ideas because they were unpopular. They even offered that they would worship his God for a year provided that he worship their gods in return for a year, which resulted in the revelation of Surah Al-Kafiroon. However, he stood firm and refused to do so. This is important because today we have some people who are arguing that we should change our religion to make it more palatable to the west. They want us to shift our values and principles in accordance to dominant liberal narratives and deny or reinterpret explicit texts in the Qur’an and Sunnah to fit those narratives. But we have clear guidance from the Prophet (ﷺ) to refuse to give up our principles, beliefs, and values just so that it is acceptable to others. We believe it to be the truth from our Lord and we will and must hang on to it no matter what.

How would Christians in the west feel if Muslim countries told their Christian populace that they must give up this idea of God having a son and dying for everyone’s sins and either change it or reinterpret it in a way so that it is not offensive to Muslims? If western countries are going to keep repeating the mantra of religious freedom, then they need to be made to live up to it. We must stand up to the full extent of the law for our right to worship and believe as we please in peace.

Step 2 – Look for support in all avenues

We know that the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) made alliances with some non-Muslims in order to securely deliver his message in Mecca. Whether it was Abu Talib, Abyssinia’s Christian King Najashi (who later converted), or Mut’im ibn Adi, the pagan man who provided him protection to be able to re-enter Mecca safely after he was harassed in Ta’if, the Prophet (ﷺ) sought means of securing ways to continue the da’wah and the practice of his faith. This shows us that we should utilize all permissible means necessary to secure our existence and rights in this country. Therefore, we should look into hiring professional PR firms, lobbying groups, having PACs, think tanks, building alliances with other groups and influential people, and raising funds to support all of these tools. This is how in the modern western world rights are preserved and legislation influenced. Can you imagine if we requested all Muslim institutions in the U.S. to give 1% of their budget to such causes under one large umbrella Muslim organization created for this purpose? That’s not asking for a lot. Even if half of them respond, we could gather up a lot of money. By IRS standards, 501c3s are allowed to give a certain percentage of their budget to lobbying causes. PR firms and lobbying groups are not cheap.

In light of the guidance of our Prophet (ﷺ) in such circumstances, we need to build support for our rights to believe and practice our faith as we see fit. PR and lobbying firms and our partners through alliances could help us significantly with public opinion and political support in D.C. The former will be working on behalf of all Muslims in America because we would be drawing the money to pay them from Muslim institutions. There are some Muslims who feel uncomfortable making alliances with groups that they believe hold contrary beliefs to their religion. However, we must understand that aligning ourselves with a particular group does not mean condoning their particular beliefs and practices. When the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) aligned himself with Abu Talib and Mut’im ibn Adi, he was not condoning their rejection of the message. Similarly, if influential groups and people are willing to offer support and assistance in our right to belief and practice, then we should accept that in light of the guidance of our Prophet (ﷺ). However, if a group makes their support conditional on whether we condone their particular practices or beliefs which contradict our faith, then of course we should reject the offer. Fortunately, in most cases, these groups do not make such conditions.

I just hope we don’t become part of the system and forget why we are doing what we are doing, which is what, as some have argued, has happened in to the African American community. They’ve done everything discussed above but still suffer persecution by the government and various segments of the population. Some have suggested that the reason is that many African Americans go into politics and media but don’t do much for their communities or their people. They just become part of the system. Michelle Alexander in her phenomenal book The New Jim Crow states after criticizing the claim that “previous outsiders, once given a chance, will exercise power differently” that [p. 250]:

“The reality, however, is that the existing hierarchy disciplines newcomers, requiring them to exercise power in the same old ways and play by the same old rules in order to survive. The newcomers…are easily co-opted, as they have much to lose but little to gain by challenging the rules of the game.”

If this is true, then I hope this doesn’t happen with us. We should have a clear plan, strategy, and goal.

Step 3 – Remain patient over those who will hate us no matter what

Whether we like it or not, there will always be Islamophobes. Allah has made us aware over and over again in the Qur’an that we will be tested, harassed, made fun of, and ridiculed because of what we believe and this is something that a believer should expect. It is part of the test of life. “You will surely be tested in your possessions and in yourselves. And you will surely hear from those who were given the Scripture before you and from those who associate others with Allah much abuse. But if you are patient and fear Allah – indeed, that is of the matters [worthy] of determination” [Qur’an 3:186].

Islamophobes aren’t going anywhere. They will always be around and have been. All we can do is stand firm and respond to their false allegations and that’s about it. They’ll keep changing their arguments to attack us or cherry pick horrific incidents from our communities to show how all of us are bad just like they did during the Prophet’s (ﷺ) time. They used to claim that Muhammad wants to divide families, disturb the social order, etc. in order to make him and his followers look bad. However, the Prophet (ﷺ) remained patient in Mecca and continued to move forward despite their attacks. We should do the same.

Why Mainstream Muslims Cannot Accept Ahmadis As Muslims

Disclaimer: Following article is written from an exclusively theological point of view and in no way suggests unjust persecution of Ahmadi community. Harassment and persecution against any community is wrong and should never be tolerated. People are free to believe and not believe as they want. A Muslim’s job is only to deliver the message truthfully and clearly:

“The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills – let him believe; and whoever wills – let him disbelieve” (Qur’an 18:29).

“There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong” (Qur’an 2:256).

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad: Founder of the Ahmadi Sect

One of the core, indisputable, and uncompromising beliefs of mainstream Islam is that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the last and final prophet of Allah. There is no one coming after him. He was the last one to be sent to mankind. The revelation has permanently stopped. This is a core principle of our faith and is not up for debate. Any person who claims to be a prophet after Muhammad (pbuh) or believes in a prophet after him can never join the ranks of Muslims according to the consensus of Muslim theologians since the days of the early Muslims. This idea is embodied within the testimony of faith (shahada), which is uttered by every single new convert before entering the religion:

“I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.”

This idea of no prophet coming after Muhammad (pbuh) is not something that Muslim theologians just made up, rather, it has roots in the primary sources of Islamic law: Qur’an and Hadiths. For example, Allah is very explicit in the Qur’an when He says:

“Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And ever is Allah , of all things, Knowing” [Qur’an 33:40].

Pretty much all mainstream Muslim scholars have understood this verse to mean that prophethood ends with Muhammad (pbuh). Similarly, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) explicitly made numerous statements, in which he left no room for interpretation, that show that he was indeed the last and final prophet:

“If there was to be a Prophet after me, it would have been Umar bin Al-Khattab” (Tirmidhi).

“The Hour will not be established till there appear about thirty liars, all of whom will be claiming to be the messengers of Allah” (Bukhari).

“I have some names: I am Muhammad, I am Ahmad, I am Al-Mahi, the one by whom Allah wipes out disbelief, I am Al-Hashir, the one whom the people are gathered at his feet, and I am Al-‘Aqib, the one after whom there is no Prophet” (Tirmidhi).

“The children of Israel used to be ruled and guided by prophets: Whenever a prophet died, another would take over his place. There will be no prophet after me, but there will be caliphs who will increase in number” (Bukhari).

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said to his cousin and son in law Ali, “Will you not be pleased that you will be to me like Aaron to Moses? But there will be no prophet after me” (Bukhari).

Even the companions of Muhammad (pbuh) knew this fact. It is reported that when one of the companions was asked about Ibrahim, the infant son of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and he replied:

“He died in his early childhood. Had there been a prophet after Muhammad then his son would have lived, but there is no prophet after him” (Bukhari).

The only prophetic personality that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) spoke about that would come after him was Jesus:

“The Hour will not be established until the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you as a just ruler” (Bukhari).

“Jesus son of Mary will descend at the white minaret to the east of Damascus” (Abu Dawud).

Therefore, whoever believes that there is a prophet after Muhammad (pbuh), cannot be considered a Muslim under mainstream Islam. Such a person is directly contradicting a basic and fundamental tenet of Islam. Being a Muslim is not just about identity. Being Muslim means agreeing with and abiding by the basic tenets of Islam. Just as being vegan means agreeing with and abiding by the laws of veganism. If someone were to eat meat and call himself/herself a vegan, then such a claim would never be accepted by the vegan community because he/she is contradicting the very basic concept and tenet of being vegan: avoiding animal products.

The Ahmadi sect is a religious movement founded in Punjab, British India, near the end of the 19th century by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908). He began his activities as a caller to Islam, and once he began to have followers, he claimed to be a Mujadid (reviver) inspired by Allah. Then he took a further step and claimed to be the awaited Mahdi and the Promised Messiah. Then he claimed to be a Prophet. Therefore, he slowly progressed his claims. His followers believe that new prophets after Muhammad (pbuh) can come but that they must be subordinate to Muhammad (pbuh) and will not be able to exceed him in excellence nor alter his teaching or bring any new law or religion. This is quite strange because during the early phase of his preaching, Mirza Ghlam Ahmad used to say things like:

“I believe in all the items of faith as prescribed by the Sunni School of Islam and I accept everything that is according to the Quran and Hadith. I fully subscribe to the doctrine that Muhammad is the last of all Prophets, and that any claimant to Prophethood after him is an impostor and a Kafir (infidel). It is my belief that the revelations of Prophethood started with Adam and closed with the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)” (Majmuha-Estaharet, P. 230-231; Tableegh-i-Risalat, Vol 2, p. 2).

“I consider that man who rejects the doctrine of Last Prophethood is a disbeliever and outside the pale of Islam” (Tableegh-i-Risalat, Vol 2, Page 44).

“Muhayyuddin Ibnul Arabi wrote that the lawgiving prophethood has ended with Muhammad, peace be on him but non-lawgiving prophethood has not. I believe that doors to all kinds of prophethood have been closed” (Al-Hakam, April 10, 1903).

In 1914 the Ahmadis split into two sects: Qadiani Ahmadis, which consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad a prophet after Muhammad (pbuh), and Lahori Ahmadis. The latter categorically reject Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a prophet and only consider him to be a Mujadid and the awaited Mahdi. Some mainstream Muslim scholars have argued that the Lahoris are internally the same in beliefs as Qadianis despite outwardly rejecting Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a prophet. They have used statements made by the founder of the Lahori sect, Muhammad Ali, as proof.

The Ahmadis understand the explicit verse of the Qur’an and hadiths mentioned above to be metaphorical and not literal. They take the above religious textual citations to mean that Muhammad (pbuh) was the last law-bearing prophet. They claim that Allah can send new prophets after Muhammad (pbuh) and send revelations (wahi) to them but they must be subordinate to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), thus, they cannot alter the divine law that was sent down to him. They cite the hadith about the second coming of Jesus mentioned above as evidence for this belief. They state that hadiths about “second coming of Jesus were metaphorical in nature and not literal, and that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad fulfilled in his person these prophecies and the second advent of Jesus.”

However, mainstream Muslims categorically reject these claims. Language is taken literally unless proven otherwise. If this was not the case, then anyone can take anything in the religious texts to mean anything. Religious texts in Islam are not written in code so that they must be deciphered to find hidden meanings. Rather, Allah and His Messenger were direct and clear about what they were saying. The messages in the Qur’an and hadiths are for the masses and they don’t speak generally in metaphor. Yes, there are some verses of the Qur’an and prophetic statements which are metaphorical but there are clear indications to suggest so, however, the mass amount of both texts is quite literal. This is why in the Qur’an Allah clearly states:

“It is He who has sent this Scripture down to you [Prophet]. Some of its verses are definite in meaning – these are the cornerstone of the Scripture – and others are ambiguous” [Qur’an 3:7].

Interestingly enough, the Lahori sect believes that all the explicit statements made by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad regarding his claims to be a prophet and receiving revelation are only metaphorical and not literal. Of course, the Qadiani sect does not accept this argument from them and understands Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s statements literally.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) literally mentioned Jesus by name as the son of Mary in the context of a second return. He never mentioned Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Also, Jesus was born before Muhammad (pbuh), thus, his second coming does not contradict with explicit texts which close the door of prophethood with Muhammad (pbuh). But a new prophet being born after Muhammad (pbuh) does clearly contradict it. This is why the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) mentioned Umar as the one that would have come after him if there was a prophet. Lastly, as many Muslim scholars have pointed out, Jesus will come again as an individual and follower of Muhammad (pbuh) and not as a prophet. This is clearly indicated by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in his statement mentioned earlier that Jesus will descend among us as a just ruler. He didn’t say prophet.

There have been many self-proclaimed Mahdis throughout Islamic history and the Muslims didn’t excommunicate them, provided they abstain from heterodoxy, rather, we just said they were deviant. But every person that claimed prophethood after the demise of Muhammad (pbuh), and there were plenty starting within the end of the life of Muhammad (pbuh) like Musaylimah, the mainstream Muslims excommunicated them all. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is no different. Ahmadis contradict the testimony of faith (shahadah). Muhammad (pbuh) was the last and final prophet of Allah. No one is coming after him whether with a new law or subordinate to him. Whoever contradicts this cannot be a Muslim in the view of mainstream Islam. This is no different than someone saying, “I believe that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, but I believe in demigods who are subordinate to Allah.” Such a person will never be acceptable as a Muslim to the mainstream because this person is contradicting the shahadah, a basic tenet. There are other odd beliefs from this movement that are not really in sync with mainstream Islam.

It is important to note that many Ahmadi writings also excommunicate those who do not believe in their false prophet. This is explicitly stated by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself and the religious leaders of the Ahmadi community as recorded in their own writings. This is ironic because today many Ahmadis complain against majority of the Muslim world for excommunicating them and not accepting them as fellow Muslims.

Among those who confronted Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in his lifetime from mainstream Islam was Shaykh Abu’l-Wafa’ Sanahullah Amristar, the leader of Jama’iyyat Ahl al-Hadeeth fi ‘Umoom al-Hind (The All-India Society of Ahl al-Hadeeth). He debated with him and refuted his arguments, revealing his ulterior motives, apostasy, and the deviation of his way. When Mirza Ghulam Ahmad did not come to his senses, Shaykh Abu’l-Wafa’ challenged him to come together and invoke the curse of Allah, such that the one who was lying would die in the lifetime of the one who was telling the truth. Within a month or so Mirza Ghulam Ahmad died, in May 1908. Shaykh Abu’l-Wafa’ remained alive for nearly forty more years and went on condemning Ahmadis during all that time.

For a thorough study of this sect from the perspective of mainstream Muslims, please look into the following:

Qadiyaniat – An Analytical Survey

Qadianism – A Critical Study

There is also a good discussion on Reddit’s r/Islam page here.

A Muslim’s Guide to the Stock Market: Beginner Level

About a year or so ago, I was encouraged to read the highly popular personal finance book Rich Dad, Poor Dad and developed a sensational interest in stocks and investments in general. But there was just one problem. I knew nothing about the subject. How do they work? How do I buy and sell them? How do I know which ones to buy? What about the Islamic aspect? How can I know if they are halal or haram? What’s a mutual fund?

So this led me on a quest of many weeks to do an intense self-study on the stock market and try to figure it out. I took notes, which I’ve linked to in the guide below, read a book or two, watched videos, read numerous articles, and bookmarked a large collection of websites and articles discussing the subject of stocks and investments in general. I even looked into Islamic rulings on stocks and bookmarked various fatwas on the issue as well.

I am happy to say that after all of that I was able to understand the market at a basic level to be able to at least delve into the subject. I even bought and sold some individual stocks just for fun and practice. I am now confident enough to say that I have a better understanding of stocks and investments than I did before my quest. I’m no expert but I know enough to be able to weigh my options.

I’ve just recently realized that there are many other Muslims that are in the same boat that I was. They don’t understand how stocks work at all but are interested in the subject. They especially want to understand it from an Islamic perspective before delving into the craft. So I’ve decided to write a guide of sort and give resources and links to all the research that I did that helped me understand the stock market better. Below is my complete guide. I’ve left the Islamic part at the end because you need to understand how the market works before delving into the fatwas regarding it. Reading the fatwas without understanding how the market works first may confuse you. Just be patient and go through the whole guide and it will start to make sense after a while insha’Allah.

If anyone finds anything missing, please let us know in the comments section below. I’ve added newer stuff that I found while writing up this article.

Disclaimer – The links and resources below are what helped me personally understand the subject. I am not guaranteeing that it will do the same for you. I am only relaying this information to help my brothers and sisters who are in the same boat that I was in before. I am hoping that they will get enough out of it to at least be able to have a basic understanding of how investments, particularly stocks, work.


Video Tutorials | Written Tutorials | Books | Articles | Tools | Useful Websites to Follow | Islamic Rulings on Stocks | Islamic Based Investment Companies | Conclusion

Video Tutorials

Bonds are exclusively interest based and should be avoided by Muslims. Just indicating that here because some of the videos below delve into it. There will be more on this in the fatwa section.

Khan Academy’s Course on Stocks and Bonds – You can utilize my notes here from it as an extra resource.

Khan Academy’s Course on investment vehicles, insurance, and retirement

Udemy’s Course on Investing for Beginners

3 Rules to Investing

How to Invest in Stocks and Bonds for Beginners

Investing 101: Stocks, Bonds, 401K, Cash, Portfolios, Asset Allocation, Etc.

How Does an Index Fund Work?

Value Investing Course – This used to be a Udemy course and was very informative but for some reason they have taken it down. I am providing the link to the notes that I took instead.

Halal Investing: Principles and Products

A Muslim’s Guide to Mastering Money: Halal Investing, Money Mastery, Life Success

Written Tutorials

Stock Basics

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Investing in Stock

Introduction To Fundamental Analysis

The Beginner’s Guide to Investing in Mutual Funds: What Mutual Funds Are, How Mutual Funds Work, and Much More

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

IPO Basics

Investment Risk Course


Rich Dad, Poor Dad

The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need

A Beginner’s Guide to Investing: How to Grow Your Money the Smart and Easy Way

Picking Stocks: A Practical Guide to Investing in the Stock Market

A List of Recommended Books for Investors


Defining the 3 Types of Investments

10 Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Stock

Analyze a Stock in 12 Easy Steps

How to Invest in Stocks: A Beginner’s Guide to Investing in Stocks

When a Stock Price Falls, What Happens to Your Money?

How to Research a Stock

How To Do Stock Market Research

What is the cheapest, fastest way to research, buy and trade stock?

5 Essential Things You Need To Know About Every Stock You Buy

How To Pick A Stock

What Is A Dividend?

Dividend Investing 101

Understanding Index Funds

Myths and Facts About Dividend Investing

Dividend Yield

Reading the Balance Sheet

Understanding the Income Statement

6 Dangerous Moves for First-Time Investors

5 Must-Have Metrics for Value Investors

Mutual Funds: Does Size Really Matter?

Return On Investment – ROI

A Guide to Calculating Return on Investment

Understanding Stock Quotes

How to Read a Stock Chart in Just Five Seconds

What Is a Good Return on Your Investments?

The Mathematics of Getting Rich By Investing in Stocks

Capital Gains Tax 101: How They Work & How to Reduce Them

Online brokers to Buy and Sell Stocks

There are many different websites out there but following are among the more popular ones.

Robinhood – This is a popular free trading app. Usually, it costs around $10 to trade in stocks. But this app lets you do it completely for free. It’s quite popular among the younger and beginner level investors.

E-Trade – This is a popular website to trade stocks and has a fee associated with trading in stocks.

Motif Investing – This is another fee based stock trader.  It has some unique aspects though. It allows investors to choose from over 100 pre-built portfolios of 20-30 stocks, to customize existing motifs, or to create a brand new, unique portfolio all for a low execution cost of $9.95. So in a way, it’s a customizable mutual fund that you can manage on your own. You can add or remove stocks as you wish from a motif or designate a particular percentage for each stock in your motif. So if you have a motif of 25 stocks, you can say ‘I want to invest $200 and distribute 4% to each stock.’ This way Motif will automatically invest $8 in each of your 25 stocks. You can also customize and choose how much more or less do you want to invest in each stock in your motif.

Stock Screeners

A stock screener is a tool that investors and traders can use to filter stocks based on user-defined metrics. Investors use screeners to find stocks that are poised to perform well over time. They allow investors and traders to analyze hundreds of stocks in a short period of time, making it possible to weed out those stocks that don’t meet the user’s requirements and focus on the instruments that are within the user-defined metrics. Stock screeners are offered on many websites and trading platforms. You can also use them to see a history of the stock you want to research or buy. You can see how the stock has done over the past few years. I personally have used the following only:

Finviz – This is a popular screener among traders and is very detailed. It even provides financial information on stock companies. If you want to do thorough research, then this is one of the places to go.

Yahoo Finance – Yahoo allows you links to the financial information of the company as well to view their income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow but, unfortunately, doesn’t have that information always available for every stock.

Google’s Stock Screener


Compound Interest Calculator – find out how much you would earn over time

Savings Goal Calculator – find out how much you would need to invest every month to get to your goal

Useful Websites to Follow

I recommend following the below websites to keep up to date the market situation. Like them on facebook, twitter, get on their e-mail list, etc.


The Balance


Recently Priced IPOs – This lists the latest new stocks that have just come on the market. If you can find that right stock that has potential for great growth, you could do well with early investment.

10 Financial Websites That Help You Stay On Top Of The Market

Islamic Rulings on Stocks

As the fatwas and articles below will show, stock trading in general is permissible as long as certain conditions are met. Therefore, not all stocks are permissible for Muslims to trade with and precaution should be taken by God-conscious Muslims.

Investing in stock market: the Shariah way

Guidelines on investing in stocks

Shares in the Stock Market

Buying shares in a company with mixed assets (halal with haram)

Ruling on Short Selling Stock

Zakat on 401ks and IRAs

Do I have to pay zakat on my stocks?

Ruling on Commodities on Stock Exchange

General guidelines on trading stocks

Halal Investing 101 w/ Dr. Yasir Qadhi

Binary options contracts are prohibited in Islam

Halal Mutual funds and 401k

Rulings on Mutual Funds

Allowed percentage of questionable income of stock companies

Islamic Investment questions

20 questions related to the stock market

Contemporary financial issues related to real estate and retirement accounts

Working With Islamic Finance – This is a non-Muslim website but has a nice write up on the topic and includes a section on stocks.

Bitcoin and Islamic Law

What is the Islamic Ruling on Cryptocurrency?

Islamic Based Investment Companies

Since for most people trying to figure out which stocks are halal and which are not is a hassle and not an easy task, there are many Muslim based investment companies out there that do the heavy lifting of Sharia compliant stock research for you. Following are a few that I am aware of:

Wahed Invest

At sign up, they ask you a few questions and assess your risk tolerance and ideal investment strategy. Then based on your risk level (derived from your answers), they recommend to you one of their eight investment portfolio options (conservative, moderate, aggressive, etc.). If you’re happy with it, then you can fund your account and invest and hope it does well. You can also choose a different portfolio than the one they recommend. In addition, they recently launched a Halal Stock Screener app which you can use to find out if a particular stock is Islamically ethical to invest in or not.

Update (10/10/2018): Wahed has announced that it is now offering halal index funds! This is very unique and the only product of its sort that I am aware of. Index funds are considered the best way to invest for individuals in the long run for retirement but there was, before Wahed, practically no way to do it in a halal manner. It looks very promising so be sure to look into it!

Amana Mutual Funds

They choose the Sharia compliant investments for you without asking you. Your only job is to tell them what type of fund you want to invest in (income, growth, etc.) and they will take it from there. It’s a good option if you don’t want much control and just want to do things on auto pilot.

Azzad Mutual Funds

Same as Amana model

Iman Fund

Same as Amana model


This is a recent project by Sh. Joe Bradford, an Islamic finance expert, and offers Sharia compliant trade alert service for a monthly fee. So they don’t invest anything on your behalf. They just tell you what type of stocks are Sharia compliant and what types are not.

Sharia Portfolio

They require at least $100k to be able to invest with them according to one of their representatives that I spoke with at an event.

Ameen Housing

This is not a stock investment but I’m including it here because it is a Shariah compliant investment option for Muslims. Basically, they own properties from which they collect rent. Rental income from homes and any appreciation of property value is distributed as dividends among the investors.


As you can see from the above, stock picking requires a lot of research and work. It is not an easy task. At the end of the day, the market is unpredictable and you cannot be certain if you will keep or lose your money. Even the legendary stock picking guru Warren Buffett does not recommend delving into individual stocks. This is why if you are thinking of doing individual stock investments, then pick well established companies, diversify your portfolio, and stick in there for the long term and not short term. If you don’t want the headache of doing the research, both Islamic and secular on the particular stock, then just stick to an Islamic based, low fee investment option and keep investing a certain amount monthly into that account. However, if you want to delve into daily trading for the ‘love of the game’, then may Allah make it easy for you.

Why Muslims Should Not Go Vegan on Eid Al-Adha

Every year around Eid-ul-Adha articles start popping up from Muslim vegans on the “barbaric” practice of sacrificing a lamb, goat, cow, or camel as part of the Eid ritual. The point of such articles usually tends to be trying to discourage the Muslim community from engaging in the sacrificial practice and even abandoning it altogether. There are also other articles, far better than the former, which put forward the vegan case but remain true to the Islamic tradition as well.

Qur’an and Sunnah both speak about the sacrificial practice on Eid-ul-Adha. For example, the following verses in the Qur’an speak about sacrificing animals as ritual practice or food:

“Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only)” [al-Kawthar 108:2].

“Say (O Muhammad): Verily, my Salaah (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists). He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims” [al-An’aam 6:162].

“And for every nation We have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the Name of Allah over the beast of cattle that He has given them for food” [al-Hajj 22:34].

“And the camels and cattle We have appointed for you as among the symbols of Allah; for you therein is good. So mention the name of Allah upon them when lined up [for sacrifice]; and when they are [lifeless] on their sides, then eat from them and feed the needy and the beggar. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may be grateful” [al-Hajj 22:36].

From the life of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), we have the following:

‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (pbuh) stayed in Madeenah for ten years, offering sacrifice (every year on Eid).” Narrated by Ahmad, 4935; al-Tirmidhi, 1507; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 1475.

Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever offers a sacrifice after the prayer has completed his rituals (of Eid) and has followed the way of the Muslims.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5545.

Prophet (pbuh) said: “The greatest of days before Allah is the Day of Sacrifice.” Narrated by Sunan Abi Dawood, 1765; classed as saheeh by Al-Albaani.

Prophet (pbuh) said: “The day of ‘Arafah, the day of Sacrifice, and the days of al-Tashreeq are our festival, us Muslims, and they are days of eating and drinking.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 773; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

So the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) explicitly mentions the 10th of Dhul Hijjah as the Day of Sacrifice (يوم النحر). Despite this, the Muslim scholars differed whether it was obligatory to do this sacrifice on Eid-ul-Adha or not. The majority actually said that it was not. Instead, they opined that it was a highly recommended practice but not obligatory. This is the view of al-Shaafa’i, Maalik and Ahmad according to his most well-known view. Abu Haneefah is of the view that it is obligatory to do so. This is why you find many of our Indo-Pak brothers and sisters insisting on it because they usually tend to follow the Hanafi school of thought.

There is no doubt that there are some reprehensible practices in the meat industry, which do not conform to the Islamic way of treating animals but does it mean we should just abandon the practice of sacrificing animals on Eid-ul-Adha altogether?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being vegan and Muslim provided one does not do so thinking it to be part of the religion. It’s a matter of personal choice. However, I do not think calls to abandon the practice on Eid should be encouraged as well for numerous reasons:

  1. There is too much textual evidence in the Qur’an and Sunnah that suggests that the practice is at a minimum highly encouraged.
  2. It is part of the human experience to eat meat as food and is one of the purposes behind the creation of animals that are religiously permissible to eat in Islam. As some have correctly indicated, “Unlike plants, animals can’t synthesize their own food. They survive by eating plants or other animals.”
  3. One of the purposes is to remember the moral lesson from Prophet Ibrahim that he almost sacrificed his beloved son Ismaeel for the pleasure of his Creator. It should remind us every Eid-ul-Adha that our desires, ambitions, and wants should be subservient to Allah’s Will and what He wants from us. So no matter how badly we want or do not want something but if Allah has commanded us to do the opposite, then we must sacrifice that want or desire for the sake of our Creator just like Ibrahim. This is why when speaking about sacrificing animals, Allah says in the Qur’an [meaning of which is], “Their meat will not reach Allah , nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you” [al-Hajj 22:37]. Commenting on this verse, the classic exegesis of Jalalyn states, “it is your righteous action performed purely for Him together with your faith that shall be raised up to Him.” So the whole point is to please Allah through this sacrificial practice and follow His guidance.
  4. Another purpose is to distribute meat among the poor and needy. There are many in the Muslim world who cannot afford meat and this would deprive them of this natural pleasure. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) referred to Eid-ul-Adha and the three days after it as “the days of eating and drinking” and Muslims are encouraged to include the poor and needy in this annual celebration.

However, we can advocate for a more sunnah based diet in the sense that we reduce the consumption of meat overall. There is no doubt that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) ate meat occasionally and not regularly. This is very different than saying to abandon a particular explicitly sanctioned practice in the religion. Some point out that some of the companions of Muhammad (pbuh) purposefully did not sacrifice on Eid-ul-Adha to show that it was not obligatory. While this is true, however, they did it solely for educational purposes and not to advance some sort of vegan agenda. I am not aware of any evidence which suggests that these same companions advocated abandoning the sacrificial practice on Eid-al-Adha. At the end of the day, they were still meat eaters even if occasionally. Also, in Islam a recommended sunnah always takes preference over particular habits of a companion.

A mostly plant-based diet that is low in animal foods is far more healthier as numerous studies have shown. Red and processed meats are linked to higher risk of cancer, heart disease and early death. In contrast, white meat intake, such as chicken and fish, has been linked to lower risk as pointed out by nutritionist Katherine Livingstone in her article entitled Why you should eat a plant-based diet, but that doesn’t mean being a vegetarian. She concludes that:

“Eating a variety of unprocessed fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and legumes is key when it comes to maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. Although high intakes of red and processed meats may increase risk of major diseases, a healthy, balanced, plant-based diet can still include small amounts of lean meat trimmed of visible fat (particularly unprocessed white meat) and reduced-fat dairy products.”

We can definitely utilize this material to advocate a more plant-based diet and less meat-based one and link it to the Prophetic practice. As Muslims, we can also advocate to improve animal rights and more humane treatment of animals in the meat industry. Rather, we should be forefront in this effort because humane and fair treatment of animals is part of our faith as well. These are all good things but advocating an abandonment of a confirmed and strongly recommended practice of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) should not be suggested. Instead, we can use Eid-ul-Adha to educate the masses on the humane way to treat animals and run the meat industry.

The author of the book A Critique of the Moral Defense of Vegetarianism argues that it’s impossible to actually be a vegetarian. He makes some really good points such as:

“Plants acquire nutrients from the soil, which is composed, among other things, of decayed plant and animal remains. So even those who assume they subsist solely on a plant-based diet actually eat animal remains as well. This is why it’s impossible to be a vegetarian.

Many vegetarians cite the sentience of animals as a reason to abstain from eating them. But there’s good reason to believe that plants are sentient, too. In other words, they’re acutely aware of and responsive to their surroundings, and they respond, in kind, to both pleasant and unpleasant experiences.

All life is bound together in a complex web of interdependent relationships among individuals, species and entire ecosystems. Each of us borrows, uses and returns nutrients. This cycle is what permits life to continue. Rich, black soil is so fertile because it’s chock full of the composted remains of the dead along with the waste of the living.”

I’ve also noticed that at times some of the more vocal vegans can be very harsh against those who choose to eat meat (and vice-versa). Perhaps it was this experience that led a writer on Telegraph to state:

“For me, the most grating thing about veggies — the moral ones, not the ones who do it for religious or health reasons — is their sanctimoniousness.

Like overgrown teens, clones of meat-dodging Morrissey, they see everything in black and white. Animal good, man bad. There’s a strong streak of misanthropy to some forms of vegetarianism, and certainly to animal-rights activism. Their pity for animals grows in direct correlation to their declining faith in mankind. Man is reimagined as a cruel, machine-like despoiler of nature, while a chicken — a goddamn chicken! — is held up as innocence personified.”

Lastly, there is a great article published on Muslim Matters entitled A Rebuttal to ‘Should Muslims Reconsider Animal Slaughter on Eid?’ and it addresses some of the criticisms of the Muslim vegan community against sacrificial practices on Eid-ul-Adha and responds to them. I highly recommend it.

In conclusion, there is nothing wrong with being a Muslim vegan as a personal choice without believing it to be some sort of Divine command. There are many reprehensible practices in the meat industry that are negatively impacting the animals’ lives, our lives and our environment and we should be part of the struggle to correct them. We can even advocate an overall reduction in meat consumption for health and environmental reasons. All of these are good and admirable qualities and as Muslims we should strive to be part of solving these problems. However, at the same time we should also stick to the teachings of our perfect religion and remember that at the end of the day, the Qur’an and Sunnah take preference over everything else.

Tafseer of Seven Short Surahs For Young Muslims (Quiz Included)

I was invited by a Muslim organization to do a tafseer series focusing on young Muslims to cover the most often recited chapters of the Qur’an. This is something that I had been wanting to do for a while but just didn’t have time but alhamdulillah this Ramadan Allah opened an opportunity for me to be able to prepare something for Muslim youth. Our kids should, at the bare minimum, understand what Allah is saying to them in the chapters that they often read, hear, and memorize.

The links below are to these tafseer lectures with a brief analysis of each verse focusing on young Muslims. As a bonus, I am also providing my lecture slides for further study for those who want to do so. I also created a quiz for most of the chapters to test the students’ knowledge after the session.

These lectures were given by me over Zoom to an audience of 50+ Muslim families with youth boys and girls.

Surah al-Fatihah | Lecture Slides


Surah al-Asr | Lecture Slides

Surah al-Kawthar | Lecture Slides

Surah al-Nasr | Lecture Slides


Surah al-Ikhlaas | Lecture Slides


Surah al-Falaq | Lecture Slides


Surah al-Naas | Lecture Slides