The Association of British Muslims (AoBM) remembers Dr Nazim Mahmood (UK) and Dr Priya Vedi (India) whose death brings to light grim attitudes grounded in religious and cultural perceptions. AoBM also lends support to Naz & Matt Foundation as Matthew Ogston walks a 130 mile distance in the memory of Dr Nazim Mahmood to raise awareness about religiously-motivated homophobia.
In the spirit of Islamic doctrine of free will, a core principle at the heart of AoBM is that people should be allowed to fashion their lives freely. Everyone is responsible for own actions on the Day of Judgement. AoBM appreciates that some people may have reservations about certain ways of living; however we advocate strongly the view that such disagreement gives no right to any of us to act in homophobic manner. We urge all communities to initiate and support a dialogue from within to further a better understanding of the issues related to sexuality – both culturally and religiously.
AoBM has always stood by the rights of the people irrespective of their caste, sexuality, colour and religion. In this spirit, we call upon the politicians contesting the general elections next month, to make a clear pledge in the memory of Dr Mahmood to outlaw all the remaining types of discrimination in the British society and further the anti-discrimination cause by tackling homophobia in all its forms, whatsoever and wheresoever in the UK. AoBM maintains that tackling forced marriages and domestic violence will assist in reducing homophobic tendencies.
While recognising other freedoms essential for a healthy society, AoBM also calls upon all segments of the government and the wider society to respect the freedom of expression which includes debating difficult theological issues surrounding sexuality and homophobia. The debate on these issues should remain open, frank and inclusive in letter and spirit with the aim of evolving a consensus rather than hegemony.
Zahid Ali Akbar, Human Rights Director, The Association of British Muslims
Spirituality – Islam The Way of Life – Ep 3
Biography of Shaykh Sufi Abdullah Khan Al-Naqshabandi
Shaykh Sufi Muhammad Abdullah Khan al Naqshabandi
During the 1950s and 1960s, the UK received a large migration of labour from the Indian sub-continent. There was an obligation for the many Muslims that arrived in Britain, to fulfil their religious and spiritual needs and to invite (dawah) the wider community to the message of Islam. As a means to address these needs, Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib, sent his first and most senior Khalifah (spiritual representative), Hazrat Sufi Muhammad Abdullah Khan to the UK in 1962.
Through the blessings of Allah, Most High and his Beloved Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, along with the spiritual blessings of Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib, Shaykh Sufi Abdullah established the largest centre of the Ghamkol Sharif branch of the Naqshabandi tariqah (sufi order) outside its headquarters in Kohat. In addition to which, there are now established many sub-centres in major towns and cities throughout the United Kingdom.
In 1996, under the guidance of Shaykh Sufi Abdullah, the largest mosque in Western Europe was completed, with a capacity to accommodate 5000 worshippers at any one time. Today, the mosque community firmly established at Poet’s Corner, Small Heath, Birmingham, remains a true testament of Shaykh Sufi Abdullah’s commitment, devotion and love for his Sufi Master in the mission he was assigned.
On the passing of Shaykh Sufi Abdullah Khan al-Naqshabandi
I have received news of the passing of my Murshid (Spiritual Guide) from this realm of existence to the next… Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon (Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him we shall return).
May Allah grant our murshid Shaykh Sufi Muhammad Abdullah Khan al-Naqshabandi a blessed journey to the highest stations of Jannah, in the blessed company, and sheltered under the cloak of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, to a Heavenly abode well deserved after a life of service to his family, his mureeds (students), Islam and Muslims in general, the communities of Kohat, Pakistan and Birmingham, United Kingdom, and for his efforts towards opening and cultivating Divine Love in the hearts of everyone in our Human Family.
Please pray (dua) for Sufi Abdullah’s family, friends and the Central Jamia Masjid Ghamkol Sharif he founded in Birmingham, that Allah al Kareem’s Divine Love, Light and Heavenly Guidance continues to flow through, support and bless these channels until the End of Time. Al Fatihah.
Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims
KILLING AT CHARLIE HEBDO: IS AN ASSAULT ON FREEDOM AND LIBERTY
By Dr Syed Talib Hussain Warsi
Director of Intrafaith Relations, AOBM
The Association of British Muslims strongly condemn and express our revulsion at the brutal and insane act of violence and murder of twelve people and injuring eleven others in Paris at the offices of the satirical Magazine Charlie Hebdo.
On behalf of the Muslims residing in Great Britain we express our sorrow and sympathy and convey our condolences to the grieving relatives, friends and associates of those who lost their lives in such tragic circumstance.
The slogan of the perpetrators of this crime “we have avenged Prophet Mohammed, God (Allah) is great” was deliberately made to malign all people of the Muslim faith in the eyes of the world. Islam practiced by all Muslims, except a very small minority, believe that human rights, rights and equality of all religion, race and cultural, plus social justice and freedom are the pillars of our faith. These terrorists are extremely wicked, dangerous, brutal, fanatical part of a particular sect or cult who have disguised themselves wearing the cloak of Islam. They have absolutely and I repeat absolutely nothing what so ever to do with Islam, just like Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland had nothing do anything with Christ or Christianity in their recent feuds. If they claim that they are “the pure and true believers and protectors of Islam and Muslims then why have they been killing thousands upon thousands of their own Muslim brothers and sisters within the bounds of the Muslim world. They have slaughtered men, women and children who say God (“Allah”) is great five times a day in their prayers, prayers that are all about peace, love and charity. These, unscrupulous, hideous and barbaric criminals did not hesitate in beheading Peter Edward Kassing, an American who had converted to Islam and adopted a Muslim name “Abdul Rahman Kassing. ,
Time has come to tackle this “cult” who are in a comparative way the Ku Klux Klan of the Muslim world. They are by now a global problem, a global menace. These scourge, the very scum of the modern world are branded as Islamists, whilst I keep repeating that they have absolutely nothing to do with Islam or its ideology. We have to acknowledge the fact that they are not only very well financed, armed and trained but also well versed with the art of using the media, especially the social media and the internet for their ill begotten aims. Their main objective is to subjugate other religions, cultures and societies. All efforts must be made and with great haste and urgency to cut off their sources of funding even if they are coming from some of “our best trading partners”. Never in the history of the modern world have terrorists and warlords received so much from so many, so freely, like ISIS, which many nations of the world must envy. Fellows like Abubaker Baghdadi must be saying to each other, “guys we have never had it so good”.
For the sake of regime, too many times we have encouraged, formed, financed, armed and trained rebel armies whose behaviour are no different to any other terrorist organisation. Often they have had boomerang effects. It is now appearing in the media that two of the terrorists named in the Charlie Hebdo massacre are ‘Syria returned’ i.e. ‘terrorists made in Syria’ perhaps at one of our friendly training camps. After gaining field experience, they have been returned to France with compliments. How sad, what a tragedy.
We beseech our Muslim brothers and sister in this country, France and rest of Europe to work hard within the community, with the government, the police, local authorities and the media in exposing and bringing justice to people with such twisted minds. In the safety of our nations and all its citizens lie the safety of all of us, Muslims or non-Muslims.
Cowardly Attack on Peshawar School
My sincerest and heartfelt condolences to families grieving in Pakistan, on receiving the most appalling heartbreaking news of the loss of loved ones…
Murderers of children are the lowest of the low, cowardly criminal scumbags who have no concept of the sacred gift of Life, among the most precious of treasures gifted from the Divine Treasury.
To take lives so young, barely even started out on their first baby steps on life’s journey… How can such vile bandits as Daesh (ISIS) and Daesh Pakistan (Taliban) even talk of religion, let alone claim any moral high ground?
The sooner such filth is wiped from the face of the Earth, the better for all Humanity!
Sheikh Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf speaking about ISIS
FATWA ON THE SO-CALLED “ISLAMIC STATE” (FORMERLY “ISLAMIC STATE IN IRAQ & SYRIA”)
WITH THE NAME OF GOD, MOST GRACIOUS, MOST MERCIFUL
FATWA ON THE SO-CALLED “ISLAMIC STATE”
(FORMERLY “ISLAMIC STATE IN IRAQ & SYRIA”)
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessings be upon His final messenger Muhammad.
Due to recent events in the Middle East and their impact on some people in Britain, we as imams and scholars based in the UK, would like to issue the following clarifications in the form of a fatwa:
1. There is no doubt that President Assad’s regime in Syria is oppressive, unjust and brutal, and has committed numerous atrocities against its own people.
2. The same is true of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) or self-styled “Caliphate,” formerly known as “The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria”: it is an oppressive and tyrannical group.
3. By murdering prisoners of war, journalists and civilians, including mosque imams who
refused to endorse their campaign, and by enslaving the women and children of their
opponents, ISIS has violated international agreements such as the Geneva Conventions and conventions on slavery that everyone, including Muslims, have signed up to. God says in the Qur’an, “Believers, fulfil your covenants!” (5:1)
4. The IS persecution and massacres of Shia Muslims, Christians and Yazidis is abhorrent and opposed to Islamic teachings and the Islamic tolerance displayed by great empires such as the Mughals and Ottomans.
5. Based on all of the above: IS is a heretical, extremist organisation and it is religiously prohibited (haram) to support or join it; furthermore, it is an obligation on British Muslims to actively oppose its poisonous ideology, especially when this is promoted within Britain.
6. British and other EU citizens are bound by their duties to their home countries according to Islamic theology and jurisprudence: it is therefore prohibited ( haram) to travel to fight with any side in Syria, including non-state actors, since this is forbidden by laws in EU countries.
7. It is a moral obligation upon British Muslims to help the Syrian and Iraqi people without betraying their own societies: “If they ask for your help in religion, you must help, except against a people with whom you have a treaty.” (Qur’an 8:72)
Sheikh Mohammad Shahid Raza OBE
Executive Secretary, Muslim Law (Shariah) Council of UK. Head Imam, Leicester Central Mosque.
Sheikh Qamaruzzaman Azmi
Secretary General, World Islamic Mission. Head Imam, Manchester Central Mosque.
Sheikh Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims.
Sheikh Dr Qari Mohammad Asim MBE
Head Imam, Makkah Masjid, Leeds.
Sheikh Dr Usama Hasan
Author, ISIS Fatwa. Former Imam, Masjid Al-Tawhid Mosque, Leyton. Head Theologian, Quilliam Foundation.
Mufti Abu Layth
Founder, The Islamic Council, UK.
Statement on the Humanitarian Emergency in Palestine.
Bism’Allah al Rahman al Raheem.
We express our deepest condolences to Palestinian families who have lost loved ones due to Israeli attacks in some of the most densely populated residential areas in the world. Whatever the Israeli government’s purported motivations, there is no excuse for killing children or bombing hospitals! Life is Sacred, a teaching common to all three Abrahamic faiths, and the lives of children especially Sacred.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has stated that the humanitarian emergency in Gaza, following a severe escalation in hostilities involving intense Israeli aerial and navy bombardment, has claimed the lives of at least 697 Palestinians, of whom 170 were children and 86 women. Over 3,993 people have been wounded and 140,000 have been displaced, currently staying at 83 UNRWA schools. 32 Israelis have lost their lives, including 3 civilians and 29 soldiers.
The Association of British Muslims expresses our most heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of all those who have lost their lives and call upon everyone to support and stand in solidarity with the People of Palestine. The Israeli government and IDF are demonstrating a complete lack of concern for the civilian population of Palestine, that verges on unjustified cruelty.
Israel claims to be responding to rocket attacks launched from Palestine, but a genuine response would be proportional to the threat. The returned fire from the IDF takes the lives of hundreds of Palestinians, including 170 children, unprotected women and elderly people. Over 697 people so far, and still counting…
We are living in dark times, with tragic events occurring in neighbouring Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere in the region. Like the Prophet, peace be upon him warned, the day has come where Jews and Muslims are fighting and Muslims are fighting each other, where everyone claims that they are on the path of “jihad” (struggle/striving), and no one really knows why they are killing one another. This is not the meaning or way of jihad, or even the modern concept of a “Just War”.
In these times of jahiliyya, widespread ignorance, corruption and confusion, it is absolutely imperative we make Education, Culture, Science and Spirituality our jihad.
In this most holy month of Ramadan, we join our Muslim brothers and sisters around the world, along with every concerned soul in our Human Family (Bani Adam), in prayer and remembrance of the children and innocent people who have lost their lives in Palestine, and those still suffering under the onslaught of military operations.
We pray for the restoration of Peace, Security and Justice in Palestine and call upon the Israeli government to end the war against Palestinians forthwith, including the blockade against Gaza. All sides must fully and sincerely commit to meaningful negotiations to find ways for an authentic sustainable peaceful solution.
Shaykh Paul Salahuddin Armstrong, Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims.
Mr Mohammed Abbasi, Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims.
Mr Muhammad Hamzah, Cultural Director, The Association of British Muslims.
Islam and Life: Danger of Takfiri ideology for Islam
The rise of Takfiri movements has caused outrage all across traditionally majority Muslim regions of the world and elsewhere. Tariq Ramadan discusses this frightening phenomenon with Paul Salahuddin Armstrong, Co-Director of the Association of British Muslims.
The letter Khalifah Ali ibn Abi Talib wrote to Malik Ashtar
While it may have been written 14 centuries ago, the letter Khalifah Ali ibn Abi Talib wrote to Malik Ashtar is just as, if not even more relevant to us today.
May Allah SWT help us return to the noble wisdom of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and his loyal companions, may Allah bless them.