Open Letter to Anwar al-Awlaki


By Omer Mozaffar

In response to his blog posting “Nidal Hassan Did the Right Thing.”  I would post this letter as a “comment” on that blog entry, but I do not trust that that blog is legitimately his.  Some of the blog postings are so shortsighted and simplistic that I do not expect that they are from Anwar al-Awlaki or any scholar in his/her right mind.  Compare the loose accusations in the Nidal Hassan entry with the careful comments in this National Geographic interview.

Salam,

I am posting this note with the respectful hopes that you will reconsider or clarify some of your recent comments.  Shaykh, I disagree with you that Nidal Hassan is a hero.  He is not anything close to being a hero.

If he had this alleged problem with being a Muslim and American soldier, he should have resigned.  He should have gone AWOL.  If his plan was to kill American soldiers, then he is obviously a fool for having spent so many years in the military to do what he did.  Further, if his plot was to kill American soldiers, he is an even bigger fool because it will not stop any wars and — if anything — it will result in the death of more Muslims.

But, he is not a hero or a fool.  Rather, he seems to be someone with serious mental problems.  Unfortunately, there are many who are attempting to link his conduct with some sort of Islamic interpretations, but as my above paragraph illustrates, he would be a fool (at best).

Indeed, this war that the United States is engaged in is wrong and should be condemned again and again.  Iraq did not attack us.  Afghanistan did not attack us.  Yet we are wiping out hundreds of thousands of lives to sustain these occupations. But, we also know that in the cycle of empires, whether we speak of the Umayyads or the Americans, empires in decline eventually engage in wars to sustain themselves, which often accelerate their own declines.

But, regarding this point that you make:

“The American Muslims who condemned his actions have committed treason against the Muslim Ummah and have fallen into hypocrisy.”

Treason is a very serious charge.  I am assuming you have already contacted each of these American Muslims to address your concerns before having accused them/us of treason.

But, his actions are most definitely to be condemned.  It is absurd that Muslims have to condemn the horrific actions of Muslims, while it should be understood that horrific actions are implicitly condemnable.  It is all the more absurd because members of other communities are given the privilege of silence.

Indeed, we wish that American Muslim leaders would be more aggressive in criticizing the government on each major and minor infraction.  In time they will be.  But, if Nidal Hassan shot and killed those soldiers, then he was dead wrong.  If you regard my comment as treason, then I’m sorry:  we disagree.  There are likewise plenty of Americans who regard any criticism of the United States (especially by a Muslim) as equally treasonous, and I disagree with them also.

But, speaking of hypocrisy, let us look at this point:

“The fact that fighting against the US army is an Islamic duty today cannot be disputed. No scholar with a grain of Islamic knowledge can defy the clear cut proofs that Muslims today have the right -rather the duty- to fight against American tyranny.”

You are someone who spends quite a bit of time blogging and lecturing, so there is an obvious question here:  where are you fighting?  As you know, it is frowned upon us to say what we do not do.  So, the question is:  who is falling into hypocrisy?

Now, I am not calling you to fight.  Rather, I am calling you to say what you do, and to not say what you do not do.  Indeed, you should continue lecturing, but shift your focus to something productive.

And Allah knows best.

Originally published at Mozaffar’s Moments

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61 Comments

  1. But, speaking of hypocrisy, let us look at this point:

    “The fact that fighting against the US army is an Islamic duty today cannot be disputed. No scholar with a grain of Islamic knowledge can defy the clear cut proofs that Muslims today have the right -rather the duty- to fight against American tyranny.”

    You are someone who spends quite a bit of time blogging and lecturing, so there is an obvious question here: where are you fighting? As you know, it is frowned upon us to say what we do not do. So, the question is: who is falling into hypocrisy?

    Now, I am not calling you to fight. Rather, I am calling you to say what you do, and to not say what you do not do. Indeed, you should continue lecturing, but shift your focus to something productive.

    Finally, someone qualified has said what everyone has been saying to every “jihadi” in the US, or even all over the world.

    Omer is the man, masha Allah.

  2. J says:

    Did Anwar al-Awlaki really say that Nidal Hasan did the right thing? (The blog entry isn’t working.)

    If this is the case, then Anwar al-Awlaki has completely adopted Al-Qaeda mentality…remember he has already said that it is ok to target and kill civilians (women and children!!!) because the kufaar do that.

    And now he has thrown the sanctity of the covenants down the drain. So he has destroyed the Sharia.

    Fi Aman Allah,
    J

  3. Suhaib Webb says:

    Finding someone guilty of treason is a role strictly for the Qadi. Not even a mufti can make such a claim. Anyone who studied a basic book in fiqh would know this.
    SDW

  4. Abu Muntasir says:

    Assalam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullah.
    May Allah bless and reward both brother Omar Muzaffar and you, Suhaib Webb.
    We at JIMAS still held on to some of his lectures and CDs, but now it is crystal clear that we can’t be morally responsible for supporting any admiration for Anwar Awlaki anymore, when he advocates murder and treachery in such a vile way. I had known him quite closely for a while and he had been a speaker at a number of our conferences, so it has been not been easy to live with the hurt he has been causing with his unbalanced opinions. May Allah guide him and us. I hope we can remove all references to him on our web site and Cafe soon by the grace of Allah. Once again jazakumAllahu khairan for your input.
    Wassalam ‘alaikum wa rahmatullah.

  5. nael says:

    Im not convinced that Sheik Anwar actually made that posting, the style of writing is below him.

    He usually starts with thanking allah and the prophet (pbuh) and then stories include analogies from seerah, hadith and quran. This posting only stated one passage of Sura Nissa and nothing else.

    So therefore, this is not Sheik Anwar posting but whom ever is the maintainer of the domain. It was stated a few months ago that the admin has been unable to contact Sheik Anwar for sometime so I think he has given up on blogging .

    Wallahu allam,

    Salams

    Nael in Cali from the bay.

  6. Sis says:

    What I find to be disturbing is how few people are defending or giving excuses to Shaykh Anwar. I sincerely highly DOUBT that he wrote all those things. Anyone can take over/hack an online account and write blasphemy in order to get people to hate on a personality. I am so sad that we as an Ummah are so gullible to believe this blog was written by Shaykh Anwar, that too, knowing how easy it is to hack an account.

    We don’t even know the truth behind the blog, I will not believe he wrote the blog until I see proof. ANYONE can ay PRophet Muhammad (sws) said such-and-such…WE SHOULD KNOW BETTER then to just believe the garbage and denounce the RPophet sws.

    Do not forget the well known hadith:

    “Help your brother whether he is the oppressor or the oppressed.”

    Conclusion: Remember the story of Aisha and IFK from Surah Nur and give your brother 70 excuses.

  7. Sis says:

    Br. Suhaib, if your blog account was hacked and an article was published in your name condoning something horrendous, that opposed any views we KNOW are reliably yours, would you prefer that we all just believe it was written by you and denounce you and your ideas, attributing them to you? Or would you prefer we defend you knowing you would never write such a thing?

    I am sad that you have not defended our Muslim brother.

    • just a guy says:

      Good point sister. I am also disappointed in S Webb for jumping on the bandwagon and comfortably criticizing Br Anwar Al Awlaki. So much easier to blame and seem like the objective hero then it is to stand up and defend the brother with “compassionion” and “love”.

      It goes for Br Nidal too especially when NO ONE has even heard his stance or given him an opportunity to speak?!?

      So much for defending your brothers. Though, I wonder if you guys have as much venom and anger against the American boys for the drones dropped in Afghani land…

      Again, I see this a purification process; those who have a colonized minds who worry about the blamers.

  8. Zaid says:

    SalaamAleykum

    I think this should of been confirmed with Imam Anwar al Awlaki before people started to say that he said this and he said that…. as the other posters said that anyone can hack the site and write whatever they want, but if you guys have already confirmed that the Shiekh has said this please disregard this post

  9. Syed M says:

    This comment is directed to a certain segment of readers of this site (and our community) not to the masses who condemn wrong no matter where it originates.

    Why are some Muslims so blind, stubborn and naiive? This wasn’t a surprise coming from Anwar Awlaki. He has openly called for the killing of Americans – military or civilian. He has openly called for Jihad against America.

    Why does everything need to be spelled out? There are some people who, on the one hand, adopt a conspiracy theory brewing on blogs and on the other hand, require hard proof that Muslims committed terrorism or made such statements.

    If this was not AA’s posting, anyone else in their right mind would post a clarification or (if his website was hacked & he has no access to it) send a note to all his acquaintances doing the same – and ask to spread the clarification.

    What’s right is right & what’s wrong is wrong. Regardless of who made such a statement, it should be outright rejected and condemned – as it desecrates the principles of Islam. Those with any leadership position should be put on point immediately when such statements are made.

    While we beautifully & comfortably quote hadith about “70 excuses”, do we forget our responsibility of correcting wrong and putting extremists in their place – calling them out & placing them outside of our community. Do we forget that ugly words can undo the work of many a beautiful deeds?

  10. Sis says:

    I like these points another sis made:

    Asalamu Alaykum too all on the blog well just wanted to make a few points then u decide ifit is from him.

    1. i just tried the link and it is broken.

    2. where does what he say in his “blog” coencide w/ any of his past lectures.

    3. they said until last year he was in a yemen prision and is now in hiding, then where is he posting from,as ip addresses can be traced.

    now realy think about these things and then u decide it was true.

    also in recent months i have looked for things on and by him and the link for his “blog” did not post at least not with the link provided

  11. Dan Cooper says:

    Hello. I came here tonight after reading Anwar al- awlaki’s name relating to the shootings at Ft. Hood. As just a “plain old American”, I find this site quite interesting. And most knowledgeable. As to the “why” of the Major shooting his fellow solders, I don’t why. It would be very helpful to all, perhaps more to the “American community”, in helping us see what is really going on. Though there is no denying his TRUE feelings would help Islamists too. Thank you Omar M. Your “open Letter” was very good and more imortantly, enlightening.
    I trust “you” won’t mind me stopping by from time to time?

  12. Akh says:

    as-salaamu’alaikum,

    The last few posts have been really strange subhan’Allaah. If someone has his personal contact, a simple question of , ‘are you still looking over the content of your blog?’ would be more than sufficient (In shaa Allaah).

    I am not saying he is not of such ideology but posts seem far from his audios and Allah knows best!

    May Allah protect and guide our scholars and students of knowledge!

  13. K. Yousuf says:

    Asalamalaikum to all,
    I truly appreciate Brother Omar’s entry. I believe as American Muslims we have to speak out about the tragedy at Fort Hood. Just as they have had Nidal Hassan’s life all over the news, we need to have our national leaders denouncing this act in a very public and open fashion. I agree with the one brother above in that what is wrong is wrong and we as an ummah in this country need to speak out regarding this.
    As far as Shaikh Awlaki, maybe he wrote what he did and maybe he didn’t; regardless, we must make efforts to verify that he truly wrote what he did. As it is written in the Quran:
    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَأٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْمًا بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَى مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ
    (49:6)
    Allah knows best. May Allah have mercy on us all.

  14. Abu Noor Al-Irlandee says:

    I agree with Abdel Rahman Murphy that Omer Mozaffar is the man.

    Still, I think there is benefit in considering what Shaykh Haitham al-Haddad wrote recently here

    http://www.islam21c.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=150695:comment-discussing-terrorism-and-jihad-&catid=32:politics-law-a-society&Itemid=78

    and just in general trying to think deeply about what we are saying during times like these although I know there is pressure to “say something” let us say something that is truly intellectually coherent and that will have the effect we desire.

    Allaah Knows best.

  15. Arif says:

    Asalamu alaikum,

    The moment that blog went up I was very cautious with it. I believe any website that is up that supports jihadi rhetoric, especially anti-American Jihadi rhetoric, is a trap in the making. It is there to ensnare all naive, young people who get emotionally attached and go on jihadi tirades. The posts are subsequently traced and these individuals are red flagged by intelligence agencies. This isn’t even a conspiracy theory. The news has brought up this particular blog (the Anwar Al-Awlaki blog) many times and made it very clear the FBI has been monitoring the site since its inception.

    I would advise everyone to wisen up and steer clear from such websites that call to any type of violent behavior.

    Simplistic overgeneralizations and conspiracies that the “the West” is trying to destroy Islam will get us NO WHERE. When an Arab/Muslim nation is full of corruption, injustice, murder, and tyranny people are quick to call the leaders “Stooges of America.” Why do we have to blame everything on America? I’ve seen the way “American” leadership has been handling two war fronts and intelligence gathering for anti-terrorism, and it isn’t impressive. I highly doubt they have the capacity to make a CHESS BOARD out of the world like so many gullible people will believe. We can barely solve our own health and financial crisis let alone try to “TAKE OVER THE WORLD.”

    This rhetoric needs to stop. Muslims need to take responsibility for their own mistakes and learn to adopt basic humanitarian values to regain some sense of respect in the global dialogue.

    People are quick to say “We have to defend out Muslim brethren when they are accused by disbelievers.” We need to defend the truth whether it is against a Muslim or Non-Muslim. Allah says in the Quran “Koonoo Qawwameena bil Qisti shuhadaa lillahi wa law ‘ala anfusakum…” (Stand firmly for justice as witnesses of Allah, even if it be against yourselves)…

    Right is right and wrong is wrong no matter who is the one who performed the action.

    Allahu Alam

  16. end user says:

    To brother Syed M, please provide your proof that Sheik Anwar has explicitly called for killing of US. I suggest you dont make false statements as that is back biting .

  17. Stinger says:

    Salaam,

    Thanks for posting this entry. Whether or not Anwar Awlaki posted these un-Islamic views, we need to understand that there are people who are influenced by him and who may continue to be influenced by him in such a sensitive area. It is very timely for my respected Brother Suhaib to post this reply so that people would know what the correct view of Islam is on this issue.

    Peace

  18. Stinger says:

    After reading the post attributed to Anwar Awlaki, I think it is imperative for all influential Muslim leaders and thinkers to distance themselves from such thinking. We need to encourage our community to show true Islam to the American people, this should be our First Priority no matter what. We still have the freedom to worship and practice our faith here despite some injustices that people have faced. We also have the freedom to disagree with this nation’s policies in a peaceful way. In many ways it is easier to be a real Muslim here than many so-called Muslim countries where, due to socio-historical factors knowledge about the true message of Islam and a culture of learning are lacking.

    Finally, the leaders of this Ummah and our community in America need to have strategic vision. We are like the Muslim community in Mecca not Madina, any other way of thinking will be disastrous. As a minority in this nation we are in a very precarious position and there is a breaking point to the restrain we have been seeing among the American people. They have been ignoring the hateful calls to expel or worse massacre the Muslim community here while we’re still containable. We need to oppose this type of thinking no matter what.

    I am not a pacifist but the use of violence is contextually based, and in Islam only someone with the caliber of a national leader can call for it. Individuals simply don’t have that right in Islam, this would cause anarchy as we’re seeing today. I’m not a scholar of Islam only a humble student but I do know of a teaching for Muslims to live according to the “laws of the land” if they live anywhere. Let us uphold these teachings and be true Muslims among ourselves and others, if somebody can’t do this they should leave so that no harm will come to the rest of the community.

    Peace

  19. sad says:

    The reply posted by shaykh suhaib did not have to further present these views as shaykh anwar’s without any clarification or defense.

    The so-caled blog of “imam anwar” is off the internet anyways. It would have been wiser to post how we do not support what happened in Fort Hood rather then saying we do not support our brother’s so-called words—without ANY confirmation that they were indeed his words. It is beieving without proof, that our brother said something against islam & humanity, and further, speaking to him rudely to “correct” his so-called views.

    Saying “But speaking of hypocrisy…” and stating to Anwar Awlaki

    “You are someone who spends quite a bit of time blogging and lecturing, so there is an obvious question here: where are you fighting? As you know, it is frowned upon us to say what we do not do. So, the question is: who is falling into hypocrisy?”

    is not respectful…it is accusing imam anwar of hypocrisy. Would we say that about the PRophet sws if we heard some evil news attributed to him? I HOPE not…I hope we would ascertain the facts before jumping to conclusions.

    It is truly a very sad day when you see respected knowledgeable Muslims falling for whatever they hear about other respected Muslims.

    I feel pain that we will turn against anyone, running with whatever we hear “they said”, in the flash of a minute. Do we forget the words of the Quran? :

    “If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the facts, lest you harm people unwittingly and afterwards become full of repentance for what you have done.” (Al-Qur’an 49:6)

  20. sad says:

    I think its clear, we Muslims have stated over and over that taking innocent life is against Islam. I wish an article was posted focused on that point and proving it through quran and sunnah. It would have been more productive.

  21. Abu Safiyyah says:

    Assalamu alaykum,

    We salafis have been warning about Anwar al-Awaki for years and we were accused of being to harsh.

    • Mahmud says:

      its cos no one in their right mind would trust a salafi to conclude who’s reliable and who’s not.

    • J says:

      By Salafi, I’m assuming you mean SalafiTalk / SPUBS / Troid…In that case, that’s no surprise that you guys warned against Anwar al-Awlaki, since you warn against pretty much everyone and their mother. :)

  22. Abu Abdillah says:

    Bismillah was salaatu wa salamu ‘ala rasulillah,

    @Arif: Firstly, as a Muslim who lives in a Muslim Arab country, I can honestly say that the cause for much corruption in our countries in due to the influence of American policy and culture. Our brothers here who are falsely imprisoned (for pretty much practicing the deen) are repeated told by security that we are under orders from America to keep you locked up. Let us not forget the statement of the last head of C.I.A who is reported to have said, if we want to torture someone we send him to Syria, if we want him to dissappear, we send him to Egypt. Not to mention the story of the American brother who went in 2006 to work in the Emerites and was ordered by the U.S to be imprisioned/tortured, there is more than enough testomonies and evidence to prove that America is a major cause and plays a major role in the oppression of our Arab regimes and leaders (may Allah guide them and honor them through Islam).

    Furthermore, I have been following Anwar al-Awlaki’s actual lectures for several years now ever since some companions starting listening to him. The more I heard, the more and more concerned I became. He is not unlike the extreme sufis who focus so much on zuhd that they lose sight of the big picture of Islam, so a man I know doesn’t believe in buying a fridge, washing machine, heater for water, etc. His family suffers because of his deep “zuhd” and are often malnurished and unhealthy (may Allah support them). Al l this despite the fact that he is more than well-off. Likewise, what I have seen of Anwar al-Awlaki is a major focus on the realm of jihad and war, but in a such a narrow perspective, whereas all balance and clear judgement is left out.

    Alhamdulillah, our deen is such that if you were to focus on any point you could write volumes regarding it, this is due to the completeness of our deen, in that everything is very well established and explained. So therefore, if you focused on the issue of cleaniness, you could exaggerate it to the naive youth enough to think that this is all the religion is about!

    Whether or not Anwar al-Awlaki is responsible or not for this blog entry, he is without a doubt an inspiration for others who would hold such thoughts as well as express them, causing chaos, misunderstanding, and confusion to the Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

    I ask Allah to guide him and us, and raise us together as one united ummah upon the truth of tawheed, the establishment of sharee’ah, and sincere and correct jihad in Allah’s way, ameen.

    wallahu ‘alam.

  23. Mahmood says:

    Excellent letter by Omer. I’m still waiting to hear the entire story about Nidal Hasan before drawing any conclusions. I find it deeply troubling that individuals are that much of conspiracy theorists to question the validity and authenticity of Awlaki’s comments and blogs. Have you listened to his lectures? Have you read the other messages on his blogs? Awlaki is an angry, misguided individual who is not deserving of the title “Sheikh”and who has nothing better to do than stir the proverbial pot. With the audience he has amassed over the years, it’s a shame he doesn’t put his “celebrity” to a better use for the sake of the Ummah and all non-Muslims that want Muslims to succeed. Instead, he sets back the Ummah and every good Muslim that strives to positively advance Muslim standing in the world. What a waste.

    I would hope that all those concerned would boycott the companies that continue to publish Awalaki’s materials. Maybe if we cut off his wallet, we can silence his mouth. Shame on them for continuing to support this mad man. It’s not like it’s anything new when it comes to Awlaki.

    Thanks for listening.

  24. Omar says:

    Sallamu Alakum To All:

    have we not overstepped our boundaries by accusing a brother of such controversial words without getting confirmation that he in fact said it? Suhaib (wallahi i love you and respect you with the utmost sincerity) but should we not hear from Anwar before disgracing his name as we have done here?

    Omar

  25. Tim says:

    Salam alaikum,

    The registrant of the domain “anwar-alawlaki.com” is “Domains by Proxy, Inc.” which provides the actual registrant with a degree of anonymity. However this is not total. It is still possible to find out whether the site is genuine: “Domains by Proxy, Inc.” have a track record of releasing domain owners’ contact information on receipt of a phone request, certified letter to the domain owner, or a cease and desist letter. The site, “anwar-alawlaki.com” is hosted in the United States. It should not, therefore, be too difficult to determine whether the website is genuine.

    We do have some reason to be at least sceptical. Who could forget the infamous website, “Islamic News”, established by Glen Jenvey – a self-declared “anti-terror expert” – purporting to be an extremist site promoting terrorism?

    We would like to think that Jenvey has now been thoroughly discredited after “Private Eye” found that he had created the only evidence to support a story he sold a story to “The Sun” concerning a “hate hit list” of British Jews to be targeted by extremists, posting to the forum under the pseudonym “Abuislam”.

    But it would be naive to believe either that he has stopped or is the only one. Pretending to be someone else on the Internet is easy enough for the common man, so how much easier for a professional?

    I would suggest that those who are concerned whether “anwar-alawlaki.com” really belongs to Anwar AlAwlaki go ahead and investigate, for the benefit of the multitudes that visit the site daily.

    Wasalam.

  26. shocked says:

    I was looking through the blog that is so-called imam anwar’s…there is NO WAY he wrote those articles. I only listen to his lectures, which I KNOW are authentically his, and I am shocked that the site is even attributed to him….it totally goes completely against all he has taught in his CDs. Where is ANY ORT of cnfirmation the blog is his??? It is NOT HIS BLOG. Of that much I am CERTAIN.

    I can see why certain forces in the world would like us to think the blog is imam anwar’s.

  27. Marya says:

    jazak Allahu khayran Shaykh. It is important to stand for Islam against extremist, deviant teachings (whether it is from Shaykh Anwar or not, whom I respect). Allahu `alam.

  28. J says:

    I actually never considered the fact that it was not Anwar al-Awlaki…Seems like a huge stretch though. I mean, if someone was posting away in my name, I’d quickly post somewhere else declaring the other guy a fraud…and then there’d be a showdown between the fake me and the real me…And then Lois Lane would ask a personal question and figure out which one is the real me, and use kryptonite to kill the fake me.

    But seriously, it’s about time someone spoke out against whoever it is that is posting over there in the name of Anwar al-Awlaki, even if it is Anwar himself. I think the open letter is a good start, but the issue is that we need someone to thoroughly tackle the *ideas* the extremists bring up, point by point, instead of vague and general posts directed at them. Having said that, I must give props to both Imam Suhaib Webb and brother Omar Muzaffar for posting this. It took a lot of guts to do it.

    Fi Aman Allah,
    J

  29. Lozah says:

    Several people are saying the page isn’t working, but I am able to open it here (in Egypt). Perhaps it has been blocked in the US or something… I really wish there was some way we could authenticate whether or not Anwar al-Awlaki truly wrote this or not. I admit this is definitely a possibility, but as previous comments stated, it makes you wonder why he hasn’t come out and said that an imposter is using his name. One of the commnets on that blogpost says: “Dear all brothers and sisters reading this comment. Anwar Al Awlaki has not written this article. PERIOD. People who are close to him know this and he has also stated this.”

    But for me, the Awlaki post (authentic or otherwise) is of secondary importance. What’s really scary though is the number of comments that support this position and believe Nidal Hassan to be a hero and role model! I have been reading through the comments on the blogpost and out of 181 comments it seems like over 50% support Nidal Hassan’s actions.

    I usually say that the ummah should not have to apologize for the actions of one individual. I still stand by that. But when we see that more and more people in our ummah support the criminal actions of said individual then it becomes the responsibility of the scholars and leaders to set them straight and prevent further Muslims from buying into this nonsense.

    So on that, good job (mashaAllah) Imam Suhaib and Br.Omar and let’s hope we see more scholarly opinions on this issue.

  30. Abu Yunus says:

    I cannot understand why people are in denial as to these being the words of al-Awlaki, he has already “explained” ‘Constants in the Path to Jihad’ which was a work by none other than Yusuf al-’Ayri, who was killed in a shoot-out with Saudi police and had made takfeer of the Saudi government and police! Al-Ayril was also part of the organisation known as ‘al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula’.

    This shows the naivety and irresponsibility of Awlaki, his blog contains takfeer of the rulers; unlegislated calls for jihad (which he is unqualified to discuss to the extent that he does); support for khawaarij, reblels and pirates and a whole host of other matters which indicate that he is far from being a “Shaykh” or “Imam” as many of the hasty youth in the West have branded him.

    Not to mention his blatant support for suicide bombings in a number of his lectures, Mulims have to be wary of raising on a pedestal any person merely on account of him being a “good speaker” – for it leads to a plethora of populist crowd-pleasers emerging as we see in the example of Anwar al-Awlaki. For a detail critique of him see this interesting paper here:

    http://www.salafimanhaj.com/pdf/SalafiManhaj_Awlaki

  31. Bint Abi says:

    “I mean, if someone was posting away in my name, I’d quickly post somewhere else declaring the other guy a fraud”

    If that was possible to do…perhpas you might. We do not know what he has available to him, where he is or any of those simple details. We already know the Yemeni government turned him into the US once, what makes you think the US would not request to arrest him again based on all the so-called blog postings in his name? IF it was truly him, he would have been taken in long ago. There is no way he would be able o live there peacefully.

    People who are saying props for this being posted? I think props for rejecting what the blog post said, not for allowing readers to assume the blog was Anwar Awalaki’s words. Why would it be brave to post this up? Its information that puts down a Muslim brother, without authenticating if the put down is valid or not. The post speaks as though Imam Anwar was certainly behind the post, despite the disclaimer at the beginning. It is very rude and arrogant, although it does have some good content.

    I do think it is good to blatantly reject the post, but at the same time, it should have been OVERemphasized that it has never once been confirmed that the blog is by Imam Anwar. Until then, it continues to be a sign of how easily we Muslims will denounce a Muslim brother based on random ramblings written in his name, which is so easy to do.

    When it is too late, when the damage has been done, then people will come out and reject that it was written by him. By then, his name will already have been diced and thrown in the dirt by the media and all the general public who only reads about people while the news is sensational.

  32. J says:

    I want to stress the fact that it’s not just this one particular post that is the problem. I have a feeling that Anwar al-Awlaki might realize that he went overboard with this post and then claim that he wasn’t the one who posted it…but the issue is his entire blog and everything he has written for the last few months…Whoever runs the website (and it’s only natural to assume it’s him) is an extremist, with or without his latest post.

    Fi Aman Allah,
    J

  33. ASAWRWB,

    Amazing. Why is it that so many automatically assume that Awlaki did not actually write that posting. He has been advocating violent jihad (lit. qitaal) for years. Now that the media have picked it up and there is chatter about it, lots of people want to give him an easy cop-out, in the form of being able to say, “My account was hacked, and I didn’t write this”.

    The reality is that he almost certainly either wrote it, or approved of it’s publication by one of his assistants. Get over it and either approve or condemn his position to your hearts’ content. I personally think that infiltration of the enemy forces is a legitimate tactic in warfare (the CIA does it all the time), if that is the aim from the beginning. If, however Nidal Hassan was simply a disaffected nut in a uniform who decided to commit murder because people made fun of him (as military sources are hinting), then he’s not feeling half the pain that he deserves – but I digress.

    Anwar Al Awlaki, bless his heart, is an armchair quarterback of the worst kind. I’ll take him seriously the day that I hear that he actually went and did battle himself. Until then, he needs to be quiet about jihad and read some Ghazali.

    • J says:

      “I personally think that infiltration of the enemy forces is a legitimate tactic in warfare (the CIA does it all the time),”

      It doesn’t really matter if *you* think it’s ok, or if the CIA does it. This is the same mentality that infected Anwar: “they kill our civilians, so we can kill theirs.”

      No. We follow the religion of Islam, in which we are not allowed to commit wrong just because others do. It is forbidden to target civilians, and likewise it is forbidden to gain the trust of people and then kill them when they are caught unaware.

      Fi Aman Allah,
      J

  34. Bint Abi says:

    I don’t think the blog account was ever his in the first place….forget about being hacked. I never thought it was his blog…I have never been interested in the so called blog of his. I only attribute to him what is confirmed to be his work, this includes his lectures. And never have I heard him speak about questionable things.

    To assume he would lie after as you have stated is kind of really low thinking on your part. No offense my bro. I would not ever assume anything you said was a lie…but I wonder why you would think that way about a brother who authentically has never been attributed to anything wrong. Suspicion toward your Muslim brother is unnecessary especially in the event he has not given you any reason to do so.

    The media can say what they want, and I can make a site about him and say what I want pretending to be him, and I can be an undercover agent pretending to be him….this is nothing that should come to a anyone as a surprise. Unless they have not heard about informants. I mean seriously….informants are pretty much total proof of how far governments will go to get their agenda and purpose fulfilled.

    I do not believe the blog is his, nor will I ever believe it until I hear it from his mouth or confirmed by a reliable source, and this does not include random internet blogs, emails, articles that so-called confirm it. There is Zero evidence the blog is his. Other than the claim by the writer of the blog that it is his.

    For all we know, Anwar Awlaki is in jail/confinement of some sort or unable to respond to allegations. The fact s I have heard very little from Anwar Awlaki from any authentic source in the past several months, other than this crappy blog which I took one look at yesterday and am absolutely CERTAIN he had nothing to do with.

  35. J says:

    Nonsense post.

  36. Haq says:

    Allah says, “Oh You who believe, if a Faasiq comes to you with news, fatabayannu”” in Surah Hujurat. This means “clarify the meaning”, thus the assumption is that what has been said is true. In another recitation it is “Fa tathabbatu” which means actually verify the news before taking it as valid. So to the dear brother who has written this, may I ask you, did you,
    1) First verify that Sh Anwar said this?
    2) Did you then clarify what he meant? (Meaning actually give him a chance to recede the comments IF he did make them?)
    If no, then brother I fear you may have done gheebah of your brother. YES to all those who are going on about condemning violence, you can do that, and even the comments made in this article could have been refuted WITHOUT ascribing it to Sh Anwar before verifying it. I don’t get a good feeling about this hastening to condemn things that happen without due consideration. Remember hastiness is from the Devil. This “good image” business is also resulting in what I saw in a youtube clip once, where a renown sheikh, whom I dearly respect was asked about Bin Ladin, and he went on and on literally “dissing him”, and then when asked about George W Bush he says “he is a human being, he makes errors” and then whoever made the clip wrote down “Merciful with the disbelievers, and harsh against the believers”. Although this may be a bit harsh, it drives the point home well, were we are only reactionaries rushing “to condemn” so that people think good of Islam, and in the process making a mess out of everything.
    And just to clarify, I rarely listen to Sh Anwar, but have heard some of his lectures on the Life of the Prophet and the Rightly guided caliphs, and thus is bothers me that members of the Muslim community are swift at “correcting” each other without bothering to confirm. I also do not know the author of this piece; hence have no personal affiliations to either side.

    Wallahul Musta’aan
    Haq…

  37. amad says:

    Unfortunately, seems my previous comment is stuck in spam somewhere (due to having links). So I’ll post the comments that I left on Omar Mozafar’s blog:

    Q. You believe that blog is Anwar Awlaki’s?

    Yes, I absolutely do. On Fri, Nov 7, 2008, al-Awlaki emailed me via MM contact, to reconcile some of what he perceived as anger on his voting post (related to my comments on it on another blog). Since this was not a public letter, I will not disclose the contents except to see that it was a polite, humble reconciliation type email (I have since forwarded the email to Imam Suhaib as well). However, he clearly acknowledged his own blog and his posts on it. I replied with some naseeha/advice on his growing extreme stances that I collected from different shayookh. No future correspondence took place.

    As far as the retraction of his National Geographic interview, I remember quite well seeing it on his blog, in either a comment by him or a post. Currently, one of his posts is unreachable (server error).

    One thing I am glad about is that the question doesn’t seem to relate to whether al-Awlaki was right or wrong in his celebration of Nidal’s shooting, but whether it’s his post at all. This is a positive note as it implies that the majority disagree with his stance, and the question is related to attribution more than content.

    I reaffirmed this in a response to another comment:

    As I said, based on the contents of the email I received (which I haven’t shared), I have no doubt that Awlaki wrote it (this was before he really started going downhill on terrorism related issues, so there wasn’t much to base a “flag-operation” on).

    I think we Muslims are just too conspiracy-minded… everything is a conspiracy or a flag-operation. Sometimes we should just admit that Muslims can do bad things, Muslims can change, just like any other human beings.

    It would have been easy enough for Al-Awlaki to clarify that he wasn’t the author, if indeed he wasn’t. He has done live video conference events, and is “well-connected”. It would take one phone call to cage prisoners or even a media outlet, and the news would be out. One cannot bring up one’s own example as reflection on how easy it is to impersonate. It is not easy to impersonate a famous person and keep that gig going for too long. I have been an internet junkie for long enough to know that.

    Really, let’s move on past these conspiracy theories. It is not healthy. See how many people are cheering Awlaki… are all those fake Muslims too? The problem exists, even if we want to bury our head and pretend it doesn’t.

    I have no more to add. I’ll let the readers make up their own mind on the truth of the matter.

    • TO AMAD says:

      Guess I should add my points that responded to yours…although I don’t know why you brought yours to this blog..

      #

      You do realize ALL of your so-called correspondence is through email/blogs, the recipient and the person who replied NOT being in any way shape or form confirmed to be him. I cannot believe you overlook such an essential fact.

      Do you know Br. Amad, that I had a person impersonate me online? Do you know how easy it is? I did not have a clue until one of my relatives told me she was receiving emails from me from another account. I found out months later, and I would never have actually found out…it was by chance that she happened to mention it to me. he was just assuming it was me.

      Until you or an authentic source can confirm to have either physically spoken to him, or through something MUCH less ambiguous than EMAIL and BLOGS, I sincerely hope people will use common sense to recognize that we really have no clue where Anwar Awlaki is and what he really believes. EVERYthing I have read on his site absolutely opposes his lectures.

      I have no doubt in my mind that he did not write these posts. NO DOUBT. May Allah swt expose the truth. And perhaps it will not be exposed until he is dead and people realize they never once heard from him directly and all that he was being represented by was blogs/emails and unauthenticated mediums. Nauthubillah.

      It seems to me that his contact info is run by whoever runs the site, and they LOVE for you to interact with him so they can keep watch on various supporters of the site.
      #

      TO AMAD // November 10, 2009 at 8:46 | Reply

      Notice ALL your evidences that it is him are blog posts and emails…I am astounded that you can call that evidence, despite that fact that he has never once attributed the blog to himself. Authubillah. He may not even have access to the internet wherever he is being detained/held/living. Allah knows best.

      And we sit here confidently denouncing him, with ascertaining it is him as if we actually have evidence.

      #

      TO AMAD // November 10, 2009 at 8:48 | Reply

      “No future correspondence took place.”

      I guess whoever runs the site was satisfied that they did not have to worry about you as being one of the extremists they are trying to haul together on the blog. They are clearly trying to attract ONLY extremists, and once it is confirmed that a person is NOT an extremist, they basically don’t care much about the person.

    • TO AMAD says:

      TO AMAD:

      Conspiracy? That’s what people thought when they heard that we thought there were people pretending to be Muslim among us to try and get us in trouble and frame us. Guess what, today it is well-known that these are called informants, and they DO INDEED exist. We have had one who frequented our mosque until he was exposed, and guess what he was, a former criminal.

      I do admit people can change and wholeheartedly believe that, but I have never been given evidence that this was the case with Imam Anwar.

      And I do not consider email or blogs to be reliable AT ALL …ESPECIALLY in the case of big public figures like Imam Anwar. Common sense tells us not to believe all the things we read on the internet, especially when the person THEM SELF in REAL life – has never confirmed the information.

      Muslim Matters and sites such as these, they have directly been attributed to Yasir Qadhi and Yasir Birjas and the like. This I believe to be reliable, BECAUSE I heard it directly from Shaykh Yasir Qadhi’s mouth – a reliable and authentic source.

      The problem of people being attracted to extremist thinking indeed certainly exists…HOWEVER when we attribute the problem to someone without confirming it from, “the horse’s mouth” so to speak , then there is ANOTHER problem being created. And I think it is sad when people would prefer to make a person guilty without confirming it from their mouth – rather than standing for their innocence until they are proven guilty.

      As the saying goes:

      “It is better to let a guilty man go free then to jail the innocent.”

  38. Haq says:

    ” I think we Muslims are just too conspiracy-minded… everything is a conspiracy or a flag-operation”
    You’re entitled to think what you want, but verification and clarification of news is only being prudent, nothing more.

    “It would have been easy enough for Al-Awlaki to clarify that he wasn’t the author, if indeed he wasn’t”

    This still does not remove the onus of verification from our shoulders.

    “Really, let’s move on past these conspiracy theories. It is not healthy”

    True, but again if you wish to imply that verification is somehow being conspiracy minded, I beg to differ.

    Really, I think refutations usually bring more harm than good. I preferred Sh Suhaib’s way of clarifying the Fiqhi stance on this rather than naming and refuting.

    Allah knows best…
    Haq…

  39. J says:

    Will DNA evidence suffice?

  40. @J: The attack was on a military base against soldiers. And I’m not defending his actions (far from it). I personally think he was just a disaffected nut – not a trained covert operative. However covert operations have been a wartime reality throughout history – even in the days of the sahaba (r.a.)

    @Shaybani: What are you talking about man? He’s preaching that Jihad is incumbent on ALL muslims – yet he sits comfortably in Yemen lecturing at Iman university.

    In the real world if you want street cred – you have to get the scars to prove it.

    • J says:

      Zeaun Zarrief,

      “The attack was on a military base against soldiers. And I’m not defending his actions (far from it). I personally think he was just a disaffected nut – not a trained covert operative. However covert operations have been a wartime reality throughout history – even in the days of the sahaba (r.a.)”

      Do not speak out of ignorance. Remain silent. It will be better for you.

      ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab wrote to the commander of an army that he had sent out: “I have heard that some men among you look for kaafirs, then when they run to hide in difficult mountainous terrain they say, ‘Do not be afraid,’ then when they catch up with them they kill them. By the one in whose hand is my soul, if I hear that anyone has done that I will chop off his head.”

      It was narrated that Abu Muslimah said: “ ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab said: ‘By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if any one of you were to point to the sky [i.e., a gesture to imply that he will not harm him] to make a mushrik come down to him and then kill him, I would kill him for that.’”

      I know I’m being harsh, but you are speaking out of ignorance on a very dangerous matter.

      Allah [swt] says very explicitly in the Quran:

      “If they (the Muslims) ask your aid in religion, then you must help them, except against people whom you have covenants with.” (Quran, Surah Al Anfal, 8:72)

      This means that a party of Muslims can be at war with some non-Muslims, and another party of Muslims could be in a covenant of peace with them.

      Please be more careful next time.

      Fi Aman Allah,
      J

      • @J: Ah, a copy/paste sheikh. Nice to meet you.

        I don’t do that, so no pasted references here. Go study for yourself and internalize the knowledge. It will be better for you, both in this life and in what comes after.

        I’m not going to turn this into a debate so I’ll end this line of discussion now. All I will say is: Peace.

  41. TO AMAD says:

    “Will DNA evidence suffice?”

    You are making a mockery, but you know very well that a simple site CLAIMING to be him…ABSOLUTELY does not suffice as evidence. If he claimed it verbally in a video, audio, if he said it to someone reliable that it was his, like to Br. Suhaib or Yasir Qadhi, or Imam Zaid or someone reliable…that would be more than enough.

  42. Anam says:

    Assalamu Alaykum,

    You know….with the amount of articles in BIG TIME newspapers, such as the NYTimes and the Washington Post, to name a couple, that are calling out Anwar Al-Awlaki based off his supposed blog post, you would think that he or people in his circle would have gone out of their way to denounce that posting and those statements as fraudulent and not his….

    I have a hard time believing that after SO much media attention across America is being given to Awlaki and what he said, that he has still not heard a whisper about it, let alone tried to do something about it if it was false.

    Just my two cents.

  43. TO AMAD says:

    TO AMAD:

    You stated about Imam Anwar

    “He has done live video conference events, and is ‘well-connected’. ”

    He is DEFINITELY not well-connected, nor has he done many video conferences. If that were the case…we would have been able to pull up a lot of things…but almost nothing current comes up.

  44. Haq says:

    Seriously J, from accusations that Imam Anwar might realise he went to far, and pretend it was not him that wrote it, to sarcastic comments such as the DNA, you should really give some thought before you write. This post is getting unproductive anyway, im out…

    • J says:

      Alright, I apologize for the snide comments.

      May Allah [swt] forgive us our sins.

      Sorry to both you and Zeaun.

  45. To sr. anam says:

    To sr. Anam:

    How do we even know he is able to respond? The reality is we have heard nothing from him for months…forget about the blog…in real life, what do we have from him? Nothing almost. This should be the first cause of suspicion.

    He has always been so influential with his authenticated works such as his CD sets, and they are sometimes very powerful – without crossing the limits. I KNEW when I first started listening to the Lives of the Prophets CD’s, that a person who is so profound in reiterating the Quran – will for certain be soon harmed. I used to say it and feared for him. I don’t believe a word of what is on the blog – I heard enough of his speeches to say with certainty that it sounds nothing like him…the style, the words, the content, nothing is like what is known from him — AUTHENTICALLY, that is.

    Next point, this is the way the media works, particularly with Muslims, they first defame a person wide-scale, and then when evidence comes out that they are innocent, you will only catch it on the 130pm news or something utterly easy to miss. So of course there is wide-scale-media-coverage until he speaks up, is declared dead, or in jail without a voice to speak.

  46. One says:

    May Allah swt guide us all and forgive all of our sins.

    May Allah swt unite us all toward the truth and for the truth. Ameen.

    “Allahumma Areenal haqqa haqqan warzuqnat tiba’ah, wa areenal baatila, baatilan, warzuqnaj tinaaba.”

    Please make special dua for our Ummah. May Allah swt unite us. May Allah swt give peace to this world through Islam. May Allah swt expose those who invent lies against Islam. May Allah swt make us true callers to justice – justice for all regardless of religion or background. Ameen.

    “Be steadfast in your devotion to God, bearing witness to the truth in all equity, and never let the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: (for) that is closest to piety . . .God has promised forgiveness and a great reward to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness.”

    (The Holy Quran, 5:8-9)

  47. Indiscipline Student says:

    Bismillah was salaatu wa salamu ‘ala rasulillah,

    “You are someone who spends quite a bit of time blogging and lecturing, so there is an obvious question here: where are you fighting? As you know, it is frowned upon us to say what we do not do. So, the question is: who is falling into hypocrisy?”

    I agree with brother Sad that this kind of statement is not respectful. Moreover, we do not know how much is my action being accepted by Allah (SWT), not to along judge others(in my opinion, if he said that then he made a mistake just like we make). Just to give “70” excuses to Sheikh, maybe he wants to join the mujahidin but he does not have financial capability. Allah (SWT) is reminding us that there are group of people who wanted to go for Jihad fe Sabeelillah in the battle of Tabuq but they did not have means to go and they were sad about it. On the same time, hypocrites feared the losing their comfort life since it was middle of summer and facing the Romans (fear of death). The key question in here is where do we stand? Should we fear Allah or should fear the blame of the blamer. If we fear Allah then we may be very easily loss our comfortable life style, on the other hand if we fear the blamer then we can enjoy our comfortable life style. In surah Yusuf, we learned that he feared Allah (SWT) and he ended up going to jail. Are we or our Sheikhs ready to go to jail or evicted from our land just for holding the rope of Allah (SWT)? Of course not, that is the reason we study or listen to so many Islamic lectures so we can convince our self that we are spending time in the path of Allah (SWT). We are preparing our self to be a better Muslim. By doing this, it will only improve individual life but it will not bring any changes to the society. If we want to bring changes in the society then we have to sacrifices our comfort life like sahabas who did in the Maccan period like one of poster stated here.
    We know that in Maccan phase, there is only teaching of “Oneness of Allah” which sahabas preached in spite of being tortured. Today, Islam is completed so we mission has been expanded. Our mission has been to defend Islam as well as spread its “Total” message. Defending Islam also means defending the rights of Muslims all over the world. We defend Islam based on our Iman which prophet (SWAS) stated. If Iman is high then fight with hand, if Iman is low then fight with tong and lowest level of Iman is by hating in the heart. (In my opinion, Imams and Shaykhs should have at least low Iman.)
    Moreover, we as Muslim society need to recognize that we are the cause of our problem whether directly or indirectly. Here is how,
    It is Narrated by ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu). It is found in Sunan Abu Dawud: Book 23,Number 3455 & Saheeh Al-Jaami’ No. 688 & Ahmad Number 4825 & Aboo Umayyah at-Tarsoose in “Musnad ibn ‘Umar” (no. 22) that “When you enter into a transaction, follow the tails of cows, are pleased with agriculture, and give up conducting Jihad fe Sabeelillah, Allah will make disgrace prevail over you, and will not withdraw it until you return to your original Deen (i.e., True Islam).”

    If we don’t solve our self, Allah (SWT) will bring brother or sister like Nidal Hassan and we will continue to have this kind of stimulus discussion all over internet blogs again and again.

    Here is a beautiful article by Rand publication title “building Moderate Muslim Networks” http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG574/

    Please remember us in your prayer.

  48. Sarah Nasir says:

    Assalamu ‘alaikum,

    is this the content of the blog that is supposedly Imam Awlaki’s: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2382467/posts

    I read the article that Imam Webb posted on the top of this page to National Geographic’s interview with Imam Awlaki and then I read the blog, if I have the above link right. And I agree with Imam Webb’s speculation – the language is very different.

    The National Geographic interview sounds like how Imam Awlaki speaks in his lectures- very practically deriving understandings from the Quran & the sunnah and relating it to modern life. And although he draws attention to the injustices in the modern world- both Muslim & nonMuslim that are due to lack of us not following the Quran & sunnah, I have never heard him say outright like the blog says: “The US is leading the war against terrorism which in reality is a war against Islam.” And he gives credit where it is due- to both sides…

    Something doesn’t feel right. And I pray that Allah (swt) debunks the falsehood, reveals the truth and honors the honorable. I feel, we should be cautious in jumping to judgements about anyone, specially one of our ‘Ulama.

    jazakAllahu khairan Sh. Webb for sharing these articles. BarakAllahu feekum.

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