Setting the Record Straight Part One: I Lied About Sh. Bin Bazz (Allah have Mercy Upon Him) by Suhaib Webb
Of late there has been a few of folks who claim I lied about the esteemed scholar, Sh. Bin Bazz (God shower him with blessings) regarding his fatwa that permits a man to come to the west and marry with the intention of divorce. I tend not to respond to these kinds of things, but one website in particular has become vicious in its accusations. Below is a copy of his fatwa with a link to the page in Arabic. May Allah make us sincere and bless us to act with ethics.
Translation of the Fatwa
Marriage with the Intention of Divorce
I heard that you issued a fatwa (religious edict) that permits a man to marry in western countries with the intention of divorce after some time – at the time he completes his studies or research. What is the difference between that and mut’a? What happens if the women gives birth? Should he leave the child there with its mother? Please clarify.
“Yes! A fatwa was issued by the fatwa council that I am president over that allows divorce if the intention is kept between the man and his Lord (Meaning: he did not state it at the time of marriage). If a man marries in a western country and his intention is to divorce after he completes his studies, or if he is employed there for sometime and other such circumstances, then there is no harm, according to the majority of the scholars. That intention must remain between him and his lord (he should not utter it at the time of marriage) and he does not make it a condition (at the time of marriage).
The different between this and muta’ is that muta’ has a condition (stated or written at the time of marriage) that stipulates a known term such as a month, two months, a year or two years. Thus, when the conditioned time is up, the marriage is annulled. And that is mut’a that is considered false (according to the Sunnis).
However, if he marries according to the way prescribed by Allah and his Messenger (sa); but in his heart (he has the intention) that once he has completed his time in that country he will divorce her, then there is no harm in that and he could change his intention (he may opt to stay with her). This (is acceptable) if it is not known or (he makes it) a condition (in the contract), but is between him and his lord, then there is no harm.
This is a way for him to remain chaste and preserve his fidelity. This is the ruling of the majority of the scholars and was mentioned by the writer of al-Mughni, Muwafiq al-Din bin Qudāma (God have Mercy upon him).”
Link to the Sheikh’s Page and Actual Fatwa in Arabic
Here is a link to the fatwa from the a page that claims to represent the Sheikh. I have provided the Arabic below in case this link is changed, broken or deleted.
والفرق بينه وبين المتعة : أن نكاح المتعة يكون فيه شرط مدة معلومة كشهر أو شهرين أو سنة أو سنتين ونحو ذلك ، فإذا انقضت المدة المذكورة انفسخ النكاح ، هذا هو نكاح المتعة الباطل ، أما كونه تزوجها على سنة الله ورسوله ولكن في قلبه أنه متى انتهى من البلد سوف يطلقها ، فهذا لا يضره وهذه النية قد تتغير وليست معلومة وليست شرطا بل هي بينه وبين الله فلا يضره ذلك ، وهذا من أسباب عفته عن الزنى والفواحش ، وهذا قول جمهور أهل العلم ، حكاه عنهم صاحب المغني موفق الدين ابن قدامة رحمه الله .
Let me state that I do not agree with the sheikh’s opinion (God have mercy upon him). It was this fatwa that I was referencing in my Friday sermon
I was told by some sincere friends that the Sheikh (God have mercy upon him changed his opinion) and that I had made a mistake claiming he allowed it for citizenship and that I was wrong. For that reason, the following. Friday I noted that publicly and distanced the sheikh from my mistake. However, this fatwa is still found on his website, and it is extremely problematic
As time permits, I will answer the accusations thrown at me by some and things will be clear for those who seek the truth
The Oklahoma Beheading
As the horrid details of murder trickle from Oklahoma, I awoke today shocked to hear that FoxNews and other hate groups are trying to tie me to the criminal. Outside of poor journalism, a quick glance at their timeline reveals that this is simply impossible. I left Oklahoma in 2001 and never met the murderer. There is really not much more to say on that except that FOX and other “News” outlets are only damaging their credibility by reporting it.
Anwar and The FundRaiser
Another exercise in desperation comes from the likes of Charles Jacobs. Mr. Jacobs has a history of fanning the flames of Islamophobia, almost to the point of compulsion. One of his claims is that I did a fundraiser with Anwar al-Awlaki on September 9th, 2001. That is certainly true. But Mr. Jacobs makes it sound like we were in a cave somewhere plotting to overthrow the world. In reality, it was a public event attended by more than 500 people. History shows that this was at a time when, at least to our knowledge, Imam Anwar was a mainstream teacher who advocated voting and participation in public life. I would certainly not speak with the later Anwar or agree with his positions on anything. That being said, here is a list of attendees that evening that will clarify the attempts and intentions of Mr. Jacobs:
1. Sh. Hamza Yusuf
2. A California Rep. (I cannot remember who)
4. Dr. Maher Hathout
5. A host of Interfaith leaders and Student Organizations
In short, this is an attempt to paint reality through the lens of hatred and bigotry. I unconditionally denounce the teachings of the later Anwar, teachings that upset us all and caused so much pain. There is no room for murder in today’s world.
Another fictitious report is that I was “booted” by Governor Deval Patrick at the Boston Bombing service. While I was replaced, I was informed of it the night before and asked to be a special guest of the Governor. Throughout his term, Governor Patrick has shown great affection to the Muslim community in Boston, and we continue to work on a set of issues that are important to our state and communities.
The Boston Bombing
In another irresponsible report, FOXNEWs and others claim that the bombers attended the mosque I currently serve the ISBCC. In fact, the mosque that they attended was the ISB, not the ISBCC.
Reporting news is a trust between society and power. When news outlets refuse to look into the facts and report whatever the feel like reporting, serious questions about their journalistic integrity must be raised.
In a world filled by hate, FOX has served up a large plate of lies and irresponsible reporting, spiced with bigotry and hatred.
“Accountability is a lighthouse when the fog of life sets in.”
These days are hard. From Gaza, Ferguson and ISIS, it is difficult to have insight into where the world is today. That question is important. But of more importance is asking where it is now. After all, the answer to that question, is the answer to the first one. However, there are times when the fog of the future blinds us from seeing the demands of today.
I woke up the other day and decided to skim through my body of work over the last few years. Boy was I surprised at some of my posts and talks – the tone and the demonization of others – I compared ISIS to Ebola.
While I don’t agree with ISIS, al-Qāida, certain progressives and others, I ‘ve decided to apologize to anyone that I have spoken ill towards or demonized. I ask Allah to forgive me and to guide me to observe better character in the future. I asked myself, “Suhaib did you forget the 49th chapter of the Qur’an, Surah al-Hujurāt?”
Moving forward, I promise myself to address ideas instead of people, to be critical of thoughts instead of personalities and commit to ethics as best I can. That will create a better climate to unpack and examine current trends in our community, but ensure that I recognize other’s humanity and worth. Sometimes, I find myself forgetting humility, blinded by my own shine. Please, Allah, forgive me and raise me by making me humble!
Once a scholar requested another scholar for a debate. The latter responded:
“I will agree under the following conditions:
1. Our aim is the truth not our ambitions
2. We do not make fun of each other or label each other with evil nicknames
3. We address ideas and not each other
4. We do not laugh at, or cause others, to laugh at us
5. We do not try and evoke anger in each other
6. If we say something that offends the other party, we assume the best. If our assumption grows, we ask for clarification
7. We maintain our humanity
8. We do not address others while debating
9. We begin and end with salam
10. If we assume the other person has said something outside of orthodoxy, we assume the best about them until we have clarification
If you agree to that, I will debate you.”
I’ve noticed a trend in our communities to demonize those we don’t agree. I understand the need to distance ourselves from some personalities and groups, but demonizing them could have the opposite effect – it could create sympathy to their cause. God knows why that happens, but sincerity exists in ethics and unpacking ideas. Not dressing down others.
Once Imām Shāfi’i and his student got in a heated argument. Such, that the student stood up and stomped off in anger. Imam al-Shar’i ran after him and said something that we should all ponder:
“Don’t forget our brotherhood!”
I ask Allah (swt) to bless me and protect me from my evil. I ask him to give me insight in foggy times and to forgive me for demonizing others.