“American vs Muslim: Is there a clash of Identity” by Sheikh Yasir Qadhi


Sheikh Yasir Qadhi answers the mind troubling questions of American Muslim Identity: Can you be a Muslim and be an American at the same time? Is there a clash? Is it permissible for a Muslim to have his/her allegiance to a nation-state. What are you first? An American or a Muslim?

Do Muslims have to live in a Islamic State? Can Muslims live in a Kufr State (non-Islamic or non-Muslim State), use the kufr system to defend themselves in the Kufr State? What is the difference between the concept of Ummah and Qaumiyat (nation or community)?

Muslims residing in the Non-Muslim nation-state, can they be patriotic to their country? Is America a Christian State? What American Muslims should say if some one asks them that why are they in America?

Can American Muslims be loyal to America? Is there a clash of loyalty between Islam and America? Can American Muslims be proud Muslims and patriotic Americans at the same time? And is this permissible in Islam?

This video is beneficial for everyone- Muslims and not Muslims, Americans and not Americans, American Muslims and General Americans, Islamists, Nationalist and what ever “ists” you call yourself.

This video addresses the very important issue out in Public just like the Ulema (Islamic Religious Scholars) in early 1900’s did in South Asia. Indian Ulema went through these kinds of debates, discussion and discourses about being Muslims in the newly found concept of Nation-state.

Disagreement among the Indian Ulema resulted in mainly two groups. 1st group of Ulema supported the unified Indian, where Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi and Abul Kalam Azad were at the forefront. 2nd group of Ulema supported the Pakistan Movement, where Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani, Students of Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanwi are famous names from famous Islamic Seminary Darululoom Deoband, while Mawlana Mawdudi supported Pakistan Movement with caution towards the Muslim League.

Many other groups and movements in Pakistan and Middle East then sprang up around 1950’s that propagated skewed and unorthodox concepts about Shariah and Islamic State, those ideas have affected the thinking of Western Muslims and the Easterners since then.

This is a very good sign the Sheikh Yasir Qadhi came out in public and spoke intellectually on a topic that has been in long discussion for past half century and a very hot topic in online forums.

For more information about Sheikh Yasir Qadhi, click Al Maghrib Institute.

If the video is missing, click here to watch.

21 Comments

Filed under American Muslims, Islam, Video Posts

21 responses to ““American vs Muslim: Is there a clash of Identity” by Sheikh Yasir Qadhi

  1. No, compliance with the true understanding of Islam is completely incompatible with being a good citizen or resident of America or the “western world”. Shariah Law is completely incompatible with being a good citizen or resident of America or the “western world”

    Introduction: Tenets of Shariah Law

    Shariah-Islamic Law is a military political doctrine written 1,200 years ago by Islamic authorities. The believers of Shariah-Islamic Law have created a movement like Apartheid in which a minority oppresses a majority.

    The goal of authoritative Shariah-Islamic Law is to establish a one-world militant political Islam through Jihad. There are three forms of Jihad: Violent, Cultural, and Financial.

    Shariah is not a religion. It was created centuries after the written Koran, Islam’s holy book. Just because a person is Muslim and therefore follows the Islamic faith, it does not necessarily mean he or she supports or chooses to live under Shariah. Many Muslims are brutally oppressed under Shariah-Islamic Law.

    Today, Shariah is the law of the land in Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and parts of Nigeria and Indonesia. It is the ultimate authority among the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hizbullah.

    There is NO freedom of religion, equal rights, children’s rights or freedom of speech under Shariah-Islamic Law. Criticism of Islam or leaving the faith of Islam is a crime punishable by death. Forced child marriages, the beating of disobedient wives, public hanging of gays, and persecution of those who do not believe in Islam (Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, others) are tenets of Shariah law.

    Tenets of Shariah-Islamic Law (From Reliance of The Traveler: The Classic Manual of Sacred Law, the authoritative Sha’afi school compendium of shari’a jurisprudence.)

    Sharia on family law:

    * Women are eligible for only half of the inheritance of men
    * Virgins may be married against their will by a father or grandfather
    * Arab women may not marry non-Arab men
    * Women may not leave the house without a husband’s permission
    * Muslim men may marry 4 women, including Christians and Jews; Muslim women may marry Muslims
    * Men may beat insubordinate wives

    Sharia on Jihad and religion:

    * Offensive war (military Jihad) against non-Muslims is a religious obligation
    * Apostasy from Islam is punishable by death without trial
    * Non-Muslims ruled by Islam must follow including discriminatory “dhimmi” taxes and laws.
    * Non-Muslims may not receive Muslim charity “zakat”, but may be bribed to convert to Islam but
    * Lying to infidels during Jihad, or to promote Islam, is permissible

    Sharia on human rights:

    * Homosexuals and lesbians must be killed
    * Slavery is permitted and legitimate
    * Muslim men have unlimited sexual rights over slave women, even married slaves
    * Female sexual mutilation (cliterectomy) is obligatory
    * Adultery is punished with death by stoning
    * Women’s testimony in court is worth half that of men (and is permitted only in property cases)
    * Non-Muslims may not testify in Shariah courts.

    CREEPING SHARIAH-ISLAMIC LAW

    The Shariah Supremacy movement does not have the goal of hacking off limbs and stoning women in the West. The goal of the Shariah political movement is to have political Islam become an important component of Western life, bringing with it: Shariah courts to maintain patriarchal power in the family structure, censorship of speech and press to eliminate “racism and discrimination” against Islam; control of western economies through investment by dictating “un-Islamic” and “Islamic” industries, and elevating the political importance of Islam far above any other religion.

  2. First, thank you for teaching me about my religion.

    Second, I have nothing to say because everything that you have said has no foundation in Islam.
    You said: “There are three forms of Jihad: Violent, Cultural, and Financial.” You have no evidence of such uninformed statement & I don’t want to go on like this.

    Please check other posts regarding Shariah https://umersultan.wordpress.com/tag/sharia/

    Especially this: http://dawudwalid.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/what-is-shariah/

    What you need to do is get yourself educated about Islam from authentic sources rather than the Islamophobes!

  3. @umersultan There is no error in what was posted. All of it is completely accurate and comes directly from accepted authentic Islamic scholars, just not from Islamic Apologists that are obeying their religion through Taqiyya. When Osama bin Laden says Islam will dominate the world and that all is justified by the Qu’ran, Hadith, Sunnah/Sunnat and Islamic Apologists say Islam is a religion of peace, it is bin Laden who is being truthful.

    And before you find it necessary to start quoting the Qu’ran about its peaceful Suras, they are subject to abrogation.

    It is because Christians, and many Muslims, do not understand this doctrine of abrogation coupled with the nonchronological order of the Quran that they do not understand what is going on in the Islamic world at this time. On the one hand, many Islamic leaders will claim that their religion is a peaceful one, and quote passages from the Quran to prove it. On the other hand, other Islamic leaders will call for terrorism and jihad and base their call on the same Quran. Most of us would view this a simple matter of how the Quran is interpreted, but such is not the case. The peaceful passages within the Quran are found in the early days of Muhammad’s recitations, during a time when he felt that his new religion would be a unifying factor among “People of the Book” (Jews, Christians and Muslims). When his doctrine was ultimately rejected by Jews and Christians he turned on them and “was given” new “revelations” of war and hate to replace the former ones of peace. The surahs, which teach jihad against Jews, Christians and unbelievers, are all found in the later time frame of the Quran. Passages of a later date include 2:190-193,216; 4:74,89,91,95,101-102; 5:33,51; 8:12,39,60,65,67,69; 9:5,29,30,73; 47:4; 59:2-4,5,14 and 61:4. While such passages are scattered throughout the Quran, they are all chronologically of later origin and have, according to the doctrine of abrogation, replaced the former teachings on peace.

    • Bin Laden is not a Islamic Scholar, your statement tells me much about you.

      May God Guide you!

    • I understand well about what Abrogation is but it is certainly not the way you have understood.

      If you are interested to have a basic understanding of this topic read this:

      “Ulum Al-Quran: An Introduction to the Sciences of the Quran” by Ahmad Von Denffer

  4. No bin Laden is not a scholar at all. Nor did I imply he is. Rather when he states “Islam will dominate the world and that all is justified by the Qu’ran, Hadith, Sunnah/Sunnat ” he is correctly stating the correct understanding of Islam.

    I have a correct understanding of Abrogation, but will attempt to find a copy of the book you recommend to determine its accuracy on this subject.

    Are you aware of any online links for a free copy? I doubt my local library would have a copy.

    • I read this book from the Local Library, you should be able to get it through WorldCat Library Loan.

      Christians believes in Christianity Dominating the world too!

      I don’t see the problem with the word “Domination.” If people want to believe in something without compulsion then what is the problem.

      As far as Abrogation is concerned it is not based on the time line of the verse. It is based on the occasion the verse is revealed. Islam is not based on the last revealed verses! Each verse was revealed on a specific occasion and it has to be interpreted keeping that in mind and thus it is the job of the people who have dedicated their lives to Islam.

      Bin Laden can use the verses as he wish, he will be answerable to God just like every other human being will be. Just like Christian Terrorist may bomb the Abortion Clinics and target and kill the Doctors by justifying their act from the Holy Bible, but at the end they will be answerable to God. Jesus & Muhammad, peace be upon them, are free from the insanity of these Nuts.

      • No, Christians do not believe in Christianity dominating the world. In fact, it is is the opposite. Christians believe there will be opposition and false doctrines of the adversary throughout the world until the second coming of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

        And, contrary to the Sura that states there is no compulsion in religion, that Mohammad replaced through abrogation, Islam does compel.

        We both know the Suras and Hadith that specifically tells to subjugate all who do not accept Islam, kill those who fight this subjugation, that all who apostatize and speak out against Islam are to be killed, etc etc.

        But, you are correct, those nuts that bomb abortion clinics as well as those who do the abortions, will face the judgment of God. All who kill will.

        There is a big difference though. These abortion terrorists are in complete contradiction of the Christian Bible. The Islamic terrorists are in fact complying with the teachings of the Qu’ran and Mohammad. Both will come before God and Jesus to be judged.

      • See this is what you say but these Christian Terrorists who bomb Abortion clinics do it based on Bible and so did the KKK lynched every Black man and woman, burned their churches down in the name of Bible.

        Please don’t teach me about the world history, I have studied. No one can turn the face by saying the massacre of Jews and Muslims in Jerusalem was not committed by Crusaders in the name of Christ. What British and other European Colonialist did to the world under the name of “White Man’s Burden” was all in the name of Christ.

        The difference is, Muslims in general understand the difference between what Jesus peace be upon him taught and the Christians who have committed crimes against Humanity. No one can deny the Inquisition was not done in the name of Christ, forcible converting Jews and Muslims, or expelling or killing them in Spanish, while the Muslim Spain encouraged the Christians and Jewish scholars to come contribute to Al-Andulus. Ever heard of Maimonide? You might want to read into his life.

        Christians started believing in “Christianity dominating the world” since Christianity became the official religion of Rome by Constantine. Christian Missionaries accompanied all the Colonialist to “civilize” the savages of the Africa, Asia, Latin America, “New World” called North America, China, South-East Asia. The difference is we Muslims don’t go about targetting and associating lies to Jesus Christ for crimes committed by the Christians.

        Make sure you go through the links I posted. In time, God-Willing you may realize that the world is very different from what you have come to know!
        May God guide us all, Ameen.

  5. Zayn

    People have grossly taken the ayahs’ meaning out of content. I suggest you do not just quote verses without reading the surrounding verses. Context clues seem to disappear when people interpret the Quran.

    Everyone will be judged according to intentions, whether they be Muslim or Christian or Jew. No one has the right to judge another, or to criticize beliefs without any factual evidence.

    Islam is a religion of peace, and will remain so until the end of time. Those who use violence and claim it is “Islamic” are not to be called Muslims.

    • “Those who use violence and claim it is “Islamic” are not to be called Muslims.”

      I would disagree with this statement. How can we say they are Not Muslims? A Muslim is a person who believes in the message revealed to Muhammad, peace be upon him. So unless one crosses the boundary laid down in Islam, one cannot be labelled “Not Muslim!” This is a very serious thing.

      They are Muslims, but they are misguided! Thats what we should say!

  6. No, there is nothing what so ever in the Bible that permits Terrorists to bomb Abortion clinics not the wicked KKK to kill anyone or burn a church.

    As for The Crusades:

    Muslims love talking about the Crusades… and Christians love apologizing for them. To hear both parties tell the story, one would believe that Muslims were just peacefully minding their own business in lands that were legitimately Muslim when Christian armies decided to wage holy war and “kill millions.”

    The Truth:

    Every part of this myth is a lie. By the rules that Muslims claim for themselves, the Crusades were perfectly justified, and the excesses (though beneath Christian standards) pale in comparison with the historical treatment of conquered populations at the hands of Muslims.

    Here are some quick facts…

    The first Crusade began in 1095… 460 years after the first Christian city was overrun by Muslim armies, 457 years after Jerusalem was conquered by Muslim armies, 453 years after Egypt was taken by Muslim armies, 443 after Muslims first plundered Italy, 427 years after Muslim armies first laid siege to the Christian capital of Constantinople, 380 years after Spain was conquered by Muslim armies, 363 years after France was first attacked by Muslim armies, 249 years after Rome itself was sacked by a Muslim army, and only after centuries of church burnings, killings, enslavement and forced conversions of Christians.

    By the time the Crusades finally began, Muslim armies had conquered two-thirds of the Christian world.

    Europe had been harassed by Muslims since the first few years following Muhammad’s death. As early as 652, Muhammad’s followers launched raids on the island of Sicily, waging a full-scale occupation 200 years later that lasted almost a century and was punctuated by massacres, such as that at the town of Castrogiovanni, in which 8,000 Christians were put to death. In 1084, ten years before the first crusade, Muslims staged another devastating Sicilian raid, burning churches in Reggio, enslaving monks and raping an abbey of nuns before carrying them into captivity.

    In 1095, Byzantine Emperor, Alexius I Comneus began begging the pope in Rome for help in turning back the Muslim armies which were overrunning what is now Turkey, grabbing property as they went and turning churches into mosques. Several hundred thousand Christians had been killed in Anatolia alone in the decades following 1050 by Seljuk invaders interested in ‘converting’ the survivors to Islam.

    Not only were Christians losing their lives in their own lands to the Muslim advance but pilgrims to the Holy Land from other parts of Europe were being harassed, kidnapped, molested, forcibly converted to Islam and occasionally murdered. (Compare this to Islam’s justification for slaughter on the basis of Muslims being denied access to the Meccan pilgrimage in Muhammad’s time).

    The Crusaders only invaded lands that were Christian. They did not attack Saudi Arabia (other than a half-hearted expedition by a minor figure) or sack Mecca as the Muslims had done (and continued doing) to Italy and Constantinople. Their primary goal was the recapture of Jerusalem and the security of safe passage for pilgrims. The toppling of the Muslim empire was not on the agenda.

    The period of Crusader “occupation” (of its own former land) was stretched over less than two centuries. (The Arab occupation is in its 1,380th year).

    Despite popular depiction, the Crusades were not a titanic battle between Christianity and Islam. Although originally dispatched by papal decree, the “occupiers” quickly became part of the political and economic fabric of the Middle East without much regard for religious differences. Their arrival was largely accepted by the local population as simply another change in authority. Muslim radicals even lamented the fact that many of their co-religionists preferred to live under Frankish (Christian) rule than migrate to Muslim lands.

    The Islamic world was split into warring factions, many of which allied themselves with the Frankish princes against each other at one time or another. This even included Saladin, the Kurdish warrior who is credited with eventually ousting the “Crusaders.” Contrary to recent propaganda, however, Saladin had little interest in holy war until a rogue Frankish prince began disrupting his trade routes. Both before and after the taking of Jerusalem, his armies spent far more time and resources battling fellow Muslims.

    For its part, the Byzantine (Eastern Christian) Empire preferred to have little to do with the Crusaders and went so far as to sign treaties with their rivals.

    Another misconception is that the Crusader era was a time of constant war. In fact, very little of this overall period included significant hostilities. In response to Muslim expansion or aggression, there were only about 20 years of actual military campaigning, much of which was spent on organization and travel. (They were from 1098-1099, 1146-1148, 1188-1192, 1201-1204, 1218-1221, 1228-1229, and 1248-1250). By comparison, the Muslim Jihad against the island of Sicily alone lasted 75 grinding years.

    Unlike Jihad, the Crusades were never justified on the basis of New Testament teachings. This is why they are an anomaly, the brief interruption of centuries of relentless Jihad against Christianity that began long before the Crusades and continued well after they were over.

    The greatest crime of the Crusaders was the sacking of Jerusalem, in which 30,000 people were said to have been massacred. This number is dwarfed by the number of Jihad victims, from India to Constantinople, Africa and Narbonne, but Muslims have never apologized for their crimes and never will.

    What is called ‘sin and excess’ by other religions, is what Islam refers to as the will of Allah.

    Yes, I am aware of the Inquisition and Maimonide. And, yes there were errors made. Again, these were done in direct opposition to the Bible. There is no support for the excesses of the Inquisition in the Bible.

    As for colonialist taking Christian missionaries with them, that makes perfect sense. The great commission is for all Christians to teach the truth to all who do not know it, about the nature of the One True God and His Son Jesus Christ. It is what I am doing this exact moment and what every true Christian should be doing, sharing the news of salvation and eternal life with all who do not know these truths.

    We do agree on correcting Zayn regarding that he/she who identifies themself as Muslim are Muslim. And I most definately agree that those practicing jihad/stealth or silent jihad or any violence are misguided, BUT they are not misunderstanding Islam, the Qu’ran or the sayings and behaviors of Mohammad.

    • If Crusaders were following the Bible or were so justifies then why they sacked Constantinople and put a whore on the pulpit of the Orthodox Church.

      You should read: “Two Faiths One Banner” by Ian Almond the Holy War of Catholicism will get into perspective.

      So you say that KKK was not following Bible and the Inquisition was not following Bible, but thats interesting because they were citing Biblical verses as well, or other time its interpretation. So does those Evangelical Terrorist do when bombing Abortion clinics.

      Any way, you should study more into the verses that “preach violence” in the Holy Quran, when they were revealed & what occasion were they revealed and what Authentic Islamic Scholars say about these verses.

      Regarding Extremism and Terrorism read this: “Islamic Awakening between Rejection and Extremism” by Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Online read here: http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/Q_RE/index.htm

  7. @Paul Marcel-Rene:
    Learn your facts from a law professor (working at Boston College Law School and at Harvard) who teaches American law AND Islamic law.
    Lay off the Fox news.
    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/03/rabb_interview.html

    • I would be willing to teach this professor so that he can correctly teach his students. Just because his positions are great, does not mean he is correct. When I attended college, many professors had serious errors in subjects being taught. When I taught college classes, the correct information was taught.

      As for Fox News, I’m much more likely to be watching Al-Jazzeria, than Fox. Of course, I have a correct understanding to filter the propaganda of any “news” from any source. Stealth Jihad fails to deceive some of us.

  8. Yes, it was. I mistyped on my smart phone. The point is the same regardless of the gender. But, thank you for pointing out the error. I also spelled Al-Jazeera, due to my phone’s auto correct feature. You didn’t catch that error.

    • @Paul,
      You cannot ignore the fact that many Muslims do not feel compelled into these practices you have stated (none of which have foundation in Quran or Sunnah, but rather twisted cultural practices!). Many Muslims who are American do not find contradiction in these two identities. You cannot just ignore reality. I will share with you my own blog where I, a practicing AMERICAN MUSLIM, have found nothing but an amazing balance between my faith and nationality: http://mahamuslimah.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/american-first-muslim-first-no-contradiction/

      Paul, you have made many statements that have no basis in Islamic teaching (i.e. genital mutilations (!?), women traveling without permission, requirement of violent jihad, not giving zakaat to non-Muslims (!?), forbidding Arab women to marry non-Arabs (!?), forced marriages, rape of slaves, and so on). These are cultural practices, and have NO foundation in Quranic teaching. Many of these conditions were already present in the historical context of the prophet. I am sure you know that Islam did NOT invent, implement nor encourage slavery! The same goes for polygamy! Islam did not invent, implement nor encourage polygamy! In fact, it made a limit to the polygamous abuse AND is the only religion that says ‘only have one spouse if you cannot be fair” and it goes on to state “no, you can never be fair”. In fact, there is much evidence in Quran that expresses Allah’s disgust with oppression and the enslavement of other human beings–Muslim or non; enslaved or free.

      As a convert who has learned Islam from its sources (Quran and Sunnah), I am appalled and disgusted that some so-called “Islamic nations” oppress their people in the ways they do.

      Shariah, for regular-ol’ Muslims (not those with agendas), means “the way” and includes “the ways” in which we perform ablution, pray, fast, pay zakaat. It has more to do with lifestyle than some kind of doctrine that governs the land. I do not even find basis in Quran that encourages Muslims to “dominate” the world. We are encouraged to teach others about Islam, but definitely not force anyone! Anything done under compulsion–by force–does not even count as legitimate (this includes forced conversion, forced marriage, etc) In Quran, there is encouragement to live in a society peacefully with others of diverse beliefs. Read Surah al-kafirun (“Say to those who reject faith, I do not worship what you worship. You do not worship what I worship. And I shall not worship what you worship and you shall not worship what I worship. Unto you is your religion, Unto me is my religion”). This surah recognizes religious diversity and a requirement for Muslims to deal in the BEST manner with others despite their beliefs!

      Even you mentioned that:
      “Shariah is not a religion. It was created centuries after the written Koran, Islam’s holy book. Just because a person is Muslim and therefore follows the Islamic faith, it does not necessarily mean he or she supports or chooses to live under Shariah. Many Muslims are brutally oppressed under Shariah-Islamic Law.”

      Shariah–as a legal system–is an invention to Islam. And I would agree, some Muslims AND non-Muslims are brutally oppressed under so called “Islamic law”. And this is disgusting to me and other Muslims who truly believe in the mercy of God, read Quran, practice Islam. In no way is oppression and hatred toward any individual OK (whether Muslim or non-Muslim)!

      It doesn’t even bother me that you say the things you have said. Mainly because I have studied Quran and know there is no foundation nor tolerance for this within the religion. And I am SURE you have not taken time to read Quran from cover to cover. Have you read sunnah (the life of the prophet? How about his teachings? And the ways in which he spoke to and treated his wives? I am sure you have not sat down to talk to a brother or sister and ASK them how THEY feel about these atrocities going on around the world! I have never met a Muslim who has even sympathized with the abuse of these screwed up governments! I am not talking about American Muslims, American converts! I am talking about individuals from the Middle East who recognize the corruption in their government. Corruption of power and religion, Paul.

      I honestly, honestly encourage you to read Quran. More so, I encourage you to go to library and find unbiased sources regarding the prophet’s life.

  9. My friend, I have read the Qu’ran. I have spoken with many Muslims from around the world, both converts and “born” Muslim. I have read the life of Mohammad and all that he spoke. I have studied extensively the historical context of the Qu’ran and the culture to which Islam began. Perhaps your intentions are pure, but this does not change the facts. You still have much to learn about Islam before you will truly understand its true nature and the true theology behind it. May this process of discovering the truth be short and painless.

    • With your knowledge of “truth”, how is it that you manage to have so many unfounded statement in your posts? Do not patronize me.

    • Paul, you haven’t cited a single source of your claims, and I think that sums up how much well informed you are about Islam and Muslims.

      You should be bold enough to cite the books and authors from whom you have gained these very wonderful insight of Islam that has no bases in the Quran or the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him.

      In your next comment please do so!

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