By now everyone should have heard about the appalling spectacle that took place at Detroit’s Cobo Area last Friday afternoon. That’s where Imam Siraj Wahhaj and his MANA cohorts (Muslim Alliance of North America) performed what they called “Salatul Jumah” under the auspices of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, in celebration of their annual “Savior’s Day” convention (promoted on their website). Of course we all remember what that is; a grand birthday party for their god-in-person, Fard Muhammad (We seek refuge in Allah). Who could ever imagine that the affairs of American Muslims would fall to such a low level?
By any standard, the affair was an affront to the Islamic creed (aqeedah), made all the more outrageous by MANA’s pretentious claims of adhering to the methodology of “Ahl Sunna wa Jamaah” (as posted on their website), or in other words, the intellectual tradition founded upon the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) and his immediate successors. In this article we would like to clarify at least some of issues involved in this gravefitnah and in so doing emphatically disavow Ahl Sunna wa Jamaah of any relationship to it.
In the simplest terms, an Imam stands in the stead of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) and is responsible before Allah for making the message of Islamic monotheism (tawheed) clear to the people, so as to distinguish it from falsehood. The charade that took place in Detroit not only confused and distorted the message, but empowered the advocates of falsehood. By adopting a disingenuous, wrong-headed strategy of feigning a kind of “Muslim Unity” with the N.O.I – i.e., making salat (congregational prayer) with them and essentially pretending to enjoy fellowship with”Muslim brothers and sisters” (when we all know of course that they’re kuffar and mushrikeen), Siraj Wahhaj and MANA have weakened the hand of all the Islamic workers and teachers who’ve struggled for years to steer people away from the N.O.I’s snare of falsehood. For the cost incurred to lease the Cobo Area Farrakhan got what he would have gladly paid 10 million dollars for: legitimacy.
Whatever loss in reputation and credibility Siraj Wahhaj and MANA will incur as a result of this pathetic and intellectually bankrupt example of “Islamic Leadership”, is directly proportional to the increased stature Farrakhan will gain in the eyes of his mis-guided followers and ignorant Muslims. For over twenty years this malignancy called Farrakhan has tried to impress the public that he and his organization are merely a sectwithin Islam, no more or no less valid than any other Muslim group. The one impediment to this subterfuge however has been the Muslim community’s determination to impose upon them a powerful, negative stigma. Successfully accomplished through speeches, sermons, writings, and a refusal to share the stage with them, the truth was made plain from falsehood.
Ironically enough, it was Imam Siraj Wahhaj himself who helped sustain this stigma when in the early 90’s he toured the country delivering a lecture entitled, “Elijah Muhammad, a Trial for Muslims” in which he spelled out in no uncertain terms the differences between the religion of Islam and the N.O.I. To his credit he refused to participate in the Million Man March on the same principled grounds. And despite the warnings issued by him and other Imams, there were still to be found many kufis, thobes, hijabs, and turbans piercing through the crowds that October day, 1995.
Sadly, all that is history now. Because of this so-called Jumaah prayer with the N.O.I, the Muslims will now have to face charges of “dividing the Muslims” whenever we attempt to give da’wah to those people. “The Muslims are in unity” they will cry. “How can we be misguided when your big time Imam prayed with us“? Thank you, Siraj. Thank you very much. If Siraj Wahhaj and MANA had any shame they would repent and publicly apologize to the Muslims for the damage that they have inflicted.