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The Misguided Ikhwani Shadeed Muhammad: Part 8 - The History of African American Personality Worship, Tawhid and Walaa and Baraa
Filed under: General
Friday, October 06 2017 - by Abu.Iyaad
Key topics: Shadeed Muhammad

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In a series of tweets in May 2013 Shadeed Muhammad highlighted a tendency among African Americans (of Christian backgrounds) towards personality worship in the form of saviours who may be treated as divine beings with hope placed in them that they will deliver the African American from his woes and ills.

There are four stages mentioned by Shadeed of which the first three are the following:

  1. Black African American Christians worshipping Jesus (alayhis salaam).
  2. Then, moving from that to the worship of Elijah Muhammad upon the doctrine that he was Allaah and came to deliver the black people. He makes a reference to Malcolm X being killed for moving away from this false religion.
  3. Then the move (from the Nation) into "Sunni Islam" which still retained its personality worship and consideration of da'ees and imams as divine beings sent to deliver black people. He is speaking about the era of the WD community and beyond.

This is interesting as it provides us with a trajectory for Shadeed Muhammad himself. He is telling us where his roots lie and where he is coming from to the point at which his trajectory meets the crossroad where he experiences Salafiyyah. Shadeed thought that he could achieve celebrity status in Salafiyyah, ignoring the fact that Salafiyyah is about teaching Tawhid and calling to beneficial knowledge and righteous actions, whilst upholding the truth and shunning falsehood in all its forms, and to make rectification and unity to be centred around this call and this call alone and not along the lines of race, ethnicity or socio-political grievances and worldly injustices which are symptoms with deeper underlying causes that need to be looked at in a particular, special way, in accordance with al-qadaa al-kawni and al-qadaa al-shar'iyy.

Due to these experiences and tendencies Shadeed highlighted about the African American mind (of the inclination towards personality worship and anticipation of a saviour figure and some sort of intervention in the form a divine agent), he has wrongly projected this same mentality onto Salafis, claiming that they are guilty of "personality worship".

Shadeed has turned to ethnocentrism and racialisation of his da'wah. Within the continuing climate of racism, injustices and brutality against blacks in America, Shadeed has found fertile ground and an attentive audience who is ready to listen to him addressing these issues. This has provided Shadeed the opportunity to recast important principles of the religion in light of this past baggage, this trajectory that Shadeed has come from. As such, taking the advice, direction and guidance of scholars and following them according to how the Shariah has dictated that they be followed is now presented by Shadeed as mere "personality worship" concealed under the slogan of "following the scholars". Shadeed tries to present this as another manifestation of the subjugation of the mind of the African American and other blacks.

At the same time, there are clear statements of disrespect and disdain of certain scholars in some cases, and hints at scholars more generally in other cases. This can be found with this group of Shadeed, Muhammad Munir and company. Muhammad Munir accuses Salafis of "worshipping certain scholars" and "putting them on a level only Allaah knows of what they put them on" (see article). Shadeed disdains them, and the ahmaq Battle claims they are part of the problem of their destruction.

So what we are seeing then is that Shadeed is projecting that tendency towards shirk (worship of individuals granted divine status) among this group (with a Christian/Nation/WD background) onto what are important sound principles of Islam and making it look as if "following the scholars" is simply another manifestation of the three previous trends of personality worship found in the trajectory of the black African Americans whom Shadeed speaks of.

Despite this, we can see at the same time that Shadeed Muhammad is perpetuating the very avenues of personality worship that he tries to accuse Salafis of.

What is really taking place is that these individuals are tapping into that tendency (of erecting figures for worship) among Black African Americans by presenting themselves as "imams", "sheikhs", "deliverers", "saviours", "rescuers" and at the same time defaming, criticising, and warning from the actual scholars of Tawhid and Sunnah after blaming them for all the ills and woes in their communities. Upon this, they present "following the scholars" as shirk and as for their own activities of self-promotion and marketing themselves as celebrities, then this is deliverance, rebuilding and affirmative action.

We shall explore this in this article with some evidences:

ONE: Shadeed Muhammad's reference to himself as an "imam". This is a frequent and consistent feature in his social media writings. An "imam" can be one who merely leads the prayer, or one who is a leader in the wider sense. Shadeed intends this meaning. It is not restricted just to leading the prayer on account of other evidences, indicators and pointers (see below). Rather, it is intended in the sense of a scholar, leader, guide, mentor and so on. Now on its own, you could let this pass and not really fault it. This is because to the common folk, an imam of a mosque is one who also guides, leads and mentors the community, no doubt. But the problem is that the issue goes beyond this in light of other evidences presented below. One must remember that the communities he is addressing are those with a history of personality worship (according to Shadeed's own words) and which see the "imams" of their masjids as more than individuals who merely lead the prayer. Rather, as saviour figures.

As People of Tawhid and Sunnah, we only refer to aged scholars as "Imams" and specifically those whose leadership in religion is recognised by other major scholars. Thus, we say, Imaam Ibn Baz, Imam al-Albani and so on. This is because their leadership in religion, their firmness, their benefit to the ummah and their suffering harm and abuse in the face of calling to and defending the truth, all of this has been established over many decades and has become famous, well-known and acknowledged by large numbers of people. So they deserve the "Imam" label and the "Imam" label retains its loftiness.

By presenting himself in this way as "imam" (and as a "sheikh", "alpha-male", a book-signing celebrity as shown below), Shadeed perpetuates the causes and reasons of that very personality worship he is accusing Salafis of. Among the Salafis you do not see the use of this label of "Imam" in that manner and if it is used, it is clearly understood as an imam that leads the prayer and nothing more.

TWO: Shadeed's reference to himself as "sheikh". The word "sheikh" implies a recognised scholarly status. Shadeed self-markets himself as "Sheikh Shadeed Muhammad" often in his social media activities. Now if one among the Salafi callers or students of knowledge was to do that, you can be assured that there would be tremendous commotion. It would be treated as "cultism" and treated as calling to "personality worship" and so on. However, the Salafis are free of this. And this also indicates the double-standards and contradiction of those criminals who try to present the Salafis as a cult, when all the cult characteristics and calls to personality worship are actually found with the likes of Shadeed Muhammad. Note also how the term "mufti" is being applied to members of this group, such as Munir and Tahir Wyatt.

THREE: Shadeed promotes celebrityship through things like book signings and social events (which often demand entrance fees). These are affairs that Salafis are free of, yet despite this, there are criminals who accuse Salafis of being a "cult" led by "cult leaders". However, all the signs and manifestations of erecting "cult leadership" and calling to personality worship are actually found with these people, the likes of Shadeed Muhammad. And to an audience that the likes of Shadeed assert that they have a tendency to fall into personality worship. Shadeed is clearly not helping the situation.

FOUR: Shadeed identifies himself as an "alpha-male", a leader of the pack. In previous articles we criticised Shadeed's use of this degrading label for the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and he has not recanted from that, but arrogantly persisted in it (see here). This whole notion of alpha-manhood stems from faulty research into wolf packs and primates and has turned eventually into a marketing buzzword in the personal development/relationships/sex/promiscuity industry. Shadeed speaks with this concept on occasions and is influenced by black supremacists and nationalists like Umar Johnson in this regard.

These black nationalists have latched onto this "alpha-male" concept as an ideational construct that can serve as a means for lifting the black male out of "beta-manhood" (or less) into "alpha-manhood". And clearly, there have to be alpha-male leaders, of which Shadeed Muhammad has to be one himself, if he is to be followed.

FIVE: Now, once the "imam" idea is lodged into the minds of Shadeed's African American audience, Shadeed can then start to request his audience to appreciate him and all that he does and how he is their voice... and you know where this is going. Shadeed is literally giving his heart and soul to his community and it is not right that he should be under-appreciated. Shadeed has been exposed to a lot of stuff, hence he can be the voice for the community. "It's not about me" he protests, but nevertheless, now, he should be that voice. This is subtle form of self-aggrandisement and lodging his "imamship" into the minds of his audience who come from that Christian/Nation/WD background and we are back to that "Sunni Islam" after the era of the Nation in which da'ees were given "personality worship". We are returning to that saviour figure, that deliverer, who captures and expresses the voice of the oppressed African American and leads him to liberation. We are back to square one.

Keeping all of the above in mind:

  • the imamship
  • the sheikhship
  • the celebrityship
  • the alpha-manhood
  • and the voice of the oppressed

How--in contrast to the way he markets himself--does Shadeed perceive and present the status of the actual scholars of Tawhid and Sunnah who are praised in the Qur'an and the Sunnah, and whose existence, as an aided group, Allaah has decreed till before the establishment of the Hour? Here is how it works: You have to raise yourself to the level of a scholar, a saviour and at the same time denigrate the actual scholars so that in the eyes of your audience, there is no one superior to you whom your audience can consult to know whether you are upon guidance or misguidance. So this then explains Shadeed's attitude towards the scholars and is part and parcel of his own delusions of grandeur.

SIX: Warning against scholars of Tawhid and Sunnah, the carriers of knowledge and Inheritors of the Prophets.

Shadeed's statements about the Salafi scholars are known and the general attitude that he displays to his audience is that these scholars have failed the African American community and only furthered its woes and ills.

Listen to this mighty slander of Shadeed against Shaykh Rabi:

In this audio Shadeed says that Shaykh Rabi was driven by his own desire to have dominance over poor African American communities. May Allaah bring this kadhdhaab to justice. Similar things are said by others from this group. Muhammad Munir says that this scholar "does not care for you or your country" (audio). The Ahmaq Battle says that Shaykh Rabi is part of the problem of the destruction of their communities (audio).

What these scholars have done of clarifying truth from falsehood, Sunnah from bid'ah, the Prophetic methodology from the methodology of Marxists, Socialists, Communists, Ikhwanis and Kharijites, of separating callers to truth and guidance from callers to falsehood and misguidance, all of this has allegedly destroyed the African American community because they got dragged into these issues. And apparently the non-Blacks, like the Pakistanis and Arabs have used these issues to dominate the Blacks, to keep them under control. Hence, they must break free from this bondage. These are the types of ideas that are now being lodged into the minds of those who listen to Shadeed Muhammad and what we are really seeing here is a revolution against the Scholars of Islam driven by influences from black nationalism and the 'Nation of Islam' call. There is definitely a racial element to the da'wah of Shadeed. To make it clear--he is not being racist as such--but he is racialising his da'wah, and this is because he is clearly influenced by those people, by people like Umar Johnson who is a Pan-African black supremacist and nationalist.

So this is the way of thinking of Shadeed Muhammad he has moved his da'wah and its goals into the direction of the da'wah of the Nation of Kufr, which is focusing on socio-political issues primarily. As for the issues of Tawhid and Imaan, they have become academic and intellectual issues. They are not affairs around which al-walaa and al-baraa is made. Thus, whilst Shadeed should be loving the scholars of Tawhid and Sunnah and hating the Nation of Baatinee Kafirs, we see that he disdains those scholars and at the same time, he is in the company of some of those Baatinee Kafirs, ministers from the nation, and he is at the venues of those with close ties to the nation and to Louis Farrakhan.

As for what he says in his tweet, "Keep your books and your scholars", then alhamdulillaah, our books are the books of Tawhid, Imaan, Aqidah and our scholars are the scholars of Tawhid and Aqidah and Sunnah. This is your open, explicit disavowal of our books and those scholars. This is a horrendous statement if you are referring to the books of Tawhid and Aqidah which are taught in our masaajid and maraakiz and on the basis of which we are disputing with you, in the sense that true rectification of societies is based upon Tawhid and Aqidah and not socio-political issues which you have made the foundation of your call, following the way of the Nation. If you mean these books, then this is another addition to your list of disgusting statements, some of which reach the level of kufr. Shadeed states "20 years and no progress". That is only in your blinded vision. Alhamdulillaah, 20 years of teaching Tawhid and the sound aqidah, we have seen tremendous progress, our mosques, our maraakiz, our communities have increased and the people have clarity about the religion and they are uniting around these affairs. Your eyes will only see what the corrupt, non-factual thoughts in your head allow you to see. Then look at this call to Jaahiliyyah at the end, with his hashtag, #BlackAndMuslimInBritain. Shadeed did this out of pride, out of protest and the poison of the 'Nation of Islam' is all but evident in him, it has taken root in him to this degree. It has gone to the degree that he now protests on the basis of sentiments related to race. This is the clearest evidence that Shadeed has racialised his da'wah and is calling with a call of Jaahiliyyah and he has with him the poison of the black nationalists.

In Summary:

Shadeed's call is a call of Jaahiliyyah, it is ethnocentric and highly racialised. It is not founded upon Tawhid as the primary rectifying factor and around which walaa and baraa is made. Shadeed recognises the tendency among African Americans to rely upon a saviour figure, a deliverer and to "worship" such figures, according to his words. Shadeed oppressively throws this upon Salafis, and presents "following the scholars" as "personality worship" and erecting of divine figures for worship. His associate Muhammad Munir explicitly accuses Salafis of worshipping scholars (see here). Then, he himself, when we look at his speech, his da'wah, his activities, we see the ingredients of raising and promoting himself in a manner that invites and appeals to those same tendencies he noted about the African American from a Christian background: the tendency to fall into personality worship. And in all of that, we see such corruption in walaa and baraa, cordiality and friendship with Baatinee Kafirs, and hatred and warning against people of Tawhid and Sunnah, from Salafis, from their books (of Tawhid and Sunnah) and from their scholars.

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