Othman the Italian resurfaces

A few years ago a book was published called Ian Dallas: The Shaykh Who Has No Clothes, which purported to expose the leader of the Murabitun movement as a fraud. The author set up a website and posted details about it to the Usenet newsgroup soc.religion.islam. This resulted in a response from Abdul-Rahman Lomax who was then a regular on this group. This was in 1997 which was a year before I embraced Islam. I never managed to get my own copy of Othman’s book, however, but I did have my own experience with the Murabitun and heard much about them from other Muslims, and most of it was not good. I got in touch with the group through a bookshop two of their members ran in west London. I got talking to the two men who ran the shop, and was eventually invited to their dhikr sessions, known as Laylat al-Fuqara, and spent Ramadan of 1998-9 with the group of Murabitun in London. After Ramadan I attended one or two further dhikr sessions, before I was turned away at the door, having travelled across London to reach the gathering, because I was late. (This was because I had to help my family clear up after their dinner.) I was then told by one of their more senior members that I could return when I had followed his advice and made arrangements to get on an Arabic course, but by the time this happened (I went to Cairo to study Arabic the following summer) I had got in touch with the Haba’ib via Habib Ali al-Jifri, and had no further need of the Murabitun.

I didn’t, however, keep quiet about what I saw with the Murabitun, which is mild compared to what others have said. I noticed that none of their women wear hijab properly. I noticed that at least two nice reviews appeared in Islamic magazines by Murabitun members of their fellow members’ books, where the interest was not declared. I noticed that rock music was played in the group house, and it’s no secret that Abdul-Qadir has written two books with a classical music theme, The New Wagnerian and The Ten Symphonies of Gorka Koenig. Instrumental music is said by nearly all scholars to be unlawful entertainment - it’s the mainstream position in all four madhhabs, and all the proofs people bring to justify it can be shown to refer to other activities. The commonest explanations are that it distracts from the remembrance of Allah Most High, wastes time and that the Qur’an feels heavy on the heart of a person attached to music. Another aspect of its evil is the enormous amount of money that has to be wasted on it - a musical instrument of any quality costs hundreds of pounds, and “classic” instruments such as 1960s Fender Stratocasters sell for thousands of pounds, money which could be better spent on the poor. It’s also easy to notice the huge numbers of people who have passed through the Murabitun (particularly in the 1970s) and left.

I also noticed the shocking remarks made by members of the sect in their published books. Ahmad Thomson, in the preface to the second edition of his book Dajjal - The Antichrist, wrote that the subtitle to his essay, “The King Who Has No Clothes”, “also refers to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, the King of the Creation, the King Who is over all kings - and yet Who has no clothes!”. Of course, the reference was to the Grimm fairytale The Emperor’s New Clothes and is clearly negative, and the reference is doctrinally inaccurate as the dunya is a veil between us and Allah Most High. But the fact remains that a title which refers to the Dajjal is also applied by Thomson to Allah Most High.

Abdul-Qadir also has a few ugly remarks of his own in some of his books. This passage appears in Root Islamic Education, and it removes him from the fold of Ahlus-Sunnah, which certainly does not regard the Hanafi madhhab as “astray”:

I am saying that the true madhhab is this primary sense of the way of Malik, in the way of the Salafis, is not a legal school, it is the seal of power on the fuqaha’ to make legal judgements in governance of Muslim people. And I am saying that it collapsed! It went astray with the Hanafi madhhab as we will find out, and how, and why, for the reasons that we will discover when we examine it. It went astray because there was something lacking, and the result was that it created empire, and it allowed aristocracy, it allowed elitism by genealogy, which is absolutely forbidden! And so the low were kept low and the high were kept high.

He is also reported to have said in the same text:

This split - between dhahir (or zahir) and batin - this license to make half-men - outward legalists or inward experientialists - had come from al-Ghazali and his notorious Ihya. Indeed his reputation (that he brought together the Sufis and the legalists) rests on the very opposite of his accomplishment … he surgically separated the body from its life support

However, I’ve not been able to find this in the online edition. Maybe he has deleted it, but the fact is that his comment about the Hanafi madhhab is more serious.

Othman the Italian recently resurfaced, posting to the Bewleyupdates Yahoo group in response to a query about his book. I have refrained from posting to that group about this issue and about my views on the Murabitun, because a few months ago I made a passing remark about a known Shi’ite from Iraq who poses as a Sufi, Fadhlallah Haeri, being authorised by a well-known pseudo-Sufi, namely Abdul-Qadir. This led to an emotional response from a follower of Shaikh Nazim, which clouded the issue and generally shed much more heat than light, but the fact remains that however vast and useful to the community their printed works are, they are not an authentic Sufi tariqa and Abdul-Qadir is not a true shaikh. His silsila is broken, and even if it was not, the books on unlawful entertainment, the statements of bid’ah in his books, his preoccupation with German philosophy (Nietzsche, Heidegger etc), and his apparent lack of knowledge of the other Islamic sciences (for example, at the time he recorded a tape I heard, he was unable to pronounce the name of Imam Maturidi, one of the two major imams of aqida) would disqualify him.

But all the same, that does not mean Othman’s approach is correct. The page he has set up, The Murabitun Files, makes out Abdul-Qadir to be a kind of Nazi (and displays two swastikas on his site), continually draws attention to his brief pre-Islamic acting career (and this is an irrelevance and constitutes unlawful backbiting or gheeba; Allah knows best), and publishes an entire report by the Executive Intelligence Review about the “sinister agenda” of the World Wide Fund for Nature which had a tenuous link to the Murabitun via one of its members, Fazlun Khalid. (The EIR is the work of a guy called Lyndon LaRouche, who is an extremely controversial figure and a convicted felon who has been accused of being a demagogue and a cult leader. Do a Google search on him.) There is also the issue of his fiqh, which is not that far removed from the Murabitun’s - he actually praised Root Islamic Education and said its best parts are not yet written, and claimed that it was justifiable to firebomb the places where the dhikr meetings are held. Imam Malik considered group dhikr meetings not to be Sunnah, while there are explicit hadeeth praising them, and in fact Sufis in North Africa have long encouraged them. (A critique of Othman’s writings on the Murabitun and German history and philosophy was posted to the forum today; you can read it here.)

As members of the Bewley forum have pointed out, the Murabitun are a tiny group; and the scandals surrounding it happened a long time ago. But it is still necessary to warn new converts about them, because converts are their target audience and, in my (limited) experience at least, they do not seek recruits among established Muslims. We have a duty to advise those who come into the deen and seek genuine spiritual guidance of where they can find it - and where they can’t. It’s not about attacks on Abdul-Qadir’s origins or pre-Islamic activities. It’s not about a personal grudge based on one wasted journey to a dhikr meeting. It’s also not about encouraging people to come to our shaikh rather than someone else’s. It’s about enjoining the right, and forbidding the wrong, and warning the less knowledgeable about the routes to false Sufism and mostly useless philosophy.

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  • a.muslim

    asalaamualaykum well none of you know shaykh abdal qadir , and all what the italian says is so funni hehehe he is the perfect example of someone that is totaly paronoid and need s help maybe there is a doctor in the house? may ALLAH bless and protect us all from slander ameen, a. muslim, wa alaykumsalam

  • saleem

    I think by the fiqh you have committed slander by repeating what you yourself acknowledge are untruths!!! And really attacking how a muslim woman wears her hijab??? That is low.

  • saleem

    I think by the fiqh you have committed slander by repeating what you yourself acknowledge are untruths!!! And really attacking how a muslim woman wears her hijab??? That is low.


    Reply to the “Murabitun Files”

    “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean” -Humpty Dumpty.

    Nowhere has the role of Lewis Carrol as linguistic architect of the twentieth century been more apparent than in the world of politics. Nouns, verbs and adjectives are flung about with great enthusiasm, anger and sincerity, leaving mythological trails so evident that not one of them needs to be explained. Hitler is one of them. It produces a nod of instant understanding of what the whole thing is about. The issue presents itself as self-evident.

    In our case, what is presented is deprived of any context. This is seen as superfluous. The sentence that irritates Mr Haddad is “Hitler was the only Mujahid of the century”. This sentence if deprived of context is open to anybody’s imagination of what it means. Yet, the genuine enquirer will ask: Was Shaykh Abdalqadir speaking about Muslims, or was he speaking about European history? Did Shaykh Abdalqadir said that Hitler was a Muslim, or was using the word mujahid as meaning “a person who fought”? In which way, was Shaykh Abdalqadir speaking of him as a fighter? Fighter against what? What was the general theme of the conference in which the talk was set? Where was it said? To whom?

    No, Shaykh Abdalqadir did not say that Hitler was a Muslim. He, in fact, said in the same talk that he was a kafir. That last sentence, the last part of the discourse and the final dua was edited from the tape that “Uthman, the Italian” presented in his “Murabitun Files”. The talk was part of a Conference of European Muslims assembled in Granada entitled “Islam in Europe”. The Conference centred on issues concerning European culture, history and politics. As Shaykh Abdalqadir said: “You must understand the ways of kufr if you are going to defeat it”. To fight Riba, is well known, a matter of great importance to Murabitun. Hitler was the last Christian attempt to fight capitalism. This evident in his famous proclamation of “Brechung der zinzsknechshaft” (breaking of the slavery of usury). He fought and failed. Shaykh Abdalqadir said that they failed because of their kufr. (the actual quote and the relevant pieces from the “end of the tape” are included down below). In similar context he spoke of Wagner and Heidegger. I has never been suggested that they were Muslims, or that they are a model to us, or that we should imitate them or follow them. If someone wishes to understand how we view Heidegger, you can read my recent posts on him. If somebody does not wish to understand, then there is very little we can do.

    What is interesting is how these issues are twisted and elevated to be “the matter of interest”. Then, they become the theme of a public debate. Or should we say “the illusion” of a public debate? Is this what Murabitun is talking about? Or is this the smoke screen to hide the “real themes”? Is Murabitun only talking about Hitler? How often do we mention his name? The answer to the last to questions is no; hardly ever.

    This mythology is further simplified by the tendency to use interchangeably the phrases with a random order. The word Hitler presented appropriately represents a self-evident means of disapproval. The illusion is so complete that we forget to ask who is arguing with such fervour against Murabitun? Who is Uthman, the Italian?, who is Mr Haddad?

    Uthman, the Italian is a psychopath frustrated murderer. We know him quite well. The author of the “Murabitun Files” is an ex-member of Murabitun, who attempted to murder his own father-in-law by stubbing him repeatedly with a knife in his belly, while other person was holding his hands at the door of his own house. He survived just by miracle. He has escaped prison in Italy, but not the judgement of Allah. After he became self-persuaded that we were going to murder him, in an Italian vendetta style, he went fanatical in attacking us with the most ludicrous gobbledygook which he gathered in his “Murabitun Files”.

    Mr Haddad, has personal reasons to attack us. He thinks he can vindicate the name of Shaykh Nazim by presenting us as a Nazis. The reason behind this is the recent publication of my latest book “The Esoteric Deviation”. The book is not about Shaykh Nazim, but it is rather a thoroughly argued case of the Esoterisation of Sufism and the Shariah in the XX century. Shaykh Nazim is presented as a study case of “extreme Mahdism”. Mr Haddad’s own thinking, in view of who his teachers are, forces him to deny the book. His recent attacks on Murabitun and our Shaykh, are part of this strategy.

    The curious thing about our attackers, is that very few of them are ready to stand to the same scrutiny that they want to impose on us. They resist it. Instead, they hope to remain behind the barriers with no attention place on them. Still more curious, if you begin to question them, you discover that they are horrified at the prospect that they may have to explain what “do they stand for”. They are, in effect, the judges and jury, but they cannot explain, except vaguely, what their own position is. We, Murabitun, on the contrary have to do it all the time -which we do gladly.

    When the matter ‘what do you stand for’ comes to the surface, their words and accusations, which they have flung so passionately, lose their entity. They hang on their words with real zeal because in the face of a real debate they have no other argument. Their words do not lead anywhere they are only intended to prevent the real debate. The real debate is what frightens them.

    What we have done in the past and we continue to do, is to ignore this non-sense. We undertake them it is part of being politically active. We understand that the more politically accurate you are, the more this kind of calumnies will emerge. It only shows the frustration from the opponent.

    What we are concerned with will not be altered. Our political stand against capitalism, the present face of kufr, is open and clear for everyone to know. If any one wants to know what we stand for he has no need to go to sectarian journalists, they can come and ask us directly. I have always dedicated a considerable effort in the past to make our position clear. It is written and it has been spoken. We do not hide.

    I consider my contribution to the work against kufr to do da?wa and to introduce the Gold Dinar. My concern, and our concern as Murabitun, is to be in the front line of action. We are minting coins, doing da’wa, building mosques, markets, maddrassas for the sake of Allah only. The sincerity of our people and the devotion to their work is best expressed by our achievements. What we have done and what we are doing today can be seen. We have the people and the communities around the world.

    The Islamic Gold Dinar is a hot issue. When it comes into your hands it forces a decision: approval or disapproval. This will grow in intensity with every new coin in circulation. If we succeed with Allah’s approval, we shall see the end of the banking system. The Dinar is a powerful tool for the unity Muslim nation, it will restore our muamalat, and will bring us closer to political union. Those who have entrenched in the moral comfort of the status quo would feel threatened. What we can tell them is that we do not live in their myths.

    Umar Vadillo

    Extracts from “the end of the tape” “The time has come for the Muslims to regain leadership and transform the world taken over by the usurers. [] You must understand the ways of kufr if you are going to defeat it. [] Hitler, Wagner and Heidegger fought in their way within the means of kufr and failed. Their kufr was [the reason for] their failure[]. Do not be deceived by the historical picture that kufr offers of itself. You have to see through the cracks to understand what really happened[]. kufr is one. May Allah open our hearts to His Immense Mercy and give us the determination to establish His deen in its former glory. [] May Allah give us the strength in our helplessness before Him to restore our leadership on the path to the Khalifate[] May Allah gives us the wisdom to return to the Gold Dinar and finish with the illusion of a world of false wealth. May Allah give us a strong brotherhood that gives us discrimination between Islam and kufr.”

  • Yusuf Abd’ Al Wadud


  • Jalaluddin

    Dear Yusuf, Did you thank those Murabitun people that took you into their home for the month of ramadan - I am sure they must have given you a bed, food and other assistance throughout that month. There seems to be no praise - in your article against them - for these brothers that welcomed you into their house. Do you think that is dignified, correct Islamic behaviour. Your response would be interesting.

  • layla

    I think that if you have a problem with the way people are behaving, and I am refering to your comments about the music that the people you stayed with and the fact that the murabitun women do not wear scarves properly, then the only course of action which you can take is to deal with those people in the moment and not be a coward by tapping your discontent onto the internet. If you are correct about the scarf business or people’s taste in music, how dare you do your fellow muslims of the dishonour of not sharing knowledge with them?

  • concerned

    Stop the petty whining and backbiting, its not impressive or cool in any sense to anyone. Get a grip! These issues are trivial, slanderous, libellous and totally disrespectful to all parties. The sooner the fighting between muslims ceases, the sooner world issues of the suffering can be tackled in a unified manner. Forgiveness is such useful and uplifting tool for the heart. Use it, show love and positivity to your brothers and sisters. So much energy is wasted in infighting between believers in Allah. Simplicity is the key, back to basics and the 5 pillars! There is common ground for all of you to enjoy Islam together. Restrain from attempted murder, and make up with your brothers. Dont live a paranoid secluded life, dont ostracise anyone and be inclusive rather than exclusive. Agree to disagree amicably my brothers. Promote Islam so that all have interesting role model to follow, rather than a mochary that is laughed at and that strengthens shaytaan.

  • Assalamualaikum

    I ‘ve just read what mr. haddad says about Sidi Umar Vadillo Books

    Response to Murabitun’s Umar Vadillo’s defense and explanations of his deplorable book Have you eyes, Murabitun Brethren? by Gibril F Haddad

    Defense Against Slander And Takfir Coming From The ‘Murabitun’-Movement As An Example for Sects In General Introduction by Omar K Neusser

    and other link…

    Well you looked so angry mr. haddad! …so you failed to see what sidi Umar is trying to explain today in the book of Esoteric Deviation In Islam - which is what happened today!..well nobody envy your shaykh or the follower, why should we envy!… :) honestly you have to thanks sidi umar for his books, because a true brother will remind other brother about what went wrong! Kafirun is not goin to tell us what went wrong!

    mr. haddad you have to read that book carefully instead of angry or mad and writing something very funny! hehehe..didnt somebody teaching you to listen!. you are pahtetic. read it carefully!

    mr. haddad in my country there is lot of people like you! just talking! quote this hadist and quaote this ayat…! (my country is big you know) and this kinda people usually doesnt do nothing at all, at the end, they just talking!..but alhamdulillah we still have traditional ulama with sincerity and great mahhabah!

    Now! ok haddad you can talk this and that….accused sidi Umar and Sayyidi Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi and of course with his Fuqara this and that…my question is…Do you have any solution (the amal-the example of best practice of the ilm) for muslim now day to get out from this capitalism/ riba/ democracy/ tolerance/ equality/ terrorism/ humanism…which is slaughter the muslim everywhere!…do you haddad!! where to start?!…huh!…didnt you see the key! you ignorances! Riba is everywhere now…if you go back to the sources, the Madinah al Munawarrah, where the Rasullullah salallahu alayhi wassallam and sahaba ra. live, you will not fail to see!, but if you cant see…than nobody can help you but _ _ _ _ _! dont blame other people!

    Sorry haddad i cant speak arabic…and my english is not that good..can you tell me who is the Sultan of awliya…?…how you recognize him..is it because of he brought tens of thousands of Westerners to Islam? is it because of that? i’m not interested in that, what we want what the Shaykh want, marifatullah!… The SHAYKH of this age is the one who recognise what is the PROBLEM IN OUR TIME ! and show us (the faqir) and the muslim what we have to do precisely according to the SHARIAT, HAQIQAT AND MARIFAT..THE WAY OF MUHAMMAD!

    The fastest door to the haqiqat is through shariat, shalat is with zakat! the zakat is with the Dinar and Dirham, Zakat is TAKEN not given!…taken by the SULTAN or AMIR…and then…. heheheh I dont want to tell you the rest …is not fun at all if i tell you!!

    mr. haddad there’s alot of muslim in my country who can speak arabic…they can read al-Quran well…hafiz/ muhaddith/ muffassir/ Ulama/ maybe you can speak arabic with them! keep talking haddad…!

    well please read carefully http://www.shaykhabdalqadir.org

    one more thing before i end this email: DID YOU KNOW SHAYKH DR. ABDALQADIR AS-SUFI in person? I dont think so!…you just envy him!

  • You are liar! IGNORANCE!.. you dont know nothing about Shaykh Abdalqadir As-Sufi You make a Fitna to Shaykh Abdalqadir As-Sufi And it will come back to you!

    have you heard the durse in complete about wagner-hitler-junger! if you listen carefully theres no such a thing that you’ve mentioned..maybe you english is not that good or you are totaly deft!

    Please read R-E-A-D Root Islamic Education carefully…are you blind!

    othman the italian is lunatic…! … and haddad you are so childish

  • ypeerbux

    Fuqara in Nusantara- thankyou for defending shaykh abdalqadir as sufi and the murabitun against slander

  • Umar Wills

    All the muslims should know that we need to work together toworwds restablishing leadership Since the forced exile of our beloved Khalif. The Murabitun is simply addressing the most urgent task! Which is to establish an Islamic currency free from RIBA. Once we’ve done that we can raise that fallen piller of ZAKAT. Those of you who slander Skaykh Dr.Abdalqadir as-sufi and his pupils only slander them selvs!

  • Ahmad Thomson

    Dear Yusuf,

    – for I’m sure you would rather be known by your Muslim name –

    What can one say - we each choose the path Allah has destined for us - ma sha Allah - and this is not a matter of argument or persuasion but of being powerless to be other than who we are.

    From the Qur’an :

    It is not the eyes which are blind, but the hearts in the breasts of man which are blind.

    They did not differ until after knowledge came to them.

    Your augury is with you.

    From the Prophet, salla’llahu alayhi wa salam :

    Whoever is much praised is much blamed.

    Have a good opinion of Allah and have a good opinion of his slaves.

    The mumin is the mirror of the mumin.

    From sayyedina Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi ad-Darqawi al-Murabit :

    If you look for good, you will find much good - if you look for bad, you will find much bad.

    You can have a long list of what is wrong with someone - but even if it is true, it won’t do you any good on the yawm al-qiyama.

    Existence is a mirror in which you see your self.

    From yours truly :

    The shaykh of idhn, and there are many - of whom I have only met a few - are clear mirrors which reveal the deceptions and artifices of the nafs and who guide to Allah and his Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. The mirrors may be different, but the reflection is the same.

    I have lost count of the number of people who have embraced Islam as a result of meeting sayyedina Shaykh Abdalqadir. If even a tenth as many have entered the deen through you, I am sure you must have a high station with Allah and will enjoy a great reward from Allah.

    It was thanks to sayyedina Shaykh Abdalqadir that I embraced Islam and I am content with him as my teacher and my guide, however bitter or sweet, however difficult or easy, however near or far. If this is foolish, may Allah increase me in my foolishness!

    As sayyedina Shaykh once said to me, “Loyalty to your shaykh is a portion of ikhlas.”

    If you have found a better guide, may Allah bless you in this. Allah’s earth is wide and His universe is vast and His generosity is even greater. May whatever troubles your heart leave it - to the extent that you cannot even remember what it was. May your heart be filled with peace sweeter than honey, in both worlds. Amin.

    My only counsel is that you turn away from finding fault with your reflection and busy your self with the dhikr of Allah.

    As Shaykh Moulay al-Arabi ad-Darqawi once wrote:

    Do not say I am something. Do not say I am nothing. Say Allah! – and you will see wonders. – Allah!

    As-salam ala man taba al-huda,

    Hajj Ahmad Thomson.

  • Adam

    Before I say anything else I must say that from what I have heard, Sidi Abd Al Qadir has brought many people to Islam and has given Islam a lot of exposure in the west. However, Abd Al Qadir never recieved an idhn to be a Shaykh of Tasawwuf - he was made a Muqaddim by Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Al Habib -may Allah bless him- in the early seventies but Sidi Fayturi Hamudah -may Allah bless him- never gave him a written idhn. Sidi Fayturi was certainly enraptured (majdhub) but he was not a Shaykh in the normal sense. This does not mean that Sidi Abdal Qadir did not benefit much from his state - rather that claiming Shaykh-hood on the basis of a single visit to the majdhub was bound to cause alarm. The fact is, soon after this happened, many prominent members of Sidi Abdal Qadir’s community left the group, due to behaviour by SAQ which was certainly not indicitive of a perfect man. Examples are many, and I shall not go into them here, but perhaps you should seek the man out for yourself if you require more proof. SAQ has always lived a very opulent lifestyle, and he is not a scholar in the traditional Islamic sense, in that he is not well tutored in Arabic, which is a pre requisite, despite what some may say, to study of Qur’an and Hadith. Many members of the Murabitun are cult-like, eliteist, and unwelcoming. Many members of the Murabitun are wonderful people with great hearts. One can learn alot spending time with them. As for the content of the first post, to say that most scholars of mainstream Islam prohibit Instrumental music is simply untrue. It is a fact that many people today have become infected by Wahhabi though, but the fact is that the most Orthodox of scholars, such as Al-Ghazali, May Allah bless him, have condoned its use except in certain cases where it goes against the Shariah in promoting base instincts. Music is a great gift from Allah , careful study of which reveals a means to help people break out from their personal-self orientated world view. This does not mean it cannot be dangerous in the wrong hands. People cite various hadith on the matter, all of which are non- specific, for example in one case equating the popularity of the playing of musical instruments with the end of time. All hadiths relating to musical instruments are Daif, and thus one can not make legal pronouncements based on them.

  • Hajj Ahmad Thomson

    In my experience whenever anyone talks about a Shaykh, each person talks about his or her self.

    This is just a little of what Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi wrote about the reality of being a Shaykh – before he was given the idhn of Shaykh, quoted from “The Way of Muhammad”:

    From pp. 25-27 The Way of Muhammad :

    “The Shaykh is simply the living exemplar – he is not a Messenger, for the Message has been delivered – but you could say that he is the Message. He is a Qur’an and a furq’an. He is a gathering-together of forms, a unifier, and he is a separator, a discriminator, one who makes choices and selects and rejects without struggle.

    The mind must be cleared of the whole superstitious, authority-projection idea of the guru that is so prevalent in our society. He is not, and this must be established, a super-guide, a powerful figure, an authority. He is not going to tell you how to live your life, what house to buy and what job to take, although he may well know these things. He in no way takes on the burden of your problems, precisely because from the point of view of his deep sanity these problems do not exist. He is merely a mirror in which you may, if you are patient enough, see yourself at last. He is an openness, and an emptiness. He is fully surrendered to his creature-state, to advancing age, and to changing seasons, and to the sameness of days. And for this reason he is utterly turned away from us; he greets us and feeds us and counsels us, but he is not caught up, there is no yes to our no, and no refusal of our yes. In some exasperating or frightening way he does not see us. We could kill him. He really does not care! So what then is happening inside this man? From our sick point of view it certainly seems to be a super-defence system that we can envy. He is unassailable, we are vulnerable. He wins, we lose.

    We still see things this way. So we decide to imitate him. We go to the master swordsman to learn how to kill, and do not realise that he is teaching us not to need it.

    What does he do? What is the means to this omnipotent end? It is, unsurprisingly, disconcerting. Firstly the Shaykh either does not sleep at all or minimally, perhaps two or three hours at most. Putting that aside as the fruit of years of hard work, we cannot avoid recognising that this awakeness of which the Messenger of Submission spoke was not some inner consciousness alone, but consciousness itself.

    The whole of his existence is spent in one thing – he is in a constant state of awareness, of collectedness, or, if you like recollectedness, for he is there, he does exist before our eyes and he is recollecting back into himself the plenum. His reality is that he is in constant and unceasing communication with reality itself. He has subjugated the self, its struggle is over, and yet there is still a someone there – a man who eats and sleeps a little, talks, sits. Yet if his self-form exists it somehow takes in everything, it excludes nothing, it is all-embracing. We treat him as a Master and show the utmost respect to him, everyone bows before him and he sees all this and he does not care. People denounce him and criticise him and accuse him of fraudulence and he does not care. He is a Master – yet at the same time he is that by the most extreme token of opposites – he is a slave.

    He is not our slave, or anyone’s slave, or any thing’s slave. He is the slave of It, of this very reality we want to know and experience.

    He has subjugated his ‘I’ and he has enthroned the ‘He’, what the Arabs call the pronoun of absence. Constantly he addresses reality, his reality, as ‘He’. He is a presence addressing an absence, and yet we experience him inwardly as an absence expressing a Presence. He is the perfection of slavery. He is bound, utterly constrained, without choice, helpless, obedient. He does what he has been commanded to do.

    He bows and he prostrates before this Reality, he calls on its name morning and night, he asks and he asks – but never for this or that, never for forms. He asks for this no-thing, this effulgent nothingness that has produced the myriad forms, he asks It for It and gets whatever ‘It’ he supplicates for, so we always see him satisfied and content. He may be ill and in pain, he may be penniless, but he is content, he is well-pleased, for it seems that this flow of ‘It’ never ceases through all these apparently negative events. Stranger still we notice that despite poverty and illness there is in fact a disconcerting and inexplicable flow of goods and money in to this centre of submission, the Shaykh.

    We observe also that everything that comes in to him, goes out from him. He is merely a vortex of energy, and the money is distributed and the people are fed and clothed, and he goes on bowing and prostrating and praising this Reality with its endless generosity and compassion and provision, so that we cannot look at him without being reminded of It!”

    From pp. 238-239 The Way of Muhammad :

    “The science of our tariqa is however what our beloved Shaykh described in ‘The Robe of Nearness’ – it is also the way of Shaykh Junayd, may Allah be merciful to them both. For where the fana gives light, affirmation and joy, the going-on is hidden, humble and obscure. The going-on returns a man to creation for the service of his Lord. He is the last man, not the first. He is the least of men and not the ruler. Our Shaykh, may Allah cover him in mercy, signed himself, ‘the slave of the slaves’, as we noted at the start of our journey, and the answer of our Messenger, may Allah bless him and give him peace, when he was called, was: ‘Labbayk!’ – ‘At your service!’ – the call of the pilgrims on Hajj to their Creator.

    Going-on – it is total and complete submission: it is in the words of the Shaykh Abu-Su’ud: ‘What is it except for the five salat and waiting for death?’ It is outwardly to be dust and inwardly to be gold. It is as Imam Junayd put it: ‘To possess nothing and to be possessed by nothing.’ When you get to such a man there is nothing to see. They are the Sadiqin, the Truthful Ones, for they know how-it-is. Qur’an commands: ‘Be with the Truthful Ones.’ (9.119). Asked how one would recognise them, the Messenger, blessings and peace of Allah be upon him, replied: ‘When you see them they remind you of Allah.’

    When you finally get to such a man, you have only arrived at your own self. You have come to a mirror, for he has been polished away – all that remains is a clear surface in which you may recognise your own light beyond all the illusory darkness that so troubles you which so persistently seems to keep you from being at peace. You get to him, the slave of your own nafs, your desires, your fears, your past which you long to escape from, and your future to which you long to escape, and you find yourself facing a man who is both the slave of the instant – ‘Abd al-Waqt’, and the worshipper of the instant – ‘Abid al-Waqt’, for that is all there is, and it is Reality. ‘Do not curse Time,’ said the Messenger, blessings and peace of Allah be upon him, ‘for it is Allah.’”

    These words were written after the death of Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi’s first teacher, Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Habib and before he met his second teacher, Shaykh Muhammad al-Fayturi Hamudah, may the mercy of Allah be on them and him.

    Having kept the company of sayyedina Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi for several years both before and after Shaykh al-Fayturi put him in khalwa, and having been present at the time when Shaykh Abdalqadir first announced that he had been given the idhn of Shaykh by Shaykh Al-Fayturi, I confirm that the words I have quoted above accurately describe their writer and they are true.


    Hajj Ahmad Thomson.

  • umar jafar

    as salaamu `alaykum

    I will attempt to restrict my views to a little constructive criticism and the clarification of one point.

    Your attempt tu use standard university dialectic criticism has patently astray in this and other similar articles you have posted. In that you have taken the statements and actions of others and interpreted them according to your own base assupmtions. As you may, or may not, know Islamically a defendant is asked his intended meaning behind any statement/action and judged accordingly. One is not to be judged according to the presumed meanings others may project on to said statements/actions [this is the way of the pseudo-salafis]. It may do well for you to remember the word of the Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him salam, “…There will come a people who will be such that there testimony will precede his oath…”

    Next you make much of the Shaykh’s statements from the book, ‘Root Islamic Education’. Remarks you refer to as “ugly” and remove the Shaykh from “the fold of ‘Ahlu’s-Sunnah wa’l Jama`ah [My, my, you are brazen]. Before making such a declaration did you try to ascertain in anyway what the Shaykh meant by his use of the term “astray”?

    This quote from Ibn Taymiyyah [I do not claim him as a proof, merely as an example] may help you to understand that what the Shaykh said was not something new.

    “…The Abbasids…appoint judges from the fuqaha of Iraq…This allowed one ruler to rule by shari`ah and another to rule by policy…So when they give judgemant in many matters, they deprive people of their rights and fail to observe the limits…Those who judge by the dictates of policy begin to rule by mere opinion…” [Ibn Taymiyyah: The Madinan Way, pg.82]

    The above does not necessitate the criticism of any individual/s, but is a recognition of something that was inherent in the Iraqi Madhhab which manifested in the historical political arena. Maybe you should try your psuedo-intellectualism and study the disagreements that arose between the madhahib, in fact.

    Ma`a salaama


  • Wilayat

    For any Sheikh (Abdul Qadir As Sufi) to speak soo ill of another Sheikh (Sheikh Nazim)…shows that the one speaking badly of the other is not a true Sheikh because good hearted Sheikhs would never blast another Sheikh the way As Sufi does to others. Just shows he is another Qadiani Or Wahabi type slave to the British.

  • Muadh Khan

    Asslamo Allaikum,

    The Murabatun leader condemns just about anyone & everyone, not just Shaykh Nazim


  • As-Salamu Alaikum,

    I want to leave a few comments since I am quite well aware of the Murabitun events mentioned here.

    1) The disqualifying remarks against Abu Hanifah written by S.A.Q.M. in Root Islamic Education have been «smoothed» in the second edition of the book - a time in which the Murabitun were working a lot with asian muslims of Slough, so they though it was better to take a «softer stance». As the poster of the article noticed, the second edition of Dajjal contains considerable variations in respect to the first edition.

    2) The links between some (major) Murabitun members and nazionalsocialist sympathizer are well recorded by the many people who approached and left that group. In the 90s the Murabitun had a mosque in Frieburg and there was a major clash when some turk brothers went to pray there and found photographs of Hitler hanged on the mosque walls. S.A.Q. has the gift of eloquence and swiftly manages to play with words (what the scholars call tadliis). Many of his early islamic pamphlets contain explicit references of praise for nazism, genetics, and those aspects of German philosophy that contributed to the making of nazionalsocialism.

    3) The Murabitun have a different face for each situation. They tend to be «symbiotic» with the elité groups of the places in which they settle. They are «germanic» amongst the Germans, «celtic» amongst the scotish, and so on. Yet, in Southafrica and Mexico the Murabitun soon distinguished themselves for acts of violence against the local people. In Southafrica they robbed a bank, and reliable brothers from Southafrica even mentioned major acts of violence against muslims. In both cases, they exploited in a colonial fascion the local inhabitants (the Zulus in Southafrica and the indigenous in Mexico). It only takes a google search to find out material on this issue.

    3) This ambivalent assimilation/infiltration approach is what has led many muslims to distrust them (of course, such muslims are regarded as morons who miss the élitarian point of the Shaykh!). There is a clear unbalance between their claim of knowledge (which mainly is based on the group having a few members who study Arabic and fiqh) and their style of life. While they are very loose in their practising Sunnah, they even disregard those muslims who adhere to the Sunnah as being somehow inferior, deluded. For example, anyone who has spent some time with the Murabitun knows how disrespectfully they speak of women wearing hijab. It is not a mistery that S.A.Q.A.M. has belittled the Arabs in his writings, dismissing them as foolish puppets in total control of freemasonry.

    4) The world of the Murabitun is a shadowy world in which very little space has ever been provided for sound confrontation with other muslim groups. There are specific times in which non-members of the group can join some events, and their Shaykh is not readily available for consultation nor for confrontation. Many times in the UK muslims have asked for a general meeting with S.A.Q.A.M. for a public confrontation, with all the cards on the table (old pamphlets, audio recordings, ecc), but this was never granted by him.

    5) Please, try to remember the Norwich mosque fitnah, were the Murabitun had the police stopping muslism from praying in «their» mosque during Ramadan. How evil of them! And the Norwich mosque was their firs mosque. The point is exactly this: they do not build mosques of Allah for the muslims, they build private «mosques» (zawiyahs) for themselves and whenever the local muslims face them with the truth of their acts they reply by calling the police in order to enforce the laws of the kuffar over the houses of Allah.

    A similar situation happened with their first mosque in Granada, during the clashes between them and the local Mauritanian community, and at the end the Murabitun sold their mosque to the nuns and it was converted in a Church. How shameful and evil an act is to convert a mosque into a Church! and the local muslims wanted to buy it from them, to prevent this happening, but they refused to seel it to them — you know, those «arabs», better selling it to the nuns!

    If you want to know the truth about this sect, you only need to approach their Shaykh and sit and watch - the truth will soon come to your eyes.

  • Abdussalaam

    As salaamu ´alaykum,

    I am not a murabit but what I see here makes me sad. The honourable sayyid al-Habib Ali al-Jifri of the blessed Ba´Alawi tariqa would never ever allow his name to be used in this slander against muslims. In fact he has visited the murabitun and cooperate with them. So please take away his name. I hate to see this beautiful saint´s name to be seen in any way assosiated with slander. When I was sitting in Tarim listening to as-sayyid Habib Ali al-Jifris durus I soon realised that much of what he talked about was this exact phenomenon, muslims slandering muslims. Some people are against ahl al-tariqa and try to portay them as sects. They use the terminology, Naqshabandiyyah sect, Shadhiliyyah sect, Qadiriyyah sect etc. May Allah forgive them and us. How hurtful is it for the deen when muslims turns their critical eyes on faults and details in their brothers? In the maliki school of law it is even counted as amongst the Kabaa´ir to slander. This can only be washed away with tawbah, with all its terms and conditions. And the Prophet, salla Llahu ´alyhi wa sallama, described slander as something not even the whole ocean could wash away. That ordinary muslims on the street level even dare to slander the shuyukh is a horrible proof of our current state. May we all return to the sunnah.

  • Tanjaawi

    And you say instrumental music is a waste of time.

  • Septimus

    This is an age where many pseudo-masters keep appearing, another stage before the arrival of the main Dajjal.

    You must gather knowledge so that you can discern the real from the fraud.

    The one who closley follows the way of the prophet SAW is the one on the right path.

    This is the criteria.

  • A Muslim

    Assalamo Alaikom

    The biggest pointer for me is the fact that the Sheikh and his followers cannot interpret what is going on in the world using the Quran and the Sunnah. They cannot explain current socio-political-economic situations using the Quran or the Sunnah, instead they rely on mainly germanic philosophers, this for me personally is a massive red flag. If your on the truth, you should be able to explain the truth using the truth.

  • Othman Again?

    Yusuf, you asked about Ian Dallas the Shaykh with no clothes, I might have a copy lying around an old hard drive of mine, I will look for it. I traded a bunch of emails with Othman years ago, and found his accounts very interesting at the time, I’ll dig around to see if I can find any of this stuff.

    My impression was that he was very unsound of mind, BUT he made some points that I really could not shake off and had to take seriously.

    “A Muslim” - Be fair, and fear Allah in making blanket accusations.

    This is a strawman, all of the writings of these guys I’ve read make reference to Quran and Sunnah and the writings of Abdal Qadir that I’ve read are based on both, he ALSO cites and quotes from, sometimes heavily, musty old German philosophers, some of whom I care not for. That said, you can’t deny that they refer to the Quran and Sunnah.

    People’s disliking a group or person, even if for very sound reasons, can lead one to unjust statements.

    In spite of any of my issues with what I know of the Murabitun I will say these two things.

    -The few Murabitun or Murabitun affiliated brothers I’ve met were very good, very sincere, and very dedicated and actually did useful practical things.

    • A lot of people came to Islam through their movement or their Shaykh, and their writings positively influenced countless others.

    That said some of the issues you’ve written through the years, regarding them, do resonate with me. I have to give them fundamental respect as Muslims and for their historical role creating Muslim communities in the West back in the 1970s.

    The writings from this group influenced many people in very positive ways decades ago, my Dad had one of the Diwan Press’s books in his library from when I was a kid, he picked it up in the 70’s, it helped him greatly, I think, when he was new to Islam.

    I have a husn ul-dhan for them and for whatever errors may creep up in their community, for the bulk of their existance I think their good has outweighed their ill and I respect them greatly. I don’t do groups well, and I would never join them, but I certainly would assist them if they happened to be in my locality.

    I find the focus on dinars and dirhams to be more than a bit reductionist, and I have a huge problem with the Mahdi discourse that seems to come from their quarters, but but they are correct in the Immense importance of the economic aspects of our Din, and in the need to find a way to create an alternative economic nexus. They are correct in the sentiment that modern money and banking is a shame, and frankly the whole system is one large dajjalic net. It takes only a little bit of discernment to see that much of what they are arguing for has a point or two.

    That said, there were some things Othman the Italian said that had the scent of truth. And other things that were pure extremism.

  • Salaams, Kamal, this article was posted in 2004.

  • Wa Salam, I didn’t read the date on the post :-)

    I just noticed that A Muslim put in a comment on the 16th, so i read the post and put in a comment, but I should have looked at the date of posting..

    Ok, Back to lurking, I feel silly now.

  • No, I just adjusted my theme so it says what date I posted it on. The standard version of the theme doesn’t do this on individual posts.

  • A Muslim

    I did not say they do not refer to the Quran and Sunnah, what I said is that they cannot explain what is going on in the world today using the Quran and Sunnah - there is a difference- they rely on the ramblings of Secular Philosophers - and when you rely on the ranblings os Secular Philosophy you fall into the same traps that they did.