Indeed, the praise is for Allāh; we praise Him and we seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allāh from the evil of ourselves and our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allāh guides, there is no one who can lead that person astray, and whomsoever Allāh leads astray, there is no guide for them. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshiped except Allāh and I bear witness that Muhammad is the servant and last messenger of Allāh to all of mankind and jinn. As to what follows:
Allāh has mentioned in the Qurān:
Indeed you have in the Messenger of Allāh a beautiful example. (al-Ahzāb: 36)
He also stated:
And indeed you (Oh Muhammad) are upon exalted character. (al-Qalam: 4)
Allāh also stated concerning that which the Prophet conveyed to us from the religion:
And he does not speak from his desire * It is only revelation that is revealed to him. (an-Najm: 3-4)
Indeed, the Prophet Muhammad (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) foretold—by way of revelation—trials and tribulations that will strike the Muslim ummah. He also informed us of that which the Muslim ummah needs to protect itself from falling victim to the trials and tribulations that will come about in the religion. As he mentioned:
Whoever from amongst you lives after me will see a lot of differing; therefore, upon you is following my way and the way of the rightly guided Khulafā. (Reported by Abū Dāwūd and at-Tirmidhi)
Following the way of the Prophet in his belief, understanding, and practice of Islām is the path to salvation. Likewise, following the way of the rightly guided Khulafā is the path to salvation. When one deviates from that, the person has left the straight path and is now traversing upon the path of misguidance which has the Shaytān at the head of it.
With this being said, it is upon us as Muslims to always refer back to Allāh and His Messenger, the Qurān and Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), for guidance and understanding. Likewise, we refer to the Qurān and Sunnah to judge between us when we differ in matters. As Allāh mentions:
…and if you differ in any matter, refer it back to Allāh and His Messenger if you believe in Allāh and the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for a final determination.
I was asked about some back-and-forth that took place on Twitter regarding the statement of Amina Wadud, in which she said: “How do we then reconcile with Abraham, the dead beat dad…” This statement is from Hajar: Of the Desert, an article written by Amina Wadud wherein she speaks about the plight of Hājar, “a single black female head of household,” on October 17, 2013.
When questioned about this statement on Twitter recently, her exact response was: “Yep. Abandon a mother with her nursing baby in the desert DEAD BEAT.”
Allāh is the One we turn to for help and protection. This statement of Amina Wadud in propagating the agenda of feminism and liberalism is a statement of evil, blasphemy, and apostasy from the religion. Allāh says in the Qurān:
The Messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord as well as the believers. All of them believe in Allāh, His angels, His books, and His messengers; we do not distinguish between anyone from His messengers…(al-Baqarah: 285)
When asked about imān (Islāmic faith), the Prophet Muhammad (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) stated:
Faith is to believe in Allāh, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day, and to believe in the divine decree, the good of it and the bad of it.” The angel Jibrīl responded: “You have spoken the truth. (Sahīh Muslim)
We see here that believing in the messengers is a foundation from the foundations of Islām. Part of believing in the messengers of Allāh is that we believe they were righteous men whom Allāh chose to be examples for the people. Part of believing in the messengers is that we honor them and refrain from speaking ill about them due to them being the best of mankind and being men whom Allāh loved, so we love them too. Allāh has stated:
Those are the ones whom We have given the Book, understanding, and prophethood. Those are the ones whom Allāh has guided, therefore follow their guidance. (al-An’ām: 89-90)
In these verses, Allāh is speaking about His prophets, and at the head of them is the prophet Ibrāhīm (Abraham). Also, Allāh stated:
Be patient like those of firm resolve from the messengers were patient. (al-Ahqāf: 35)
This is another example of Allāh commanding us to follow the way of the messengers, and from them was the prophet Ibrāhīm, whom Amina Wadud described as being a “DEADBEAT DAD.”
DEFINITION OF A DEADBEAT DAD: A FATHER WHO NEGLECTS HIS RESPONSIBILITIES AS A PARENT
Amina Wadud described the prophet Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām) as being a “DEADBEAT DAD” due to him “abandoning” Hājar and his son Ismā’īl there in Makkah. Her statement is one of slander, verbal abuse of the dead, speaking ill about a Muslim, speaking ill about a prophet of Allāh, apostasy, and other than that which is prohibited in Islām.
Allāh describes the du’ā made by Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām):
O our Lord, I have made some of my offspring to dwell in an uncultivated valley by Your Sacred House in order that they may perform the prayer. Therefore, fill some hearts among men with love towards them and provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks. (Ibrāhīm: 37)
Allāh establishes that Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām) settled them there as a place of dwelling, not that he abandoned them as a “DEADBEAT” who doesn’t care for his family and child. Also, he called upon Allāh to give them provisions and send people to that region who will love them. What part of this is from the actions of a “DEADBEAT”?! He left them in the best care that there is, the care and protection of Allāh. Also, the du’ā of the prophets were answered, as they were righteous men with firm conviction and good thoughts about Allāh. And as is known without a doubt, Allāh answered his du’ā.
It should also be noted that prior to Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām) making this du’ā, he left Hājar with dates and water, then the du’ā was made after he turned, walked away, and was not seen. Is this from the mannerisms or descriptions of a “DEADBEAT”?!
It should be noted that as he walked away and Hājar questioned him about settling them there, he didn’t respond to her. Then she asked, “ Did Allāh command you with this?” He responded, “Yes.” She said, “Then He will not neglect us.” These details are found in the authentic narration in Sahīh al-Bukhāri (hadīth #3364). Perhaps Amina Wadud doesn’t accept this narration because it goes against her agenda of using this incident to promote feminism and uplift black women or women in general. However, it would be strange that she doesn’t accept ahādīth when she herself used a hadīth to justify her leading men in prayer!
What’s stranger than that is her quoting in her article some actions of Hājar which are in the same narration that establishes that Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām) was doing what Allāh commanded him to do in leaving them there to dwell in Makkah. The hadīth in Sahīh al-Bukhāri embodies the details she claims don’t exist! This authentic narration is the proof that he did not do this of his own accord; rather, it was done in accordance with the commandment of Allāh, and the wisdom of this command manifested itself as time progressed.
Instead of using the incident as an example of the strong faith of Hājar, her dependency upon Allāh, and her display of patience upon Allāh’s religious decree, she turns it into a story of a single black mother who was abandoned by a “DEADBEAT,” left with a child and no provisions or help whatsoever. Therefore, the point that Amina Wadud is trying to make is that all black women specifically, and women in general who have been abandoned by “DEADBEATS,” should take a lesson from this and commemorate the plight of this single black mother, head of household, etc.
Where in the Qurān did Allāh say that this is the lesson to be taken from this?! Where in the Qurān can we find Allāh rebuking Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām) for being a “DEADBEAT”?! I ask this question because she constantly says this in response to those who question and challenge her views: “Where in the Qurān does it say such and such…?!” This is a dangerous methodology she’s implementing which entails the rejection of that which has come in the authentic Sunnah. It is impossible to correctly practice and understand Islām in its entirety without the Sunnah of the Prophet.
I ask the question: Where can we find the Prophet Muhammad (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) giving this interpretation of this incident?! Allāh said to the Prophet:
“…and We have surely revealed to you the revelation in order that you clarify to the people that which has been revealed to them. (an-Nahl:44)
Where is the clarification from Prophet Muhammad (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) concerning the actions of Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām) making him a “DEADBEAT”?! Does she believe that she knows and understands something about the incident that the Prophet Muhammad (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) didn’t know or understand?! Doesn’t she know that Allāh has named a chapter of the Qurān after the Prophet Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām)?! Doesn’t she know that the Prophet Muhammad (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) named one of his sons after the Prophet Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām)?! A “DEADBEAT” getting all this recognition?! Allāhu Akbar! Indeed, the matter is as the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
Indeed, a person utters a word and doesn’t give any concern to what was said and its severity; as a result of it, the person falls into the Hellfire the distance of seventy years. (Reported by Bukhāri and Muslim)
Please do not understand that I’m condemning her to the Hellfire; that is not the case and I have no right to do so. Rather, the point of this is that a person uttering words and not knowing the severity of them or not caring should be aware of the threat of punishment in the Hellfire. Muslims, we must take heed and be mindful of the things we say; the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
Is there anything that causes the people to be thrown on their faces in the Hellfire more so than the harvest of the tongues?! (Sunan at-Tirmidhi)
Let’s look at how Allāh describes Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām) in the Qurān in comparison to Amina Wadud’s description of him being a “DEADBEAT.”
Allāh mentions in the Qurān:
Indeed, Ibrāhīm was a nation, devout to Allāh, a monotheist and he wasn’t from the polytheists * He was grateful for His bounties. He chose him and guided him to a straight path * We have given to him in the life of this world good, and in the Hereafter, he will surely be amongst the righteous * Then We revealed to you to follow the way of Ibrāhīm, monotheism, and he was not from the polytheists. (an-Nahl: 120-123)
Allah mentions at least ten descriptions of praiseworthy characteristics for Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām) and the greatest of these praiseworthy characteristics is Allāh commanding Prophet Muhammad (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to follow the way of the Prophet Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām)!
Is it her understanding that Allāh is commanding the greatest of the prophets and messengers, the master of the children of Ādam on the Day of Judgment, to follow the way of a “DEADBEAT”?!
Where is the mention of Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām) being a “DEADBEAT DAD”?!
Were these praiseworthy characteristics mentioned before or after him being a “DEADBEAT DAD”?!
Does Amina Wadud believe that Allāh has ignored informing us about the true state of Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām) and that she, instead, is the one who has clarified to us what he truly is for “abandoning” Hājar and Ismā’īl?!
Allāh commanded the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to follow the way of Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām). A command for the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is a command for the ummah. So, does she believe that Allāh also commands us to follow the way of a “DEADBEAT DAD”?!
Don’t speak that which you have no knowledge of. Indeed, the hearing, the sight, and the heart will all be held to account. (al-Isrā’: 36)
Amina Wadud has indeed spoken about Allāh’s religion without knowledge, which is from the greatest of sins. Allāh mentions:
Say: Indeed, the things that my Lord has forbidden are matters of indecency, that which is committed openly and privately, sins, unrighteous oppression, associating partners with Allāh for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allāh which you have no knowledge of Allāh. (al-A’rāf: 33)
Speaking about Allāh’s religion without knowledge is to speak about Allāh without knowledge. Speaking about Allāh without knowledge is mentioned after associating partners with Allāh in His worship, which is an indication of the severity of this act and that it is not a light matter! The speech of Amina Wadud against the prophet Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām) at the least is mockery of Allāh’s praise for him and belittlement of the Prophet Ibrāhīm’s (‘alayhis-salām) implementation of Allāh’s command.
Allāh has mentioned:
Say: Is it Allāh, His verses, and His Messenger that you were making mockery of? * Do not make any excuses, you have disbelieved after your faith! (at-Tawbah: 65-66)
This verse came down regarding an individual or individuals who said JOKINGLY about the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his Companions:
We do not find anyone greedier, more dishonest, or more cowardly when meeting the enemy than our reciters.
This statement was directed towards the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his Companions. Allāh severely rebuked the ones who made this statement. Some of the scholars have mentioned that they were Muslims who apostated due to that statement. Others mention that they were hypocrites pretending to be Muslims. Others have mentioned that the group was a mixture of both. In any event, this was said about those who were joking around, passing the time with vain speech. What is to be said about the one who seriously describes the Prophet Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis salām) with a description that goes against what Allāh has described him with in the Qurān?! Allāh said:
And Ibrāhīm, the one who fulfilled (the commandments of Allāh). (an-Najm: 37)
What can be said about the one who denies that Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām) did what he did based upon the commandment from Allāh?!
What can be said about the one who defends the statement of Ibrāhīm being a “DEADBEAT DAD” and praises this position?!
Does Amina Wadud acknowledge that Allāh commanded him to leave his family to dwell there? If so, her saying that Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām) is a “DEADBEAT” is actually speaking evil about Allāh being that He commanded him to leave them there to dwell!
Does she reject what has been mentioned in the authentic narration that Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām) affirmed that Allāh commanded him to do what he did? If so, is it conceivable that Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām) did something as a prophet and messenger that made him a “DEADBEAT” yet Allāh didn’t correct him and on top of that He made him an example to be followed for the nations to come?!
Indeed, both scenarios are evil, and she needs to get out of both of them!
Allāh has stated:
Indeed, in their stories there are lessons for people of understanding, and it is not fabricated speech. (Yūsuf: 111)
The stories of the prophets that are in the Qurān and authentic narrations are revelation from Allāh. It’s not befitting that we put our own explanations to them, twist the meanings, or use them to promote agendas that contradict the religion. We’re not to use them to attack the character of a prophet from the prophets of Allāh, especially the likes of Ibrāhīm (‘alayhis-salām), the beloved friend of Allāh!
It is upon Amina Wadud to repent sincerely for this tremendous error and her other errors, and to enter into Islām in totality as Allāh has commanded the believers to do. It is upon those who defend and find delight in this blasphemous speech to do the same. Allāh stated:
O you who believe, let not a people make mockery of another people. Perhaps the ones being mocked are better than the ones making mockery. And let not the women make mockery of other women. Perhaps the women who are being mocked are better than the women making the mockery. And don’t defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. Evil it is to insult one after having faith. And whoever doesn’t repent, those are indeed the wrongdoers. (al-Hujurāt: 11)
Written by: Abu Yusuf Khaleefah
Morning of the 4th of Sha’bān 1438 AH/May 1st 2017
Masjid Nur Allah, Queens, NY, USA