In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All praises are due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, and the best prayers (afdalu as-salaati) and most abundant peace (attamu at-tasleemi) be upon our master (sayyidina) Muhammad, upon his family (alihi), and Companions (sahbihi), all of them (ajma’een). May Allah, the Most High, be pleased with the masters (as-saadaati) of the Taabi’een and the right-acting ‘ulamaa’ and the four Imaams who exercised independent judgment and those who follow them until the Day of Judgment. As to what follows (amma ba’d):
This is an open letter to the Jamaa’ah of Shehu Uthman Dan Fodiyo in America – from Imam Na’eem Abdullah (may Allah remove his sins from him). Inshaa’Allah (by the will of Allah) it will be beneficial to all those who read it and success is with Allah.
Allah, the Most High, says: “And hold to rope of Allah all together (jamee’an) and do not be divided.” - Qur’an: Surah al Imrān (#3), verse #103. Before mentioning this verse Sultan Muhammad Bello (may Allah have Mercy upon him) said, “Adhere to the Jamaa’ah! Indeed, that which has destroyed (uhlikat) the communities of the past was disunity.”
It is our intention to address 7 issues within this communication. We ask that Allah make it successful and beneficial!
I would like to begin by publicly accepting Sultan Ali Muhammad Tahir’s offer to be his Murshid and representative in the United States. This was already done, however, I wanted to also accept it publicly so that there would be no ambiguity regarding this. I know better than any of you that I’m not qualified for this! I say this in honesty rather than humility. Part of what Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq (may Allah be pleased with him) said when he became the Khalifah is: “O people, I have indeed been appointed over you, though I am not the best among you. If I do well, then help me; and if I act wrongly, then correct me.” If this was proper for Abu Bakr to say this about himself then it is even more appropriate with regard to myself.
The Jamaa’ah should know that I didn’t ask for this responsibility nor did I try to secretly position myself to be noticed for it. In fact, I didn’t know that something of this magnitude was in the making. I respect the choice the Sultan has made and like all of their important decisions, I know that there are spiritual realities which underpin their outward choices.
Many of you may not be aware but, several years ago the jamaa’ah chose Mukhtar Kah of Houston, Texas as their Amir. Thereafter (around 2007), he visited Sultān al-Hajj Abu Bakr Muhammad Tahir (may Allah have Mercy upon him) and came back with several mandates directly from him. These mandates were similar to what his brother – the present Sultan - had issued. Because these orders from the Sultan were inconsistent with what was being taught and propagated many of the brothers rejected him and what he came back with. The abuse, negativity, name-calling, and accusations became so intense that Amir Mukhtar decided to resign. May Allah bless Amir Mukhtar for his efforts!
Sultan Ali is not recognizing any umaraa’ (amirs) in America. The old structure and its leadership have been dismantled. This went into effect upon the release of his letter which was made into a video and released. If you have not seen it, please check any of our websites such as:www.nuruzzamaaninstitute.org or www.masjidalmumin.org. The only “leader” who he recognizes, at this time, is his “Murshid” and representative – Imam Na’eem Abdullah.
There has been a lot of division and harsh words exchanged between believers connected to the jamaa’ah over the years. I myself have been the victim of some of these things for 10+ years. I have been accused of breaking my bay’ah and a list of other things. It has reach such a point that I have had an enumerable amount of Muslims come to me, who have never met me, and tell me of how evil of a person I was supposed to be.
Most of those who have made it their business to destroy my reputation and that of many others also claim to have the oath of allegiance to Sultan Abu Bakr and now Sultan Ali! What I am saying to those who have shown hostility towards me and others is: “Don’t let your hatred of me be the cause of you becoming treacherous in your oath (bay’ah)!”
As far as we are concerned, if you were sincere in your bay’ah and wish to adhere to what Sultan Ali has ordered we will not block or hinder that! Our position regarding you is the same as Prophet Yusuf (may peace be upon him) when he forgave his brothers for their actions, and Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) when he forgave the people of Makkah for their actions. Allah, the Most High, quotes what Prophet Yusuf said to his brothers “There is no blame on you this day! May Allah forgive you.” – Qur’an: Surah Yusuf (#12), verse #92.
Over the years there have been many brothers who were kicked out, ostracized, left out, abandoned, or for whatever reason backed away from the jamaa’ah. Sultan Ali, just like Sultan Abu Bakr before him, has made it clear that it is not permissible to remove someone from the jamaa’ah unless they do something major which results in them leaving Islam. Therefore, if you still agree with and wish to adhere to the minhaj (methodology) of the Shehu (Shaykh Uthman Dan Fodiyo) with a direct link though his khalifah the door is open for you to reaffirm your bay’ah.
In fact, we are asking everyone to renew their bay’ah. This includes those who consider themselves in good standing as well as anyone else. We must know who we are dealing with. If you wish to reaffirm your bay’ah or even give it for the 1st time reach out to me directly. You can do this by phone, text, Facebook, or email and I will get back to you, inshaa’Allah. This is also necessary because there is instruction which must be given.
Back in 2001, I had the pleasure of visiting Sultan al-Hajj Abu Bakr (may Allah have Mercy upon him). I felt as though I was being treated like a highly-placed foreign diplomat who was the guest of an allied nation. While there, I noticed many things. I would often say that Sultan Abu Bakr’s twin was Sultan Ali because they look exactly alike except for a difference in height. Every time I saw Sultan Ali he seemed to be keeping company with the poor and eating among them. These are not traits often found in a person belonging to “the royal family”. He reminds me of the Prophetic du’a (supplication) where he asked Allah to be resurrected among the poor. He always greeted us with a smile. The Jamaa’ah is in good hands with Amir ul-Mu’mineen Sultan Ali; the son of Muhammad at-Taahir; the son of Muhammad Bello Mai Wurno; the son of Muhammad Attahiru; the son of Ahmad Zaruku; the son of Abu Bakr Ateeku; the son of Shehu Uthman Ibn Fodiyo (may Allah envelop him in His Mercy).
We understand that certain terminology as well as other things need further explanation. Know, that it is our intention to make it so that the Jamaa’ah hears from the Sultan – directly – on a regular basis; in the same way that he addressed the Jamaa’ah in his “1st Address”. This will prevent that feeling of disconnect creeping in between us and him. We also intend on teaching and communicating regularly so that “the minhaj of the Shehu” becomes a reality a not a slogan.
May Allah protect and bless Sultan Ali with whatever he needs in this life as well as the Next! May Allah have Mercy upon Sultan al-Hajj Abu Bakr! May Allah bless his family and the entire family of the Shehu! May Allah bless the Jamaa’ah of the Shehu wherever they may be! May Allah mercy upon the Jamaa’ah of the Shehu in America! May Allah unite their hearts! May Allah reward and elevate all of the brothers and sisters of the Jamaa’ah: past, present and future– including those who have animosity towards us! May Allah remove that animosity! May Allah keep us united internally and externally – with all of the other Muslims of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah! May Allah bless and protect all of the Muslims wherever they may be! O Allah! We ask you this by the rank of Your Beloved Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)!
Your Brother in Islam,
Imam Na’eem Abdullah
Murshid of Sultan Ali Muhammad Tahir
Message to the Jamaa'ah of the Shehu in America -Imam Na'eem Abdullah
My original unedited statement had the following passage: “It is the Sultan’s position that all of those who rebelled against Amir Mukhtar had, in fact, broken their bay’ah. And Amir Mukhtar along with those who supported him had remained true to their oath.” This is not correct! The Sultan never said this! In fact, the Sultan is more lenient and forgiving than that! He merely clarified that Sultan Abu Bakr’s order is exactly that which Amir Mukhtar tried to convey to the Jamaa’ah. This portion will be edited out of the text and video. Please forgive me!