Monday, April 17, 2017

Celebrating Goodness: Shaykh Abdallah Adhami on Imam Siraj Wahhaj

 Over twenty five years ago, a dynamic generation of African-American Azhar graduates came back home all ready to inspire the Muslims in North America with the richness of knowledge that they had gained. They were the first Americans to go overseas in pursuit of sacred knowledge, and the last echelon to have had the unique privilege to study with the late, eminent scholar of our era, Dr. Suleiman Dunya (1407/1987). When they returned home, and as direly as the community needed them, the masses did not have the lexicon to understand their noble message—nearly two decades before any American pontiff started talking about a “sacred tradition.” However, none could have had any success without fifteen years of Imam Siraj Wahhaj going around the MYNA camps, igniting the imagination of young people, creating a yearning in their hearts for something more, preparing the soil for the seeds of blessed scholarship that would change their lives. 
  Long before “traditional” sacred sciences captured the imagination of a generation, imam Siraj was inspiring people to know themselves through the profound simplicity of Islam. 
Few—(if any)—servants of sacred knowledge have the right to be called 'imam' in our day. Siraj Wahhaj is an imam in charity; an imam of bridge building between people; an imam in the way that he is a visionary; in the way that he is a man. 
        Siraj Wahhaj paved the road for all of us to build on. He has always encouraged people to strive for a higher level of competence. All of that will, we pray, sprout into eternal fruits of radiance for him wherever he is. Siraj Wahhaj is the voice of the spirit of Islam in America and its pride.