Monday, 18 June 2012


I have always been fascinated by the Muslims in the west, no doubt a lot of them have contributed in making me a better Muslim, from Bilal Phiilips, to Khalid Yasin, from Yusus Estes to Yasir Qadhi, from Abdul-Hakim Quick to Jamal Zarabozo. The list of these great Ulema is long but apart from making me a better Muslim through their books and lectures they have made me feel like a useless Muslim also especially the ones who are reverts amongst them. One common thing I have observed amongst these Muslims in the west especially when you read stories on how they accepted Islam one would notice they had an OPEN MIND when they found out about Islaam. It is sad many people where I come from do not exhibit this wonderful trait. Stories of how they become students of knowledge and later present day scholars of Islam makes me feel…USELESS . I ask myself  what have I done for Islam despite the fact I was born Muslim.  Apart from the pain some of them have faced from their families in becoming Muslim, their very own country has treated them worse, from Amir Muhadith(Loon) to Hakeem Abdul-Shaheed(Midget Molly)but today I want to  talk about Abu Taubah. I just watched the deen show on Islam Channel and Abu Taubah was the guest. I had no words to say except Baarakallahu fihi. Abu Taubah  born Marcus Dwayne Robertson used to be a Christian and a member of the US marine corp. He was even a member of a special anti-terror squad deployed to Japan, where he came in contact with TRUE ISLAM.  He later went to Mauritania and then Egypt where he became a Hafiz of the Qur’an(this is what really enthralled me). He later returned to America and established the FIKS,(Fundamental Islamic Knowledge Seminary). I decided to find out more about Abu Taubah after the show and that’s where I got the shocker.
But I want my friend to tell you his story, I want you to feel how I felt. I want you to hear from Abu Taubah himself because this is for my friend. (
From: Abu Taubah
To: Everybody else

As-salaamu 'alaykum,
Al-hamdulillahi Rabbil-aalameen and salaatuhu was-salaamu on the Prophet Muhammad.

To Proceed:

During the last few days of the month of Ramadan of this past year, towards the end of August 2011, I was arrested by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and eventually charged with, "Constructive Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon."

Constructive Possession means that a firearm was found in an area that a convicted felon had access to and that the convicted felon had knowledge that the firearm was there.
It is not a condition that there be a motive to commit a crime.

A "Convicted Felon" anyone previously convicted of a Felony offense, any crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year.

Fact: The firearm was found in my home. My home is an area I have access to.
Fact: I had knowledge of its whereabouts.
Fact: I am a "Convicted Felon", having previously been convicted of a felony offense. And I have agreed to plead guilty in this case as well.

This crime holds a sentencing range of "zero to ten years." Meaning, the minimum sentence could be, "probation", or "time served" and the maximum sentence could be, "ten years."

What factors are taken into consideration in determining the sentence?

The length of time since last conviction:
Fact: "My last conviction was more than 20 years ago."

The characterization of the person:
This is where my case becomes a battle of perception.

The Prosecution is attempting to characterize me as a "Teacher of Terrorists." Google, Bill Warner/Marcus Robertson as he has an investigative company and an entire site dedicated to this case. The FBI is using him to set the tone.

They are attempting to twist my statements to fit into a terrorist plot.

Field Office: Tampa Date of Report: 2011-03-04
Report: "Robertson is using the computer to recruit a bunch of soldiers, the real Mujahideen who guard the Quraan."

My statement:
"Go study in Mauritania" field office perception is it means go train at a terrorist camp.
"Memorize Quraan" field office perception is it means -this is initiation for future suicide bombers and assassins.

My counselling a troubled young man who said he was "ready to die" to go make Hajj was spiritual training and to fulfil his worldly rights so he could comfortably give his life in some future un-named terrorist act.

Sadly this is not a joke. They have their Islamic experts who agree with their conclusions, as well as a number of Muslims who strategically slander me in order to weaken support and "radicalize" me in court. Thats right! Certain statements have been pulled from the chat-blogs wherein some Tom, Dick & Harry is saying I am a Hizbee and they use this in court to show how Modern Muslims view me.

This is why I need the Muslims to write letters to my Attorney and to the Court. These letters must reflect what you have understood when I said, "Go to Mauritania, Quraan and the like." What messages have I given you? What have you learned from my classes and lectures? I do not need letters attacking the system. And you do not have to be American to write and you do not have to be an adult.

Just tell the truth about me, and what my teachings are. In reality, they know I am not a terrorist teacher. The gun case just gives them the opportunity to stop me from teaching.

Please understand I did not have an illegal firearm in my home, even though I am a convicted felon. I am still a member of the Special-Operations Community, and on more than one occassion during the past 20 years, at the behest of the Government, I have been in the physical and constructive possession of firearms. This, in and of itself should have been enough to prevent my arrest, but as we are Muslim, our contributions are marginalized and our actions are looked upon with suspicion.

To continue, the Judge in this case, The honorable Judge Pressnel of the Middle District of Florida has to hear a view of me and my teachings other than that presented by the Prosecution.

What is at stake?
1. If the Prosecution is successful at defining, "going to study, memorizing Quraan and making Hajj as having relevance to terrorism, they will be successful in at least discouraging those actions.
At most, determining when it is illegal to perform them.

2. I will get an aggravated sentence, probably as much as 20 years.

As I have always tried to be honest with you all. I would like to say that you people ask us to teach. You say, "come back to the West and share that knowledge that Allaah has blessed you all with." But when we come back we mostly get emotional support. And even in that, everytime some scandal comes wherein we are being tested many of you all leave us flat. You want us to sacrifice but you are not willing to even be bothered. You ask us to teach class and you only come half of the time or don't even prepare. This has to change. The Prophet said that knowledge will disappear through the disappearance of the people of knowledge. Those possessing authenic old-fashioned Islamic training and cultivation are rare in the world today and even rarer in the West. Get it before its gone.

I need you all to be my heroes. Do not let the Prosecution turn a simple gun charge into the Terrorist case of the Decade. Do not let Islamic terminology be defined by those who have a pre-conceived dogmatic opinion about it.

In closing, I would like to thank all of you all for being a part of the learning process. Especially the senior students. Keep the good work. Makeen, Mahdi, Mr. Edwards, my wives and all my children. I do not want you all to think I do not appreciate the many letters I have received, thank you. I am trying to write you all back. Ask Allaah to help me in that. And of course, I would like to thank Allaah for giving me such as large international family.

this walHamdulillaah
Abu Taubah

Friday, 8 June 2012


‘Owolabi, where are you?’ The voice at the other end of the receiver asked. ‘I’m at the motor park’, replied Naira. ‘Where are you going?’ The voice queried again. Naira thought about the question for a moment. Should she reply the question with another one like most Nigerians do or should she give a sound reply. She opted for the latter. ‘I am going home’ she said, ‘and by the way my name is Naira and not Owolabi’ she continued. The voice at the other end of the line giggled and said ‘I was waiting for you to say that, fi amanillah cash madam’.  Naira smiled as she bade her friend goodbye on the phone. She took a seat by the window which was at the penultimate row.  It was her favorite spot whenever she travelled . She liked it because there was room for her to put her bags and avoid the ostracized ‘Owo eru’ collected by the ‘agberos’ at the park. Transport fares had sky rocketed since the removal of the infamous fuel subsidy and Naira was not ready to pay any extra fee. Moreover she could at least avoid any body contact to one of her sides if she sat by the window. She would feel so uncomfortable if she was sandwiched in the middle but gone where the days of being sandwiched while one was traveling.  Presently each row occupied three passengers. She hoped a female will sit beside her. There were still about six people left for the bus to be ready to move.  Naira reached for her bag which was by her side and brought out a copy of the book ‘citadel of a believer’. She read the supplications for traveling. As she closed the booklet she reflected on the phone call she  got earlier. It was Zahira, her classmate that had called. She often called her ‘twin sister’ because their names had similar meanings-shining.  Zahira often called her Owolabi or Cash madam, the former meant  -‘it is money we gave birth to in the Yoruba language. Though Naira’s name meant shining, it was also the name of Nigeria’s currency. Little wonder Zahira called her names relating to money. 
                ‘Where are you going?’ Naira thought about the question again. She recalled her conversation with her roomie, Nabila some nights ago when she informed her she was going home. Her roommate had suggested she stay back in school. Naira’s roommate, Nabila said she was going to continue attending Madrasah during the break.  Naira tried to convince her to go home but it was to no avail. It was obvious they were not on the same page. She understood why her friend did not really want to go home. Home was not where her heart was anymore. Nabila’s heart was in school where she felt at home, where she could be herself. She had faced resistant from her parents when they saw how serious she was becoming with her deen. The thoughts of home didn’t bring back happy memories it only reminded her of pain. Naira understood her roomie’s condition well. It was not as if she was having it easy in her own home too. Her Dad had started to suspect that she was becoming a better Muslimah. He had often paused whenever he called and asked where she was. Her Dad often called when she was attending Madrasah or attending Halqo in the mosque and she dare not tell him a lie. He would pause for a moment when she told him she was in the mosque and then talk about something else. She knew what the pause meant. She hoped things would be okay at home. As long as her grades did not drop, they would not restrain her  otherwise she would be giving her parents an excuse to discourage her from attending circles of knowledge, to make her a better Muslimah. She hoped she would do excellently well in the just concluded exams.
‘But you’ll have to go home someday’, Naira said
‘I know but I won’t stay long at home, Marriage would save me’ Nabila alleged.
‘Marriage would save you, so they’ve started proposing eh?’ Naira queried, looking excited as she got down from the top bunk to take a seat by her roommate who was on the lower bunk.
‘Nobody is proposing, so don’t get thrilled’, came Nabila’s reply.
‘hmmmn are you sure roomie?’ Naira persisted, tickling her friend. Nabila chuckled and nodded her head. Naira decided to let her be. If there was any potential husband she would be the first to know. That was certain.
‘But seriously what if Marriage does not save you?’ Naira probed, looking staid.
Nabila looked at her roommate puzzled.
‘I mean what if marriage didn’t happen soon enough or worse…’ Naira continued and then paused.
‘or worse…?’ Nabila queried. Naira did not want to say it but she knew Nabila would not let it pass so there was no use trying.
‘Sometimes we think something would make things better for us but then it only makes things worse’. 
Naira said looking fretful. Her mind wondered to her elder sister who was married for about a year. She had also thought marriage would save her. Her sister had gone through the same challenges Nabila was going through that was why her Parents did not give her much trouble like Nabila’s. Her elder sister had made that sacrifice for her. Back then, any time her sister came home, there would always be dispute and now her sister was married things didn’t seem any better. Her husband was something else. He wanted her to pull off the hijab and look trendy. He often told her she was an embarrassment and he could not show her off to his colleagues at work. She could not blame her sister though. The fact that there was nowhere to call home made her sister ‘jump’ into marriage without acumen. Naira did not want to make the same mistake, she wanted to make home worth returning to. Naira looked at her friend apprehensively. Why did Nabila want to take the same path her sister took?
                ‘Must you be a pessimist, can’t you wish me well? ’ Nabila said irritably.
‘No, that’s not what I meant’, Naira tried to explain.
  ‘Abeg, leave my bed ’ came Nabila’s harsh words.
Naira knew her friend had misunderstood her. It was better to leave her now that she was furious. Maybe she would explain to her when she was calm. Tomorrow she would try to make her roommate understand. But she was wrong, Nabila had decided to avoid her and now she was on her way home and yet she had not made up with her roommate. 
                Naira checked her bag for the Mp3 car radio device she had bought. She intended to give it to her Dad. He liked listening to Music. She knew he would be pleased with it but for her the device would serve as a means of doing Dawah. She would copy some lectures on her Dad’s flash drive. She only hoped he would not skip the lectures and move on to Music when they came on. She was pleased that the device was safe in her bag. She looked at her watch. She had been waiting for over twenty minutes and the bus was not yet ready to move. Naira thought of Nabila. She did not feel happy at the fact that she was leaving for home and she was not in good terms with her roommate. It was true that the cliché was- first impressions last longer but for her last impression stays forever. What if this was the last time she was going to see Nabila. She reached for the zip of her bag to bring out her phone. She pressed down the number 3 button. Nabila’s number was on her speed dial.
‘Salamalaykum, is there any one here?’ the voice asked.
Nabila turned to look simultaneously shaking her head. She was shocked as she took the phone away from her left ear.
‘Walalykum salaam, Nabila…What are you …’ Naira stuttered.
‘So you wanted to leave for home without me, roomie?’ Nabila said
‘You want me to die of loneliness eh?’ Nabila continued taking her seat beside Naira.
Naira was still astonished.
 ‘Where are you ….going?’ Naira said.
‘I am going home of course’ Nabila said smiling.
‘So what made you change your mind?’ Naira asked looking more dumbfounded.
‘Well I got to talk to your twin sister….’
‘Zahira!’ Naira exclaimed, interrupting Nabila.
Nabila replied in the affirmative and continued,‘ though initially I went to report you but she made things clear to me ’
‘I’m sorry for misunderstanding you’, Nabila said looking pitiful.
‘Don’t give me that puss in boots look, I won’t fall for it’, Naira said turning her face towards the window. She was enjoying every moment.  
‘I’m sorry now’, Nabila said again but this time she gave Naira a tickle.
The duo both chuckled as the driver revved the engine. They were both going home to save their families.