Bayān of Ziyad Saleem Qureshi re: madeenah.com, 2011 TROID overthrow plot etc.
The following is a bayān (clarification) from myself, Ziyad Saleem Qureshi (Abū al-Layth), denouncing my prior involvement with a group of brothers (in 2011) who sought to bring down the administration of TROID and change the Islamic direction of the organisation at large. This group was spearheaded by Ahmad Geddy, Maruf Kedir and Tahir Farooq, led carefully by the guidance by those involved with madeenah.com. I regret participating in this group and I now understand that their actions were evil and my participation alongside them was an error that I truly regret and wish to amend. More specifically:
1) In regards to this 2011 petition and overthrow attempt: I free myself from Ahmad Geddy (compiler of the anti-TROID petition), Maruf Kedir (his co-conspirator), Tahir Farooq (a main instigator of the fitnah), Harun Cole (placed as a leader for the local group), Dirie (Hamza Abu Nuaim) Beyle (an instigator and currently a student in Riyadh) and all those who aided them at the time, signing on to their petition, and those who departed to Dar al-Arqam after the plot failed.
2) I was wrong to confide in them. I was wrong to believe them. I acknowledge that they spread lies and falsehood to various degrees.
3) I regret attending secret meetings with them, whether in person or on the phone, involving conspiracy, inventing or gathering faults, spreading dissension and discord.
4) I was used and misled by the group, as a liaison with Shaykh Dr. Wasī-Allāh ʿAbbās, bridging information to the Shaykh which was built upon lies and exaggerations (to gain a fatwá). This was my main role in this fitnah. Those involved in the group utilised the Shaykh where it aided them but abandoned his advice when it suited them, such as his criticism that we should not have abandoned the brothers (TROID) the way we did (to begin with).
5) After this overthrow plot failed, the group relocated to Dar al-Arqām, a centre run by Said Ali al-Jaʿshani. This became a gathering point for those who abandoned the Salafī jamāʿah from the remnants of this group. I regret aiding them by giving lectures and khuṭbahs at their centre. I realise that they had/have no connections to the Salafī scholars, their major students, rather, on the contrary, they have hosted and aided numerous enemies of the Salafī daʿwah such as Saʿid Regeah, ʿAbdullāh Idris and many other ikhwānī callers. This group used to claim that TROID does not connect with the Scholars, the reality is that they do not connect with the Scholars whilst TROID has sought to visit, telelink and constantly connect with the scholars and their students, producing and reproducing their works across many platforms (khuṭbahs, pamphlets, web articles and audios and more).
6) I regret doing promotionally videos for a group called “ilmster” who enlisted the likes of Bilāl Philips (refuted by Shaykh ʿUbayd al-Jābirī) to make similar promo videos. To date, I have asked that Ilmster remove these videos to no avail. I understand that Bilāl Philips is from those who despises and attacks the Salafī callers. I also regret giving khuṭbahs at the Abū Hurairah Centre, a known al-Maghrib endorsed mosque that has hosted Yāsir Qadhi, Bilāl Philips, Yahya Ibrahim and numerous al-Maghrib celebrities. My khuṭbahs were recorded and publishing on YouTube promoting their organisation banner. I realise now that these centres and individuals are enemies to the Salafī daʿwah.
7) I regret attending an interfaith dialogue with Harun Cole, in which I gave a recorded talk about tawḥid, however, I failed to rebuke the shirk laden talk that preceded my speech. I realise that it was not correct for me simply to give a small talk about Tawḥīd but rather, in the given circumstance, it was upon me to denounce and explain the falsehood of the speaker who preceded me (a Christian minister) who endorses Christian polytheistic beliefs. This was part of my immaturity at the time, in which I saw myself as a capable lecturer, when in reality, I should have been focused on my Islamic studies.
8) I understand that those who actually attacked TROID, seeking to bring destruction to the community, on the basis of personal matters, mannerisms, behaviour etc. were actually using these angles to mask their connection to, and sympathy with, the likes of madeenah.com, the innovator Yaḥyá al-Hājūrī and others. In reality, what they actually wanted was war with TROID on the basis of advancing various other goals which were manhaj-based in reality; the personal attacks were excuses to fulfil the objective or removing the leadership of TROID. This became evident to me after the fall of the group and their various splintering into different groups and locations based on their allegiances to corrupt speakers or websites.
9) I understand that the crux of this issue, apart from the handiwork of al-Shayṭan, was that the brothers involved in the plot did not understand the essence of the Salafī methodology. It is this lack of understanding that drew them to abandon, fight and seek to remove their Salafī brothers at TROID. Rather it is not from our way that we separate upon personal differences. The Scholars should have been consulted (from an honest approach), the major students in the West, their advices were abandoned, anything that didn’t advance the goal of the group was discarded, this action was regrettable and corrupt.
10) I advise those who have refused to make a bayān, refused to rectify the wrong they were involved in, to fear Allāh, to repair their relationships, to reject their mistakes, to have taqwá, before a day comes when one’s account is closed and their is no way to right a prior oppression. It is only pride and obedience to the Shayṭan which is between you and rectifying your affairs and returning to the Salafī community. Do not allow your wives and children to suffer, spending years away from Ahl al-Sunnah, what is there after the truth except falsehood.
11) I understand that I was hasty in rushing to give lectures and sermons when I myself was not clearly grounded in Islamic knowledge at the time. I understand that I should not re-enter this realm of work without the express agreement and guidance of the major scholars. I also understand that it is imperative, naturally, that I should seek to build my relationship with the duʿāt in the West who have battled through many trials to help establish this noble upright daʿwah by the permission of Allāh. I hope to steadily improve this connection also.
I apologise to and thank our noble brothers from the upright students of knowledge, who gave much advice in this matter, which was not heeded at the time. First and foremost, the noble elder scholar, Shaykh ʿUbayd ibn ʿAbdullāh al-Jābirī, who spoke on this fitnah, defended the brothers at TROID and invited those with concerns to come to him. I regret not taking this action at the time and I hope to address this issue with the Shaykh in the near future إن شاء الله. Secondly, Shaykh Muḥammad Ramzān, who advised the group in person and rejected their destructive approach. Thirdly, I thank our noble elders in the daʿwah in the West, who expended much time to reach out to us at the time, from them Abū Khadījah ʿAbd al-Wāhid (Salafi Publications, UK), Abū al-ʿAbbās Mūsá Richardson (Masjid al-Awwal, USA), Abū ʿAbdullāh Ḥasan al-Ṣumālī (Masjid al-Sunnah al-Nabawiyyah, USA) and others from the students of knowledge who renounced the actions of this group and personally reached out to them imploring them not to take the course they were charting, being kind and courteous to them throughout. I also apologise to the members of the community of whom I may have caused harm to by way of the centre being closed, in financial disruption or lacking services (websites etc.). I ask the brothers at TROID to accept my apologies, and most importantly, I ask Allāh, the Most Forgiving to pardon me for involvement in this fitnah.