Local Imam Majid Abdul Majid chose to recite Surah Ikhlaas again during the second raka during Jumah namaz today, eliciting concern from at least some who attended.
“Of course, all the surahs are so beautiful, and I love to hear Surah Ikhlaas one hundred times an hour if I can,” admitted Br. Salman, who has been praying Jumah regularly at Masjid Dar-al-Du’aba, usually in the first or second row, and who even has called the adhan a few times when Br. Magdy was not in attendance.
“But,” continued Br. Salman, “This is the fourth time since Ramadan he has recited Surah Ikhlaas at Jumah, and that is not counting at least 2 or 3 more times I heard him recite it when I stopped by the masjid for Isha.”
Br. Shareef agreed. “The first two or three times I didn’t even think about it. But I have to be honest- and may Allah forgive me for saying it- but people are wondering what the problem is. Isn’t he supposed to be a hafiz of Qur’an? Don’t he know enough other surahs? Or maybe does he just get tired on the second raka?”
“But if he does get tired,” continued Br. Shareef, “there are other short surahs he can choose besides ‘Qul hu allahu ahad.’ Choosing the same one all the time, this kind of thing doesn’t look good. And on top of that, people are noticing that many times he shortens ‘Muhammad, sallalahu alayhi wasallam.’ He says it quickly, so it sounds like ‘Muhammad, salasalam.'”
Added Br. Shareef, “And I’m not the only one who noticed this either. Br. Faiz was very upset about it last week.”
Not everyone agrees that the incident is worthy of concern. Br. Tariq, who sits on the Shura council as President-elect and who has always been one of Imam Majid’s strongest supporters, dismissed the controversy.
“Honestly, people just like to talk, it gives them something to do,” Br. Tariq stated with certainty. “Don’t you think we have more important issues to worry about? And besides, did Salman tell you the Imam recited Surah Mutaffifin today also, in the first raka? Or did he conveniently forget to mention that?”
But when we confronted Br. Salman with this new information, he had this to say:
“Yes, Imam Majid did recite Surah Mutaffifin. But that surah also he has recited at least 7 times this summer, as well as he recited it at the annual fundraising dinner in May and at the Eid dinner. I think that what has happened is that he has maybe focused on that one surah as his main long one, and then he just supplements with the short ones like Surah Ikhlaas, Surah Nas, and Surat al Falaq.”
Added Br. Salman, “If we just wanted to hear those three surahs all the time, we might as well just get my 9 year old grandson Maher to lead the namaz.”
We spoke with Br. Tariq’s cousin, Br. Nabeel (Br. Nabeel was the one who hired Imam Majid last summer, after the previous Imam had been dismissed when several members of the Shura council had overheard him respond “Fine, thank you,” instead of “Alhamdullillah,” when he was asked how he was doing). Br. Nabeel was unconvinced that there was an issue, saying, “Why are you even talking to Salman? Do you know how much drama he has created here since he retired? Just ignore him!”
As of the time this article was written, we have been informed that Br. Salman had sent a group text to selected members of the Shura council to quietly convene on Sunday morning to decide how to handle Imam Majid. Included in the text message was a friendly reminder not to disturb Br. Tariq and Br. Nabeel with the matter, since they will be busy with the wedding of Br. Tariq’s daughter for most of the weekend.