Bilal Philips

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Bilal Philips
Bilal Philips.jpg
Philips in August 2010
Dennis Bradley Philips

(1947-07-17) July 17, 1947 (age 74)[1]
Notable idea(s)Founder of International Open University
Alma mater
OccupationIslamic scholar
YouTube information
Years activeNovember 28, 2009–present
Subscribers132 thousand[3]
Total views4 million[3]
Associated actsDigital Mimbar
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers

Updated: 13 March 2022
Muslim leader
HonorsThe 500 Most Influential Muslims (2009-2022)

Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips (born: Dennis Bradley Philips; July 17, 1947[1]), is a Canadian Islamic teacher, speaker, author, founder and chancellor of the International Open University, who lives in Qatar.[4]

He has written, translated and commented on over 50 Islamic books and has appeared or presented on numerous national and satellite television channels, including Saudi TV, Sharjah TV, Ajman TV, Islam Channel, Huda TV, and Peace TV.[1][5][6] He considers himself a Salafi who advocates a traditional, literal form of Islam. He has also publicly rejected the work of Tableegh stating Muslims going out for their personal reformation is wrong and an innovation.[citation needed]


Early life[edit]

Philips was born in Kingston, Jamaica, to high school teachers Bradley Philips and Joyce McDermott.[7] Philips has one brother and one sister, as well as an adopted brother.[citation needed] Philips was raised a Christian, with his mother being an Anglican and his father a Presbyterian.[7]

Philips spent the first 11 years of childhood in Jamaica,[8] before migrating to Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[9] He attended Jarvis Collegiate Institute for junior high and Northview Heights Collegiate Institute for high school from 1962 to 1965. Philips moved with his family to Sabah, East Malaysia in 1964, as his parents were part of the Colombo Plan.[8][10]


Philips attended Simon Frasier University in Vancouver from 1967 to 1970, where he took biochemistry, when he converted to Communism.[7] Philips had encountered Islam several times in his travels, but the book that won him over was Islam, The Misunderstood Religion by Muhammad Qutb.[11] He reverted to Islam in February 1972, giving Shahada in the presence of Abdullah Hakim Quick.[10][citation needed]

He received his B.A. degree from the Islamic University of Madinah and his M.A. in ʿAqīdah (Islamic Theology) from the King Saud University in Riyadh, then to the University of Wales, St. David's University College (now University of Wales, Trinity Saint David). There at the Lampeter Campus he completed his 1993 PhD thesis, Exorcism in Islam.[12]

Preaching and career[edit]

Philips taught Islamic studies for a decade at Manarat al-Riyadh School in Riyadh[10] and was an Arabic and Islamic studies teacher in the American University of Dubai for 10 years as well.[2][13] He also lectures at the Ajman University (AU) in the United Arab Emirates.[14] Philips set up an Islamic Studies department of Preston University in Ajman in 2002 and set up the Islamic Studies Academy in Qatar in 2007.[1]

During the First Gulf War, Philips organized Islamic religious revival meetings for U.S. troops stationed in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, during which (according to Philips) over three thousands soldiers converted to Islam.[15] According to counter-extremism author J.M. Berger, some of the US military men and women who participated in his revival program were later recruited as volunteer trainers in the 1992-95 Bosnian War.[15] Philips founded and taught at the Islamic Information Center in Dubai, under the Dar al Ber Society, and in Qatar he was an Islamic consultant and lecturer for the Islamic Information wing of Sheikh Eid Charity.[1]

Islamic Online University[edit]

Philips founded the Islamic Online University in Qatar in 2001.[2][16][17]


Regarding his statement "Western culture, led by the United States, is the enemy of Islam," he has explained in an interview in Austrolabe that it was taken out of context, and that he was quoting Samuel P. Huntington’s famous statement on the clash of civilisations.[18] When asked in an interview with author Berger about his statement in an earlier lecture that "he did believe in the `clash of civilizations,` and that America was the enemy of Islam" he explains that he opposes the effort by "globalized western civilization" to "push ... secular democracy ... down the throats of the rest of the world."[15]

Philips has stated that there is no such thing as rape in marriage in Islam:[19][20]

[In] Islaam, a woman is obliged to give herself to her husband and he may not be charged with rape. Of course, if a woman is physically ill or exhausted, her husband should take her condition into consideration and not force himself upon her.[21]

Phillips had previously stated in a lecture[22] and in one of his books[23] that suicide bombers are unfairly criticized as they are not really committing the suicide that is forbidden in Islam, but are showing bravery in committing a military operation. However he would later state in a 2010 interview that he believes suicide bombings actually do not comply with Islamic law.[15]

When you look at the mind of the suicide bomber, it's a different intention altogether ... The [enemy] is either too heavily armed, or they don't have the type of equipment that can deal with it, so the only other option they have is to try to get some people amongst them and then explode the charges that they have to try to destroy the equipment and to save the lives of their comrades. So this is not really considered to be suicide in the true sense. This is a military action and human lives are sacrificed in that military action. This is really the bottom line for it and that's how we should look at it.[22][19]

Philips' ideas on suicide bombing made news after the website of Luton Islamic Centre, where a suicide bomber had worshipped, was found to carry a link to a lecture by Philips in which he made "comments used to justify suicide attacks, and material expounding antisemitism and homophobia".[22] The chairman of the Luton Islamic Centre has said Philips' comments that were posted on its website contained errors and that it should not have been categorized as "suicide bombings" because he was referring to military operations as opposed to harming innocent people.[22]

In an interview in Austrolabe, republished in Muslim Matters, Philips calls himself a "moderate" and the claim that he is an extremist "baseless".[18] He has also stated that he is opposed to Al-Qaeda and any type of terrorism in the name of Islam.[24]


Philips came under criticism in Britain for his statements on suicide bombers.[19] Some civil rights advocates have defended Philips and criticized his deportation, claiming he is being religiously persecuted.[14] Philips has responded to such criticism by stating he is a moderate[18] who does not endorse terrorism or the use of suicide bombings in Islam.[24][15]


Philips has been banned from entering the United Kingdom,[22] Australia,[25] Denmark[26] and Kenya,[27] banned from re-entering Germany,[28] ordered to leave Bangladesh,[29] because of his extreme views[19] and arrested in the Philippines[30] for "inciting and recruiting people to conduct terrorist activities."[31]

In 2007 he was banned from entering Australia on the advice of national security agencies.[25]

In 2010 Philips was banned from entering the UK by home secretary Theresa May for holding "extremist views".[22][32]

In April 2011, Philips was banned from re-entering Germany as persona non grata.[28]

In 2012, Philips was banned from entering Kenya over possible terror links.[27][33][34]

Philips was named by the US government as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He has stated that this allegation was not factual hence he was not arrested. [35][36]

In 2014, the publisher of a book authored by Philips entitled "The Fundamentals of Tawheed" was arrested by armed officers during a raid of Islamic institutions in Prague. 20 people were detained during Friday Prayer at a mosque and a community center.[19] Law enforcement officials claimed Philips' book "incites xenophobia and violence" and insisted it was racist. Philips "vehemently" defended his book, denied it condoned racism, noting that millions of copies had been published in Muslim communities around the world, and stated that any action against the book could "constitute an attack on Islam itself."[19]

In June 2014, the Bangladeshi intelligence service ordered Phillips, who had come to Dhaka to give lectures, to leave the country.[29][37]

In September 2014, Philips was arrested[30] in the Philippines for "inciting and recruiting people to conduct terrorist activities."[31][24] He was expected to be deported by Philippine immigration authorities after police arrested him in southern Davao City.[24][38] The director of the Philippine National Police in Southern Mindanao, said Philips is being questioned for his possible links with terror groups including the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria).[30] He was deported from the Philippines back to Canada.[39][40] Philips denied the charges leveled by Filipino officials and denied links to terrorists groups.[41] Some religious leaders[27] and civil rights advocates have defended Philips and criticized his deportation from the Philippines, arguing that he has not done anything wrong and that he has been a victim of religious persecution.[14]

In the April 2016 issue of Dabiq Magazine, The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, declared Philips to be a murtadd (or apostate)[42] and threatened to kill him for denouncing ISIS.[43][44][45]

One of Philip's works entitled "The Fundamentals of Tauheed" has been described as "extremist" by the United Kingdom prison service. As a consequence, this book has now been removed and banned from prisons.[46]

In May 2017, Philips was banned from entering Denmark[26] for two years along with other preachers including Salman al-Ouda and Terry Jones.[47]


  • 1985: The Mirage in Iran, Abul Qasim Publications
  • 1987: The Quran's Numerical Miracle: Hoax and Heresy, Abul Qasim Publications
  • 1988: The Ansar Cult in America, Tawheed Publications
  • 1989: Ibn Taymeeyah's Essay on The Jinn (Demons), International Islamic Publishing House (IIPH)
  • 1990: Islamic Studies Book 1, Al Hidaayah Publishing / IIPH
  • 1990: Polygamy in Islaam, IIPH
  • 1990: Salvation Through Repentance, IIPH
  • 1990: Tafseer Soorah al-Hujuraat, IIPH
  • 1990: The Evolution of Fiqh (Islamic Law & The Madh-habs), Tawheed Publications / IIPH
  • 1990: The Fundamentals of Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism), IIPH / Al Hidaayah Publishing
  • 1994: The True Religion of God, Dar Al Fatah
  • 1995: Arabic Reading and Writing Made Easy, Dar Al Fatah
  • 1995: Hajj and 'Umrah, IIPH
  • 1996: Dream Interpretation, Dar Al Fatah
  • 1996: Funeral Rites In Islam, Dar Al Fatah
  • 1996: Ibn al-Jawzee's, The Devil's Deception, Al Hidaayah Publishing
  • 1996: Islamic Rules on Menstruation & Post-Natal Bleeding, Dar Al Fatah / IIPH
  • 1996: Islamic Studies Book 2, Al Hidaayah Publishing / IIPH
  • 1996: The Best In Islam, Dar Al Fatah
  • 1996: The True Message of Jesus Christ, Dar Al Fatah / IIPH
  • 1997: Islamic Studies Book 3, Al Hidaayah Publishing / IIPH
  • 1997: Arabic Grammar Made Easy Book 1, Dar Al Fatah
  • 1997: The Exorcist Tradition in Islam, Dar Al Fatah / Al Hidaayah Publishing
  • 1997: The Purpose of Creation, Dar Al Fatah / IIPH
  • 1997: Usool at-Tafseer, Dar Al Fatah / IIPH
  • 2001: Did God Become Man?
  • 2001: Islamic Studies Book 4, Al Hidaayah Publishing / IIPH
  • 2002: A Commentary on Ibn Qudaamah's Radiance of Faith
  • 2003: A Commentary on The Book of Monotheism
  • 2003: The Clash of Civilizations: An Islamic View, Al Hidaayah Publishing
  • 2003: The Foundations of Islamic Studies
  • 2003: The Moral Foundations of Islamic Culture
  • 2003: Usool al-Hadeeth: The Methodology of Hadeeth Evaluation, IIPH
  • 2003: Usool al-Fiqh: The Methodology of Islamic Law Made Easy
  • 2008: A Commentary on Surah Al-Mulk, Al Hidaayah Publishing
  • 2008: A Commentary on Surah Al-Buruj, Al Hidaayah Publishing
  • 2011: A Commentary on Ibn Taymiyyah's Essay on the Heart, Dakwah Corner Bookstore

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "About - Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips". Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
  3. ^ a b "About Bilal Philips". YouTube.
  4. ^ Gerard McManus. (2007-4-4). Radical sheik refused entry for Islamic talks. Herald Sun, retrieved December 13, 2007
  5. ^ "Ofcom investigation into Peace TV | The Jewish Chronicle". 2011-02-17. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved April 1, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ a b c "Gulf Today Biography".
  8. ^ a b "Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips' Autobiography". Archived from the original on 2006-06-21.
  9. ^ Canadian imam Bilal Philips unwelcome in Philippines Ottawa Citizen
  10. ^ a b c "Saudi Gazette Biography".
  11. ^ J. M. Berger, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, p 51. ISBN 1597976938
  12. ^ WorldCat library listing: Exorcism in Islam (Book, 1993) | University of Wales, Trinity St. David, Lampeter Campus
  13. ^ Banaeem, Jihan (18 November 2016). "The West Is Scared Of Us – Dr. Bilal Philips". NADI BANGI. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  14. ^ a b c Manlupig, Karlos (10 September 2014). "Canadian preacher linked to terrorists found in Davao". Rappler. Retrieved 2017-11-22.
  15. ^ a b c d e Berger, J.M. (19 April 2011). "A Conversation About Jihad With Controversial Preacher Bilal Philips". Retrieved 2017-07-06.
  16. ^ Marloes Janson, Islam, Youth and Modernity in the Gambia: The Tablighi Jama'at, p 251. ISBN 1107040574
  17. ^ "Niger State Government Pays Islamic Online University BA Fees for 35 Students". Niger Times. March 2014. Archived from the original on December 8, 2015. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  18. ^ a b c "Exclusive: Interview with Dr Bilal Philips". Austrolabe. 9 April 2007. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  19. ^ a b c d e f "Muslim Leaders Denounce Police Over Raids in Czech Capital". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  20. ^ "Islamist hate books inquiry call". 2010-12-03. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  21. ^ Philips, Bilal (2002). Contemporary Issues (PDF). p. 7.
  22. ^ a b c d e f Mark Townsend. "Stockholm bomber's mosque website carries links to extremist preacher | World news". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  23. ^ Philips, Bilal (2002). Contemporary Issues (PDF). p. 41.
  24. ^ a b c d "Controversial Canadian Muslim preacher accused of inciting terrorism and arrested in Philippines | National Post". Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  25. ^ a b "John Howard Bans Islamic Leader". Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  26. ^ a b "Ny i Danmark". (in Danish). Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  27. ^ a b c "Kenya deports Jamaican over terrorism links". 2012-02-23. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  28. ^ a b DPA/The Local/mdm. (2011-04-21). Islamist preacher ordered to leave Germany. The Local, retrieved August 6, 2011
  29. ^ a b "Bilal Philips forced to leave Dhaka - New Age | New Age". 2014-06-19. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  30. ^ a b c "Islamic teacher linked to terror groups arrested | The Manila Times Online". 9 September 2014. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  31. ^ a b Reuters Editorial (2014-09-10). "Philippines to deport Canadian Islamic teacher over terror links | Reuters". Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  32. ^ Gilligan, Andrew. "Hizb ut Tahrir is not a gateway to terrorism, claims Whitehall report". Telegraph. Archived from the original on July 27, 2010. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  33. ^ "Controversial Canadian Muslim preacher Bilal Philips deported from Kenya over security concerns". Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  34. ^ "Kenya : Cleric suspected of terror links deported - Standard Digital News". 2012-02-24. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  35. ^
  36. ^ Gilligan, Andrew. "Inextricably linked to controversial mosque: the secret world of IFE". Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  37. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  38. ^ "Canadian preacher linked to terrorists found in Davao". 2014-09-10. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  39. ^ "Philippines deports Bilal Philips". 14 September 2014. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  40. ^ "Controversial imam Bilal Philips says banning him won't stop his message". The Globe and Mail. 2014-09-15. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  41. ^ "Canadian imam Bilal Philips unwelcome in Philippines". Ottawa Citizen. 2014-09-10. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
  42. ^ "Kill the Imams of the West" (PDF). Dabiq 1437 Rajab (April - May 2016). Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (14): 16. Retrieved 2016-04-30. Jamaican ally to Canada, Bilal Philips, has – like the rest of the apostates mentioned herein ...
  43. ^ Goodsteinmay 8, 2016, Laurie (8 May 2016). "Muslim Leaders Wage Theological Battle, Stoking ISIS' Anger". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  44. ^ Halevi, Jonathan D. (13 April 2016). "ISIS names two Canadian imams in a new hit list". No. 1. CIJNews. CIJNews. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  45. ^ "ISIS Magazine Targets Sunni 'Apostates'". Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Archived from the original on 2 May 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  46. ^ Titheradge, Sajid Iqbal and Noel (2016-07-28). "'Extremist' books remained in prisons despite warning". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  47. ^ Dedert, Arne (May 2, 2017). "Canadian Muslim preacher banned from entering Denmark for two years". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved May 31, 2021.

External links[edit]