Murabitun World Movement

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The Murabitun World Movement is an Islamic movement founded by its current leader, Abdalqadir as-Sufi (born as Ian Dallas), with communities in several countries. Its heartland is Spain.[1] The number of its followers may amount, according to one estimate, to around 10,000.[2]

The movement's objectives include the restoration of Zakat, Da’wa and the practice of bayat (allegiance) to an Emir. It considers itself a tariqa in the Darqawi-Shadhili-Qadiri Tariqa tradition.[citation needed]


The name Murabitun derives from the name of the Almoravid dynasty. The founder of the Murabitun World Movement is Abdalqadir as-Sufi, a convert to Islam born Ian Dallas in Ayr, Scotland, in 1930. He met his first Shaykh, Muhammad ibn al-Habib, in Meknes around 1968, and was made a muqaddam and given the title "as-Sufi". Ibn al-Habib said to him, “You can stay here with me, and something might happen. But go to England and see what will happen,”[3] and so he went to London and gathered a group of new British Muslims, returning to Morocco in 1970. He founded a learning centre in Bristol Gardens, London, in 1972, and another centre in Berkeley, California.[citation needed]

Abdalqadir as-Sufi travelled in Europe and America, held talks, and published works such as The Way of Muhammad[4] and Islam Journal proposing that Islam could be understood, and entered, as the "completion of the Western intellectual and spiritual tradition".[4] He also initiated translations into English of classical texts on Islamic law and Sufism, including the Muwatta Imam Malik[5] and the letters of Muhammad al-Arabi al-Darqawi, published as The Darqawi Way.[citation needed]

In 1982 Abdalqadir as-Sufi held a series of talks in America which were to become the basis of his work, Root Islamic Education.[6]


Position on zakat[edit]

The political and social work of the Murabitun centres around the restoration of the “fallen pillar”[7] of zakat, which, it is claimed, has been abandoned on several primary counts.


  1. that it must be taken by an emir[8]
  2. that if it consists of money it must be taken in gold and/or silver[9]
  3. that it must be disbursed immediately.

As their authority for this position the Murabitun cite a wide range of sources, beginning with the Qur'anic injunction to take zakat,[10] the Prophetic practice of zakat-taking, the well-known position of the Khalif Abu Bakr as-Siddiq,[11] and the established practice among the world Muslim community which was until relatively recently the assessment and collection of zakat by the Leader and his collectors.

This they place in contradistinction to the currently prevailing practices of voluntary self-assessment, donation to the zakat charity of one’s choice, and the placement of zakat donations into interim or even long-term investment funds. This, they argue, destroys the political cohesion of the Muslim community, which is based primarily on the circulation of wealth along divinely revealed lines.[12] They also condemn zakat investment funds as un-Islamic.

Shari‘ah currency[edit]

They previously connected their position on zakat with promotion of the Islamic gold dinar and silver dirham, which was developed above all by the scholar Umar Ibrahim Vadillo. Paper money, since actually a promise of payment written on paper, can from the point of view of zakat only be considered in terms of its value as paper,[9] since zakat cannot be discharged by passing on a token of debt owed to a third party. Vadillo has written extensively[13] on the origins of paper money and the Islamic position on money.

The Murabitun traced the bi-metallic currency back to Muhammad and the first Muslim community; its specific weights and purities were formally recorded by ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab.[14][15] They also cited the dinar’s mention in the Qur'an,[16] its use in the universally accepted fiqh to define the terms of zakat, and its mention as currency throughout the entire body of Islamic fiqh.[citation needed] In February 2014, however, Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi distanced himself from the dinar and dirham movement, saying, "So, I now dis-associate myself from all activity involving the Islamic gold dinar and silver dirham".[17]

Emirate, sultaniyya and caliphate[edit]

The Murabitun advocate personal rule as the Islamic and indeed natural form of human governance,[18][19] taking authority for this position from extensive Qur'anic references.[20]

Muslims from Mexico during the Hajj in 2002

‘Amal Ahl al-Madinah[edit]

Abdalqadir as-Sufi's advocacy of Malik’s school of Madinah is explained at length in his work Root Islamic Education. The Murabitun do not, however, in any way dispute the validity of the other legal schools,[21] nor is adherence to or advocacy of the madhhab of Malik a condition of membership of the Murabitun.

Islamic trading and social welfare[edit]

The Murabitun advocate a revival of the forms of trading and social welfare practiced during the first generations of Muslims and for most of the history of Islam, proposing that these are the natural modes of human activity and rejecting the dialectical categorisation of “ancient” or “modern”, a set of opposites whose application to Islam they consider irrelevant and misleading.[22]

These models have been formulated in detail and include awqaf[12] for the funding of social welfare institutions, mosques and other public facilities.

Position against terrorism[edit]

Abdalqadir as-Sufi has consistently identified terrorism and suicide tactics as forbidden in and alien to Islam, and indeed as a phenomenon with no precursor in Muslim history. Instead, he states that its original appearance as a tactic and a psychology was among the Isma‘ili sect of Shi‘a Islam, and that it later emerged among the Russian nihilists of the late 19th century.[23]

Organizational form[edit]

The Jumua Mosque of Cape Town, established by Abdalqadir as-Sufi and members of the Murabitun

The Murabitun organise themselves around emirs. This is distinct from the role of the movement’s founder, Abdalqadir as-Sufi, who, while exercising an undoubted influence, is a spiritual guide rather than a political leader – an arrangement common throughout the history of Islam.[24][25]


  1. ^ Ulrika Martensson, Jennifer Bailey, Priscilla Ringrose, Asbjorn Dyrendal, Fundamentalism in the Modern World Vol 2:Fundamentalism and Communication: Culture, Media and the Public Sphere, ed. I.B.Tauris, 2011, p. 113
  2. ^ Oscar Perez Ventura, Movimientos Islamistas en Espana: el Movimiento Munidal Murabitun, conversos al Islam en Al-Andalus, Instituto Espanol de Estudios Estrategos, 2012, p. 8
  3. ^ From “The new Murabitun” by Umar Ibrahim Vadillo, Yildiz Productions, 1999
  4. ^ a b The Way of Muhammad Archived 2010-06-27 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ The Muwatta of Imam Malik Archived 2010-10-13 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Root Islamic Education Archived 2010-06-27 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Bewley, Abdalhaqq, Zakat: raising a fallen pillar, Black Stone Press, UK, 2001
  8. ^ For example: "The zakat is fard and one of the fundamental matters of Islam, such that whoever denies that it is obligatory is a kafir." And "It is obligatory to pay zakat to the amir (Imam) if he is just. If he is not just and it is impossible to divert it from him, then one pays it to him and that discharges one's duty, but if it is possible to divert it from him then the person paying it should pay it to those who can validly receive it but it is recommended that one not undertake to pay it directly oneself for fear of praise." Al-Qawanin al-Fiqhiyya, Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi
  9. ^ a b For example: Al-Fath al-‘Aliyy al-Malik fi al-Fatawi ‘ala Madhhab Malik, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Illish, Al-Azhar
  10. ^ “Take zakat from their wealth” Surat Tawba 9:103
  11. ^ "Fight them if they retain only a hobbling-rope of what was collected before." Al-Bukhari in his Sahih in the Book of Zakat, in the chapter on the obligatory nature of zakat.
  12. ^ a b Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi, Sultaniyya, Madinah Press 2001
  13. ^ A fatwa on banking in Islam by Umar Ibrahim Vadillo is available here, Fatwa on Banking Archived 2007-08-13 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ At-Taratib al-Idariyya, Shaykh al-Kattaani
  15. ^ Abu Bakr ibn Abi Maryam reported that he heard the Muhammed say: "A time is certainly coming over mankind in which there will be nothing [left] which will be of use save a dinar and a dirham." (The Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal)
  16. ^ “But there are others among them who, if you entrust them with just a single dinar, will not return it to you.” Surat Al‘Imran 3:74
  17. ^ "THE ISLAMIC DINAR – A WAY-STAGE PASSED" Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi
  18. ^ Sultaniyya is a modern statement on leadership in Islam. Abdalqadir surveys Islam under the chapter headings Deen, Dawla (polity), Waqf, Trade, the Sultan — personal rule — and Tasawwuf. (Madinah Press, Cape Town, 2002, OCLC: 50875888)
  19. ^ Sultaniyya Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Surat An-Nisa 4:58
  21. ^ Discourse on the Four Madh'habs by Abdalhaqq Bewley Archived 2007-12-12 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Ian Dallas, The Time of the Bedouin, Budgate Press 2006
  23. ^ Fatwa on Suicide as a Tactic, Madinah Press 2004. Archived 2007-05-18 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ The Ottoman Empire 1300-1600 by Halil Inalcik, Orion, 2000, ISBN 1-84212-442-0
  25. ^ Abdallah ibn Yasin

Further reading[edit]

  • Website of Abdalqadir as-Sufi
  • The Noble Qur'an: a rendering of its meaning in English. Abdalhaqq and Aisha Bewley, (Bookwork, Norwich, UK, ISBN 1-874216-36-3)
  • The Way of Muhammad (Diwan Press, 1975, ASIN: B0000D74TC)
  • The Muwatta of Imam Malik translated by Aisha Bewley and Ya'qub Johnson, (Bookwork, Norwich, UK, 2001, ISBN 0-906512-17-4, ISBN 0-7103-0361-0)
  • The Letters of Shaykh Moulay Muhammad al-Arabi al-Darqawi (published as The Darqawi Way) translated by Aisha Bewley (Diwan Press Norwich, UK, 1980, ISBN 0-906512-06-9)
  • Root Islamic Education, written on the school of the people of Madinah under the leadership of Imam Malik (Madina Press, June 1993, ISBN 1-874216-05-3)

External links[edit]