The curious case of Huma Abedin and her father

The question remains: Does Huma Abedin have any relation with the Muslim Brotherhood?

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Media in the West, especially those in the United States, has been recently focusing coverage on one other American female politician: Huma Abedin, the director of Hillary Clinton's campaign.

A Muslim woman of Indian origins, she’s been accused of her affiliations to the “Muslim Brotherhood” group. In 1976, she was born in Kalamazoo city, Michigan. Her father Syed Zaynul Abedin – an Indian –and mother Saleha – a Pakistani had just immigrated to the US and then moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for several years. Her parents then moved back to the US again.

Dr. Abedin founded the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs with offices in Saudi Arabia and London and served as the editor of the institute’s Journal – now run by his wife Saleha Mahmoud Abedin. He was born in New Delhi in April, 1928. He suffered from a physical disability after falling off a horse after completing his Master’s degree. He died in 1993.

Syed Zaynul Abedin and his wife Saleha had four kids: Hassan, Huma, Mahmoud, and Hiba. The first-born is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies (linked to the Oxford University's Institute that was founded in 1985), in addition to his sister, Hiba Abedin who is now living in New York City. She was a member of the editorial staff of the “Muslim Minority Affairs” magazine and took the post after her sister Huma who joined Hillary Clinton’s team in 2008.

Hiba Abedin introduces herself on her official Facebook and LinkedIn pages as a Fashion Consultant and Marketing advisor.

Human Abedin is a long-time aide to US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. (AP)
Human Abedin is a long-time aide to US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. (AP)

Syed Zaynul Abedin grew up amid important political events, including the South Asian regions. He witnessed the ideological struggle era, the political independence of India, the end of the East India Company and the British Empire. He was also present during the imperative existence of the Muslims of India and Pakistan later on. This is why, Abedin decided to be part in the “Islamic Group” that was founded and led by Abul Ala Maududi. According to some, this group is similar to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, but it is located in the Indian sub-continent. According to “Sayed Mohammed Sayed” in a letter after Zaynul Abedin death, he became an official member in the mid-fifties, when he was barely 25 years old.

When Abedin graduated from the English Literature Department, he simultaneously graduated from Sanvi Darsgah University, an Islamic school founded by Maududi. Abedin was very active and had a prominent role in the establishment of the Islamic Thought journal; he then became its editor-in-chief.

Abedin focused his work at the time on finding the right path to the success of the Muslim minority in India after the independence under the democratic rule, by the majority that is controlled by the caste system in India.

His ideas evolved to find the relationship between Islam and modernity, from cultural and religious point of view of Muslim minorities.

Abedin was close to the Indian Muslim group. He then settled in the United States in Philadelphia and completed his higher education.

File photo of Anthony Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin at a news conference in New York during his mayoral campaign, July 23, 2013. (Reuters)
File photo of Anthony Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin at a news conference in New York during his mayoral campaign, July 23, 2013. (Reuters)

In the beginning of the 1980s, he became a Muslim World League consultant, and a member of the Union of Muslim Scholars presided by Yusuf al-Qaradawi. He was always focused on the idea of integrating the Muslim minorities into Western societies in light of its increasing numbers in the Diaspora.

Abedin joined a number of Islamic centers in the UK and the United States, including the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies that includes “Abu Hassan Nadwi” in its Board of Trustees, as the head of the symposium scientists and the Head of Research and Islamic publications Academy in India, along with Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, head of the Muslim Scholars Union, in addition to other scientists of India and Pakistan.

However, what was obviously overlooked by the researcher, is that Syed Zaynul Abedin’s opinions were only a transition from the adoption of the “civil era” theory, which was the basis for the “Abul Ala Maududi” theories embodied in the “Hakimiah and Jahiliah” (Governance and Ignorance), which he already joined in the mid-fifties, to the “Makkahera” embodied in the Jihad calls, as a prelude to the stage of empowerment, and adopted by “Abu Hassan Nadwi”, through the relationship and convergence of ideologies combined by the “Oxford Islamic Studies” Center; however, both roads lead to one target the “reinstatement of the caliphate.”

His relations with the Nadwi ideology is manifested in Syed Zaynul Abedin’s quotes when saying: “The role of the Prophet Muhammad –peace be upon him– in Makkahand in Medina had different aspects; The Prophet was the Messenger of Allah in Makkahand in Medina the events gave him another role in addition to his spiritual one, as he was also the head of the state. So playing both roles is not compulsory, as happened in Medina, as for the role played in Mecca, there is no escape from it.”

He added: “There is a small historical fact that we all tend to disregard, the Prophet did not invade Medina; he was invited to go there by its residents.”

The same call was addressed by Abu Hassan Nadwi during a ceremony for the “Muslim Brotherhood” in Egypt in 1370, that coincided with the decision to disband the group. His speech was entitled: “I have wanted to talk to the Brotherhood for 50 years now”. He said in his speech that the government was a gift from God and a means to achieve the goals of the religion. “The government was not a goal itself but a normal outcome for calls and Jihad”, he added.

Nadwi, who described the Muslim Brotherhood as the greatest contemporary Islamic movements, which worked for reform and Jihad added: “there is a big difference between the purpose that is meant and the purpose that is shown. We must purify our minds to calls only. We must lead people from darkness to light, from ignorance to Islam, from distorted religions, unfair systems and instinctual doctrines to the justice of Islam”.

This is part of Zaynul Abedin’s biography, the father of Huma who is Clinton’s advisor. She has joined Hillary since 1996 up until 2016 and aroused controversies, especially after being appointed as the director of the US presidential candidate campaign. President Obama had also defended her.

The question remains: Does Huma Abedin have any relation with the Muslim Brotherhood?

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