10 May 2018

A Tale of Two Mothers: The Birth of Moses

The mother of Moses/Musa represents one of the most dramatic characters in the Qur’an relating to the relationship between one’s child, faith in God and trust in the divine plan.

2 April 2018

Al-Mahdi and the End of Times as Explained by Uthman dan Fodio

The inevitability of the end of times, just like death, should not be a source of grief for Muslims. As we should know the signs of the coming of Imam al-Mahdi, it is also important for us to strive to be those of faith and justice so that if we live to see his appearance, he will recognize us to be among his followers.

26 March 2018

Blind Faith in Intellectual Circles

The question is not whether God exists. The real question to ask is whether our worship will be directed towards God or towards idols of our own making.

25 January 2018

Restoring Proper Meanings Back to Words and Discourses

We reside in a time in which meanings are losing value. There are terms within movements that can cause us confusion about our deen and even how we see ourselves.

14 November 2017

The Presumption of Innocence When Too Many Victims Go Unheard

Recent reports of sexual misconduct and assault have intensified an already profound ethical, legal and media crisis in US society, one in which Muslims now also find themselves. Like all great dilemmas, it is one in which we are faced with what seem to be two equally valid but seemingly irreconcilable concerns. On the one hand, we have the fundamental premise of the presumption of innocence and the essential guarantee of due process. On the other, we have the demonstrable failings of the very system that provides that due process.

17 July 2017

The Call-Out Culture: An Islamic Perspective

At the level of society overall, Calling-Out has proven extremely valuable, but there is an epiphenomenon of Call-Out Culture which is the problem of accurately verifying what is being called-out. The rigorous verification of claims made or information passed along has always been a hallmark of the Islamic tradition.

19 May 2017

Light Upon Light: A Journey Through the Qur'an Into the Reality of Salawat

Many explanations have been offered for the word ṣalāwāt, such as to exalt, to praise, to bestow mercy on, to bless, to forgive. Through an investigation of several verses of the Qurʾān, and drawing upon the ḥadīth and the insight of several great imams culled from an array of rare and precious sources, a clearer explanation is offered linking the word ṣalawāt to light.

8 May 2017

Prophetic Pugilism & The Freedom Principle

Strength is often mistaken as a weapon to be used to subdue one’s enemy and make others into one’s subjects. The Prophet, however, saw the truth of the matter, which was that strength and power are responsibilities given to a person as a test from God to see whether or not he/she will abuse them. As a genuine pugilist who pities his challenger in light of the latter’s unawareness of just how much harm he is exposing himself to, the Prophet Muhammad stayed true to his description as a mercy to all worlds by protecting those who offended him from divine retribution through his refusal to defend himself from personal offense. Muhammad’s—upon him Allah’s peace and blessing—freedom principle gives us a way to realize both peace and justice in this world. More importantly, it also gives us the key to the attainment of divine satisfaction in the next.

13 March 2017

The 40 American Hadith: Choice, Happiness & Marriage

The hyper-fixation of Muslim families on material wealth, ethnicity, and class — to the exclusion of all other considerations including choice and happiness — will only continue to erode the Muslim community from within. While it is convenient during a Trump presidency for Muslims to pour all of their fears and anxieties in his administration, we ignore the self-inflicted wound that is just as likely, if perhaps not more so, to contribute to the glum feeling many of us have in our community.

15 February 2017

Uthman Dan Fodio: One of the Shining Stars of West Africa

One of the hidden treasures within the Muslim world is West Africa. In it contains a rich history of Muslim empires, arts and culture as well as resistance to colonialism. As these are aspects of Islamic civilization in West Africa that are unknown to many non-sub Saharan Africans, equally unknown is the rich history of Islamic scholarship in West Africa which continues to inspire the faithful today. Shaykh Uthman bin Fodio al-Fulani (may Allah sanctify his spirit), also known as Shehu Uthman dan Fodio, is one of those stars in the constellation in the history of Islamic scholarship in West Africa.

27 January 2017

Religious Policing & Compelling Conformity

Should compulsion—rather than conviction—play a role in realizing the ideal of a virtuous community? Is there a role for the “policing” of other people’s religious belief and morality?

18 January 2017

Acting Prophetically in a Trumpian America

In a new America under the governance of Donald Trump, demands for our mosques to act in the public arena — from both our community members who are legitimately feeling great pressure, and our allies who want to support us — are likely to intensify. In this context, our leadership must ask this question daily: what does a Prophetic imagination of public action look like for mosques in this moment?