13 January 2017

"Moderate Islam" & Muslim American Leadership: Reflections Before the Deluge

Is it just me, or is being a Muslim in the US a rollercoaster ride? There’s so much to discuss! Top on the list is, of course, the imminent Trump administration. Like many in this country, since November 9th I’ve alternated between stupefaction, acute anxiety and invigoration for the… interactions (?) to come. This is an ideal moment to reflect on the condition of the American Muslim community as news reports of cabinet picks and policy announcements regularly herald the challenges, long feared just beyond the horizon, that are now coming into view.

30 October 2015

The Day Two Scholars Slapped Me

Imam al-Ghazali and Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah, two of the most gifted Islamic scholars in history, stood before me. I envisioned their encouraging me and thanks, but instead they slapped me across the face.

20 October 2015

When Thanksgiving Meets Ashura

The day of Ashura is unfortunately not given its full due because we choose to observe it through the polarizing lens of our own personal ideology. Some observe Ashura as if the death of Imam Husain never happened on this day, while others observe Ashura as if only the death of Imam Husain happened on this day. Others are apathetic about observing it at all. In all of these circumstances, this blessed day is being shortchanged, and we are the only ones who lose out. With Thanksgiving season approaching, a reflection on gratitude may lead us to a more comprehensive and unifying perspective on Ashura.

25 August 2015

A Muslim in Paris: A Jihad Honored By France

Three Americans were awarded France’s highest honour, the Légion d’Honneur medal, for thwarting what appeared to be an attack on a train. Given the current Islamophobic climate in France, it may come as a surprise that France awarded the Grand Cross of the Légion d’Honneur to one of the most prominent Muslim figures in recent history, and a man who resisted French colonization using military force: Emir Abdelqadir El Djezairi, an Algerian Muslim scholar.

20 August 2015

Souled Out: ISIS, Slavery, & Your Personal Faith

While the Muslim world overwhelmingly rejects the actions of ISIS, the group claims their actions as valid interpretations of the sacred law. If such interpretations are drawn from traditional legal manuals, are the rebuttals to the claims of ISIS just apologetics from critics derided as “sell-outs”? Or does ISIS and their ilk simply represent a mirror image of the soulless faith that dominates today, “souled out” actors that erect an ego-driven faith of grotesque gratifications?

13 July 2015

Feeling Challenged? Stay Steadfast in Patience

The core message of Surah Ali-Imran is about patience. Be patient in the face of challenges and calamities. Don’t give in. And that requires an action of the heart.

14 April 2015

The Challenge of Spirituality to Islamic Finance

I am often asked ‘What is Islamic finance? ‘Is it. . .Islamic?’. I nearly always hesitate.

30 March 2015

The Laws of the Heart by Shaykh Muhammad Emin Er

The Law is a tree, and the Path its branches, and Realization is its fruit. Is it possible for the fruits to exist without branches or branches to exist without the tree? Never.

23 March 2015

The Mercy In Being Certain of the Day of Judgment

Certainty in the Day of Judgment is not a negative, fear-engendering, over-powering, or depressing feeling, but rather it is uniquely empowering.

4 March 2015

Defining the Muslim Mainstream: Who Are the Saved and Who Are the Sects?

Who are the mainstream Muslims? An oft-quoted but misunderstood hadith about Muslim sects offers insight into what can save us, rather than divide us.

18 February 2015

ISIS and the Academic Veil for Islamophobia

In short, the only people who understand what Islam is really about as far as Wood is concerned are ISIS and academics who say what ISIS militants do is authentic Islam. As for the rest of over 1.6 billion Muslims and their theologians, they have what in the words of Haykel calls it, “a cotton-candy view of their own religion.”

26 December 2014

Merry Christmas: The Fatwa or the Fitra?

A fatwa decreeing it permissible to congratulate non-Muslims on their religious holidays is not about giving Muslims permission to practice basic human decency or to be nice. It is an evaluation of an action against the core values of Islam. It may outwardly seem to be a “small issue”, but it is on these small issues that principles at play become evident.