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The Madrasa of Gaza al-‘Izza

What is ‘izza? English translations of the Qur’an typically translate ‘izza as glory, might and honour. And therefore: To Allah, His Messenger ﷺ and the believers belongs all glory, might and honour. But the etymology of the word ‘izza denotes many meanings: strength and power; rarity and preciousness; and even difficulty and unattainability.

15 May 2017

13 Reasons Why Not: A Muslim Perspective

13 Reasons Why has swept the nation as it vividly, and controversially, takes viewers through the journey of a high school girl’s suicide, from her perspective. The series showcases many of the social ills our teens face today that can lead to struggles that are difficult to address. Regardless of whether your tween or teenage child has watched this show, it’s likely that they have heard some discussions regarding the storyline and the characters. Take this opportunity to open age-appropriate dialogue with your children if they have been exposed to these themes and strive to be their first source of information when they indicate a need to talk. Here are thirteen reasons why our youth today may not feel confident, comfortable, or secure in situations at school or with their peers and what we can do about it.

10 May 2017

Mystical Dimensions of Being a Mom

Our time is increasingly filled with the preoccupations of, well, occupations. And smart phones, social media, food, and endless to-do lists.

And, for some of us, children. Many who develop spiritual interests while young are challenged by how to maintain that desire once we become parents. Mothers in particular face a tremendous struggle. Keeping focused in salah, or sometimes even praying salah itself, becomes a tricky accomplishment in the presence of a nursing newborn, a rambunctious toddler, or bickering siblings. Our souls continuously gasp for a sliver of private time for spiritual practice: Is there childcare at the conference? At jum‘ah prayer? At taraweeh? Maybe daily Qur’an-time occurs via mini-van speakers before the afterschool carpool, if it even occurs at all. Our ‘ibada becomes chicken dinners, budget-friendly grocery lists, or just keeping our heads above water as we juggle laundry, career, and family. But these things are not small. When done for Allah’s sake by either parent, they are all truly ‘ibāda. Still, Allah’s beloved messenger ﷺ taught us that Paradise is at a mother’s feet.1

But what about the mother who feels an urgent tug within – a deeper spiritual calling?

10 May 2017

The Right Kind of Barakah

Even if we cannot all become masters of Arabic, we should strive to become lovers of this right-sided language with the intention that even if we lack proficiency in Arabic, our love for Arabic will be a means for us to speak this Divine Language in the Presence of the Divine in the Eternal Garden.

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.

26 April 2017

What Is Power For?

One must first be woke in terms of their own self. Imam ar-Raghib al-Isfahanī mentions in his text on Islamic ethics that the enemies of mankind are four: ego, whim, demonic, and worldly. Unless we understand how to battle the first three, we will continue to experience deterioration of our worldly status. Indeed, the world is the way it is as a result of how well we are doing in our battles against the first three enemies. It is an apparent manifestation of events that take place in the unseen world.

26 April 2017

Turning Back the Tide of Leftist Influences: Part 1

As a consequence of the perception that the Left provides more of a socio-political safe space, some within the community have absorbed much of the sensibilities and moral relativism of the Left. This is the time for those who firmly adhere to Islamic tradition to have moral courage in the face of a leftist intolerance that seeks to shut down debate or introduce heterodox ideas among Muslims in the name of plurality.

19 April 2017

Confessions of a Shaikh’s Wife Part 2: The Pedestal & the Pulpit

As students of Islamic knowledge return home to the West, they find themselves having to draw a fine balance between the pedestal and the pulpit; between seeking popularity, with all its spiritual risks, as a means of forwarding their own efforts in dawah, and serving the community in a more traditional capacity, with all the frustrations and indignities those positions commonly hold.

7 April 2017

A Conversation With Abdurrahman Depeler

AbdurRahman Depeler is a young award-winning calligrapher from Konya, Turkey. Inspired by the masters of old, AbdurRahman brings a unique style to his work, making him one of the most sought after calligraphers of our time. He shared his thoughts with Moutasem Atiya in this interview for ImanWire.

29 March 2017

Responding to the Divine Call

As an increasing number of Muslims engage in political activism it is essential that the Divine Call be answered first. Otherwise, instead of moving with the transcendent compass that will make one act in accordance with Islamic teachings and principles, incoherent materialistic ideologies will be adopted in its place.

27 March 2017

Having A Healthy Appreciation for Islamic Scholars

Many American Muslims have been recently engaged in conversations about the relationship between activists and traditionally trained Islamic scholars. Though there have been stellar individuals who fall into the camp of qualified activist scholars or shuyookh, these have historically been exceptions more so than what has been predominant. In dealing with the reality in which we currently live in today, there are some fundamental aspects relating to adab (etiquettes) of engagement and critique in which laymen, including activists, should have with scholars.

15 March 2017

Muslim Women in Leadership: Nana Asma’u, Daughter of the Shehu

The history of Muslim women is a history of action, acumen and resilience. It is a history of intelligence, interest and stamina. It is a history of personal power, community care and global grit. And few exemplify this history like Nana Asma’u of the early nineteenth century.

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.