Thursday, September 29, 2016

Recording of "The Secular and the Sacred in Higher Education": A Conversation with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Dr. John Sexton, moderated by Rev. Dr. Serene Jones

In case you missed the incredible event last night (9/27), you can now listen to the full audio from The Secular and the Sacred in Higher Education: A Conversation with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Dr. John Sexton, moderated by Rev. Dv. Serene Jones. This lecture was the annual Fritzi Weitzmann Owens Memorial Lecture at the Of Many Institute for Multifaith Leadership at NYU and was cosponsored by the Islamic Center at NYU and the New York Community Trust.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Jamillah Karim: Terence Crutcher, May God grant him the highest level of Paradise

The Goldziher Prize is an award for excellence in the coverage of American Muslims by an individual or team of U.S. journalists.
The Goldziher Prize was created in response to the rising fear and hateful actions toward American Muslims. The Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations at Merrimack College, an independent college in the Catholic Augustinian tradition, and the William and Mary Greve Foundation seek to publicly recognize and stimulate stories or opinion pieces about Muslims in the U.S. 
via Hussein

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

England’s Forgotten Muslim History (NYT, 9/17/2016).

It turns out that Islam, in all its manifestations — imperial, military and commercial — played an important part in the story of England. Today, when anti-Muslim rhetoric inflames political discourse, it is useful to remember that our pasts are more entangled than is often appreciated.

Jerry Brotton, a professor of Renaissance studies at Queen Mary University of London, is the author of The Sultan and the Queen: The Untold Story of Elizabeth and Islam.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

An Essential Human Respect: Reading Walt Whitman During Troubled Times

Monday, September 19, 2016

Walid Saleh on the centrality of the tafsir tradition in Islamic intellectual history

What should be clear from this summary is that Ibn 'Āshūr was writing a history of tafsīr as an intellectual historytafsīr as part of the religious history of Islam — not as a string of biographies of exegetes. The attention given to the teaching and transmission of tafsīr was for him central. The gloss here becomes a major part of this history; after the 13th century the gloss became the main vehicle for scholarly creativity in tafsīr. These insights into the history and development of the genre are simply unmatched in the field. Ibn 'Āshūr’s analysis once and for all resolves the problem of assessing the cultural significance of the genre of Qur'ān commentary in Islam. It proves that tafsīr was central to the concerns of the scholarly elite, central to the educational system, and central in the formation of the worldview of Muslim intellectuals. The Qur'ān as a hermeneutical concern was central to Islamic culture, and this hermeneutical concern, this intellectual obsession, was independent of any apparent utilitarian function. The Qur'ān as a text was
the abiding concern of the educational system.
-Saleh, Walid. "Marginalia and peripheries: a Tunisian historian and the history of Quránic exegesis." Numen 58, no. 2-3 (January 1, 2011): 284-313, 308.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

"Peace belongs to one who is inwardly at peace with the Will of Heaven

and outwardly at war with the forces of disruption and disequilibrium. (Nasr)

the spirit and the material

There is no room in Islam for the dualism of a good spiritual realm and an evil material sphere: this world too has been created by God, and He has made it subservient to man...[Quoting Nasr] "The spirituality of Islam of which the Prophet is the prototype is not the rejection of the world but the transcending of it through its integration into a Centre and the establishment of a harmony upon which the quest of the Absolute is based." [...] Therefore the mystic who, completely submerged in the vision of God, wants to stay forever in the realm of spirit without returning hither to the material sphere, has been frequently contrasted in Islamic thought with the Prophet, who returned to this world after his ineffable dialogue with God, in order to ameliorate the world and to implement the fruits of his inspiration for the betterment of society.
-Annemarie Schimmel, And Muhammad Is His Messenger: The Veneration of the Prophet in Islamic Piety (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1985), p. 53.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The focus of the early revelations

The revelations that descended upon Muhammad from about 610 onward spoke primarily of God the One, Who is both the Creator of the world and its Judge. He will call mankind before His judgment unless they follow the commands to love their neighbors, to do justice, and to act honestly. In the early, short suras, as the chapter of the Koran later came to be called, the terrors of the Day of Judgment are depicted in brief and powerful, rhyming sentences that follow each other like sharp lightning and roaring thunder. The Meccans did not find this message very convincing; in particular, the idea of the resurrection of the dead did not make much sense to them. But the revelations Muhammad repeatedly received to counter such doubts argued that even the earth, seemingly dead in winter, could bring forth fresh greenery in the spring, and that the miracle of conception and birth is not less than that of the resurrection of the flesh.
-Annemarie Schimmel, And Muhammad Is His Messenger: The Veneration of the Prophet in Islamic Piety (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1985), p. 12.

[Re-reading for a course on Islam that I am TA'ing for this semester alhamdullilah. I thought she offered this description of the early revelations in a concise and lovely manner.]