Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New: Montmorency's Book of Rhymes by Abdal-Hakim Murad

Join dear Montmorency as he indulges his sweet tooth, the Pasha of Salonica whose family fears for his health, Aisha Featherstone-Pugh who is having trouble with her ablutions, and the Masjid Mouse from Merry Lane who never forgets his prayers in a delightful collection of rhymes relayed in the style of the classics. Using rich and vibrant language, T.J. Winter transports us to a fabulous world of unforgettable characters while Anne Yvonne Gilbert brings the rhymes to life through her heartwarming illustrations, ensuring this book its place as a treasured classic amongst children living in both the East and the West.
Amazon
Kinza Press

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Book: God and Logic in Islam: The Caliphate of Reason

This book investigates the central role of reason in Islamic intellectual life. Despite widespread characterization of Islam as a system of belief based only on revelation, John Walbridge argues that rational methods, not fundamentalism, have characterized Islamic law, philosophy, and education since the medieval period. His research demonstrates that this medieval Islamic rational tradition was opposed by both modernists and fundamentalists, resulting in a general collapse of traditional Islamic intellectual life and its replacement by more modern but far shallower forms of thought. However, the resources of this Islamic scholarly tradition remain an integral part of the Islamic intellectual tradition and will prove vital to its revival. The future of Islam, Walbridge argues, will be marked by a return to rationalism.
Now available in paperback from the publisher (Cambridge UP)

Recommended by Shaykh Hamza.

Faraz Khan Art Studio

http://www.farazkhanartstudio.com/

Check out a dear brother's work.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

‘Neo-Traditionalism’ vs ‘Traditionalism’-Shaykh Abdullah Ali


At times, our scholars at Lamppost Productions and other scholars in the West are derisively referred to as ‘modernists’. This is a term that suggests the rejection of the classical, Islamic intellectual tradition. Is this really a fair way to describe our scholars? One of our scholars, Shaykh Abdullah bin Hamid Ali directly addresses this issue in this thought-provoking response to a question from one of our readers.
 http://www.lamppostproductions.com/neo-traditionalism-vs-traditionalism-shaykh-abdullah-bin-hamid-ali/

Saturday, December 21, 2013

New Book: Understanding the Qur'anic Miracle Stories in the Modern Age


The Qur’an contains many miracle stories, from Moses’s staff turning into a serpent to Mary’s conceiving Jesus as a virgin. In Understanding the Qur’anic Miracle Stories in the Modern Age, Isra Yazicioglu offers a glimpse of the ways in which meaningful implications have been drawn from these apparently strange narratives, both in the premodern and modern era. It fleshes out a fascinating medieval Muslim debate over miracles and connects its insights with early and late modern turning points in Western thought and with contemporary Qur’anic interpretation. Building on an apparent tension within the Qur’an and analyzing crucial cases of classical and moern Muslim engagement with these miracle stories, this book illustrates how an apparent site of conflict between faith and reason, or revelation and science, can become a site of fruitful exchange.

This book is a distinctive contribution to a new trend in Qur’anic Studies: it reveals the presence of insightful Qur’anic interpretation outside of the traditional line-by-line commentary genre, engaging with the works of Ghazali, Ibn Rushd, and Said Nursi. Moreover, focused as it is on the case of miracle stories, the book also goes beyond these specific passages to reflect more broadly on the issue of Qur’anic hermeneutics. It notes the connections between literal and symbolic approaches and highlights the importance of approaching the Qur’an with an eye to its potential implications for everyday life.
Amazon

Penn State UP

Thursday, December 12, 2013

New book: Between Heaven and Hell: Islam, Salvation, and the Fate of Others

In Between Heaven and Hell, eminent and up-and-coming scholars representing a diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints address the question of non-Muslim salvation: according to the Islamic ethos (however understood), what can be said about the status and fate of non-Muslims? Each of the volume's contributors responds to this often asked "salvation question"-a question with profound theological and practical implications-from different angles: while some limit themselves to its historical dimensions, others approach it as theologians and philosophers, while yet others focus on the relationship between this-worldly relations with Others and next-worldly conceptions of salvation. Collectively and individually, the essays in this volume advance our understanding of Islamic thought and Muslim societies and indeed the discourse on religious diversity. This groundbreaking volume does not conclude with neat resolutions; instead, it offers fascinating expositions, debates, and points of departure for further contemplation. Contributors include Mohammad Hassan Khalil, Tariq Ramadan, William C. Chittick, Farid Esack, Mohammad Fadel, David M. Freidenreich, Marcia Hermansen, Jerusha Lamptey, Bruce B. Lawrence, Muhammad Legenhausen, Yasir Qadhi, A. Kevin Reinhart, Sajjad Rizvi, Reza Shah-Kazemi, and Tim Winter.
Amazon

In addition to this edited volume, also see this work by the editor. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Signs on the Horizons: Meetings with Men of Knowledge and Illumination

SIGNS ON THE HORIZONS is an enthralling contemporary memoir of one seeker’s interactions with men who have transcended the ordinary and achieved stations of spirituality and enlightenment that in the modern world we only attribute to the Biblical fathers of ancient times or to myth. Michael Sugich, an American writer who was initiated into a traditional Sufi order over forty years ago and who lived for 23 years in the sacred city of Makkah Al Mukaramah, has kept company with some of the greatest Sufi saints of the age from many parts of the world. His book is a unique eye-witness narrative of a mystical tradition that today hides in plain sight, veiled by the turbulence and materialism gripping the Muslim world. It is a spellbinding personal memoir told with eloquence, empathy, self-effacing humor, insight and love.
Amazon

Princeton Muslim Life Program Videos

http://vimeo.com/muslimlifeprogram/videos/sort:date

Some treasures here ma sha Allah.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Dao of Muhammad: A Cultural History of Muslims in Late Imperial China

This book documents an Islamic-Confucian school of scholarship that flourished, mostly in the Yangzi Delta, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Drawing on previously unstudied materials, it reconstructs the network of Muslim scholars responsible for the creation and circulation of a large corpus of Chinese Islamic written material--the so-called Han Kitab. Against the backdrop of the rise of the Manchu Qing dynasty, The Dao of Muhammad shows how the creation of this corpus, and of the scholarly network that supported it, arose in a context of intense dialogue between Muslim scholars, their Confucian social context, and China's imperial rulers.  
Overturning the idea that participation in Confucian culture necessitated the obliteration of all other identities, this book offers insight into the world of a group of scholars who felt that their study of the Islamic classics constituted a rightful "school" within the Confucian intellectual landscape. These men were not the first Muslims to master the Chinese Classics. But they were the first to express themselves specifically as Chinese Muslims and to generate foundation myths that made sense of their place both within Islam and within Chinese culture.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Prof. Mahmood Mamdani on American universities and students

What are your general opinions on American universities and American students? 
Mahmood Mamdani: What a privileged place is an American university. What amazing resources. My god! I am so acutely aware of the poverty of resources in African universities, just having spent some years writing about Makerere in Kampala. Outside of the war-related industries, this is the only industry where the US has an edge – in education. I don’t see it dominating any other economy in the world market. My sense of Indian and Chinese higher education is that it’s so single-mindedly focused on the instrumental – the engineering, the science, the medical – and the place of the humanities and social sciences is so marginal, whereas in American universities you can do away with medical school and engineering school and the university will still be there. But if you do away with the faculties of arts and sciences, there is no university. So this liberal education is very much a driving force for ongoing confrontation with the world, and at least sustains those who question that. 
About students - Columbia is a privileged place from which to get a sense of American students. I think, quite often, if you take top 20 percent of Columbia undergrads, they are smarter than half the grad students at Columbia. The downside of American students is this thing which runs through – seems to run through – the Western experience, but seems particularly crystallized in the American case, which is this notion that you can save the world. And this determination to save the world. This conviction that they know what’s good for the world, and they know what’s good for you, better than you know. So it’s almost like the medieval Christians who burnt people to save their souls. 
They can be like the modern counterpart of the missionaries. They are not particularly interested in the problem: They are there to give you the solution. By the time they leave the university, they are imbued with the sense of what should be the solution. I always tell them that, before you get unleashed upon the world, let me have a chance to talk to you. Get them to realize that the real question is not, “What’s the solution?” – it’s “What’s the problem?” And the elements of any sustainable solution have to be found inside the problem. Surely, [these students] are not the solution, and can’t be the solution. 
That’s the dangerous thing. Somehow, ways have to be found to impart some degree of modesty to this new generation of Americans.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Commentary on the Divan-i Shams-i Tabriz: Class 1 by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

http://quilliampress.com/video/divan-i-shams-i-tabriz-1/
This discourse explores the depths of a ghazal from the great Divan of the greatest spiritual poet of all time: Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273). Recorded at the historic Yanikapı Mevlevihane in Istanbul, for centuries a centre for the study and dissemination of Rumi’s teachings.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Two Decisive Questions

Be that as it may, the Messenger has not fared well at the hands of his Western biographers, who see nothing particularly spiritual or mystical in either him or in the Qur'an. There are some exceptions to this rule among the Western critics, and they are important, but they cannot by themselves stem the tide of rejection emanating from the others. Very often they reduce him to the role of a political, social, or historical personality devoid of any sacred dimension to his character or his mission. In more recent interpretations, he has been practically adopted by both Western and Muslim Marxists as one of their own. Under such circumstances, the traditional accounts of the Prophet are either ignored or treated in the light of the particular ideological system held by the biographer. In medieval times in the West, the critics of Islam and its founder were at least much more logical: Muhammad was a false Prophet; the Qur'an was a false Scripture; therefore, Islam was a false religion. His medieval critics knew perfectly well that two decisive questions had to be answered in advance by anyone evaluating the Islamic message, and that everything depended on how one answered them: "Is the Qur'an a revealed Scripture?" and "Is Muhammad a true Prophet?" They knew that, if they answered "Yes" on both counts, their entire doctrinal structure built on the uniqueness of the Christian message for all mankind would collapse over their heads.
-Victor Danner, The Islamic Tradition: An Introduction, p. 36. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Quotes from "Can Liberalism Tolerate Islam?" (by Abdal-Hakim Murad)

Here, I think, the official finger rests on the Achilles heel of secular liberal ethics. If we must be intolerant of intolerance, then can liberalism tolerate anything other than itself? If Europe defines citizenship in terms of adherence to a set moral template, with all else defined as intolerable, how can Europe ever positively experience real difference, which more often than not is bound up with good, or bad, religion? 
An icon of European exclusiveness was supplied in 2004 when the Italian politician Rocco Buttiglione was forced to resign as a European commissioner when it emerged that he supported the Vatican’s line on homosexuality. Despite his insistence that his belief in the sinfulness of the practice would not affect the decisions he took in public life, the consensus of European officialdom obliged him to resign. The Italian Justice Minister, Roberto Castelli, objected in a futile way, by calling the ban ‘a decision which shows the real face of Europe, a face which we do not like. It’s fundamentalist, which is absolutely not on.’ But his view provoked only frowns. 
Muslims have watched with concern this striking proof of how categorically Europe has walked away from its traditional Christian values and authorities. It is interesting, also, as proof that European citizenship appears to be a matter of conformity to certain sacrosanct social beliefs, in this case, the historically anti-Christian belief that conscientious opposition to homosexual practice is so wicked that those who hold such beliefs must be excluded from public office. As Buttiglione himself remarked, ‘The new soft totalitarianism which is advancing wants to be a state religion. It is an atheistic, nihilistic religion, but it is a religion that is obligatory for all.’ 
It is possible that this imposition of social beliefs will become more intense, despite its apparent clash with principles of freedom of conscience. In 2009, Nick Clegg (now the British Deputy Prime Minister), said that children attending faith schools should be taught that homosexuality is ‘normal and harmless’. Special lessons, he opined, should be required of such schools to encourage tolerance for this practice. 
It seems reasonable to predict that the concretisation of such social beliefs and their imposition through law and a media monoculture will continue. Many will recognise in this a reversion to historic European norms, alien to Islam, of imposing a standard belief pattern on the king’s subjects. Cuius regio, eius religio. Liberalism of a particular socially prescriptive kind seems to be filling the void left by religion, and, Europe being the historic land of the divine right of kings, religion here is often more closely bound up with politics than in traditional Muslim states. In this case, the condemnation of sodomy functions as a blasphemy, or a ‘speech violation’. Other blasphemies include, for instance, the idea that men and women are suited for different tasks, that the death penalty is a just punishment for murder, that parents may use corporal punishment to discipline their children, and that unbelievers are less pleasing to God than believers. The list is quite a long one, and it seems to be growing. [...] 
If Europe is once again finding a kind of unity in its allergy to Muslimness, can Muslims find any allies in this landscape? Tariq Ramadan, in his book To be a European Muslim, implies that a marriage is possible with environmentalist and left-wing groups who are dismayed by the rise of anti-immigrant feeling. Pim Fortuyn’s assassin was, after all, a militant left-wing vegetarian who wished to defend Holland’s Muslims from Fortuyn’s plans for a liberal persecution. And many of the emerging British and European Muslim organisations seem to sympathise with Ramadan’s approach. After all, when marching against the invasion of Iraq, or campaigning against arms sales to brutal elites in the Middle East, one usually finds oneself sharing an umbrella with Fabian or CND types, not the Young Conservatives. Hence the popularity of the likes of George Galloway among Muslims. 
Such an alliance, however, is likely to be, at best, a tempestuous marriage of convenience. Muslims and the left may converge on Iraq, or Israel, or globalisation, but on domestic matters they stand at opposite poles. The Green movement, and virtually all on the Left, are fiercely pro-homosexual and feminist. It seems clear, then, that European Muslims are unlikely to forge a stable relationship with the Left. [...] 
Yet we should note that the pressure being brought to bear on Muslim communities relates to social, not doctrinal, beliefs. No-one in Brussels is greatly concerned about Muslim doctrines of the divine attributes, or prophetic intercession; but they do care about whether or not Muslims believe in feminism. This places Muslim believers in a historically new position. It should be possible to forge close friendships with other Europeans who also have the courage to blaspheme against the Brussels magisterium. We may differ with conservative Catholics and Jews over doctrine, but we are all facing very similar challenges to our social vision. Signor Buttiglione could easily have been a Muslim, not a Catholic, martyr. 
Here, I believe, a burden of responsibility rests upon the shoulders of Muslim leaders. It is in our interests to seek and hold friends. We are not alone in our conscientious rejection of many liberal orthodoxies. The statement by Bishop Michel Santer of the French church condemning the official punishments imposed on women who wear the niqab is an important sign of the possibility of cooperation. The challenge is going to be for Muslim, Christian and Jewish conservatives to set aside their strong traditional hesitations about other faith communities, and to discover the multitude of things they hold in common. To date, clearly, the interfaith industry has failed to catalyse this, partly because it tends to be directed by liberal religionists. We are more and more willing, it seems, to discuss less and less, and to conform more and more to the moral consensus of a secular and individualistic world. 
However an alliance sacrée between orthodox believers in different religions would, I think, deflate the potentially xenophobic and Islamophobic possibilities implicit in the process of European self-definition.
-Abdal Hakim Murad. March, 20, 2011. http://masud.co.uk/ISLAM/ahm/AHM-Can-Liberalism-tolerate-islam.htm

Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GX4R57U3lnU

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8J1cS6Ho74

Friday, May 24, 2013

On Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Part III

One of the distinguishing features of my father's leadership was his critique of his own community. As much as he spoke against racism and the war, he was equally critical of Jewish religious institutions: "On every Sabbath multitudes of Jews gather in the synagogues, and they often depart as they have entered." Prayer had become vicarious, delegated to rabbis and cantors who failed to inspire because they "do not know the language of the soul." He found fault as much with Orthodox as with Reform and Conservative branches of Judaism, as much with educators as with lay leaders. Too much money had been spent on demographic surveys and not enough on education, while educators themselves should make their goal "reverence for learning and the learning of reverence." Worship had lost its fear and trembling and had become a social occasion, rather than a moment of holiness. Society was disintegrating, and Judaism was conforming, failing to convey its resources of integrity. Judaism, he wrote, had become a platitude, when it should be spiritual effrontery. The modern Jew had become a messenger who had forgotten the message. 
-Susannah Heschel in the introduction to the Perennial Classics Edition of The Prophets by Abraham Joshua Heschel, p. xix. 

On Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Part II

Shortly after publishing The Prophets, my father became active in the anti-war movement, and in 1965 he founded an organization, Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam. As much as the Selma march was for him a religious experience, religious without indignation at political evils was impossible. Justice is not simply an idea or a norm, but a divine passion. Echoing the prophetic language, my father declared, "To speak about God and remain silent on Vietnam is blasphemous." If we are to follow, however modestly, the teachings of prophetic sympathy and divine pathos, then religion must be understood as the opposite of callousness. The opposite of good, he wrote, is not evil; the opposite of good is indifference. Indeed, in our very humanity depends upon our compassion. In speaking out against the war, he said, "Remember that the blood of the innocent cries forever. Should that blood stop to cry, humanity would cease to be." Hearing the silent anguish is not limited to the prophets, but devolves upon all of us: "Few are guilty, but all are responsible," my father writes in the early pages of The Prophets.
-Susannah Heschel in the introduction to the Perennial Classics Edition of The Prophets by Abraham Joshua Heschel, pgs. xviii-xix. 

On Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

My father lived in Nazi Germany, fleeing just at the last minute. His mother and three of his sisters, all living in Poland, were murdered by the Nazis. For him, those experiences resulted in both a deepened commitment to his faith and a heightened sensitivity to the suffering of all people. Hitler and his followers came to power not with machine guns, but with words, he used to say, and they did so with a debased view of human beings rooted in contempt for God. You cannot worship God, he writes, and look with contempt at a human being as if he or she were an animal. In particular, he held German Christian religious leaders responsible for the widespread collaboration with the Nazi regime and their failure to provide theological tools for opposing anti-Semitism.
-Susannah Heschel in the introduction to the Perennial Classics Edition of The Prophets by Abraham Joshua Heschel, p. xvi.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Watch "Divine Lights of Witness and Entrance - Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah" on YouTube

President Obama quote on Islam in America

The best way to prevent violent extremism is to work with the Muslim American community – which has consistently rejected terrorism – to identify signs of radicalization, and partner with law enforcement when an individual is drifting towards violence. And these partnerships can only work when we recognize that Muslims are a fundamental part of the American family. Indeed, the success of American Muslims, and our determination to guard against any encroachments on their civil liberties, is the ultimate rebuke to those who say we are at war with Islam.
-President today via Rashad Hussain

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

NYU commencement

Webcast

BBC News - How religions change their mind

Via Usama Hasan

"Is any of this story of larger significance or helpfulness?

Muslims often ask me what they should study; and are perplexed when I usually warn them against joining the legions of believers now populating departments of politics or social science. The crisis of our age produces political and social disruptions, but it is not their consequence. Religion is about truth, and unless truth be properly discerned and defended, nothing else will come right.
-Abdal-Hakim Murad, "Quicunque Vult, or, A teenage journey to Islam."

Big Think clip with Dr. Cornel West: How Intellectuals Betrayed the Poor

Monday, May 20, 2013

Watch "Interview of Sh. Hamza Yusuf w/ Tim Winter (1/3)" on YouTube (from 1995)

The Opening

In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy! Praise belongs to God, Lord of the Worlds, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy, Master of the Day of Judgement. It is You we worship; it is You we ask for help. Guide us to the straight path: the path of those You have blessed, those who incur no anger and who have not gone astray.

The Qur'an. A new translation by M.A.S. Abdellah Haleem.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Quote from President of Fordham University about the Jesuit Tradition


“From the very beginnings, Jesuit education has been characterized by a number of different qualities: 
We have a great emphasis on care for the individual student; 
We have a great desire to introduce excellence and rigor into the classroom and every subject we teach; 
Third, we believe that students have to be invited to wrestle with the great ethical issues of their time. We want them to be bothered by the realization that they don’t know everything and bothered by injustice.”
—Joseph M. McShane, S.J., President of Fordham University
http://www.fordham.edu/discover_fordham/fordhams_jesuit_trad/

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

MacIntyre on God, philosophy, universities

Theism, as I noted at the outset, is not just a set of doctrines about God. It concerns the nature of the natural and social universe as created and sustained by God, as embodying his purposes. For theists understanding how things are is inseparable from understanding them as informed by God's purposes. So any study of physics or history or political science or psychology that omits all reference to God will be importantly incomplete. And this puts theists at odds with any purely secular understanding of such academic disciplines. Yet what would it be instead to understand them in the terms afforded by a theistic account of the order and nature of things?
-Alasdair MacIntyre, God, Philosophy, Universities, p. 15. 

AHM quote on Muslims engaging Jews and Christians

Despite appearances, and the urgent but mistaken desire of many Muslims to engage in dialogue with purely secular thinkers and ideologies, we are primarily called to speak to the ‘People of the Book’. Years ago, as I turned away from the machine age to consider alternative voices, I expected to find the heirs to the monotheist scriptures as the most serious prophetic dissidents of our time. By no means is that always the case, as there are many churchmen who are willing to lower the price of their goods in the hope of selling them to a trivial and lazy world. Yet I take heart from conversations with other scripturalists, and experience the accompanying fellowship as momentously important. I find, too, that God has placed Muslims in a privileged situation in such environments. Followers of Ishmael, who revere the founders of the other monotheisms not just for reasons of conviviality or diplomacy, but as a doctrinal necessity, are better-placed than Jews or Christians to benefit from the eirenic and mutually-affirming ethos which is informally demanded in such encounters.[37] The clarity and apostolic authority of our doctrines proves a no less precious advantage. It is helpful, and not difficult, gently to help the People of the Book confront their inherited misunderstandings about our faith, which are often based on errors already challenged in the Koran. In earlier centuries, and in certain right-wing Christian circles even today, a furious and hate-filled polemic existed based on utterly erroneous information,[38] and it is still not unusual to hear, even from reputed mainline theologians, wild opinions based on hearsay or long-dead scholarship. Pope Benedict XVI’s various pronouncements on Islam, for instance, seem to be drawn not from consultations with the Vatican’s established Islam experts, but on concerns shared, to a visible degree, with right-wing activists and journalists such as Oriana Fallaci.[39] He hardly condescends to listen to us; any more than the Roman emperors spoke to the new Christian believers multiplying in their inner cities.. But there are many others, perhaps very numerous, who seek humbly to listen and to learn. Many of them are seekers. Many of them, too, harbour the doubts about Christian doctrine which once precipitated my change.
-Abdal-Hakim Murad, Quicunque Vult, or, A teenage journey to Islam 

Rolling Stone Mobile - Politics - Politics: Everything You've Been Told About Radicalization is Wrong

Muslims and Institutional Building as a minority in America


Muslims have ignored establishing some of the most basic institutions that are necessary for any minority community who seeks to have their voice taken seriously. There are no widely circulated national publications that explain Muslim perspectives. There is no widely recognized think tank expressing Muslim understandings of policy debates. There are a scant few public intellectuals from Muslim backgrounds that articulate mainstream views or who represent general Muslim thinking. While there are a number of very talented Muslim academics, very few have been able to cross-over and achieve mainstream credibility. Every other minority community has multiple inventories in each category listed above. What Muslims have are a number of smaller efforts that lack support, lack funding and lack human resources. If Muslims have failed in all these arenas it is not for a lack of talent, but rather for a lack of collective vision.
-Firas Ahmad, in an Islamica Magazine article "Muslim Voters and Obama"

previously available at http://www.islamicamagazine.com/Online-Analysis/Muslim-Voters-and-Obama.html

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Andrew Delbanco

C-SPAN Book Discussion at NYU Bookstore with Scott Korb and Khalid Latif

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Lightw
Scott Korb talked about his book, Light without Fire: The Making of America’s First Muslim College, in which he recounts the creation of the first four-year Muslim liberal arts college, Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California. The author follows the school’s first class and profiles its founders, Hamza Yusuf and Imam Zaid Shakir. Scott Korb [and Imam Khalid Latif] spoke at the New York University Bookstore in New York City.

Bill Clinton on his early sense of mortality

My father [who drowned after losing control of his car at the age of 28 in 1946] left me with the feeling that I had to live for two people, and that if I did it well enough, somehow I could make up for the life he should have had. And his memory infused me, at a younger age than most, with a sense of my own mortality. The knowledge that I, too, could die young drove me both to try to drain the most out of every moment of life and to get on with the next big challenge. Even when I was't sure where I was going, I was always in a hurry.
-Bill Clinton, My Life, p. 7. 

NYT: A Viewer’s Guide to the NYC Mayoral Candidates

By visiting a mosque every Friday, he [John C. Lui] has made unexpected inroads with the city’s long-neglected Muslims. His least understood asset, however, is the deep bond he has forged with the city’s black community, which has applauded his call for the abolition of the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk tactic and his complaints about prosecutorial zeal.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/04/14/nyregion/mayoral-candidates.html


Saturday, May 4, 2013

On Nostalgia

Nostalgia is one of baseball's defining attributes. The game's past shadows its present--always there to be conjured for instruction, to prod memories, and to revive dormant emotions. Nostalgia is the tribute the present pays to the past.
-John Sexton, Baseball as a Road to God, p. 198. 

Introduction to The Ulama in Contemporary Islam

It has often been assumed that in the face of massive and unrelenting changes in the modern world, the traditionally educated Muslim religious scholars, the 'ulama (singular: 'alim), have become utterly redundant, a mere relic of the past, as it were, and therefore of little interest to anyone seriously interested in understanding contemporary Muslim societies. [...] The religiopolitical activism of the college- and university-educated, the professionals and the urban bourgeoisie--the "Islamists," as they are often called--has now come to receive extensive attention; and thanks to their leadership of the Iranian revolution of 1979, so have the Shi'i ulama. But old assumptions have remained rather more entrenched in the case of the 'ulama of the Sunni Muslim world. The "new religious intellectuals" emerging in the Muslim public sphere undoubtedly merit close attention, and the contemporary Islamist movements continue to be in need of sober analyses. The emphasis on relatively new and emerging intellectuals and activists should not, however, obscure the significance of a community of religious scholars that has existed in Muslim societies for more than a thousand years and, in recent decades, has also witnessed a resurgence of great moment. As increasingly prominent actors on the contemporary scene in Muslim societies, the 'ulama--their transformations, their discourses, and their religiopolitical activism--can, indeed, only be neglected at the cost of ignoring or misunderstanding crucial facets of contemporary Islam and Muslim politics.
-Muhammad Qasim Zaman, The Ulama in Contemporary Islam, 3. (Faiz's favorite book :))

College and 'how to enjoy life'

What he meant was that college had opened his senses as well as his mind to experiences that would otherwise be foreclosed for him. Not only his capacity to read demanding works of literature and to grasp fundamental political ideas, but also his alertness to color and form, melody and harmony, had been heightened and deepened -- and now, in the late years of his life, he was grateful. Such an education is a hedge against utilitarian values. It has no room for dogma -- only for debate about the meaning, or meanings, of truth. It slakes the human craving for contact with works of art that somehow register one's own longings and yet exceed what one has been able to articulate by and for oneself. As the gentlemen reminded me, it is among the invaluable experiences of the fulfilled life, and surely our colleges have an obligation to coax and prod students toward it. 
-Andrew Delbanco, College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be, p. 32. (Recommended by John)

Shaykh Abdal-Hakim Murad:

More of Du Bois on his 'spiritual father' - Alexander Crummell

You will not wonder at his weird pilgrimage, - you who in the swift whirl of living, amid its cold paradox and marvelous vision, have fronted life and asked its riddle face to face. And if you find that riddle hard to read, remember that yonder black boy finds it just a little harder; if it is difficult for you to find and face your duty, it is a shade more difficult for him; if your heart sickens in the blood and dust of battle, remember that to him the dust is thicker and the battle fiercer. No wonder the wanderers fall! No wonder we point to thief and murderer, and haunting prostitute, and the never-ending throng of unhearsed dead! The Valley of the Shadow of Death gives few of its pilgrims back to the world.
But Alexander Crummell it gave back. Out of the temptation of Hate, and burned by the fire of Despair, triumphant over Doubt, and steeled by Sacrifice against Humiliation, he turned at last home across the waters, humble and strong, gentle and determined. He bent to all the gibes and prejudices, to all hatred and discrimination, with that rare courtesy which is the armor of pure souls. He fought among his own, the low, the grasping, and the wicked, with that unbending righteousness which is the sword of the just. He never faltered, he seldom complained; he simply worked, inspiring the young, rebuking the old, helping the weak, guiding the strong.
So he grew, and brought within his wide influence all that was best of those who walk within the Veil. They who live without knew not nor dreamed of that full power within, that mighty inspiration which the dull gauze of caste decreed that most men should not know.
-W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, 139.
 

How to Influence People with Your Ideas - John Butman - Harvard Business Review

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Q&A with Scott Korb, author of new book about Zaytuna College | Inside Higher Ed

Florida Anti Muslim bill

UNITED VOICES FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY | Who Wrote It

"So the man groped for light;

all this was not Life, -- it was the world-wandering of a soul in search of itself, the striving of one who vainly sought his place in the world, ever haunted by the shadow of a death that is more than death, -- the passing of a soul that has missed its duty. Twenty years he wandered, --twenty years and more; and yet the hard rasping question kept gnawing within him, "What, in God's name, am I on earth for?"
-W.E.B. Du Bois, "Of Alexander Crummell." The Souls of Black Folk, p. 138. 

"So he thought and puzzled along for himself

pausing perplexed where others skipped merrily, and walking steadily through the difficulties where the rest stopped and surrendered.
Thus he grew in body and soul, and with him his clothes seemed to grow and arrange themselves; coat sleeves got longer, cuffs appeared, and collars got less soiled. Now and then his boots shone, and a new dignity crept into his walk. And we who saw daily a new thoughtfulness growing in his eyes began to expect something of this plodding boy. Thus he passed out of the preparatory school into college, and we who watched him felt four more years of change, which almost transformed the tall, grave man who bowed to us commencement morning. He had left his queer thought-world and come back to a world of motion and of men. He looked now for the first time sharply about him, and wondered he had seen so little before. He grew slowly to feel almost for the first the Veil that lay between him and the white world; he first noticed now the oppression that had not seemed oppression before, differences that erstwhile seemed natural, restraints and slights that in his boyhood days had gone unnoticed or been greeted with a laugh.
-W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, p. 144. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Boston this weekend

» First Annual Togetherness Conference With Keynote Speaker Imam Zaid Shakir of Zaytuna College

‘Disgraced,’ by Ayad Akhtar, With Aasif Mandvi - NYTimes.com

Pulitzer prize for drama 2013 won by Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced

Hasbuna Allah

Chicago flooding - chicagotribune.com

New article by Dr. Sherman A. Jackson

Islam: Between Old Fundamentalism, New Fundamentalism and Modern Sincerity | ALIM

Tim Wise: Terrorism and Privilege: Understanding the Power of Whiteness

Omid Safi:

Boston Marathon, Terrorism, and President Obama | What Would Muhammad Do?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pat Robertson On Boston Explosions: 'Don't Talk To Me About Religion Of Peace' (VIDEO) - The Huffington Post

Boston's Largest Mosque: 'We're Bostonians -- We Mourn With The City' - The Huffington Post

What Obama’s learned about talking about terror - Josh Gerstein - POLITICO.com

(A Synagogue and Pamela Geller)

Long Island Anti-Muslim Free Speech Rally Forsakes Press Freedom - The Daily Beast

New book

Black Star, Crescent Moon — University of Minnesota Press

NYT: Dr. King's Righteous Fury

Editorial

NYT: Bombs at the Boston Marathon

Islamophobia Conference

  April 19-20, 2013 - Home

Daily Kos :: Boston Marathon bombing: Evening summary

Monday, April 15, 2013

A brief history of terrorist attacks in Boston | FP Passport

Erik Rush: Kill All Muslims in Response to Boston Marathon Attack | Right Wing Watch

Boston

NYT: Explosions Reported at Site of

Excerpt from Light Without Fire: A Lesson In Daily Longing

Event with John Sexton on Baseball as a Road to God

New York University - Speakers on the Square Lecture

AHM's advice for the youth


If you are studying, especially religious subjects, you should read Imam al-Ghazali’s little book ‘O Youth’ (Ayyuha’l-Walad), in the excellent translation by the British Muslim scholar Tobias Mayer. He shows in very simple language how to study in a way that yields light, sincerity and blessing. My recent book Commentary on the Eleventh Contentions also tries to be uplifting for young people, dealing with modern political and intellectual questions in a hundred short sound bites. Other advice: don’t forget anything you have memorized of the Holy Qur’an, because that is to lose light after gaining it, and the presence of the Book of Allah in your heart will influence and strengthen everything you do, if you have a good intention. Try to empathise with others, and see their situation from their point of view, whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims. Treat everyone with the respect due to all descendents of our first father Adam (AS). Do not hate unbelievers, feel sorry for them, because in most cases their unbelief is the result of an ignorance which may be our fault as much as theirs. Know that the world is Allah’s gift, and that He needs nothing in return, and that your worship and gratitude are part of His gift to you. And if you realize how much He gives, and how little you deserve or do, you will never stop praising Him. He is the infinitely lovable, the overlooker of faults; the Gifter of all beauty, so we are surrounded by a banquet! The only rule is: have good table manners, and do not spoil your enjoyment by overindulgence! Muslims are here to party, giving hamd and shukr, and we remember that the Sahaba had the most beautiful smiles.
 -Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad (Tim Winter) in this interview at The Blessed Hub

via Shaykh Faraz

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Abdal Hakim Murad on the Cambridge Muslim College

Q: Congratulations on entering your fifth year at the Cambridge Muslim College, what was your vision for the college and has this been fulfilled?

A: Our sense when we founded the college was that the first significant generation of British Muslims had the honour of building the mosques and now the time has come to work on the message being given in the mosques. Often listeners complain that our imams are not dealing with the real issues of modern British Muslim men and women, and especially the youth. Their culture is too different. So the College was created to produce a new generation of relevant Muslim leaders who really understand modernity, British culture, and the issues of the youth.
 Q: Do you have any further plans for the college?

A: The future is in Allah’s hands, but we are raising funds for a building to be constructed behind our main building in Cambridge, which will include more lecture facilities, rooms for scholars, and a larger prayer room, and also a central research library for British Muslims to come and use. That will enable us to realize our dream of launching a complete accredited BA degree programme in Islamic Studies, with up to eighty students studying on the site.

-Interview with Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad 

Zawiyah Rosales 2013

42

Jackie robinson talk with fred wilpon, john sexton, arthur miller, and charles grantham | NYU Program on Sports & Society

Friday, April 5, 2013

U.S. Jewish groups call on Long Island synagogue to cancel anti-Muslim speaker - Jewish World News - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper

TES poll reveals teachers’ favourite reads | The Bookseller

Tim Winter on the tension between transcendence and immanence in kalam and Sufism

Many disturbing questions of this kind in turn seemed to be generated by a tension implicit in the Qur'an itself. Some verses spoke of a God who seemed utterly transcendent, so that "nothing is like him" (Qur'an 42:11). Such a deity "is not asked about what he does" (21:23), and appears to expect only the unquestioning submission (islam) which seemed implicit in the very name of the new religion. But there were many other passages which implied a God who is indeed, in some sense that urgently needed definition, analogous to ourselves: a God who is ethically coherent, and whose qualities are immanent in his creation, so that "Wheresoever you turn, there is God's face" (2:115). This fundamental tension between transcendence and immanence, or, as Muslims put it, between "affirming difference" (tanzih) and "affirming resemblance" (tashbih), became intrinsic to the structuring of knowledge in the new civilisation. As one aspect of this it could be said, at the risk of very crude generalisation, that the Qur'an theology of transcendence was explored by the kalam folk, and its theology of immanence by the Sufis, which is why, perhaps, we should seek for Islam's greatest theologians among those who emphasised the symbiosis of the two disciplines. It may be thus, rather than for any unique originality, that Ghazali came to be called the "proof of Islam", and Ibn 'Arabi "the greatest shaykh". Their apparent eclecticism was in fact a programmatic attempt to retrieve an original unity, which is why scripture is so central to their respective manifestos.
-Tim Winter, The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology, pg. 6. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Shaykh Walead Mossad:

"Inward And Outward Knowledge Insights from Imam al-Ghazali (High)" on YouTube

Bill Moyers new homepage

Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com

Bill Moyers episode with Cornel West, Serene Jones, and Gary Dorrien on Faith and Social Justice

NYT 11/16/2011 article by Laurie Goodstein: Cornel West Returning to Union Theological Seminary

Arianna Huffington: God, Cellphones, Quarterly Earnings and the Search for the Common Good

"[M]y concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side."

-President Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Abdal Hakim Murad on an alliance of religious conservatives vs. the left

If Europe is once again finding a kind of unity in its allergy to Muslimness, can Muslims find any allies in this landscape? Tariq Ramadan, in his book To be a European Muslim, implies that a marriage is possible with environmentalist and left-wing groups who are dismayed by the rise of anti-immigrant feeling. Pim Fortuyn’s assassin was, after all, a militant left-wing vegetarian who wished to defend Holland’s Muslims from Fortuyn’s plans for a liberal persecution. And many of the emerging British and European Muslim organisations seem to sympathise with Ramadan’s approach. After all, when marching against the invasion of Iraq, or campaigning against arms sales to brutal elites in the Middle East, one usually finds oneself sharing an umbrella with Fabian or CND types, not the Young Conservatives. Hence the popularity of the likes of George Galloway among Muslims. 
Such an alliance, however, is likely to be, at best, a tempestuous marriage of convenience. Muslims and the left may converge on Iraq, or Israel, or globalisation, but on domestic matters they stand at opposite poles. The Green movement, and virtually all on the Left, are fiercely pro-homosexual and feminist. It seems clear, then, that European Muslims are unlikely to forge a stable relationship with the Left. Similarly with the environmentalists: Muslims are often forgetful that the roots of the green lobby in Europe are not monotheistic, but often implicitly or explicitly pagan. Nazism was very keen on the environment: Sigrid Hunke, the German feminist and green theorist of the 1930s who is still viewed as a founder of the green movement, was revered by several Nazi ideologues. 
Many Muslims, from their vantage-point in Europe’s ghettoes, intuit this correctly. But they then conclude that the true believers by definition have no allies. Some Salafist perspectives, in particular, seem unable to accept the possibility of partnership with non-Muslims. One recalls the embarrassing cases of Shaykh Faisal in Britain, and Anwar al-Awlaki in the United States; whose followers, mesmerised by the slogan of ‘Back to the Qur’an’, had to spring back in dismay when the political views of these preachers reached the media. Yet such paranoia and xenophobia seem both scripturally unnecessary and practically unwise. If Europe continues to secularise, while Europe’s mosques remain full, then Islam is likely, without any planning or even forethought, to become the principal monotheistic energy through much of the continent, a kind of leaven in Europe’s stodgy dough.
Yet we should note that the pressure being brought to bear on Muslim communities relates to social, not doctrinal, beliefs. No-one in Brussels is greatly concerned about Muslim doctrines of the divine attributes, or prophetic intercession; but they do care about whether or not Muslims believe in feminism. This places Muslim believers in a historically new position. It should be possible to forge close friendships with other Europeans who also have the courage to blaspheme against the Brussels magisterium. We may differ with conservative Catholics and Jews over doctrine, but we are all facing very similar challenges to our social vision. Signor Buttiglione could easily have been a Muslim, not a Catholic, martyr. 
Here, I believe, a burden of responsibility rests upon the shoulders of Muslim leaders. It is in our interests to seek and hold friends. We are not alone in our conscientious rejection of many liberal orthodoxies. The statement by Bishop Michel Santer of the French church condemning the official punishments imposed on women who wear the niqab is an important sign of the possibility of cooperation. The challenge is going to be for Muslim, Christian and Jewish conservatives to set aside their strong traditional hesitations about other faith communities, and to discover the multitude of things they hold in common. To date, clearly, the interfaith industry has failed to catalyse this, partly because it tends to be directed by liberal religionists. We are more and more willing, it seems, to discuss less and less, and to conform more and more to the moral consensus of a secular and individualistic world. 
However an alliance sacrée between orthodox believers in different religions would, I think, deflate the potentially xenophobic and Islamophobic possibilities implicit in the process of European self-definition. If Europe defines itself constitutionally, as I believe it should, as either an essentially Christian entity, or as one which is at least founded in belief in God, then the fact of Muslim support for core principles of Christian ethics will give Islam a vital and appreciated place. But a purely secular Europe will always see Muslim values as problems on the margin, to be tolerated or punished according to the whims of the currently elected politicians. The relationship with European Jews is no less critical. If Orthodox Jewry – currently gaining in strength – can make common cause with Islam over core moral issues, chauvinisms and suspicions which currently exist on both sides will be seen as self-defeating.

 -from "Can Liberalism Tolerate Islam?" Oslo Litteraturhuset, 20 March 2011, Abdal-Hakim Murad.

"Maqasid Al-Shariah as Philosophy of Islamic Law: A Systems Approach" by Dr. Jasser Auda

Amazon
IslamicBookstore.com

Read online on author's site

In this pathbreaking study, Jasser Auda presents a systems approach to the philosophy and juridical theory of Islamic law based on its purposes, intents, and higher objectives (maqasid). For Islamic rulings to fulfill their original purposes of justice, freedom, rights, common good, and tolerance in today s context, Auda presents maqasid as the heart and the very philosophy of Islamic law. He also introduces a novel method for analysis and critique, one that utilizes relevant features from systems theory, such as, wholeness, multidimensionality, openness, and especially, purposefulness of systems. This book will benefit all those interested in the relationship between Islam and a wide variety of subjects, such as philosophy of law, morality, human rights, interfaith commonality, civil society, integration, development, feminism, modernism, postmodernism, systems theory, and culture.

"This is courageous research, written by a skilled jurist, and deals with a delicate subject that has a serious impact on the reasoning/ijtihad procedures in Islamic jurisprudence. I would say that Dr. Jasser Auda has an ambition to not only expand and renew these procedures, but to develop novel ones as well!"

- Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah, Distinguished Scholar of Usul al-Fiqh; and former Minister of Justice and Jurisprudence of Mauritania

Also see the brief guide: Maqasid Al-Shariah: A Beginner's Guide (Occasional Paper)

Shaykh Dr. Jasser Auda at Princeton: Principle in Sufi Ethics

Watch "Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad Introduces Book 20 Of Ihya Ulum al-Din" on YouTube

Leading Western Muslim scholars (Tariq Ramadan, Sherman Jackson and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf) on homosexuality

Video - Dr. Sherman Jackson "Is there a place for gay Muslims?"

Article by Dr. Tariq Ramadan "Islam and Homosexuality."

Video - "Tariq Ramadan about homosexuality."

Video - "Islam & Homosexuality - Shaykh Hamza Yusuf" a clip from the Oxford "Rethinking Islamic Reform Conference: Hamza Yusuf & Tariq Ramadan."

Video - "Homosexuality - Hamza Yusuf" (from back in the day).

I think a general discussion about desires -- which practically all of us struggle with -- giving in to them vs. curbing them (like in Ghazali's masterful Disciplining the Soul) would be important and relevant to framing the issue in a fuller context.

Abdal Hakim Murad on free will

Interview with Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad – Authority within Islam

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad’s road into Islam

Andrew J. Bacevich in NYT Sunday Book Review (2/10/13): Avoiding Defeat ‘The Endgame’ and ‘My Share of the Task’

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Robert George, et al.: "What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense"

Just picked up this book (from a used bookstore on St. Mark's, Bet. Ave A and 1st, for eight bucks). You can check it out at Amazon if you don't have similar 'luck' ;)

"A lot more is at stake in the marriage debate than the definition of a word, and this book reveals just how much. Its defense of marriage is philosophical and sociological, not theological, but people of all faiths will find it illuminating and edifying."

-- Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Zaytuna College

NYT: N.Y.U.'s President: Visionary

Check this exciting initiative out!

Permaculture Tarim | Permaculture Research Institute Tarim, Yemen

Via Rhamis Kent

Underpinning the MENA Democratic Transition | Climate Articles | Programmes | E3G

Via Rhamis Kent

Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Watch "The Future of Catholic-Muslim Relations Under the New Pope Francis" on YouTube

Pope refers to "Muslim brothers" on Good Friday | Nation & World | The Seattle Times

Pope's foot-wash a final straw for some traditionalists | Nation & World | The Seattle Times

Via Sirf

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Watch "Where is God? Time, Space, Big Bang // Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson" on YouTube

"Why not just wear a burqa": Experiences of ethnic minority women writing online

Recent Economist articles on Bangladesh

ALIM Summer Program 2013: Saturday, June 1 – Sunday, June 23, 2013. Scrutinize. Study. Strengthen.

List of articles on the construction and destruction in the holy sites of Mecca and Madinah

 The Atlantic:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/03/mcmecca-the-strange-alliance-of-clerics-and-businessmen-in-saudi-arabia/274146/
 
 The Independent:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/the-photos-saudi-arabia-doesnt-want-seen--and-proof-islams-most-holy-relics-are-being-demolished-in-mecca-8536968.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/mecca-for-the-rich-islams-holiest-site-turning-into-vegas-2360114.html

New Republic:

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/mecca-bucks

New Yorker:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/04/16/120416fa_fact_peer

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/ask/2012/04/basharat-peer-mecca-hajj.html

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/letters/2012/04/30/120430mama_mail2

Omid Safi:


http://archives.religionnews.com/blogs/omid-safi/it-is-time-and-past-time-to-occupy-mecca-to-save-mecca

http://archives.religionnews.com/blogs/omid-safi/saudis-say-no-to-the-prophet-muhammad-yes-to-paris-hilton

McMecca: The Strange Alliance of Clerics and Businessmen in Saudi Arabia

Maryam Ramadan: "Muslims: Feminists of Faith"

Shuruq at NYU

Month long series of events ma sha Allah

http://shuruq.weebly.com/

Light without Fire: The Making of America's First Muslim College

Professor Junaid Rana

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Taj al-Arus selection

Via Tarek Elgindi

Khaled Abou El Fadl quote

Representing God's law to other human beings is truly an onerous burden. The burden is not simply to represent the evidence of God's particular injunctions, but to also internalize God's goodness and morality within oneself. The burden is one of diligence and honesty, not just with the textual sources, but with oneself--to bring the intellect and conscience to bear upon how we evaluate and understand the evidence.

-pg. 15 of Rebel Between Spirit and Law: Ahmad Zarruq, Sainthood, and Authority in Islam by Scott Kugle. Footnote 11.

Imam Zaid on Bill Moyers (June 22, 2007)

Bill Moyers talks with Imam Zaid Shakir, an African-American who converted to Islam as a young man, about the importance of a moderate Muslim voice in America.

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/06222007/watch2.html

Malcolm X's (Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) Letter from Mecca

Malcolm X on his sister Ella Collins

Then, there was my sister Ella herself. I couldn't get over what she had done. I've said before, this is a strong big, black, Georgia-born woman. Her domineering ways had gotten her put out of the Nation of Islam's Boston Mosque Eleven; they took her back, then she left on her own. Ella had started studying under Boston orthodox Muslims, then she founded a school where Arabic was taught! She couldn't speak it, she hired teachers who did. That's Ella! She deals in real estate, and she was saving up to make the pilgrimage. Nearly all night, we talked in her living room. She told me there was no question about it; it was more important that I go. I thought about Ella the whole flight back to New York. A strong woman. She had broken the spirits of three husbands, more driving and dynamic than all of them combined. She had played a very significant role in my life. No other woman ever was strong enough to point me in directions; I pointed women in directions. I had brought Ella into Islam, and now she was financing me to Mecca.
-Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, 349.

Also see, "Who is Ella Collins?"

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Omid Safi: Murder of a Cleric: Order, Chaos, and Justice in a Violent World

Daughter of Syria's slain cleric [Shaykh al-Buti] speaks out

The Academic Study of Islam and/in/for the Wounded Empire; A Lecture by Dr. Farid Esack at Union



Date: Friday, April 5, 2013
Time: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Union Theological Seminary, The Social Hall

The September 11th, 2001 attacks in the USA significantly impacted Islamicists (scholars in the Study of Islam). These events contributed immensely to the growth of irenic scholarship, in which Islamicists increasingly dove into the trenches in order to help save Muslims and the image of Islam from the attacks of different quarters—primarily Western governments and armies and the mass media.
This defensive engagement of the Islamicist, described as 'bunker scholarship', raises significant questions about fidelity to the post-Enlightenment foundations of critical scholarship. What is more, such scholarship often plays a significantly accommodationist role in co-creating compliant Muslim subjects in a larger hegemonic project.

Registration is required, RSVP online!