Saturday, September 12, 2015

Unveiling The Study Qur'an [at Princeton University]

Join us for an historic unveiling and celebration of the forthcoming publication The Study Qur'an (Harper Collins). For the first time in the English language, this guide offers a side-by-side comparative study of the wisdom of the commentators from the breadth of the Islamic tradition: Sunni, Sufi and Shia'. Keynote speech by the book's co-editor, Dr. Joseph Lumbard of Brandeis University. THURS Nov 19 | 7 PM 

Islam & Buddhism

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Islam & World Peace Conference: Perspective from African Muslim Nonviolence Traditions

In view of the growing violent extremism and the stigmatizations of millions of innocent Muslims, the need to understand and learn from the legacies and teachings of nonviolent Muslim leaders is urgent today, more than ever before. 
Thus, this conference invites students of religion and Islam around the world to engage in substantive ways the genesis, diffusion, and teachings of Islamic nonviolence traditions of Sufi leaders and their interpretation and operationalization of the concept of Jihad that unequivocally rejects extremism and intolerance in all their forms. The conference seeks to create a dynamic space for continuing scholarly exchanges and interactive debates, along with creative processes that foster multiculturalism. Therefore the conference is open to the general public, the media, and community-based organizations.

Email for more information. 
Sponsored by the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life at Columbia University (IRCPL); the Institute of African Studies at Columbia University (IAS); and Majalis (Scientific Initiative for African Muslim Heritage).- See more at:


"Māra in Buddhist mythology plays a role similar to that of Satan in Christianity: he tempts people to perform evil actions, which lead to their downfall. Unlike Satan, however, Māra primarily seduces people into ignorance, and not sin. Sin, in Buddhism, is a second-order problem, an outgrow of ignorance. We only commit evil deeds because we fail to recognize that they inevitably rebound on us and cause suffering. More importantly, we think that selfish actions will result in personal happiness, but the only true satisfaction comes from the attainment of awakening. Māra's primary purpose is to blind people to these truths. These awakenings of a buddha is the greatest tragedy for Māra, since buddhas not only escape Māra's clutches, but through their compassionate activity they teach others the path to nirvana, thus robbing Māra of countless victims."

-John Powers, Introduction to Tibetean Buddhism, pg. 48.

Zaytuna College Living Links Fall 2015 Courses

Introduction to Islamic Virtue Ethics

Instructor: Abdullah bin Hamid Ali (Imam Zaid Shakir to teach until September 26)
Text: The sections on tasawwuf from Matn Al-Murshid al-Mu`inand Matn al-Zubad
Sept 12 through Dec 5 with a break for Eid (Sept 26) | Saturdays: 10am–11:15am PST | Free

Al-Murshid Al-Mu’in, a classic text by Ibn ‘Ashir (1040 AH/1630 CE), the seventeenth century Moroccan scholar, covers three pivotal topics: creed, ritual, and virtue ethics. This course will cover the third of these topics, virtue ethics. The goal of virtue ethics is to teach us how to be good at “being” human. Virtue ethics assumes that mastery over the dangerous aspects of one’s appetitive and intellectual powers is necessary in order for a person to perfect his or her humanity. In this course, students learn about the cardinal vices and virtues, the difference between acts and dispositions, the treatment for vice, the pursuit of virtue, repentance, forgiveness, spiritual formation under the guidance of another, and many other lessons related to perfecting our humanity.

Abdullah bin Hamid Ali is a graduate of the University of al-Qarawiyin in Fes, Morocco, and a doctoral student at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. At Zaytuna, he teaches classes on Islamic law, theology, and hadith.

Quranic Exegesis (tafsir) of Surah al-Kahf

Instructor: Faraz Khan
Text: Surah al-Kahf
Sept 12 through Dec 5 with a break for Eid (Sept 26) | Saturdays: 11:30 am to 1pm PST | Free

Based on classical works of exegesis and spirituality in the Islamic tradition, authored by Imams al-Baydawi, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, Ibn Ajiba and others, this course introduces students to a study of Surah al-Kahf, the eighteenth chapter of the Holy Qur'an. According to sound reports from the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), Surah al-Kahf is a source of great illumination for those who regularly recite it, as well as a protection against the Anti-Christ (dajjal) who emerges at the end of time. The stories addressed in this blessed surah include those of the people of the cave, the man with two gardens, the journey of Prophet Moses and Khidr (peace be upon them), and Dhul-Qarnayn. The ethical lessons in these stories apply to both the individual and society as a whole, centering on principles of sacrifice, altruism, humility, the pursuit of knowledge, and ultimately, the remembrance of God Most High.
Faraz Khan has studied the traditional Islamic sciences in Amman, Jordan. He directs Zaytuna College's Honors Program and teaches classes on theology, logic, and prophetic biography.

LIGHTHOUSE MOSQUE and UMC is broadcasting live video on #2 Imam Zaid Shakir - Desired Advise.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Professor Robert Thurman

Robert Thurman holds the first endowed chair in Buddhist Studies in the West, the Jey Tsong Khapa Chair in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies. Educated at Philips Exeter and Harvard, he then studied Tibet, Tibetan Buddhism, and Asian languages and histories for fifty years with many teachers, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama (C. U. Ph.D., hc, 1989). He has written substantial scholarly works, founding and editing a new series through Columbia University Press, Treasury of the Buddhist Sciences. He also writes popular books, lecturing all over the world in the "public intellectual" tradition, with special concern for ethics and human rights in general, and the fate of the endangered Tibetan people in particular. His main academic interest is in the Indo-Tibetan philosophical, scientific, and psychological traditions, with a view to their all-too-little-known relevance to critical contemporary currents of thought in science and spirituality, especially concerning the undeniable role of mind in nature.