Saturday, October 17, 2015

Dallal on 'Uthmān Ibn Fūdī (1754-1817) & Scholars

The religious scholars were also part of Ibn Fūdī's reform of the social disorder. It is through the spread of education that Muslims may recognize and apply the proper Islamic codes of social behavior. Well-educated and committed scholars recognized by Muslims are essential to this project. Ibn Fudi sharply criticizes those 'ulamā' who seek prestige and power in their teaching, and are interested only in increasing the number of their students while failing to teach their wives and children the basic tenets of Islam. [181] He is also critical of those scholars who neither study nor teach Arabic, and instead dedicate their efforts to justifying the abuses of pagan rulers. [182] Ibn Fūdī evaluates scholarship in terms of its social functions, and opposes the establishment of a class of elitist clerics who lack dedication to communal obligations. [183]
 -Ahmad Dallal, "The Origins and Objectives of Islamic Revivalist Thought, 1750-1850," Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 113, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1993), p. 353.  

The intellectual synthesis of Shah Wall Allah

Shah Wall Allah's formidable attempt to reconcile the conflicts between the different facets of the Islamic intellectual legacy, and to forge a new synthesis of gnostic, inductive, and transmitted forms of knowledge, was conducted with an eye on the community, its power and well-being. Perhaps the greatest achievement of this intellectual synthesis was in its ability to argue, without being reductive or simplistic, for the community's right to wrench the use of the intellect from the exclusive monopoly of the professional zealots of Islam.
-Ahmad Dallal, "The Origins and Objectives of Islamic Revivalist Thought, 1750-1850," Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 113, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1993), p. 349.  

Ahmad Dallal on Shāh Walī Allah on history

Walī Allah develops other unconventional readings of history. The superiority of the first community, he argues, is a functional concept, but not necessarily an exclusive one. For later generations to accept the transmitted tradition, they had to develop an idealized view of its transmitters. Later generations, however, are not doomed to be inferior to earlier ones, and they are capable of producing people who are, in some respects, better than their earlier counterparts. [80] This reading is clearly inspired by a strong commitment to the living community of Muslims. 
-Ahmad Dallal, "The Origins and Objectives of Islamic Revivalist Thought, 1750-1850," Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 113, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1993), p. 346-7. 

e: See discussion and commentary [by al-Mūnāwī for ex. in Fayḍ al-Qadīr] on ḥadīth:
(مثل أمتي مثل المطر لايدرى الخير في أوله أو آخره )
See some discussion about the takhrīj of this ḥadīth at

Ahmad Dallal on Shāh Walī Allah of India (1703-1762)

Although he [Shāh Walī Allah] was concerned with political division and disintegration, the solution he prescribed was to be found outside the immediate realm of politics. He believed that political authority is important for practical purposes, but what ultimately counts is society. While the outward caliphate (khilāfat al-ẓāhir) is in charge of implementing superficial order, the inward one (khilāfat al-bāṭin) is responsible for social order in all its details. [24] The guardians of the inward order are the scholars ('ulamā'), and it is their duty to ensure that daily life is conducted in harmony with God's created nature (fiṭra). [25] Political corruption is but an outcome of the scholars' neglect in performing their duties properly. [26] Extreme intellectualism or "profundity" (ta'ammuq), [27] severity, [28] false consensus, [29] opportunism, [30] and claiming monopoly over truth [3l] are some aspects of this neglect.
-Ahmad Dallal, "The Origins and Objectives of Islamic Revivalist Thought, 1750-1850," Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 113, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1993), p. 343. 

Ḥikam Ibn Ata 'Allah Resources

Book on the virtues and excellences (fadail) of the Prophetic Household, the Ahl Al-Bayt, from Sunni Hadith Scholars

Selections were made from the writings of only the best and most widely respected of hadith scholars including Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Imam Nasa'i, Ibn Shahin, Imam Nawawi, Hafidh Ibn Kathir, Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani and Imam al-Suyuti.  The book includes an outstanding foreword by Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi about the importance of the Ahl al-Bayt.
Thanks to David for referring me to this! 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

NYT Thursday Briefing: A monumental endangered list

The World Monuments Fund today announces its 2016 list of endangered architectural and cultural sites from around the world.
Its last watch list, two years ago, included the entire country of Syria, threatened by war; the city of Venice, at risk from cruise-ship tourism; and the St. Louis arch, in jeopardy because of corrosion.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

NYPD Muslim Surveillance Case Reinstated: New Jersey Muslims Commend Ruling Affirming Their Constitutional Rights

Scott MacLeod: "All-American Sheikh"

Religious scholar Hamza Yusuf discusses the arc of Islamic civilization, the causes of Middle East conflict, and running the first Muslim liberal arts college in the United States.

June 4, 2015: CFR: A Conversation With Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah (with Shaykh Hamza translating) [Video and Transcript]

Transcript of CFR event from 2007 Conference Call with Hamza Yusuf on Islamic Education in America

Articles by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf in PDFs

New Khutba by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad: The Fully Integrated Life

The Fully Integrated Life

Jum'ah khutba - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - 9 October 2015 - 25 mins 16 secs


'Allah bears witness that there is no god except He, and the Angels and the ones endowed with knowledge, upright with equity (bear witness). There is no god except He, The Ever-Mighty, The Ever-Wise...
(Surah al-Imran, Verse 18)

As the new academic year begins the Shaykh talks about how one should approach the balance needed in life, to put everything where it deserves to be put. How should one manage the different influences and complexity of life as a student. How does one find the right balance between what may seem Deen and what may seem Dunya. The Shaykh explains how we must strive for the fully integrated life and shares some useful tips from the works of Hujjat ul-Islam Imam Al-Ghazali.

Listen to this talk

Download this talk (MP3, 23.1MB)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Video Recording of Schomburg Event on European Powers, Islamic Movements, and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Thu, Oct 8 2015 7:00 PM EDT — Thu, Oct 8 2015 8:30 PM EDT


In the 18th century, Senegambia was bitterly contested by France and Great Britain for its slave-trading. But a third power, the Islamic theocracy of Futa Toro, rose to prominence and opposed both foreign powers while seeking to put an end to the slave trade and slavery. Please join Christopher L. Brown, Professor of History at Columbia University, and Rudolph Ware, Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, for a fascinating conversation on this intricate story. This event, which will be held at the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building is presented in collaboration with The Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.


  • Watch the recording at:

Dr Recep Sentürk brief bio

Dr Recep Sentürk is Director of the Alliance of Civilizations Institute at the Fatih Sultan Mehmet University in Istanbul. He is also Director of ISAR in Istanbul and was previously Professor of Sociology at Fatih University. He holds a PhD from Columbia University, Department of Sociology (1998), and specializes in sociology of knowledge, human rights and Islamic studies with a focus on the Ottoman Empire, Egypt and Turkey. He authored in English Narrative Social Structure: Hadith Transmission Network 610-1505 (Stanford University Press, 2005), and in Turkish Sociology of Turkish Thought: From Fiqh to Social Science (2008); Islam and Human Rights: Sociological and Legal Perspectives (2007); Malcolm X: Struggle for Human Rights (2006); Social Memory: Hadith Transmission Network 610-1505 (2004); Sociologies of Religion (2004); Modernization and Social Science in the Muslim World: A Comparison between Turkey and Egypt (2006). He edited Ibn Khaldun: Comtemporary Readings (2009) and Economic Development and Values (2009). His recent book is Open Civilization: Cultural Foundations of Pluralism (2010). Dr Senturk was a visiting research fellow at Emory University Law School during the academic year 2002–2003 as part of Islam and Human Rights Project.