Saturday, January 28, 2017

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Raheemah Abdulaleem, Esq.

Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.

National Association of Muslim Lawyers

Announcing the NYU Immigrant Defense Initiative

Timothy Winter (University of Cambridge): Educating British Muslim Faith Leaders

Trump Bars Refugees and Citizens of 7 Muslim Countries

Timothy Mitchell

Papers by Omar Farhat

Monday, January 23, 2017

Dawud Wharnsby Ali - 'Don't talk to me about Muhammad' Live Nasheed @ GP...

Biography of Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (RA)

بقَدْرِ الكدِّ

قال الإمام الشافعي رضي الله عنه

بقَدْرِ الكدِّ تُكتَسَبُ المَعَــالي
ومَنْ طَلبَ العُلا سَهِـرَ اللّيالي

ومَنْ رامَ العُلى مِن ْغَيرِ كَـدٍّ
أضَاعَ العُمرَ في طَـلَبِ المُحَالِ

تَرُومُ العِــزَّ ثم تَنامُ لَيـلاً
يَغُوصُ البَحْرَ مَن طَلَبَ اللآلي

First shared with me by Imam Zaid in September 2004 ma sha Allah.

I wrote it in my copy of Ibn Raslān's Safwa al-Zubad which we were blessed to memorize about 300 lines of in the first year of the Zaytuna pilot seminary mA.


“How can anyone who is rational believe in and practice a religion such as Islam that promotes violence, terror, suicide bombings and is blatantly against fundamental human rights and freedom?”
An acquaintance asked me this question a couple of years ago while we were having dinner in a restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Although I have been asked many questions
about Islam during my teaching career, I was taken aback by this one. For a moment, I was not sure how to respond.There was only one answer to give, and it was a counter question: "HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT ISLAM?"
-Ali Asani. “Exploring Muslim Understandings of Islam."

Sunday, January 22, 2017

"Revolutionary Islamic Jurisprudence: A Restatement of the Arab Spring" by Adnan Zulfiqar (University of Pennsylvania Law School)

New York University Journal of International Law and Politics (JILP), 2017, Forthcoming
U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 16-27


In early 2011, a wave of uprisings swept through the Middle East, ushering in a year of protest and radical change. The events came to be known as the Arab Spring and they forever altered prior conventions. One outcome was the initiation of a vibrant legal discourse on Islamic law’s stance on revolution. It juxtaposed two sides, those advocating rigid adherence to the status quo legal tradition, a rejection of any opposition to the head of state, against those agitating for a more dynamic approach encompassing the public’s desire for freedom, dignity and justice. The legitimacy of the protests and its underlying universal values became an Islamic legal debate. Recognizing the potency of religious law, states employed their own Muslim jurists to delegitimize the protestors. In response, jurists from across the Middle East issued fatwas (legal opinions) presenting legal arguments in support of protests. Their challenge was to advocate for legal change, inserting new meanings into the law, while maintaining their legitimacy as authentically part of the Islamic legal discourse. In the process, they gave life to a Sunni legal discourse on non-violent revolution.

This article identifies the primary arguments in this pro-uprising legal discourse: textual and policy-based. By examining fatwas from 2011, the first year of the uprisings, the article will demonstrate how jurists pursued creative techniques of legal interpretation to stay firmly within conventional Islamic law while still pursuing unconventional approaches to it. By bringing new readings to Islam’s constitutional sources, expanding the category of legal obligations and incorporating contemporary formulations of the idea of rights, this article provides new insights into how rapidly Islamic law can adapt to radical changes in the world it inhabits.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 55

Keywords: Law & religion, Islamic law, Arab Spring protests, legal change, Sunni legal discourse, non-violent revolution, legal opinions, fatwas, creative interpretation techniques, redefining terms, utilizing proof-texts, persuasive authorities, expanding pre-existing concepts, reformulations of rights

Orwell on Language & Politics

People who write in this manner usually have a general emotional meaning — they dislike one thing and want to express solidarity with another — but they are not interested in the detail of what they are saying. A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly? But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. They will construct your sentences for you — even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent-and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself. It is at this point that the special connection between politics and the debasement of language becomes clear.
-George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language."

Some notes on Ibn Ḥajar al-Asqalānī's readings on the Burda and others

-Florian Sobieroj, Variance in Arabic Manuscripts: Arabic Didactic Poems from the Eleventh to the Seventeenth Centuries - Analysis of Textual Variance and Its Control in the Manuscripts (Studies in Manuscript Cultures) (Berlin ; Boston : De Gruyter,  2016).

Amazon Link.
Worldcat Link.

Sheikh Sidi Hamza al-Qadiri al-Boutchichi, spiritual leader of the Qadiriya Boutchichiya order since 1972, died Wednesday at the age of 95.

Introducing the Burda of Al-Busiri