Saturday, June 1, 2019

“O ye people

you were not created in negligence, nor have you been left on your own. You have a destination where God, Most High, will judge among you and sort you out; ruined indeed and damned is the one whom God, Most High, puts outside His Mercy, ‘which envelops all things’, and outside His Heaven, ‘the breadth of which is that of the heavens and the earth’. But safety will be his morrow who fears and reveres God; who barters what is small for what is vast, what is ephemeral for what is eternal, what brings suffering for what brings joy. Do you not see that you are in the ranks of that which perishes and that you will be replaced hereafter by those who shall remain behind? Do you not see that each day you take to the grave a traveller journeying towards God, his term fulfilled, his future hopes cut short, you put him in a place burrowed in the earth, neither smooth nor cushioned—stripped of means, friends departed and a reckoning ahead?’

[From the sermons of ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz]

Quoted in Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya’s The Invocation of God, Translated by Michael Abdurrahman Fitzgerald and Moulay Youssef Slitine. (Cambridge: The Islamic Texts Society, 2000 [2004]), pp. 19-20. See footnote 45 for citations from tafsirs where this is quoted. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

"Though widely hailed as moderate by many American elites,

[Feisal Abdul] Rauf's view did not reflect the perspectives of other New York City Muslim leaders, such as Imam Siraj Wahhaj of Masjid al-Taqwa of Brooklyn, imams at the Malcolm Shabbaz mosque on 116th street in Harlem, or others who believe that the affluence of American elites -- born of the capitalism that Rauf depicts as the engine of equality -- often involves the twinned projects of international resource accumulation and domestic labor exploitation, thus impoverishing many communities in the United States and abroad [96] Known as the "drug-fighting Muslim for his 1980s efforts to rid his poverty-stricken neighbhorhood of crack dealers, Siraj Wahhaj has long been unabashed about the ongoing economic marginalization and even political "persecution of blacks." [97] Speaking after 9/11 about Muslim Americans' opinion of the United States, Wahhaj sometimes tempers his political rhetoric. Nevertheless, he remains resolute about the injustices black Americans face. "You might hear some anti-American flavor a little bit," in the stories American Muslims tell, he admits, "but not because they hate America." Rather, he points out, "our civil rights leaders [also] spoke about the injustices of America" from a desire to improve the country, not just from animosity toward it. "And you hear it in that way especially [from] Africa Americans. If that make us militant, then we're militant." [98]

--Rosemary R. Corbett, Making Moderate Islam: Sufism, Service, and the "Ground Zero Mosque" Controversy, (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2017), pp. 120-121. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

"White supremacy and generational Black suffering have received more attention

as sociological and anthropological phenomena provoking academic responses than as theological and spiritual challenges requiring religious ones. Islamic scholars owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to scholars of other disciplines and activists for addressing themselves and their expertise to what, in my view, are the most pressing moral dilemmas of our time. In effect, the virtual absence of Islamic scholarship from the discourse means that scholars seeking to engage must to so without the benefit of a canon. Instinct, creativity, and an active religious imagination are forced to play roles here that are usually reserved for precedent, rigor, and erudition.
-Shaykh Ubaydullah Evans in "'Make a Way Out of No Way': An Interview with Ustadh Ubaydullah Evans on the Islamic Tradition and Social Justice in Activism" by Junaid Rana, in With Stones in Our Hands: Writings on Muslims, Racism, and Empire, eds. Sohail Daulatzai and Junaid Rana, (Minneapolis, MN : University of Minnesota Press, 2018), p. 356.

Full Video: CAIR Congressional Reception with Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and André Carson

History of British Muslims Symposium: A Historical Understanding of a New Community (Recording of a conference at the Cambridge Muslim College from Nov 2016)