Lectures on World

Hamza Yusuf – The Rain Prayer (Salatul Istisqa)

Shaykh Hamza gave a general talk on the changing world around us and the warnings Allah and the Prophet (s) gave us to deal with the sins around us. This was after a special prayer for rain in the San Francisco area which has experienced a serious drought over the several years.

Zaid Shakir – Islam in Search of Muslims: What Can We Learn from the Life of Nelson Mandela?

Nelson Mandela was arguably the most beloved statesman and leader of our generation. Why do so many people praise him irrespective of their political leanings? What was it about Mandela that transcended politics? This session will examine the life, times, and struggles of this South African leader that reveal, in the light of Islamic teachings, why our Prophet’s Sunnah, when practiced even by those outside of our faith, engenders love and respect in others. Mandela, for example, resorted to violent resistance only after he exhausted all non-violent means to end the oppression of his people. Even those on the far right of the political spectrum have defended his advocacy of violence. Newt Gingrich, for instance, recently wrote that Mandela was “deeply committed to a non-violent approach, until you had a South African dictatorship … which made it impossible to have anything that was purely non-violent.” Gingrich went as far as to compare Mandela to the Founding Fathers of America. What were the qualities and characteristics that made Mandela so unique and drew such approbation? More importantly, what is the role of patience, principle, purpose, forgiveness, and magnanimity in effecting change in human hearts and society?

Hamza Yusuf – When Worlds Wither: Guidance in the Latter Days

The signs of decimation and devastation are all around us. Species are becoming extinct at alarming rates. The oceans’ acidity levels are rising and now threaten the great coral reefs and many aquatic species. Tuna fish will not be around in 25 years because of overfishing. Meanwhile, jellyfish are dominating the oceans, which marine biologists warn is an ominous harbinger. Some scientists believe we as a species may not survive this century. Such prognostications echo what some Islamic scholars, including Imam al-Suyuti and Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, argued: the 15th century would be Islam’s last. We know from our Prophet (God’s peace and blessings be upon him) that he came to usher in the last days and to remind people of the imminent end. What are its signs? How do we make sense of the apocalyptic news we see daily, and what do we do about it? How do we protect our children from the depression and despair so common to the hearts and minds of too many of today’s youth? This talk will address these and other questions.

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