America was founded in part on the concept of religious freedom. Many today consider Muslims a grave threat to that founding principle. Is Islam incompatible with the free exercise of religion?
Recently, Shaykh Hamza contributed to the writing of the Marrakesh Declaration (2016) in Morocco affirming the rights of religious minorities in Muslim-majority countries, and met with Pope Francis in Rome to discuss the implications of this declaration.
This talk was part of a 2016 event at The Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education at Santa Clara University, where Professor Farid Senzai moderated the Q&A session.
“And We made them leaders, guiding (men) by Our Command, and We sent them inspiration to do good deeds, to establish regular prayers, and to practice regular charity;and they constantly served Us and Us only.” (21:73)
Muslims in the West are faced with the difficult task of integrating within larger society and being direct contributors to its growth and well-being. Recent issues such as the NYPD
spying scandal have challenged this integration for students. How we address these injustices and coordinate our response with the public and government at large will reflect on who we are as Muslims in America. This attitude must also translate into the influence we have on our local communities that include Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Our role must extend beyond the walls of our mosques and into the public domain where we may influence political, educational, and even social trends. Our presence will be felt if we only put forth the effort that is required. A fitting opportunity is in the upcoming election where the course of political events rests in the hands of us as voters. How we define our role in this referendum on where our country is heading will surely have an impact on people here and abroad. Join us for a discussion on the multiple roles we students play in American society.
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf reads and comments on a chapter from a classical text over 400 years old called “Al Maktobat” by Shaykh Ahmad al Farooqi al Sirindi which discusses being content with the decree of Allah.
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.
Anyone with even a modicum of exposure to popular culture can see a pervasive occult element in films, television, and music. Vampires, sorcerers, witches, secret society references, and satanic rituals have come out from the shadows and onto center stage in popular culture. Those of us of a certain age have witnessed the increasingly graphic depiction of violence that began with the game-changing 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. This trend now includes a multi-billion dollar game industry with titles like “Grand Theft Auto” and “School Massacre.” Coupled with the violence is the disturbing “pornification” of culture that has resulted in another multi-billion dollar sex industry of exploitation and degradation. Lest we forget, a dark soundtrack to all of this blares out from car stereos and smartphones straight into the ears of our youth, lulling them into a stupor in which reflection and reality to them are as distant and faded as the once bright lights of the now lost night sky. This unsettling talk will take a serious look at the forces behind these trends, their agendas, and the damage they have already inflicted on young minds. It will also give practical means to mitigate the influence in our homes and communities, and provide strategies for combating it. Please note: Given the subject matter and the use of some graphic images, please consider this session rated PG 13.
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.
Hamza Yusuf, President and Co-founder of Zaytuna College delivers in which he addresses four topics chosen by our online audience. From the Zaytuna conference, Reclaiming Our Faith: Negotiating Modern Theological Fault Lines held in Anaheim, California on May 25, 2013.
Our duty as Muslims is to represent the true meaning of Islam by reaching out to the broader community we serve, the underprivileged and underrepresented. As tensions continue to increase throughout the world, we as North American Muslims have a unique opportunity rarely found elsewhere to serve our community with assurances of security and freedom. Using the Prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) as our shining example, this session aims — through diverse informed and unique speakers — to motivate inspire and move us beyond mere words and rhetoric, to truly living a way of life dedicated to serving God by serving humanity.
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf reflects on the nature of Islam as a way of life that affirms the sanctity of private property and free enterprise while avoiding the excesses of capitalism, yet, demands social concern and responsibility while rejecting the extremes of communism. In this stimulating lecture, Shaykh Hamza looks at what an alert and serious Muslim community can offer to our country to help it escape the dangerous political and economic trends that threaten not only the stability of our society but, indeed, global peace, security and stability.
This event celebrated the rollout of a new book, Religious Freedom: Why Now? Defending an Embattled Human Right, authored by RFP Associate Director Timothy Shah, under the auspices of the Witherspoon Institute’s Task Force on International Religious Freedom, chaired by RFP Director Thomas Farr. The event was co-sponsored by the Religious Freedom Project and the Witherspoon Institute. The keynote address was delivered by Robert P. George of Princeton University. Panels featured a wide range of participants, including noted Muslim scholar Sheikh Hamza Yusuf.
“How to Read a Book”, a Zaytuna Faculty Lecture by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf.
The Zaytuna Faculty Lecture Series presents lectures by Zaytuna College faculty members exploring a variety of contemporary topics.
Fons Vitae Publishing presents – fonsvitae.com
Hamza Yusuf Hanson on “The Critical Importance of Al-Ghazali in Our Times” incl. an introduction to the Fons Vitae Al-Ghazali Ihya Ulum Al-Din Series [Galt House, Louisville, Kentucky, November 3rd, 2011] facebook.com/fons.vitae
Where are we going? This is a question that is relevant for both Muslims and Americans. Beyond certain jingoistic slogans we may regurgitate during moments of contrived patriotism, do we really have a sense of destiny? What is our vision for the sort of world we would like to see coming into being and what actions can we realistically take to begin actualizing that vision? These are some of the questions Shaykh Hamza Yusuf will address during the concluding lecture of this conference.
In the recent years, Fair Trade has emerged as one of the world’s most dynamic efforts to enhance global social justice and environmental sustainability through market based social change. Does Fair Trade necessarily mean ethical trade? What impact can the average consumer have on global economics? Grounded in the inspiring power of Fair Trade as a positive alternative to poverty, environmental destruction, and human exploitation, this enlightening session will explain how we can make a difference.
It was narrated that ‘Ai’ishah said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “O people, you should do whatever good deeds you can, for Allah does not get tired (of giving reward) until you get tired. And the most beloved of good deeds to Allah is that in which a persons persists, even if it is little. If the family of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) started to do something, they would persist in it.” (al-Bukhaari, 43; Muslim, 782) As Muslims in tumultuous age, we must develop the methods and tools necessary to improve our community’s condition. How can we utilize our various individual strengths and approaches to jointly propel our community into a brighter era? What can we do today to energize and mobilize ourselves? How do we get ourselves moving? What are ways that we can ensure the continuity of our actions?
During the 2008 Rihla to Mecca and Madina, Hamza Yusuf translated and explained the profound and eloquent poem titled Qurrat al-Absar, or Discerning the Eyes’ Delight, a beautiful account of the life of the Messenger of God written by the noble Shaykh ‘Abd al-’Aziz al-Lamti in the 10th century of the Islamic era.
Mankind is lost and confused. Islam has the answers and solutions but yet we stray from it. We do not reflect upon the Quran. Our hearts yearn for Allah and want to be purified. In this lecture Shaykh Hamza discusses ways to improve our souls and get closer to Allah.
Join the halaqa and take part in this discussion about the Islamic perspective of women and the many related issues. In the mountains of Northern New Mexico at the world famous Abiquiu Madressah, Hamza Yusuf answers many of the common questions about Muslim women such as the degree of men over women, the hijab, rights and roles, the concept of deficiency in women, and the hadith about women in Hell. Part of the widely popular Deen Intensive program, this session is an opportunity to see a unique side of Imam Hamza within the context of an informal and interactive study group. Other topics discussed: the breakdown of the family in the West, the man’s weakness for the woman, men and women shaking hands, cultural norms vs. shari’ah, a woman’s right to her own living space, participating in politics, following laws that contradict the shari’ah, paying taxes, and the idea of putting your parents in retirement homes. (Duration: 2 hours, 1 min)
Hamza Yusuf teaches this esoteric subject using a methodology and style that makes it comprehensible to all. Utilizing as his basis the hadith of Gabriel (Islam, Iman, Ihsan, and the Hour) in Imam Nawawi’s 40 Hadith, he presents the Islamic teaching concerning the end of time and those signs mentioned by the Prophet Muhammad (P). The language and pace employed by the speaker and the analysis of modern theology and society is extremely thought provoking and should motivate further study by the viewer. Due to the unique subject, format, and audience (non-Muslim educators) this lecture is a must for all! (Recorded at the Dar al Islam Teachers’ Institute seminar).
Other topics discussed: finality of Prophethood, the dajjal, psychology, physiology, Judaism, Christianity, philosophy (past and present), anthropology, classical Arabic language, Jesus, prayer timetables, natural disasters, media, children, despair vs. optimism, and statistics.
In this session, Hamza Yusuf takes a traditional approach to this science based on the teachings he received while studying in West Africa. The result is a rich and refreshing look at exactly how the Muslim goes about making his or her experience in the world a thing of beauty so one can truly contribute to the human condition in a positive way. He begins this discussion by placing the concept of “ihsan” in the context of the contemporary political scene in the Muslim world to show how important this concept is for the proper practice of Islam and what happens when it is neglected. Then he defines “ihsan” and analyzes ways in which the Muslim can go about recapturing the station of “ihsan” enjoyed for so long by the early generations of Muslims. A useful talk for non-Muslims on the topic of Islamic spirituality and a vital lesson for Muslims about how to regain the deeper understanding and appreciation of their own tradition. (Recorded at the Dar al Islam Teachers’ Institute seminar). Other topics discussed: the highest act of making beautiful, the fountainhead of all misdeeds, back-biting, obsession with young age, arrogance, remembering death, and the most hidden of all blessings.
An in-depth exploration into the concept of “iman” (or faith) in Islam, and its application and implication for human beings in general and for those who call themselves Muslims. This near three-hour session is an intense survey of the human condition in the world today and what the human being must believe, from the Islamic perspective, in order to have hope for security and peace in this life and the hereafter. These objects of belief, which are known as the “articles of faith” in Islam, are what’s at the core of this highly stimulating lecture. These six articles are: belief in the one God, the revealed books, the prophets and messengers, the angels, predestination, and the Day of Judgment. An amazing session that also makes many comparisons to the Judeo-Christian understanding of God’s imminence, salvation, and other very relevant issues pertaining to faith. (Recorded at the Dar al Islam Teachers’ Institute seminar). Other topics discussed: the fitrah (the natural desire to believe in one God), the human intellect, faith vs. disbelief, deja-vu, heedlessness, the transcendence and imminence of God, negation and affirmation within the human psyche, the nafs (the commanding self, the regretful self, and the peaceful self), the philosophical problem of evil in the world, Salmon Rushdie and capital punishment, the five objectives of the Islamic law, inheritance laws, homosexuality, the desire for massive stimulation, the stages of life, the after-death experience, God’s mercy and wrath, suicide, slandering prophets, and Muslim countries today implementing Islamic law.
A unique look at how the Islamic tradition articulates itself, irrespective of how it has been practiced by its people. In a strategic and tactful manner, Hamza Yusuf makes clear the whole concept of “islam” by analyzing the profound meaning of the word as it is explained in the Holy Qur’an. He then moves into a descriptive examination of the Islamic teaching by thoroughly explaining the fundamental practices of Islam: prayer, zakat (obligatory alms-giving), fasting, and hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca). These series of lectures have been immensely popular due, in large part, to the atmosphere created by the classroom-style format and the interaction and engagement by the speaker with the non-Muslim audience. (Recorded at the Dar al Islam Teachers’ Institute seminar). Other topics discussed: the meanings of “surah” and “ayat”, submitting when death comes, religion as self-deception, development and discipline of children, the four seasons as a metaphor for the cosmology of life, determining the prayer times using the sun, women in the mosque, women in the home, wudu (ablution), why pork is forbidden, want vs. need, envy, obeying the laws of the land in which you live, revolution in Islam, symbols in Islam, and going to extremes in practice.
This classroom style lecture was given as part of the annual Dar al Islam Teachers’ Institute in New Mexico. The audience consisted of non-Muslim school teachers from around North America. The primary objective of this program was to educate the teachers about the fundamental Islamic beliefs and practices within the context of an interactive and intensive spiritual retreat. In this session, Hamza Yusuf outlines the five life stages of the human being according to the Holy Qur’an: the pre-worldly existence, the dunya (life on earth), the barzakh (grave), the Day of Judgment, and the final abode (Heaven and Hell). Although each stage is covered in detail, emphasis is placed on the dunya realm and death. Many interesting topics are explored relating to the unseen world, which according to the Islamic belief, makes up the vast majority of creation. A comprehensive talk that provides insight into the Muslim worldview and is ideal for people of all faiths. Other topics discussed: our disenchantment with the world, fitrah (human nature), and the age of discrimination.
Hamza Yusuf implores the audience to consider the major crisis of our time: the disillusion of the human soul itself. He then presents a program based on a hadith in which the Prophet (P) said, “I was sent to perfect noble character.” In this context, he outlines the two primary concerns of the Muslim, the heart and the limbs, and the need to follow in the footsteps of the Prophet (P) by utilizing his divinely-inspired methodology to guard them.
The commencement of a two-week, five lecture series within a comprehensive institute dedicated to educating non-Muslim school teachers about Islam. Hamza Yusuf introduces the Islamic experience by first looking at the foundational book of Islam, the Holy Qur’an, its revelation event over a span of 23 years, and the mechanism by which it was compiled and preserved. After first analyzing the meaning of the “Qur’an” through its Arabic roots, Sheikh Hamza discusses the dominant themes in the Qur’an during the Meccan and Medinan periods. He then proceeds to explain the significant events taking place immediately following the death of the Prophet Muhammad (P), and how his companions were deeply concerned with preserving the Qur’an for future generations. These series of lectures have proven to be extremely useful for non-Muslims, new Muslims, life-long Muslims, and young Muslims. (Recorded at the Dar al Islam Teachers’ Institute seminar). Other topics discussed: tri-literal roots in Arabic, inherited world views without reflection, tawheed (monotheism) in Islam, the hereafter, the end of time, the Battle of Yamama, standardizing the writing of the Qur’an, original Qur’anic texts in existence today, the royal “We” used in the Qur’an, the pleasures of Paradise, the Qur’an as the “divine” word of God, and the dialectical variants of the Qur’an.