Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life. Then He will give you death, then again will bring you to life (on the Day of Resurrection) and then unto Him you will return. (Surah Baqarah 2: 28)
What happens to us when we die? What is the soul? Where are heaven and hell? Is there a reckoning with the creator? Questions such as these about death and dying have frightened and fascinated humanity since the beginning of time. This session explores these existential questions by providing an overview of answers from the sacred scriptures. It examines the viability of reincarnation, the sensual imagery of Paradise, as well as what to make of near-death experiences. Theological scholarship combined with insight and sensitivity make this session thoroughly translatable, a simple introduction to profound and complicated subjects.
Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children – like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion. (Surah Hadid, 57:20)
We are often reminded in the Qur’an that the world around us is filled with distractions that can keep us from realizing the true potential of our humanity. The modern world’s incessant concentration on material and social pursuits has granted many of us with lots of possessions and ideas, yet we still feel empty inside. Even as Muslims’ identity appears galvanized in a response to an endlessly news cycle, Islamophobia and injustice, this reactive activism to those challenges in itself often paralyzes and distracts us from the pressing issues of the soul that are humanity’s greatest need. In this session we will seek to examine how we can shed the weight from our hearts and unlock our spiritual potential.
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?
The story of Noah’s Ark is foundational to both Western and Muslim traditions. The Prophet Noah (peace be upon him) preached for almost a thousand years, but when people did not heed his message, he prayed for their destruction. Noah (peace be upon him) was commanded to build an ark to preserve what was necessary for a new start. In light of the current state of humanity, and our many gross transgressions, which include floods caused by the melting of polar ice caps, perhaps it is time we take this story to heart and reflect on its meanings so we may glean from its wisdom and guidance for our present condition. Today, our scientists seem to be playing the role of prophets, issuing clarion calls to prevent imminent global catastrophes. And yet, like the people of Noah (peace be upon him) before us, we ignore these dire warnings. This talk will look at the Prophet Noah (peace be upon him), his trials, his patience, and his triumph over adversity. It will also focus on what we can do to be part of the solution and not part of the problem, and how we can build spiritual arks of meaning to save us from the flood of heedlessness engulfing humanity.
Imam Zaid Shakir emphasizes the importance to have internal belief that Allah (God) is sufficient as a protector of one’s livelihood and honor. The believer should be diligent and strive to be a living embodiment of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) message for mankind. Imam Zaid Shakir’s Khutbah at The Lighthouse Mosque Oakland CA Jan. 25th 2013
Modern societies have become fundamentalist in their secularism and have effectively banned religion from the public square. Religion has been relegated to the status of a personal hobby, to be practiced behind closed doors. Does public morality suffer as a result? Is religious morality inherently divisive and disruptive as many believe?
Imam Zaid Shakir discusses the beautiful opportunity of fasting the entire month of Ramadan and its reward. He stresses that it is a month of mercy, forgiveness, building a store house of good deeds, and liberation from the fire of hell.
The Irony of Democracy, can it be resolved? A Zaytuna Faculty Lecture by Imam Zaid Shakir.
The Zaytuna Faculty Lecture Series presents lectures by Zaytuna College faculty members exploring a variety of contemporary topics. http://www.zaytunacollege.org/
In this video, Imam Zaid Shakir discusses the concept of thankfulness from an Islamic perspective. He also discusses the importance of speaking out against the abuses which are leading the United States into an era of unprecedented tyranny.
A lecture for those seeking the correct understanding of the utterly misunderstood concept of jihad. Zaid Shakir, addressing an audience at Northwestern University in Chicago, takes a comprehensive look at this truly noble and important concept in Islam. He first analyzes the word itself: its linguistic meaning, its derivatives, and its meaning as described in the Holy Qur’an. He then looks at the practical and normative application of jihad (or struggle) in the everyday life of the Muslim: the struggle of purifying the soul, the struggle of physically fighting in the way of Islam, the struggle with non-antagonist non-Muslims, and the struggle with the devil. Along the way, he explores many related topics such as terrorism, situations that justify the use of violence, various tools one can utilize in struggling against the self, love and compassion with non-Muslims, and the struggles within the family. And he concludes with a commentary on the role of Muslims in non-Muslim lands. An ideal talk for schools, libraries and Muslim student organizations. Other topics discussed: the destruction of the Buddha statues in Afghanistan, the Muslim response to pacifism, jihad in defense of non-Muslims, and the need to establish institutions that can help eliminate root causes of violence. (Duration: 1 hour, 22 min)
The history of enslaved Muslims in the West is well documented. What is less well know is the influence they had and the impact they left in the communities that they were enslaved in. In a captivating speech, Imam Zaid Shakir talks about the legacy that great individuals such as Ayuba Suleiman Diallo and Abdu-l-Rahman Ibrahim Ibn Sori played during the time of slavery in the United States. He outlines the importance of making connections with our Islamic history and why it is important to be aware of how their steadfast nature and upright character serve as examples to Muslims across the world today.