Senior Fellow Dr. Muhammad Khalifa sits down with Sh. Omar Suleiman to discuss their co-authored publication on ancestral knowledge and the role of culture when it includes an element of resistance, as well as how to maintain Islamic orthodoxy.
One of the defining qualities of the Muslim community is its general concern for the well-being, prosperity and salvation of society at large. Islam is not an individualistic religion; it possesses a strong social and communal aspect. One of the ways in which the community works towards change and creating a healthy society is through the Prophetic model of enjoining good and forbidding evil. It is the role of the people of knowledge to lead that effort and help identify what is beneficial and what is harmful for society. What practical steps do we take to educate ourselves and become agents of positive change?
Per George Washington’s letter to the Jews of Rhode Island, he described an essential nature of America as “a government which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance – but generously affording to all liberty of conscience, and immunities of citizenship.” Bigots are using the Islamophobic rhetoric to sideline and alienate American Muslims. How can we proactively react so that through our suffering comes great success and triumph?
It’s easy for young Muslim professionals to feel fearful as they enter into the workforce. Girls are afraid to go into journalism with their hijabs on, guys are afraid to enter into business with their beards. Often, this fear causes our young professionals to dissociate from their Muslim identity to assimilate into American culture. The truth of the matter is that the Prophet SAW stated that “Islam began as something strange and will revert to become something strange so glad tidings to the strangers.” Instead of being afraid to be different, we should proudly stand out. Our youth should be the first Muslim hijabi news anchors and the first Muslim male CEOs. Your Islam should not be the reason for your hiding, rather your Islam should be your means of standing out.
On Tuesday, September 17, 2019, the Muslim Students’ Association, in collaboration with 33 campus units and 11 student organizations, hosted Imam Omar Suleiman for a keynote speech at the MLK symposium event, Malcolm & Martin: Intersecting Visions of Justice. Imam Omar was joined by UM’s own Drs. Su’ad Abdul Khabeer and Stephen Ward for a dialogue and Q&A session. The focus of this event was advocacy, allyship, and the intersectionality and global nature of social justice.
The event program can be viewed at bit.ly/mxmlkprogram
Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl reminds of the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad in which human beings are told not to surrender, rely upon, become pacified, embrace or turn oneself over to the unjust. He reminds us of the weight and seriousness of “the Word” and the moral and ethical obligation upon human beings through their relationship with the Word. He recalls to the tradition that the word is light, the pen is light, the intellect is light and the ink is light–a symbolic construct of the relationship between Creation and the Word. In a moving and powerful testimony, Dr. Abou El Fadl recounts the tragedies taking place around the world against Muslims, and his own wrestling of the conscience to speak out for truth and against injustice as if in the wilderness. He presents the cases of horrific human rights violations in Syria, in Egypt and in places all around the world where Muslims are suffering, and the associated complicity of Muslim governments and the reactions of Muslims around the world. He laments the ironies of the invitation and subsequent refusal of the U.S. singer Nicki Minaj to perform in the Hijaz, the land of the Prophet in Saudi Arabia. He juxtaposes her moral stand against the abuses being committed in Saudi Arabia to that of fellow Muslims, particularly those who refuse to take a stand and prevent others who want to take a stand, as in the local case of the Islamic Center of Southern California most recently. Lastly, he addresses the establishment of the U.S. Commission on Human Rights this past week and the clear implications and hypocrisies of such a commission given the Trump Administration’s stated positions and actions, as well as the ideological positions of those appointed to the commission. He addresses the appointment of Hamza Yusuf to the commission and its implications for Islam and Muslims, particularly in the West. Powerful and eye-opening. Delivered 12 July 2019.
Imam Zaid Shakir highlights reclaiming our legacy for an abandoned frontier, the community, people, and nation of Latin America (Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America), and impact of African Muslim interaction.
When looking at the lives of Malcolm X and Martin you can see they did so much in so little time. Reflecting on that and taking heed the words of the Prophet Muhammad (s), “When you leave this world either you are relieved of this world or the world is relieved you are gone”. We should live our lives so that we can fulfill this legacy.
Dr. Tariq Ramadan provides a clear and blunt clarification for the concept of jihad in Islam- its meaning, objectives, and application. Many Muslims and non-Muslims err in understanding it correctly and many misuse it. The screaming example of ISIS will be explained and the position towards its claims.
A journey on the way of understanding and achieving the balance between the three components of (1) the belief in fatalism “ القضاء والقدر“, (2) the personal capacity and freedom of will and choice, and (3) the accountability for our actions. A discussion on the benefits for maintaining such upright understanding in both this worldly life and Hereafter and its effect on both the personal and communal levels. How can we as Muslims living in such very materialistic world deal with these 3 components and benefit from the correct balance between them?
It is often said that racism is America’s “original sin.” In 2013, we mark 150 years since the Emancipation Proclamation and 50 years since the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s momentous “I have a dream” speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Yet race remains salient in American public life. This was never more evident than in the impassioned reactions to the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida last spring and the acquittal of George Zimmerman. How is religion a force for racial reconciliation? How is religion involved in maintaining racial division? Does 11:00 on Sunday morning remain, as Dr. King lamented in a 1968 sermon at the Washington National Cathedral, “the most segregated hour in America?” As immigration and changing demographics have reshaped the religious landscape, how will Christians relate to their neighbors of other faiths? We will study important stories of shared history, theological similarities and differences, and aspirations for social justice that both Christians and Muslims share as communities of faith. Religious differences provide fertile ground for animosity and misunderstanding. Over the years, both Muslims and Christians have dealt with extremists who distort the character of true belief. Significant, intelligent dialogue and the development of authentic friendships across religious lines are key to deepening Christians’ and Muslims’ faith. Recorded on
When polled, most Americans say they do not know a Muslim. More than 80 percent of media coverage about Islam and Muslims is negative, and Muslims have often found themselves at the center of social and political debate. When it comes to Muslim Americans, the narrative is more often created about our community by the media and by politicians, not by Muslim Americans themselves. If American Muslims do not define themselves individually and collectively, they leave themselves vulnerable to being defined by others.
Imamr Omar Suleiman reminds us that as Muslims we must speak the truth in the face of injustice and stand up with those who are oppressed and in need. In this particular case he tells us the stories of many individuals who were murdered due to racism, bigotry, etc.
Sh. Yasir Qadhi reminds us about our mission to help shape a better future. What causes and social changes are we as Muslims supporting? Sh. Yasir cites the history of alcohol prohibition and how we would support it. What about the social ills of today?
Sulayman Nyang, a professor at Howard University and author of “Islam in the United States of America”, identifies the periods in which Islam gradually came to the attention of the American non-Muslim society. He does this by accounting for the various waves of Muslims making their way to America and the great impact they’ve had. These “waves”, or stages of evolution of Muslims in America, are five: the Pre-Columbus explorers and settlers, the importation of slaves, emigration to the “new world”, converts and native-born Muslims, and the institutionalization of Islam in America. Delivered at the Dar al Islam Teachers’ Institute in New Mexico, this talk provides a wealth of information in the form of names, dates and events and is an invaluable resource for any “Islam In America” enthusiast. Other topics discussed: states with large Muslim populations, the perception of Muslims as terrorists, and how Farrakhan views sunni Muslims. (Duration: 1 hour, 34 min)
Dr. Jonathan Brown, a professor at Georgetown University, is the son-in-law of a former political prisoner Dr. Sami Al-Arian. Dr. Brown spoke at an event called “Caged & Forgotten: Muslim Political Prisoners in Post 9/11 America”, July 19, 2018. Sponsored by the Coalition for Civil Freedoms.
Islamic scholar Hamza Yusuf talks about whether Islam is comparable with the concept of religious liberty on which America was founded. An American-born Muslim convert who founded the first Muslim liberal arts college in the United States, he has reportedly been put on an ISIL hit-list of Muslim leaders in the West. After his remarks, Professor Yusuf engaged in a dialogue with Professor Farid Senzai and members of the audience.
Mr. Senzai is Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at Santa Clara University. This recording was broadcast on May 18, 2016.
Sister Dalia Mogahed talks about how if we put our trust in Allah truly and genuinely we would transform ourselves, our families, our communities and our country. This video is from the 55th Annual ISNA Convention (August 31 – September 3, 2018) in Houston, Texas.
We cannot talk about justice without speaking about race. In fact, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ characterized racism as the remnants of Jahiliyyah. Today’s Black Lives Matter movement is integral to our human, American, and Muslim identity. In this session we will discuss how we can get involved what Islam says about fighting for justice for all.
Imam Zaid Shakir talks about honoring the legacy of many greats who struggled and sacrificed to provide a dignified living for American-Muslims. Imam Zaid spoke at the Muslim Community Center – East Bay (MCC East Bay) in Pleasanton, California on Sunday, October 14, 2018.
Can Islam be accepted, alongside Christianity, Judaism and other faiths, as an American religion? Are Muslims able to recognize the positive elements of American culture and values? As a distinguished American Muslim scholar, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf is in a unique position to ask these questions and offer insights that challenge the clash of civilizations narrative. Beginning in Andalusia, Muslims contributed to the rise of European civilization through philosophy, science, medicine, art and civil society. Many of the Founding Fathers of the United States welcomed Muslims into the fabric of American society. Yet today, we face our own set of challenges and opportunities. Islamophobia is on the rise and many Muslims feel alienated. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf will explore shared Abrahamic cultural and ethical values that unite Christians, Jews and Muslims. He will also discuss how Muslims throughout history preserved the best elements of their religion and their diverse cultures to created unique syntheses. Join us for a special evening with one of the leading and most celebrated American Muslim intellectuals of our time.
Inner Cities in America are struggling. Black, Latino and other less fortunate communities of color are stuck in a viscious cycle of poverty. Couple this with the issue of race in America and you have a much bigger problem on hand. How can Muslims assist in this situation? How can organizations like ICNA Relief assist in these communities. Please share reflections on the recent tensions and violence in Baltimore.
Whether we live in a small town or big city, a predominantly Muslim neighborhood or are the only Muslims on the block, it’s important to be involved and engaged in society as a whole. And that’s where our civic obligations come in. As Muslims, our Islamic duties are what push us to be involved. Whether we are temporary guests, visitors, or citizens, Islam mandates that Muslims should be an integral component part of society.
From being singled out at the airport, to facing racism when going about our daily routine, hate crimes are on the rise against Muslim women. It is also clear that racism is impacting other marginalized communities as well. What impact is bigotry having on our community’s collective psyche? How do we go beyond surface level “wonkiness” and build a community committed to antiracism work for all people?
What is the expected impact on civil rights and civil liberties as president-elect Donald Trump prepares his cabinet? What steps should the American Muslim community take to ensure not only Muslim rights but the rights of other marginalized groups? Join us as our speakers discuss one of the most controversial events in modern American History.
Ivy Muslims Conference 2018 Keynote Speech. Martin Luther King spoke passionately about the beloved community. It’s a vision for a nation that has been picked up by so many over the past six decades, but what does it mean today. With political fragmentation across the country, and increasing fragmentation and tension within Muslim communities, what does the beloved community look like? What do our sacred ethics say about our role in building such a community? How is the language of beloved community reflected in our tradition and in the life of the Beloved of God. Imam Khalid Latif digs deep to give us some perspective and some answers which ought to change the way we think about our role in America and beyond.
How should Muslims deal with practices reprehended by the shariah? If enjoining good and forbidding evil is a central Islamic shariah concept and a duty on Muslims in general, what are our limits in implementing it and the etiquettes we need to observe?
When the first generation of Muslims was just settling down in the US, no one would have dreamt it possible for a black man to be president. After the Obama era and the first female nomination for president, we see that this is not just the land of opportunity, it is the land of extraordinary ambition. We need to live in this world with a purpose. What can we do as an ummah to fulfill that purpose?
Despite all the uniting factors Muslims have, our American Muslim community is divided over ethnic, social, sectarian, etc. lines. We were not able to reap the great benefit of our diversity but were caught by it.
There’s an acute shortage of imams in America. This shortage is magnified by the multifunctionality of the American mosque serving as more than a place of worship. It is a hub for social interaction, charitable support, counseling, interfaith dialogue, youth services, and more. Unfortunately, some young Muslims feel alienated from the mosque. What can be done to ensure that more imams in America are trained in classical Islam while also being relevant with American culture?
How do we collaborate with individuals and organizations with whom we might have clear differences in beliefs and practices? If Muslims are always asked to encourage what is good and eradicate what is bad, then how do we follow this creed in times of differences with our collaborators?
One thing that every Muslim needs to understand is that we are living in very dire situations and circumstances. We are living in a time and place where, unless we take action, the next stages can keep getting worse and worse as time goes by.
During those tough situations, especially when fighting for a Muslim being treated unfairly, one might say there is no financial backup in order to support them. In fact, we are allowed to use Zakat money in order to help fight for their justice, as we are helping the community. Yes, we do give Zakat to the people who are hungry, but there are eight categories in total for which we are allowed to give money for.
Now when donating, we don’t just give $5, instead, we give a good amount of our Zakat money. Why? Because that one case that the lawyers are defending for, it can have an impact across the country. One case can secure the right for six million Muslims. Imagine how that one case can clear the path for our children in the future. Therefore we should always be open-minded whenever a certain situation arises.
When you look at Muslim scholar Dalia Mogahed, what do you see: a woman of faith? a scholar, a mom, a sister? or an oppressed, brainwashed, potential terrorist? In this personal, powerful talk, Mogahed asks us, in this polarizing time, to fight negative perceptions of her faith in the media — and to choose empathy over prejudice.
Imams and scholars who grew up here in the United States are often better able to connect with the larger society. This session addresses how to overcome the lack of American Muslim scholars and Imams and how to work toward building initiatives to address this need.
As part of Islamic Awareness Week, the MSA at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) held its Friday khutbah in a public place as a means of dawah, and invited Sh. Yasir Qadhi to deliver the sermon. Join Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi as he talks about some of the problems that Muslims face in modern times and the role of a Muslim in a Non-Muslim society.
The portrayal of Muslims and other minorities has led many to be confused about Muslims, Islam, and other minority groups, who are at the receiving-end of discrimination and prejudice in this country. However, discrimination not only affects marginalized groups, but affects all Americans whether or not we realize it, and only perpetuates fear and misunderstandings of the ‘other’.
Brown’s presentation addresses not only Islamophobia, but other forms of discrimination that takes place–whether it is at your local grocery store or on campus–and how education alone will not work to change the current situation. Brown’s talk sheds light unto how Islamophobia–or any other type of marginalization — is detrimental to a pluralistic society and in addressing broader issues plaguing our society. Brown speaks on how, especially as Americans, it is essential that we have the same fervor our Founding Fathers envisioned towards respecting and ensuring our inalienable rights and freedoms — for all.
What does it mean to follow the Shariah in the West? Is the Shariah in the West different from the Shariah in the East? Is the Shariah in a Muslim country different than the Shariah in a country where Muslims are the minorities? In this lecture, Dr. Johnathan AC Brown will clarify these points and elaborate on the role of the Shariah in a Democratic government.
It is reported in the Sahih of Imam Muslim that one day our Prophet Muhammad(S) was once sitting on one of the houses of Medinah. He looked around and said to the Sahabas: “Do you see what I’m seeing” They said “What oh Messenger of Allah” The Prophet answered: I see trials and tribulations falling upon your houses like the drops of rain. The frequency , the quantity will affect everybody”
In another Hadith, our Prophet(S) said that towards end of time, trials would become repetitive by nature. Every time a trial/calamity would come, the believers would become scared and terrified. They will say that we cannot pass this trial. The Prophet(S) said Allah will open up the doors and let it go away. Then another will come, they will say “ This is my destruction” and so on and so forth.
Nowadays when we look at how many incidents are taking place, how many issues that are rising day by day. We can see the difference of the how the world was before and what it has become now!
The challenges and moral dilemmas facing American Muslims requires an understanding of the shifts in ideological, social, religious and political forces that are shaping the structure and function of families in the United States. The challenge facing the American Muslim is to not only maintain its Islamic identity, but to initiate change in the social and political spheres in light of the principles of the noble Qur’an.
On the eve after Trump’s win, Nov 10th 2016, Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi gave a frank talk about his thoughts on Trump’s election, why it happened, what our reaction should be, and what lessons we can learn from it.
Paul Barrett and Dr. Umar Abd-Allah in a discussion of their recent works, American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion and A Muslim in Victorian America. Dr. Abd-Allah’s work is a biography of Alexander Russell Webb, one of the earliest American converts to Islam to achieve a modicum of fame. Mr. Barrett’s book offers portraits of a number of contemporary American Muslims, demonstrating the complexity of the community and diversity of opinion within this community. Paul Barrett was a reporter and editor for 18 years at the Wall Street Journal, and currently directs the investigative reporting team at Business Week. Dr. Abd-Allah is Scholar-in-Residence at the Nawawi Foundation.
In this powerful and emotional talk, delivered in front of the largest annual gathering of Muslims in North America, Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi shares his thoughts on the current state of Islamophobia in America, and the dismal situation in Muslim lands and how we should work together to speak out against oppression and injustice.
Who are the next generation of Muslim leaders? What are their backgrounds, what issues will the face, and what are their responsibilities to society? Ustadh Usama Canon discusses these and other questions relevant to today’s rising Muslim leaders.
With the rise of “Islamophobia” in the past ten years, we have also seen a drastic rise in converts to Islam. Our distress has brought da‘wah to our doorsteps. In this lecture Shaykh Yasir Qadhi teaches us how to rise from the shadows and preserve our dignity through the truth of Islam.
Imam Khalid Latif tells the heartbreaking tale of his days as a chubby boy finding out one of his beloved snack foods weren’t permissible to eat because it contained gelatin with pork in it. Filmed at the Native Tongue story slam on May 21 in New York City.
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.
“Verily we have honoured the Children of Adam. We carry them on the land and the sea, and have made provision of good things for them, and have preferred them above many of those whom We created with a marked preferment.” Quran 17:70
Looking into four misconceptions the West had with Islam when it first encountered with Islam. You can trace a lot of the “problems” today between “Islam and the West” to these four early misconceptions.
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.
One of the slogans of the Occupy Movement is, “We are the ninety-nine percent.” In this provocative lecture, Dr. Abdul Hakim Quick examine this slogan in light of global realities, with specific reference to his time in Africa, to show how North Americans, rich or poor, collectively are the global 1%. We are the beneficiaries of schemes of economic and political exploitation and oppression. What is our collective responsibility to our less fortunate brothers and sisters in humanity? This is just one of the many questions Dr. Quick will address in this presentation.
In this Intimate Conversations video, Ta’leef founder Usama Canon and special guest Imam Suhaib Webb talk about CHANGE. In a heartfelt manner, Imam Suhaib discusses the importance of the work Ta’leef Collective is doing and how we should look at the concept of change in our community juxtaposed with the Shari’a and history of the early Muslim communities.
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/
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.
For Muslims to be united with others in this country we need to view ourselves as legitimate Americans. In this challenging lecture, Dr. Sherman Jackson examines the idea of Muslim membership in the American family and the rights and privileges accruing from that membership. Perhaps, more importantly, he examines the consequences of exclusion and marginalization for both ours and future generations of American Muslims.
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? From ISNA 2009 convention, “Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness”, in Washington, D.C.
In his bestselling book, Ill Fares the Land, Tony Judt passionately argues that individualism, egoism, greed and the
politics they gave birth to are undermining the very basis
of community, equality and social justice. In the ensuing
social carnage no one suffers more than the poor and disenfranchised members of our society. What are the political foundations of community, equality and social justice?
Can America be a great nation if it tramples on its poor and downtrodden? How can more affluent Muslims display more compassion for the less fortunate members of our society–both Muslims and others? These are some of the questions Imam Siraj Wahhaj will answer in this lecture.
Islam is often presented by its detractors as a religion that is void of mercy. In this lecture, Imam Zaid Shakir will examine how mercy is fundamental to Muslim theology, law and life. He will also present the outlines of a practical plan that allows a Muslim to manifest that mercy as he or she interacts with the wider society. This lecture will also demonstrate the fundamental relationship between mercy and unity.
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.
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.
Part 1: Part 2: Part 3: Part 4 – The Man: Part 5 – The Man: Part 6 – Nation Theology: Part 7 – Racism: Part 8 – Malcolm’s Transition: Part 9 – Institution: Part 10 – Leading Truth: Part 11 – Hope: Part 12 – End Race: Part 13 – Question and Answer: