As Dr. Umar Faruq Abd Allah explains in this talk, good cultural conventions have the power of law. They are given the same priority that law has, as long as they do not actually contradict Islamic law. Unfortunately, this is an idea that we have lost over the past 200 years.
This does not, of course, mean that we begin to drink alcohol if we come to a culture in which alcohol is prevalent. This only applies to cultural practices which agree with the rules we follow as Muslims. What this means is that Muslims are never aliens, no matter where they go. This was the way Muslims lived for a thousand years. This is why scholars called Islam a crystal clear river; because it is pure and clear, reflecting the color of the bedrock.
Therefore, if the culture was Chinese, Islam would look Chinese. If the culture was Indian, Islam would look Indian. If it goes to Europe, Islam would look European–such as Bosnian culture, which was a beautiful European Muslim culture, destroyed during the genocide.
Muslims are not cultural predators, and Islam has not come to destroy culture. The governing concept was, “unity in diversity.” Today, cultures are being destroyed through the global mono-culture, which is not a culture. Because of this, usually the way we dress doesn’t carry a specific message of our identity.
This talk was delivered at the Muslim Community Center – East Bay (MCC East Bay) in Pleasanton, California on Friday, April 6, 2018.
Referring to the Israelites in Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah stresses that like them, we are in real danger that our hearts will harden even though the Quran is in our hands and we recite it in prayer. In the same surah, Allah teaches us how to protect our hearts from this, first by maintaining a deep connection with our creator, which in turn will improve our relationships with close family; then by always speaking well of people, followed by establishing the prayer and finally giving zakat. Salat is the means by which our worship of Allah and goodness to others is reinforced. The consequences of a hardened heart are grave, leading to a strong warning from Allah in ayah 85 against those who believe in some parts of His book and choose to deny or ignore others, if it doesn’t serve their interests. The compensation for such extremists on both sides (those obsessed with the superficial aspects of religion or those who fail to observe even the most basic rites) is humiliation in this life and the worst of jahannam in the afterlife. Such behavior damages the Ummah at large because it makes Islam itself appear contradictory.
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.
Muslims are diverse and come from many parts of the world where culture varies. How do we reconcile these cultural differences with our religion of Islam. What is accepted and what isn’t? How do we determine this? As Islam spreads to new areas of the world where the cultury differs, how do they assimilate into an Islamic lifestyle?
Shaykh Yasir Qadhi discusses how Islam came with social change and principles that still hold true today. How do we maintain these principles in today’s climate? How can we preserve the Prophetic call to social justice? This lecture is from IlmFest 2018 in Toronto, Canada on July 29th, 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.
Our Earth is changing. The environment is changing. Global warming is real and the scientific evidence showing that Human beings are partly responsible is abundantly clear. What is the response of Muslims? How should we be with regards to our relationship with the Earth?
How do we balance or find the balance between the deen and the dunya? Between what Islam requires of us – a religious way of life – and the material world that we live in which has its demands. Shaykh Bilal Philips answers these questions.
Truth becomes manifest in every human being’s life at one point or another. What should one do at that point? The story of these people makes it clear. Once truth became clear to them, they didn’t hide, they didn’t retreat, they were not afraid. They became firm in their faith. They stood up for what they believed in. Quran expresses this state with the words “Qamoo”, i.e. they became firm and stood up for what they believed. They declared their faith as in “Fa-Qaloo” — They declared the truth as in “Rabbuna Rabbu Assamawati Wal-Ardh” (our lord is the lord of heavens and Earth). We should never be satisfied with the status-quo. The forces of evil maybe gigantic and seemingly powerful, but can never stand to the inherent power of truth (“Haque”). Falsehood (“Baatil”) is inherently week no matter how powerful it may seem.
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.
Imam Suhaib Webb’s lecture at Kumpulan Karangkraf, Shah Alam, Malaysia on the 5th October 2011.
In this lecture, Imam Suhaib discusses three main questions pertaining to the question “Where do we begin?” Where do we begin with Allah (swt)? Where do we begin with the Prophet Muhammad? Where do we begin with Islam itself?