Archive for the ‘al-Islam’ Category


Expressions Magazine Released

November 9, 2009

nov09cover-smallExpressions Magazine, the official literary magazine of the Muslim Writers Society, has been released.

Download it now in PDF format.


On the death of Imam Ali

September 10, 2009

On the night of the 21st of Ramadan, after Imam Ali (peace be upon him) died, Imam al-Hasan (peace be upon him) rose and gave a sermon:

“Tonight you have killed a man on a night in which the Qur’an came down, a night in which Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon him) was taken up, and a night in which Joshua the son of Nun, the champion of Moses (peace be upon him), was killed. By God, none of those who were before him are ahead of him and none of those who will come after him will overtake him. By God, if the Prophet (may Allah bless him and his progeny) sent him on a raid, Gabriel was at his right hand and Michael at his left. By God, he did not leave (at his death) gold or silver except for 800 or 700 dirhams, which he set aside for a servant woman.”


Birth of Imam Hasan ibn Ali

September 5, 2009

imam-hassanIt is reported that Imam Hasan ibn ‘Ali (peace be upon him) said:

“Be obedient to Allah and have faith in Him. The loftiness of those who know the greatness of Allah is expressed in their modesty. The safety of those who know the power of Allah is expressed in their surrender to Him. Do not be influenced by the ignorant. Seek knowledge from its bearers. They are the light with which one can enlighten oneself.”

Imam Hasan was born on the 15th of Ramadan in Madinah, city of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny). He was the second to take the office of Imam after his father Ali (peace be upon him).

The Prophet once said of Imam Hasan and his younger brother Imam Husayn: “Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn are the leaders of the youths of Paradise and Fatimah (their mother) is the leader of its women.”

He (may Allah bless him and grant him and his family peace) said:

“They (Hasan and Husain) are my two sweet-smelling flowers in this world.”


Ramadan Lectures

August 22, 2009

Ramadan Mubarak to all.

Here are some of the scholars and intellectuals speaking on the English Ramadan lecture circuit.  All of these are video and audio.

Hajj Hassanain Rajabali


Sheikh Jehad Ismail


These are being broadcast live and then the recordings will be uploaded to YouTube.

Sayyid Hossein Al-Qazwini


This will be broadcast live, and the recordings will be available on the YMA website.


Islamic reformation?

May 22, 2009

I have been hearing more Muslims everyday talking about “reforming” Islam.  I have read article after article (that means two articles), claiming that Islam is in the beginning, middle, or end of a reformation.  Really?  Reza Aslan, author of No god but God reportedly said this:

I believe we are living in the time of the Islamic reformation. In fact, I think we are living in the twilight of that reformation.

For me, the word reform is defined by its inevitability. This process cannot be stopped; it can be slowed down for a time but reform is inevitable. It’s an historic reformation taking place within Islam — it’s adapting itself to the realities of the world around it.

I think we’ll see the same process we saw in the Christian reformation from doctrinal absolutism to doctrinal relativism; toward a truly indigenous Islamic enlightenment.

And it’s up to us as Muslims in the US to give voice to that for our brothers and sisters who don’t have the voice or the same ability to speak out as we do.

Reza, I love you as my brother in Islam, but I think you missed the mark.  I want to write a refutation right here and now, but I think this will need some time, research, and consideration.  Look for an article in the coming weeks.

Nevertheless, I will leave this for everyone, especially Muslims, to ponder:

reform (\ri-ˈform)
transitive verb
1 a: to put or change into an improved form or conditionb: to amend or improve by change of form or removal of faults or abuses

2: to put an end to (an evil) by enforcing or introducing a better method or course of action

From Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary

I am no linguist but “reform” seems to refer to “fixing” something that is fundamentally flawed.  And “doctrinal absolutism” is something that is alien to Islam, aside from the most extreme fringes. More on this later.


When logic fails

January 2, 2009

My five-year-old daughter is brilliant.  It is, therefore, no surprise to me that she regularly uses logic to come to conclusions.  She is always trying to figure something out and goes through a very intense method of reasoning to finally find her answers.

What is also not surprising, however, is that her conclusions are often wrong when dealing with issues that only “grownups” would understand.  It got my thinking about why this is the case.

For some logic and reason are more important than anything.  Someone with sound logic skills can work out any problem and do so without the tainting of emotional interference.  The true logician is like the Vulcan race from Star Trek, unflinching in their reasoning.

How then can such people ever fail to understand something?  Why does understanding often elude someone steeped in logic?  The answer, which I determined through observation, rather than pure reasoning, is that a person of logic also needs wisdom.

Wisdom is nothing something obtained through first principles or through studying.  Wisdom comes only through life experience, empathy, emotional trials, and often divine guidance.  The child can become very advanced and logic but still does not possess the wisdom that comes naturally with age.  Thus, understanding is not guaranteed.

I am reminded of a story about Luqman (peace be upon him), one of the wisest men mentioned in the Qur’an.  He wanted to teach his son that he cannot please everyone all of the time, but rather than preaching to his son, he allowed him to experience it.

They were traveling with their donkey one day.  Luqman was walking in front of it, and his son was seated on top of it.  A group of passersby saw this and talked amongst themselves (but loud enough for Luqman and his son to hear) saying, “Look at this young selfish boy who lets his old father walk while he enjoys the ease of riding.”

Luqman’s son felt bad after hearing them say this and got down from the donkey, insisting that his father ride it instead.  His father mounted the donkey, and they continued on their way.  Later they came upon some more people, and one of the said, “What a cruel father he is who makes his son walk while he rides in luxury!”

Upon hearing this the two of them both got off of the donkey and walked behind it.  They then came upon another group of people and one said, “How foolish!  They have a perfectly good donkey, yet they walk behind it!  Why do you not ride it?”

Upon hearing this, Luqman’s son decided perhaps it would be best for both of them to ride.  So, they continued with both of them mounted on the donkey.  They eventually passed some more people, and one of the said, “How cruel this duo are, putting all of that load on a small, innocent donkey!”

Luqman and his son dismounted, and he said to his son, “You have heard and seen what the people said. It must have assured you, by now, that whatever you do or whichever way you move, one is not able to please the people of the world.”

He grants wisdom to whom He pleases; and he to whom wisdom is granted receives indeed a benefit overflowing; but none will grasp the Message but people of understanding.” (Qur’an 2:269)


The Intellect

November 8, 2008


It has been related that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:

created the intellect from a stored-up light which was hidden within
His fore-knowledge, and neither emissary, prophet nor high-ranking
angel has seen it. Then He made knowledge its ‘self’, understanding its
spirit, abstension (zuhd) its head, modesty (haya’) its eyes, wisdom its tongue, compassion (ra`fah) its purpose, and mercy its heart.

Then he filled and strengthened it with ten things: certainty, faith, truthfulness, tranquility (sakinah), sincerity, kindness (rifq) generosity (`atiyyah), contentment (qunu`), submission (taslim), and patience.

Thereupon He spoke to it saying, “Go back,” and it went back; “Come
forward,” and it came forward; then, “Speak!” and it replied, “Praise
belongs to Allah, Who has neither enemy nor rival, to Whom there is no
likeness, no comparison, and no equal, before Whose might everything is
submissive and humbled.”

Then the Lord said, “By My power and
splendor, never have I created anything finer than you, nor anything
more submissive to Me than you, and nothing more noble than you; by you
My unity is affirmed, by you I am worshiped, by you I am called upon in
prayer; hope is placed in Me through you; I am desired through you; by
you I am feared, by you is the reward, and by you the punishment.”

Mishkat al-Anwar