Zaytuna College Blog

The Place of Isnad in Islamic Education: Demystifying “Tradition”-Shaykh Abdullah Ali and Shaykh Muhammad al-Ninowy

Posted by Zaytuna Staff on Dec 16, 2016 2:41:17 PM

“In other words, the fundamental rule of Islamic learning is that one requires a teacher who possesses knowledge of what the Messenger was given by his Lord”-Shaykh Abdullah bin Hamid Ali

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Topics: tradition, islamic tradition

Matters on Hajj in the Maliki School-Shaykh Abdullah Ali

Posted by Zaytuna Staff on Dec 16, 2016 2:31:02 PM

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Topics: hajj

Zaytuna College First Day of Classes and Inaugural Convocation

Posted by Zaytuna Staff on Dec 16, 2016 2:23:06 PM


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Topics: Classes at Zaytuna College

What It’s Like To Attend America’s First Accredited Muslim College

Posted by Jack Jenkins on Nov 17, 2016 12:45:53 PM

*This article first appeared on on April 18, 2016. 

Professor Mahan Mirza looks out over his classroom, pausing from his lecture to gaze at the row of attentive faces stretched befor him. The class is Freshman Rhetoric, and the students have just finished discussing the merits of a speech by president Ronald Reagan. Time is up, and people are already softly packing away their notebooks into book bags, barely listening as the professor ticks off the homework assignment for the next session — another speech, this time by Ted Kennedy.

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Topics: Fiqh, Muslim, General, Islamophobia, trump, Education

The Age of the Perplexed

Posted by Dr. Hatem Bazian on Aug 11, 2016 11:18:43 AM

A statement by Prophet Muhammad spoke of a future time that would cause the wise, sagacious and learned to be totally perplexed by unfolding events to an extent that they would not be able to make any sense of it. From the earliest post-prophetic period, the notion of the age of the perplexed has existed in Islamic literature with each calamity and difficult episode theorized as representing the beginning of the prophesied time. Earlier periods of Islamic history that were described as ushering in the age of the perplexed include the Mongol invasion, the Crusades, the Inquisition and the colonial era.

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Topics: Muslim, Islam, Communication

On the Passing of My Mother, Elizabeth George Hanson

Posted by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf on Aug 10, 2016 6:37:20 PM

My mother, Elizabeth Anne George Hanson, died last night with her hand in mine, surrounded by her children. She was ninety-five years old; when she was born, there was an Ottoman Caliph ruling much of the Muslim world. She lived through the Great Depression, World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Civil Rights Movement, which she was actively involved in long before many others joined. My mother spent her life serving others. She never complained and was the most ethical person I have ever known. She hated bigotry, prejudice, and any form of discrimination. She spent her life fighting against injustice. Some of my earliest memories involve civil rights marches, on which she always brought along her children. She marched with Dr. King and Cesar Chavez, and even in her late eighties, she marched in San Francisco against the war in Iraq. All her life, she volunteered in various organizations and served for years on the Homeless Committee in Marin County. Even into her eighties, she volunteered teaching Mexican immigrants and farm workers how to speak, read, and write English, a language she loved and spoke beautifully.

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Topics: General

Muslims are Most Studied and Least Understood

Posted by Dr. Hatem Bazian on Aug 10, 2016 4:08:11 PM

My inbox is filled daily with hundreds of studies, academic journals, new books and articles from numerous publications focusing on Muslims. Everything about the Muslim subject is studied and parsed to the minute detail with volumes upon volumes of subsequent publications citing and re-examining what everyone had said on every topic. The volume of studies produced about the Muslim subject is mindboggling and the list expands beyond anyone’s own ability to keep up with it. Yet, the volumes of studies available at our fingertips have not made it possible to know Muslims  any better;  rather they have  added to the structural and compounded ignorance of the subject matter. It seems that when more studies of the Muslim subject are undertaken, the less knowledge of Muslims we have! Why are studies of the Muslim subject leading to less knowledge and awareness of the Muslim him/herself?

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Topics: Muslim, Islam, Colonialism, hijab

A Conversation: Shaykh Abdullah Ali and Baraka Blue

Posted by Abdullah bin Hamid Ali on Aug 10, 2016 4:05:03 PM

Shaykh Abdullah bin Hamid Ali and renowned Poet Baraka Blue sat down for a wide-ranging and engaging conversation on topics that are capturing the attention of Muslims and Non-Muslims worldwide. Topics including ISIS, Muslims in the West, Race, Racism, and more…

Listen to the podcast here:

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Topics: Islam

Only Human: Can We Follow a Fatwa From the Heart?

Posted by Abdullah bin Hamid Ali on Aug 9, 2016 9:48:58 PM

One of the many perks that come with the discovery by locals in Muslim territories that you are a Western Muslim is that they often desire to help you explore and appreciate their culture. On one particular occasion, as I sat enjoying the company of a number of my Moroccan brethren in the courtyard of the American Language Institute of Fez, a peer invited me to attend a session of prophetic invocation and mention of the divine name at one of the local Sufi lodges he frequented. Before I could accept the invitation another Moroccan interjected, “Abdullah! Ask him if he performs his daily prayers!” Somewhat embarrassed for the man, I responded to the questioner, “It’s not my place to probe his faith and practice.” To this, my gracious host retorted, “That’s right! All that matters is a person’s intention.” I, suddenly feeling obligated to offer my religious understanding on the matter, replied, “No! Acts and good works do matter to Allah!”

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Topics: Islamic Jurisprudence, Muslim, Islam

Building Stronger Muslim Families

Posted by Abdullah bin Hamid Ali on Aug 9, 2016 9:45:59 PM

The word ‘family’ according to its Latin root, familia, means a household or servants. A similar meaning is implied by the Arabic word, ahl (family; house; household, people belonging to a community or locality). There are actually three Arabic words commonly used to express the meaning of family: ahl, ‘a’ila, and usra. The first word (ahl) underscores the fact that the members of a given family share a domicile. The second word (‘a’ila) highlights the fact that members of the family act in the service of one another fulfilling one another’s needs. What deepens the notion of servicing one another’s needs is the fact that a cognate of ‘a’ila is ‘ayla (need, poverty) and another is‘iyal (dependents). As for the third word (usra), it originally was applied to male agnate relatives who were responsible for protecting the family. They were the glue which held the family together in tight solidarity with one another. A cognate of usra is the word asir, captive. It is as if no matter how much one may develop disdain for or be angered by a family member, one is unable to cut ties with them. It is as if a family member is held captive to his/her relatives.

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Topics: Muslim Community, Muslim, Islam

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