Zaytuna College Blog

Conversations on Race, Faith & The Next Generation Part 2: Immigrants & the New Racism

Posted by Bilal Ansari on Aug 9, 2016 9:10:24 PM

Racial, cultural, and social divides have been a disturbing reality in Muslim communities throughout the United States, despite the unique diversity of the American Muslim community. At the forefront of this divide are the two largest demographics of American Muslims today: indigenous African-Americans and immigrants. Since the immigration from Muslim lands began in the early 20th century, the complex, and often tense, history between the two sub-communities continues to be a barrier for second1 and third generation American Muslims trying to move the community forward in the 21st century.  Though most may agree on the unity of the community as an ideal, putting it into practice requires an open, and sometimes uncomfortable, discussion.

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Topics: Muslim, Islam, Race, racism

Conversations on Race, Faith & The Next Generation: Where Do We Start?

Posted by Bilal Ansari on Aug 9, 2016 9:08:24 PM

Racial, cultural, and social divides have been a disturbing reality in Muslim communities throughout the United States, despite the unique diversity of the American Muslim community. At the forefront of this divide are the two largest demographics of American Muslims today: indigenous African-Americans and immigrants. Since the immigration from Muslim lands began in the early 20th century, the complex, and often tense, history between the two sub-communities continues to be a barrier for second1 and third generation American Muslims trying to move the community forward in the 21st century.  Though most may agree on the unity of the community as an ideal, putting it into practice requires an open, and sometimes uncomfortable, discussion.

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Topics: Muslim, Islam, Race

“White” and “Black” Are Not the Only Options for Social Integration

Posted by Abdullah bin Hamid Ali on Aug 9, 2016 4:15:12 PM

Prior to the tragic events of 9/11, with a few exceptions, a common concern among Muslim mosque-goers in the US was the question of whether or not it was lawful to live in America. For many, the questions of whether or not it was permissible to call oneself ‘American’ and/or participate in elections and run for office were viewed as treasonous to the Islamic teachings. Two views were common. One contingent felt that since America was not a Muslim country and its military was actively involved in incursions into the Muslim world, these facts made being Muslim and American two irreconcilable issues. The second contingent felt that since blacks were not included in the “We” of “We the People” or the “men” of “All men are created equal” when America first formed, in addition to historical social alienation suffered at the hands of whites and the American government, there was no way to reconcile Muslimness with American identity. The former rationalization was popular among recent immigrants to America, while the latter view was popular among black-American converts.

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Topics: Islamic Jurisprudence, Islam, Islamophobia, Race, Justice, muslims in america, 9/11, social integration

Islamophobia and Women’s Hijab in Public Spaces

Posted by Dr. Hatem Bazian on Aug 9, 2016 1:20:23 PM

Take the case of seven Muslim women in Hijab in Southern California that were escorted out of a restaurant by police officers for supposedly over-staying the 45-minute limit in the eatery. The seven Muslim women are suing Urth Caffe in Laguna Beach because of this action since they felt targeted due to a number of them wearing the headscarf. Supposedly, the manager was expecting a busy evening and asked the group to leave despite the place having a number of empty tables and no observable mad rush for pizza was underway.

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Topics: Muslim, Islam, hijab

Revisiting Al-Ghazali: Revelation and Reason

Posted by Dr. Hatem Bazian on Aug 9, 2016 1:37:03 AM

On March 4-5, 2016, Zaytuna College hosted the Revisiting Al-Ghazali: Reason and Revelation Conference , which examined the work and contribution of one of the most influential scholars in Islamic history. Research papers and discussions revolved around a number of issues in Al-Ghazali’s works with an eye toward understanding and appreciating the unique approach present in his intellectual contribution and the reconciliation between reason and revelation.  In the contemporary period and among Muslims, Al-Ghazali is often approached in debates concerning Sufism but his influence and contribution in Islamic law and jurisprudence is as critical and more impactful at his time as it is in the present period . Critically, Al-Ghazali is maliciously blamed for a supposed antagonism toward reason and free inquiry in Islamic tradition , an idea that was debunked by a number of scholars at the conference.

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Topics: Islam, al-Ghazali, Muslim Scholars, al-Ghazali conference, Islamic History

Lessons From The Life of Prophet Moses, عليه السلام, Parts 1 - 5

Posted by Ustadh Ali Ataie on Aug 9, 2016 1:32:38 AM

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Topics: Islam, General, prophets, Moses, Lessons from prophets, Lessons from Moses

The Future of Islam

Posted by Imam Khalid Latif on Aug 9, 2016 1:21:17 AM

I live in New York city, the borough of Manhattan to be precise.

My religion mandates that I pray during 5 separate windows of time every day. Those times are determined based off of a cyclical pattern of the sun.

I was once eating dinner at a restaurant in Times Square when one of the prayer times came in that had a uniquely short amount of time to be performed in given the time of year it was and how short the days were. I excused myself from dinner, letting my friends know I needed to pray, and did my best to find a quiet place where I could for a few moments in the busiest and loudest part of New York City recenter and reflect. I was lucky enough to find a somewhat empty place outside of the restaurant and so I started to pray there on the sidewalk. Immediately after I started a tour bus filled with people pulled up in front of me and emptied itself to my prostrating with M&M World behind me. As I stared at the ground more intently than I’ve ever before, I felt their stares on me and a growing discomfort inside of me.

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Topics: Muslim, Islam, Islamophobia, Future of Islam

Should We Apologize?

Posted by Imam Zaid Shakir on Jul 14, 2016 12:59:27 PM

In the aftermath of the Orlando murders many Muslims are adamant that they will not apologize for anything. This is a proper stance as our religion does not advocate collective guilt, nor collective punishment. We are informed in the Qur’an, “No bearer of burdens (a sinner) can bear the burdens of another.” No one needs say, “I am sorry” for crimes they did not commit. On the other hand, many are viewing clarifying Muslim teachings, attempting to manage popular perceptions, or condemning criminal actions as unacceptable “apologizing.” Such a view is misguided.

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Topics: Muslim, Islam, orlando, apolgies, terrorism

The War Within Our Hearts

Posted by Imam Zaid Shakir on Jul 12, 2016 2:52:22 PM

Verily, they were youth who believed in their Lord and we increased them in guidance. And we strengthened their hearts when they took a stand, saying: “Our Lord is the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth; we will never call on any God besides Him. Were we to do so we would have uttered a grave enormity”. (Qur’an 18:13-14)

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Topics: Muslim, Islam, technology, war within hearts, the war within our hearts, muslim literature, the war within our hears

Ramadan

Posted by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf on Jun 29, 2016 12:39:02 PM

The month of Ramadan is a special time for purifying oneself, the greatest opportunity to implement the discussions and cures with regard to the heart. In fact, this is the purpose, blessing, and secret of the month. It is a remarkable event when the new moon of Ramadan is sighted, when eyes aim toward the horizon shortly after sunset and wait until suddenly a small sliver appears. Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi said in his commentary that the secret of Muslims following a lunar calendar as opposed to a solar calendar is that the sun is used for worldly benefits while the moon is used for other-worldly benefits. Witnessing the new moon is seeing emergence, as it is known in philosophy. The crescent suddenly emerges in the sky seemingly out of nothing. The reason the moon is not visible at first is because the sunlight is too strong. But as sunset progresses, the light diminishes on the horizon and the sunlight against the crescent itself becomes distinguished from the surrounding crimson sky. So what we actually see of the moon is the sun’s light reflected against the lunar sliver. In fact, anything that we see in creation is due to reflected light. And all light comes from God. Witnessing the birth of the new moon is pregnant with metaphor. The word hilal (crescent) is closely related to an Arabic word that refers to birth (istihlal). So what we see is actually the birth of reflected light.

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Topics: Muslim, Islam, Ramadan, Fasting, how to prepare for fasting, tips for fasting

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