American Islam

  articles

Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2012-03-18

13 Comments

In what’s become major news and a source of national outrage, thanks to months of reporting by the Associated Press, the New York Police Department has spent years investigating American Muslims throughout the Northeast. Of particular concern is an “NYPD Secret” document dating from November 2006; titled “Weekly MSA Report,” the document was created by Mahmood Ahmad of the NYPD’s Cyber Intelligence Unit, who as “a daily routine” visited the Web sites, blogs, and forums of Muslim Student Associations at the State University of New York at Buffalo, New York University, the Rutgers Newark campus, and, less frequently, similar sites… Read More - All articles


The Best of Women

  articles

Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2012-03-04

17 Comments

March 8, 2012 has been designated as International Women’s Day. The day has been set aside to celebrate the social, economic and political accomplishments of women. March is a most appropriate month for such a celebration. In the Northern Hemisphere, March signals the arrival of spring and the blossoming flowers whose colors and fragrances announce the rebirth of the land. Women, like the flowers of spring, adorn our lives and have been chosen by Almighty God to deliver into the world the young souls whose presence marks the regeneration of our human family. Usually, when western Muslims speak of women… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2012-01-17

7 Comments

This essay is based on a lecture given by Imam Zaid at the Reviving the Islamic Spirit Conference, December 2011. Hopefully, it will provide some food for thought as we begin the arduous process of rethinking many of the fundamental ideas and institutions that developed during an age that is rapidly drawing to a close. As that age expires, many of the the ideas accompanying it must be allowed to expire with it. If we attempt to cling dogmatically to outmoded ideas and institutions, we are only delaying their inevitable demise and handicapping the ability of coming generations to build… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2010-11-02

12 Comments

(Reprinted) This essay, written in the immediate aftermath of the failed New York City bomb attempt [1], will examine some of the theological implications of Muslims violating civilian immunity. I have written elsewhere why attacks against innocent civilians are in opposition to fundamental teachings of Islam. Unfortunately, there are some Muslim ideologues that sanction such actions and a growing number of Muslim civilians and noncombatants are being killed by their coreligionists, in Iraq, Afghanistan [2], and elsewhere. For these reasons, the argument that follows is more than merely hypothetical. This article is being reprinted in the aftermath of an… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2010-09-14

16 Comments

I recently attended two major Muslim conferences where Christian fundamentalists were “protesting” against a Muslim presence in “Christian” America. In each instance, the demonstrators were shabbily-clad, apparently from the poorer elements of American society. Their faces were red with anger and their violent voices exuded rage. They stood in sharp contrast to the beautiful, dignified, modestly-dressed, peaceful Muslims they were directing their scorn towards. The scene was deeply ironic. Here was a group of Christians, whose very presence spoke of an irrational detestation void of any compassion or empathy, telling an assembly of Muslims, whose cheerful countenances and stately comportment… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2010-05-21

6 Comments

My Sustainer, Increase my knowledge. (Q. 20:114) This time of the year brings convocations for both high school and university students and I would like to extend my deepest congratulations and prayers for success to all new graduates. At this pivotal time in your life, it is important to stay focused, monitor and measure your progress and check yourself regularly. Seek the guidance of God through prayer and reflection. Seek the advice of your community elders, parents and teachers.  Education is transformational and it will change the course of your life. It is the most powerful way to… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2010-05-06

15 Comments

In the literature discussing Futuwwa, which has been translated as Muslim chivalry, there is the story of a young man who was engaged to marry a particularly beautiful woman. Before the wedding day, his fiancée was afflicted with a severe case of chicken pox which left her face terribly disfigured. Her father wrote to him informing him of the situation and asking if he preferred to call off the wedding. The young man replied to her father stating that he would still marry his daughter, but that he had recently experienced a gradual loss of sight, which he feared would… Read More - All articles


Graveyard Detroit

  articles

Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2010-02-12

17 Comments

Detroit, Michigan is an historic American city. From its humble roots as a French trading post in the early Eighteenth Century, it grew to become one of the largest cities in the United States. It was nearly burned to the ground by fire in 1805, and was scorched by the flames of race riots in 1863, 1943 and 1967. During the Twentieth Century, its fate has waxed and waned with the rise and fall of the American auto industry. However, despite its travails, the city has displayed resiliency and had witnessed a comeback of sorts in recent years with the… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2009-11-10

12 Comments

This brief essay is the first of several dealing with the Fort Hood tragedy. It is written by Shaykh J. Hashim Brown, an American Muslim convert to Islam. Shaykh Brown was blessed to have studied intimately with some of the greatest scholars of Syria for almost an entire decade. He is currently the director of research at the Tabah Foundation based in the United Arab Emirates. It is with great sorrow and sympathy that we respond to the grief of the families connected to the tragic event at Fort Hood, Texas. The shock of unsuspected violence and… Read More - All articles


A New Direction

  articles

Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2009-07-23

11 Comments

There is a time for everything. The time has come to change the format of this blog and the articles that appear on this site. My political writings and social commentary will be done through other media from now on. This site will be used for strictly religious teachings. Whoever benefits from them let them praise Allah, and if one finds problems them pray for me. May Allah be with you all. The first set of posts are exerpts from a class I am teaching at this years Rihla program, based on Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s book, purification of the heart.… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2009-07-12

2 Comments

In the 1970s the social activist, blues singer, and revolutionary poet, Gill Scott-Heron, wrote a moving song entitled a Prayer for Everybody in the World. May Allah bless us to realize in our lives the realities he has identified here, for they only come from Him. Prayer for Everybody in the World This is a prayer for everybody In the world ‘Cause I need you and you need me We need each other This is a prayer for everybody In the world A prayer for you A prayer for me A prayer for… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2009-06-26

64 Comments

Like the light of a meteor streaking across the crisp, cold, clear sky of a winter’s night, Michael Jackson streaked across the sky defining this country’s cultural horizons. None of us coming of age in urban America will forget Michael’s debut onto the public stage with his brothers as part of the phenomenally successful Jackson 5. Hit after hit, “I Want You Back,” “ABC,” “The Love You Save,” “I’ll Be There,” rocketed up the Billboard Charts to number one. I can still reel them all off from memory some forty years later. For better or worse, they are indelibly etched… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2008-10-06

8 Comments

Recently, 28 million copies of the anti-Islamic propaganda documentary, Obsession, were distributed free of charge in what are being considered the “swing” states in the current election campaign. This effort is clearly designed to leverage the idea in the minds of many Americans that Senator Barack Obama is a Muslim (he is not), and therefore, he is to be identified with the images and statements of Muslims portrayed in the video. These portrayals give the impression that Islam is a fanatical, bloodthirsty religion, whose adherents are hell-bent on destroying America. In essence, the video represents a diabolical attempt by dark… Read More - All articles


Disabled Society

  articles

Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2008-05-14

12 Comments

The following poem is by a friend of mine, Imran Sabir, of Glasgow, Scotland. He shared it with me during my recent visit there. I am sure you will be moved by it as I was. I will let him tell his own story. Biographical Information I am 31 years of age.  I have multiple disabilities caused by a rare genetic condition.  To my knowledge there are only five individuals with this condition in the UK. Records show that I am the eldest of these and the most severely affected. The condition is Asian in origin as all affected… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2008-01-09

10 Comments

The January 6, 2008 edition of the New York Times Book Review was devoted to “Islam,” as the header for the edition boldly proclaims. The edition aims to highlight some of the most relevant historical, literary, political and theological issues informing contemporary discourse around the topic of Islam, as it is found in recent literature. The effort to shed light on such an important subject is laudable. What follows are my comments on the various articles and essays. They follow the order presented in the Book Review. 1. This issue of the Book Review begins with Tariq Ramadan’s excellent essay… Read More - All articles


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