Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-12-11

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I wrote this essay almost five months ago, but did not post it until now because every time I was ready to post it I would encounter a virulent “Salafi” attack on a colleague or myself that would lead me to believe that posting this essay would be to ignore the narrow-minded bigotry behind those attacks. More recently, however, I reflected on the many Salafi friends and associates I have and the amazing work they are doing to serve Islam. Far from being narrow-minded, bigoted hotheads, they are honorable, fair-minded, balanced men and women whose love for Allah, the Messenger… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-11-16

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One of the gravest consequences of the recent wave of terrorist atrocities attributed to the so-called Islamic State – the downing of a Russian airliner over the Sinai, the bombing of a marketplace in Beirut, and now the shootings and bombings that have ripped through Paris – is that it empowers those who argue that these actions are sanctioned by Islam. Inevitably there will be those who claim that these atrocities are the direct result of Islamic teachings. I devote this essay to refuting such claims. There are those who will question this choice. They may ask,… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-08-10

2 Comments

The corporation has been defined by Gerald and Kathleen Hill as “A legal entity formed with state approval to act as an artificial person to carry on business, which may sue or be sued, and whose liabilities or debts are limited to its assets, so its shareholders and officers are protected from personal claims unless they commit fraud.” The important part of this definition is that the real people behind this artificial person are free from any ultimate consequences for their actions, no matter how immoral, other than fraud. By definition there is no legal mandate for a corporation… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-05-03

18 Comments

When we talk about Islamic education and our children, the discussion usually revolves around strictly academic issues related to technical aspects of curriculum development, testing standards and methodologies, balancing between secular and religious education, and similar concerns. Sometimes we miss the greater objective of an Islamic education. That objective, in terms of what is necessary for the immediate success of our children in this world, and their ultimate success in the next, is nurturing balanced, wholesome, honest human beings who live lives based on principle and who exemplify good character in their dealings with other people.  The basis for… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2011-04-18

14 Comments

Introduction The nation-state, which involves wedding a specific people to a sovereign territorial entity, is a modern phenomenon. For example, the unity of the Italian city-states into a coherent modern nation-state did not occur until the late 1850s. The unification of Germany under Prussia did not occur until 1871. Even though there were many French kingdoms, and even a French empire under Napoleon, it could be argued that the emergence of France as a viable, modern nation-state did not occur before Jules Ferry established universal public education during the 19th Century. Outside of Europe, excluding European settler states such as… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2011-01-20

16 Comments

The following questions have been sent to me from numerous individuals in response to my rant entitled, “Letter to a Would-be Mujahid.” Hopefully, these responses, some of which are quite lengthy will help clarify issues that are causing a lot of confusion for many of our young brothers and sisters. Question: Your nonviolence will deny Muslims the right to defend their homelands and repulse invaders. Answer: I definitely advocate nonviolence for Muslims living in the pluralistic societies of the West. This is a fundamental Islamic responsibility. However, Muslims in Muslim majority countries have every right to defend their lands, resources,… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2010-07-28

20 Comments

Increasingly in the western world, nothing symbolizes the “otherness” of Islam like the veiled Muslim woman. If she chooses to remain quietly home undertaking domestic duties with patient dignity she is rendered invisible and mysterious, veiled by the walls of her home. If she emerges into the public square the perceptions and stereotypes surrounding her veil her in ways the cloth covering her face never could. In many instances, those perceptions serve to negate her humanity, rendering her invisible despite her conspicuousness. To some, she is seen as the antithesis of the freedom, liberty and equality that is said to… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2009-11-12

14 Comments

This is my response to the Fort Hood tragedy and events both associated with it and ensuing from it. I begin by expressing my deepest condolences to the families of all of the dead and wounded. There is no legitimate reason for their deaths, just as I firmly believe there is no legitimate reason for the deaths of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghani civilians who have perished as a result of those two conflicts. Even though I disagree with the continued prosecution of those wars, and even though I believe that the US war machine is the… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2009-10-10

3 Comments

This is the fouth and final installment of our translations concerning issues associated with fasting voluntarily in Shawwal from Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s book, Lata’if al-Ma’arif. This selection is from pages 397-400. We will continue with the virtues of Hajj from the same text, Insha Allah. The devotional acts of the Prophet, peace upon him, were moderate and consistent. ‘Aisha was asked, “Did the Prophet, peace upon him, designate specific days for especially intense worship?” She replied, “No. His devotion acts were moderate and consistent.” [1] She said, “The Prophet, peace upon him, would not pray during Ramadan or any other… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2009-10-07

2 Comments

This is the third part of our translation of excerpts from Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s section dealing with fasting in Shawwal from his book, Lata’if al-Ma’arif (pp. 394-396) “[Among the benefits of fasting six days in Shawwal] is that continuing to fast after Ramadan is a sign that the fast of Ramadan has been accepted. Surely, if Allah accepts a servant’s action, He gives him divine Providence to undertake a similar righteous act after it. This is as one of the righteous people said, “The reward for a good deed is the good deed that follows it. So, for one who… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2009-10-01

2 Comments

Abu Ya’la al-Mawsili relates a Hadith with an unbroken chain from Usama bin Zaid, that he said: “I used to randomly fast months during the year. The Prophet, peace upon him, said to me, ‘What about Shawwal?!’” Thereafter, as soon as Usama celebrated ‘Id al-Fitr, he began fasting Shawwal until he reached the end of the month. Fasting Shawwal is like fasting Sha’ban. Each of these two months is wedded to Ramadan, one precedes it and one follows it. We have previously mentioned, in the context of discussing the virtue of fasting Sha’ban, that keeping fast during it is… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2009-09-29

3 Comments

The following passage is exerpted from the chapter on Shawwal in Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s work, Lata’if al-Ma’arif. It gives us insight into a number of issues related to fasting six days of Shawwal, the lunar month that follows Ramadan, pp. 389-392. Imam Muslim relates from the narrations of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, peace upon him, said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan then follows that with six says from Shawwal, it is like fasting perpetually.” [1] The authenticity of this Hadith as well as its implementation are disputed. Some scholars consider it sound, while… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2009-09-03

3 Comments

Note: The following characteristic is especially relevant in Ramadan, as one of the objectives of the fast is to control the tongue. Ibrahim al-Nakha’i, on of the teachers of Imam Abu Hanifa, may Allah have mercy on them both, mentioned: “The people ruined before you were done in by three characteristics: too much talking, too much eating, and too much sleeping.” Al-Hamdulillah, the Fast of Ramadan, when properly engaged in,, cuts down on all three of these ruinations. A. Silence (الصمت) is to refrain from speaking falsely; not truthfully. Al-Kafawi, al-Kulliyyat الصمت إمساك عن قول الباطل دون الحق … Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2009-07-29

1 Comments

Wantonness (Batar) A. Wantonness (Batar) is not properly bearing the responsibility of wealth, which means a severe shortcoming in terms of appreciating it, and seeing the blessing in it. Along with excessive mirth (unrestrained happiness) it leads to oppression. Al-‘Izz bin ‘Abd al-Salaam A.1. Four Sources of Wantonness 1. Wantonness of wealth. 2. Wantonness of power. 3. Wantonness of employment or position. 4. Wantonness of social status. A.2. Texts From the Qur’an and the Sunnah Concerning Wantonness And do not be like those who left their homes filled with excessive pride… Read More - All articles


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2009-07-27

3 Comments

I. Basic Concepts A. Miserliness (Bukhl) Bukhl is denying those in need an established right they have in one’s wealth, or earnings. A.1. Texts From the Qur’an and the Sunnah Let not those who are miserly with what Allah has bestowed upon them from His bounty think that it is good for them. Rather, it is bad for them. They will be made to wear what they withheld, owing to their miserliness, as a necklace [of fire] on the Day of Resurrection. And unto Allah is the inheritance of the heavens and earth. And Allah is well informed of all… Read More - All articles


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