Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2016-06-20

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Thumb I was honored to attend the waning hours of Muhammad Ali’s life along with his immediate family. Taking a brief break from the stream of Qur’anic recitation, invocations, and devotional songs we were dedicating to Ali, one of the Champ’s daughters asked how would I describe her father? After momentarily reflecting on her query, I responded, “This may sound oxymoronic, but I would describe him as a humble mountain.” All present agreed that the description was apt. Ali’s humility was manifested in so many ways. It was seen during the countless hours he spent playing with or entertaining children.… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2016-03-25

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Thumb The recent atrocious, barbaric, condemnable, despicable attacks in Brussels should move every Muslim to swift, unqualified condemnation. Why? Because as Muslims we are taught that murder is wrong. We are taught that suicide is wrong. We are taught that retaliating against unsuspecting innocent people for real or perceived injustices is wrong. We are taught that violating the sanctity of public space is wrong. These things are all unconditionally wrong, and I unequivocally condemn them. Attributing these crimes to Islam is also wrong. Dead wrong. Our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah upon him) informed us, “No one of you… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-12-11

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Thumb 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


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-11-16

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Thumb 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


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-08-10

2 Comments

Thumb 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


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-05-03

18 Comments

Thumb 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


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2014-11-30

4 Comments

Thumb The recent killing of Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio, casts more light on many of the issues relevant in the case of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. I mention this because those who argue that if African American males just act normal and mind our business these sort of killings would not happen. In this regard, my post on Ferguson, a few days ago, generated an informative and balanced discussion. Something was missed by all of the commentators at that time. Namely, virtually every victim of the police shootings I mentioned was acting normal at the time of his slaying. Read More


Halloween II

  articles

Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2014-11-01

14 Comments

Thumb My recent post on Halloween has created quite a stir. That being the case, I would like to clarify a few issues. First of all, the intended audience of that original post was Muslims, some of whom had asked me to write something on the issue. It was not intended for “pagans,” nor was it intended to question their beliefs, per se. Rather, I was calling into question the actions of some Muslims who engage in practices informed by beliefs alien to our religion. Secondly, the style and brevity of what I wrote was dictated to a… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2013-07-13

16 Comments

Thumb In his, Dictionary of Political Thought, the noted political philosopher, Roger Scruton, defines a coup d’etat as follows: [A coup d’etat is] a change in government by force resulting in a change of constitution, and brought about by those who already hold some form of power whether military or political. The institution of a coup thereby transforms the terms on which their office is held from a public trust into a private possession. We start with this definition to spare anyone the need for debating whether what transpired in Egypt was a coup d’etat or not. By any… Read More


American Islam

  articles

Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2012-03-18

13 Comments

Thumb 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


The Best of Women

  articles

Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2012-03-04

17 Comments

Thumb 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


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2012-02-15

2 Comments

Thumb Black History Month should be of interest to every Muslim, especially in America. It is estimated that upwards to 20% of the Africans enslaved in the Americas were Muslim. [1] In some areas, such as the coast of the Carolinas, Georgia, and parts of Virginia, the percentages of Muslims in the slave population may have approached 40%. [2] The fact that the search of a random African American, Alex Haley, for his roots led him to a Muslim village in West Africa is indicative of the widespread Muslim presence among the enslaved population here in the Americas. … Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2012-01-17

7 Comments

Thumb 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


On Heroism

  articles

Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2011-09-12

17 Comments

Thumb The following is a slightly modified version of a speech delivered by Imam Zaid Shakir at the United for Change conference in Washington DC, September 10, 2011.  Character is refined and shaped by the challenges we have to contend with. As we overcome challenges our character is enriched. This lesson was articulately emphasized in a letter written by Abigail Adams to her then twelve-year-old son and future president, John Quincy Adams. The younger Adams was accompanying his father, John Adams, who had been sent to Paris to serve as the first American ambassador to France. John Adams, himself, would… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2011-08-16

4 Comments

Thumb United for Change was created to galvanize the Muslim leadership in North America to take on issues that are too large for any one individual leader, organization or group to effectively address. In our first two conferences we have called attention to the issue of Malaria in Africa and practical steps needed to preserve the integrity of the family. This year marks ten years since the attacks of September 11, 2001. It also marks the beginning of what promises to be a hard fought presidential election. These issues combine to point towards Islam and Muslims once again being in the… Read More


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