Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2016-07-19

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Thumb “Stop this killing!” was the fervently repeated plea of Alton Sterling’s aunt, being interviewed in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of three police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. That is the very town that witnessed the gruesome killing of Sterling himself. Indeed, we must stop the killing, on all sides, for a deepening cycle of tension, revenge and retribution will only fuel greater discord, division and misunderstanding in our society at a time when perhaps they have never been more dangerous. I do not write these words as someone peering down from a vista that only permits theoretical… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2016-07-16

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Thumb Every day, there are 44 homicides in the US, the majority are committed with firearms. There are approximately 5 gang-related murders in America each day. Every day in the country, an average of 110 people commit suicide, 60 of those deaths involve firearms. Of those daily suicides 20 are committed by military veterans. On average, approximately 1,000 people are killed by law enforcement agents annually in this country, almost three people every day. The majority of the victims are white, although the percentage of African Americas killed is grossly disproportionate to percentage of the population comprised by African Americans. To… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2016-07-09

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Thumb The recent killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling are inexcusable outrages and the police officers involved in those shootings should be duly tried for their crimes. These and similar police killings, however, cannot be used as a blanket indictment against all police officers, the overwhelming majority of whom carry out a very difficult job with great professionalism and discipline. Furthermore, we must never, ever allow any justification or rationalization for the type of dastardly ambush and murder that took the lives of five unsuspecting police officers last night in Dallas, Texas. Murder is murder and it is condemnable regardless… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2016-07-06

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Thumb The Hadith of Dabiq: A Proof Against ISIS One of the most powerful recruiting tools of ISIS has been its ability to create an apocalyptic appeal around the prophesized destruction of a “Crusader” army at Dabiq, a location in Northern Syria. So central has this idea been to the call of the group that they have given their propaganda magazine the name of that place –Dabiq. It is now obvious that such a confrontation and the ensuing victory of the “believers” will not occur. What is their contingency plan? Apparently, sending waves of suicidal murderers out into the world to… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2016-06-28

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Thumb Once again, the filthy scourge of suicide murder has reared its despicable head, this time in Istanbul, Turkey. Innocent people are once again the target of brainwashed homicidal lunatics, one of whom was captured on film dispatching himself to Hell, the destination our Prophet (peace upon him) has promised anyone who commits suicide. This hellacious wave of demonic violence has become a pathetic norm in the Muslim world. As I mentioned recently, I will never tire of condemning it. We should, however, also condemn the so-called Ulama who first issued the fatwas allowing this heinous practice, which when it first… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2016-06-19

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Thumb 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. It is fitting, in fact it is imperative,… Read More


Ali’s Torch

  notes

Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2016-06-15

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Thumb Physically, the last phase of Muhammad Ali’s life was very difficult. The ravages of Parkinson’s Disease had robbed him of his health, vigor and voice. Spiritually, however, Ali was only strengthened as he approached the end of his earthly tenure. His illness could not steal his generous heart and noble spirit. Despite that, his departure was painful and represents a great loss. For me, that loss has been lessened by being able to witness, up close, the tremendous outpouring of love and support his family has received from all over the world. The healing process was furthered by an amazing… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2016-06-14

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Thumb On behalf of the American Muslim community, we, the undersigned, want to extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the barbaric assault that occurred early yesterday morning at Pulse, an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida. We unequivocally say that such an act of hate-fueled violence has no place in any faith, including Islam. As people of faith, we believe that all human beings have the right to safety and security and that each and every human life is inviolable. We know that, given the tenor of the times, some will associate this tragedy with… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2016-05-06

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Thumb April 30, 2016 witnessed the passing of Daniel Berrigan. Daniel Berrigan, along with his brother, Philip, both ordained priests, are among the most recognizable names in the history of protest against American military imperialism. One of the distinctions of the Berrigan Brothers was the strong spiritual basis of their activism. They had a “staying power” that is rare among many who wade into the murky waters of dissent and civil disobedience. The source of that staying power is clear in the following statement, spoken by Daniel Berrigan: “The short fuse of the American left is typical of the highs and… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2016-05-01

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Thumb Complaining (Shakawa) to other fallible humans has no part in our religion. Sincere advice (Nasiha) does. What is the difference between the two? Usually, the complaint starts with what we describe as the first person, “I”. For example, “I don’t like…” “I don’t feel…” “I want…” “I think….” etc. Therefore, complaining is rooted in one’s concern for him or herself and is therefore amenable to entering a person onto the slippery slope of egoism or narcissism. Complaining has been described as deadly poison by our scholars for this reason. The more we see ourselves, the less we see Allah. Conversely,… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2016-04-28

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Thumb A Poetic Reflection On The Life of Muhammad Ali Part One: Ali the Fighter He floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee, the greatest fighter the world has yet to see. On one thing his opponents agree, they all got it right; in the ring with Ali your life was in danger that night. Had he lived in the time of Marciano, Joe Louis, or Max Schmeling, his superiority over all of the former would be telling. Had he fought Tyson or Holyfield at the height of his career, on the list of heavyweight champions their… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2016-04-22

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Thumb ISIS is squarely situated in the realm of modern utopian movements that are doomed to fail. The defining feature of these movements is captured by the British political philosopher, John Gray, when he says: “The use of inhumane methods to achieve impossible ends is the essence of revolutionary utopianism.” In resorting to systematic terror to achieve its ends, ISIS is not alone, nor can it be considered the most notorious member of the macabre club it has joined. As Gray mentions elsewhere, “Nineteenth-century anarchists such as Nechayev and Bakunin, the Bolsheviks Lenin and Trotsky, anti-colonial thinkers such as Frantz… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2016-03-18

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Thumb The word أخ or “Akh” means male sibling from the same mother. أخواء or آخوان –> share common goals. أخت or “Ukht” means female sibling from the same mother, plural أخوات. We are all brothers and sisters in the pursuit of a common goal.   - The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) emphasized brotherhood in the community.   - There’s nothing wrong with greeting people in their own way. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon     him) did not cut off his ties with pagans.   - We’re all Children of Adam.… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2016-03-16

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Thumb As racism, xenophobia, anti-Muslim bigotry, nativism, hatred and violence escalate in our society many are asking, “What is to be done?” To begin, we have to understand that these issues did not begin yesterday or with the emergence of a particular political figure. They are problems that to greater or lesser extents have defined this country. They are transgenerational realities. How do we push back? By rejecting them ourselves and joining the legions of others who realize that we cannot move meaningfully into the future carrying the putrid, ever weightier baggage of the past. When you make up your mind… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2016-03-15

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Thumb Nearly a month has passed since the execution-style murder of three young men, two of them Muslim, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We have to keep the memory Taha Omar, Adam Mekki and Mohannad Tairab alive and continue to pressure the authorities for answers. I am consciously writing these lines after this “story” has left the news-cycle. Our concern should not be a reflection of editorial decisions, rather, our human concern. Unfortunately, far too many murders of black folks, poor folks or immigrants go unresolved in this country. These three youths, who met such a tragic demise, fit into each category.… Read More


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