New Islamic Directions

By Imam Zaid Shakir

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Opportunities for the Muslim American Community

by Imam Zaid Shakir

Imam Zaid Shakir explains the way communities ought to behave and how we have opportunities for growth. We have to be realistic and consider our position in society in order to stop from falling into “old traps.” It’s a rare opportunity to catch Imam Zaid Shakir in-between his movements across… Read More

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Muhammad Ali: A Humble Mountain

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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Not in Our Name: Islam Totally Rejects Suicidal Murder

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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Do Not Blame the Salafis

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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Wanton Violence IS Not Islam

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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From A Psychopath to The Right Part

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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What We Should Be Teaching Our Children

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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Islam and the Question of Nationalism [1]

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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Answers to “Would-be Mujahids”

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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.… Read More

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The Lawful Nature of Niqab (Face Veiling)

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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Responding to the Fort Hood Tragedy

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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Fasting in Shawwal: Part Four

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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Fasting Six Days in Shawwal: Part Three

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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Fasting Six Days of Shawwal: Part Two

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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Fasting Six Days in Shawwal: Part One

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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Characteristics to be Adopted: Controlling the Tongue

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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Characteristics to be Avoided: Wantonness (Batar)

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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