New Islamic Directions

By Imam Zaid Shakir

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Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Is Not a Racist

by Imam Zaid Shakir

This past weekend, the internet was set ablaze by a maelstrom of opinions originating from some statements made by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf in an interview with the journalist, Mehdi Hasan. Although there were three distinct controversies arising from that interview, the one eliciting the most intense and wide-ranging discussion is… Read More

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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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Ferguson Fallout: Normality and Tamir Rice

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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Halloween II

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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Reflections on the Egyptian Coup: The Fate of Political Islam

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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American Islam

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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,”… Read More

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The Best of Women

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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Reflections on Black History Month

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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Reflections on the Ummah/Nation-State Divide

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More

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On Heroism

by Imam Zaid Shakir

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… Read More