New Islamic Directions

By Imam Zaid Shakir

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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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Congratulations To Our Recent Graduates

by Imam Zaid Shakir

My Sustainer, Increase my knowledge. (Q. 20:114) This time of the year brings convocations for both high school and university students and I would like to extend my deepest congratulations and prayers for success to all new graduates. At this pivotal time in your life, it is important to… Read More

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Our Hearts Are Calling

by Imam Zaid Shakir

Our hearts are calling out to us, into the dark and maddening night. Our hearts are calling out to us, to seize our hands and lead us right. Too blinded are we by the glare, of power, money, war and fame? Yet with perverse and… Read More

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A Higher Ground for Our Marriages

by Imam Zaid Shakir

In the literature discussing Futuwwa, which has been translated as Muslim chivalry, there is the story of a young man who was engaged to marry a particularly beautiful woman. Before the wedding day, his fiancée was afflicted with a severe case of chicken pox which left her face terribly disfigured.… Read More

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Graveyard Detroit

by Imam Zaid Shakir

Detroit, Michigan is an historic American city. From its humble roots as a French trading post in the early Eighteenth Century, it grew to become one of the largest cities in the United States. It was nearly burned to the ground by fire in 1805, and was scorched by the… Read More

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Thomas Friedman: Prisoner in a Glass House

by Imam Zaid Shakir

Thomas Friedman, in his recent New York Times Op-ed entitled, “www.jihad.com,” states that Muslims lack the moral courage to condemn the murderous outrages of “Jihadi” extremists. Part of the reason for this moral failure, in his view, is because the West has not demanded that Muslims take responsibility for their… 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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A Call to Reflection

by Imam Zaid Shakir

This brief essay is the first of several dealing with the Fort Hood tragedy. It is written by Shaykh J. Hashim Brown, an American Muslim convert to Islam. Shaykh Brown was blessed to have studied intimately with some of the greatest scholars of Syria for almost an entire decade. He… Read More

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The Foundation of Spiritual States

by Imam Zaid Shakir

You should know, may God have mercy on you, that truthfulness and sincerity are the foundations of every spiritual state. Patience, contentment, true asceticism, pleasure, and intimacy are branches of truthfulness. While sincerity branches out into certitude, fear, love, majesty, shyness, and magnifying [God]. Each believer has a place in… 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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Imam Zaid Talks About the Fast of Ramadan

by Imam Zaid Shakir

Imam Zaid talks about the fast of Ramadan in EMEL Magazine. http://emel.com/article?id=61&a_id=1404 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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Characterisics to be Adopted: Modesty, or Bashfulness

by Imam Zaid Shakir

A. Bashfulness or Modesty or Shame (Haya’) Haya’ is a constrained feeling caused by the fear of something that would impugn one’s character, or leaving that thing fearing that involvement with it would lead to one’s condemnation. A.1. Texts from The Qur’an and the Sunnah Concerning Bashfulness,… Read More