New Islamic Directions

By Imam Zaid Shakir

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Characteristics to be Avoided: Envy

by Imam Zaid Shakir

A. Envy (Hasad) is desiring the removal of a blessing from one truly deserving it. Al-Munawi, al-Tawqif الحسد تمني زوال نعمة عن مستحق لها – المناوي A.1. The Relationship Between Envy and Miserliness Envy and miserliness are related in that their possessor desires to deny… Read More

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Characteristics to be Avoided: Love of the World

by Imam Zaid Shakir

A. Love of the World in a blameworthy sense is to love it to such an extent that it moves from being a means to Paradise and becomes an end, the obsession with which leads to Hell. A.1. Three Types of Praise for Allah 1. Verbal praise is that of… Read More

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Characteristics to be Avoided, Part Four: Iniquity (Baghi)

by Imam Zaid Shakir

A. Iniquity (al-Baghi) is to desire exaltation without right. Al-Munawi Iniquity is seeking to exceed the limits demarcating moderation in what is sought. Al-Raghib A.2. Texts from the Qur’an and the Sunnah Concerning Iniquity Wicked is what they have sold their souls for, disbelieving in what… Read More

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Characteristics to be Avoided, Part Three: Hatred

by Imam Zaid Shakir

A. Hatred (al-Bughd) is the inclination of the soul to flee away from things it finds repulsive. Raghib al-Asfahani, al-Mufradat Unsanctioned hatred occurs when the repulsiveness the soul finds is unjustified and leads to forbidden actions against the object of ones hatred. A.1. Negative Consequences of… 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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Characteristics to be Avoided: Miserliness (Bukhl)

by Imam Zaid Shakir

I. Basic Concepts A. Miserliness (Bukhl) Bukhl is denying those in need an established right they have in one’s wealth, or earnings. A.1. Texts From the Qur’an and the Sunnah Let not those who are miserly with what Allah has bestowed upon them from His bounty think that it is… Read More

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Good Character Part Two: Etiquette, Shyness, Modesty, and Freedom

by Imam Zaid Shakir

A.1. Etiquette/Courtesy (Adab) Adab involves good comportment, whether one is standing or sitting; maintaining good character, and manifesting praiseworthy traits. Its essence involves knowing all the things to be avoided in order not to commit errors in dealing with self and others. A.2. Bashfulness or Modesty or Shame (Haya’) Haya’… Read More

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A New Direction

by Imam Zaid Shakir

There is a time for everything. The time has come to change the format of this blog and the articles that appear on this site. My political writings and social commentary will be done through other media from now on. This site will be used for strictly religious teachings. Whoever… Read More

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Now What?

by Imam Zaid Shakir

On Tuesday, June 30, 2009, Cynthia McKinney, a former United States Congresswoman, and a recent presidential candidate, was taken prisoner, along with a group of noted human rights and peace activists, including a Nobel laureate, while sailing in international waters, headed for the Gaza Strip. Their abduction was carried out… Read More

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A Prayer for Everybody in the World

by Imam Zaid Shakir

In the 1970s the social activist, blues singer, and revolutionary poet, Gill Scott-Heron, wrote a moving song entitled a Prayer for Everybody in the World. May Allah bless us to realize in our lives the realities he has identified here, for they only come from Him. Prayer for Everybody in… Read More

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The Life of a Muslim “Rock Star”

by Imam Zaid Shakir

In Response to a brief essay I wrote in the aftermath of Michael Jackson’s passing, an individual identifying himself as RHM wrote the following comment: As Salamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh, Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem Cynthia McKinney, former US Congresswoman from the state of Georgia,… Read More

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Upon The Passing of Michael Jackson

by Imam Zaid Shakir

Like the light of a meteor streaking across the crisp, cold, clear sky of a winter’s night, Michael Jackson streaked across the sky defining this country’s cultural horizons. None of us coming of age in urban America will forget Michael’s debut onto the public stage with his brothers as part… Read More

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Somali Pirates: More of the Same or a New Way Ahead

by Imam Zaid Shakir

This brief article is not to argue that there are no pirates operating off the coast of Somalia. There are. However, they are by no means the only pirates operating in the India Ocean, or globally, and they are by no means the most dangerous maritime threat to the strategic… Read More

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Journey to Timbuktu Part Thirteen - Photo Gallery



Photos from Mali and Timbuktu - 2009 Click… Read More

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Journey to Timbuktu Part Twelve

by Imam Zaid Shakir

The journey back to Bamako from Timbuktu was via the Bambara Maude, which would make it several hours shorter than the journey preceding our arrival. The trip to Gossi had taken us north of Timbuktu, so that leg of the trip had already been eliminated as we… Read More

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Journet to Timbuktu Part Eleven

by Imam Zaid Shakir

After a brief lunch and a quick nap our group gathered for a meeting with the Governor of Timbuktu. We had been scheduled to meet with him earlier that day. However, the schedule was too tight for us. He had also been busy, called away from his office attending to… Read More