New Islamic Directions

By Imam Zaid Shakir

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Journey To Timbuktu   Part Ten

by Imam Zaid Shakir

After returning to the Imam’s house, we were seated in the room we had previously occupied. However, now the room was illuminated with the light beaming from the faces of religious scholars, both young and old. The senior scholars were all adorned with the blue gowns that are the hallmark… Read More

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Journey To Tibuktu   Part Nine

by Imam Zaid Shakir

After returning to the hotel, we ironed fresh clothing in preparation for a formal visit with the Imam of the Grand Mosque. Even our drivers and guides had doffed their mundane western garb in favor of beautiful traditional garments. The time passed quickly and before we knew it we had… Read More

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Journey To Timbuktu   Part Eight

by Imam Zaid Shakir

Timbuktu is believed to have been founded early in the 12th Century AD. Its name gives us insight into its origins. Tim, in the language of the Tuareg people, means well. Buktu is a female name. Hence, Timbuktu means the place of Buktu’s well. The city is named after the… Read More

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Journey To Timbuktu   Part Seven

by Imam Zaid Shakir

Early the next morning, we awakened for the morning prayer in the courtyard of the IR center. After praying, I ascended to the rooftop to take in the surroundings. Looking around I was treated to a spectacular view. As I mentioned previously, the mighty Niger River was a few hundred… Read More

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Journey To Timbuktu   Part Six

by Imam Zaid Shakir

Early in the afternoon we left for Rharous, a town even further to the north. Our caravan had grown by one car as some of the Islamic Relief officials from Gossi were joining us for the trip to Rharous and then onward to Timbuktu. Until now, we had been traveling… Read More

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Journey To Timbuktu   Part Five

by Imam Zaid Shakir

Early the next morning, Thursday, March 5, 2009, we departed for the Town of Gossi, the location of the Islamic Relief Regional Office in the Northern part of the country. As we ventured ever farther from Bamako, the terrain became more and more arid. However, the harsh environ had a… Read More

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Journey To Timbuktu   Part Four

by Imam Zaid Shakir

The next day, Wednesday, March 4, 2009, was a day of travel as we moved out on a journey to the northern parts of the country that would culminate at Timbuktu. The bustle of the roadside markets that seem to be omnipresent in Bamako thinned into lonely vendors, and eventually… Read More

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Journey To Timbuktu   Part Three

by Imam Zaid Shakir

The flight from Casablanca to Bamako was routine. I was able to do a little reading. However, since we left close to midnight, drowsiness eventually rendered my attempts to continue reading futile, and I slept the latter part of the journey. The flight was longer than I had anticipated; a… Read More

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Journey To Timbuktu   Part Two

by Imam Zaid Shakir

The check-in at the airport was uneventful. However, as soon as we boarded the plane there was a bit of a problem. Due to a mechanical problem of an unspecified nature, the plane’s departure was being delayed and we sat on the runway for over an hour. When we finally… Read More

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Journey to Timbuktu   Part One

by Imam Zaid Shakir

For the last several years I have had the great honor and pleasure of assisting Islamic Relief on a variety of fundraising projects. Those efforts assisted Muslims challenged by various disasters and calamities in places ranging from Darfur to Muzzafabad, Pakistan, to Gaza. For the past two years, I had… Read More

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Tranquility From Allah

by Imam Zaid Shakir

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم These were the verses mentioned by Shaykh `Abdullah bin Bayyah in his lecture on Anger Management, which he recommended to be recited whenever provoked to anger and whenever one seeks calm and tranquility or feels overwhelmed by the stresses and pressures of life. These verses… Read More

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Islam, and the Ethics of War

by Imam Zaid Shakir

The following two comments were written in response to my article, Looking Into the Abyss. They raise questions that deserve a detailed response. In responding to the two individuals who posted these comments, I want to acknowledge that they were merely asking questions that stimulated my responses. Their queries were… Read More

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Into the Abyss: Gaza and the Crisis of Political Morality

by Imam Zaid Shakir

“If he has not virtue, man is the most unholy and the most savage of animals…”     Aristotle In America and Israel it is frequently said that Hamas is guilty of killing the political process evolving between Israel and the Palestinians, owing to its obscurantist insistence on Israel’s destruction.… Read More

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Response to a Well-Meaning Brother

by Imam Zaid Shakir

A well-meaning brother has written a principled criticism of my brief article written in the aftermath of Senator Barack Obama’s victory in the recent American presidential elections. His letter has stimulated a lengthy response from me. I have copied it below in its entirety along with my response. May Allah… Read More

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Obsessed With Defamation and Falsehood

by Imam Zaid Shakir

Recently, 28 million copies of the anti-Islamic propaganda documentary, Obsession, were distributed free of charge in what are being considered the “swing” states in the current election campaign. This effort is clearly designed to leverage the idea in the minds of many Americans that Senator Barack Obama is a Muslim… Read More

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Vote for Me and I’ll Set You Free

by Imam Zaid Shakir

I have decided that instead of complaining about the inadequacies of the candidates running for president I would run as a write-in candidate. Here is my platform, as articulated in my stump speech: My fellow Americans, or should I say my fellow citizens of the global community; reigning socio-political realities… Read More