New Islamic Directions

By Imam Zaid Shakir

Currently Browsing: Notes

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Standing at Arafat, Standing with Standing Rock, Standing in the Need of Prayer

by Imam Zaid Shakir

Today is the greatest of days. It is the day the pilgrims will stand on Arafat longing for the Mercy of their Lord. It is one of the days that sees the deeds of the servants multiplied in ways unmatched throughout the year. It is the day when the final… Read More

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Not a Hate Crime

by Imam Zaid Shakir

An elderly Muslim woman, Nazma Khanam, is brutally stabbed to death in New York, but it is not a hate crime. A few weeks earlier, in the same neighborhood, two Muslim Imams are singled out and executed in broad daylight, but it is not a hate crime. Three Muslim college… Read More

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Descent Into No Dissent?

by Imam Zaid Shakir

I had the great honor of presiding over both the funeral prayer and memorial service for Muhammad Ali. I was scheduled to deliver the final speech at both of those events. The funeral prayer was scheduled for an hour and a portion of that time was spend establishing order. There… Read More

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Thank You Allah!

by Imam Zaid Shakir

Thank you Allah for the mind that produced these words. Thank you Allah, for private thoughts, shared with only You, unheard. Thank you Allah for gracing me to see another day. Thank you Allah for blessing me with the ability to say… “Thank you Allah.” Thank you… Read More

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The Treachery of The “International Community” on Syria

by Imam Zaid Shakir

The treachery of the “international community” towards the Syrian people is reaching a disgusting climax. It is obvious that the United States has cut a deal with the Russians, hence, indirectly, the Syrian regime, to combine forces to go after ISIS and other “terrorist” groups. In exchange for the cooperation… Read More

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“Well-Fed Slaves…”

by Imam Zaid Shakir

Bill O’Reilly, ignited a firestorm, when commenting on Michelle Obama’s speech at the DNC, stated: “Slaves that worked there [constructing the White House] were well fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802.” The allegation that chattel slavery in the American… Read More

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Stop This Killing…

by Imam Zaid Shakir

“Stop this killing!” was the fervently repeated plea of Alton Sterling’s aunt, being interviewed in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of three police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. That is the very town that witnessed the gruesome killing of Sterling himself. Indeed, we must stop the killing, on all… Read More

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Violence: As American as Cherry Pie

by Imam Zaid Shakir

Every day, there are 44 homicides in the US, the majority are committed with firearms. There are approximately 5 gang-related murders in America each day. Every day in the country, an average of 110 people commit suicide, 60 of those deaths involve firearms. Of those daily suicides 20 are committed… Read More

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Murder Is Murder

by Imam Zaid Shakir

The recent killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling are inexcusable outrages and the police officers involved in those shootings should be duly tried for their crimes. These and similar police killings, however, cannot be used as a blanket indictment against all police officers, the overwhelming majority of whom carry… Read More

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Dabiq: An Argument Against ISIS

by Imam Zaid Shakir

The Hadith of Dabiq: A Proof Against ISIS One of the most powerful recruiting tools of ISIS has been its ability to create an apocalyptic appeal around the prophesized destruction of a “Crusader” army at Dabiq, a location in Northern Syria. So central has this idea been to the call… Read More

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Suicide Murder

by Imam Zaid Shakir

Once again, the filthy scourge of suicide murder has reared its despicable head, this time in Istanbul, Turkey. Innocent people are once again the target of brainwashed homicidal lunatics, one of whom was captured on film dispatching himself to Hell, the destination our Prophet (peace upon him) has promised anyone… Read More

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Should We Apologize?

by Imam Zaid Shakir

In the aftermath of the Orlando murders many Muslims are adamant that they will not apologize for anything. This is a proper stance as our religion does not advocate collective guilt, nor collective punishment. We are informed in the Qur’an, “No bearer of burdens (a sinner) can bear the burdens… Read More

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Ali’s Torch

by Imam Zaid Shakir

Physically, the last phase of Muhammad Ali’s life was very difficult. The ravages of Parkinson’s Disease had robbed him of his health, vigor and voice. Spiritually, however, Ali was only strengthened as he approached the end of his earthly tenure. His illness could not steal his generous heart and noble… Read More

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A Joint Muslim Statement On the Carnage in Orlando

by Imam Zaid Shakir

On behalf of the American Muslim community, we, the undersigned, want to extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the barbaric assault that occurred early yesterday morning at Pulse, an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida. We unequivocally say that such an act of hate-fueled… Read More

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On The Passing of Daniel Berrigan

by Imam Zaid Shakir

April 30, 2016 witnessed the passing of Daniel Berrigan. Daniel Berrigan, along with his brother, Philip, both ordained priests, are among the most recognizable names in the history of protest against American military imperialism. One of the distinctions of the Berrigan Brothers was the strong spiritual basis of their activism.… Read More

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Spiritual Grammar and the Danger of Complaining

by Imam Zaid Shakir

Complaining (Shakawa) to other fallible humans has no part in our religion. Sincere advice (Nasiha) does. What is the difference between the two? Usually, the complaint starts with what we describe as the first person, “I”. For example, “I don’t like…” “I don’t feel…” “I want…” “I think….” etc. Therefore,… Read More