Ep. 26: Islamic Principles #1, Why were we created?

Ep. 26: Islamic Principles #1 Why were we created?

How can we make sense of Islam today? This is not only the name of this podcast, but a question that I’ve been obsessed with for decades. This series shares several first-principles that we need to keep in mind as we seek to answer this question. Some will seem basic (but need repeating) and others might be new. In both cases these meta-principles are essential tools to make sense of it all.


Quran Mentioned
worship verse, 51:56
purification verses, 91: 9-10
Zulaykha taking about the lowest level of the self, 12:53
development verse, 11:61


Hadith Mentioned
“No good in a religion without prayer”, Abu Dawud
three people who said certain things and Prophet said I will be moderate and “whoever doesn’t follow my way is not from me”, Bukhari
hadith of the greater jihad, al-Daylami


Ep. 25: Thoughts on Change

Change is one of the few things we can be certain of in life. However, it’s not always easy, nor do we always change the ways we want to. I’ve been thinking a lot about this since the month of Ramadan and wanted to share some thoughts with you. Hope you find them useful.


“names your parents called to” 53:23
“God does not change the condition of a people until they change what’s in themselves” 13:11


“Whoever doesn’t concern themselves with the affairs of the Muslims is not from amongst them”, al-Tabarani
“begin with yourself then those next to you”, Muslim
“all of you are shepherds and all of you are responsible for their flock”, Bukhari and Muslim
Story of Sayyiduna Umar, Bukhari
“The best of actions are consistent, even if few”, Muslim


People Mentioned
Walt Whitman
Bob Dylan

Ep. 22 Islamic Spirituality, Pt.5

One of the richest traditions Islam has is its spiritual tradition, or Sufism as it is more commonly known. In this 5 part series I introduce the richness of this tradition from a bird’s eye view perspective and offer some practical tools in later episodes that I have found to be tremendously useful in all aspects of my life.



Episode Notes

2:17 tools of the path
2:36 tool #1: absolute adherence to Sharia and sound belief
4:22 tool #2: persistence
7:31 tool #3: lessening of particular things in the beginning of the path
12:43 tool #4: remembrance (dhikr) and contemplation (fikr)
22:36 tool #5: the need for a teacher and instructor
23:24 conditions for finding a spiritual teacher
29:38 what to do if you can’t find a teacher

Selected Notes

Imam Nawwawi’s Book of Remembrance
Conditions for finding a teacher
Purification of the Heart
Ghazali translations

Quran Mentioned

The people that remember God standing, etc., 3:191
Remember God often, night and day, 33:41
Indeed by remembrance of God the heart is tranquil, 13:28
If My servant asks of Me, Indeed I am near, 2:186
Ask the people of remembrance if you don’t know, 16:43

Hadith Mentioned

“Best of actions consistent even if few”, Bukhari
“Enough for the person is a couple of morsels of food per day, but if he can’t…”, Tirmidhi
“Will people enter into hell fire with other than the harvest of their tongues?”, Ahmad, Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah
“Everything has a polish and the polish of the hearts is the remembrance of God”, Bayhaqi
“Remember God until people say you are crazy.”, al-Hakim
“The Prophet was in the service of his family”, Bukhari
“Chains of transmission is from the religion”, Muslim
“Never given an option except that he chose easiest of options.” Abu Dawud

People Mentioned

Ibn Arabi
Abdullah Ibn Mubarak