Ep. 54: Islamic Principles #18: Towards an Islamic Paradigm

In our current context it is common to hear discussions about the compatibility or non compatibility of Islam with certain trends. While there is no doubt that these conversations have always occurred, they seem to happen more today than ever before. In this episode I want us to start thinking about what we already know and believe about Islam, but to articulate it in the language of “paradigm”. I think that this is really just the beginning of the discussion, and I hope  to expand on it much more in the future.

Episode Notes

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

Ep. 50: Islamic Principles #16: Dealing with the Past

A frequent question is, “how do we deal with our intellectual past?” Is the past just that, the past, or is there benefit in for the here and now? Many people who seek to “reform” Islam see its intellectual past as stagnant and backward. I think this premise confuses the issues of the past with the methodology of the past. This episode discusses this.

Episode Notes

Imam Ibrahim al-Bājūrī
Ibn al-Fārid

Ep. 49: Why Study the Life of the Prophet

The life of the Prophet (Sīra) is one of the most important aspects of the entire Islamic religion. In this episode I lay out some broad arguments of why it is fundamental for us to learn and study his life story. I also provide some thoughts on how we should think of this subject before we approach it.

Episode Notes

Why Study the Sīra?

(1) This is not simply a historical retelling of events, but understanding how the meanings of Islam manifest in reality. – The Prophet ﷺ was/is the perfection manifestation of Islam. -The hadith of ‘Aisha: كان خلقه القرآن

(2) We want to know the personality of the Prophet ﷺ, not just historical events. But personal details and preferences.

(3) To see the “perfect example” أسوة حسنة as the verse indicates. To see the Prophet ﷺ in all aspects of life so as to serve as our personal guideline.

(4) To help us understand the Quran.

(5) To generate the most authentic understanding of the Islam….i.e. its sources. -for example extremists ironically do not follow the sunna, but rather follow personalities they have taken to embody the sunna. Whereas we actually follow the sunna. Our intellectual history simple gives us precedent and principles through which to follow it.

(6) An example for an active/productive member of society regardless of position/age/gender, etc.

(7) The most important is to help us love and and follow him.

تَعصي الإِلَهَ وَأَنتَ تُظهِرُ حُبَّهُ * هَذا مَحالٌ في القِياسِ بَديعُ

لَو كانَ حُبُّكَ صادِقاً لَأَطَعتَهُ * إِنَّ المُحِبَّ لِمَن يُحِبُّ مُطيعُ

A Word on Sources 

  • people could read and write at the time of the Prophet ﷺ
  •  Some of the Companions wrote down the hadith during the time of the Prophet ﷺ: – ‘Abd Allah Bin ‘Amr الصحيفة الصادقة – ‘Ali Bin Abi Ṭālib – Abu Hurayra -Zayd Bin Thābit صحيح البخاري كتاب العلم عن أبي هريرة يقول ما من أصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أحد أكثر حديثا عنه مني إلا ما كان من عبد الله بن عمرو فإنه كان يكتب ولا أكتب حديث أبي داود عبد الله بن عمرو قال كنت أكتب كل شيء أسمعه من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أريد حفظه فنهتني قريش وقالوا أتكتب كل شيء تسمعه ورسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بشر يتكلم في الغضب والرضا فأمسكت عن الكتاب فذكرت ذلك لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فأومأ بأصبعه إلى فيه فقال اكتب فوالذي نفسي بيده ما يخرج منه إلا حق
  • Prophet ﷺ ordered written documents, treatise, and letters. Some of the Companions were his scribes.
  • Grading of hadith: *harsh with aḥkām * loose with stories and morals • Islam is concerned with the moral character of the narrator, first and foremost.

Types of Works Related to the Prophet

ﷺ 1. Sīra: Raḥīq al-Makhtūm, Sīra of Shibli Nomani, Martin Lings, Revelation: The Story of Muhammad by Meeraj Mohiuddin

2. Shamā’il: A Portrait of the Prophet by Imam Tirmidhi Fons Vitae 3. Khaṣā’s: The works of Imam al-Suyuti, the lesser Khasis is translated

4. Dalā’il al-Nubuwwa: al-Asfahani, etc. [One is translated]

5. Books about the prayers on the Prophet ﷺ, e.g. Dalail al-Khayrat, Bashā’ir al-Khayrāt, Kunūz al-Aṣrār, etc.

6. Aspects of his life: wives, family, tools, government, names

Ep. 48: Islamic Principles #15: The Subtle Moment

There is no denying that Islamic law has a lot of literature about slavery and the freeing of slaves (known as manumission). While all Muslim jurists and Muslim majority countries have outlawed slavery, the legal discussions in these sections of the Sharia have utility beyond their original use. In this episode I discuss one such utility, known as the “subtle moment.” While a bit theoretical, it is extremely important in solving some of our more complex, contemporary problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ep. 46: Muhammad Fraser-Rahim

My guest today is Dr. Muhammad Fraser-Rahim. Muhammad is currently the  Executive Director, North America for Quilliam International. Muhammad is not only a scholar of religion and Islam, but has been at the forefront of tackling violence and extremism in the US and abroad. I am very fortunate to have worked alongside him on very exciting projects, and I am even more fortunate to call him a friend!

Episode Notes
5:45 – influence of Ahmadiyya movement
8:27 Nation of Islam
9:66 current Ahmadiyya Mosques in US
10:47 jazz and Islam
11:28 1975 and WD Muhammad
15:28 Sunni influences in WD Muhammad conversion
18:08 Difference between black islam and immigrant islam
27:23 The importance of West Africa and Sufism
32:16 Ancestors who fought in Civil War
34:28 Thoughts on working in government as a Muslim
44:43 Dealing with crises of faith working for government
49:43 Dealing with extremism and prevention work
100:28 Quilliam Foundation
106:28: Some of Majid’s more offensive comments
112:28 Final advice – to be in every space possible

Quran Mentioned
“You are the best nation created for mankind…”

Hadith Mentioned
“love of country is from faith” 

People Mentioned
Sulayman Nyang
Mufti Muhammad Sadiq 
Abdulrahman Ibrahim
Yarrow Mamout 
Yusef Lateef 
Elijah Muhammad
W D Mohammed
Imam Darnell Karim 
Omar Ibn Said
Hudhayfa Ibn al-Yaman
Imam Ali
Abiy Ahmed, PM Ethiopia
Maajid Nawwaz
Dr. Ali Gomaa
Ed Husain 
Imam Husayn 
Ibn ‘AtaAllah
Al-Farabi
Rumi

Selected Links
Ajrumiyya
Jim Crow Laws
Ahmadiyya
National of Islam
Clara Mohammed School
Gullah Geechee
Hanafi
Shafi
Maliki
Call and response tradition
Akhdari
Ashmawi
The Risala  
Middle passage journey
Qadiriyya
Tijaniyya
Ancestry.com
Daughters of American Revolution
Sons of American Revolution
Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Yellow Cake
UNDP Journey to Extremism
Al Shabab
Book Haram
ISIS
Pulse night club attack, Florida
Al Qaeda
King Abdallah II Davos – Civil war in Islam
Quilliam North America
Pew Poll – American Muslims
Citadel Charleston South Carolina
Art of Party Crashing in Iraq
Farabi’s Book on Music
Southern Poverty Law Center
Futtuwa

Ep. 45: Islamic Principles #13: Theoretical Person

This is a concise discussion on the importance of theoretical people/theoretical structures in Islamic law. While organizations and companies often time seem to function like people, a common theme in the Western world, they are actually not real people and are therefore theoretical in structure. This construct, while sounding a bit strange is important as it allows a great deal of flexibility in adapting nuanced services in the modern world.

Ep. 44: Islamic Principles #12: Rulings as Symbols

The rulings of the Sharia carry a larger meaning than their specific legal context. The spirit or symbol behind these laws remind us of the greater purpose of religion and identity. In this episode, I explore this concept with some concrete examples from Islamic history.


Hadith Mentioned
The Companion who was told to wash when wounded and died. (Abu Dawud)
“Drink the milk of the cow as it is a medicine, use its fat because it is a healing, but stay away from its meat, which has sickness.” (al-Hakim)

Quran Mentioned
“Andtake off your sandal” (20:12)

People Mentioned
Jalal Akbar
Imam Sirhindi
Last descendent of Genghis Khan
Al-Maqrizi