Author Archive

The Prophet and Food

One of the sunnahs (traditions and practices) of the Prophet ﷺ (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that we often overlook is his guidance and example in regards to food. It is important for us to look again at the Prophetic example, especially in a time when many Americans and other […]

The Importance of Good Manners

A brother approached me recently looking for advice. He said that he had gone through several phases in his development and in each stage he would add more acts of worship to his daily life. He started by getting his five prayers down, then their sunnahs, then adding the forenoon prayer (ḍuḥā), then trying to […]

Pharaoh’s Traits in the Qur’an

In recent weeks we have seen a modern-day Pharaoh brought to his knees. This is not the first time this has happened in history, nor will it be the last. When we read the Qur’an we find that the most-mentioned prophet is Moses (as). A core element of the story of Musa (as) is his confrontation […]

Ignorance, Perceptions & Mis-perceptions

What We Can Learn from the Islamic Science of Hadith Criticism Many times when speaking with people I am shocked at the things they think they know. “Facts” are often repeated and stated with the utmost certainty. However, to someone who has studied the field of those “facts,” these statements are often absurd. Yet, this […]

Human Encounters, Perception and the Muslim Response

Several years ago my wife had a series of phone conversations with a reporter from a local news agency. They had a couple of nice conversations and agreed on a time to meet and do an interview for the TV station. We drove to the station and when we arrived the receptionist looked surprised that […]

Gems From the Messenger of Allah ﷺ

In his book, al-Sīrah al-Nabawiyyah, Shaykh Abū’l-Ḥasan al-Nadwī says about the Prophet ﷺ: “He was the most open, easy-going, and generous of people. He would joke with his companions, interact and talk with them, play with their children and sit them on his lap. He would answer the call of the free and the slave, the […]

20,000 Dead in Unnatural Disaster Yesterday

If you attend a large mosque in America maybe two thousand people come to Friday prayer. 20,000 are dead. The unbelievable thing is that all those deaths were preventable. All of them. Sometimes just one person’s death can cause an entire war (remember Archduke Franz Ferdinand?) Other times, millions of people can die and we […]

Muhammad ‘Abdu’s Advice for Educational Reform in the Ottoman Empire

This is an excerpt from a letter written by Imam Muhammad ‘Abdu to the leaders of the Ottoman Empire when he learned of their plans to enact educational reforms. His letter begins with the importance of education, particularly for the development of a strong Islamic nation. He then recommends approaching religious education at three levels, […]

Understanding Priorities

In his autobiography, Imam Hasan al-Banna narrates the following incident, which occurred shortly after he began giving regular lessons in a small, local masjid. One of these nights I felt a strange feeling, a feeling of disarray. I saw that the listeners were separated between themselves, even in their seating, and I had barely started […]

Naming the World

Paulo Freire wrote in Pedagogy of the Oppressed: As we attempt to analyze dialogue as a human phenomenon, we discover something which is the essence of dialogue itself: the word. But the word is more than just an instrument which makes dialogue possible; accordingly, we must seek its constitutive elements. Within the word we find […]

The Islamic Framework for Life: Reflections on Healthy Living

  The insightful person is in a constant state of asking themselves, “Why am I doing what I am doing?” This is a direct application of the prophetic injunction, “Verily actions are only by their intentions.” (Nawawi) So as Muslims, and as human beings, we must ask ourselves – “What is the purpose of the […]

On the Misappropriation of Culture & the Centrality of Revelation

I had a reflection concerning the ‘urf discussion. Why do we spend so much time discussing ‘urf, which is secondary, when actually priorities dictate that we first focus on the universal manners and attitudes that are established by the sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh)?  Sure Islam leaves a certain level of leeway for various cultural […]

Glimpses from the Guiding Principles of Dawah

“For Allah to guide someone to Islam by you is better than red camels.” This principle is an authentic hadith of the Prophet PBUH. Some lessons are: First: The importance of eloquence. To make the meaning closer to the hearts and minds of his companions the Prophet PBUH mentioned red camels as his reference point. […]