Author Archive

Addressing The Diminishing Role of Leadership: The Mosque and Imam

Da`wah Reflection Series: Part I | Part II In the name of Allah, the All Hearing, the All Knowing In 2012, Dr. Ihsan Baghby republished the 2011 report The American Mosque1 . In that research piece which seeks to map the growth, tendencies and leadership structure of the American Muslim community, there are a number […]

Leadership Modeled: The Case of Abu Bakr (ra)

Da`wah Reflection Series: Part I | Part II “O you who believe! Betray not the trust of Allah and the messenger nor misappropriate knowingly things entrusted to you.” (Al-Anfal 8: 27) “Each of you is a guardian, and each of you will be asked about his subjects.” (Al-Bukhari) “O People of Da`wah, Da`wah is a trust to be cared […]

Prophetic Leadership: The Starting Point for Reform and Source of Revival

Keywords: Framing, Reform, Revival Reframing (tawjih) our understanding of leadership in the Muslim community is a necessary activity if we desire change in our organizational life. The Muslim community across geographical boundaries has supported frames of leadership that have limited its growth and creative potential–emotionally, spiritual, intellectually and materially. Dogma has justified a practice of […]

Three Da`wah Principles Governing the Formation of the Da`i and Da`wah in the American Context

    The formation of the individual has priority over the reformation of the community as a whole and its institutions (derived from the seerah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, peace be upon him). Knowledge precedes action (derived from Sahih Bukhari’s chapter heading). Judgment regarding a matter is a result of conceptualizing what is the […]

Understanding Usul al-Fiqh

Usul al-Fiqh Series: Part I Primer in Conceptualizing Usul al-Fiqh The following series is intended to introduce usul al-fiqh in a systematic manner. In this section, we will introduce some key concepts that outline briefly what usul al-fiqh is about, what is beneficial about this science, and why it is important. Defining and Describing Usul […]

The Arqam Effect: From Reading the Qur’an to Action

Those familiar with the biography of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him)  are versant with the story of a young man named Arqam. Arqam played an instrumental role in the unfolding of the history of the Arabian Peninsula. Despite his key role in history, he is noted in the books of Prophetic biography to […]

Reasons of Revelation

Qur’anic Reflection Series: Part I | Part II | Part III We have been looking at the way the reasons of revelation can aid us in developing a sound understanding of the Qur’an. Here we look at this issue with much more depth. Imam ash-Shatibi radi allahu `anhu (may God be pleased with him) states in al-Muwafaqat: “Knowledge […]

The Transformative Power of Recitation

Qur’anic Reflection Series: Part I | Part II | Part III Reflection Upon The Power and Change Effected by Qur’anic Recital: Readings in the Muhammadan Revelation by Imam Muhammad Rashid Rida (r) (d. 1935) & Authority of the Qur’an by Dr. Taha Jabir al-Alwani (h) In Muhammadan Revelation, Shaikh Muhammad Rashid Rida speaks of the […]

Enjoining Hope Before Fear

Qur’anic Reflection Series: Part I | Part II | Part III Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) tells us in the Qur’an: “Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They were touched by poverty […]

Towards Understanding Ijtihad and Taqleed: A Brief Introduction

The Ijtihad Series: Part 1 “In the Arabic dictionary, the root  (ج ح د: j-h-d ) is defined as “the exertion of effort on a matter that requires it.” In all of its different applications, the term denotes the expenditure of mental and intellectual effort. A mujtahid, therefore, is a scholar who researches and studies […]

El-Hajj Malik ash-Shabazz: Retrieving a Legacy Fallen into Dereliction

Often, El-Hajj Malik ash-Shabazz (r) (a.k.a. Malcolm X) is judged by what he said more than by what he did not say. With more frequency, he is only defined by a narrow segment of his life and teachings: a politicized discourse married to the teachings of Elijah Muhammad addressing race relations. Due to this partial […]

Historical Consciousness and Imagination: Tools for Forging A Brighter Tomorrow

Historical consciousness and imagination provide us the opportunity to engage the world more fully and prepare us intellectually and emotionally to act in the world. Both are essential for understanding ourselves in the present and for being influential actors in the world. Historical consciousness affords us the opportunity to intellectually and emotionally disengage from the […]

Discourse On The Path Of Knowledge

Commentary on Selections from Maulana Thanwi’s Hayatul Muslimeen Introduction Maulana Ashraf Thanwi, (r) in Hayatul Muslimeen, outlined a practical description of the essentials of an Islamic lifestyle. These principles serve as the pillars for the proper cultivation (tarbiyah) of the student of knowledge. In Hayatul Muslimeen, there are a number of overarching themes that allow us […]

The Cultural Imperative Of Islam: Authority of Shari`ah Over Custom

Necessary Pre-requisites to the Cultural Imperative In dealing with a “discussion” (disciplined conversation) or “discourse” (ideological systematic discussion) on culture we need clarity on a number of matters. Of these matters that we need clarity on and understanding of are the following: A clear definition of “culture,” “custom,” “localized norms” and “practices” as understood in […]

New Reflections On Shaikh as Sayyid Sabiq’s (r) Fiqh Us-Sunnah

Fiqh us-Sunnah is of those texts which like the Riyadh us Saliheen of Imam Nawawi (r) has gained in popularity and notoreity and universality.  It is unfortunate that in the English language we possess no sound translation of Fiqh us Sunnah. There is an Indian print English version which deserves mention due to it being […]

Hip Hop in the 21st Century

The Rise Of Satanism In Urban America “Hip Hop” in the 21th century has taken the position of heavy metal in the 80’s. To the conscious observer the clear references to “satan” are evident and the indirect references are abundant. From Kayne West to Outerspace hip hop has traversed the boundaries of moral action and […]

Interpretative Treason In The First Degree: The Juristic Fallacy Of Approaching The Study And Application Of Prophetic Biography (Seerah) Without Reference To Usul al-Fiqh And Hadith Sciences

Imam ibn al-Qayyim’s Method in Using the Sirah as a Source of Guidance Understanding the means, by which, to derive life lessons and practical rulings from (Seerah) the Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is no new or innovated endeavor. Hafidh Ibn al-Qayyim (ra) in Zaad al-Maad established a model for deriving fiqh from Seerah. In Zaad Hafidh Ibn […]

“You Down with OMC?”

One finds a number of qualities in Online Muslim Culture (OMC) that need address and reform.  Such qualities are not only disturbing due to their lack of agreement with Islamic norms and values,  but also contribute to the creation of a destructive and unhealthy online culture. It is not odd to encounter in popular Online […]

Revival, Reform, The Heart And Shar’iah: Sifting Lessons From The Teachings Of The Revivalist, The Muhaddith, The Sufi Imam Ashraf Thanwi (r)

  Maulana Ashraf Thanwi (r), the well known scholar of hadith, and sufi from the Deobandi school of learning highlighted some root-causes in his treatise Adab al Muasharaat that serve to characterize why our communities have been overcome with disfunctionality i.e., why inter-personal relations have been infected by the quality of personal and social disintegration. He mentioned a […]

Return Of The Poor Righteous Teachers: “Where Are The Ulema al-Haqq and the Imams Of Righteousness?”

Making sense of the disorientation present in the world today is no easy task. To make matters worse we see the return of the militant hype which undermined the growth of the Muslim community in the 90’s coupled with rise of spies and lies. Muslims are divided and the destruction of this Nation is at […]