Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-07-24

My maternal grandfather is a Whitaker from Harris County, Georgia. His grandfather, who went by the name of Rich Eubanks (my grandfather, Richmond Whitaker, was named after him) was a slave, sold to an owner in Harris County from somewhere in Virginia. My maternal grandmother is a Spence. Her grandfather, Will Spence, was a slave also. Unfortunately, we have not been able to trace my father’s lineage, yet. I mention this little bit of family history to remind my brothers and sisters who have migrated to this country voluntarily, or are descendants of voluntary migrants that some… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-07-18

The Muslim world has lost one of its giants with the passing of Shaykh Shukri Lahafi. Despite his stature, it is likely that anyone reading these words who is not from Syria has ever heard of Shaykh Shukri. Before I arrived in Syria, in 1994, to begin my studies there, I too did not know who he was. Upon arriving in Damascus, Shaykh Shukri was one of the first scholars I met. Our most generous host, Abu Munir Sha’ar, had arranged callighaphy lessons with the Shaykh. A motley gang of Americans made our way through the streets of Damascus to… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-07-16

If we ask a simple, straightforward question concerning the initiative launched by Faatimah Knight to help rebuild the eight black churches that were either partially or totally destroyed by fire in the immediate aftermath of the assassination of Clementa Pinkney, and the murder of eight of his fellow congregants in Charleston, South Carolina, last month, the answer is quite clear. That simple question is: Is it permissible for Muslims to contribute towards building a church? The answer to that question is unambiguous. No, it is not permissible to make such a contribution. If, however, the question becomes more involved by… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-06-30

Perhaps the greatest hit recording of the popular 1970’s disco era singing group, The Bee Gees, was “How Deep Is Your Love.” Among the lyrics of that song were the following touching words: “I believe in you You know the door to my very soul You’re the light in my deepest, darkest hour You’re my savior when I fall And you may not think I care for you When you know down inside that I really do And it’s me you need to show How deep is your love, how deep is your… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-06-26

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Let us not forget the people in those parts of Pakistan who are suffering from a horrific heat wave. Almost a thousand people have perished, along with almost three thousand earlier this summer in India, may Allah’s mercy envelop them all. One of the characteristics of Ramadan is mercy. We pray that Allah bestows His mercy upon those who have perished during this disaster by resurrecting them in the highest heights of Paradise, for, as described by our Prophet, peace upon him, they are indeed martyrs in the true sense of the word. We pray… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-06-22

This is brief response to recent comments about the need for a Khalifa. Brothers and sisters, do not think, simplistically, that the mere existence of a Khalifa will solve the Muslims problems. The Khilafa (office of the Khalifa) was ended by the order of Kemel Ataturk in 1924. At that time, all of the problems currently affecting Muslims existed, some to a greater extent than they do today. For example, the existence of a Khalifa did not prevent the colonization and division of the Muslim world. A Khalifa did not prevent the rise and consolidation of western economic hegemony over… Read More


Q and A Time

  notes

Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-06-20

Question: Why is it so hard to call the massacre of African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina a terrorist act? Answer:  Because all terrorists are Muslim, and Dylann Root, the confessed murderer is not a Muslim. Question: When obviously deranged Muslims commit acts of mass murder, why are they never declared mentally ill? Answer: Because if you are mentally ill you cannot be motivated by an evil ideology. Question: Why do the politicians who are so quick to shed tears over the massacre in Charleston,  which should move all of us to tears, so slow to initiate any legislation that… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-05-30

As we stand on the verge of beginning the great fast, let us pray that the blessings we enjoy are decreed to last. Let us pray for the people, who have lost their homes, fields and cattle in the flood, that they are patient and see their sins washed away by torrents of forgiveness and divine love. Let us pray for all of those living in lands that have been invaded and occupied, that their resolve for deliverance is not weakened nor their hearts rendered cold, callous and dry. Let us pray for the elders who have seen only… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-05-20

As you gaze upon us from the perch of wisdom bequeathed unto you by the ninety years that have passed since your birth, and you see us sometimes wallowing in our folly; forgive us Brother Malcolm. You gave so much and taught so well, but, frequently, we have been unworthy recipients of your grace, unworthy students; forgive us Brother Malcolm. You were engulfed in the jungle of racist oppression, beating back the thickets and the thorns, braving the vipers and other hazards, miraculously pulling yourself out of the quicksand, just to make a road for us to traverse; and… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-05-08

If we lived in sane times, we would be searching for the particular psychosis that afflicted the wretched souls who attempted to shoot up the asinine “Draw Muhammad” gathering in Garland, Texas. Unfortunately, there are plenty of deluded Muslims who will declare the shooters were “defending the honor of the Prophet (peace upon him).” Only someone divorced from reality can see an act which would take the lives of innocent people as defending the honor of the Prophet (peace upon him)? I ask anyone seeking their glorious three days of Tweeter or Face Book notoriety through a callous act of… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-05-03

When we talk about Islamic education and our children, the discussion usually revolves around strictly academic issues related to technical aspects of curriculum development, testing standards and methodologies, balancing between secular and religious education, and similar concerns. Sometimes we miss the greater objective of an Islamic education. That objective, in terms of what is necessary for the immediate success of our children in this world, and their ultimate success in the next, is nurturing balanced, wholesome, honest human beings who live lives based on principle and who exemplify good character in their dealings with other people.  The basis for… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-04-09

This poem is based on Bob Dylan’s song, “Only a Pawn in Their Game.” Bullets from the back of a bush a dune or a mount Shells too numerous to count The hatred he cannot surmount And the religion he flaunts So blindly he aims No crime brings him shame Emotion has stolen his brain But he can’t be blamed He’s only a pawn in their game. An Arab of Asian Jihadi recruiter Admires his skill with a computer He’s searching for justice to uproot her Or rape her… Read More


Vacuous

  notes

Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-03-22

As empty as the words of murderers masking gangster-like executions behind justifications ripped like raw flesh from the bones of the Holy Book. As empty as the words of a professional liar, as he glibly dismisses the political aspirations of a people rendered invisible behind the ghetto walls of their manufactured despair. As empty as the arguments positing Shiites and Sunnis have always been at each others’ throat, so who needs to consider invasions and occupations, imperial strategy or energy politics when debating their self-destructive barbarism. As empty as the hearts of the gangsters and banksters and… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-03-20

Mommy’s Not Coming Home She merely step off the ill-fated bus, Her killer, In God, he did not trust, So ashes-to-ashes and dust-to-dust, Mommy’s not coming home. Baba went to the mosque to pray, Not realizing he’d never see another day, A suicide murderer blew him away, What else is there left to say? Baba’s not coming home. The girl lied down on her little bed, While visions of sugar plums danced in her head, Mama was deliberate in every word she read, Baba quietly nodded his head…… Read More


Imam Zaid Shakir


Posted on 2015-03-17

“Muslim college received formal academic accreditation this past weekend, making it the first officially recognized Islamic institution of higher learning in the United States”. By Jack Jenkins, March 10, 2015 On Sunday, Zaytuna College, a liberal-arts school based in Berkeley, California, announced that it was formally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), one of the six official academic bodies responsible for the authorizing public and private colleges and universities in the United States. “Today, Zaytuna’s accreditation roots this vision in a reality recognized within American higher education,” Hamza Yusuf, president of the… Read More


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