The noble Messenger (saws) was sent not only to inform but also to transform humanity by bringing it out of darkness and into light. Muslims ought to pay attention to this aspect of the Sirah in this month of Rabi al Awwal.
Despites its being one of the most important pillars of Islam, most Muslims know little understanding about it beyond rituals. Hajj’s most important function—declaring dissociation from the mushrikeen—is seldom mentioned. It must be understood and revived.
The cliques that run mosques in North America pursue their own narrow agendas without addressing the burning issues or paying attention to the needs of the people. This has resulted in alienating most Muslims.
The sacred month of Muharram follows the sacred month of Dhul Hijjah. Salina Khan argues that the true significance of Ashura and the martyrdom of Imam Hussain must be addressed honestly to create awareness among Muslims about issues of legitimacy, justice, dignity and freedom in Islam.
Sister Salina Khan challenges the conventional, ritualistic approach to performing Hajj and explains her experiences during the last Hajj.
Muslims have become fond of building cathedral style masajid where all kinds of restrictions are imposed. Sister Salina Khan argues that masajid should become centers of activism for social, political and economic justice.
A Friday sermon I attended curbside on an oppressively hot day earlier last month turned out to be a long-sought breath of fresh air.
One of the problems, (if not one of the major problems), we have is the misunderstanding that has settled in and that has been taken for granted; this misunderstanding has to do with the confusion or the separation of two terms (or) two words or two ideas. We are supposed to understand better but to say the truth at this time we don’t. There has been a separation of authority from divinity. This suits the secular world very well but it does not belong in our mind and in our life. When we say ilah we mean a divinity and an authority together- they are inseparable; that is why our definition is expressed by ash shahadah. I bear witness that there is no Ilah except Allah. The word ilah here does not mean a heavenly deity or a cosmic divinity that has no effect or has no influence in our lives. Alas- the Muslims have been assaulted throughout the centuries in a way that has excluded authority from its divine definition; so when someone says “oh there’s one God” that means that...
The consciousness and the attention that is required of you as it is part of the meaning of taqwa on this day; I beg you to pay attention to an abbreviated khutbah because of the time factor and because of the weather factor. We, Muslims, have been living and practice an individuals and sometimes selfish practice of Islam. There’s not much meaning that accompanies our Islamic practices. What is required of us is to, as much as possible, bring the Prophet’s behavior and interaction in his times and society into our lives and at the same time transfer our lives into his social and his personal life. This is something we have not done and all attempts at doing it have been short of a full success. Let us bring to your attention what we mean by this and we’re going to be guided by an ayah in the Qur’an in doing and expressing what we’re going to be expressing to you.
We are guided by Allah and the meanings that have been expressed to us by him. Certainly Masajid are Allah’s therefore you, (the committed Muslims), do not evoke anyone besides Him. (Surah Al Jinn verse 18) This point we tried to clarify in the past. There’s another ayah in Surah Al Anfal- the ayah thirty-four- in which Allah describes those who are in control of Al Masjid Al Haram at that time and if the conditions repeat themselves, at this time.
Some two million Muslims are assembled in Makkah al-Mukarramah for the performance of Hajj. If the past is any guide, this Hajj will also be performed as a set of rituals in which the hujjaj go through various motions without realizing why they are doing this.
There are two aspects to every act of ‘ibadah in Islam: its physical (ritualistic) form, and its higher spiritual, communal, social, and moral purpose. The salah, for instance, is performed in a certain way but its true import lies in the fact that it is our direct link (sila) with Allah (swt).
An estimated two million Muslims from around the world will converge on Makkah this month for the annual pilgrimage of Hajj. There are many dimensions to this most challenging of ‘ibadaat. ZAFAR BANGASH, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought sheds light on some aspects that have been virtually forgotten as part of a deliberate policy to ritualize and therefore, trivialize Hajj.