2nd Annual Defining Islamic Psychology Conference

Take advantage of this one-day-only discount on all tickets for the 2nd Annual Defining Islamic Psychology Conference — both the dinner and interfaith breakfast, in Redondo Beach, California, from February 8-11. This flash discount is for today only. Tickets are disappearing and are almost gone. Tickets and info here: tinyurl.com/mmh2019

I will be presenting at the conference on pornography, in sha’Allah.

A Room With No Oxygen

“Those who argue about God after His existence has already been accepted are arguing pointlessly in their Lord’s sight. His wrath is drawn over them, and they’ll receive a strong punishment besides.”Qur’an, 42: 16

Argumentation is to Muslim community life as is fire to a room full of people: it chokes the life out of it. But the interesting thing is that a fire burning in a room does not simply “create a vacuum”, as it is commonly misunderstood, but rather it produces carbon dioxide, a poisonous, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas, which if its presence goes undetected, can kill. The reason carbon dioxide is so dangerous is that one simultaneously inhales it while also breathing in oxygen. In other words, there is just as much carbon dioxide produced as there is oxygen used. The result, in our case here, is communal asphyxiation.

Social media has provided an, to quote David Bowie, “unimaginable” and “exhilarating and terrifying” means of communicating. Sadly, it seems to have fostered a spirit of argumentation that has spilled over from our traditional spaces (masjids, etc.) to even our online spaces. The words of the Prophet are a beautiful and necessary reminder at how dangerous the tongue (even if articulated through the keyboard!) can be,

قلت يا رسول الله ما النجاة‏ قال أمسك عليك لسانك وليسعك بيتك وابكِ على خطيئتك

“I asked the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, ‘How can salvation be achieved?’ He replied, ‘Control your tongue, keep to your house, and weep over your sins’.”reported by ‘Uqbah bin ‘Amir, collected in Riyadh al-Salihin

Feeding On A Day of Hunger

feeding the poor Qur'an-1.jpg

“…and We showed him the two highways but he has not braved the steep ascent! And what will convey to you what the steep ascent is? It is freeing a slave or feeding on a day of hunger!”Qur’an 90: 10-14

The Qur’an is replete with verses extolling the importance of feeding the poor as well as admonishing those who do not encourage feeding them. This episode of “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg” interviews Dariush Mozaffarian, Dean of Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy Dariush, on the future of the food systems and how we can rethink our approach to feeding those in need.

Surveillance Capitalism

The discussion on On Point Radio today with Shoshana Zuboff was critical. It was a discussion around how corporations are harnessing the power of IoT (the internet of things) and uses that data to not only make money off of predicting our behavior but even further commodifies and reduces humanness to nothing other than data. Her book, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, is a great, informative, and important read.

#MiddleGroundPodcast: Islam In-Depth – “The Moral World Of The Qur’an” January 12th 2019

We continue our reading of M. A. Draz’s “The Moral World Of The Qur’an”, analyzing the authority of the Prophet, peace be upon him.

يا أَيُّهَا الَّذينَ آمَنُوا استَجيبوا لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسولِ إِذا دَعاكُم لِما يُحييكُم ۖ وَاعلَموا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَحولُ بَينَ المَرءِ وَقَلبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيهِ تُحشَرونَ

“O you who believe! Respond to Allah and to the Messenger when He calls you to what will bring you to life! Know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that you will be gathered to Him.” — Qur’an 8: 24

عَنْ عَامِرِ بْنِ سَعْدٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِنَّ أَعْظَمَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ فِي الْمُسْلِمِينَ جُرْمًا مَنْ سَأَلَ عَنْ شَىْءٍ لَمْ يُحَرَّمْ عَلَى الْمُسْلِمِينَ فَحُرِّمَ عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ أَجْلِ مَسْأَلَتِهِ

Amir b. Sa’d reported on the authority of his father that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said: “The greatest sinner amongst the Muslims is one who asked about a thing from Allah’s Apostle which had not been forbidden for the Muslims and it was forbidden for them because of his persistently asking about it.” — Sahih Muslim #2358

عَنْ مُوسَى بْنِ طَلْحَةَ عَنْ أَبِيهِ قَالَ مَرَرْتُ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِقَوْمٍ عَلَى رُءُوسِ النَّخْلِ فَقَالَ مَا يَصْنَعُ هَؤُلاَءِ فَقَالُوا يُلَقِّحُونَهُ يَجْعَلُونَ الذَّكَرَ فِي الأُنْثَى فَيَلْقَحُ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَا أَظُنُّ يُغْنِي ذَلِكَ شَيْئًا قَالَ فَأُخْبِرُوا بِذَلِكَ فَتَرَكُوهُ فَأُخْبِرَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِذَلِكَ فَقَالَ إِنْ كَانَ يَنْفَعُهُمْ ذَلِكَ فَلْيَصْنَعُوهُ فَإِنِّي إِنَّمَا ظَنَنْتُ ظَنًّا فَلاَ تُؤَاخِذُونِي بِالظَّنِّ وَلَكِنْ إِذَا حَدَّثْتُكُمْ عَنِ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا فَخُذُوا بِهِ فَإِنِّي لَنْ أَكْذِبَ عَلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ

“Musa b. Talha reported, ‘I and Allah’s Messenger ﷺ happened to pass by people near the date-palm trees. He said, “What are these people doing?” They said, “They are grafting, to combine the male with the female trees to yield more fruit.” Thereupon Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “I do not find it to be of any use.” The people were informed about it and they abandoned this practice. Allah’s Messenger ﷺ was later informed that the yield had dwindled, whereupon he said, “If there is any use of it, then they should do it, for it was just a personal opinion of mine, and do not go after my personal opinion. But when I say to you anything on behalf of Allah, then do accept it, for I do not attribute lie to Allah’.” — Sahih Muslim #2361

باب وُجُوبِ امْتِثَالِ مَا قَالَهُ شَرْعًا دُونَ مَا ذَكَرَهُ صلى الله عليه وسلم مِنْ مَعَايِشِ الدُّنْيَا

Literally titled, “The Chapter On The Obligation To Obey What He Says With Regard To Matters Of Religion, But Not What He Says With Regard To Worldly Matters”.

وَإِن كادوا لَيَفتِنونَكَ عَنِ الَّذي أَوحَينا إِلَيكَ لِتَفتَرِيَ عَلَينا غَيرَهُ ۖ وَإِذًا لَاتَّخَذوكَ خَليلًا
وَلَولا أَن ثَبَّتناكَ لَقَد كِدتَ تَركَنُ إِلَيهِم شَيئًا قَليلًا

“They were very near to enticing you away from some of what We have revealed to you, hoping that you would invent something against Us. Then they would have taken you as their intimate. If We had not made you firm, you would have leaned towards them a little.” – Qur’an 17: 73-74