#MiddleGroundPodcast: Self Criticism – A Khutbah

I delivered the following khutbah at the Claremont Colleges on Friday, February 8th, 2019.

“Be self-critical, not in anticipation of a particular result, but self-critical of what you are doing now in relation to the goal you wish to accomplish.”

وَمِنَ النّاسِ مَن يُعجِبُكَ قَولُهُ فِي الحَياةِ الدُّنيا وَيُشهِدُ اللَّهَ عَلىٰ ما في قَلبِهِ وَهُوَ أَلَدُّ الخِصامِ

وَإِذا تَوَلّىٰ سَعىٰ فِي الأَرضِ لِيُفسِدَ فيها وَيُهلِكَ الحَرثَ وَالنَّسلَ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لا يُحِبُّ الفَسادَ

وَإِذا قيلَ لَهُ اتَّقِ اللَّهَ أَخَذَتهُ العِزَّةُ بِالإِثمِ ۚ فَحَسبُهُ جَهَنَّمُ ۚ وَلَبِئسَ المِهادُ

وَمِنَ النّاسِ مَن يَشري نَفسَهُ ابتِغاءَ مَرضاتِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ رَءوفٌ بِالعِبادِ

يا أَيُّهَا الَّذينَ آمَنُوا ادخُلوا فِي السِّلمِ كافَّةً وَلا تَتَّبِعوا خُطُواتِ الشَّيطانِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَكُم عَدُوٌّ مُبينٌ

“Among the people there is someone whose words about the life of this world excite your admiration, and he calls Allah to witness what is in his heart, while he is in fact the most hostile of adversaries. When he leaves you, he goes about the earth corrupting it, destroying crops and animals. Allah does not love corruption. When he is told to have regard for and fear of Allah, he is seized by pride which drives him to wrongdoing. Hell will be enough for him! What an evil resting-place! And among the people there are some who give up everything, desiring the good pleasure of Allah. Allah is Ever-Gentle with His slaves. You who believe!, enter Islam totally. Do not follow in the footsteps of Satan. He is an outright enemy to you.” Qur’an 2: 204-208

#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

#MiddleGroundPodcast: Islam, Blackamerica: Between Morality and White Supremacy

In this episode, I  foster an important conversation about the future of Islam in America, particularly as it relates to Blackamerica, with Dr. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali, assistant professor of Islamic law and Prophetic Tradition at Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California, and Malik Shaw, author of The Green School: A Natural Approach To Educating Children and the co-Founder and executive director of Midtown Mosque, in Memphis.

From Malik Shaw’s book, The Green School:

“As Jill Rigby states in her book Raising Disrespectful Children in a Disrespectful World, ‘As a result of this emphasis on self-esteem, twenty-somethings are returning home rather than facing the world on their own. College kids are flunking out because they don’t know how to manage their schedules. Kids are growing up without problem-solving skills because their parents think love means solving all their problems for them. Many adolescents have no respect for authority because their parents didn‘t command their respect. Instead, their parents gave too much and exposed them to too little. In our attempt to build self-esteem in children, we have reared a generation of young people who are failing at life, haven’t a clue who they are, and are struggling to find a reason for living. Their kids fall for the latest craze, healthy or unhealthy. It doesn’t matter, as long as they are in the middle of it. They would rather die than give up their cell phones. And they feel that others have an obligation to serve them’.”