Ibn Juzayy’s Fifteen Merits of Piety (Taqwa)

The following audio is from the Friday khutbah at Middle Ground Muslim Center as well as the regular monthly program, The Text In Context. This Friday we discussed Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi’s Fifteen Merits of Piety (Taqwa) from his work, al-Tas’hil l’Ulum al-Tanzil (Making Easy The Knowledge of Revelation). See the khutbah for more extensive notes.


[Friday Khutbah — Direct download]


[The Text In Context — Direct download]

Ibn Juzayy’s fifteen merits of piety (taqwa):

  1. Guidance.
  2. Assistance.
  3. Guardianship.
  4. Love.
  5. Pardoning.
  6. Relief from anxiety (lit. “an exit from grief”).
  7. Provision supplied from where one does not expect it.
  8. Easing of affairs.
  9. Forgiveness of sins.
  10. Magnification of reward.
  11. Acceptance of good deeds.
  12. Prosperity.
  13. Good news.
  14. Entering Paradise.
  15. Salvation from The Fire.

IMG_7351

Muslim-Americans and the Need to Establish Deep Roots

In a phone conversation today with Dr. Sherman Jackson we exchanged thoughts on Andalus (Muslim Spain) and that despite its architectural beauty, it was unable to firmly establish roots such that, when the tide of adversity came at them, they were washed away. This is in comparison to the Muslims in the former Soviet Republic, who also faced tremendous brutality, but once that tide washed back out, the Muslims came back and their identity was still intact.

Muslim-Americans and deep roots (part I):

A video posted by Marc Manley (@sonofpierre) on

Muslim-Americans and deep roots (part II): A video posted by Marc Manley (@sonofpierre) on

Muslim-Americans and deep roots (part III):

A video posted by Marc Manley (@sonofpierre) on

Muslim-Americans and deep roots (part IV): A video posted by Marc Manley (@sonofpierre) on

Muslim-Americans and deep roots (part V):

A video posted by Marc Manley (@sonofpierre) on

Muslim-Americans and deep roots (part VI): A video posted by Marc Manley (@sonofpierre) on

Muslim-Americans and deep roots (part VII):

A video posted by Marc Manley (@sonofpierre) on

Food for thought.

What Do You Do With Baggage?

You unpack. As I mentioned in a previous talk, baggage is not necessarily a bad thing. Its use, in relation to those who’ve either come to America, or come to Islam as Americans, is all too often used as a pejorative. But consider the following:

“How many Californians ponder routinely about the Spanish names of their streets and towns? How many Italians today do not see the tomato as an intrinsic part of their cultural heritage? How many Native American leaders would dare to reject the horse as culturally foreign?” Michel-Rolph Trouillot, North Atlantic Universals: Analytical Fictions, 1492–1945.

Baggage allows one to make the trip; to survive the voyage. But if one does not unpack, such parcels, real or imaginative, can become a cumbersome burden, inhibiting the natural course of indigenization. As Trouillot — a renowned Haitian anthropologist — points out to us, life is liquid and dynamic. I see the overindulgence in nostalgia, be it for a homeland (Pakistan, Egypt, etc.) or a time, such as al-Andalus, detrimental to the necessary hybridization process that needs to take place between American soil and Muslims. The self-imposed cosmic exceptionalism of Islam and America (they are mutually incompatible) is not only irresponsible, but flies in the face of (Islamic!) history itself.

Simply put, it’s time to unpack our baggage. And while I know this is easier said than done, the consequences of not doing so will mean the castigation of a generation and its progeny to a no-man’s-land. And that is a destiny none of us wants to fulfill.

Islam in a Global Perspective: What Makes Islam Work?

The following is a lecture I gave at the University of Pennsylvania for UPenn’s MSA. This talk kicked off the Chaplain Chats for the Spring 2012 term.

For more on Islam and culture see my lecture Lecture on the Accommodation of Local Customs in Islamic Law at the Ella Collins 2012 Winter Retreat.