During this blessed month of Ramadan, we are launching an effort to raise money for a new Usuli Institute model prayer space and center of learning. We want to:
1) Create a model masjid to reflect the beauty, love, openness and forward thinking approach the Usuli Institute represents;
2) Be able to accommodate many more people that we currently are able to in our limited space; and
3) Provide a welcoming center for spiritual and intellectual growth, and a home base for launching new and innovative programs to advance the Islam of beauty, reasonableness and love.
Will you help us? Your donation is tax deductible and zakat eligible. Create your own fundraiser to help us reach our goal!
"ON RUPERT MURDOCH, POWER AND RESISTING THE PARTY OF THE DEVIL"
14 June 2019
Dr. Abou El Fadl reminds Muslims of two traditions of the Prophet: 1) One cannot obey rulers if it means disobeying God; and 2) That there will be people in power who lie and promote injustice; if one is among those that validate such power, one cannot be of the people of the Prophet. He elaborates on these through a commentary on current events and the implications of the power relationships taking place across the Middle East and the West. He calls attention to the tragic influences of Rupert Murdoch's billion-dollar investment in Islamophobic projects, which have resulted in at least 10 anti-Islam articles published every day, and which directly fed and influenced the New Zealand shooter's worldview of Muslims. He reminds us of the Qur'anic warning that those who ally themselves with, or fail to stand up against those who are unjust are among the unjust. Delivered 14 June 2019.
"ON EID, SUDAN AND WHAT TO DO WHEN THE MUSLIM BODY AILS"
Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl begins by elaborating on the true purpose of Eid, separate and apart from the typical Eid celebrations. He reminds us of the prophetic tradition that the Muslim umma is a body of people who share a belief and conviction and a path; one that is "linked in the fabric of divinity," and that when one part of the body suffers, it should be resonant in the rest of the body. He discusses the very real implications of this tradition, particularly in light of the massacre in Sudan on the first day of Eid, in addition to all of the continued suffering across the Muslim body of the world. He answers the question of what one can and should do in light of all of this suffering. He speaks to the moral apathy that plagues Muslims and the impossible assumption that God will overlook commonly used excuses and internal justifications for inaction and injustice. Another khutbah that should shake your spiritual core. Delivered 7 June 2019.
"WHICH ISLAM? DIGNITY OR DEATH?"
31 May 2019
Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl marks the last Friday jumu'a of Ramadan 2019 as the demarcation of another Ramadan passed in the historical legacy of Muslims in the world. It is also the Day of Jerusalem. He recalls that the state of Jerusalem is a window into the health of Muslims. He reminds Muslims that Islam is intended to be a liberation theology for human beings, and that so much Muslim suffering taking place today around the world is because there are those who do not wish for this version to exist. Instead, there are those who wish for a dead Islam, devoid of ethics, justice or values. This leaves Muslims at a crossroads to choose between the Islam of dignity, liberation and ethics; or the Islam of blind ritual, obedience to unjust rulers, and effectively death. He surveys the state of suffering of Muslims around the world. He shares several important hadith of the Prophet Muhammad, which attest to the centrality of justice and dignity to the Islamic message, and the imperative of answering only to God rather than other human beings. The Prophet Muhammad emphasizes that those who believe the lies of unjust rulers or support unjust rulers have no place with Prophet Muhammad and will never make it to jannah. Such hadith have been buried by modern rulers. Muslims must choose which of the two versions of Islam is of the divine. Delivered 31 May 2019.
Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl presents his original Quranic commentaries on Surah 97: Al Qadr, one of the shortest yet most important chapters of the Quran, which holds depths of meaning not usually discussed in the modern Muslim context. Dr. Abou El Fadl delves deep into the nuances of meanings and understandings expounded by Islamic scholars and jurists over the centuries to present the power of this formative surah in the moral development of early Muslims. He addresses ways to understand the great blessings that come with Laylat al Qadr, the Night of Power/Destiny/Decree--meanings translated into English that do not fully capture the greatness of the blessings of the special night and what it holds for the believers.
In the introduction, Director Grace Song talks about the efforts to raise funds for the Usuli Envisionary Mosque; the jihad of ideas and what goes into the Usuli khutbahs and halaqas; and standing up against the Muslim Holocaust in China. She shares a personal story of why she fell in love with Islam.
Part 2 is Q&A.
"...To win this very real war that has done inestimable damage to so many Muslims and to the truth of the Islamic faith, it is absolutely imperative that moderates declare a counter-jihad against the puritan heresy. This is not a call for the shedding of blood; it is a call for matching the zeal of puritans through unrelenting intellectual activism. This is a counter-jihad to reclaim the truth about the Islamic faith and win the hearts and minds of Muslims and non-Muslims all around the world..."
Khaled Abou El Fadl, The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists