During the blessed month of Ramadan, we launched 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 BEING BANNED: SHAMING OR SCHOOLING THE ICSC?"
21 June 2019
In this incisive and explosive khutbah, Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl indicts the leadership of the Islamic Center of Southern California (ICSC) in their decision to censor and ban him from delivering the khutbah at the ICSC today after he requested that they perform janaza prayers for President Muhammad Morsi, the slain democratically elected leader of Egypt. He shares the exchanges that led to his ban, and then elaborates on why their decision was not only wrong, but immoral and unethical. Further, he illustrates how this act of censoring, the refusal to stand up for justice, and the justification for such immoral behavior mirrors the authoritarianism and despotism rampant in Muslim countries around the world. He calls Muslims to their conscience by recalling several powerful traditions of the Prophet that emphasize the imperative of standing for justice, lest people become "mute devils" and cursed by God as they refuse to take a stand against injustice. A must watch, and a stunning wake up call to Muslims to choose which side of justice they will stand for. Delivered at The Usuli Institute, Los Angeles, CA, 21 June 2019.
"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.
Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl continues his original Quranic commentary of Surah 95: Al Tin (The Fig). He delves into the depth of meaning of this short chapter, discussing the range of scholarly opinions about the significance of figs and olives; creation and the human condition; and the foundational themes of choice, free will and dignity emphasized throughout the Quran.
In the introduction, Director Grace Song shares personal stories about experiences as a convert; what she learned from the Muslim community as a young convert on how to be a good Muslim; and her reflections on the impact of such messages. She addresses the power of perception and language with regard to Islam and Muslims in the West, and calls for a rethinking of each.
Part 2 is Q&A. Delivered 15 June 2019.
"...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