This Sunday! Khaled Abou El Fadl in Virtual Conversation with the Noor Centre

Dear Friends,

Greetings of Peace! I pray that you are healthy, well and surviving these turbulent times.

This week, I am pleased to share with you two upcoming events that will be extremely important and special. First, THIS SUNDAY, 20 February 2022 at 4 pm ET, Dr. Abou El Fadl will be the keynote speaker kicking off a new speakers series hosted by the Noor Cultural Centre in Toronto, Canada. Here is information from their flyer:

“What Islam Looks Like in Public”: Islamic Ethics and Social Justice

Dr Cornel West famously said that “justice is what love looks like in public.” Inspired by this quote, this series will consider what Islam might look like in public. What are the implications of Islamic spiritual and ethical principles for contemporary struggles of gender, racial, economic, animal, ecological, and decolonial justice?

The series will begin with a keynote from eminent scholar Dr Khaled Abou El Fadl, one of the world’s leading authorities on Shari’ah, Islamic law and Islam, and a prominent scholar in the field of human rights. He is the Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Distinguished Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law. Dr. Abou El Fadl is most noted for his scholarly approach to Islam from a moral point of view. He writes extensively on universal themes of humanity, morality, human rights, justice, and mercy, and is well known for his writings on beauty as a core moral value of Islam. 

Date: Sunday February 20, 2022
Time: 4 pm EST
Admission : Free
To access: click here, at the appropriate date/time, for the YouTube live stream 
Please note – you do not need a YouTube account to view the live stream, but you would need one to comment/ask question 

You may recall that back in August, 2020, Dr. Abou El Fadl had a wonderful conversation hosted by the Noor Centre entitled, "Reading the Qur'an in Our Times," which was a prelude to the Project Illumine halaqas, and in which he was in conversation with Azeezah Kanji, the Director of Programming at the Noor Cultural Centre. It was fabulous. Once again, he will be in conversation with brilliant Azeezah, and also taking Q&A from the audience, time permitting. Hope you can join us THIS SUNDAY! I am certain it will be equally amazing as the first conversation!

The second event is on the topic of sexual and spiritual abuse at the hands of religious authority. It has become clear that this is a serious and pervasive problem in our community that does not often get addressed because of the sensitive and taboo nature of the topic, which thrives in darkness and silence at the expense of victims. There is a lot of confusion surrounding the Islamic obligations of the community, those in positions of leadership, brother to brother, sister to sister and every other complex relationship in between. We thought it would be extremely valuable to hold a curated Q&A with Shaykh Abou El Fadl to elevate our collective understanding on some of the most commonly held misconceptions and frequently asked questions about our role and responsibilities as ethical Muslims. PLEASE HOLD THE DATE: SUNDAY, 20 MARCH 2022 at 4 PM EST for this virtual event. You may recall that Dr. Abou El Fadl spoke candidly and powerfully about these issues in two previous khutbahs entitled, "The Unspoken Truth (Haqq) About Sexual Abuse and the Rights of Victims," and "What Occupies Your Heart? And More On Wolves in Shaykhs' Clothing." If you have a question you would like considered for the Q&A, please feel free to email me. :) More to come!

Lastly, in case you missed this announcement last week, I wanted to once again highlight this wonderful resource initiated and created by one of our Usuli community of friends, Ross Campbell:

Ross suggested that we create a website to aggregate the news articles that Dr. Abou El Fadl references in his khutbahs. As you know, one of the most powerful elements of Dr. Abou El Fadl's khutbahs is that he draws upon current events around the world and comments from the lens of an ethical scholar and vibrant Muslim: what should we know, what should we understand, what is the larger context, and how should we react, feel and become active about what is happening as a community of ethical Muslims? Oftentimes, if you tune into our live-streamed virtual khutbahs each Friday, you will see the Shaykh walk up to the Usuli lectern with a stack of papers - articles that he read and references in his khutbah. Ever wonder what is in that stack and if you could get a copy so you could read more? Now you can, thanks to Ross, who went ahead and created a website to aggregate this news! You can find it here:


Although we only began a few weeks ago, there is already a wealth of information there! Insha'Allah, it will continue to grow, transform and become an extremely valuable resource. Please check it out, and let us know over time if you have any suggestions, feedback or just nice things to say! The mere presence of this website on the internet adds to the value of knowledge on the positive side of the equation for Muslims. May God bless and reward Ross for taking this project on! One person can make a huge difference insha'Allah!

Also, for your reference, here are some of the independent news sources that I often turn to for news, some which I have previously mentioned and others I have not:


New suggestions from Hubert O! Thanks Hubert!
https://thecradle.co/ (includes Pepe Escobar, Sharmine Narwani)
https://taibbi.substack.com/ Matt Taibbi, a very seasoned journalist (Rolling Stone Magazine), publishes on a variety of topics.
https://consortiumnews.com/ an independent media outlet promoted by Chris Hedges.

If you have other independent news outlets that you recommend, let me know and we can add them to our reference list!

I am excited for our continuation of Surah Al Nisa' (Day 5) tomorrow night at 6 pm ET insha'Allah! Please keep all of us in your prayers as we continue on our mission to complete and publish this entire Project Illumine tafsir in book form! May God keep you safe and protected and on the most beautiful path always! Wishing you a blessed weekend and hope to see you online soon insha'Allah!

In Peace and Hope,

Grace Song
Executive Director
The Usuli Institute

P.S. Check out our SoundCloud Channel for Project Illumine Halaqas on Audio!

The Usuli Institute SoundCloud Channel

Playlist: Project Illumine: The Light of the Quran

And please support our hard work to publish this entire Project Illumine tafsir in a multi-volume work! May God bless and elevate you for investing in knowledge and understanding God's Blessed Qur'an!

Link to donate at www.usuli.org/donate

See you online soon insha'Allah! :)


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