Al salamu alaykum dear Friends,
I pray that you are safe, healthy, and staying engaged despite these very dark times for humanity. Let us pray for peace and better times ahead insha'Allah. Today is one of those days, as we watch the news of Russia invading Ukraine - one more horrific act of evil against humanity among the many others ongoing - that it is hard not to want to withdraw into somber silence. I must admit that I am at a loss, and pray that God will give us all the strength to reflect, regroup, and reemerge, hopefully ready to bring some light to cut through the darkness.
In that spirit, let me first share some light from this past weekend: here is the link to the amazing talk between Dr. Abou El Fadl and Azeezah Kanji, the Director of Programming at the Noor Cultural Centre in Toronto, Canada, that took place this past Sunday.
Azeezah and Dr. Abou El Fadl are always fabulous in conversation, and if you want more, once again, here is their previous conversation entitled "Reading the Qur'an in Our Times," which took place at the beginning of our Project Illumine journey.
Another area of darkness that needs serious light: get ready for our upcoming virtual event on Dispelling Myths on Sexual and Spiritual Abuse from an Islamic Perspective, A Q&A with Shaykh Khaled Abou El Fadl, set for Sunday, March 20th at 4 pm EST.
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. 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."
I am excited for our continuation of Surah Al Nisa' (Day 6) tomorrow night at 6 pm ET insha'Allah! If you don't have time to dig in to the full halaqa, take the time to listen to the
powerhouse excerpts that give you a good flavor of what we have been covering. They are gold!
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,
The Usuli Institute
MORE RESOURCES FOR LEARNING:
Find the links to articles and references mentioned in Usuli khutbahs and more!
Great independent news sources for an alternative to corporate funded media:
CJ Werleman's Patreon Page
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!
LISTEN TO PROJECT ILLUMINE ON AUDIO AT OUR 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!
See you online soon insha'Allah! :)