On Love in the Islamic Tradition and the Arc of the Quran

Dear Friends,

Al salamu 'alaykum (Greetings of Peace). Truly, what a devastating week for all of us with the news and pictures and stories coming out of Turkey and Syria after the earthquake. May God empower us to do whatever we can to help. With these difficult tests comes the opportunity to do a lot of good, and with this hardship, we can be the vehicle for the ease that comes in parallel. May we spread a lot of love and support wherever we can, and may God accept.


Speaking of love, I wanted to share the news of an exciting upcoming event that The Usuli Institute will be co-hosting with the Noor Cultural Centre, our friends in Toronto, Canada, with whom we have held several incredible conversations in the past including: Islamophobia with Guantanamo Survivor Mohamedou Slahi; a conversation about "What Islam Looks Like in Public" between Dr. Abou El Fadl and the amazing Azeezah Kanji of the Noor Centre; and my personal favorite, "Reading the Qur'an in Our Times," which took place at the very beginning of our Project lllumine journey and provided the backdrop for the importance of this project we have been engaged in for the past two years!

I am so pleased to announce that the next conversation between Azeezah Kanji and Dr. Abou El Fadl will be on the topic of love! Here is the info:

MUSLIM LOVE: A Conversation with Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl
Sunday, 19 February 2023 at 4 PM EST

In a world fixated on so-called “Muslim Rage,” the vast Islamic tradition on love as the fundamental principle of creation has largely been obscured, erased, and ignored.

Recovering this tradition transforms dominant ideas not only about Islam, but also about love: a love that doesn’t restrict and privatize our relations of care, but extends them – within and across communities, between humans and other-than-humans, to future generations – grounded in the ultimate love of God.

Please join us for this conversation with eminent scholar Dr Khaled Abou El Fadl on the profound implications of Muslim Love.

Date: Sunday February 19, 2023

Time: 4 pm EST
Admission: Free
To access: click here to view the event via YouTube Live

Please note – you do not need a YouTube account to view the live recording, but you will need one to comment/post questions.

Dr Khaled Abou El Fadl is 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 and the founder of the Institute of Advanced Usuli Studies (“The Usuli Institute”), a non-profit educational institute dedicated to ethics, beauty and critical thinking in the Islamic intellectual tradition.

Co-Sponsored By:

It should be amazing so please mark your calendars and join us! If you are unable to attend, we will of course provide the recording afterwards.

If you want more insights from Dr. Abou El Fadl on Love in the Islamic Tradition, also check out the following links:

In 2019, he gave a talk about Love in the Islamic tradition to an interfaith group in Los Angeles here: https://youtu.be/m7q0Bcvj8xk 

Here is the description to this beautiful talk:

Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl is the featured speaker for the Interfaith Study Group, and discusses the central role of love in the Islamic tradition as understood, imagined, explored, written about and expressed in books of tradition by scholars over the course of Islamic history. He covers the major themes in which theologians understood and discussed love: 1) God's eternally loving nature; 2) Humans as the specific object of God's love; 3) Humans' innate loving nature; and 4) God as the true object of human love. Dr. Abou El Fadl distinguishes between the approaches to understanding the faith from the perspective of a lawyer or jurist versus that of the theologian. He also distinguishes the vast differences in the notions of love; and even understanding Islam as the religion of love and a loving Creator in the premodern versus modern period, which brought with it the austere Wahhabi, and especially Najdi despotic approaches leading to the colonially-driven attempts at the "Arabization" of the Islamic tradition. Dr. Abou El Fadl presents a vast, nuanced and surprising landscape as to Muslim theologian understandings and discussions of love and unification with the divine; and conversely, what it means when rituals of worship are exercised without love and the resulting hypocrisy of faith. Includes Q&A. Delivered at the Islamic Center of Southern California, Los Angeles, 14 April 2019.

Interestingly, at that time, he was going through a "Love in Islam" phase and also delivered four khutbahs on the topic of love, two of which are captured in chapters 7 & 8 in The Prophets's Pulpit, Volume I:

On Love and a Loving God: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lyDJUnBcx4
The Prophet's Prayer of Love: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAQrf7dt96g
The Dalil (Evidence) of Love: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yF0BtFzQMc
The Power of Love: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKPz1PoiBjk


PROJECT ILLUMINE TONIGHT: Surah 102: Al Takathur and Surah 107: Al Ma'un!
These short surahs are so powerful and I cannot wait!! Hope to connect with you online soon insha'Allah (God willing)! May God comfort, console, uplift, and empower you, and fill your heart with LOVE!!

In Peace and Hope,

The Movement to Reinvigorate Beautiful and Ethical Islam has begun.  Join us.

Your donation to The Institute for Advanced Usuli Studies will help fund important work to combat extremism and ignorance. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity dedicated to research and education to promote humanistically beautiful and morally elevating interpretations of Islam. We seek to support our brightest minds to advance knowledge and to build a community of individuals founded on dignity, respect and love for all of God's creation. See The Usuli Institute Credo for our statement of values. Please give generously to support a beautiful, reasonable and vibrantly human Islam for future generations to come. All donations are tax-deductible and zakat eligible.


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