Al salamu 'alaykum (greetings of peace) and happy 18th day of Ramadan! I pray you are well and gearing up for the last ten days of Ramadan! Wow! Where did the time go??
Alhamdulillah (thank God), I am still in California recovering from Covid along with my parents. I am truly grateful to everyone who sent beautiful prayers and well-wishes. I am understanding more each day why God planned for me to be here, and despite all of the challenges, there have also been tremendous blessings during this beautiful month. Among them are the most profoundly spectacular messages I have received from all over the world in response to my last email, in which I asked for the personal favor of a note to Shaykh to gift to him during our last Project Illumine halaqa to let him know what sharing his journey with the Qur'an has meant to you. The letters have made me laugh, smile, and cry - a lot. They have left me speechless. And immensely grateful beyond words. I have asked permission to read some of these letters aloud during our last halaqa so you will see what I mean. There is still plenty of time left if you would like to write a note to Shaykh - there is no deadline, and I hope that he will continue to receive notes long after the halaqas have ended insha'Allah. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
One of the greatest blessings of this sacred month has been almost a year in the making! Since you are part of our wonderful community of weekly email subscribers, I am so happy that you are among the very first to receive this news:
VOLUME II OF THE PROPHET'S PULPIT IS NOW LIVE AND AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM!!!
It just went live not even 48 hours ago as of this writing, and I wanted you to be the first to know. :) It is not available in eBook format yet nor at all of the stores where it will eventually be available, but if you want to send it out as your Eid gift to friends and family, you can definitely order it on Amazon now! Alhamdulillah! If you fell in love with Volume I, you will absolutely fall in love with Volume II just as deeply! It is just as special yet builds and expands on the learning from Volume I. What could be a better Eid gift than Volume I and II together? :)
THANK YOU'S, ENDORSEMENTS AND GRATITUDE
First, bravo to Josef Linnhoff for another work of brilliance under his Editor's pen. He turned Shaykh's powerhouse khutbahs into a moving, engaging, and inspirational collection of short essays. Kudos to everyone at Usuli who took part in reading, editing, researching, commenting on, and giving polish to the end product. The deepest heartfelt gratitude to all of the superstar endorsers who wrote AMAZING endorsements that appear on, around, and inside Volume II: Ziba Mir-Hosseini, CJ Werleman, Asma Afsaruddin, Hussam Ayloush, Randa Abdel-Fattah, Mustafa Aykol, Farah El-Sharif, Lara Elborno, Mohammad Hassan Khalil, and Aminah Beverly Al-Deen! WOW!!! Just WOW! (To read these, go to the Amazon link and click on the "Look Inside" above the book icon!)
And of course, endless gratitude to Shaykh, who gave us all the gift of experiencing khutbahs worthy of The Prophet's Pulpit, and allowed us to produce a legacy work that provides the knowledge, substance, and confidence to live as ethical Muslims in 2023. Alhamdulillah that in less than ONE YEAR, Usuli Press was able to publish TWO outstanding books that we can all be extremely proud of as Muslims. May God accept our efforts.
I will be part of the interactive group tonight (yes, Rami will be giving the intro again I believe! Back by popular demand!) and I am so excited to engage Surah 111: Al Masad and Surah 109: Al Kafirun tonight! After that, we only have four surahs (two halaqas) and then Surah 1: Al Fatiha at the conclusion. We are three halaqas from the last Project Illumine halaqa. I can't believe it!
PROJECT ILLUMINE II: DECOLONIZING THE SIRAH - UPDATES!!
But the good news is that the Project Illumine journey does not end - if we can succeed in our mission to raise funds for Project Illumine II: Decolonizing the Sirah in the Age of Islamophobia!
**As we approach the last ten days of Ramadan, we only need $50K to reach our goal of $185K to secure Semester One of the Sirah Project to start in January 2024 insha'Allah (God willing)!**
To me, this is a no brainer, especially in these last ten days! Want to pay it forward exponentially and have a legacy that will grow long after you are gone? Here it is. Be a founding sponsor of Project Illumine II! (See invitation below). ZAKAT ELIGIBLE AND TAX DEDUCTIBLE! :)
A THANK YOU NOTE/GIFT FOR SHAYKH
Here is my message from last week again:
I have been trying to think of ways to make our last halaqa together extra special, and would like to ask you for a personal favor. If these halaqas have benefitted you, touched you, inspired you, made you laugh, answered a question, saved your faith, reignited your love for the Qur'an, or even encouraged you to open a Qur'an for the first time, would you kindly consider writing a note to let Shaykh know? I would love to collect any thoughts, reflections, or thank you notes in a book to give to Shaykh as a gift for sharing his lifetime journey with all of us. I believe that for him to know how his journey has impacted yours would be a tremendous gift. It doesn't need to be long, or detailed, or anything other than from your heart to his. It would mean the world to me, and I believe, to him as well. Thank you so much for considering and please send your messages to me at email@example.com. :) xoxo
Wishing you spiritual elevation, divine connection, and Ramadan miracles small, medium and large in this blessed month! Hope to see you online soon insha'Allah! May Allah keep you and your loved ones surrounded in love, beauty, and mercy always!
In Peace and Hope,
The Usuli Institute