First, my apologies for this late email as we had some technical difficulties! So, let me be among the first to wish you a happy Monday! :)
As of last Sunday, April 30th, I am proud to announce that WE DID IT! We completed the ENTIRE QUR'AN on our Project Illumine journey! And what a very special evening it was! We commemorated the end of the journey by sharing some of the incredibly beautiful Thank You messages we received from around the world. Shaykh was truly surprised and visibly deeply touched. Again, my heartfelt thank you to everyone who took the time to write and share your heart with Shaykh. The letters were priceless gifts for a priceless journey. For those who are wondering how this journey was received by others, I invite you to watch the beginning and the end of the halaqa, when I read some of the most powerful and representative letters we received. One of the most beautiful stories I shared was of a couple from Chile(!), Sharif and Rocio, who met and got to know each other while regularly meeting for coffee and a pastry AND watching Usuli videos! They would discuss the videos, their views on life and God, and ultimately fell in love! They will be getting married in the Fall! Absolutely amazing!
There truly are no words to adequately describe how life-transforming and monumental this Project Illumine journey has been. Shaykh has laid the foundation anew for modern Muslims to reconnect with and be reinvigorated by the message of the Qur'an. It is a game-changer at every level. I pray that this knowledge will seed the growth for a new, vibrant, exciting, justice-driven, and light-producing future for God's elevated message to humanity through Islam. It has been an intense three years, and it will not be over until we see these extensive halaqas come to life in their published form. Now, the hard work begins to transform three years of spoken word halaqas into elevated, polished, professional volumes that will carry on the thought for future generations. Everyone who has been a part of our journey and contributed to its birth and maturity, I truly believe will have a very special place with God. Please continue to support our efforts to bring these tafsirs to life in a multi-volume work and invest in this legacy (www.usuli.org/donate). Josef Linnhoff is our brilliant Editor in Chief on this project, and you can already see the proof of his care, dedication, and mastery in The Prophet's Pulpit, Volumes I and II. The Project Illumine Light of the Qur'an Commentaries will take things to the next level. As our legacy project, we look forward to making it even more special - something all of us can be proud of.
So what's next now that the Qur'anic commentaries (tafsir) have concluded? I am proud to announce that we will begin again this coming Saturday, 13 May, with a new and incredible halaqa series entitled, "The Book of Illuminations," which will consist of Dr. Abou El Fadl's commentaries on the book, "Kitab Al Hikam (The Book of Wisdoms)" by Shaykh Ibn Ata'illah al-Iskandari. He shared with me that he was first taught this book when he was 15 or 16 years old by one of his Shaykhs, and that what he will share is his own journey with this collection of aphorisms or Islamic wisdoms for light and elevation. He explained that it is what every Muslim needs to know to elevate closer to the Divine. I am certain it will be extraordinary, as only Dr. Abou El Fadl can make it! He will explain and give us the full background on Saturday!
In the meantime, I have two incredible new videos to share! The first is my FAVORITE series of all time: Real Talk with Mido and Baba, Season 3, Episode 1! Mido is now 18 and looking forward to college in the Fall and has some important questions for his dad. I am so grateful for this session, which came on the heels of the conclusion of Project Illumine. Mido joined us for the final halaqa of Project Illumine and was inspired to start Mido and Baba again. I hope that we will have the opportunity to film many more of these in the months to come insha'Allah!
The second video came out with perfect timing, right after the last Project Illumine halaqa. It is an interview between the amazing Safiyyah Ally of "Let The Qur'an Speak" and Shaykh on Project Illumine - as a way to introduce Project Illumine to the large audience of Safiyyah and her wonderful father, Dr. Shabbir Ally. You will find it on their YouTube channel here:
Let The Qur'an Speak: "First Direct-to-English Quran Commentary in 40 years"
Interview with Safiyyah Ally and Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl
3 May 2023
Now that we have concluded the entire Qur'an, we have the foundation we need for a lifetime. But the learning continues, building upon this blessed foundation! Onward and upward insha'Allah! Hope to see you online soon! May God guide, inspire, and empower you always!
In Peace and Hope,