Save An Islamic Manuscript and Donkeys Carrying Books?

Dear Greetings of Peace (al salamu ‘alaykum) dear Friends! 


I pray you are well! This week, with the release of the above video on YouTube, Dr. Abou El Fadl renews a long-time plea to help him save rare Islamic manuscripts and artifacts that have been pillaged from the Islamic world and now are appearing on the open market for anyone to purchase on eBay. This is an egregious reflection of the state of our affairs as Muslims today. These manuscripts and artifacts belong in a museum, not in the hands of private collectors or worse, in the hands of those who would like to see the Islamic heritage erased. But in the meantime, help us to save as much of our tradition as possible!


Years ago, in the early days of the Usuli Institute, Shaykh Abou El Fadl spoke about the need to preserve our tradition through our manuscripts. He shared the pain of finding treasures for sale on eBay and the inability to save manuscripts due to a lack of funding. Many people had no idea that Islamic manuscripts were being sold online, and worst of all, that precious manuscripts including Qur’ans were being ripped apart and sold *page by individually ripped page* in order to maximize profit, simply because every page was a piece of art. Of course, the manuscript would be destroyed as a result. 


Dr. Abou El Fadl chose to once again highlight the increasing obscenity taking place on eBay as more and more valuable works are appearing for sale. Our Islamic heritage is literally for sale on eBay. In the video above, he gives specific examples of what is happening and what is being sold, and appeals to anyone who can help him save our heritage. Please watch and share the video with everyone and please help if you can. May God reward and honor you for any assistance you can provide! You can donate here: https://www.usuli.org/donate/




Below, you will find the edited transcript for Dr. Abou El Fadl’s incredible khutbah entitled, “Donkeys Carrying Books, or Just Donkeys?” (26 Jan 2024). One important note I wanted to share about this khutbah is that in it, Dr. Abou El Fadl refutes the claim that the Qur’an is an anti-semitic Book, building upon his knowledge and the original insights he shared in our Project Illumine tafsir. The Qur’an calls the Israelites to account for breaking their covenant with God and refers to those Israelites that forgot their own Book as “Donkeys Carrying Books.”  In this khutbah, Dr. Abou El Fadl asserts that Muslims have forgotten their own Book, and that today, Muslims have become “Donkeys Carrying Books.” In fact, he asserts, it would be much better if Muslims would be more honest that more accurately, they are “just donkeys.” Dr. Abou El Fadl walks us through a brilliant elucidation of this idea as only he can! The point is that anyone can be a “donkey carrying books,” or “just a donkey,” or a “chosen person” for that matter. It depends on your ethics, knowledge, and actions, NOT your label.


Lastly, by now, our Usuli U.S. supporters who donated more than $250 for 2023 should have received a tax donation receipt. If you believe you should have received one and did not, please email me. Once again, our most heartfelt appreciation for supporting what we do! We have lots of exciting plans for 2024 and beyond and  invite you to be a part of it! Please continue to empower us to do more creative, forward-thinking, and impactful work with your tax-deductible donation here. A monthly donation helps us the most! 


May God empower you always! See you online soon insha’Allah (God willing)!


In Peace and Hope,


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

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