Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl delivers a virtual Friday weekly address (khutbah) and congregational prayer (jumu'a)
via Facebook livestream beginning at 1:15 pm Los Angeles time.
In response to the increased alienation that Muslims, particularly women and converts, experience at their local mosque due to the lack of inspiring, spiritual uplifting and intellectually stimulating khutbahs, The Usuli Institute offers this ALTERNATIVE virtual khutbah and jumu'a for those who cannot or would not attend jumu'a otherwise. Please join us online (www.facebook.com/usuli.org).
If you are in our time zone (ie. it is Zuhr where you are when we are livestreaming), this can count as your jumu'a prayer. If you are in a different time zone, it can be sunnah prayer. Gather your friends to listen and pray with you. This will allow those who have been alienated from the mosque to create alternate spaces for Friday prayer, with Dr. Abou El Fadl as your virtual khatib. Or, watch the recording afterwards for a weekly intellectual and spiritual invigoration.
Is this Islamically permissible? Watch the first khutbah (below) to hear Dr. Abou El Fadl explain the purpose, history, meaning and juristic opinions about virtual congregational prayer. Listen to why he has resisted offering such a virtual khutbah until now, and why he has come to the conclusion that our current circumstance as Muslims warrants such alternatives.
Delivered 29 March, 2019
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl delivers the Friday khutbah at Princeton University, 29 March 2019. Dr. Abou El Fadl reminds us of the sanctity of human life, the light of the soul that is uniquely divine, given to each human being regardless of faith or lack of faith or any other distinction. Each human soul is endlessly valuable, thus the Quranic exhortation that to murder a soul is as if to murder all of humanity. This only begins to suggest the horror, devastation and moral abomination of the murder of over 12.5 million Muslims in wars and the like over the past 20 years--a conservative yet well evidenced and documented estimate. Muslims will be held to account by God as to what they did with what God gave them to address this abomination. This is especially pertinent for those Muslims with privilege, like those at Princeton. Dr. Abou El Fadl reminds us that Muslims must exert their best efforts according to what God has given them to address the moral crises of our age.
As is the tradition of the Princeton Muslim Life Program which hosts the Friday khutbahs at Princeton, each khutbah is followed by an original du'a by a female member of the congregation. The du'a this day was given by Grace Song, Executive Director of the Usuli Institute. Delivered 29 March 2019.
Delivered 22 March, 2019.
Dr. Abou El Fadl reminds that God expects Muslims to be the bearers of God's words unto humanity, in a constant state of beautification and doing what is beautiful. God loves those who do beautiful deeds. When God gives us this charge, we must take it seriously such that we become as if a lighthouse of morality and ethics onto humanity; the moral pilots of humanity. Further, he reminds us that God endowed human beings with dignity and those humiliate and degrade others through despotism and ugliness, taking dignity away from people, are whose who are cursed by God and every prophet. This is a call to ethics and justice. This must light a fire under Muslims so that what defines them is a conscientious ethical existence.
Muslims cannot ethically pilot humanity unless we learn first to be ferocious, fearless and brave in confronting ugliness and the unethical and unIslamic. He presents the example of the organized killing of a witness to the gang rape of a 7 year old Yemeni boy, an injustice that fired up days of protest in Yemen, but over which American Muslim "leaders" were silent and in some cases, worse. This was an indication of deep moral rupture and failure. God will not bless or aid us or support the unjust. As long as Muslims continue to be cowardly and equivocal towards injustice, God will not be with us but will leave us to our hawa (whims) and our own destruction.
In the second half, he discusses the deep roots of Islamophobia that led to the massacre in New Zealand (may Allah accept the victims as martyrs). He discusses the manifesto of the shooter titled “The Great Replacement,” which is extremely significant for Muslims to study and reflect upon, or else Muslims could confront another Bosnian genocide or Holocaust. He calls out the deep relationships between the so-called Muslim leadership and global Islamophobic forces. As long as Muslims and Muslim leadership continue to support injustice, God will continue forsaking us. God does not gaze upon the immoral and ugly. Delivered 22 March 2019.
Delivered 15 March, 2019.
Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl powerfully addresses the evil acts of murder committed against Muslims in New Zealand. He addresses how this history of massacres committed against Muslims have been ongoing since the Bosnian Genocide through today and is grounded in the well-funded Islamophobia industry campaigns of our day. He talks about the impact of racism in acts of terror against Muslims and how similar acts of terror by white extremists are addressed by comparison. He discusses the manifestos of both this New Zealand shooter and Anders Brevik, who wrote a 600+ page manifesto of hate, both drawing deeply from the American Islamophobes such as Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer and Steven Emerson. Dr. Abou El Fadl read each of these manifestos in full. The insights from these hate tracts were not those of simply deranged human beings, but the dark fruit and lethal consequence of massive, steady investments in the Islamophobia hate industry. He calls on Muslims to step up and do the necessary work to match if not exceed their investment in actively countering the American Islamophobia hate industry. Delivered at the Islamic Center of Southern California, Los Angeles, 15 March 2019.
Delivered 8 March, 2019.
Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl reminds Muslims of the "obvious" and forgotten basics of ethics of our faith. He illuminates why Islamophobia has permeated every part of our existence in subtle and unseen ways. He shares why the new Crusades in our day and age are fought with weapons of information, data and knowledge, and how it is incumbent upon Muslims recognize and appropriately address the challenges facing them in this age. He calls upon Muslims to "clean their own house" first. Delivered 8 March 2019.
**Please excuse lack of focus of recording due to technical difficulties.
Delivered 1 March, 2019.
Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl addresses questions arising from his previous khutbahs regarding how to receive and assess knowledge and develop and trust one's own intuition or native instinct (fitrah) in determining what is authentically Islamic. He elaborates on the example of pure water entering a clean vessel versus a dirty vessel in understanding the impact of a divine message on the soul (vessel) receiving that message. He discusses how to evaluate the moral character of religious authority, be it an imam, faqih, shaykh or other religious teacher. He reminds us that leadership and authority must be judged according to conduct and action rather than words and the willingness to judge others before oneself. He discusses the fundamental building blocks of morality and ethics that God has given every human being. To elaborate by example, he brings all of the above to bear upon the real-life current tragedy of Uighur Muslims being imprisoned and tortured in concentration camps in China and the lack of moral response from global Muslim leadership. Delivered 1 March 2019.
Delivered 22 February, 2019.
Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl delves into the depth of the modern day re-colonization, re-subjugation and re-domination of Muslims fueled by racism, Islamophobia, and the desire to appease the culture of the elite in the world-- and its dark consequences. He reminds us that in our tradition, God in the Quran has made it abundantly clear that among the greatest gifts of creation is the intellect and the use of reason ('aql). Referencing once common but long forgotten traditions of the Prophet (hadith), Dr. Abou El Fadl reminds us that God holds in highest esteem those who reflect and reason; and that a single word of wisdom is more worthy than the entire earth and its contents. He presents four points of guidance: 1) Knowing what to be cautious and suspect towards; 2) Glorifying one's ability to reason; 3) Pursuing knowledge vigorously; and 4) The weighty responsibility of knowledge and its requirements. Delivered 22 Feb. 2019.
Delivered 15 February, 2019.
In this transformative moment in human history, Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl recounts the ways in the last three decades since the publication of his book, The Authoritative and Authoritarian in Islamic Discourses, that the methodology of justice, beauty and reason he advocated came under attack as a source of "fitnah" (creating discord and dissent). As Muslims, we learned from well known shuyukh that many things like music, art, pictures, relations with non-Muslims and other things identified as "from the West" were haram (forbidden). Suddenly, overnight, the same shaykhs who claimed such "incontrovertible truths" have reversed their positions without any evidentiary basis, nor any reference to Islamic law or jurisprudence. He reminds us that God gave us a religion of fitrah (intuition, innateness and natural instinct), and that messages of Islam from the lands of despotism and hypocrisy in the Middle East have become intolerable. It is time for Muslims in the West to liberate themselves from the Islam coming from the colonized, dominated and subjugated Middle East, and rethink anew what the Islam of justice and beauty should entail as pioneers in our current times. He encourages Muslims to become pious and trust in the intuitive attraction to goodness, justice and beauty that God gave all human beings. Delivered 15 February 2019.
Delivered 8 February, 2019.
Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl honors the life of his dear friend and "brother," Guido Santi, documentary filmmaker and professor of cinema at The College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, CA, who unexpectedly passed away this week. He discusses the beautiful example of the moral life and decisions made by a moral man, and the lessons that should be imparted upon us in their passing. Further, he discusses the cycle of life and what we should reflect upon with the passing of those we love, as the Prophet reminds us that the reward for goodness is goodness; and the reward for ugliness is ugliness. Delivered 8 February, 2019.
Delivered 1 February, 2019.
Dr. Abou El Fadl reminds us that the Qur'an calls us to establish regular prayer as the means to build perseverance and patience that will strengthen our ability to withstand all of the trials, tribulations, frustrations and doubts that will surely attempt to pull us away from the path to the divine, especially in such difficult times as today for modern Muslims. He relates that when the overall health and condition of Muslims is good, the relationship with the Qur'an is strong; when the overall condition of Muslims is poor, their relationship with the Qur'an is distant and weak. We must turn inward to develop our own light and relationships with God and learning to be comfortable with ourselves alone with God. Delivered at the Islamic Center of Southern California, 1 February 2019.
Delivered 25 January, 2019.
Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl begins by discussing the Quranic intent of the Friday congregational prayer (jumu'a) prayer and the weekly address to the community (khutbah) at the time of the Prophet, and its role in serving as the divine uplift, community accounting, and spiritual re-invigoration of the Muslim community. He then recounts how this purpose became usurped over time. He continues by covering the required qualifications of the person who should lead the jumu'a -- the most learned in the community -- and what the jurists (faqih) of various schools of thought asserted when these qualifications are not met. Dr. Abou El Fadl then addresses the current state of affairs in mosques, what has become of Friday prayers, and why he has chosen to offer this virtual alternative. He discusses what various schools of thought (Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafi'i and Maliki) have said about "virtual" jumu'a prayer, the history of "virtual jumu'a" from the 1960's, and what constitutes a proper congregation (jamaa). In the second half, he reminds the congregation what it means to ignite the light of God inside of you, such that divine light, as opposed to darkness, emits from you. Surprising, illuminating and uplifting!
For Dr. Abou El Fadl's Friday Khutbahs prior to 2019, please visit https://www.searchforbeauty.org/friday-khutbahs-latest/