Circles of Learning (Halaqas)

Circles of Learning (Halaqas) · 12. October 2019
Part 1 of 3: In the introduction to the halaqa on Surah 92, Al Layl (The Night), Director Grace Song talks about her early experiences and expectations as a new convert entering the Muslim community for the first time, in light of the increase in attention on stories of trauma and healing among new Muslim women converts. She shares stories of her own journey of healing along with important lessons learned along the way. Dr. Abou El Fadl elaborates further on the topic of his khutbah from Friday...
Circles of Learning (Halaqas) · 31. August 2019
Part 1 of 3: In the introduction to the halaqa to conclude Surah 93, Al Duha, Director Grace Song shares personal reflections on various topics, including her embarrassing convert prayer story; her Facebook detox; a roundup of recent khutbahs about slavery, bearing witness, and fitna and the modern day marketplace of the internet; Hajj, the climate crisis and the moral example of 16 year old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg; and International Dog Day.

Circles of Learning (Halaqas) · 10. August 2019
In the introduction to the halaqa on Surah 93, Al Duha, Director Grace Song builds upon her last introduction in which she criticizes a group of Muslim female comedians, and presents her own attempt at a comedic monologue. She also shares a number of humorous real-life stories from her experiences as a convert.
FULL VERSION (CORRECTED): Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl continues his Original Quranic Commentary (Tafsir) on Surah 94 Al Sharh, another one of the short chapters (surahs) that sets the moral foundation of the Islamic message. Although at the time of revelation, the message was directed to the Prophet as the intended recipient, Islamic theologians and jurists have delved into the deeper meanings of the revelation, and if and how its meaning could be understood and directed to Muslims in general. Dr....

Part 1: Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl continues his original Quranic commentary of Surah 95: Al Tin (The Fig). He delves into the depth of meaning of this short chapter, discussing the range of scholarly opinions about the significance of figs and olives; creation and the human condition; and the foundational themes of choice, free will and dignity emphasized throughout the Quran. In the introduction, Director Grace Song shares personal stories about experiences as a convert; what she learned from...
Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl presents his original Quranic commentaries on Surah 97: Al Qadr, one of the shortest yet most important chapters of the Quran, which holds depths of meaning not usually discussed in the modern Muslim context. Dr. Abou El Fadl delves deep into the nuances of meanings and understandings expounded by Islamic scholars and jurists over the centuries to present the power of this formative surah in the moral development of early Muslims. He addresses ways to understand the...

Circles of Learning (Halaqas) · 20. April 2019
Dr. Abou El Fadl presents his original Quranic commentary (tafsir) on Surah 98: Al Bayyinah and the levels of meanings and understandings beyond the typical English translations. In the introduction, Director Grace Song discusses her early days as a Muslim convert and discovering the tradition of knowledge and how it had the effect as an antidote to "checklist mentality" she encountered at the mosque. She addresses the confusions around a convert's experiences and expectations vis a vis Islamic...
Circles of Learning (Halaqas) · 16. March 2019
Part 1: Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl continues his original Quranic commentaries (tafsir) covering Surah 99: Al Zalzalah, a surah which confirms that people will see the consequences of their actions, both large and small, and the implications of this. Includes important discussions on hadith methodology and abuses of taking hadith without proper technical training, as is common among modern day Muslims. He also discusses Islamophobia and its use of recurring themes and tropes to instill doubt among...

Circles of Learning (Halaqas) · 16. February 2019
Part 1 of 2: Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl presents his methodology and original commentary on the Qur'an, covering Surah 100: Al 'Adiyat. In presenting the various layers of meaning in the this chapter, as in others before, he discusses three levels of meanings, beginning first with the straight translation presenting in English translations of the Qur'an. Usually, these are the most basic interpretation/translation. Then he presents a more nuanced second level, supported by tafsir (Quranic...
Circles of Learning (Halaqas) · 12. January 2019
In Part 1 of the Usuli Institute Halaqa, before jumping into the Quranic Commentaries (tafsir) on Surah 101: al Qaria, Khaled Abou El Fadl adds more insight and afterthoughts following the previous halaqa on the Meaning, Purpose and Effect of Prayer from 22 December 2018. In the introduction, Director Grace Song shares more insights on what type of people convert to Islam, what they experience in the early stages of conversion, and how to survive the early experiences of being a Muslim convert....

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