Circles of Learning (Halaqas)

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....

Circles of Learning (Halaqas) · 22. December 2018
Part 1: In this special session at The Usuli Institute, Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl explains the form and substance of the ritual prayer of Islam, what is known as the "backbone" of the faith, and discusses the meaning and significance of each of the component parts: the ablution, the standing, the bowing, the prostration, what is recited and much more. He delves into the deeper meaning, power and purpose of prayer, the way that prayer affects the energy of the space in which it occurs (as well as...
Circles of Learning (Halaqas) · 08. December 2018
Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl continues his original Qur'anic commentary (tafsir), elaborating on the meaning of Surah at-Takathur. In the introduction, Executive Director Grace Song, gives perspective on finding one's true authentic self, owning vulnerability, and creating human connectedness from a Muslim point of view. Includes Q&A.

Circles of Learning (Halaqas) · 06. October 2018
Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl presents his original Quranic commentary on Surah 104: Al-Humazah, which is directly relevant to the current state of affairs in the world. In the introduction, Director Grace Song discusses the travesty of the Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation and its implications from the lens of a Muslim woman convert.
Circles of Learning (Halaqas) · 15. September 2018
Part 1: Dr. Abou El Fadl delves into a new surah (chapter) and continues his original Quranic commentary (tafsir) on Surah al Nasr. In the introduction, Director Grace Song shares personal reflections and testimony on the journey of praying and prayer as a Muslim over time.

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