Monday, September 26, 2005

Svend White on "Lessons Learned from the PMU Experiment"

Salaam 'Alaikum

Svend White has an article at Alt.Muslim on lessons to be learned from the short-lived PMUNA organization.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

ISNA Thugs? by Sheila Musaji

Hat tip to PMUNA Debate for posting in this entry.

This is an article by Sheila Musaji, looking into the accusations by and Muslim Wake that ISNA is an exclusivist group of Islamist thugs.

I'll write on some of their accusations later but Mrs. Musaji does a good job at poking holes into their theories.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Dr. Amina Wudud and the Progressive Muslims: Some Reflections on Woman Led Prayer

Salaam 'Alaikum

Ustadha Zaynab Umm Salah has written a piece reflecting on last spring's hullaballoo.

Dr. Amina Wadud and the Progressive Muslims: Some Reflections on Woman-Led Prayer

It is unfortunate that the Progressive Muslims have seized upon the issue of prayer as a way to highlight gender discrimination against Muslim women. There is profound wisdom in following the Prophetic command, "Pray as you have seen me pray." Our prayers, more than likely, cannot favorably compare with the prayers of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and those around him. Why jeopardize the quality of our prayers even further by making this pillar of Islam a platform for social rather than spiritual activism?

The Progressive Muslims raise valid and relevant questions about women's issues, especially those pertaining to women's space in the mosque and gender relations. However, there is a way to address these issues from within the Islamic paradigm, without compromising the authority of the Quran, the integrity of Prophetic practice, and the intellectual heritage passed on to us by the great scholars of old.

I believe that it is time that Muslim women reclaim their rights from within Islam. I humbly suggest that our scholars be more aware of the sensitivity of women's issues. The Progressive Muslims raise some important points, and while we may not accept their philosophy, we do ourselves a disservice by dismissing legitimate concerns that affect Muslim women today.

This topic really hit home for me, because as a woman, I too have experienced discrimination in the mosque. I simply ask that when our scholars discuss the issue of women's leadership, they keep an open mind. Many brothers use the hadith of Abu Bakrah as a weapon against women. Did the Prophet, peace be upon him, intend to prohibit women in all places and all times from assuming any and all types of leadership positions? History points to many examples of positive female leadership, and, indeed, many examples of negative male leadership. Consider what the Qur'an has to say about Bilqis, the Queen of Sheba. Look at the example of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and how he routinely consulted his wives in matters of utmost importance.

Friday, September 16, 2005

What's Next? The Gift of Ramadan

Salaam alaikum everyone,

I've missed posting stuff here but as some of you may know, I am a native of New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina basically washed us out. Alhamdulillah, I am in Atlanta, Georgia, safe and sound, and ready to get back to business.

So much has happened that I have not been able to comment on. In October, this blog will be a year old. We started out with a few goals in mind but our main goal was to promote traditional Islam while pulling apart the theories of the Progressive Muslim Movement.

Within a year, the PMUNA had become Muslim media darlings. Only these journalists, professors and policy makers (cough) could bring the Muslim world into the 21st century. Those who did not fall in line with their agenda were immediately insulted. Their character was called into question publicly and their ignorant fans applauded their efforts.

But in the last two months, we have seen the mass resignations of popular members such as Omid Safi, Michael Knight, and Muqtedar Khan. And with the recent disaster of Hurricane Katrina, the American public will not be distracted by female-led prayer stunts or Muslim women venting out their sexual frustrations. Americans are too busy wondering why we could rebuild Baghdad but New Orleans was left to drown. But does this mean that the fitnah is over?

Of course not.

They have disbanded but these are very creative people. They have managed to steal authority from those who could speak better on Islamic issues. Scholars who spent years training in Western universities and at the feet of the shayukh need not apply. They have seperated but they will pull their respective careers together. They will market themselves as the beacons of Islamic enlightenment until the United States is done with its policies in the Middle East and such beacons are no longer needed.

Where does this leave us at Living Tradition? We are still committed to seeing progress of the Muslim community around the world according to the dictates of the Qur'an and Sunnah. We still believe that in order to progress, God must be the goal of our progression. We are committed to seeing our communities in the West become a beautiful example of Islam. If Islam is still spreading with all this negative propoganda, just imagine what would happen if our neighbors had a more balanced concept of our religion.

We are seeing more progress in our communities. If there was one good thing that came out of the PMUNA is that it forced Muslims to address certain issues from an Islamic standpoint. The issue of "Women in the Masjid" was addressed at the 2005 ISNA convention. A published essay supported by CAIR and ISSA addressed the rights of women in the mosque. Muslims raised their voices of outrage at the plight of Sister Mukhtar Mai at the hands of the Panchiat in Pakistan. We spread the word of our fallen sister and her unborn child, Iman Muhanna Muhammad.

Just recently, Islamic Relief was in charge of relief efforts at the Astrodome in Texas. Various Muslim organizations have come together to establish an umbrella group to collect charity for Katrina's victims. CAIR has plegded to raise 10 million dollars for hurricane relief efforts. New Orleans, with a small, diverse community of Muslims, launched its first Islamic newspaper. More masajid are producing newsletters, some publish newspaper and have websites to give more information about Islam. Muslims are getting involved in the fields of arts, politics and civil liberties.

We have a long way to go but we are getting there. Alhamdulillah, it is good to see progress in the Muslim community for the pleasure of God.
So here is another great idea from Imam Zaid Shakir. I wish his article was still posted to the Zaytuna website but for some reason it's gone. He suggested that we set aside a dollar for every day that we fast in Ramadan. He also suggested that the money be donated to a charitable organization. But it is your sadaqa so spend it when it is needed most. There are probably many people in your neighborhood who are needy. Some of you might be hosting families who lost their homes in the Gulf South. Consult with God and He will guide you well.

I'll be back with more soon...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Avari/Nameh: Should Nomani Be Normative?

Salaam 'Alaikum

From Haroon Moghul, of Avari/Nameh.

Should Nomani Be Normative?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

September 2nd is Hurricane Relief Day

Mosques urged to collect donations at congregational prayers(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/1/05) A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on mosques and Islamic centers nationwide to collect donations for hurricane disaster relief following Islamic congregational prayers (Jumah) on Friday.The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) asked that the funds collected be sent to the American Red Cross or other relief groups offering assistance to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. (See the list below compiled by the Associated Press.)CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to:

CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper,
202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726,

Rabiah Ahmed,
202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441,

Red Cross: 1-800-HELP-NOW
Salvation Army: 1-800-SAL-ARMY or
Catholic Charities: 1-800-919-9338 or
Episcopal Relief & Development:
1-800-334-7626 or
United Methodist Committee on Relief:
1-800-554-8583 or
Operation USA: 1-800-678-7255
FEMA Charity tips:
National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster:
Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:
Islamic Relief:
ICNA Relief:
Humane Society of the United States:

DC-AREA MOSQUE TO COLLECT DONATIONS HURRICANE VICTIMS - TOP(STERLING, VA, 9/1/05) On Friday, September 2, the All Dulles Muslim Society ( will have hurricane relief donation collection boxes at all Jumaa Locations: Main Center, Farifax Branch, Reston Branch, Leesburg Branch, and Tysons Corner Branch. Please make check payable to ADAMS with memo: "Hurricane Katrina"The ADAMS Sisters Youth Groups will also collect Canned Food at the ADAMS Main CenterADAMS urges Muslim Americans to donate generously to humanitarian organizations that are working to meet the needs of the affected people. ADAMS also urges Muslim Americans to volunteer in any capacity to help bring relief and comfort to the victims of this disaster.CONTACT: ADAMS President Rizwan Jaka, E-Mail:

How You Can Help: The Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Many organizations have sprung up to help the people of the Gulf Coast and beyond. All these organizations are reputable and placing your charity in their hands will be protected. As of now, New Orleans is still in a state of shock and chaos. The looting and on-going violence has made it very hard for rescue workers and police to do their job.Make dua for them and for Mayor Ray Nagin. He needs all the divine and human help he can get, as well as Governor Kathleen Blanco and the elected officials of Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Also all the people involved in the rescue and recovery attempts as well need our help. Here is where you can donate whatever you can.
Immediate help to those who need medical attention, food, clean water and rescue. Very well-known institution dedicated helping others in catastrophe zones.
Islamic Relief has started collecting money and other items
ICNA Relief, charity org. of the Islamic Council of North America
Mercy USA for Aid and Development

There are also many New Orleans Muslims making refuge in Baton Rouge. You can contact them here.

Islamic Center of Baton Rouge
820 West Chimes

Everyone here (well, there) is in need of milk, diapers, medicine, clothing, and everything else that you can think of to sustain them. Your most helpful charity is your dua but if you are able to give, please do. I'll be back with more information.