The Way Ahead
by Zaid Shakir, Hamza Yusuf, and Yahya Rhodus
In light of the tragic and violent events of recent years, and in light of modernity itself, Muslims in the West face difficult challenges, not the least of which is to promote a clear understanding of Islam, its historicity and its traditions. But we cannot be the ambassadors of our religion if we ourselves do not have a deeper understanding of it. This seminar was designed to provide Muslims with a better grounding in the Islamic tradition as well as a practical guide for responding to the challenges and criticisms of Islam in the modern age.
Session One: REENGAGING OUR YOUTH with Ustadh Yahya Rhodus
An introduction to the importance of connecting the next generation of western Muslims to the enduring traditions of their faith. In this important talk, Ustadh Yahya addresses the theoretical underpinnings and the practical requirements of this critical challenge by highlighting instructive examples from the Islamic tradition and history, identifying essential inward and outward spiritual characteristics for parents and children, and describing the prophetic methodology for interacting with the younger generation.
Session Two: ISLAM AND VIOLENCE: A MUSLIM PERPSECTIVE with Imam Zaid Shakir
A passionate and definitive response to the oft-repeated accusation that unfettered violence is an intrinsic element of Islam. In this session, Imam Zaid demonstrates the inherent fallacies of that charge by critiquing popular contemporary analyses of purportedly "Islamic" violence, emphasizing the importance of understanding historical and sociological variables related to organized violence, and dissecting several examples of political and societal violence.
Session Three: DEFENDING OUR PROPHET with Hamza Yusuf
A practical and measured guide for Muslims troubled by today's inflammatory attacks on the Prophet Muhammad. In this lecture, Hamza deals with the challenge of profaning the sacred by contextualizing the Prophet in the modern and historical religious landscape, identifying effective and non-effective approaches to defending him, and emphasizing the strategic importance of "framing" issues in our discourse.
Session Four: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS with Hamza & Imam Zaid
An extensive and informative session addressing key questions submitted by program attendees. In this concluding session, Imam Zaid and Hamza engage in a lively back and forth with their students, addressing a range of issues in the process, including the civic responsibility of Muslims, the challenge of anti-Muslim propaganda and discrimination, apostasy law in Islam, inter-faith relations, and specific attacks on Islam and the Prophet.
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