The Islamic Center at NYU will be observing Sunday, October 6th as the 1st day of Dhul Hijjah. As such, we will be celebrating the Day of 'Arafah, the 9th of Dhul Hijjah, on Monday, October 14th, andEid ul-Adha, the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, on Tuesday, October 15th. The IC is following the opinion of the Fiqh Council of North America.
We will be hosting Iftar on the Day of 'Arafah and Prayers and Brunch on Eid ul-Adha. please RSVP to ensure a place at our services and to help us plan better.
All Eid services will be held in the
Grand Hall, located on the 5th floor of NYU's Global Center for Academic
and Spiritual Life. Please have a valid ID card
to enter the building. Should the need arise, we will be livestreaming
the service to our 4th floor spaces as well to accommodate everyone.
Space on the 5th floor will be first-come, first serve.
Our programs, including this one, are
run completely on donations and, as such, we rely heavily on the
generosity of the community to provide the services that we do. Please
consider making an online tax-deductible contribution today to help
support the cost at https://www.nyu.edu/giving/give-now/?cid=25
Our Khateeb will be Imam Khalid Latif.
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF DHUL HIJJAH
The first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah and in
specific the Day of 'Arafah are very important in our tradition. The
Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, has said about these days "There are no days in which good works are more beloved to Allah than these days." (meaning the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah.) The Companions asked, "Not even jihad in the path of Allah, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "Not
even jihad in the path of Allah, except for the one who goes forth
with his person and wealth and does not return with any of it." (Bukhari and others)
For more information how to take advantage of these days please click the following:
NYU POLICY ON STUDENT RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE AND CLASS ATTENDANCE The following message went out to all NYU Faculty from the Provost:
"As a nonsectarian, inclusive institution, NYUpolicy permits members of any religious group to absent themselves from classes without penalty when required for compliance with their religious obligations. The policy and principles to be followed by students and faculty may be found here: The University Calendar Policy on ReligiousHolidays.
This autumn is a time of important religious observance for many of our students who celebrate the Jewish High Holy Days and Sukkoth holiday in September, and the Muslim holiday
of Eid al-Adha in October. Some students may miss a significant amount
of class early in the semester, as they choose to observe some or all
It has come to my attention that notwithstanding the University's
supportive approach to these matters, some students feel uncomfortable
alerting their professors to upcoming absences related to religious observance. As we start the new
semester, I thank you for your continued cooperation in creating an
atmosphere of understanding and accommodation in response to our
students' commitment to religious observance."
Should you run into any issues in receiving excuses absences, please email Imam Khalid Latif at email@example.com with the following information:
-your professor's full name
-your professor's email address
-the day, timing, and name of your class
-your name as it would be appear on the class roster
Khalid Latif, Executive Director and Chaplain of the Islamic
Center, will for a third year in a row be keeping a daily journal for
the Huffington Post. His twenty-second article, entitled "Ramadan Reflection Day 22: What Does Marriage Mean to You?" was published earlier today. To read the entire article in full, please click here.
Please share with your contacts and leave a comment on the Huffington Post website.
One of the most interesting phone calls I ever received came from a
young man in Pennsylvania. Aside from wondering how he got my cell
phone number, I wondered if he had really put any thought into what he
had called me to discuss. Like many Muslims, he was looking to get
"So I hear you know a lot of women," says the young man. What a great reputation to have and a great way to start a phone call. This will definitely not be fun.
"I am looking to get married and was hoping you can help recommend someone to me." I've
actually never spoken to this young man before and don't even know his
last name. But he has called so the conversation continues.
"I am not really a matchmaker. Can you tell me what you're looking for?"
"I want to marry a nice, Muslim girl." Of course.
"Could you elaborate a little more?"
"Someone who will be nice to my parents."
"That's helpful. Because I was going to introduce you to someone who would be a jerk to your parents."
It's really tough for a lot of Muslims to get married these days.
It's that much tougher though when we don't really have a clue of what
we're looking for in a marriage or what marriage means to us. A variety
of factors lends towards this confusion but we find ourselves where we
This Ramadan, I've met and heard from numerous individuals who are
looking for a spouse. I wish I had a more practical solution for them
but unfortunately I don't of any services or agencies that I feel
comfortable recommending. What usually ensues is a conversation that I
hope would help unpack for the person what marriage means to them as
opposed to them simply regurgitating someone else's definition.
Most of us don't know where to begin. A good starting point in that
process of definition is figuring out for yourself what you wouldn't be
able to deal with in a relationship. This should be done through a
frame of reality, not through a romanticized framework, and should not
worry about being judgmental.
For those who missed Maureen Dowd's or Rush Limbaugh's commentary on
Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner, there are a multitude of responses now
circulating on major media outlets. Most are discussing how both Dowd
and Limbaugh attribute Huma's standing with her husband during his most
recent scandal more to his being able to walk all over her, attributing
her willingness to be mistreated to her being a Muslim woman raised in
Saudi Arabia, says Dowd in her op-ed for the NY Times,
you puzzle over why the elegant Huma Abedin is propping up the eel-like
Anthony Weiner, you must remember one thing: Huma was raised in Saudi
Arabia, where women are treated worse by men than anywhere else on the
Amongst the many responses that have gone up to Dowd and Limbaugh, my
favorite has to be a post that went up recently on New York Magazine's
Website by Adam Smith simply titled "Maureen Dowd and Rush Limbaugh Explain Why Abedin Supports Weiner."
It's not that the content of his piece is particularly unique in
comparison to others that have gone up. All pretty much cite Dowd and
Limbaugh as being overtly simplistic, bigoted, and extremely ignorant in
their viewpoints. What made this article stand out to me were the
"Keyword" tags at the bottom.
"Get more: assholes, rush limbaugh, maureen dowd, huma abedin, anthony weiner"
Pardon the language, but really is there any better way to describe Dowd, Limbaugh and the rhetoric that they spew?
When you puzzle over why Dowd would write something like this, would
you attribute it to her being a woman? Or if you puzzled over why
Limbaugh said what he said, would you attribute it to his being white?
Would you also say that Dowd's opinion is suddenly representative of
what all women think or Limbaugh's opinion is what all white people
think? Probably not, especially not the latter two points. Yet somehow
every Muslim represents all Muslims and every time a Muslim does
anything it's because they are Muslim. The extremely reductionist
approach that many journalists and media outlets have comfortably taken
when dealing with Islam and Muslims is getting pretty ridiculous at this
In my freshman year of college, Ramadan was in the Winter.
Immediately after my last exam, I took a train back to NJ, dropped some
things off at my parent's house, and went to our local mosque where I
intended to spend the last week or so in the masjid for a practice
Narrated Abdullah bin Umar: Allah's Apostle used to practise Itikaf in the last ten days of the month of Ramadan.
The word itikaf itself denotes "remaining" in a place and when
referred to as a practice undertaken by many during the last 10 nights
of Ramadan (as well as other times of the year), it refers to an
individual's spiritual retreat to the mosque. The idea is to remove
oneself completely from the world and focus on the development of one's
relationship with the Divine. Leaving behind the pursuit of the
material and everything that comes with it while pursuing acts of
worship, moments of reflection, and congregational and individual prayer
in hopes of rooting the heart in a state of tranquility.
I don't think I'll ever forget the time I spent in Itikaf that year.
The moment I felt its impact the most was the minute I left from the
mosque and stepped into the world again. Things that I had seen almost
every day of my life prior to that day now looked different, not because
they were different, but because the eyes that I was looking at them
with now saw things differently. Issues that I was facing at the time
became easier to deal with. The tiredness that those issues burdened me
with was lifted as I felt a different sense of strength from my spirit.
In these last 10 days of Ramadan, I would highly encourage anyone who
can to take time off and engage in the practice of Itikaf, even if it's
just for a night. If you cannot complete 10 days, it doesn't mean that
you shouldn't do at least one or what you are able to do.
At times we don't realize how hard our hearts have become. The
gradual process of a subtle bitterness enveloping them coupled with an
absence of regular and consistent times for self-reflection and
self-care lends us towards a lot of heaviness on our insides. The
pursuit of complacency becomes our goal rather than the pursuit of
contentment and we sacrifice things that would bring us everlasting
comfort in pursuit of those things that simply give us the facade of
Even if you are not able to perform itikaf this year, take the time
to reflect on your inside. Acknowledging the presence of a certain
hardness is the first step in eliminating it.
Dhu-nun al Misri, a 9th century Egyptian Muslim scholar known for his
teachings around the development of the soul and the purification of
the heart, gives a profound advice to the seeker of internal peace on
how to deal with the hardening of the heart.
Idha aradta an tadhaba kasaawatu qalbik, fa adimis siyaam.
If you desire that hardness of your heart leaves you, then endure fasting.
Two thirds of this month have passed now and for those who have observed
it, whether you are Muslim or not, the gains are evident. The emphasis
on enduring the fast renders us to move beyond simply the physical
aspects of it and go in the direction of a spiritual fast. A fast from
complaining, a fast from thinking ill of others, a fast from thinking
ill of ourselves, a fast from coarse language and harsh speech, a fast
that's focus is not on food or drink, but how the absence of those
things leads towards the development of a strong heart. That's the
fast that we should strive for - one that moves beyond not feeding our
bodies and focuses more on feeding our souls.
wa idha wajadta kasaawatan, fa atlil qiyaam
and if you still find the hardness, then make longer standing (at night for prayer.)
Khalid Latif, Executive Director and Chaplain of the Islamic
Center, will for a third year in a row be keeping a daily journal for the Huffington Post. His eighteenth article, entitled "Ramadan Reflection Day 19: Building Spaces for the Silent Majority"was published earlier today. To read the entire article in full, please click here.
Please share with your contacts and leave a comment on the Huffington Post website.
I spoke last night at a fundraising dinner for Syrian Relief at the
University of Maryland hosted by the school's student chapter of Muslims Without Border.
Before the program began, a young man brought up that his university's
Muslim Student Association seems to be at a crossroads as their current
president is a young woman and some of the members of the club and
local community think women should not be in leadership positions.
Later that night I was checking my facebook messages and received one
from a young woman in the UK who used to attend our Islamic Center at
NYU as well as various mosques in Harlem. Her message indicated a more
than justifiable frustration, in my opinion, where the mosque she tried
to pray in during these blessed nights of Ramadan was telling her that
the women should pray at home.
It's really disheartening to hear and see that issues like this still
exist in many Muslim communities. To me, the root of the problem in
both of these circumstances, and many other challenges we face, stems
from an overt simplification of how we engage our texts. When that is
coupled with an absence of literacy as well as a systemic need to seek
validation from existing apparatus rather than mustering up the courage
to go build something on our own, the end result is what we see.
If we look at the normative practice during the time of the Prophet
Muhammad, peace be upon him, women prayed in the mosques and also took
on leadership roles. I don't know how the eisegetical analysis of a
hadith or verse from the qur'an that somehow justifies a contrary
reality to what actually transpired is what we give precedence to. I
also don't understand why when we meet roadblocks such as this, we get
frustrated and then don't do anything substantive about it.
I had dinner with an NYU alum, Lisa Shah, her husband Peter, and two
of our other friends, Qudsia and Bilal, one night in Long Island after I
spoke at a University there. Over dinner they were voicing
frustrations that we hear amongst Muslims everywhere on how there are
not so many spaces that seem to get it or understand. Places seem to be
more keen on keeping people out or down rather than bringing them up.
They said it's too far to come to the Islamic Center at NYU and they
wish they had something like that in Long Island. I asked them "Why
don't you build it?" And they actually did.
My wife Priya and I are blessed to have a beautiful, baby girl named
Madina. She is a little more than 7 months old now and every day with
her has been more amazing than the day before. Hearing her laugh and
watching her grow are things that I would never trade for anything. I
truly love her more and more every day and am so grateful to have been
given such a treasure.
Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The
best house among the Muslims is the house in which orphans are well
treated. The worst house among the Muslims is the house in which orphans
are ill treated. I and the guardian of the orphan will be in the Garden
like that," indicating his two fingers.
Sometimes when I look at my daughter's face, my mind takes me to
those young children, some only a day old, who are left to take on the
challenges of this world on their own. I look at her and how she is
surrounded by people who love her, mashallah, and feel a deep affinity
for those who are without their own parents, regardless of how that
reality came to pass.
Throughout the Qur'an we find verse after verse that tells us to be
kind to orphans and to treat with affection, care and dignity. The
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, himself was an orphan, having lost
his father before he was born. His mother then also passed away when he
was at a very young age as well.
Yet there is always a hesitation on the part of Muslims to venture
into the idea of adoption. The number of people who have said to me "I
always thought adoption is not permissible in Islam" is alarmingly huge.
What Islam prohibits is the assumption of a child's natal identity.
The idea is that a child born into this world will always be of the
lineage of their parents and one would not be able to change that. That
does not mean a bond of kinship cannot be formed and established or,
when that is not possible, that it is still not praiseworthy and
necessary to do what we can to take care of those who are in need and on