MAY 6 - 8 | SHAYKH YASIR QADHI
Admit it. Reading the news every day is unbelievably depressing. Either the news is reporting on a Muslim who thinks it’s God’s work to blow people up to Kingdom come, or the news is interviewing a Muslim who comes across more as an Atheist/Agnostic than a spokesperson for the community. Always the extreme ends. Always the fringe. “Where’s the scholar who represents ME and the mainstream Muslims?” you cry! But wait, do you even know who you are anymore? And is there a mainstream even remaining!? Because don’t take anything for granted. The mainstream is struggling too. It’s not just the middle-classes that are being squeezed as they often say, but the middle ground as well. We are living in an unprecedented era of pressure and confusion leading to even balanced middle-ground Muslims having doubts in nearly every aspect of their religion – from its theology to its politics to its rulings to its values. And the situation is critical.
With the rise of New Atheism, and the undeniable fact that large segments of the Western world no longer believe in any God, Muslims are being bombarded with arguments that attempt to disprove the existence of a Creator. Some of these arguments are standard (such as the existence of evil: if God is so merciful and powerful, why is there so much suffering?!); whereas others are new (if science allegedly proves that mankind has evolved from previous life forms, what does that mean for us as Muslims who believe in the story of the Prophet Adam?)
Some Muslims claim that the Qur’an preaches hatred of non-Muslims, and they apparently quote verses in this regard. Is this true?! And how do we understand those verses that are quoted by these groups? The notion of “walaa wa-l-baraa”is often heard as well. What is the reality of this notion and what does it entail? And how do we answer the question about the fate of non-Muslims? How could anyone be punished for an eternity for committing a finite quantity of sins?! What if they were good people - does that change their fate?
Western Muslims live in a 'liberal', 'secular', 'humanistic' society. Modern trends such as feminism, and calls to respect sexually alternative lifestyles, are now the norm. Can Islam change to adapt to some of these new trends? Or must we oppose any and all change? Where is the line where the religion has been watered down too much and we start to lose our faith as a result? Or indeed how do we define the parameters of pragmatism and a more civil and diplomatic approach when it seems to go against primary principles of the Deen?
What exactly does it mean to be a Western (American/Canadian/British) Muslim? Isn't Islam just one religion? So what is all this talk of a national identity for Muslims? And let us be frank here: some of our countries have foreign policies that are highly problematic and unethical. Does that compromise our own faith? Can we be loyal Americans/British/Canadians AND Muslim at the same time? This is not random marketing talk but rather a sample of actual real questions that we receive from many Muslims who are struggling, and the numbers are far more than we imagined. People feel embarrassed to ask formally about doubts which touch the core of their personal faith and belief in Allah. But from now, there will be no more embarrassment. No more ignoring the elephant in the room. We’ve lost way too many people along the journey as they capitulate to the pressure and doubts. Enough is enough. This is our response.
Finally, with not only AlMaghrib Institute’s very newest class, but what also promises to be one of its flagship classes, we are delighted to at last bring to the table something to change the game - “No Doubt: God, Religion and Politics in the Modern World”. Join probably the most qualified and well-positioned of scholars to deal with this subject – Shaykh Dr.Yasir Qadhi – in this single-weekend seminar which will delve into the crux of our identity and all those factors that confuse it. Using his immense experience and unique background of marrying academia and theology, both the old and the new, he will bring understanding and confidence whilst being faithful to the tradition. It's all fun and interesting to study classical theology, but at the end of the day those historical controversies are not the questions that are being discussed on campuses and social gatherings today. This class aims to tackle some of the most difficult and controversial topics head on, whether the rise of militant atheism, or the evolution issue, the existence of evil, political allegiances, rebellion against dictators, secular feminism, the conflict between citizenship and the support for armed forces pressing forwards with their own agenda regardless, and just so much more. We are all worried of what the future holds for us, but after this class, at least there will be no more doubts…
Yasir Qadhi is one of my favourite speakers, I call him Mr Articulate. His exceptional speaking skills makes the most difficult of understanding made simple with several examples and analogies. What is taught in this class is VERY important to know for EVERYONE”
Yusuf Issat, Manchester
“As a student who looks at stuff with logic and proof. Looking at Islam with this light made me feel more thankful that I was born in this religion. I think Shk Yasir as he is a professor did a great job getting across to people who question a lot is daily life. Thank you AL Maghrib for making us believe even more in the time of fool proof put out there. Thank you and May Allah Bless You all. YOU GUYS ARE JUST DOING GREAT. ^^”
Rafia Soomro, Toronto
“Dr. Yasir Qadhi, thank you. I had the pleasure of attending your Yasin/Rahman tafseer class and it was exceptional. Your style of teaching, relaxed attitude, intellectual mind, way of answering questions is second to none. You are now my Youtube go-to sheikh. May Allah swt reward you for your hard work and efforts for Islam with Al-Firdaus, Ameen. You truly are a gifted man and I look forward to your next seminar.”
Umar Khalid, Seattle
Shaykh Yasir Qadhi, PhD, is the Dean of Academic Affairs at AlMaghrib Institute. He is one of the few people who has combined a traditional Eastern Islamic seminary education with a Western academic training of the study of Islam. Shaykh Yasir graduated with a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston, after which he was accepted as a student at the Islamic University of Madinah. After completing a diploma in Arabic, he graduated with a B.A. from the College of Hadith and Islamic Sciences, and then completed a M.A. in Islamic Theology from the College of Da‘wah. He then returned to America, and completed a PhD in Religious Studies from Yale University. He has authored several books, published academic articles, and appeared on numerous satellite and TV stations around the globe. His online videos are of the most popular and highly-watched Islamic videos in English. Shaykh Yasir Qadhi is a resident Scholar of the Memphis Islamic Center. He is also a professor at Rhodes College, in the Department of Religious Studies.
ABOUT ALMAGHRIB We started up in 2002 with a simple question - how could we teach you Islam in a way that was fun, social, quality, spiritual, and oh yeah, academic? We asked around, and it turned out people wanted teachers who knew their stuff and who didn't turn learning Islam into a snoozefest, they wanted super quality and they didn't want endless weeks of lectures that would get in the way of their busy lives. We listened. And AlMaghrib Institute was born. Based upon an ethos of excellence and a refusal to accept excuses for poor quality, we offered single and double-weekend seminars, with the most engaging instructors around, using top professional multi-media materials. Since that time, your response has been insane! You’ve asked us to establish chapters (also known as Qabeelahs) in over 40 cities worldwide, from North America, to Europe, to Asia, to the Middle East and to Australia too! Amazingly, we've now taught the Islamic Sciences to over 80,000 unique students and growing every day. With the blessings of Allah, Most High, AlMaghrib is now the leading Institute teaching premiere Islamic education in the West with the largest on-site student body. Year by year, we’ve set the standard and launched exciting new projects, inspired so many more to do great work in their communities, and raised the bar on how knowledge is not only sought...but loved! AlMaghrib is exceptionally selective about its instructors to ensure that all of them are fluent in the language of instruction. It delights us and our student body that our seminars are taught by highly specialized scholars and educators who are among the best in their field, bar none. Take the website for a spin: discover our seminars, explore the curriculum, find out about our high-impact projects, log in to your MyAlMaghrib Student Portal, and engage with us on our social networks. We think you will agree that what we offer by the Will of Allah is nothing but the best. AlMaghrib is a non-profit organization.