Who Taught You History?

In this monograph, Dr. Akram expounds on his thoughts on the discipline of historyoften neglected in Islamic syllabi and curriculawhile sharing some biographical material on the teacher who influenced his approach to history the most: Shaykh Abū al-ʿIrfān Nadwī.

Who Taught You History-1

Who Taught You History pdf

Imlā al-Khāṭir Series

In this series, which he names Imlā al-Khāṭir (literally, “dictation of thoughts”), Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi follows in the tradition of the Ḥanbalī scholar Ibn al-Jawzī’s Ṣayd al-Khāṭir and shares with the world his reflections on a variety of topics ranging from theology to law, history to heart softeners, philosophy, education and more. Composed in a casual, conversational style consisting of questions followed by their brief answers (each portion predicated by qālū/qultu, “they said”/”I responded”), he utilizes therein the highest level of Arabic, reflecting his love of the language and his extensive expertise in Arabic grammar and rhetoric. These short but poignant reflections are part of the balāghah genre and tradition of Arabic literature. It should be noted that these translations, done by his senior students, serve as a guide and can never fully match the style, tone and eloquence of the original Arabic. Also note that Dr. Akram does not necessarily review each translation and is not responsible for any errors, improper word choices, or the likes, that are an inevitable part of the translation process.


سلسلة إملاء الخاطر | Imlā al-Khāṭir Series


A Centre for Arabic and Islamic Sciences

Oxford . London . Online


Shaykha Bahiyyah Quṭbiyyah of Meknas: A Sign of Allah in Our Times

_DSC7094Born 1326/1908 in the city of Meknās in Morocco, Shaykha Bahiyyah bint  Hāshim al-Quṭbiyyah al-Filāliyyah was one of the rare scholarly giants who still remained from the previous generation who was a great inspiration for men and women alike.

She memorized Qurʾān at the age of 14 at the hands of al-Qāḍī Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Ismāʿīlī al-ʿAlawī and studied the various Islamic sciences with the renowned scholars of her region. She made Ḥajj at age 18 where she studied with scholars of the Ḥijāz. In 1374/1955 she traveled to Tunisia where she studied for 5 years at the renowned Zaytūnah University, being the only woman there at the time. There she was the student of the great scholar of the 20th century Shaykh al-Islām al-Ṭāhir ibn ʿĀshūr (d. 1393/1973) and received Ijāzah from him. After graduating with distinction, she was requested to stay there but she chose to return to her own country. Continue reading

Statement from the Director of Religious Programming, Masjid al-Wali

abuzayd3I am both honored and humbled to be part of the Masjid al-Wali project. The idea for a dedicated place of worship for Muslims in Edison was sparked by the suggestion of my Shaykh and guide of almost 40 years, Maulana Muḥammad Yusuf Islahi of India. Over the past year, we have witnessed such strides in the progress and growth of this project, which can only be described as blessed and nothing short of miraculous.

At this foundational juncture in our community, I would share with you an image that always remains in my mind, an image that can provide inspiration and direction to any growing community.

In the dusty plains of Mina in ancient Arabia, an astute businessman observed a scene which remained forever etched in his mind. He saw a single man come out of his tent, look towards the sun and begin going through a series of motions. A woman came out of the tent shortly after him, and began doing the same. Then a young boy came out of the tent and followed them in the same.

That man was our Prophet Muḥammad, peace be upon him. That woman was our mother Khadijah. And that boy was our Imam Ali. They were praying to Allah. At that moment, they were the only believers.

This moving portrait was one of the very first public expressions of our Islamic faith. This is in fact where our public story begins. Our tradition began with a man, a woman and a child. Let every Islamic community and institution remember that.

My years of experience and study have inspired me to an absolute, unreserved appreciation for the Majestic words of the Creator that are in the Qurʾān and the never-failing ocean of wisdom that is in the life-legacy of the Prophet, peace be upon him. These two treasures are our salvation, and I seek to share that love and appreciation with others.

I will be broadly committed to the following:

  • Evidence-based religious practice
  • Education and basic literacy in our Islamic faith-tradition
  • Tolerance and respect for differences within broad guidelines
  • Ethnic diversity that demonstrates the true brotherhood of Islam
  • Reviving the concept of Muslim unity that puts the ummah above other interests
  • The inclusion of our sisters as equal partners
  • Prioritizing the youth in all our programs

I know that I am utterly lacking in the qualifications for this task, but at the same time, I am confident that under the direction of my esteemed mentor Dr Hatem El-Haj and the sincere support of each and every member of the community, we can succeed at building a model society that will augment and support existing institutions in the Muslim community, as well as provide leadership and guidance to others.

I invite all of you to embark on this journey of character-building and community-building.

Dr. Abu Zayd

March 2015