Islam

The Sanctity of Life and the Legacy of Prophet Muhammad

What does it mean to be Muslim? It is a striking question, especially when a Catholic – such as myself – considers it after years of research on Muslim-Christian relations. One matter which has struck me in my experiences with Muslims is the sanctity of life that so many of them hold dear in their…… Continue reading The Sanctity of Life and the Legacy of Prophet Muhammad

Islam

Forgiveness in Arkansas – Forgiveness in Islam

This is quite the story of forgiveness, arguably one of the main teachings of the Islamic tradition (and Christianity for that matter). The story goes like this: Abraham Davis, 20, was caught on CCTV helping a friend vandalize the Masjid Al Salam in Fort Smith, Arkansas, with racist graffiti in October 2016. Davis was sentenced…… Continue reading Forgiveness in Arkansas – Forgiveness in Islam

Interfaith · Islam · Talks

Video: Lessons From Al Andalus – Leading in a Pluralistic Society

On December 31st, I had the opportunity to speak on “Lessons From Al Andalus – Leading in a Pluralistic Society” for IslamInSpanish at the 2nd National Latino Muslim Convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. I focused on the period of “Islamic Spain” and how Al-Andalus’ pluralistic vision is an important…… Continue reading Video: Lessons From Al Andalus – Leading in a Pluralistic Society

Islam · Religion · Video

Video: Christian-Muslim Relations in the Early Years of Islam

In early December 2017, I had the opportunity to give a lecture for the Dialogue Institute Dallas in Dallas, Texas. I talk about the Christian-Muslim relations in the early years of Islam in light of the covenants Prophet Muhammad made with the Christians.

Irish identity · Islam

The Fusion of Sufism and Irish Identity

An excerpt from Chapter 5: “The ‘good Muslim’/’bad Muslim’ dichotomy” in Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora (Routledge, 2017) by Craig Considine What do we know of Sufism (Islamic mysticism) and its links to Irish mysticism? To put it simply, not much. ‘Mysticism’ is a type of spirituality aimed at union with the…… Continue reading The Fusion of Sufism and Irish Identity

Islam

A Christian Perspective on Jihad

Note: Linda Sarsour, the American Muslim activist, is under attack because she made a reference to the term jihad in a speech at ISNA. Here is an article which explains the concept of jihad to a Christian audience. The article was first published at The Huffington Post. Politicians and anti-Muslim activists frequently take to audiences…… Continue reading A Christian Perspective on Jihad

Islam · Sociology

Prophet Muhammad’s Model of Integration for the U.S. and the Ummah

I had the pleasure last Saturday of breaking the fast with the Clear Lake Islamic Center, the Muslim American Society, and other members of their communities at an annual Ramadan gathering in Seabrook, Texas. I was invited by my friend Dr. Mohamed Shalaby, who asked me to speak on Prophet Muhammad’s model of integration and how…… Continue reading Prophet Muhammad’s Model of Integration for the U.S. and the Ummah

Interfaith · Islam

The Growing Movement to Inform the World of Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants With Christians

Forbes just published an article by Melik Kaylan which caught my attention and the attention of some of my colleagues. Kaylan refers to The Covenants Initiative, a body of scholars in the West which is spearheading a movement to promote Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants with the Christians of his time. These Covenants have been well documented…… Continue reading The Growing Movement to Inform the World of Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants With Christians

Interfaith · Islam

The Spirit of Ramadan – When the Prophet of Islam Opened the Door of His Mosque For Christians

Ramadan is almost here. In preparation for my talk on Prophet Muhammad’s relations with Christians at The Islamic Institute/Blue Mosque in Houston on Friday, I prepared this short post on how people can understand the true spirit of Ramadan. Last year, a young Protestant man in college sent me an e-mail with some questions about Christian-Muslim…… Continue reading The Spirit of Ramadan – When the Prophet of Islam Opened the Door of His Mosque For Christians

History · Interfaith · Islam

When a Priest Recognized the Prophethood of Muhammad

Prophet Muhammad’s relations with Christians is a topic that I have dedicated a lot of time to researching. I have focused on two primary issues: 1) the Covenants of the Prophet with the Christians of his time, showing how these Covenants stand for religious pluralism and civic national principles, and 2) the visit of the Christians of Najran…… Continue reading When a Priest Recognized the Prophethood of Muhammad

History · Islam

Sapelo Island, Georgia – The First Muslim Community in the United States?

“Islam is a new religion to the United States.” You might hear some citizens utter this statement while trying to push the idea that Muslims do not belong in American society. History, however, tell us that Muslims may have reached modern-day America as far back as the 12th century. Other, more concrete evidence reveals that small Muslim communities emerged around…… Continue reading Sapelo Island, Georgia – The First Muslim Community in the United States?

History · Islam · Work

One Picture Alone Shatters the Myth that Islam Is a New Religion in America

One picture alone shtters the myth that Islam is a new religion in American society. This is the short story of Yarrow Marmood (pictured). He was allegedly born in the late 17th century in West Africa, but other estimates put his birth in the 18th century. Specifically, he was said to have been brought in bondage…… Continue reading One Picture Alone Shatters the Myth that Islam Is a New Religion in America

Interfaith · Islam

Turkey Restoring Tomb of Abyssinian Christian King, Who Sheltered Prophet Muhammad’s Companions

Have you ever heard of King Najashi, a Christian, of the Kingdom of Abyssinia (also known as Aksum)? The Daily Sabah notes: “King Najashi, also known as Armah, was the ruler of the Kingdom of Aksum from 614-631. The Empire was a trading nation situated in modern-day Eritrea and Ethiopia, existing from approximately 100-940 AD……… Continue reading Turkey Restoring Tomb of Abyssinian Christian King, Who Sheltered Prophet Muhammad’s Companions

Islam · Islamic State

As ISIS-Affiliate Attacks Egyptian Christians, Remember Prophet Muhammad’s Covenant on the Sinai Peninsula

A Washington Post article has caught my eye. It is titled: “Christians flee Sinai Peninsula in fear of Egypt’s Islamic State affiliate.” According to the Post: “Hundreds of [Coptic] Christians are fleeing Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula as the Islamic State affiliate there has increasingly targeted the community in recent weeks, according to witnesses, clergy and…… Continue reading As ISIS-Affiliate Attacks Egyptian Christians, Remember Prophet Muhammad’s Covenant on the Sinai Peninsula

Islam

Praise of Prophet Muhammad Among Noteable Non-Muslims

If you follow my social media you know that I post regularly on the life of Prophet Muhammad. I have published a peer-reviewed journal article on his relations with Christians, and I have published extensively on his legacy in outlets like Huffington Post, Middle East Eye and Mvslim (also see the search results of “Prophet…… Continue reading Praise of Prophet Muhammad Among Noteable Non-Muslims

Islam · Islamic State

Persecution of Christians Totally Inconsistent With Islamic Teachings

Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon, as I wrote on Monday, has key lessons for our time. In the Sermon the Prophet of Islam provides an anti-racist stance that echoes Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech. Muhammad, like King, left humanity with a message of peace and goodwill. While history bears witness that Islamic…… Continue reading Persecution of Christians Totally Inconsistent With Islamic Teachings

Islam

Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon Has Key Lessons For Our Time

Writing for the Daily O, Moin Qazi claims that Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon, delivered on the ninth day of Dhu al-Hijjah in the tenth year of hijrah (632 AC), has key lessons for our time. In the sermon, the prophet of Islam stressed universal human values such as sacredness of life and property, equality, justice,…… Continue reading Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon Has Key Lessons For Our Time

Islam · Music

Hip-Hop’s Muslim American Influence

Here is another excellent blog post by four students in my “Muslims in American Society” course at Rice University. “Learning about the influence of Islam in hip-hop is important for a multitude reasons that impact both people in and out of the Muslim American community. Firstly, it highlights the contributions that Muslims have made to…… Continue reading Hip-Hop’s Muslim American Influence

Islam

Muslim Women at Rice University Explain Why They Do – And Do Not – Cover

Three students in my “Muslims in American Society” course at Rice University wanted to learn more about why young Muslim women do – and do not – cover. To explore this issue of covering the students interviewed four of their peers. Here is a passage from one of the four interviews: When I come to…… Continue reading Muslim Women at Rice University Explain Why They Do – And Do Not – Cover

Islam · Islamic State

Islamic Teaching Does Not Justify ISIS Persecution of Christians, Study Says

Islamic teaching does not justify the Islamic State’s (ISIS) persecution of Christians, based on a study on Prophet Mohammed’s previously untranslated writing. Rice University professor Dr. Craig Considine, who authored a study on Prophet Mohammed’s writings from 622 to 632 AD, says the writings indicate that Christians who lived in Arabic communities were protected. Considine says…… Continue reading Islamic Teaching Does Not Justify ISIS Persecution of Christians, Study Says

Islam · Sociology

Breaking the Monolith of Muslim Identity: Experiences of Muslim Women

The “monolith” of Muslim identity is a dangerous misconception when applied to Muslim women. By suggesting that all Muslims experience their identity in similar ways, the unique experiences of Muslim women are erased from the conversations regarding identity. Instead, their experiences and identity formation should be appreciated through the “double disadvantage” they hold as their…… Continue reading Breaking the Monolith of Muslim Identity: Experiences of Muslim Women

Islam · Islamophobia

The Sum of Our Fears – Islamophobia, Faith and Non-Violence

By John Smelcer and Craig Considine Sometime between 622 and 632 A.D., during what is called “The Medina Years,” the Prophet Muhammad decreed a series of covenants specifically addressing Christians in the region… For the most part, these covenants have been neglected or forgotten in the Western world, although religious scholars have been aware of their…… Continue reading The Sum of Our Fears – Islamophobia, Faith and Non-Violence

Islam · Islamic State · Islamophobia

Jihad: Striving for Peace

Students in my “Muslims in American Society” course at Rice University have produced some excellent material to counter the Islamophobia industry. Here is the latest peace on dismantling the idea that “jihad means violence.” I highly recommend that you read the entire blog. A few passages to get you started… “I think all of us recognize…… Continue reading Jihad: Striving for Peace

Islam · Video

Video: The Legacy of Imam WD Mohammed

Imam Wazir Ali and Imam Qasim Ahmed came to guest lecture in my “Muslims in American Society” course at Rice University. Earlier in the week, I covered the rise of the Nation of Islam and the life of Elijah Mohammed as well as Malcolm X. Naturally we had to move on to the legacy of Imam…… Continue reading Video: The Legacy of Imam WD Mohammed

Islam · Islamophobia · Outreach

Teaching “Muslim Americans” in Texas, the Hotbed of Islamophobia

“Armed and Vigilant: In Fear of a Muslim Uprising in Texas.” That is that title of a recent Al Jazeera mini-documentary on YouTube. The clip delves into the inflammatory anti-Muslim sentiment bubbling up in Texas. In the video, Tania Rashid, an Al Jazeera reporter, talks to David Wright, a member of the Bureau on American-Islamic…… Continue reading Teaching “Muslim Americans” in Texas, the Hotbed of Islamophobia

Interfaith · Islam

Why This Christian Is An “Islamic Apologist”

Leftist. Liberal. Progressive. Communist. People hurl these terms at me on an hourly basis via social media. They are overused and misused so much that they no longer have any meaning to me. I do not self-identify myself with any of these labels. Placing me into these categories is nonsense. I am none of these things,…… Continue reading Why This Christian Is An “Islamic Apologist”

Islam · Islamic State

Prophet Muhammad Stood for Humanity in Medina, While ISIS Tries to Destroy It

Here is one of my favourite stories about Prophet Muhammad. It is noted in a hadith that he and several of his companions were sitting down along a street in Medina. Suddenly, a companion spotted a funeral procession approaching the group. In respect of the dead human body, Muhammad stood up as the procession crossed…… Continue reading Prophet Muhammad Stood for Humanity in Medina, While ISIS Tries to Destroy It

Islam · Religion

Religious Freedom Was Key To Muhammad’s “Muslim Nation”

Prophet Muhammad believed that freedom of religion and civic rights were important components of a “Muslim nation,” according to an analysis of the prophet’s covenants with Christians. Craig Considine, a lecturer in Rice University’s sociology department, studied “The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with Christians” and found that these agreements established freedom of religion and…… Continue reading Religious Freedom Was Key To Muhammad’s “Muslim Nation”

Islam

Believe It or Not, Prophet Muhammad Promoted Women’s Rights

Women’s rights. Those two words aren’t often associated with Prophet Muhammad or Islam, but they should be. Here’s why… Anyone who wants to learn about Prophet Muhammad must learn about the women in his life. The Prophet led a community filled with active, independent and strong women. Khadijah, his first wife, was also his boss.…… Continue reading Believe It or Not, Prophet Muhammad Promoted Women’s Rights

Islam

The Other Al-Andalus – When Muslims and Christians Flourished Side By Side in Sicily

I sometimes think about the glories of “Islamic Spain,” or Al-Andalus. Starting around 711 and ending in 1492, Muslim rulers maintained a spirit of convivencia, a Spanish term meaning “living in togetherness” or “coexistence”, which allowed for an unprecedented level of interfaith engagement on the European continent. While Al-Andalus may represent the pinnacle of cooperation among Muslims, Christians…… Continue reading The Other Al-Andalus – When Muslims and Christians Flourished Side By Side in Sicily