for this conference now!
flier (updated 3/19) to post, distribute, or keep as a reminder
program flier also available for posting and distribution (JPEG
Islam in America (April 2002 conference) web site
Muslim Students' Association - Yale College
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is $5.00 with Yale ID for day/night program, free with Yale ID for night
only program, courtesy of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate.
added: Harkness Auditorium, 333 Cedar St., Yale School of Medicine.
Papers to be presented
available for download below.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most
In conjunction with MSA National, the Muslim Students of Southern CT State
University, and Yale Religious Ministries, the Muslim Students' Association
at Yale College, and Masjid al-Islam of New Haven, CT invite you to participate
CRITICAL ISLAMIC REFLECTIONS:
Muhammad the Prophet (pbuh) in the
a roundtable forum
Saturday, April 5th
The conference is designed
to provide a broad framework to continually pursue a sophisticated understanding
and discourse of issues pertinent to Muslims in America in light of prevailing
realities. While focusing discussion around Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) this
year, we aim to examine this and related issues against a backdrop of
broader, more fundamental questions confronting Islam and other religions.
Those considerations include the following:
1. What is the relationship between religious conviction and academic
inquiry? What is an effective and legitimate articulation of the compatibility
of faith and academia?
2. What is the nature of the Islamic intellectual and scientific tradition
- its scope, intellectual rigor, and comparison with contemporary Western
3. What is the relationship between "intellectual Islam" and the "rank
and file" Muslim majority? Assuming there is access, how can access to
academic/intellectual Islam empower or fail to serve this majority?
It is important
that Muslims gain a holistic picture and understanding of Prophet Muhammad
(pbuh) not just from disjointed ahadith and as someone who Muslims
should kind of respect for what we think he must have done, but we must
know him in an intimate and holistic way: from spirit to intellect.
Muslims should be able to objectively discuss him and the tradition that
he brought, through understanding his worldview and his actions, including
the "difficult" or popularly criticized ones. Through this process of
discovery and articulation, we can benefit by how to apply prophetic lessons
to contemporary American life. This understanding in turn lends itself
to a sophisticated discourse prime for intellectual and popular arenas
like schools, universities and the media. Of utmost importance is that
we pursue this endeavor proactively, by positively framing the discussion,
setting the agenda, and determining the terms of debate to which we invite
others to join.
on the following papers will include Dr. Sherman Jackson, Dr. Marcia Hermansen
and Imam Zaid Shakir.
Historical Context of Hadith
(Download paper [WORD format])
Using the works of Jalal al-Din Suyuti and Ibn Hamza al-Husayni, Asfaruddin
discusses ways in which the historical context of certain ahadith affects
their use as proof-texts in the theological and legal realms. The conclusions
will have important implications for modernist reassessment of hadith
literature in the contemporary period.
The Origin of Islam as a Social Movement
paper [WORD format])
Afzaal argues that one authentic way of representing Prophet Muhammad
(PBUH) in modern academia is through an analysis and interpretation of
his career as a social movement. While using the tools of modern social
science, his representation remains loyal to the Islamic tradition. His
concluding principles will be of practical consequence for social activists
in general and Muslim (?) revivalists in particular.
A Beautiful Example? The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as a Model for Muslim
Kecia Ali (Download
paper [WORD format])
Ali encourages a faithful and relevant approach to the Prophetic sunna
by addressing the question: when is the Prophet's behavior exceptional,
and when is it a 'beautiful example' for emulation?" Specifically,
she explores the attempts of formative period jurists to determine the
normative weight of the Prophet's (pbuh) marital practice.