Convert Community Library

A grassroots community library of high quality Islamic literature, lectures, and films in English

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Misreading History: What the West and Islam Can Learn from the Other.On April 28, 2008, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Dr. Richard Bulliet, the acclaimed historian, captivated a capacity crowd at Columbia University with a stirring conversation presented by the Zaytuna Contemporary Issues Series.

Misreading History: What the West and Islam Can Learn from the Other.

On April 28, 2008, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Dr. Richard Bulliet, the acclaimed historian, captivated a capacity crowd at Columbia University with a stirring conversation presented by the Zaytuna Contemporary Issues Series.

Does God Love War? The Fine Line Between Faith and Fanaticism (Chris Hedges and Sh. Hamza Yusuf)
Have the teachers of our religions failed us? Or have we not been listening? From leaders of America’s Christian Right seemingly forgetting that “Blessed are the Peacemakers,” to Jewish rabbis watching unflinchingly as collective punishment is doled out to Arabs in Palestine, to Muslim jurists ruling that civilian victims are acceptable under a Just War, the three great Abrahamic faiths are increasingly facing accusations of ignoring the sanctity of life. And so, does religion offer a way toward reconciliation? Or has it instead become part of the problem? This remarkable event brought together two speakers highly qualified to address these burning issues.

Does God Love War? The Fine Line Between Faith and Fanaticism (Chris Hedges and Sh. Hamza Yusuf)

Have the teachers of our religions failed us? Or have we not been listening? From leaders of America’s Christian Right seemingly forgetting that “Blessed are the Peacemakers,” to Jewish rabbis watching unflinchingly as collective punishment is doled out to Arabs in Palestine, to Muslim jurists ruling that civilian victims are acceptable under a Just War, the three great Abrahamic faiths are increasingly facing accusations of ignoring the sanctity of life. And so, does religion offer a way toward reconciliation? Or has it instead become part of the problem? This remarkable event brought together two speakers highly qualified to address these burning issues.

The Prayer of the Oppressed (Introduction and Translation by Sh. Hamza Yusuf)
The Power of this prayer of Imam Muhammad al-Dar’i lies in its simplicity, its purity, and its sincere supplication. It is essentially a plea to God that our transgressions be overlooked, that divine mercy be bestowed upon us, that social justice be restored in spite of us, that wrongs be righted, and that righteousness reign once again in our lands, so that the destitute may no longer be in need, the young may be educated, the animals’ purpose fulfilled, rain restored, and bounties poured forth. It is a plea to be freed from the aggression of foreigners in lands over which they have no right—a plea much needed in our modern world, rampant as it is with invasions and territorial occupations. Ultimately, it asks not that our enemies be destroyed, but simply that their plots, and the harm they cause, be halted. Its essence is mercy, which in turn is the essence of the Messenger of God, Muhammad (peace and blessing of God be upon him): “And We have only sent you as a mercy to all the worlds.”

The Prayer of the Oppressed (Introduction and Translation by Sh. Hamza Yusuf)

The Power of this prayer of Imam Muhammad al-Dar’i lies in its simplicity, its purity, and its sincere supplication. It is essentially a plea to God that our transgressions be overlooked, that divine mercy be bestowed upon us, that social justice be restored in spite of us, that wrongs be righted, and that righteousness reign once again in our lands, so that the destitute may no longer be in need, the young may be educated, the animals’ purpose fulfilled, rain restored, and bounties poured forth. It is a plea to be freed from the aggression of foreigners in lands over which they have no right—a plea much needed in our modern world, rampant as it is with invasions and territorial occupations. Ultimately, it asks not that our enemies be destroyed, but simply that their plots, and the harm they cause, be halted. Its essence is mercy, which in turn is the essence of the Messenger of God, Muhammad (peace and blessing of God be upon him): “And We have only sent you as a mercy to all the worlds.”

Agenda to Change Our Condition (Sh. Hamza Yusuf & Imam Zaid Shakir)
Agenda to Change Our Condition is a concise treatise on the path to taqwa (conscious awareness of our Lord). The Muslim tradition considers taqwa the primary reason for our existence and the means by which we are ensured continued succor from our Creator. This classic volume elucidates a simple yet effective means to transform our inner world through spiritual struggle with the soul. 
For an mp3 commentary by the authors, follow this link: http://www.zaytunacollege.org/store/agenda_mp3

Agenda to Change Our Condition (Sh. Hamza Yusuf & Imam Zaid Shakir)

Agenda to Change Our Condition is a concise treatise on the path to taqwa (conscious awareness of our Lord). The Muslim tradition considers taqwa the primary reason for our existence and the means by which we are ensured continued succor from our Creator. This classic volume elucidates a simple yet effective means to transform our inner world through spiritual struggle with the soul. 

For an mp3 commentary by the authors, follow this link: http://www.zaytunacollege.org/store/agenda_mp3

In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad (Tariq Ramadan)
Named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most important innovators of the century, Tariq Ramadan is a leading Muslim scholar, with a large following especially among young European and American Muslims. Now, in his first book written for a wide audience, he offers a marvelous biography of the Prophet Muhammad, one that highlights the spiritual and ethical teachings of one of the most influential figures in human history.Here is a fresh and perceptive look at Muhammad, capturing a life that was often eventful, gripping, and highly charged. Ramadan provides both an intimate portrait of a man who was shy, kind, but determined, as well as a dramatic chronicle of a leader who launched a great religion and inspired a vast empire. More important, Ramadan presents the main events of the Prophet’s life in a way that highlights his spiritual and ethical teachings. The book underscores the significance of the Prophet’s example for some of today’s most controversial issues, such as the treatment of the poor, the role of women, Islamic criminal punishments, war, racism, and relations with other religions. Selecting those facts and stories from which we can draw a profound and vivid spiritual picture, the author asks how can the Prophet’s life remain — or become again — an example, a model, and an inspiration? And how can Muslims move from formalism — a fixation on ritual — toward a committed spiritual and social presence?In this thoughtful and engaging biography, Ramadan offers Muslims a new understanding of Muhammad’s life and he introduces non-Muslims not just to the story of the Prophet, but to the spiritual and ethical riches of Islam.

In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad (Tariq Ramadan)

Named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most important innovators of the century, Tariq Ramadan is a leading Muslim scholar, with a large following especially among young European and American Muslims. Now, in his first book written for a wide audience, he offers a marvelous biography of the Prophet Muhammad, one that highlights the spiritual and ethical teachings of one of the most influential figures in human history.

Here is a fresh and perceptive look at Muhammad, capturing a life that was often eventful, gripping, and highly charged. Ramadan provides both an intimate portrait of a man who was shy, kind, but determined, as well as a dramatic chronicle of a leader who launched a great religion and inspired a vast empire. More important, Ramadan presents the main events of the Prophet’s life in a way that highlights his spiritual and ethical teachings. The book underscores the significance of the Prophet’s example for some of today’s most controversial issues, such as the treatment of the poor, the role of women, Islamic criminal punishments, war, racism, and relations with other religions. Selecting those facts and stories from which we can draw a profound and vivid spiritual picture, the author asks how can the Prophet’s life remain — or become again — an example, a model, and an inspiration? And how can Muslims move from formalism — a fixation on ritual — toward a committed spiritual and social presence?

In this thoughtful and engaging biography, Ramadan offers Muslims a new understanding of Muhammad’s life and he introduces non-Muslims not just to the story of the Prophet, but to the spiritual and ethical riches of Islam.

Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time (Karen Armstrong)
The Prophet Muhammad was born in 570 CE, and over the following sixty years built a thriving spiritual community, laying the foundations of a religion that changed the course of world history. There is more historical data on his life than on that of the founder of any other major faith, and yet his story is little known.
Karen Armstrong’s immaculately researched new biography of Muhammad will enable readers to understand the true origins and spirituality of a faith that is all too often misrepresented as cruel, intolerant, and inherently violent. An acclaimed authority on religious and spiritual issues, Armstrong offers a balanced, in-depth portrait, revealing the man at the heart of Islam by dismantling centuries of misconceptions. Armstrong demonstrates that Muhammad’s life—a pivot point in history—has genuine relevance to the global crises we face today.

Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time (Karen Armstrong)

The Prophet Muhammad was born in 570 CE, and over the following sixty years built a thriving spiritual community, laying the foundations of a religion that changed the course of world history. There is more historical data on his life than on that of the founder of any other major faith, and yet his story is little known.

Karen Armstrong’s immaculately researched new biography of Muhammad will enable readers to understand the true origins and spirituality of a faith that is all too often misrepresented as cruel, intolerant, and inherently violent. An acclaimed authority on religious and spiritual issues, Armstrong offers a balanced, in-depth portrait, revealing the man at the heart of Islam by dismantling centuries of misconceptions. Armstrong demonstrates that Muhammad’s life—a pivot point in history—has genuine relevance to the global crises we face today.

A result of overemphasis on the externals is that after 20 years of someone being a Muslim, they have little growth. The question we need to ask is: How do I get to the point where I want to do what God wants me to do?

— Dr. Sherman Jackson discussing his latest book "Sufism for Non-Sufis?"

The most recent addition! 
Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta (National Geographic)
Journey to Mecca tells the incredible true story of Ibn Battuta, one of the greatest travelers in history. In 1325, as a 21-year-old law student, he set out from Morocco on an epic journey to the sacred city of Mecca. Along the way, he is besieged by bandits, disease and sandstorms, but when he finally arrives after having travelled thousands of miles, visited some of the greatest cities of the medieval world, and joined a camel caravan of 10,000 people he is a man transformed.
With stunning imagery and released to critical acclaim around the world, Journey to Mecca includes extraordinary and moving footage of the Hajj, one of the longest running annual events in human history.

The most recent addition! 

Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta (National Geographic)

Journey to Mecca tells the incredible true story of Ibn Battuta, one of the greatest travelers in history. In 1325, as a 21-year-old law student, he set out from Morocco on an epic journey to the sacred city of Mecca. Along the way, he is besieged by bandits, disease and sandstorms, but when he finally arrives after having travelled thousands of miles, visited some of the greatest cities of the medieval world, and joined a camel caravan of 10,000 people he is a man transformed.


With stunning imagery and released to critical acclaim around the world, Journey to Mecca includes extraordinary and moving footage of the Hajj, one of the longest running annual events in human history.