Ethical Foundations of Islamic Civilization

Friday, May 02 2008 @ 09:52 AM EDT

Contributed by: Muslim Military Members Webmaster

May 11, 2008
1 p.m. PST, 4 p.m. EST, 9pm UK

Imam Zaid Shakir will present the 5th in a series of eight webinars titled, Ethical Foundations of Islamic Civilization on May 11, 2008 at 1 pm PST, 4 pm EST, and 9 pm UK.

Imam Zaid is an American Muslim scholar who knows what it’s really like to be a good Muslim in America, where life and values swirl around in time-stopping technological changes.

He grew up on welfare learning the language of the streets, and went on to walk the corridors of highest learning around the world, graduating with the highest honors they could bestow; he has also served in the United State Air Force.

Imam Zaid Shakir knows what it’s like to grow up in America. But he didn’t learn how to be a real man from books; he learned that from his mother who had the courage, faith in God and vision to dream high for herself and for her seven children, although they lived poor, in the projects. (You can read her story in Dear Self [] ).

Perhaps she would have become Muslim if she had lived a little longer. At any rate, her values and ideals were strictly in line with Muslim values and ideals. Imam Zaid learned to walk tall through adversity, at home from his mother, and that is where it begins for all of us.

How do we learn to walk as God would want us to, following Islamic teachings and values? We learn that at home. We teach that at home. We learn to teach Islamic values from a teacher who can walk the walk and talk the talk. Imam Zaid Shakir.

In this session of the series, we will continue to examine the purpose of life from an Islamic perspective, teaching us in practical terms why and how each Muslim should live according to that purpose.

Together, we will examine aspects of the Qur'an and its commentary; Hadith (prophetic tradition) and its explanation; prophetic biography and its implications; along with contemporary insights into the human condition.

Imam Zaid will emphasize how important certain theological themes and concepts, often neglected by contemporary Muslims, are significant in defining how we should be leading our everyday lives. For example, issues of redemption, justice, fairness, magnanimity, divine grace, divine retribution, thankfulness, human kindness, and human decency.

Imam Zaid will also examine the consequences of an aimless life, with special emphasis on the impact of such an approach to life on the contemporary Muslim world.

From an Islamic perspective, this examination will loosely follow Rick Warren’s noted work, The Purpose Driven Life. Each of our lessons here will continue to take us along that path toward learning to lead purpose-driven lives, the Islamic way.


Imam Zaid Shakir, among the most respected and influential Muslim scholars in the West, has served in the United States Air Force.

He earned a BA summa*censored*laude (with highest honors) in International Relations at American University in Washington D.C. and later earned his MA in Political Science and International Relations at Rutgers University.

From 1988 to 1994 he taught as an Adjunct Professor of Political Science and Arabic at Southern Connecticut State University. Then, for seven years in Syria and briefly in Morocco, with some of the top Muslim scholars of our age he immersed himself in an intense study of Arabic language, Islamic law, Quranic Studies, and Islamic spirituality.

In 2001, he graduated from Syria's prestigious Abu Nur University. Currently, as a scholar-in-residence and lecturer at Zaytuna Institute, he teaches regular courses on Arabic language, Islamic law, history, and Islamic spirituality.

Among works he has translated from Arabic into English, is his translation of Scholars Are The Heirs of the Prophets. He wrote Scattered Pictures: Reflections of An American Muslim in 2005, and he is completing Divine Yearnings, to be released in 2008. For more information concerning Imam Zaid, and to listen to other webcasts, please visit

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