Quotable Quotes from the 2010 RIS Convention

Posted on December 28, 2010 by


The following are a few memorable quotes from various speeches and personal interactions with the ‘Ulema at the 2010 Reviving the Islamic Spirit convention. This year’s theme was “The Ten Commandments.”

NOTA BENE: These are my personal notes and as such may contain errors in transmission. Any deficiencies are my own and are not to be attributed to the speaker or ‘Alim.

“We can’t make demands upon the West when we fail to live up to our own ideals.” (Shaykh Hamza Yusuf)

(Context: This was said during the Saturday night session when Shaykh Hamza was pointing out how quickly we are in our own community to bash the West for failing to live up to its own ideals but we turn the other eye when people in the Muslim world fail to live up to Islamic ideals.”

“The word has power that the image does not have. Our religion is a religion of the word.” (Dr. ‘Umar Abdullah)

(Context: This was said regarding the commandment prohibiting graven images, iconoclasm in the various religions traditions, how Islam is a tradition of kalam, and the need to learn the classical Islamic sciences in their modern context.)

“One of the causes of the crisis in Islamic knowledge is the collapse of the awqaaf (Islamic endowments).” (Shaykh Faraz Rabbani)

(Context: This was said over dinner with Shaykh Muhammad Shareef of Tennessee regarding the importance of establishing Islamic endowments for Islamic educational institutes in North America.)

“We have to realize that we are the last theocentric people alive.” (Shaykh Yahya Rhodus)

(Context: During his talk critiquing secularism as a source of the desacralization of the human experience as posited by Sayyid Naquib al-Attas, Shaykh Yahya pointed out that Muslims are witnesses upon the whole of mankind regarding the conveying of the message of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and how we have a sacred mission in spreading the teachings of Islam.)

“This religion was bought to make life easy.” (Shaykh Muhammad Shareef)

(Context: This was said over dinner while Shaykh Muhammad Shareef of Tennessee was commenting on how our Masajid often make it more difficult for people to attend it when in reality houses of worship should be facilitating people to attend them.)


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