Where I'm Coming From: The Year in Review By Imam Zaid Shakir
The past year has been a trying one for Muslims in the United States. The steady drone of anti-Islamic sentiment, growing since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, was catalyzed by a series of unfortunate incidents. We could mention among them the Fort Hood shootings, the failed attempt to detonate a bomb aboard an American-bound aircraft over Detroit, Michigan, the failed bomb attempt at Times Square in New York, the manufactured controversy surrounding the “Ground Zero Mosque” and the “Qur’an burning” event organized by a nondescript Florida pastor. Collectively, these and other events helped to amplify the voices of anti-Islamic bigots to a sometimes frightening pitch.
Imam Zaid Shakir has written essays in response to many of the issues referred to above. This is a printed collection of some of those writings. This slender volume might prove beneficial to readers who are looking for insight into the ideas and personalities shaping the news, especially those readers who are not exposed to an Islamic perspective on the events of the day.
Imam Zaid Shakir is described as a "leading intellectual light", a gifted scholar, author, lecturer, one of the most influential voices for Islam and a compelling force for the improvement of race relations in America. --The New York Times
Imam Zaid Shakir is one of the towering principle voices not only in contemporary Islam, but in American Society. --Dr. Cornel West, Author, Living & Loving Out Loud
Imam Zaid Shakir is one of the most thoughtful and dynamic teachers about the true nature of Islam in America today. --Network of Spiritual Progressives, Author, Tikkun Daily
About the Author
Born in Berkeley, California, he accepted Islam in 1977 while serving in the United States Air Force. He obtained a BA summa cum laude in International Relations at American University in Washington D.C. and later earned his MA in Political Science at Rutgers University.
For seven years in Syria, and briefly in Morocco, he immersed himself in an intense study of Arabic, Islamic law, Quranic studies, and spirituality with some of the top Muslim scholars of our age. In 2001, he was the first American to graduate from Syria's prestigious Abu Noor University. That same year, he began writing and speaking frequently on a host of issues. He translated from Arabic into English Ibn Rajab's "The Heirs of the Prophets", published by Starlatch Press.
In 2005, Zaytuna Institute published "Scattered Pictures: Reflections of An American Muslim", an anthology of diverse essays penned by him. In 2008, Imam Zaid authored an award-winning text, "Treatise For The Seekers of Guidance", a translation and commentary on Imam Harith al-Muhasibi's work, Risala al-Mustarshideen. This same year, he co-founded Zaytuna College, where he now teaches Islamic law and history.
Trained in both the academic and religious intellectual traditions, Imam Zaid is uniquely qualified as a commentator on the substantial issues of our time. And, he brings clarity of mind and engaging honesty to even the most controversial issues. He has served as an advisor to many organizations and influential leaders. As a gifted author and lecturer, Imam Zaid Shakir recently was ranked as "one of America's most influential Scholars" by "The 500 Most Influential Muslims" edited by John Esposito and Ibrahim Kalin, (2009).