Spiritual Activism: Laboring With Love

Any and all activism that is bereft of merciful love or loving mercy is not Islamic and can never be, says Shaykh Riad Saloojee. Why do Muslims, when asked whether God is love, respond with, “No. He is Merciful?” Rahmah in Arabic is not mercy. Rahmah has the meaning of merciful-love or loving-mercy. The word […]

Spiritual Activism: Penny-Wise, Pound Foolish

Wisdom is not knowing good and bad but knowing the best good and worst bad – discerning the subtle shades of benefit and welfare in both the secular and spiritual world, says Shaykh Riad Saloojee. No action of the Divine is irrational — though it might be supra-rational. Nothing that the Divine does is in […]

Spiritual Activism: Justice Now!

The discourse of activism is often framed through the lens of seeking justice. But what is justice? asks Shaykh Riad Saloojee. In our Islamic understanding, one of the Names of the Divine is the Infinitely Just, or Al ‘Adl. As we have mentioned previously, Allah possesses Names of Majesty and Rigor (jalal), which signify power, […]

Spiritual Activism: Activism in the Spiritual Envelope

A social activist who wishes to produce true change must fully internalize and actualize the values inherent in the Divine Names of Allah, says Shaykh Riad Saloojee. At this point, the intersection between activism and Islamic spirituality, and therefore our paradigm of spiritual activism, should stand out in sharp relief. As a summary, we can […]

Spiritual Activism: The Activist as Vicegerent

You were created to be the viceregent of Allah in this realm. Your success in this realm and the realm to come rests on the degree to which you realize this, says Shaykh Riad Saloojee. In a very august assembly, in the presence of beings created from pure light, Allah announced that He was going […]

Spiritual Activism: The Ethics of Virtue

Surrendering to the Divine is what makes true freedom possible. It is freedom from the material and created that is found in nearness to Allah, says Shaykh Riad Saloojee. The hallmark of the purification of the lower-self (nafs) is the freedom that the heart (qalb) will enjoy from all material and abstract created things, as […]

Spiritual Activism: Runaway Rationality

The intellect can be blinded by the passions. Only a cool and collected heart keeps the passions in check and commands the intellect to good, says Shaykh Riad Saloojee. I am not a disembodied intellect (‘aql). My intellect (‘aql) functions within the Divinely-crafted, holistic system composed of my heart (qalb), lower-self (nafs) and senses (jawarih). […]

Spiritual Activism: Identifying My Politics

To identify your politics, you must first discern the reality of your desires and impulses, aims and actions. For if your essence is a function of these things, then the underlying reality or nature of your self must be known, says Shaykh Riad Saloojee. Who I am in essence is really a function of my […]

Spiritual Activism: The Me in the Mirror

We must individually come to terms with the “me in the mirror” or the ego (nafs). Come to terms with its wants and desires. And we must rectify them if need be in order to affect any sort of change in the world, says Shaykh Riad Saloojee. When I proclaim, “I love,” or “I want,” […]

Spiritual Activism: A Bleeding Heart

To understand Islamic spirituality and spiritual activism one must understand the heart. Understand what and how the heart sees and moves us to act. For ultimately it is the heart’s relation to its Maker that determines the soundness of action, says Shaykh Riad Saloojee. The first frontier lies within. Before we can interpret or attempt […]