Path & Present is a long form conversation hosted by poet, emcee, and teaching-artist Baraka Blue with friends and guests including artists, musicians, authors, and scholars to collectively explore what it means to walk a path of awakening and spiritual discernment in the modern world. Topics covered include spirituality/religion/metaphysics, community, art/music, psychology, social justice, Islam and Muslims in the West, and earth stewardship.
**Path & Present** Is a community endeavor produced for the sake of sharing the stories of our communities and amplifying the forces of positivity and goodness in the universe. It is made possible through community support. Enjoy Path and Present Podcast? Now you can become a supporter/patron at Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4205410
Baraka Blue is a poet and musician from Seattle, Washington. After reading the works of Rumi and Ibn Arabi he traveled to study with contemporary Sufi teachers in Morocco, Turkey, Yemen, Egypt and beyond. He has a BA in Arabic from the University of Washington and was awarded a Master's Degree in Islamic Studies from the GTU, Berkeley for his research on the Sufi thought of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali. As a teaching-artist he has performed all over the world, including such institutions as Princeton and the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.
#053: Islam & the Blackamerican: Reflections on Race, Religion & Identity w/ Dr. Sherman Jackson
Dr. Sherman Jackson is the King Faisal Chair of Islamic Thought and Culture, and Professor of Religion and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California (USC).
In this conversation, recorded February 2020, Dr. Jackson reflects on his seminal work, "Islam and the Blackamerican" nearly 20 years after it was written. He gives an overview of the central thesis in the book and then reflects on developments in the subsequent decades. We discuss changing demographics in the American Muslim community, immigration, 9/11, the backdrop of white supremacy, and Islamic tradition in context. We also touch on similarities and differences between Black and White trajectories to Islam, Hip-Hop, counter culture, and the dimension of social critique inherent in the phenomenon of conversion.
#052: A Ramadan in Retreat: Psychological/Spiritual Wellness in Isolation w/ Dr. Abdallah Rothman
Dr. Abdallah Rothman is an Islamic Psychology researcher and practitioner. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Board Certified Registered Art Therapist (ATR-BC). In addition to his academic and clinical training in Western psychology, Abdallah studies and practices Islamic Psychology and is currently doing doctoral research in this area. His clinical practice as well as his academic research focus on approaching counseling from within an Islamic paradigm; and establishing an indigenous Islamic theoretical orientation to human psychology that is grounded in the knowledge of the soul from the Islamic tradition. He is the founder of Shifaa Integrative Counseling and the Executive Director of the International Association of Islamic Psychology.
Academic Writings: kingston.academia.edu/AbdallahRothman
Additional Resources from Dr. Rothman
An Islamic Model of the Soul (Video) www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLVpQAxksnY
Toward an Islamic Framework of the Soul (Paper):
A uniquely Islamic theoretical framework for an Islamic psychology has yet to be established. To do so requires that we understand how human beings are conceptualized within the cosmology that characterizes the Islamic tradition. This paper presents a model of the soul from within an Islamic paradigm, generated through a grounded theory analysis of interviews with 18 key informants with relevant academic or religious expertise. The model elaborates aspects of a mechanism for the development of the soul that constitutes a potential foundation for an Islamic theory of human psychology and has particular relevance for Islamic approaches to psychotherapy.
#051: Women of Light w/ Ieasha Prime
Ieasha Prime converted to Islam more than 20 years ago, after being an International Youth Ambassador to Morocco and Senegal. It was during this time in her youth that she officially began studying Islam. The year she returned from the youth ambassador’s program, she took an Islamic Studies course at the Islamic Center in Washington D.C. from the professor and scholar Mohammad Arafat. It was during this course, that Ms. Prime formally took Shahadah (profession of the Islamic faith). Since that time, she has spent her life as an educator, artist, activist and entrepreneur committed to the goal of empowering Muslim women to rise above their challenges to maximize their full potential of being female servants of Allah and vicegerents on this earth.
After having participated in several circles of knowledge in the US, Ieasha decided to pursue religious studies abroad. She studied Arabic, Quran at the Fajr Institute and general Islamic studies in other institutes in Cairo, Egypt. After two years in Egypt, she moved to Hadramaut, Yemen and enrolled in Dar al Zahra, an Islamic University for Women. There she studied Aqeedah, Quran, Hadith, Arabic, Jurisprudence (Fiqh), Islamic law, Purification of the Heart and other religious related learning. Her lineage of scholarship from whom she received direct education can be traced directly back to the Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu alaihi wa Salaam) from Husseini lineage. Under the tutelage of her professors, she has established several circles of knowledge and continues to teach and lecture across the United States and abroad.
In 1994, her passion to educate and empower Muslim women to be leaders in America led her to the creation of the non profit organization, Sisterhood In Action. SIA is an international women’s organization devoted to helping women rise above social challenges to actualize their full potential in life and society. The expansion of SIA gave Ieasha Prime access to a worldwide network of women and like minded organizations. Thus, her work and studies began to expand internationally. She has lectured and facilitated workshops for Muslim women, youth, and interfaith groups in high schools, universities, college campuses, churches, community centers and Masaajids around the country and the world. She served as the director of Islamic Studies at El- Iman Learning Center and Khadijah Academy, is the former Vice Principal at Al-Qalam Academy in Springfield, VA. and is now the Executive Director of Barakah, Inc. empowering women and youth with a foundation of Islam.
#050: Beauty in Breaking: The Heart of Poetry w/ Amir Sulaiman (LIVE @ WASAT)
Amir Sulaiman is a poet, recording artist, Harvard Fellow, actor, screen writer and producer born in Rochester, New York. His poems cross subjects of love, tragedy as well as what it means to reconcile humanity with the unprecedented trials of modernity. He has performed his works across the US as well as many other countries including England, Belgium, Senegal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Australia, Iran and the Netherlands, and continues to tour world-wide. His recently published book of poetry, Love, Gnosis & Other Suicide Attempts met with critical acclaim, in addition to his latest album "The Opening," the third in a unique trilogy project, following "The Meccan Openings" (2011) and "The Medinan Openings" (2012). Amir was first introduced to a National audience in 2005 when he was featured for two seasons on Russell Simmons' groundbreaking series Def Poetry Jam on HBO.
#049: The Walking Quran: Insights from Islam in Africa w/ Dr. Bilal Ware
Dr. Bilal Ware is a historian of Africa and Islam. He is professor at UC Santa Barbara. He earned his Ph.D. in 2004 at the University of Pennsylvania where he trained in African History, African-American History, and Islamic Intellectual History. His research spans the last thousand years, centering on West Africa, while reaching into the Mediterranean lands of Islam and the Atlantic worlds of the African Diaspora.
Walking Quran: https://uncpress.org/book/9781469614311/the-walking-quran/
Jihad of the Pen: The Sufi Literature of West Africa: https://www.amazon.com/Jihad-Pen-Sufi-Literature-Africa/dp/9774168631
#048: 'Ayn al-Qudat's Tawhid of Iblis: In Defense of the Devil? w/ Mohammed Rustom
Mohammed Rustom is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at Carleton University. He obtained a PhD from the University of Toronto in 2009, specializing in Islamic thought, Quranic exegesis, and Persian literature.
He is currently a Senior Fellow at the NYUAD Library of Arabic Literature.