Highlighting and focusing on unique and interesting personalities from both within and without the Muslim community, engaging them in illuminating and invigorating conversation about a variety of subjects. New episodes every month!
Episode 112: Women & Gender in the Qur'an, with Dr. Celene Ibrahim
Parvez and Omar discuss Dr. Celene Ibrahim's works on women and gender in the Qur'an
About Dr. Celene Ibrahim
Dr. Celene Ibrahim is the author of Women and Gender in the Qur'an from Oxford University Press (2020) and the editor of One Nation, Indivisible: Seeking Liberty and Justice from the Pulpit to the Streets from Wipf & Stock Publishers (2019). Her current book project on the concept of monotheism in the Qur'an and Islamic intellectual history is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.
Ibrahim holds a doctorate in Arabic and Islamic Civilizations and a master's degree in Women's and Gender Studies and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, a Masters of Divinity from Harvard University, and a bachelor's degree with the highest honors from Princeton University.
As a trusted public voice on issues of religion and civic engagement, Dr. Ibrahim is deeply committed to counteracting bigotry and fostering values of pluralism, integrity, and civic responsibility. She offers lectures, workshops, and educational seminars around the world and is a graduate of the United World College of the American West.
About the Book
Stories about gendered social relations permeate the Qur'an, and nearly three hundred verses involve specific women or girls. The Qur'an features these figures in accounts of human origins, in stories of the founding and destruction of nations, in narratives of conquest, in episodes of romantic attraction, and in incidents of family devotion and strife. Overall, stories involving women and girls weave together theology and ethics to reinforce central Qur'anic ideas regarding submission to God and moral accountability.
Celene Ibrahim explores the complex cast of female figures in the Qur'an, probing themes related to biological sex, female sexuality, female speech, and women in sacred history. Ibrahim considers major and minor figures referenced in the Qur'an, including those who appear in narratives of sacred history, in parables, in descriptions of the eternal abode, and in verses that allude to events contemporaneous with the advent of the Qur'an in Arabia. Ibrahim finds that the Qur'an regularly celebrates the aptitudes of women in the realms of spirituality and piety, in political maneuvering, and in
safeguarding their own wellbeing; yet, women figures also occasionally falter and use their agency toward nefarious ends. Women and Gender in the Qur'an outlines how women and girls - old, young, barren, fertile, chaste, profligate, reproachable, and saintly -enter Qur'anic sacred history and advance the Qur'an's overarching didactic aims.
Episode 111: Immigrant Stories, with Habibe & Ishrat Husain, from the Rahima Foundation
Parvez and Omar are joined by Habibe and Ishrat Husain, from the Rahima Foundation. They tell the story of their immigration to the United States, their (inter-cultural) marriage, their migration out West, and the forming of Rahima Foundation.
Habibe came to the United States in 1962, as a high school foreign exchange student from Turkey. After completing high school, she went on to earn a degree in Pharmacy from Temple University in Philadelphia. In Pennsylvania, she met and married Ishrat Husain and, in 1973, they moved to the Bay Area. While being a mother and wife, she started and ran the first Weekend Islamic School in the Bay Area for many years.
On the 21st night of Ramadan in 1993, she was inspired to start Rahima Foundation to provide groceries to the local, underserved community. As the work grew, the organization was registered as a 501 c(3) Charitable and Educational Foundation in 1997. Her vision was to establish an institution of charity to serve the financial, educational, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of the communities. In the last 25 years, the organization has impacted over half a million lives through food and financial assistance. Habibe Husain specializes in serving indigenous people, refugees, and immigrants who are struggling to meet their basic human needs. Inspired by her faith, her relentless service is a testament to her compassion and dedication.
Ishrat was born in Aligarh, India, grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, and migrated to the US in 1966. He has a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Karachi and a Masters Degree in Physics from University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, Ishrat earned a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from Farleigh Dickinson University. After decades of working in the tech industry, Ishrat retired from IBM in 2013 and joined Rahima Foundation in 2014 as its Executive Director and President. Ishrat is married to Habibe Husain, the founder of the organization, and has been involved with Rahima since its inception in 1993.
Episode 110: Disney Film Director, Lena Khan
Parvez and Omar are joined by Lena Khan, to discuss her latest achievements in directing films.
Lena is a Canadian American writer and director. Her first feature film, THE TIGER HUNTER, released in over 60 cities nationwide and garnered effusively positive reviews from The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and more. Fresh off of her first film, Disney tapped Lena to direct FLORA AND ULYSSES, a live action family comedy.
With a background from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and experience at noted production companies such as Participant Media, Lena spent years directing short films, commercials and music videos before embarking on her first film. Lena and her work have been profiled in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Teen Vogue, USA Today and The New York Times. She was also listed as one of the 25 Screenwriters to watch in MovieMaker magazine.
Lena recently sold a television show, directed multiple episodes of Netflix's "Never Have I Ever," and is overseeing development on a few feature projects.
Episode 109: Fifty Years of Community Work in Chicago's Far South Side, with Imam S. T. Ibrahim
Parvez and Omar welcome Imam Ibrahim to talk about his youth, his transition to Sunni Islam, and his nearly 50 years of needs based community work in the Chicago area for the past 50 years.
About Imam S. T. Ibrahim
Imam Ibrahim served as the founding Imam of the Mosque of 'Umar, Inc. on Chicago's Far South Side in the Roseland community from 1973 to 2009. He led prayers and all related services, coordinated needs based programs (food panty, youth, voter registration, job training, etc.) and partnered with Muslim merchants to establish a sense of brotherhood in the inner city. From 2009 through 2018 he operated Masjid Khalil'ullah in Chicago's Morgan Park community. He also served as the Director of the Transitional College Prepatory Program (TCP) at Chicago State University from 1992-2009. Imam Ibrahim was a participant (along with Imam Siraj Wahhaj) in the 1st Imam Training Program in Saudi Arabia in 1978 sponsored by the Ministry of Higher Education.
Episode 108: Politics, Religion and Culture, with Sana Saeed from AJ+
Parvez and Omar are joined by Sana Saeed from AJ+ to discuss, among other things, social media culture, holding Muslims leaders to a standard, the "akh-right" and the transition to the Biden administration. It was an engaging, no holds barred conversation that we hope you'll join us for.
About Sana Saeed
Sana Saeed is a Host and Senior Producer who has been with AJ+ since 2014, helping launch the channel. A Canadian who has spent most of her life in the United States, she’s interested in politics, religion, culture and working very hard to stay out of arguments on Twitter. She has a background in media critique and analysis, with her work having appeared in The New York Times, LA Times, Quartz, Guardian, Salon and AJE.
Sana is currently working on ‘Pop Americana’ - a show that looks at American pop culture as a vehicle for politics. In reality, she’s really just living out her ‘VH1 Behind The Music’ remake fantasy. She’s also usually the one in the room who sounds like that reading you kinda, sorta skimmed in your elective liberal arts class.
Episode 107: CelebrateMercy, with Tarek El-Messidi
Parvez and Omar are joined by Tarek El-Messidi, founder of CelebrateMercy. They look back to the inspiration behind the organization, discuss its genesis and initial launch, and touch on some of the team's current initiatives.
CelebrateMercy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that teaches about the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ’s life and character – to Muslims and the general public. They do this through short films, online campaigns, traveling conferences, and webinars that feature world-renowned speakers and scholars on Islam.
In 10 years, CelebrateMercy has:
• Reached 300 million people through national media coverage
• Held 25 events for 200,000 participants in 115 countries
• Produced 200+ videos with 7 million views on YouTube & Facebook
• Generated social media posts leading to 700,000 subscribers
About Tarek El-Messidi
Tarek El-Messidi is a Muslim-American speaker, activist, and social entrepreneur. In 2012, he was listed by Georgetown University in the Muslim500 as one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims worldwide. He has pursued Islamic studies in the United States, Morocco, and Jordan and served for 10 years on the boards of multiple mosques, including as President and Vice-President of two Islamic centers.
In 2001, while serving as President of the Muslim Student Association at his university, Tarek co-founded Fast-a-thon: an event that raises money to feed the hungry when non-Muslims try fasting with their Muslim peers for one day. Fast-a-thons at 300 universities have raised over $2 million total to feed the hungry across America.
In 2010, after earning an MBA and working as a supply chain manager at Procter & Gamble, Tarek founded CelebrateMercy.
Review based on one episode
Just listened to the one episode (with Dr Umar Faruq) and enjoyed the intelligent questions the hosts asked. Grateful that they actually allowed the guest to speak without rushing or interjecting to make a stupid comment.
The interview wasn’t rushed and despite having listened to a lot of content by Dr Umar previously, I learnt about a part of his life I had never heard about in detail, so thanks!
Great topics and guests
I listened to some good episodes, the hosts don't rush through the interview. Wide variety of topics are covered as well. Keep up the good work.
Content good, even great, sadly production poor...
The content, conversations, interviews are really good, there are some that are really great and I've recommend them to friends.
However, the poor production, the cracklings and echoes really let it down. it makes it really difficult to follow and listen to esp. on my iPod unlike other podcasts.
Also the intro music is a little to serious and heavy... Reminds me of blade runner , I'd aim more for a Ted Talk feeling.