April 2014 newsletter

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• Editorial Team Updates
• Monthly Excerpt
• Recent Events
• Upcoming Events
The IEQ Editorial Team is very pleased to welcome aboard Najah Nadi Ahmad as a Contributing Editor. She is a DPhil Candidate in Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford and a Steering Committee Member at the Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics, Doha. She received an MA (Religious and Theological Studies) from Boston University as a Fulbright scholar and a BA (Islamic Studies) from al-Azhar University in Cairo, where she was born and raised. She also studied classical Islamic texts at the traditional study circles of al-Azhar Mosque from 2004 to 2011 and received scholastic licenses (ijazat) in several disciplines (jurisprudence, legal theory, hadith, logic) from prominent Azhari shaykhs.

For more information about the editorial team, see the IEQ website (http://iequran.com/about.php).

Each month, this newsletter features a different excerpt of the completed text, in order to give a sense of the texture of the project, the sources engaged, and the work as a whole. This month we feature an excerpt from the Volume 1 entry on Animals (of the Prophet).

In his youth, the Prophet, upon him blessing and peace, herded goats for others. He was to later say, “Allah has not appointed a Prophet but who herded sheep.” The Companions asked, “You too, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “Yes, I used to shepherd for the Makkans for qarārīṭ” (Bukhārī, Ijārāt, raʾyi l-ghanam ʿalā qarārīṭ), where commentators understand qarārīṭ to refer either to an area on the outskirts of Makkah also known as Ajyād or to a minor unit of currency (Ibn Ḥajar, Fatḥ al-bārī). His biographies mention his riding camel, Qaṣwāʾ, which he rode from Makka to Madina during the Hijra (q.v.) (at which time she was prepared by Abū Bakr for the Prophet, who insisted on paying her price of four hundred dirhams). Ten years later, he rode Qaṣwāʾ during the Farewell Pilgrimage (q.v.). He rode camels and horses, both saddled and bareback, sometimes at a galloping pace. He often rode alone but sometimes with one of his wives or Companions sitting behind him, or himself sitting behind the rider. In Madina, the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, kept animals pastured at Dhū-l-Jadr, about six miles from the city (Ibn Qayyim, Zād al-maʿād 1:128-130; Yāqūt, Buldān 2:114). These included: forty-five milking camels, names of some of which are recorded in his biographies; five or six mules, one of which, the grey she-mule Duldul, was gifted him by al-Muqawqis (variously identified as the Sassanid governor of Egypt or the Patriarch of Alexandria, who administered Egypt on behalf of the Byzantine Empire); a flock of one hundred sheep and goats—a number he maintained by giving away or slaughtering any increase; and seven milking goats tended by Baraka, better known as Umm Ayman, whom the Prophet described as “my mother after my own mother; she is the rest of my family” (Ibn Kathīr, Sīra 4:643; al-Qārī, Sharḥ al-Shifāʾ 1:172; al-Maqrīzī, Imtāʿ al-asmāʿ 6:340) (see Family of the Prophet). Biographies note as many as twenty-three horses owned at some time by the Prophet, but are unanimous regarding the following seven named in a couplet by Ibn Jamāʿ: And the horses—Sakb, Luḥayf, Sabḥa, Ẓarib,/ Lizāz, Murtajaz, Ward—all have secrets (Ibn Qayyim, Zād al-maʿād 1:128).

IEQ receives overwhelming response from the Calgary Community

On Friday, March 7, 2014, Shaykh Zahid Ally, Brother Khalid Lemjouzi, Muhammad Usman and Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal (General Editor, IEQ) travelled to Calgary, Canada, for the IEQ launch at the Akram Jomaa Islamic Centre. Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal delivered the Friday sermon on the theme of resources for understanding the message of the Qur’an. He highlighted the need for a scholarly reference work that presents the message of the Qur’an through fourteen hundred years of Muslim scholarship on the Glorious Book. Giving the example of Jabir b. Abdullah, who travelled for a whole month to meet Abdullah b. Unays, Allah be well-pleased with them both, to authenticate a single prophetic hadith, Dr. Iqbal stressed the need to convey sacred knowledge to the next generation. “Even in the heart of Dar al-Islam, there is a rapid erosion of traditional structures of transmission of knowledge,” he said. An authentic, fully referenced source can open many paths of understanding for Muslim and non-Muslim seekers of Truth.

IEQ volume 1 was available for sale after the Friday prayers, and the Calgary community generously supported the endeavor. Brother Khalid Lemjouzi and Muhammad Usman helped with the sales. The Center for Islamic Sciences would like to thank Shaykh Jamal Hammouda, Shaykh Jamal Dhahabi, brother Jamal Bahout, and other members of the Calgary Muslim Community for their enthusiastic support of the IEQ project.

IEQ Project Presentation at the ISNA Education Forum, Chicago

Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal will present certain education-related aspects of IEQ to a gathering of principals and teachers of Islamic schools at the ISNA Education Forum, Chicago (April 18-20, 2014). Conceived as a reference work addressing all concepts, persons, places, things, and events mentioned in the Qur’an, IEQ is a mine of information and insights which can be used in Islamic schools for a variety of purposes. Its well-researched articles offer teachers source-based material on all aspects of Islam, which can be used for teaching Islamic studies but also history, social studies, Sirah, and intellectual history. The IEQ article on animals, for instance, presents all thirty-three animals mentioned in the Qur’an, along with the context in which they appear and a range of exegetical reflections. A section of the article (excerpted above) provides a description of the animals of the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace.

Other upcoming events include trips to Montreal (April 25-28), Amman (April 28-30), al-Quds (April 30-May 5), Istanbul (May 6-8), Doha (May 9-11), South Africa (May 12-20), and South Africa. Watch our website for details on these events and other updates.

As always, your prayers for the project are well-appreciated. To donate to the project, to support a scholar, or to sponsor an entry, please visit our website a link to donate is available on the home page.