Slavery, Scholarship,
and Liberation
Dear Zaytuna Supporter,  


Salam alaykum wa rahmatullah.


As Americans celebrate Black History Month, many are unaware that this country's enslaved population included a significant number of Muslims. Their long-neglected stories are an important part of American history.


The stories of enslaved Muslims teach us about human dignity, struggle, and that knowledge is key to liberation.  Scholars like Ibrahim Adbur Rahman, whose life is chronicled in Prince Among Slaves, or Ayyub bin Sulayman of The Fortunate Slave, were freed from slavery because of their erudition. Many other enslaved Muslims were scholars of the Qur'an and conversant in Arabic, and were so committed to scholarship that they continued to write even while in bondage.


The first command of God is to read, and a thriving scholarly tradition has enabled Muslims to peacefully coexist throughout history. Mutual respect was a hallmark of a robust educational system that embraced four Sunni legal schools and two Shiite legal schools and recognized myriad spiritual paths that led to God. The 19th century African-American missionary, Edward Blyden, was so impressed by the social solidarity of Islam that he saw the faith as a potential solution for the fragmentation of the slavery-induced African diaspora. 


Now we are in a dangerous age of competing fundamentalisms -- including Islamic fundamentalism, which insists only one legal approach is valid and strips it of the methodological tools needed to address the complexities of real life. It rejects alternative spiritual paths as well as the accumulated wisdom of wise and pious Muslims, and it allows political expediency, not revealed principles, to dictate how life-and-death issues will be handled. This undermines authoritative scholarship and fractures the Muslim community.


The solidarity that so affected Blyden nearly a hundred and fifty years ago was built on the foundation of a strong intellectual tradition. At Zaytuna College, we are reviving that intellectual tradition because we too see Islam as a viable solution to the most pressing problems we face, not just as Muslims but as a human community.


Only with your support can we succeed in such a monumental undertaking. Please support Zaytuna College with your prayers and donations.

The Limits of Power
 A Conversation with Ramsey Clark

For more than fifty years of service in the public and private sectors, former attorney general Ramsey Clark has consistently challenged the abuse of power and taken up the cause of the oppressed. During his tenure at the Justice Department, which included a stint as U.S. Attorney General during the Johnson administration, Clark hastened an end to legalized segregation and played a historic role in the American Civil Rights Movement. His many achievements include enforcing the court

order, protecting the march from Selma to Montgomery; leading the investigation of abuses by police and the National Guard following the Watts riots; and supervising the drafting and passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Civil Rights Act of 1968. He also opposed electronic surveillance and refused to authorize an FBI wiretap on Martin Luther King, Jr.


In 1976, Clark left the public sector to provide legal defense to the disenfranchised. His controversial clients over the years included antiwar activist, Father Philip Berrigan, and Native American political prisoner, Leonard Peltier. An outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy, he has called for an end to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as a ban on depleted uranium weapons. He fervently opposes the escalating militarization of the United States and is a staunch advocate for victims of constitutional violations and legal travesties in post-9/11 America.  


Zaytuna College is greatly honored to present an evening with Ramsey Clark, who will share wisdom gleaned from a lifetime of public and civic service. Join us for what promises to be an informative and inspiring evening. 


Date:  Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Time:  6:30 to 8:30pm PST


Location:  Zaytuna College (new campus), 2401 Le Conte Avenue, Berkeley, California


Online:  Zaytuna College's Facebook page. (A Facebook account is not required.) 


Click here to register.

Zaytuna Students Take their Education
Beyond the Classroom  

Zaytuna College students are committed to improving themselves and living prophetically, so their education beyond the classroom is as dynamic and inspirational as the instruction they receive from Zaytuna College's world-class faculty. When they aren't studying, students gather in groups like the Green Khalifa club to promote sustainability, the Calligraphy Club to channel a common interest in Islamic art, or Student Government to develop a structure for student leadership.


Many take their education beyond campus by volunteering at local Islamic centers, such as Berkeley Masjid, or securing part-time jobs to gain professional experience and supplement scholarships or financial aid. They return home to apartments across the courtyard from their classrooms and to a community of like-minded, diligent young people with whom they can cultivate lifelong friendships.


Zaytuna's Student Services staff also lead initiatives to foster the "Five Maqasid of Student Services," i.e. spiritual, physical, intellectual, social, and material health. Students convene at weekly forums to support and challenge one another to grow in these five areas and at weekly dinners to give thanks and build community. At Zaytuna College, growth and learning extend beyond the classroom to every aspect of student life.


Click here for a glimpse of student life at Zaytuna.

Give the Gift of Knowledge 
Support Zaytuna and Share a Hamza Yusuf Class 

For a short time, we are extending our offer to download Hamza Yusuf's multi-part series, Prohibitions of the Tongue, originally taught to a select audience at a famous spiritual retreat center in Istanbul. If you've already downloaded the class for yourself, you can now offer it as a gift to friends and family!
To download this class:
Make a contribution of $60 or more and receive a link to download a 16-hour audio file of  the Prohibitions of the Tongue class taught by Hamza Yusuf. 

To present this series as a gift, simply include the email address and full name of your recipient with your donation. We'll announce your gift with an email that includes a link to download the class. 

el free to contact us at 510-900-3151 or if you have any questions.