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The Crisis of Character: Exploring the Islamic Alternative

A Zaytuna College Conference

The Egyptian poet Ahmad Shawqi wrote that nations are equal to their morals. If their morals disappear, he posited, then they, the nations, also disappear. As Muslims, we must understand the centrality of good character to personal reformation and to the ever-unfolding fate of nations. "Verily, you are established on a lofty standard of character," the Qur’an says about our Beloved Prophet, upon him be peace.

Too often, though, we zealously obsess over details of law or theology and forget about the exalted personal character that is their foundation. This oversight only veils Islam’s rich ethical tradition, which unleashed could address many of today’s moral challenges. Join us for a special Zaytuna College conference that aims to renew our commitment to good character, once an essential foundation of a vibrant Muslim civilization.


Portrait of Dr. Sulayman S. Nyang

Dr. Sulayman S. Nyang
Howard University

Dr. Sulayman S. Nyang is professor and chairman of the African Studies Department at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and co-principal investigator of Project MAPS.

Portrait of Dr. Joseph Lumbard

Dr. Joseph Lumbard
Brandeis University

Joseph E.B. Lumbard is an American Muslim who is currently a professor at Brandeis University where he holds the title of Assistant Professor of Classical Islam in the department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Chair of the Islamic and Middle East Studies Program.

Portrait of Zaid Shakir

Zaid Shakir
Zaytuna College

Zaid Shakir is a co-founder of Zaytuna College in California and accepted Islam while serving in the U.S. Air Force. He immersed himself in the study of Islamic Sciences with some of the top traditional Islamic scholars of our age in the Muslim world. He has authored numerous articles on a wide range of topics and translated into English several classical Arabic literary texts. As a voice of conscience, he leaves a lasting impression; his ability to move hearts and minds enlightens people from all walks of life. Zaid Shakir has brought both sensitivity about race, poverty, and scholarly discipline to his faith-based work.

Portrait of Hamza Yusuf

Hamza Yusuf
Zaytuna College

Hamza Yusuf is an American convert to Islam who studied for several years under leading scholars in the Muslim world. He is the co-founder of Zaytuna College in California and has translated into modern English several classical Arabic texts and poems. Hamza Yusuf has been a passionate and outspoken critic of American foreign policy as well as Islamic extremist responses to those policies.

Portrait of Hatem Bazian

Hatem Bazian
Zaytuna College

Dr. Hatem Bazian is co-founder, senior faculty, and Academic Affairs Chair at Zaytuna College. He is also a senior lecturer in the Departments of Near Eastern and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Bazian is also a visiting Professor in Religious Studies at Saint Mary’s College of California and adviser to the Religion, Politics, and Globalization Center at UC Berkeley. In 2009, he founded the Center for the Study of Documentation of Islamophobia at UC Berkeley. Dr. Bazian is on the board of several organizations, including the Islamic Scholarship Fund and Muslim Americans for Palestine, for which he is also the founding president.

Portrait of Colleen Keyes

Colleen Keyes
Zaytuna College

Colleen Keyes earned her B.A. degree in Psychology and Spanish from Clark University, the M.A. in Second Language Education from Fairfield University, the M.A. in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations from Hartford Seminary and is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Exeter, UK.

Event Details

  • Date & Time:
    • Saturday, March 8, 2014

      Registration at 09:00am
      Program Begins at 10:00am
      Conference Ends at 4:00pm
  • Venue (click address for directions):

Reserve Your Seat

  • Ticket Price:
    • $25 Per Person
    • $10 For Students (I.D.'s will be checked)

More Information


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