Archive for August, 2009


Living the single life…..**sigh**

About two months ago, I had the opportunity to speak with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and Sister Dania Ayoubi on a panel at the ISNA conference in Washington DC entitled Living the Single life: Benefiting from Your Time Before You get Married. It was recorded and I was debating as to whether or not post this video during Ramadan but I figured it probably make more sense to do so now rather than wait til afterward, as during this month of introspection it would serve many of us well to realize that there is nothing wrong with us if we are not married.

More often than not it becomes very hard for a person to make a critical sense as to why they want to be married so badly, but yet they aren’t married for whatever reason.   In the short time that I was allotted on this talk, I wanted to convey to the audience that it is hard to deal with the emotions that come from being single and wanting companionship, and how we need to learn to deal with those emotions constructively.   Please do share with others if you think there is benefit in it.

Thanks to Fatih Alev from Denmark for sharing the original video.   Fatih runs a group called Muslims in Dialogue that focuses on integrating Islam in a European context.  You can visit the MID website here and see the original video in its entirety here.

I’ve also posted Shaykh Faraz’s and Sister Dania’s talks as well as our Q&A session below.   Be sure to check out Shaykh Faraz’s response to the question on being obedient to one’s parents in the first part of the Q&A at 3 minutes and 15 seconds.   The entire Q&A session is pretty good so try to listen to the whole thing.

You can visit Shaykh Faraz’s blog here and check out the online classes that he teaches along with many other notable individuals at Seeker’s Guidance here.  I am going to look for an online resource for Dania Ayoubi and update this post if I find one inshallah.

I’m sure I’ll write up something more on this topic in the coming months. Please feel free to share with others


Ramdan Survival Guide: I Am Not A Cow

I was asked by Elan Magazine to do a three-part piece for Ramadan.  My first piece went up today online and is excerpted below.  You can check out the entire piece by clicking here

elan’s Ramadan Survival Guide: I Am Not a Cow

By Imam Khalid Latif
August 24, 2009

In honor of Ramadan 2009, elan presents a three-part series reflecting on how young Muslims can approach the holy month from Imam Khalid Latif. Imam Khalid is the Executive Director of The Islamic Center at New York University (NYU), and one of the most notable and influential young Muslims in the United States.

I think that the month of Ramadan is about honesty.

In this judgmental world of ours, it’s unfortunately easy for one to find a Muslim who is critical of another Muslim’s lifestyle.  Even more unfortunate, it’s easy for us to respond to those criticisms quite mechanically by saying “You don’t know what my intentions are,” and then walking away, more annoyed than advised, but not ever really productively asking ourselves what our intentions were.

During Ramadan, we get to see who we in fact really are.  It becomes ingrained in the psyche of every Muslim that from the first day of Ramadan through the last, it’s just you taking on yourself.  But for whatever reason, it’s not ingrained within us that the opportunity to understand ourselves a little bit better is there for the taking.

What sets human beings apart from other creatures in this world is our intellect – those animals whose lives revolve solely around eating, drinking, and having sex.  But do we really use our conscious mind as best as we can?  Or do habits run our lives?

This Ramadan, we should try to understand a little bit better our own respective habits and then take on those that we deem are not good for us.  When dissecting a habit, it’s important to make note of a few things.

Primarily, one would want to identify the habit itself.  Anything from nail-biting to backbiting, eating unhealthy foods to not eating at all, sleep deprivation to sleeping through Fajr, the list could go on and on.  But breaking a habit entails acknowledging that it exists.

Secondly….to continue reading click here


ICNYU Ramadan 1430 Announcement off of credible local moonsightings throughout the country, The Islamic Center at NYU, in conjunction with various masajid and organizations in the New York City area and across the country, will be observing Saturday, August 22nd, as the first day of fasting for the month of Ramadan.

We will begin hosting iftar dinners starting this Monday night at sundown inshallah, August 24th, and will carry on through the end of Ramadan.  Please note that we will not be hosting iftar at the Islamic Center this Saturday or Sunday.

Dinners will be held at our facility in the basement level of St. Joseph’s church located at 371 Sixth Avenue, New York , NY 10014 (at the corner of 6th avenue and Washington Place).   Directions can be found on our website at

Taraweeh prayers will not be offered on campus. There are many masajid in the area that offer taraweeh prayers, including Medina Masjid on 11th street and 1st Avenue as well as the 96th street masjid that is located on 96th between 2nd and 3rd avenue.  For those who are interested in attending taraweeh prayers, a group will be going from NYU inshallah in the evening following iftar.

At this time it is also important to keep in mind that the different opinions that exist in regards to the start and end times of the Islamic months are all valid according to Shari’ah and supported by respectable scholars with evidence.  We should not let this become a point of contention within the community.

Should you have any questions, feel free to contact me at

On behalf of the Islamic Center at NYU, Ramadan Mubarak wa Ramadan Kareem wa Kullu A’am wa Antum bi Khayr.  May Allah accept from all of us during this blessed month of Ramadan.  Ameen.


City Muslims Prepare For Heat-Filled Fast

I was interviewed today by NY1 news channel along with one of my Summer interns, Amina Afreen.   To view the interview in full, please click here

City Muslims Prepare For Heat-Filled Fast

By: Natasha Ghoneim!/277133-1-eng-US/Refreshing!_slideshow_image.jpg


New York City’s 800,000 Muslims are bracing for the start of a month-long fast that, for the first time in decades, takes place during one of the hottest months of the year. NY1’s Natasha Ghoneim filed the following report.

On a 90 degree day, most people don’t think twice about sipping from a cool beverage to quench their thirst. But college student Amina Afreen knows the days of reaching for that water or sports drink are dwindling. Like many young Muslims, it’s the first time she’ll fast during a Ramadan that falls in the summer.

“It might seem like torture coming mid-August to mid-September,” said Afreen.

Imam Khalid Latif with the Islamic Center of NYU says it’s been about 15 years since Muslims have endured long, hot days of fasting……to continue reading click here


Silence Hurts

The Islamic Center at NYU is getting ready for its 7th Annual Fast-A-Thon (Details Below)  Please help spread the word.  To RSVP or for more info please click here Cause
In the United States alone, 1 in every 4 women has personally experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.  In just one year, more than 3 million women report abuse by their husband or boyfriend.  Nearly 3 out of 4 Americans personally know someone who is or has been the victim of domestic violence.  Studies indicate that women who have access to crisis intervention programs and shelters are 60-70% less likely to re-encounter abuse within the year than women without these resources.

Silence Hurts
: Fast-A-Thon 2009
Here at NYU, the Islamic Center hosts a fundraiser  during our month of fasting, Ramadan. During   these 30 days, Muslims abstain from eating and  drinking from sunrise to sunset. We ask our student  body, faculty, and administration to join us in  fasting for just one day, on which we host our  charity event called “Fast-A-Thon.”

This year, all of the proceeds will go towards Turning Point for Women and Families, an   organization that works primarily with victims and  survivors of domestic abuse. We feel that domestic  violence is an important issue to be addressed at the university-level because it is a global problem  that can affect individuals, regardless of their social, cultural or religious background.

Building Bridges

Fast-A-Thon connects approximately. 600 Muslims and non-Muslims from thelarger NYU area. At sunset, we provide a communal meal for the entire community to break the fast together. The meal is followed by an evening of reflection and social awareness focused on the cause, which this year, is domestic violence. To raise money for the charity, a sponsor donates $1, or some increment thereof, towards the cause for every person that voluntarily fasts. Alternatively, individuals are able to give lump sums as a donation if they would rather do so. Our goal this year is to raise at least $15,000.
Our Charity
Turning Point for Women and Families is a non-profit organization in Queens, NY which offers resources to women and children in the community through crisis intervention, individual and group counseling, advocacy, and education about their rights. .

By connecting their clients to language and legal services, as well as other tools to resist abuse within their own homes, Turning Point acts as a vehicle that allows women to empower themselves and their families.  More information can be found on their website by clicking here .

Make A Gift Today you are unable to attend our event, you can still support the cause by making an online donation at any time by clicking here . If you choose this option, please write “ICNYU donation” in the box titled “Designation” so that we are able to track how much NYU has raised for the organization.

You can also mail a check directly to Turning Point. Please make it out to:
Turning Point For Women And Families
PO Box 670086
Flushing, NY 11367

Please indicate that this is an ICNYU donation in the lower left-hand corner/memo of the check.

Our Program
Silence Hurts: Fast-A-Thon 2009
Thursday, September 17th
Doors Open at 6:30pm Suggested Donation: $20

Guest Speakers
Executive Representatives from Turning Point
A Survivor of Domestic Violence
Mr. Ravi Karkara, UNICEF Women’s Empowerment Initiative
Imam Khalid Latif, Islamic Center at NYU
Gaith Adhami, Spoken Word Artist and Performer
Arshiya Kherani, Fast-a-Thon 2009 Chair

The United Muslim Association at NYU
The Muslim Graduate Student Group at NYU
The Islamic Center at NYU

Join us for an evening of reflection, conversation, and inspiration!

To RSVP for this event please click here


Avari Articulates

My good friend and colleague Haroon Moghul was recently published on Religion Dispatches.  You can check out the article here.  The article reviews Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West
By Christopher Caldwell.

If you enjoy reading the article, Haroon also has a pretty popular blog called Avari.  You can check it out by clicking here


Sweet Georgia Brown – Being Muslim In Augusta, Georgia

This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit the Islamic Society of Augusta in Georgia. I had wanted to try something different in conveying my thoughts so I took a camera along with me and tried to video tape as much as I could.   What I came up with is below.  It’s my first attempt at putting together and editing something like this so I would very much appreciate feedback on it.   But don’t be too harsh though since I don’t really know what I am doing 🙂

The idea is that everyone of has a story to tell, and everyone of us can learn from hearing someone else’s story.  Our own lives and experiences can very much be shaped by the experiences of others, yet we regularly pass up on the opportunity for self development by not letting ourselves learn about someone different from us.   I personally believe that those individuals who will shape what Islam means in the American context exist in huge numbers – they just need to be pushed a bit to share their experiences with the rest of the world.

*as a disclaimer, there is some music in this

**as a second disclaimer, I made this with a hand held video camera.   So again, please don’t be too harsh 🙂

For those of you who like the video and/or enjoy the blog, please do share it via your own social networking circles (facebook, twitter, etc)

For those of you who would rather not watch a movie,  I’ll probably write something up about my trip in a couple of days inshallah.

Who is doing the thinking

My name is Khalid Latif. I work as the Executive Director and Chaplain for the Islamic Center at New York University as well as a Chaplain for the NYPD, New York City Police Department.

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