Approaching Fitrah
September 22, 2013 7:08 PM   Subscribe

Young and modern Muslims of MeFi, what are the best resources out there - blogs, Web sites, podcasts - for someone who finds himself considering a deeper connection with the faith?

So, I've had an emotional and intellectual appreciation of Islam for about a dozen years now. I travel to Muslim-majority countries every year; I've met and become close to other Muslim people in my life; I've been involved in anti-Islamophobia initiatives here in the U.S.; and lately I find myself wondering what it would mean to commit myself to a more formal declaration of faith and identity. I've taught myself the basics of prayer (salah) and find that the practice of it really stirs something in my soul. I want to continue to explore what that could mean to me, if I so chose it.

It's overwhelming to know where to begin in really digging into the myriad questions, decisions, contradictions, etc., that come with making room for faith where mere spirituality existed before. So, for those of you who have a longer-term relationship with Islam: what are the best things to read, listen to, etc., as someone who's young(ish), Western, cosmopolitan, open-minded, and interested in exploring avenues of the Islamic faith that coexist with the realities of our modern and changing world?

Topics of interest might include:
- What it means to live as a Muslim in Western society
- Reconciling "old-world" theology with 21st century life
- Arriving at a level of practical devotion that fits one's life/style
- Learning how to dialogue with other members of the faith

(And I know I won't be able to stop it, but I'd prefer not to make this into a theological chatfilter session. I'm all too aware of the many, many, many complexities of this topic. If you can point to the resources I've asked for, great. If not, well ... please try MeMailing me with your off-topic thoughts if you really can't help yourself.)
posted by mykescipark to Religion & Philosophy (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Are you already familiar with Taqwacore, the Islamic punk scene? (The link goes to the website of a documentary, also called "Taqwacore.")
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:17 PM on September 22, 2013
posted by hortense at 8:59 PM on September 22, 2013

I'm not Muslim, but I used to listen to Islamophonic from the Guardian, back when it updated. It probably hits your first topic pretty well, though it's obviously focused on life in Britain rather than the US. (I don't remember a lot of more theological discussion; mostly stuff about how Islam intersects with life and society.)
posted by hoyland at 5:31 AM on September 23, 2013

The Facebook group Mipsterz posts interesting news stories. They represent a very American-Muslim (ie "modern") ethos. I think they also have meetups in some big cities.

I have a mile-long reading list of the "reconciling old-world theology with 21st century life," type but its of the dry, academic sort. Memail me if you have any particular areas you'd like to explore, and I can send you some recommendation.
posted by MFZ at 6:13 AM on September 23, 2013

My familiarity is with the Malaysian side of progressive Islamic advocacy, but I do find their social media side very plugged in globally, so checking out the twitters of Musawah and Sisters in Islam would give you a start in terms of resources and articles. There's also the articles by the Islamic Renaissance Front and

Bonus: Superhanallah, a comic on being a Muslim-American.
posted by cendawanita at 6:28 AM on September 23, 2013

Not sure if this is what you're looking for (and personally, this type of orthodoxy doesn't really appeal to me as a somewhat lapsed Muslim) but a lot of my family, friends and generally a lot of Muslims I know who are around my age seem to be really drawn to Zaytuna College and SeekersGuidance.
posted by spicytunaroll at 3:14 PM on September 23, 2013

Oh, also, Imam Khalid Latif's blog posts were really popular this Ramadan. I think it's in the same vein of Islam as the above, but again, seems to be well liked:
posted by spicytunaroll at 3:17 PM on September 23, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks all! Great stuff here!

(I hesitate to mark Best Answers for such a subjective question, but I will say that was probably the most revelatory find here. And Superhanallah is really cute.)
posted by mykescipark at 10:37 PM on September 25, 2013

I found the site in the original cat scan thread :-)
posted by hortense at 1:37 PM on September 27, 2013

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