Zaytuna Institute’s New Journal - Seasons

Posted Feb 25, 2006      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version Bookmark and Share

Zaytuna Institute’s New Journal - Seasons

About Seasons
Our world needs to raise both the form and content of its present discourse. We are living in trying yet interesting times. Muslims as well as other faith-based communities share many of the same concerns and struggles. We need to examine our conditions and strive to understand them in order to effect positive and lasting change in our communities. Seasons is an effort to share in that process. It is our hope that it will provide a forum for scholars, intellectuals, artists, activists, and students to voice their insights, concerns, reflections, and aspirations for the world. We wish to use it to celebrate our past, examine our present, and perhaps provide some guidance for the betterment of our future. We have called it Seasons to underscore the perennial nature of the human condition, emphasizing that while times are hard, they are also easy: “Surely with hardship comes ease.” Hardship and ease walk hand-in-hand in this world, and embracing them both as being from the same benevolent source ensures that we walk with gratitude for our blessings and gratefulness for our challenges. We sincerely believe that mercy pervades the cosmos, and in recognizing that, we reconnect with the hope of spring, the serenity of summer, the beauty of autumn, and the majesty of winter. Each comes with its gifts, and each calls us to reflect. We hope this journal will reflect well the seasonal gifts of this wondrous journey we make each year around the sun, only to find ourselves back where we started. “From God we came and to God we return.”

Nawawi Foundation Review of Seasons

Like the seasons of the year, the Zaytuna Institute’s new bi-annual journal—Seasons—offers something for every reader. Today, we stand surrounded by dazzling testimonies to ourselves in scientific and technological achievement. Yet such gargantuan images of what man has wrought deflate as forcefully as they inflate; our marvels often leave us confused about what we are and the world around us and, perhaps, as disoriented as any generation before. Paradoxically in this age of maximum human triumph, one of our greatest challenges has become the task of learning again what humanity is and finding a path toward human fullness in ourselves and harmony with the natural order. Seasons accentuates Islam’s cosmic relation to all life’s facets and its impulse to lace them together in an integral and balanced whole. The journal is a beacon, aspiring to open our minds to timeless truths, to overcome the imbalance of the present, and to connect ourselves with God once again and with the marvelous order of the natural world within us and around us, no matter how disordered as human beings we may have become. Like the seasons in their succession, the journal is handsomely designed, offering complete consonance between content and aesthetic form. As varied as they are, its entries are relevant, accessible, informative, and engaging. Seasons lends itself to both leisurely and serious reading, as well as to inspiration and academic research. From prose to poetry, short articles and long, with a motley selection of styles and genres, Seasons’ assortments maintain unity of purpose, while opening a new and much needed forum for enlightened discussion. Like spring and summer, it brings forth new growth: the story of Florence Nightingale and her reflections on Islam and the Arab world, the biography of John Ward—famed seventeenth-century British Renegade—the story of the famous Victorian convert William Williamson, and even an examination the ardors of poetic translation. Like crops stored up in fall and winter, Seasons recasts a valuable harvest of past contributions, beautifully repackaged in a manner worthy of their lasting values: articles ranging from the permissibility of music, the question of jihad, the social-psychological challenges of postmodern identity, to the medicinal properties of honey.  Beneath this rich fabric of material run common themes regarding modernity and genuine religiosity, the eternal Islamic quest for understanding and tolerance, and divine love and spirituality in our time: “For everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens.”

- Umar F. Abd-Allah
The Nawawi Foundation


“The appearance of the journal Seasons is a welcomed event for those seriously interested in Islam and Islamic studies seen from within the tradition. The quality of the articles is high and the journal is well printed. I hope and pray that future issues of this journal will preserve the high standards already set and that the journal will find a wide audience both within and outside the Islamic community.”

- Seyyed Hossein Nasr
University Professor of Islamic Studies
George Washington University


“Seasons is a welcome addition to the bourgeoning literature about Islam in America.  Combining spirituality, culture and literary analysis, this new journal is a must read for those who seek to move into the heart of contemporary Islam.”

- Marc H. Ellis
University Professor of American and Jewish Studies
Director, Center for American and Jewish Studies
Baylor University


“Seasons is a welcome addition to literature on Islam and Muslims. Its issues bring together a cross section of Muslim and non-Muslim commentators who provide historical and theological perspectives on Islam and many of the critical issues facing Muslims as well as Muslim and non-Muslim relations in the twenty-first century.”

- John L. Esposito
University Professor & Founding Director
Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding
Georgetown University


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