Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research

Islam Beautifies Culture

The infographic below introduces the beauty of Islam enriched by culture and what it can offer to the global Muslim community.

Read the full publication to learn more.

Muslims make up a global community of beautiful cultures. Sometimes, however, our spaces are dominated by those who unintentionally offer their own interpretation if Islam as the only right way. It creates a notion that a normative “Muslim culture” exists, and that becoming Muslim requires you to fit a certain mold or become a completely different person.

Filtering cultural knowledge through set Islamic guidelines derived from the Qur’an and Hadith will help us recognize that there is no single cultural way of practicing that is more Islamic — there are just various expressions of Islam. Cultural knowledge brings a lot of benefit to the global Muslim community. But often, some groups that dominate Muslim spaces unintentionally impose their own interpretations of Islam as the only true way, excluding indigenous and minority communities, and ultimately driving out those who don’t feel like they belong. The key is to recognize that all cultural knowledge is important, and that we need to value such knowledge from under-represented communities. This will not only allow us to learn from each other’s unique experiences to tackle problems — it will also enrich our global community and foster greater harmony.

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Muhammad Khalifa

SENIOR FELLOW | Dr. Muhammad Khalifa is the Robert H. Beck Professor of Ideas in Education in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development at the University of Minnesota. He is a former district administrator and science teacher in Detroit Public Schools and is a leading expert on educational reform in African and Asian contexts.

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Nimo M. Abdi

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR | Dr. Nimo M. Abdi is an Assistant Professor in the department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota. She received her PhD from Michigan State University in Educational Administration. Her research focuses on immigrant and refugee education, particularly as it relates to cultural, racial, and religious diversity. Her primary methodological approaches are phenomenology, decolonization theory/methodologies, and discourse analysis.

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Omar Suleiman

Imam Omar Suleiman is the Founder and President of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, and an Adjunct Professor of Islamic Studies in the Graduate Liberal Studies Program at SMU (Southern Methodist University). He is also the Resident Scholar at Valley Ranch Islamic Center and Co-Chair Emeritus of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square.

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James Wright

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR | Dr. James Wright is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University. James’ research agenda is highlighted by the ways in which educational administration and leadership are positioned to rewrite historical inequities across the educational landscape. He has worked as a K-12 school administrator in international schools and as an educational consultant in Cairo, Egypt.