Our Purpose

The Sila Initiative was founded to address the concerns of Muslim women in regards to their relationships with their families, society, and Islam. The Initiative is grounded in the work of contemporary ‘ulama, who are the inheritors of a rich tradition of Islamic scholarship. Through emphasizing the need for knowing and loving Allah, we hope our research and educational efforts will bring much needed balance to contemporary discussions on women and men in Islam and encourage Muslims to strengthen their relationship with Allah Most High.

Our Inspiration

“Verily men and women utter in their submission to Allah;
And men and women who truly believe;
And men and women devoted in adoration;
And men and women true in word and deed;
And men and women ever steadfast in patience;
And men and women humbled in dread and awe;
And men and women who expend in charity;
And men and women who fast;
And men and women who keep their private parts wholly chaste;
And men and women who remember Allah much:
Allah has prepared for all of them a mighty forgiveness and magnificent wage.”
Al-Qur’an 33:35

Why Sila?

The most familiar use of the word “sila” in the Arabic language is its use in the phrase “silat al-rahim,” i.e. “family bonds” or “bonds of kinship.” We at the Sila Initiative recognize that for a healthy Muslim existence, multiple types of bonds must be established and nurtured, such as those between parent and child, husband and wife, the elderly and the young, the untrained Muslim and the religious scholar, as well as those bonds that link together friends, neighbors, families, and communities.  Also, our firm belief is that these bonds cannot reach their full potential without an even more important bond being in place: the one that connects a human being to Allah Most High and to His Messenger, peace and blessings of God be upon him.

Our Goals


To help strengthen the faith of Muslim women and men

To promote a healthier vision of family and society

To provide Muslims with answers to some of their most perplexing questions on how to live in the modern world

The Approach

The Sila Initiative is an attempt to address a serious challenge that faces our ummah today, that being the misgivings that have been planted in the hearts of Muslims via the issue of “women and Islam.” We have taken on this project with the intention of bringing together a variety of intellectual resources present within our ummah. In so doing, we hope to develop and promote a comprehensive Islamic view of society and human relationships that holistically addresses contemporary concerns.

Our Vision

By bringing together the work of traditionally trained ‘ulama as well as Western-trained Muslim academics, we hope to conduct a comprehensive study of society and gender relationships as conceived of in the Islamic tradition. The ultimate goal of this project is to help strengthen the faith of Muslim women and men, to promote a healthier vision of family and society than what is currently being propagated by secular liberal thinkers, and to provide Muslims with answers to some of their most perplexing questions on how to live as men and women in the modern world.

Long-Term Goals

We are undertaking this project on a comprehensive, long-term scale in order to:

1) Collect and consolidate the existing work of ‘ulama on the issue of women and men in Islam;

2) Conduct research on matters that may not have yet been dealt with; and

3) Find a way to translate this material into a language that Western-educated Muslims in particular can understand.

Our Members

Sanjana Ahmad
Sulma Badrudduja
Fareeha Khan
Sadaf Khan
Fatima Lakhani
Luthfa Meah