Musings on The Impossible State

A Book Review of The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament by Wael Hallaq Introduction For a beginner, The Impossible State (henceforth referred to as TIS) is an incomprehensible tome. Throughout the book, Hallaq strings together technical terms effortlessly. It took me a few reads to even begin to understand Hallaq’s central thesis, let alone the finer details embedded across the text. Therein lies … Continue reading Musings on The Impossible State

Ideology and Globalization

Defining “ideology” is a burdensome feat, as the term is used in a plethora of diverse contexts. Friedrich Engels, a prominent German philosopher, used the term to refer to abstract ideas that were independent of tangible existence. Later, Marxists described it as a malicious veil blinding the masses to the reality of their exploitation. Ultramodern colloquial usage takes a simpler approach by imposing the term … Continue reading Ideology and Globalization

Dostoevsky’s Strange Ideas and the Modern Terrorist

While nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer, nothing is more difficult than to understand him. [1] ​The quotation above is less a reflection of what Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) actually said — as it remains unverified but frequently cited — but more of what the Russian author’s novels continue to offer us: an understanding of the evildoer. His novel, Crime and Punishment, is known for … Continue reading Dostoevsky’s Strange Ideas and the Modern Terrorist

الإنشقاق عن الحداثة

تفتح التلفاز أو أي موقع تواصل اجتماعي مثل تويتر، وترى نقاش الناس حول مقطع فيديو، أو حدث سياسي ، أو مقال في أحدى المجلات فأينما تنظر، تجد رأي وفكر مختلف، وهذا يسبب كثير من الجدل. ولكن قبل التعليق على أي شئ، علينا أن ندرك أولا ما هو النظام الفكري والإيديولوجي الذي نستعمله لتحليل أي موضوع. وعلينا أن ندرك أيضا أن بعض الأنظمة الفكرية هي صناعة … Continue reading الإنشقاق عن الحداثة

Le Prétexte Laïque: L’État en tant que Divinité

Avec les avancées technologiques et les informations qui nous arrivent dessus à une vitesse délirante, nous faisons face à un assaut de questions éthiques importantes. De l’impact des politiques économiques sur les communautés locales, en passant par les débats et législations sur la liberté d’expression, jusqu’à l’origine et le caractère sacré de la vie humaine, nous voyons les politiciens traiter des questions qui mettent en cause, … Continue reading Le Prétexte Laïque: L’État en tant que Divinité

Envisager la politique au delà de la gauche et la droite.

La multitude de courants politique de l’ère moderne révèle une profonde incertitude ontologique dont on nous a promis qu’elle n’allait jamais se produire. On nous a vendu l’idée qu’en rejetant la révélation divine, supposée être la marmite d’où provenaient l’hostilité et la division, nous trouverions l’harmonie sociale. Au lieu de Dieu, nous étions censés adopter la raison et les idéologies fruit de la raison humaine, qui auraient … Continue reading Envisager la politique au delà de la gauche et la droite.

تحليل الإعجاز العلمي في القرآن

بالدخول على شبكة الإنترنت، نجد الكثير من المواد الإعلامية تتحدث عن الإعجاز العلمي في القرآن. هناك مؤسسات دعوية مهتمة بنشر هذه المعجزات وإثبات حقيقة دين الإسلام بهن. لكن هذا الأسلوب مليء بالتناقضات، وفي خلاف مع تفهيم علماء التفسير للقرآن الكريم. بعض الأمثلة: يقول القرآن أن الأرض مفلطحة يذكر فى القرآن الصفائح التكتونية يصف القرآن نظرية الإنفجار العظيم يصف القرآن دورة المياه على الأرض يذكر القرآن … Continue reading تحليل الإعجاز العلمي في القرآن

The Aesthetics of Islamic Law

When Islamic law is discussed, particularly in a polemical context, it is usually evaluated from either a moral or a practical angle. Those who espouse its virtues tend to say something along the lines of: God, being our creator, deserves our obedience (aka, a moral argument); and His ordinances are best attuned to human nature (aka, a practical observation). Very rarely are purely aesthetic considerations … Continue reading The Aesthetics of Islamic Law

Islamising Language: Ontology in the Modern Era

I’ve spent the past few months in perplexed introspection. I’ve been reflecting on the fact that cognitive scientists have gathered a tremendous amount of evidence that suggests that the language(s) we speak changes not only how we see the world, but also who we fundamentally are. Language influences our values and shapes how we code our experiences [1,2]. Knowing this, I’ve questioned how much of … Continue reading Islamising Language: Ontology in the Modern Era

Tasawwuf as Islamic Existentialism: A Meditation

Existence is a strange thing. While it permeates all that is and all that we experience, it eludes our grasp. Existence is the very ground upon which humanity stands and subsists. This ontological realization is known as existentialism. It concerns what it means to exist and its associated consequences, our freedom as beings in the world with intentionality, or even the constraints of our freedom … Continue reading Tasawwuf as Islamic Existentialism: A Meditation