A Book Review of ‘Infamies of the Soul and Their Treatments’

Matters of the body are relatively straightforward: if an organ or limb or tissue is afflicted, medical expertise is sought, and then one hopes for an effective treatment, perhaps in the form of a pill or medical procedure. Humans understand the consequences and pain of neglecting a physical ailment. We intuitively recognize the necessity of preserving physical health to better experience life (and worship Allah), pouring millions of dollars into understanding the mechanisms underlying diseases. The acute awareness of our fleeting mortality only fuels fastidious research. But in matters of the soul and their ailments, popular prescriptions seem to float in the realm of self-care books and gimmicks or models of mental health care that reject the role of spirituality altogether, unable to combat increasing spiritual deterioration. Continue reading A Book Review of ‘Infamies of the Soul and Their Treatments’

La cultura de representación: Negociando el musulmán del televisión

Este artículo es una parte de serie que estudia la representación de los musulmanes y el islam en distintos terrenos de: los medios, la política y la cultura. Los autores discutirán las deficiencias de la representación e invitarán a los lectores a cuestionar a qué objetivo sirven en primer lugar.  Durante su entrenamiento, en el tercer episodio del programa 911 Lone Star, se cayó el … Continue reading La cultura de representación: Negociando el musulmán del televisión

Dowry Among Muslims in India

Dowry (jahez or tilak) – referring to the gifting of land, wealth, or gifts from the bride and her family to the groom – has an ugly and long history. It was a custom practiced in the time of the Code of Hammurabi, and in the Roman and Greek empires. In English common law, the doctrine of coverture viewed a woman’s legal existence to be merged with that of her husband, so all wealth and property would be held by him; during the Victorian era, upper-class families viewed dowries as a replacement for inheritance. While the practice of dowry was historically and today less common than payments from grooms to brides, dowry in India remains a social epidemic. Continue reading Dowry Among Muslims in India

Hijab Laws and State Violence in Iran

In the past week, a young woman, Mahsa Amini, died in Iranian custody after allegedly being arrested for wearing improper garments. The government reports that she died from heart failure or stroke; her family maintains she was beaten to death by police. We ask Allah ﷻ to have mercy on her soul, and reunite her and her family in the lush gardens of the afterlife. Continue reading Hijab Laws and State Violence in Iran

Indonesia’s Moderate Islam Forum and the BJP

On Friday, August 26, 2022, The Print published an article regarding a summit planned by the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia, home to the world’s largest population of Muslims, hoping to “quell the ideas of radical Islam and extremism and promote moderatism.” Language like this already rings alarm bells, considering the notorious Prevent and Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)’s strategy of delineating arbitrary markers of radicalization, and entrapping Muslims under what becomes effectively a police state. The nail in the coffin, so to speak, is the presence of a central committee member, Ram Madhav, a BJP politician who once served as General Secretary of the party and is a member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The BJP is India’s ruling party, and current Prime Minister Modi was an architect of the 2002 Gujarat massacre of Muslims. Continue reading Indonesia’s Moderate Islam Forum and the BJP

Seerah in English: Martin Lings’ “Muhammed: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources”

The late Martin Lings’ (also known as Abu Bakr Siraj al-Din) Muhammad ﷺ: His Life Based On The Earliest Sources is among the seerah books written in English that have received widespread acclaim. Originally published in 1983, the book continues to be among highly-ranked seerah literature in the English language and read by scholars and laypeople alike. Continue reading Seerah in English: Martin Lings’ “Muhammed: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources”

Andy Weir’s Artemis: Muslims in Science Fiction

A number of movies in recent years like Dune, Interstellar, and The Martian thrust science fiction back into the media-consumer American consciousness. Andy Weir, the author of The Martian (which the movie was based on) has become a household name for more ardent fans, and duly so. The Martian and his recent Project Hail Mary are excellent science fiction stories of a man’s last efforts to survive against all odds. Both feature a tight plotline epitomizing the struggle against the forces of nature and humorous narrators. He writes with wit and weaves these tales with remarkable fluidity by contrasting humor with impending doom, and the vast swathes of space and nature with man’s frailty against a backdrop of highly technical ingenuity. In comparison, his 2017 novel Artemis fell short. However, the addition of a Muslim character warrants further analysis and the potential of Muslim science-fiction. Continue reading Andy Weir’s Artemis: Muslims in Science Fiction

Religion and Pork: Issues With Alternative Meats

In a previous article, I outlined some issues ‘ulema have discussed with cultured (also known as lab-grown) meat. One is the impossibility of a blanket replacement of meat with lab-grown meat in light of religious obligations and recommendations of slaughter on certain occasions. The American Fiqh Academy’s fatwa (ruling) from Mufti Abdullah Nana, Abrar Mirza, and Sohail Bengali also note the current procedure’s use of impermissible animal products (mainly Fetal Bovine Serum [FBS]) and the source cells (derived from living animals), which constitutes maytah (carrion) and is haram for consumption. Continue reading Religion and Pork: Issues With Alternative Meats