Islamic Fiction in Malaysia: Q&A with Hilal Asyraf

The story is about a Malay Muslim warrior committed to helping the oppressed but remains nameless because he has never shared his name with others. At that time, the Malay Peninsula is ruled by a powerful Sultan that uses sihr (demonic magic) to stay young, invulnerable and possesses many superpowers. The story will lead readers to follow the journey of this nameless warrior, and how he will fight this Sultan. The legend, despite being action-packed, will honour practical Islamic messages, especially aqidah (creed), iman (faith), honour, and so on. Continue reading Islamic Fiction in Malaysia: Q&A with Hilal Asyraf

Colonialism and Gender Discourse: A Case Study on the Unique Case of the Ulema

The respectful attentiveness that has ever characterized the traditional attitudes of Muslims students before their teachers, male or female, is derived from the example of women as from the men who attended and served him [the Prophet ﷺ]. Shahr ibn Hawshab has narrated from Asma’ bint Yazid that she said: “I was holding the rein of ‘Adba, the she-camel of the Prophet ﷺ when [verses of the] surat al-Ma’idah [were] to him. Because of the heaviness of the revelation the camel’s leg (‘adud) was on the point of buckling (daqqa)”. [3] Continue reading Colonialism and Gender Discourse: A Case Study on the Unique Case of the Ulema

The Corrupt British Parliament and the Umayyad Caliph ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz – A Comparison

At the Cop26 conference in Glasgow on November 10, 2021, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I genuinely believe that the UK is not remotely a corrupt country.” This was in response to the furor surrounding the latest allegations of sleaze, following the resignation of former British cabinet minister Owen Paterson. Mr. Paterson had used his position and office to earn a total of £500,000 by lobbying for two corporations, which the Standards Committee described as “an egregious case of paid advocacy”. [1] Johnson’s comments addressed public outcry over Conservative MPs voting to prevent Mr. Paterson’s 30-day suspension for breaking parliamentary rules, as well as to change the procedures for how MPs are taken to task. 
This latest controversy struck at the very heart of the UK’s system of government and the ethical base of Western liberal democracies. Johnson argued that liberal democracy is the best system of government because of its moral grounding. [2] Abuses of authority, in cases such as that of Owen Paterson and the parliamentary vote in his favour, undermine the moral foundations of this system that the UK government claims to follow. Continue reading The Corrupt British Parliament and the Umayyad Caliph ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz – A Comparison

The Activist Economy

A number of celebrities, including Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, were recently invited onto a new TV series named “The Activist” where six individuals compete against one another to promote a particular cause. These include health, education and the environment. Online engagement was one of the metrics by which the impact of different causes was to be measured; however, after backlash, CBS announced changes to the format. Despite this, the existence of such a show raises questions about the way celebrities and major brands use social media activism to boost their profile. Continue reading The Activist Economy

Why the Likes of Naseeruddin Shah Are in the Wrong

Muslims under the rule of the Indian state are perhaps facing their worst crisis in the seven decades of the country’s existence. India has not only failed to put an end to massacres of it’s religious minorities, it has doubled down and democratically awarded a pogromist with the most powerful office in the land. Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in the summer of 2014, dozens of Muslim men have been lynched. Laws and policies that threaten the statehood of Muslims have been enacted (National Register of Citizens and Citizenship Amendment Act). In addition, abolition of article 35 (a) has enabled settler-colonialism in the Muslim-majority Kashmir, part of a UN-recognized disputed region. Continue reading Why the Likes of Naseeruddin Shah Are in the Wrong

Scriptural Reasoning: Healing the Divide Between the Self and the Other

The purpose of this piece is to bring attention to the field of scriptural reasoning which, among other approaches, proposes the use of logic of relations and a constructive-critical engagement with the Other. These approaches help curb the colonial instinct, or what has been identified as the subsuming nature of the Western philosophical thought, that stems from Enlightenment prejudices. The healing nature of these approaches can lead to possibilities of mediation and peaceful coexistence in the contemporary world order and the interaction between Islam and the West. It will help understand the needs of both the Other and the Self without delegitimizing or oppressing either one, because upon losing sight of the aim of peaceful coexistence one is bound to fall into the colonial instinct — as is the case with Enlightenment reasoning. Continue reading Scriptural Reasoning: Healing the Divide Between the Self and the Other

Al Aqsa is The Heart of Every Muslim

As social media displays horrific visuals showing catastrophe in Gaza, the public is beginning to understand the extent of Israel’s barbaric aggression. This has led to the large number of human lives lost, and stripping of basic rights in the Old City of Jerusalem. Unfortunately, there remains a bleak sight in the future for Palestinians who notice no sign of it ending to this date. Continue reading Al Aqsa is The Heart of Every Muslim

Pious Voyage and the Unconscious Pilgrims of an Exacting Belief

“Pious Voyage and the unconscious Pilgrims of an exacting belief,” reviews Joseph Conrad’s 1900 novel, “Lord Jim,” which depicts some fascinating facts about Muslim pilgrims and their pilgrimage. Conrad introduces Hajj pilgrims and their unshakable trust in God as “Unconscious.” This article probes the cohesion of the “unconscious” with facts and discusses how the pilgrims differ from tourists. Ultimately, the article critically examines the historical narrative at the root of Lord Jim. Continue reading Pious Voyage and the Unconscious Pilgrims of an Exacting Belief