Mustafa Briggs’ Beyond Bilal

A Book Review of Beyond Bilal by Mustafa Briggs How did the Yoruba, an ethnic group of southwestern Nigeria, become Muslim? How did Islam gain such widespread prominence throughout Black Africa? Growing up as a Muslim Nigerian-American, these were questions I had from a very young age. In masajid halaqat (spiritual gatherings in mosques to discuss the Qur’an and Sunnah), Islamic elementary and middle schools, … Continue reading Mustafa Briggs’ Beyond Bilal

Soetsu Yanagi: ‘The Beauty of Everyday Things’

“The Beauty of Everyday Things,” is a compilation of writings by Soetsu Yanagi (1889 – 1961), an art historian and philosopher of religion, who founded the Mingei (民芸) movement of Japanese folk art, inspired by the beautifully hand-crafted objects created by ordinary and often unknown artisans for everyday use. [1] Influenced by John Ruskin and William Morris, his writings on Mingei integrate aesthetics, metaphysics, nationalism and material production. Alongside supporting the efforts of artisans to preserve traditional techniques, Yanagi also founded the Japan Folk Crafts Museum in 1936, which is still open and active today. Continue reading Soetsu Yanagi: ‘The Beauty of Everyday Things’

Syria’s Conflict, Islamic Legitimacy, and ‘Order versus Anarchy’

The cataclysmic earthquakes that have struck Syria and Turkey this month have ignited debate about effective aid measures and, by extension, the politics of the Syrian conflict. The Syrian government has taken no small pleasure in an opportunity to ease its official diplomatic freeze in much of the world, blaming Western sanctions for the difficulty in aid and in turn bringing into question the politics of the conflict. Unfortunately, to claim that sanctions are in themselves to blame for aid difficulty ignores the fact that the vast majority of the devastation has hit areas outside government control and under the control of the Syrian opposition, which were already subjected to a crippling, Gaza-style siege by the very same government. It is a further mistake, not in theoretical but in purely factual terms, to compare Syria with other Muslim countries — such as Afghanistan, Iran, or formerly Iraq — that are under sanctions, because in everything but name the Syrian government has been the major beneficiary of the status quo. Continue reading Syria’s Conflict, Islamic Legitimacy, and ‘Order versus Anarchy’

The Ibn ‘Arabī Connection: How Akbarian Metaphysics Shaped South Asian Sufism      

To those that, like me, spent their lockdown evenings watching Diliriş: Ertuğrul, Ibn ʿArabī will be a familiar name. Draped in the robes of a dervish, Ozman Sirgood’s character wanders the landscapes of medieval Anatolia, dispensing scriptural wisdom and delivering spiritual guidance to the eponymous protagonist and his plucky tribespeople. Continue reading The Ibn ‘Arabī Connection: How Akbarian Metaphysics Shaped South Asian Sufism      

علماء المسلمين في اليابان: التفكر في الإسلام في مجتمع غير مسلم

ما يلي مقتبس من محاضرة الدكتور قييم ناوكي ياماموتو ، العلماء المسلمون في اليابان: التفكير في الإسلام في مجتمع غير مسلم. وهو جزء من سلسلة محاضرات من ثلاثة أجزاء بعنوان “شرق آسيا والإسلام: الحاضر والماضي والمستقبل” في مركز الدراسات الآسيوية والشرق أوسطية (CAMES). تم اختصار النص وتحريره للتدفق مع بعض التعليقات الإضافية من قبل الدكتور ياماموتو. أظن أن معظم الناس ليسوا على دراية بالتاريخ الإسلامي … Continue reading علماء المسلمين في اليابان: التفكر في الإسلام في مجتمع غير مسلم

Of Pharaoh and Thamud

A few hundred kilometers northwest of Medina lies the valley of Al-Hijr, where Thamud, the tribe of Saleh (pbuh), once dwelt. All that remains of the land they once inhabited is marvelous architecture — towering, ornately carved stone outcrops that survive to this day. When the Prophet ﷺ and his Companions passed through this valley on their way to the Battle of Tabuk, he instructed them saying, “Do not enter the ruined dwellings of those who were unjust to themselves unless (you enter) weeping, lest you should suffer the same punishment as was inflicted upon them.”[1] Continue reading Of Pharaoh and Thamud

From Principles to Patients: Darul Qasim College’s Approach to Islamic Bioethics

What is the ‘Muslim’ response to June 24th, when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, allowing states to develop their own standards for abortion laws? How can shifāʾ — the all-encompassing cure mentioned in the Quran — inform the modern drug development pipeline? Where can Muslim physicians draw on their desire for ihsān (excellence) to improve care for patients, be they Muslim or not? Muslim physicians likely account for at least 4.5% of all practicing physicians in America, but beyond our strength in numbers, what else can we offer to the broader society that is informed by our Islam? Continue reading From Principles to Patients: Darul Qasim College’s Approach to Islamic Bioethics