A Review of S. A. Chakraborty’s The City of Brass One of the factors that has distinguished the literary tradition in the Muslim world from that of the cultural West for much of the past millennium is the modality adopted by popular literature. Poetry was very much a staple of literary expression throughout Islamic civilization, whereas fictional prose did not enjoy the same status that … Continue reading Faith and Fantasy: Is Islamic Fiction Viable?
In his book My Name is Red, Orhan Pamuk tells a story of miniaturists in sixteenth century Istanbul that provokes reflection on contemporary events in the world. While the connection between the ideologies in the 16th and 20th/21st centuries are implicit, Pamuk’s book offers a metaphoric reading on political, cultural, social, and religious interactions and ideologies of modern-day Turkey. In My Name is Red, Pamuk … Continue reading Parallelizing the Past to the Present
A Book Review of Sea Without Shore by Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller The depth and breadth of the Islamic tradition is beyond comprehension, with countless transformed souls having carried the torch of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ since his passing from the physical world. Technical names for the sciences of Islam based on the Hadith of Jibril took firm grounding, with Islam, Iman, and Ihsan becoming … Continue reading Rekindling Muslim Scholastic and Spiritual Consciousness
A Book Review of Prohibitions of the Tongue by Shaykh Muhammad Mawlud Normative ethics across the political and religious spectrum today often relies on rigid application of absolutes. The one who opposes oppression must fight to eradicate every oppressor and never be kind to one. The one who loves must love everyone as they are, revealing not a smidgen of intolerance. The one who cares … Continue reading What’s Missing From Today’s Ethical Mindset?
A Book Review of The Reconstruction of Religious Thought by Allama Muhammad Iqbal Known as the spiritual father of the “idea of Pakistan” and “Hakeem-ul-Ummat (sage of Ummah),” Allama Sir Muhammed Iqbal commands a profound impact on the Muslim intellectual tradition. Bang-e-Dara, The Secrets of the Self, Message from the East, and Javid Nama persist as great poetry collections. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A.) in 1906, and … Continue reading Deconstructing the Reconstruction: Analyzing Iqbalian Discourse
A Book Review of With the Heart in Mind by Mikaeel Ahmed Smith In addressing the concept of aql’ (intellect), extensive scholarship has attempted to answer the questions of what is intellect and what is its purpose? Shaykh Mikhaeel Ahmed Smith begins his book, With the Heart in Mind, by outlining the paradigms that have shaped modern understanding of intelligence as being removed from, often … Continue reading A Case for Moral and Emotional Intelligence
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
A Book Review of Commentary on the Eleventh Contentions by Abdal Hakim Murad Storytelling – that’s not the future. The future, I’m afraid, is flashes and impulses. – Dexter Palmer With this quotation does Abdal Hakim Murad open his book, Commentary on the Eleventh Contentions, a collection of one hundred scattered contentions, namely, short phrases and declarations that can indeed most aptly be described as poignant “flashes … Continue reading A Diagnosis of the Modern Condition