Thinking Palestine Through Islam: The Mirage of Secular Dissent as Epistemic Resistance Against Israel

The central tenet of Islamic belief – the proclamation of lā ilāha illallāh, or “there is no God but Allah” – forms the underlying consciousness that breathes meaning into the existence of every Muslim. This proclamation, or kalimah, is made up of two seemingly opposing statements – a negation followed by an affirmation. Ostensibly, this might seem contradictory, even irreconcilable. The reality, however, is far from it — a closer look revealing the logically consistent structure underpinning this attestation of faith. The affirmation of illallāh, literally, “but Allah,” comes after a negation, lā ilāha, meaning “there is no God,” or no “fossilized system” — with its own truth claims to a pluriversal metaphysical order, which, at its roots, questions the divine ontologically-grounded hierarchy of differentiation, or, in other words, doubts and disputes the absolute divinity of Allah. Continue reading Thinking Palestine Through Islam: The Mirage of Secular Dissent as Epistemic Resistance Against Israel

The Metaphysics of Palestine

Taha begins his lecture by declaring that political analysts, historians, anthropologists, and sociologists—even if they are pro-Palestine—have engaged in secular violence to Palestine by erasing the ghayb in their analysis of Palestinian history. The world of the unseen—or the ghayb in Quranic idiom—is a critical feature of discussing the land, and by assigning Palestine into secular time, outside of her ghaybi, cosmic, dimension is to conscript Palestine into a Western philosophical framing.

We can not limit Zionist violence to temporality but must trace it to spatiality and geography: by forbidding Palestinians from praying in Masjid al-Aqsā’, or Masjid al-Baḥr, in Jaffa, or even accessing their historical Awqāf, legal endowments, Zionism hopes to shear off the millennium-long metaphysical relationship of Palestinian desire to kneel before God in their ancestrally-constructed Masājid—and the angels who populate those very spaces of spiritual yearning for God. Taha brilliantly sums the acuteness of this: “Palestinian relationship to time is only decreased with the loss of their relationship with geography.” Continue reading The Metaphysics of Palestine

Girlfriend Ḥalāl: What Happens When Islam Is Bereft of Submission

Before meeting Senator Menendez, Nadine was friends with an immigrant of Egyptian origins, Wael Hana. Somehow, Hana had become the sole halal certifier authorized to clear meat exports to Egypt, a marked change from the Egyptian government’s years-long practice of accepting the certifications of a handful of U.S.-based legacy certifiers.

However, this particular monopoly carried a comical twist—Mr. Hana was a Christian and had no idea what halal was. That did not stop him from forcing a manifold increase in certification fees for meat exports, driving a sharp spike in certification revenues, and ultimately, costs to the Egyptian consumer. Continue reading Girlfriend Ḥalāl: What Happens When Islam Is Bereft of Submission

The Grammar of Reality

Grammar is often viewed as a tedious and unimaginative subject, pertaining merely to our means of mundane communication. Squeezed dry of any life, outwardly it appears to be an endeavor devoid of any inspiration. Even moreso, for a traditional student of knowledge, memorizing obscure aberrant verses of poetry to deliver grammatical points, parsing the construction of sentences (al-iʿrāb) and dwelling on the niceties of the disagreement between grammarians can seem daunting. Understanding the grammatical cases of sentences, be it nominative, accusative, or genitive may not be the most important thing that pops out of an English grammar textbook. However, for a student of classical Arabic, it is all that matters.  Continue reading The Grammar of Reality

Al-Tirmidhī’s Bayān al-Farq

This is a translation of the first chapter of the Persian jurist al-Ḥakīm al-Tirmidhī’s Bayān al-Farq bayna al-Ṣadr wa-l-Qalb wa-l-Fuʾād wa-l-Lubb. I may translate the rest in due time, as some of the contents in my following pieces on Akbarian Metaphysics, in shāʾ Allāh, may be better understood by non-Arabic speakers after reading this chapter, although I will make references to and translate excerpts from the succeeding ones as necessary. Let us now proceed to the translation. Continue reading Al-Tirmidhī’s Bayān al-Farq

Halal Consumption and Our Spiritual Health

We must be scrupulous in what we eat because the rest of human civilization depends on us. The actions of non-Muslims are not as important as the actions of Muslims — it is the actions of Muslims that govern the welfare of the entire planet. We are responsible for what happens in the world. Our good deeds have a good impact and our bad deeds have a bad impact — not only on the physical environment but on people. Continue reading Halal Consumption and Our Spiritual Health

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      

Abd al-Wahhab al-Sha’rani and His al-Minan al-Kubra

Al-Minan al-Kubra is a fascinating text that can almost be placed in a genre of its own. Not only is the book bursting with beneficial advice and specific examples of the manifestations of various virtues, but it is also a glimpse into al-Sha’rani’s own life. From the beginning he speaks of his own lineage, and throughout the text he mentions countless occurrences in his own life and the lives of his teachers, companions, and students. Continue reading Abd al-Wahhab al-Sha’rani and His al-Minan al-Kubra

In the Aftermath of The Gorgeous Prophet

In our symposiums, time and time again, the Prophet’s events and the chronicle of his life-stories, life-battles, are documented before us. However, in terms of the outward, the visage, that is, the gorgeousness of the Prophet—I aim to elaborate his beauty. What was his height? The footprint? Hair? The palpable delight of his face? How may we understand them all? Continue reading In the Aftermath of The Gorgeous Prophet