Don’t Violate the Rights of the Poor: A Guide to Doing Zakat Right

Muslims normally pay their Zakat in Ramadan. The holy month is a sanctuary, in which good deeds and bad deeds alike weigh immeasurably more heavily. Zakat, Islam’s obligatory alms, demands that anyone with sufficient wealth must discharge a portion of it as a form of purification. It is a khass (specific) command, separate to the general encouragement to give in charity. This means that, like … Continue reading Don’t Violate the Rights of the Poor: A Guide to Doing Zakat Right

Mughal India: The Role of Law in Life

The Shari’ah is best distinguished from Islamic law. Islamic law, usul-al-fiqh, consists of four separate sources: the Qur’an, Hadith, the consensus of the Islamic community and analogical reasoning. The Arabic linguistic definition of Shari’ah is the “path” to water. Shari’ah is the immutable divine will of God and a comprehensive metaphysical philosophy to Muslims, while fiqh is a tool that Islamic jurists have utilised to … Continue reading Mughal India: The Role of Law in Life

An Introduction to Kalam

As the Muslim world once again becomes safe for Madhahib, or Sunni legal schools of thought, the next ‘elephant in the room’ must be addressed: creed. Muslim creed is probably the most hotly debated subject in modern Muslim history. Historically, most debates regarding Muslim creed were between Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama’ah (Orthodox Sunnis) and heretical groups. Today, the debates focus on who constitutes Ahl al-Sunnah … Continue reading An Introduction to Kalam

Legal Pluralism Within International Commercial Law

At the heart of how much of the Muslim-majority world regulates its financial and banking laws, Islamic contract and commercial law extends globally. In 2008, Islamic banks globally held about $250 million dollars (1). Less than half a decade later, Islamic banks held over $1.50 trillion. Indonesia, Qatar, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey made up 78% of the international Islamic banking assets within commercial banks … Continue reading Legal Pluralism Within International Commercial Law

On Spiritual Humility

Muslims are superficially familiar with the concept of spiritual humility. Our elders often scold us and remind us of the virtues of humility. Nonetheless, a question that is rarely answered (or even asked) is how does one attain spiritual humility? Even further, what is humility? What role does our self-esteem play? The scarcity of these questions and their answers are reflective of the scarcity of … Continue reading On Spiritual Humility

Eid Through the Looking Glass

With the birth of a new moon marking Shawwal, the tenth month in the Islamic calendar, the time for Ramadan has waxed and waned, and it is now the holiday of Eid ul-Fitr or Celebration of the Feast. The words themselves conjure scenes of joy and festivity, with tables adorned with aromatic, mouthwatering treats and animated by a carousel of loved ones. These scenes are … Continue reading Eid Through the Looking Glass

God is not a Bank

One of the pitfalls of contemporary religiosity is a misunderstanding of God’s relationship with human beings. Our conception of God is essential to how we treat religious obligations and life in general. Understanding God as an indifferent “clock maker,” who doesn’t care about our daily lives, breeds apathy towards the question of whether He even established commands for humans to follow, leading one to live … Continue reading God is not a Bank

Ramadan: The Month of Anti-Imperialism

En Español Muslims have grown accustomed to living in a perpetual state of defense as the price of their existence, readily deploying explanations for their religious and cultural practices. This may well be an acceptable and even advisable transaction to keep the peace in diverse modern societies, but with the holy month of Ramadan underway, one cannot ignore the distinctly modern tinges in the explanations … Continue reading Ramadan: The Month of Anti-Imperialism

Islamic Creed in a Secular World

En Français Muslims often struggle to explain the crises of faith evident in the coming generation. “They need to pray more” or “they’re being ungrateful” are common, dismissive answers, which reduce crises into a damaging platitude. What is prayer without knowledge? What is gratitude without awareness of whom one should thank? These questions affirm that Muslims today face the loss of our connection with ‘aqida … Continue reading Islamic Creed in a Secular World