Logic as a Tool for Adab

There is something quite bizarre about walking into an Islamic studies lecture to hear figures of the past defined in modern terms. With ease, the figure of Rābi’ah al-’Adawiyyah is described not just as a Ṣūfī but someone who “emphasise[s] the autonomy and capacity to remain free of any male authority”; this definition is then over time translated to “a brave woman who fought against patriarchy and oppression from institutionalised orthodoxy” (a phrase I heard in a Harvard class). [1] Intuitively, one might feel a discomfort at hearing the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ described as a “feminist” simply because Islām’s denouncement of Jahili practices came to raise the status of women. Continue reading Logic as a Tool for Adab

Ramadan: Beyond the Nafs, Towards the Lord

The reduction of Islamic practices to an incentive of material or individualist well-being is in effect a liberal remaking of Islam. In essence fasting cultivates a self that is conscious of the truth: that we do not have the right to food, water, and sex when Allah decrees such. The feeling of hunger and thirst, and the inability to do away with them despite having the means to, is meant to reinforce within our souls the recognition of Allah’s ultimate power. Continue reading Ramadan: Beyond the Nafs, Towards the Lord

Macauley ke Bache: On Our Relationship to Urdu

The list of dead, white British men who lorded over the Subcontinent is long, but Thomas Macauley holds a special place among them. The archetypal British colonial administrator, Macauley was best known for his instrumental role in entrenching English into the cultural and epistemic life of the Subcontinent. In decreeing the supremacy of English as the language of power, and the displacement of traditional sciences and knowledges, Macaulay famously said: “We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern, — a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.”  Continue reading Macauley ke Bache: On Our Relationship to Urdu

میکالے کے بچے : ہم اور زبانِ اردو

  پیشِ لفظ: میں نے درجِ زیل تحریر بِحیثیتِ سمندر پار پاکستانی لکھی ہے۔  اس مضمون کو ذاتی تنقید، کسی پر حملہ یا طنز نہ سمجھا جائ۔  اس مقالہ کا انگریزی ترجمہ بھی دستیاب ہے۔ نیز اس مقالہ کا رسم الخظ شاید نستعلیق نہیں ہوگا، اس ویبسئٹ میں کچھ خامیاں ہیں جن کا حل میرے بس سے باہر ہے۔ برِ صغیر پر حکمرانی کرنے والے برطانوی … Continue reading میکالے کے بچے : ہم اور زبانِ اردو

Islamicate Literature — a Tool to Tackle Islamophobia

 Islamophobia is a long standing, deeply entrenched, global issue. Growing bodies of research point to the proliferation of Islamophobia cases across the globe in recent years. It disrupts civil society at many levels, from anti-Muslim policies to heightened tensions and hate crimes, including the increased bullying of Muslim children. One of the core causes of Islamophobia is ignorance, which is often fueled by stereotyped and negative portrayals of Muslims in media and popular culture.   Continue reading Islamicate Literature — a Tool to Tackle Islamophobia

Andy Weir’s Artemis: Muslims in Science Fiction

A number of movies in recent years like Dune, Interstellar, and The Martian thrust science fiction back into the media-consumer American consciousness. Andy Weir, the author of The Martian (which the movie was based on) has become a household name for more ardent fans, and duly so. The Martian and his recent Project Hail Mary are excellent science fiction stories of a man’s last efforts to survive against all odds. Both feature a tight plotline epitomizing the struggle against the forces of nature and humorous narrators. He writes with wit and weaves these tales with remarkable fluidity by contrasting humor with impending doom, and the vast swathes of space and nature with man’s frailty against a backdrop of highly technical ingenuity. In comparison, his 2017 novel Artemis fell short. However, the addition of a Muslim character warrants further analysis and the potential of Muslim science-fiction. Continue reading Andy Weir’s Artemis: Muslims in Science Fiction

近代性という「猛獣」を手懐ける―イスラーム的アプローチ―

ティモシー・ウィンター教授としても知られるアブドゥルハキーム・ムラド師は「虎を乗りこなす」という表現を用いて、近代性から退却するのではなく、敵対的あるいは友好的なアプローチをもって立ち向かうことを論じた。 Continue reading 近代性という「猛獣」を手懐ける―イスラーム的アプローチ―