Remembering Ustadha Hind Shalabī

On June 24th, 2021, the Tunisian scholar Hind Shalabi passed away and returned to her Lord. She became a hafidha (someone who has memorized the entire Qur’an) at a young age, and later attended the University of Zitouna where she became a professor. She authored multiple books in the Qur’anic sciences. Considering the environment she grew up in, Shalabi’s intellectual and academic achievements are all … Continue reading Remembering Ustadha Hind Shalabī

Muslim Scholars in Japan: Contemplating Islam in a Non-Muslim Society

I suspect most people are not familiar with Islamic history in East Asia, despite the region being home to one of the world’s oldest masjids, built in 7th or 8th century China. More recently, in 20th century Japan, the Kobe Masjid was built and mostly supported by foreign Tatar, Turkish, and South Asian Muslims. (You can see a South Asian influence in its architecture.) Japan has one of the youngest Muslim communities in history, making East Asia home to both the oldest Islamic traditions established by a non-Arab and the youngest. Continue reading Muslim Scholars in Japan: Contemplating Islam in a Non-Muslim Society

Towards An Islamic Theory of Culture Part II: On Islamicates and Third Ways

The modern history of the Balkans region presents a great analogy for the West’s anxieties towards the Islamic world, an uncanny image of an Islamic heritage which the heirs of Christendom wished to forget. From the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the 1920s, through to the rise and fall of Yugoslavia such an image would remain. During the Bosnian civil war of the 1990s, Serbian nationalist propaganda would evoke this Islamic past in order to alienate the Bosnian Muslim population, pejoratively referred to as “Turks,” to illustrate their supposed foreignness and therefore lack of belonging to the region. [5] In this light, Bosnia finds itself in geographical and cultural limbo. Such was the world which Alija Izetbegovic (1925-2003) was born into, and such was the world molded him. Continue reading Towards An Islamic Theory of Culture Part II: On Islamicates and Third Ways

Language is a Grandmother: The Long and Torturous Death of Urdu in America

Language is a Grandmother is a reckoning with the inheritance of Urdu for Muslims in America, seeking to provoke devastating self-interrogation in a critical moment: What will be the legacy of Urdu in America? What should be its legacy? What is Urdu’s relationship to Islam? The essay twins the life of Urdu with the life of the author’s grandmother— that language cannot escape the breath, and the death, of its heirs, while also rivering into the Islamic tradition to unearth the project of language and revelation vis-à-vis the Quran and the Prophet ‎ﷺ: How should Muslims live joyfully with wahy in their own language? Continue reading Language is a Grandmother: The Long and Torturous Death of Urdu in America

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

Gott ist keine Bank

Einer der Fallstricke der gegenwärtigen Religiosität ist ein Missverständnis gegenüber Gottes Beziehung zu den Menschen. Unser Verständnis von Gott ist wesentlich dafür, wie wir mit religiösen Verpflichtungen und dem Leben im Allgemeinen umgehen. Gott als einen gleichgültigen „Uhrenmacher“ zu verstehen, der sich nicht für unser tägliches Leben interessiert, führt zu Apathie gegenüber der Frage, ob er überhaupt Gebote aufgestellt hat, denen die Menschen folgen sollten, … Continue reading Gott ist keine Bank

Towards An Islamic Theory of Culture Part I: On Culture & The West

While the term “cultural studies” would not emerge as a distinguished academic discipline until the 1960s (with the establishment of the Centre for Cultural Studies in Birmingham), culture as an aspect of social life was first given serious consideration in the nineteenth century. During this period, many of the thinkers occupying the academic sphere of Europe — and by extension America — observed what they believed to be distinct and radical shifts in the social and intellectual currents of their respective societies. By the early twentieth century, these observations of “culture” were explained as symptoms of a new historical era. Continue reading Towards An Islamic Theory of Culture Part I: On Culture & The West

La cultura de representación: Negociando el musulmán del televisión

Este artículo es una parte de serie que estudia la representación de los musulmanes y el islam en distintos terrenos de: los medios, la política y la cultura. Los autores discutirán las deficiencias de la representación e invitarán a los lectores a cuestionar a qué objetivo sirven en primer lugar.  Durante su entrenamiento, en el tercer episodio del programa 911 Lone Star, se cayó el … Continue reading La cultura de representación: Negociando el musulmán del televisión

Dearborn Schools and the Protests Against LGBT Books

Books like This is Book Gay by Juno Dawson and Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston sat atop library shelves in Dearborn Public Schools, Michigan, until last week, when the schools pulled them for review after parents complained of their sexual nature. Many of the books discussed LGBT relationships; This is Book Gay is a non-fiction title with instructions on how to use apps for casual sex, descriptions of sex toys and how to engage in anal sex. Other fiction titles contain numerous explicit sex scenes. While it is not a shock that most Americans view pre-marital sex as acceptable, the outrage stemmed from the portrayal of this material as innocuous and acceptable for young people. Continue reading Dearborn Schools and the Protests Against LGBT Books

Seerah Book Recommendations 2022

We are nearing the end of the blessed month of Rabi al-Awwal, the 3rd month in the Islamic calendar. This month has a special connection to the Noble Messenger of God ﷺ: both his arrival into and departure from this temporal world occurred in this month. Surely, it is most appropriate to devote ourselves to learning about the Beloved of God ﷺ in Rabi al-Awwal. The following compilation of English works on the Prophetic life and personality have been thoughtfully selected to help readers cultivate an intimate sense of knowledge and reverence for the Messenger ﷺ. Continue reading Seerah Book Recommendations 2022