The Fountain of Youth

Across the ages, continents and sciences, Muslims, even teenage Muslims, contributed to the scholarly fabric that has been passed down to us from generation to generation.

‘Take advantage of your youth before your old age’. This statement of the Messenger ﷺ was not lost upon the Muslims of the past. Taking advantage of time and youth can be done in several ways. One of these ways is embedded in the culture of teaching and learning that permeates throughout the Islamic world. The contributions of scholars of the past in the Islamic world across the various religious and secular sciences are far too many to be enumerated. Such contributions and advances were only made possible by the underlying social infrastructure, intellectual meritocracy and collective social concern. Continue reading The Fountain of Youth

Islamic Thought and the Eradicator Mentality in Algeria

When news broke in Algiers of Abbassi Madani’s death in April 2019, thousands took to the streets to commemorate his legacy. This came as a shock to many, considering he was a founder of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) party, which, on paper, was held responsible for most of the tragedy that took place during the Algerian Civil War in the 1990s. Continue reading Islamic Thought and the Eradicator Mentality in Algeria

Colonialism, Islamic Reformers, and the Late Ottoman Period

The first half of the twentieth century was a dark time for Muslims. The scientific and technical dominance of the Europeans allowed them to strengthen their already tight stranglehold over Muslims lands. This was especially true in North Africa and the Levant, where Britain and France, and to a lesser extent, Italy, competed for influence…There were men and women, as there always are, who resisted this occupation of their lands with whatever means they had at their disposal. Among these was a certain Druze Prince named Shakib Arslan, an eminent Islamic thinker and reformer.  Continue reading Colonialism, Islamic Reformers, and the Late Ottoman Period

Can European Muslims Resist Assimilation?

The Charter of Principles of French Islam declares the religion to be compatible with France’s particular brand of secularism, laïcité, and its attendant values; in other words, it represents the subjugated and heavily privatised form of the religion that President Macron wishes to see. In January, a close advisor to Macron warned that Muslim organizations which refused to sign the charter would “see their operations inspected very, very closely by our services.”[1] The French Republic cannot tolerate Muslim difference: it aims only to homogenize and assimilate. Continue reading Can European Muslims Resist Assimilation?

Islamophobic Narratives: Meccan and Medinan Resistance

The Kunta federation played an important political and economic role in Maghribi history. Shaykh Bāy al-Kuntī founded a great number of zawiyas (religious schools) and sent missionaries to preach Islam in the Middle Niger and Western Saharan regions. Bāy al-Kuntī called people to jihad against the carnal soul, which the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ designated the greater jihad, as well as the return to the fundamental sources of Islamic jurisprudence. He believed he was the mujaddid (one who brings renewal) of the thirteenth century whom Allah called upon to restore the umma to its glorious past not only in West Africa but throughout the whole Muslim world. [1] The wide range of territories that encompassed his influence is said to be the largest area ever to come under the wing of an African Muslim without military conquest.  Continue reading Islamophobic Narratives: Meccan and Medinan Resistance

Paranoia of Islam in Literary Orientalism

As Islamophobia pervades the world, invading minds and infecting intellect, Muslims have arisen as a target for collective crucifixion and condemnation. It’s a tradition of hate with a hoary past, the complexities of which can be navigated through a sustained investment in critical thinking. Amidst the tumult of the Lebanese Civil War and the Iranian Revolution, the Islamist uprising in Syria, and the Arab-Israeli conflict, emerged Edward Said’s groundbreaking work: Orientalism. The book unmasks how Western literature and scholarship have created a civilizational binary through the presentation of the Orient (the East) as the cultural antonym of the glorious West. Continue reading Paranoia of Islam in Literary Orientalism

Science, History, and Atheism: Q&A with Asadullah Ali

…the Islamic scientific tradition began to decline once we began to borrow from the West in order to compete with the West (ironically, considering they were then rejecting their own past tradition), and it replaced our former tradition of ingenuity, forcing us into a position where now all we can do is borrow. This, combined with numerous external factors and contemporary issues, is why the Muslim world is where it is today, and it won’t see another Golden Age until it stops relying on traditions outside its own. Continue reading Science, History, and Atheism: Q&A with Asadullah Ali