Faith and Fantasy: Is Islamic Fiction Viable?

A Review of S. A. Chakraborty’s The City of Brass One of the factors that has distinguished the literary tradition in the Muslim world from that of the cultural West for much of the past millennium is the modality adopted by popular literature. Poetry was very much a staple of literary expression throughout Islamic civilization, whereas fictional prose did not enjoy the same status that … Continue reading Faith and Fantasy: Is Islamic Fiction Viable?

Parallelizing the Past to the Present

In his book My Name is Red, Orhan Pamuk tells a story of miniaturists in sixteenth century Istanbul that provokes reflection on contemporary events in the world.[1] While the connection between the ideologies in the 16th and 20th/21st centuries are implicit, Pamuk’s book offers a metaphoric reading on political, cultural, social, and religious interactions and ideologies of modern-day Turkey.  In My Name is Red, Pamuk … Continue reading Parallelizing the Past to the Present

The Devil You Know, Or Thought You Knew

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. — The Usual Suspects With Halloween finally behind us (at least for another eleven months), I am reminded of the one article regarding this festival that stood out most to me in the slurry of bickering over its status in the shari’ah. Rather than delving straight into the matter of its … Continue reading The Devil You Know, Or Thought You Knew