Musings on The Impossible State

A Book Review of The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament by Wael Hallaq Introduction For a beginner, The Impossible State (henceforth referred to as TIS) is an incomprehensible tome. Throughout the book, Hallaq strings together technical terms effortlessly. It took me a few reads to even begin to understand Hallaq’s central thesis, let alone the finer details embedded across the text. Therein lies … Continue reading Musings on The Impossible State

الإنشقاق عن الحداثة

تفتح التلفاز أو أي موقع تواصل اجتماعي مثل تويتر، وترى نقاش الناس حول مقطع فيديو، أو حدث سياسي ، أو مقال في أحدى المجلات فأينما تنظر، تجد رأي وفكر مختلف، وهذا يسبب كثير من الجدل. ولكن قبل التعليق على أي شئ، علينا أن ندرك أولا ما هو النظام الفكري والإيديولوجي الذي نستعمله لتحليل أي موضوع. وعلينا أن ندرك أيضا أن بعض الأنظمة الفكرية هي صناعة … Continue reading الإنشقاق عن الحداثة

Le Prétexte Laïque: L’État en tant que Divinité

Avec les avancées technologiques et les informations qui nous arrivent dessus à une vitesse délirante, nous faisons face à un assaut de questions éthiques importantes. De l’impact des politiques économiques sur les communautés locales, en passant par les débats et législations sur la liberté d’expression, jusqu’à l’origine et le caractère sacré de la vie humaine, nous voyons les politiciens traiter des questions qui mettent en cause, … Continue reading Le Prétexte Laïque: L’État en tant que Divinité

Islamising Language: Ontology in the Modern Era

I’ve spent the past few months in perplexed introspection. I’ve been reflecting on the fact that cognitive scientists have gathered a tremendous amount of evidence that suggests that the language(s) we speak changes not only how we see the world, but also who we fundamentally are. Language influences our values and shapes how we code our experiences [1,2]. Knowing this, I’ve questioned how much of … Continue reading Islamising Language: Ontology in the Modern Era

The Incoherence of Modern Reformists

The modern era, with the ethical conundrums it bears, understandably causes people to search for answers that speak to their present condition. To this end, countless new movements have appeared laying claim to “true” Islam. Qur’anists, Perennialists, Qadianis, Progressives, and various new political movements are but a subset of this phenomenon. Most of these groups market themselves as either a “revival” or “reformation” of Islam … Continue reading The Incoherence of Modern Reformists

The Secular Pretense: The State as God

With technological advances and breaking news hurtling towards us at hyperspeed, we are confronted with an onslaught of profoundly ethical questions. From the impact of economic policies on local communities to the parameters of  freedom of speech and down to the inception and sanctity of human life, we look on as politicians put forth proposals that stake ethical claims in one way or another. Whether … Continue reading The Secular Pretense: The State as God

A Diagnosis of the Modern Condition

A Book Review of Commentary on the Eleventh Contentions by Abdal Hakim Murad Storytelling – that’s not the future. The future, I’m afraid, is flashes and impulses. – Dexter Palmer With this quotation does Abdal Hakim Murad open his book, Commentary on the Eleventh Contentions, a collection of one hundred scattered contentions, namely, short phrases and declarations that can indeed most aptly be described as poignant “flashes … Continue reading A Diagnosis of the Modern Condition

Ramadan: The Month of Anti-Imperialism

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 circulating for … Continue reading Ramadan: The Month of Anti-Imperialism

Ramadan: The Month of Qur’an

﷽ It was in the month of Ramadan that the Qur’an was revealed as guidance for mankind, clear messages giving guidance and distinguishing between right and wrong… [2:185] As we witness another Ramadan and receive its multitudinous gifts – those tangible and those intangible – it is incumbent for us to reflect upon the centrality of the Glorious Qur’an in this sacred month, and to … Continue reading Ramadan: The Month of Qur’an

Reclaiming the Islamic Political Tradition: Reflections after ISIS

One of the greatest political challenges Islam faces is the relationship between religion and state, a political construct that dominates and tolerates no rival. The rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria highlighted this crisis, as the Muslim world continues to produce political bankruptcy through failed states, authoritarianism, and the ugly miscegenation of state and religion. Muslim scholars and civil society unanimously condemned … Continue reading Reclaiming the Islamic Political Tradition: Reflections after ISIS