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

Menstruation and Worship

In recent years, this has been another rung of debate in Muslim women’s related issues – and events to talk about women’s spirituality whilst menstruating are plentiful especially in Ramadan. I was a panelist among other wonderful women this Ramadan for an event tackling the topic from multiple angles: fiqh (jurisprudence), a lack of proper understanding of ritual impurity away from negative cultural baggage, jahil (ignorant, foolish) behavior towards menstruating women, imposing secular notions of gender equality onto worship, separating the form of rituals from the spiritual, and the metaphysical from the physical. I want to offer my brief reflections on them one by one prior to circling back to the question posed above. Continue reading Menstruation and Worship

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