Humanism between Islam and the West

A book review of Ali Shariati’s Marxism and Other Western Fallacies Ali Shariati Mazinani was an Iranian revolutionary and sociologist whose work is largely on the sociology of religion. He is widely considered to be one of the most influential Iranian intellectuals of the 20th century[1], and has been dubbed  the “ideologue of the Iranian Revolution.” Despite experiencing an illustrious career shortened by an early … Continue reading Humanism between Islam and the West

Don’t Violate the Rights of the Poor: A Guide to Doing Zakat Right

Muslims normally pay their Zakat in Ramadan. The holy month is a sanctuary, in which good deeds and bad deeds alike weigh immeasurably more heavily. Zakat, Islam’s obligatory alms, demands that anyone with sufficient wealth must discharge a portion of it as a form of purification. It is a khass (specific) command, separate to the general encouragement to give in charity. This means that, like … Continue reading Don’t Violate the Rights of the Poor: A Guide to Doing Zakat Right

The Stumblings of Stoicism

A Muslim Critique The ancient Greek philosophy of Stoicism has been making headway over the past decade as a new-age movement of sorts. Founded by the merchant Zeno of Citium in the third century BC, this alternative to organized religion for “living in the moment” has been the topic of Ryan Holiday’s writings (The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into … Continue reading The Stumblings of Stoicism

Religion and the Posthuman Discourse

The proliferation of transhumanist thought beyond science fiction and into the public space seems, at first, a minor ideological and physical threat. Numerous concerns about the implications of transhumanism have been raised, but few regarding religious implications. Cultural anthropologist Chris Toumey notes in his article in Nature Nanotechnology the small body of literature grounded explicitly in Christian values, remarking “I would like to see religious … Continue reading Religion and the Posthuman Discourse

Reviving Writing

This article is a follow-up to the previous week’s piece “The Lost Art of Writing”. The Print Culture and Dar al Islam A brief gloss on print culture would be instructive in understanding the historical relationship between oral cultures and the written word. The Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan’s  (1911 – 1980) The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962)—a study of “print culture” in pre-modern Europe through Gutenberg’s innovations— … Continue reading Reviving Writing

God’s Lonely Man: Taxi Driver and the Onslaught of Modernity

Has there ever been a film as influential and provocative as Taxi Driver? It may seem a strange choice at first. Even among director Martin Scorcese’s filmography, it is hardly the most acclaimed (Raging Bull, GoodFellas), nor the most controversial (The Last Temptation of Christ, The Wolf of Wall Street). And yet it is Taxi Driver, above all the others, that has struck a nerve … Continue reading God’s Lonely Man: Taxi Driver and the Onslaught of Modernity

Rekindling Muslim Scholastic and Spiritual Consciousness

A Book Review of Sea Without Shore by Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller The depth and breadth of the Islamic tradition is beyond comprehension, with countless transformed souls having carried the torch of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ since his passing from the physical world. Technical names for the sciences of Islam based on the Hadith of Jibril took firm grounding, with Islam, Iman, and Ihsan becoming … Continue reading Rekindling Muslim Scholastic and Spiritual Consciousness

Reconsidering the Liberal Asylum

In recent years, the right wing’s increased outward animosity towards Islam and Muslims has driven Muslims to become disillusioned with the conservative Republican party. Muslim immigrants to the United States used to disporportionately vote republican in the years preceding 9/11. George W. Bush’s campaign made calculated attempts to win over Muslims. Analysts attribute this behavior to republican politician Grover Norquist stating that because Muslims are … Continue reading Reconsidering the Liberal Asylum

Faithless Fasting: Ramadan in the Modern Political Economy

One of the biggest challenges for corporate America today is diversity: racial, religious, ethnic, sexual, etc. The holy trinity of corporate professions–management consulting, investment banking, and corporate law–make substantial effort to hire “underrepresented” minorities and portray themselves as more “inclusive” to potential clients and the public. Undoubtedly, there are sincere concerns about improving the kinds of people that are hired as a way to grow … Continue reading Faithless Fasting: Ramadan in the Modern Political Economy

L’importance de la mémorisation

In English Bismillahi ar-Rahmani ar-Rahîm, al Hamdoulillahi rabbi-l-‘alamîn Une fois, l’imam Ghazali (rahimahullah) était en voyage et alors qu’il se faisait voler par des bandits. Il leur a demandé de lui laisser ses cahiers et ses notes, affirmant qu’ils ne seraient d’aucune utilité pour les voleurs et qu’ils contenaient des informations pour lesquelles il avait déployées de nombreux efforts [pour les obtenir]. Un des voleurs … Continue reading L’importance de la mémorisation