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Islamic activists need to learn from Imam al-Ghazzālī

Imam Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazzālī in his magnum opus, Ihya Ulum al-Din, supports a series of searching recommendations that I would have, regretfully, scoffed at many years ago when starting in the world of Islamic activism. Yet at the same time, I was ready to quote al-Ghazzālī when his statements accorded with my worldview.But study, time and events have enabled me to realise that his central recommendation in his chapter on knowledge, to discipline the soul, is one of the most important personal duties of any Muslim that seek to engender a social or political change. Like the public debaters al-Ghazzālī encountered at his time and whose number al-Ghazzālī once belonged, those that gain prominence through public activism are trialled by a host of negative traits, which if not recognised and addressed, can lead one to troubling places.I would highly recommend that all Muslims, especially young Muslims, embark upon an in-depth study of his Ihya in its broader work and find a means to set up …
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Fiqh of Trade - Part 2 (The Majlis & Conditions of the buyer/seller)

The following is a translation from the Arabic book 'Mashroo’ Qaanoon Al-Buyoo’ Fee Dawlah Al-Islaamiyah', first edition by Ziyaad Ghazlaan.


Article 4:The Majlis (sitting) of the ‘Aqd of Al-Bai’ (contract of trade) is the circumstances (Haal) in which the Baa’i (seller) and Mushtari (purchaser) are actively engaged in the Bai’ (trade).This means the time in which the seller and buyer are engaged in the process of trade and its reality has been explained by Ash-Sheikh Mustafaa Az-Zarqaa when he stated: [The state in which the two contracting parties are engaging in negotiations about the contract] (Al-Madkhal Al-Fiqhi Al-‘Aamm 348/1).So the Majlis of the ‘Aqd extends throughout the period of time that is after the Eejaab (offer) as long as this period does not include that which indicates opposition from either the seller or buyer.And the evidence for this is the speech of Allah (swt):Unless it is a trade by mutual consent between you. (An-Nisaa 29)And his (saw) statement: “In…

Intolerance is at the Heart of Liberalism

The incoherence of liberalism is going to need a better defense than the one offered by Douglas Murray. Liberalism, as Douglas Murray rightly points out in his Spectator piece, is in the dock and subject to a new “cultural revolution.” Murray’s piece reflects an ever-growing pessimism across western societies that the edifice upon which liberalism was built is giving way to a “woke” progressivism concerned with curtailing free speech and toppling statues. In this new world, young people exhibit an illiberalism that would, in Murray’s mind, not be out of place in a “Talibanised” society. For Murray, Britain and the West face an existential crisis. Saving liberalism requires the idea to be defended and reasserted. Liberalism today is facing challenges from within and without, most notably because of the rise of nationalism. This well-trodden and rather pessimistic forecast is captured in Edward Luce’s gloomily titled book, The Retreat of Western Liberalism. Yet Murray and h…

Q&A: Knowledge to show off and argue?

Question:

This narration is being circulated via a messaging group, and I wanted to know what is the status regarding its authenticity: ‘Ibn Umar narrated from the Prophet peace be upon him that he said: Whoever seeks knowledge to argue with the foolish, or to show off before the scholars, or to attract people’s attention, will be in hell.’ [Ibn Mājah]
Answer:
    There are several Prophetic traditions (aḥādith) reported with this wording that appear in the collection of Sunan by Ibn Mājah. Each of the traditions, as will be detailed, cannot reasonably be judged as authentic beyond reasonable doubt (Ṣaḥīḥ). In fact, for each narration there is one or more very problematic narrators and they are all weak (ḍaef) individually as well as collectively.
    When looking at the narrators making up the channel of transmission (isnād), due regard must be given to the scholarly works which relate to the analysis, criticism and potential discrediting of narrators.
    Other authentic evidences that c…

Colours

Our essential characteristics are not defined by the things we have no control over, but rather the things which we do.

Devoid of all worldly distractions, each mature person of sound mind living on this vast planet will readily acknowledge that the land in which we are born, the colour of our skin, the people we originate from or are attributed to, are areas that are not within our immediate control.

Placing a new judgement or exercising a pre-existing stereotype upon others for these very issues in the cold light of day, can ultimately hold no intrinsic or evidential value.

Although we may experience the world from this common point of origin, it does not define who we are in any ultimate sense.   What defines us as people of this earth, is the content of our character; the voluntary actions we undertake, the beliefs to which we subscribe.  These are that areas that we consciously have control over, exercising the extent of our own free will or volition.

In the Qur’anic text, such conce…

An examination of the issue of the culture (Ath-Thaqaafah)

The following is the translation of an Arabic article.
It is truly odd for the subject of “Ath-Thaqaafah” (culture) to occupy space within the research of any group working to bring change and particularly upon the basis of Islaam. The fact that is working for change upon the basis of Islaam means that it already possesses a great store and huge stock of experience, manifested in all of the attempts to bring change at the hands of the Anbiyaa’ (prophets) whom Allah has sent. A subject of this kind should not preoccupy the group at all and particularly as the last of these attempts to bring change was undertaken upon the hands of the seal of Prophets and Messengers, the Imaam of the Muslims and their example to follow until the Day of Judgement, and it was completely successful attempt by every measure or criteria.
When thinking about bringing change and included within that is the issue of the culture, it is necessary to return to their Seerah and follow their tracks, and specifically t…