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Showing posts from September, 2017

Deen by Soundbite

…A time will come upon men, when their men of understanding (fuqah ā)  are few but their Qur’ ā n reciters are many; when the letters of the Qur’ ā n are guarded carefully but its boundaries are lost, when many ask but few give, when they make the sermon long but the prayer short, and put their desires before their actions. The statement has been attributed to the companion Abdallah bin Mas’ud.  Whilst not a Prophetic statement, its description of times to come is truly insightful (1).  Our present age is truly one of peculiarities.  That hardly seems a surprise given what we have been foretold about events that would come to pass within the revelation.  Amongst the many oddities of the age, we seem to be witnessing the increasing rise in the use of the soundbite.  Often it is used with the rubric of motivational quotes, general aphorisms or even catchy one-liners, its prevalence has become quite staggering. That is not to suggest that the use of  any  form of soundbite, motivat

Imam Ghazali’s Movement for the Unification of the Ummah & Caliphate

I recently addressed a particular detractor of the Islamic obligation for Muslims be politically united under a Caliphate. ‘Mufti Abu Layth’ [or ‘MAL’ for brevity] preaches that belief in the Caliphate is a ‘cancerous ideology’, an ‘erroneous view’, and is even a form of ‘hate speech’. As part of a supposed “#CallEmOut” and “#ReclaimIslam” campaign, he urged his readers to, in effect, with-hunt anyone who holds this belief. He justified this by arguing that the belief in a Caliphate is one also held by terrorists. (I’ll come back to the fallacy of guilt-by-association fallacy below.) The obligation of a Caliphate, throughout history, has been a belief of near complete consensus in Islamic scholarship. So, describing the belief in a Caliphate as an ‘erroneous view’ raises serious red flags. MAL isn’t alone in arguing this; Secularists (or ‘reformists’) have been known to advocate a cynical view of Muslim history in an attempt to claim that the Islamic concept of a Caliphate tha