A lovely deconstruction by my Andalusian brother, Abdullah al-Andalusi on Liberalism and its impact on the Muslim world today. Do take a look.

http://thedebateinitiative.com/2014/10/17/the-making-of-the-modern-western-civilisation-and-the-war-on-islam/

Read the rest of this entry »

For some time Muslims have been conned into believing that Islam is the fastest growing religion on the planet, but in fact there is an ideology (or lack thereof) that is growing at a much faster rate, not only in the Western world, but within Muslim majorty countries as well. Atheism, or the lack of belief in any god or gods, has been rising at an incredibly rapid rate, even to the point where in supposedly religiously conservative countries like Saudi Arabia, atheists now account for 5% of the population. Why is this the case? Why exactly is atheism becoming an attractive option for our Muslim youth and what can be done to stop its spread? Linked below is my first lecture on the nature and history of contemporary atheism, showcasing the major figures and ideas surrounding the movement and how we as Muslims can counter this recent intellectual trend through a philosophical and Islamic perspective.

 

“Boko Haram” is some group somewhere in Africa doing something wrong while claiming to be Islamic.

That’s about as much I knew or cared to know when I heard the news of some school girls being kidnapped. Not that I’m unsympathetic, but I didn’t much think it had anything to do with me or what I believed — naturally then, my interests would go no further than thinking this a horribly immoral act and hoping justice would be delivered by the proper authorities in the region. However, much to my dismay, I and the rest of the Muslim world are routinely called upon to denounce acts of violence in the name of Islam, for no other reason than the fact that we are somehow responsible.

And this is why I refuse to speak out; I should not be held responsible in any way for the actions and beliefs of others simply because we share the same label. By proxy, I refuse to give in to a narrative perpetuated by a culture of coercive disapproval, which threatens to place me in the same camp as extremists simply because they do not happen to hear my voice of opposition every time the media decides to highlight another act of violence in the middle east or elsewhere. Every time I stand up and say “that’s not me”, I am implicitly giving in to the idea that I am never free to define myself; I am never free of guilt. Always having to defend myself is not indicative of a free identity, but of a person on trial, whose jury doesn’t operate on the principle of “innocent until proven otherwise.”

Read the rest of this entry »

BismillahiRahmaniRahim. La Hawla Wala Quwwata illa Billah. Hasbunallahu wa ni’mal Wakil. 

I offer asalaamu’alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh to Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad.

I pray this letter reaches you in the best of health and iman. I write this in a public setting given that I feel it is beneficial for others to see this address. I would also hope that you don’t mind, given that the issue I am writing to you about has already been openly endorsed and explained from your end. I suppose then that this letter is not simply directed towards you, but also everyone else that has supported the #HappyMuslims project.

Read the rest of this entry »

BismillahiRahmaniRahim. La Hawla Wala Quwwata illa Billah. Hasbunallahu wa ni’mal Wakil. 

I offer asalaamu’alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh to both Br. Adam Deen and “The Honesty Policy”.

INTRODUCTION

This is a formal response to the current, and what may be considered petty, dilemma that has been caused by the recent release of a controversial video titlted”#HappyMuslims”. As a matter of formality– due to the public nature of this address —  I shall henceforth refer to Br. Adam and The Honesty Policy indirectly. This is also conducive as both parties represent a segment of the Muslim community that agrees with their stance on the matter now being discussed.  As such, this response should not necessarily be seen as limited to those being singled out. It should also be noted that in no way is this address meant to humiliate or insult all aforementioned, rather it is in hopes of affirming and manifesting a directive of the Qur’an:

[Prophet], call [people] to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good teaching. Argue with them in the most courteous way, for your Lord knows best who has strayed from His way and who is rightly guided. – (16:125)

I must admit that there have been many times in my life as a Muslim that I have not adhered to this criterion, so this is more a reminder for myself than anyone else. I do hope that my words, despite their opposing nature, will stay true to this. While I am not too familiar with The Honesty Policy members, I do know Br. Adam personally, though we are not close. I remember when he visited here in Malaysia to give a conference, and I was allowed the privilege of escorting him around Kuala Lumpur. We talked on a number of issues related to dawah and our backgrounds. From what I know of Adam, he is a sincere and passionate brother willing to give his intellectual talents for the faith. His academic background is similar to my own — Philosophy — despite the fact that we emphasize different methods in the discipline; he towards a more synthetic approach, whereas I more deconstructive. His is about reconciling differences, whereas mine is more about destroying opposing ideologies. One is constructive, the other destructive. Where the former builds, the latter takes apart; a thorn in the side, as it were. Adam then should be fully expecting what I’m about to write, though I hope he does not become frustrated with my approach. Where destruction occurs, the chance to rebuild is always there, so such criticism should not be viewed in an entirely negative light.

Adam and I at ISTAC, Kuala Lumpur

Adam and I at ISTAC, Kuala Lumpur

Read the rest of this entry »

#HappyMuslims?

Recently, a video has gone viral on the web which shows a group of British Muslims dancing and singing to the son “Happy” by R&B artist Pharrell. Everywhere the video is displayed, the hashtag #HappyMuslims follows (as though you can’t be happy any other way?). This effort by certain British Muslims seems out of place, out of touch, and out of focus in regards to the image problem we are facing in the West today and across the world in general. I disagree with the project not only for reasons in the Sharia, but for reasons rooted in very basic logic and the reality of the society we are living in.

If the intention was to show integration into Western societies with hopes of dispelling common stereotypes, then the message has failed miserably and only justified said stereotypes. If that was not the intention, then it’s confusing that Muslims would create a “Happy” video with only Muslims involved, given that other faith communities find no necessity in doing so, much less have they (I’d be surprised if this was the case). So the video does in fact scream “accept me! Im like you!”. A less desperate effort to accomplish this would simply have been Muslims being in other “Happy” videos without having to make one exclusive to ourselves.

In any case, this video is sending out the message that we must go out of our way to show that we have “conformed” or that we are “not threatening”, thereby playing into the narrative that we are responsible for the unfair stereotypes and that we must correct them, despite the majority of us having nothing to do with terrorism or extremists acts. It also proves how low we are viewed in society and how we are willing to do anything to be accepted — a desperate need for white man’s burden. Even the gay community does not go out of its way to conform. Despite their unacceptable need for us to accept their lifestyle, they at least have the dignity to not try and prove to everyone else how normal (read “straight) they are. So we are actually lower than them in how we respect ourselves because we feel the need to cater to others ignorant perceptions.

Further, there is more than just one stereotype of Muslims. Either you are an “extremist” or you’re a “liberal/moderate”. Most non-Muslims discourse does not see anything beyond these labels. Either you are a staunch secularist (act and believe as everyone else while reserving your religion to the private sphere) and thereby a “liberal/moderate Muslim”, which many non-Muslims will label those in this video…or you’re an “extremist”, which are apparently the rest of us.

This video has only justified those terms and that fallacious dichotomy.

Library Take-Down Notice

Posted: 17/03/2014 in Uncategorized

Just want to inform my readers that I’ve taken down the library indefinitely after several DMCA notices and the possibility of this website being shutdown as a result. As you all may know, I am firmly against copyright, not because I want to steal or because I hate the fact that the producers of these works are somehow being paid for their services, but because I consider the laws of copyright to be against the principles of Islam. Knowledge in Islam is free. It is not to be claimed by anyone or sold for profit. One may ask how the producers of these works are to survive if their materials are spread around for free. Translators, writers, teachers, etc. would never be able to make a living if not paid for their services and time. This is true, which is why I’m not opposed to paying for said services — and the costs of the paper and ink. What I am opposed to, however, is being paid under the guise of ownership of the content. No one owns the Qur’an, but Allah. I don’t care how good the translation is — it isn’t yours. If someone wishes to be paid for the service, then so be it; this is a fair transaction. Under copyright? That’s haram.