I think at some point, we’ve all wondered what our lives would be like as a movie. I wrote this story about two years ago, but I find it manages to sum up the story of how I became a Muslim in a light-hearted way. Obviously, I changed the names of places and people.
If you were to make a movie about my life, or at least the part of my life that would garner audiences and maybe a few Academy Awards (provided you’re a competent director), you would probably start in High School. You would probably start with Kathy. It would be a three hour long movie of love, faith, and life. Continue reading →
Out of every religion on the planet, Islam seems to be the one that mainstream media is too shy to feature in a positive light. It seems like each of the three monotheistic religions has its own stereotype in television and film: Judaism is seen as a quirky character trait, often used for comic relief (Howard from The Big Bang Theory for example), we pretty much assume that everyone else is Christian, and Islam is usually seen as something foreign and alien, regardless of whether or not the character is good or bad. Continue reading →
Formerly “A Rhetorical Analysis of the Hadith”, which sounded way too stuffy.
Rhetoric can be best described as the art of persuasion. It may sound intimidating, but many of us use rhetoric in our daily lives without even knowing it. If you’ve ever read a quote or heard a speech that, for some reason, just sounded right, then odds are its author employed various rhetorical tropes to make it memorable. The direct translation of the word “hadith” into English is “saying”. The hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) are seasoned with many fine examples of rhetoric. Most are bursting with simplicity and yet subtle in their complexity. Continue reading →
There’s a moment in the movie Paul where Paul, an extra terrestrial, says something to the effect of “My existence alone disproves every Abrahamic religion.” If there was ever a moment in my life for a Spock-like eyebrow raise, that was it. The assumption the screenwriters of Paul made is that if it turns out we are not alone in the universe, that other intelligent beings exist in the cosmos, then religion—God, even— will become obsolete. However, this simply isn’t true. Continue reading →
One could easily say that Architecture is the most recognizable form of art in Islam.
Now, any piece of architecture is a work of both beauty and practicality, but Islamic architecture includes a third dimension: spirituality. This goes back to the idea that for Muslims there is no separation between secular and spiritual; both are one.
Islamic architecture is a combination of all the elements I’ve spoken of earlier, and many more. All of these elements are used in conjunction to draw the viewer’s attention to God and God’s oneness. Verses throughout the Quran speak of this oneness and emphasise its importance. Islamic art and architecture celebrate this using Quranic script throughout architecture. Continue reading →
This is a copy of the speech I made at my University’s Islam Awareness Week Event. The event was titled “One” and focused on “poetry, art, and discussion from the Islamic perspective.” Corrections or changes to the speech are in square brackets.
Art can best be defined as the expression of one’s soul through a medium. That medium can be anything from a paint brush to a keyboard to the individual’s own voice. One’s artistic endeavours are no doubt influenced by their own experiences and beliefs. Continue reading →
This man stood a little higher than average. He was sturdily built with broad shoulders and long muscular limbs—he was proportionate, with neither a head too small nor a stomach too large. He had a head of long, black hair, with some waves in it as it stretched down between his earlobes and shoulders. His face was slightly rounded, and he had a thick, dark, full rounded beard. His large eyes were a very dark brown, almost black, and his eyelashes were curved, long and thick. Continue reading →
This man stood a little higher than average. He was sturdily built with broad shoulders and long muscular limbs—he was proportionate, with neither a head too small nor a stomach too large. Continue reading →
I was recently reading Jay Heinrich’s book Thank You For Arguing and he mentions that the gospel of John, written in Greek, begins with “In the beginning was logos”. That word is generalized to mean “logic” in rhetoric, but as Heinrich points out, it could also be translated as “word” or “plan”. He also notes that early Renaissance philosopher Desiderius Erasmus chose this interpretation instead: “In the beginning was the speech.” Erasmus had uncovered many of Cicero’s writings in monasteries and old libraries, and “thought it perfectly natural for the Creator to talk, or even persuade, the world into being.” Continue reading →