“Say: “He, God, is One; the Eternal, Absolute. He begot none, nor was He begotten. And there is none like unto Him.” –The Qur’an, Chapter 112 (Purity).
How do you define God?
It’s a heavy question, no doubt, and one that you will undoubtedly receive many, many answers on.
This chapter—yes, this is an entire chapter of the Qur’an—establishes the Islamic view of God. It is merely a translation of its meaning, since the original Qur’an is in Arabic, but I chose this particular translation because it has the best flow and choice of words. It is also my personal favourite chapter of the Qur’an because of its conciseness and breadth. It is only four verses long, but Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) referred to it as “equal to one-third of the Quran.” Continue reading →
Humans are naturally introverted. It’s hard for us to think outside of ourselves. For the most part we think about how the world and everything in it is related to us. How traffic just can’t seem to speed up because we’re late for work; how our group members in class just don’t get our ideas; how we traveled so far to the video game store just to find out they dared to sell out the latest release on us.
God says in the Qur’an, “We have made some of you as a trial for others: will ye have patience?” (25:20).
Sometimes we fret and complain about people who have wronged us, who have annoyed us, who have ignored us. We bring up trivial details or minor grievances on people who may or may not mean us well.
But what about ourselves?
Are we the “trial” and the people we interact with the “others”?
This is a speech I did at school, which focuses on the existence of God through logic and reason.
Today, inshallah, I will be talking about God—more specifically, how we can prove the existence of God through logic and reason. Islam is a religion of the mind. In fact, no where in the Qur’an will you find God telling us to have blind faith, to believe without evidence.
There are several passages in the Qur’an where God asks the reader, rhetorically, “Will you not then use your reason?” Reason—the ability to think, to ponder, to discern truth from falsehood—is the greatest gift God has bestowed upon us. Continue reading →
I think this is fantastic news. I’ve been waiting so long to see positive portrayals of Muslim characters in mainstream pop culture. I think this is a great step in the right direction. I wonder if we’ll ever see a hijab-clad version of Wonder Woman.
“DC Comics introduced a new Green Lantern on Wednesday – a Muslim from Dearborn, Michigan, who leaves behind street racing to join an intergalactic police force. Simon Baz, the muscular protagonist in his early 20s with the Arabic word for courage, “al-shuja’a,” tattooed on his arm, is the latest example of superhero diversity in the comic book world…” click to read more.
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 →
The most common argument people raise against religion is that if they cannot see God, then they cannot believe in Him. However, the “Seeing is believing” argument has lost its clout, despite our numerous scientific advances. We can’t see gravity, but we observe its effects; similarly, scientists can’t see dark matter, but they propose its existence based on the expanding nature of the universe.
In my life I, too, have asked this question. And I found a very convincing answer in the most unlikely place: a Japanese fighting game. 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 →
About a year ago, I went to visit some relatives of mine in Ontario whom I had not seen for almost 10 years. I had reverted to Islam a few years ago, and even though everyone in my family knew about it, I was unsure how they would react when I saw them face-to-face. Would they still be feeling the aftershocks of the M-Bomb I detonated when I said “I am a Muslim”? Would they even care? As it turned out, no, and I thank God for blessing me with a truly compassionate family. But, when reminded of my conversion, my Aunt asked me “Does that mean we shouldn’t call you ‘Aaron’ anymore?” There was no condescension in her voice, just a simple, straight-forward question. 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 →