“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”?
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 →
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 →
“For man to be prepared for global excellence he has to be universal in his heart, universal in his thinking, and universal in his aspirations. He has to include everybody in his dreams, not only in his works, but also in his dreams. Allah (SWT) included everybody in the dream (future) for Muslims. He said, you are one community brought out for the good of all people.” Imam W. Deen Mohammed…
This article was very intriguing because it was looked at environmentalism–and more specifically, global warming– from an Islamic perspective.