Future Islam and the Secret of Technology

There is something prior to technology without which it cannot be understood, and that is a method that analyses and breaks things down into what it regards as logical component pieces. The process that exemplifies this best is the search for the atom. The Greeks, notably Leucippus and Democritus, proposed that if one breaks something in half, and then breaks the half in half, that one can proceed only so far until one comes to something that is not divisible, which they call the “not divisible” or atom. For “a” means “not” and “tom” means “divisible. Of course, we all know that what has been called the atom was itself divisible further into the sub-atomic particles, but the basic idea still stands. The inheritors of this thinking called the atom, “the basic building block of matter” for they thought that matter and thus the universe is essentially something that has been built, and by calling the atom a building block they of course implied that once one understands this process we too can build.
Now one person most eloquently expressed anxiety at this process, and that was Mary Shelley, for in her novel Frankinstein, and remember that Frankinstein is the doctor and not his monster although arguably it is the doctor who is the real monster, she embodied this process in the doctor who, having anaylsed the human being into his consituent organs, limbs and bones, then decides that he too can build a human. Tellingly, although what he builds is hideous, it is nevertheless human. Frankinstein is unable to return its natural need for love, and it is this that drives the creature over the edge.
So this building activity of technology derives from this prior process of analysing and breaking down into the simplest elements.
So what does technology do? We ask this in the most general sense in order to get beyond the very specific picture of particular technologies. But let us take a specific in order to understand these general processes better: a Hi-Fi system. In it we have, for example, an amplifier. The amplifier does exactly what its name implies: it takes a weak input, a weak signal, and makes it stronger. If we step back from this example, we realise that technology does this throughout its realm. It takes a weak signal and amplifies it, whether it is a sound or a force or an idea. The media take weak signals, such as silly ideas, or poor analyses of situations, but through the power of the technology, it is transmitted into thousands and often millions of homes; it is amplified. We see instantly that this process is intimately connected to power, both in the physical sense and the political.
So having derived a general from a specific, let us now list a few more general features of technology.
Technology telescopes: i.e. it brings that which is distant much closer, and this derives from the Greek root “tele” for distance. Obviously we have the telescope, telephone and television. Equally it brings that which is close to distant parts: the telephone is two-way. We can now blog and our writings can be read instantly in China or Borneo. All of us assume such a reality. We spend time in virtual communities.
Paradoxically, we see that it drives that which is closer further away, as most people have experienced with the mobile phone interrupting a conversation. The caller is brought closer but the people in the conversation are made distant.
It also microscopes: it enables one to see what is ordinarily too small to see. The detail. To do this it has to put a frame around the object excluding other things. This is an inescapable activity of science and technology. Focus in and exclude extraneous signals.
It accelerates. Things are speeded up, by planes, cars, and by processes. In general things are going faster today than they ever did, and will evidently go even faster tomorrow.
Technology reproduces, repeats, replicates, duplicates and multiplies, e.g. in factories. A simple movement is repeated endlessly. Industry analyses the manufacture of the shoe into minute processes which are then individually expedited by robots, or people behaving like robots, and then assembled. The shoe is no longer in the hands of a person but in the hands of a system, whether of machines or people or both. An unanticipated side-effect of this process is the utter boredom and tedium of people’s lives since the part of the process or the product over which they have control is in itself meaningless. People are creatures of meaning.
Although the above list certainly does not cover everything that technology does, it gives an indication of some very key things that it does do. However, the above are not necessarily technological or machine driven. For example, our outline of the factory could equally well be applied to schooling or the state. The school has become a kind of factory for manufacturing citizens. It is an industrial process. Similarly, the state is an industry for processing citizens from birth until death. Machines are used, but the essence of these two examples is that people submit themselves, whether actively or passively, to being parts of a great machine. Thus, the word technology is not going to do for what we are trying to describe, and for that reason some people, such as the French writer Jacques Ellul, suggested that really we are dealing with technique.
So here we have a technique or set of techniques or sets of techniques and technologies which accelerate, amplify, reproduce, and telescope. Programmers have a maxim of computing which is “rubbish in, rubbish out”. Any such system or set of techniques behaves much like a computer programme, so that it basically amplifies, accelerates and reproduces the input. If it is the technical society that is destroying the planet, then it is this facet of it that is to blame. Before technique culture, mistakes were limited in scale. With technique culture, the mistakes are amplified and accelerated tremendously. What is perhaps more distressing is that the reach of mediocrity is extended greatly.
But where does this culture come from? The people of the planet asked themselves this question in different places and in different epochs and they said: it comes from Europe. Both Europeans and non-Europeans gave this answer.
As this technique culture grew, there was a broad spectrum of responses to it, whose two extremes were infatuation and repulsion. This was both in Europe and elsewhere. The first response was because of the control and the power it appeared to give, and men are prone to love control and power. However, they neglected to reflect on Dr Frankinstein’s case, for he was incapable of love. The people of technique culture are incapable of love.
The opposite response, repulsion and rejection, was to be found both in Europe and elsewhere. In its most extreme case it is to be seen in people who decided that no technology from later than the seventeenth century should be used, and they dedicated themselves to live in communities based on that principle.
Now these two responses were possible when technique culture was still growing, when there were still places it had not reached.
In the seventies, a New York painter called Tobias Schneebaum made a journey up the Amazon river. He was, probably deeply instinctively trying to get away from the all-enveloping technique culture. He went as far up the river as anyone would think to go and arrived at a missionary settlement. He asked them what lay further up the river? They told him that there were really terrible cannibal peoples. He immediately proceeded further up the river. Seeing a beach with some curious boulders on it, he disembarked to inspect them, but was astonished to find them to be the heads of people who were squatting there staring at him. After a moment in which they contemplated each other, they lept to their feet and embraced him wildly and happily. They were completely naked. He was taken in to their society, made welcome, and lived happily with them for a year without seeing anything untoward. At the end of that period, the young men, among whom he was included, primed themselves for some martial escapade, and he and they went to another village where there was a fight, with them killing a number of people there. Then they ate parts of the dead people, and he ate with them. This was the beginning of his disengaging from them and he ultimately returned to New York and wrote a book called, “Keep the River on Your Right”. However, the reprise of the story is that in the nineties he returned there with a documentary film crew. The missionaries had got there before him along with the Coca Cola. The erstwhile savages were now in tee-shirts and were suffering from various ailments such as unemployment, something for which they probably had no word in their language.
Thus, the reality is that the technique culture has penetrated everywhere on the planet. There is nowhere outside of it, and so the option of wanting it in that infatuated way or of rejecting it is no longer open to us. Whatever we think of it, we are stuck with it.
But now we have to ask the question again: where does the culture of technique and technology come from? We have inherited a crude theology from Rome which basically sees the world in terms of nature and civilisation. In the Christianised version, God is seen as the Creator of nature and man the maker of civilisation. The reality is that this is how people really do see things, no matter what philosophers and theologians say. And of course because man’s civilisation has grown so much, people no longer believe in God.
Early scientists such as Galileo, Descartes, Newton, Kepler and Copernicus were undoubtedly believers in the Christian sense, but what they discovered was so powerful and it produced so many results that as night follows day the next generation were basically atheists, such as Laplace who on being asked by Napoleon why his book on celestial mechanics had no mention of the Creator replied, “Monsieur, I had no need of that hypothesis.” This was from arrogant pride at the sheer extent of new information and in the power of the new technical scientific man.
But what was forgotten is that man is natural; he is a part of nature. What man creates is a part of the natural order, even when it seems un-natural. Thus it is a part of God’s creation. Everything comes from Allah. He is the Creator of everything because if this were not the case, we would be dealing with a plurality of gods, which is a very primitive idea. However, the natural order contains both fruit and poison, it contains both health and cancer. Thus, we are in need of a discrimination. Clearly something in our culture is cancerous. But we are not taking the stance of the rejectionists that sees rejection of technique culture in toto as the only way forward. Thus we are in serious need of some kind of discrimination.
Let us return to our shoe factory. The ability of the shoe factory process to turn out copious amounts of shoes is undisputed. However, the shoes suffer from one flaw: like most industrially manufactured things they are mediocre; they are neither superlatively well made and designed nor on the other hand unusable. The truth is that all things being equal and price being no consideration, anyone who had the choice of a handmade shoe or an industrially manufactured one, would choose the former. So why did the craft tradition go down before industry? Price. The industrial product was cheaper. Very often it was not cheaper because it was genuinely less expensive to make, but because the owners practised undercutting; they looked at the price of shoes and then decided that their shoes would be cheaper, often dramatically so. They knew that by this means they would drive their craft competitors out of business, at which point the price could be whatever they wished it to be. Now this is where our wished-for discrimination might come in useful. Undercutting used to be considered illegal in many societies.
In many traditional markets, a shoe of a known description had a known price. It was not acceptable to go below it. Thus, tradesmen had to compete with each other in terms of making the very best shoes rather than fighting each other by means of price.
So here we are up against a very different type of technique, which has little to do with machines or technology. We are up against financial and commercial technique and it has proved more decisive than the machine. We also see the difference between technique and law. Law is the idea, whether in society or in nature, that things work in a certain way. Technique finds ways to circumvent law. In our acknowledgement that the technique culture ultimately comes from Allah and our awareness that we are in need of a discrimination, it is clear that it is only Allah Who can give us the discrimination we need for that which comes from Him. It is Islam that contains that discrimination until the end of time. The task of future Islam is to recover law, Divine law, and to make it dominant over technique, both in terms of technology but particularly in terms of financial and commercial technique.

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Abdassamad Clarke is from Ulster and was formally educated at Edinburgh University in Mathematics and Physics, and in Cairo in Arabic and tajwid and other Islamic sciences. He accepted Islam at the hands of Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi in 1973. In the 80s he was secretary to the imam of the Dublin Mosque, and in the early 90s imam khatib of the Norwich Mosque, where he is currently an imam and teacher. He has translated the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad by Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybani (jointly with Muhammad Abdarrahman), which was published by Turath Publishing at the end of July 2004 and a number of other works from Arabic: al-Qawl al-mu'tamad fi mashru'iyyat adh-dhikr bi'l-ism al-mufrad by Shaykh al-Alawi on the standing in Shari’ah of using the divine name in dhikr, which was published by Diwan Press as first part of The Two Invocations and since republished by Madinah Press, The History of the Khalifahs (the chapters on the Khulafa ar-Rashidun from as-Suyuti’s Tarikh al-Khulafa), the Complete Forty Hadith (translation of Imam an-Nawawi’s Forty Hadith along with the Imam’s explanation of their fiqh and linquistic usages) and Kitab al-Jami’ by Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani (published as A Madinan View), Rijal – narrators of the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad, all published by Ta-Ha Publishers of London, Kitab al-athar by Imam Abu Hanifah and transmitted by Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybani (Turath Publishing 2006), The Compendium of Knowledge and Wisdom (a translation of Jami' al-'ulum wa'l-hikam by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, published by Turath Publishing 2007). In addition he has edited Aisha Bewley's translation of Ibn Hajar's abridgement of at-Targhib wa't-Tarhib, Ibn Taymiyyah's al-Kalim at-Tayyib both published by the UK Islamic Academy, Dr Asadullah Yate's translation of al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah, published by Ta-Ha Publishing and a number of other works. He is currently engaged with Suád Østergaard on a translation of the Qur’an into Danish, the first volume of which translated in collaboration with Jakob Werdelin, comprising Surat al-Fatihah, Surat al-Baqarah and Surah Ali ‘Imran, was recently published as Den gavmilde Qur’an: en fremlægning of de tre første suraer by Havens Forlag of Copenhagen. Translations yet to be published include Traditions of the Sunnah (Athar as-sunan) by Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Ali an-Nimawi (jointly with Mawlana In'amuddin), to be published by Turath Publishing Ltd. Among his unpublished translations are the Sciences of Tafsir comprising portions of Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi’s Qur’anic commentary at-Tashil li ‘ulum at-tanzil, in particular his introductory sections on the essential elements of the sciences necessary for tafsir. He is author of a number of children’s books, The Year of the Elephant, The Great Victory and The Last Battle all of which are on the sirah of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, as well as The Story of Stories about the Prophet Yusuf, peace be upon him, in which he drew a great deal on the commentary of Ibn Juzayy, may Allah be merciful to him. He has also a poem God is Dead published in the Minaret journal of Stockholm, Sweden, and an as-yet unpublished collection of short stories called Tales Are Like That, and a novel called The Wings of the Butterfly. Abdassamad is a teacher of both adults and children in Qur’an recitation (tajwid) and meanings, Arabic language and the deen in general, most recently having organised and taken part in a conference under the auspices of Islamic Events of London on the History of the Islamic Khalifate, and having given discourses in London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Jena, Weimar, Copenhagen and the Midlands. 18 April, 2007 0:03

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26 Comments

  1. Dear Abdassamad
    Salaam

    Al-Fatihah!
    Ameen.

    Just saying that this is a tight article and I have to rely on a toothpick to get at the stuck gem of slivers in those close knit paragraphs. This is not a rsh job I hope as I have sensitive teeth and gums.

    But the Opener is all there to mark this occassion, Abdassamad.

    Terima Kasih

  2. Dear Abdassamad
    Salaam

    I am having a difficulty understanding your title for this article.
    What do you mean by ‘Future Islam’?

    When I do not understand that I hate to pretend I know what you getting at.

    The task of future Islam is to recover law, Divine law, and to make it dominant over technique, both in terms of technology but particularly in terms of financial and commercial technique.

    Are you using the term as in Modern Islam or Islam Hadhari, as an example, Abdassamad?

    As for the atoms, the existence of sub-atomic particles are proven mathematically and some guys in nuclear physics are actually busy trying to prove their theory and the spins by having gigantic particle accelerator built; and there are even such hi-tech machine calledTable-top Particle Accekerator now. Anyway, Quantum Physics are not my forte, I am afraid. The technology that I wish to learn more of is that as indicated in

    قَالَ الَّذِي عِندَهُ عِلْمٌ مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَن يَرْتَدَّ إِلَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ فَلَمَّا رَآهُ مُسْتَقِرًّا عِندَهُ قَالَ هَذَا مِن فَضْلِ رَبِّي لِيَبْلُوَنِي أَأَشْكُرُ أَمْ أَكْفُرُ وَمَن شَكَرَ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ رَبِّي غَنِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ
    (Said one who had knowledge of the Book: “I will bring it to thee within the twinkling of an eye!” Then when (Solomon) saw it placed firmly before him, he said:
    “This is by the Grace of my Lord!- to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! and if any is grateful, truly his gratitude is (a gain) for his own soul; but if any is ungrateful, truly my Lord is Free of all Needs, Supreme in Honour!”)027.040

    As for the Frankenstein story, I have not read the book, although I may have seen some Hollywood movies based on the book or so the movie tells me. I find the movie Van Halen quite exquisite, though.

    Therefore, I have yet to appreciate fully your article, Abdassamad. I am not that clever, Abdassamad.

    Terima Kasih.

    Somewhere near Borneo, some of the citizens are welcoming Ramadhan which commences on the 13th of September.

  3. erratum:


    قَالَ الَّذِي عِندَهُ عِلْمٌ مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَن يَرْتَدَّ إِلَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ فَلَمَّا رَآهُ مُسْتَقِرًّا عِندَهُ قَالَ هَذَا مِن فَضْلِ رَبِّي لِيَبْلُوَنِي أَأَشْكُرُ أَمْ أَكْفُرُ وَمَن شَكَرَ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ رَبِّي غَنِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ
    (Said one who had knowledge of the Book: “I will bring it to thee within the twinkling of an eye!” Then when (Solomon) saw it placed firmly before him, he said:
    “This is by the Grace of my Lord!- to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! and if any is grateful, truly his gratitude is (a gain) for his own soul; but if any is ungrateful, truly my Lord is Free of all Needs, Supreme in Honour!”)027.040

    if this one works: Alhamdulillah.
    (Muslim brownie points) 😉

  4. The article is not so clever, and you are not so not clever.

    “Future Islam” can be short for “Muslims in the future” and if that future is tomorrow morning, so much the better.

    Personally dislike formulations such as ‘Modern’ Islam etc.

    Did not dispute the existence of sub-atomic particles. It is just that ‘atom’ is thus a misnomer.

    Salams

  5. Dear Abdassamad
    Salaam

    Oh, Well!

    So when shall I tie the sandal
    and one may take a step
    and move on?
    can time be turned backwards if not forward?
    have you heard the tales they tell of
    Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jailani?
    How dare one puts one feet on another’s neck?
    I may have to cry to Yusuf
    It is not fair!
    But who could have heard him
    from the ghoar-yaabatiljub-bi, ya Saami’?
    ya Aleeemul-Lawteefur-Rahmaanur-Raheem

  6. Dear Abdassamad
    Salaam

    I love it when you talk double dirty:
    The task of future Islam is to recover law, Divine law, and to make it dominant over technique, both in terms of technology but particularly in terms of financial and commercial technique.

    Are you sharpening that stubby pencil of yours, Abdassamad
    Or has Ramadhan caught your tongue?

    My warmest salaams, wishes, regards
    to my brothers and sisters over there
    and don’t forget my cup is empty, it seems, Abdassamad
    gold dirham, will do – silly old me 🙂 :B

  7. Dear Abdassamad,
    Salaam

    Is there such a nisnomer conceptual-thing as ‘halalization of capitalism’ or the ‘capitalization of halal-et-toyyibban’?

    What does Muslim have to say about Climate Change. There was an Imam Husein(?) in Iceland quite recently?

    What would a Muslim thought be of technology efficiency? Is there any Muslim thoughts on global economics? I know there are 🙂

    Terima Kasih

  8. Sidi,

    Are these rhetorical questions, or do you actually think that I have answers?

    Counter question: Can you islamicise a brothel?

    What would be interesting would not be what Muslims have to say about climate change but just some thought, rather than the predictable setting up of a dialectic in the media. And if a Muslim can’t think, then what has gone wrong?

    Interesting connection: Iceland and climate change. Do you think Imam Hussein has the answer?

    As to technology efficiency: substitute one word for both: technique.

    As to global economics I am reminded of the late Harry Secombe singing, “If I ruled the world, every day would be the first day of spring.”

    Regards,

    Abdassamad

  9. Dear Abdassamad
    Salaam

    Yusuf: Style, Strategy, or Technique
    (to be or not to be, abdassamad)

    First things first even when you are springing forward; and I admire your healthy sense of humor, Abdassamad. Alhamdulillah.

    What was Mary Magdalene to Jesus?

    Who was the man on the cross, Emmanuel? Even good friends were there on that day, you know.(rhetorics)

    Asia’s reservoir drying up
    By Tony Cheng on the Tibetan Plateau

    South Asia is struggling to deal with the worst monsoon flooding in living memory but as mountain glaciers up north slowly vanish, drought in the future promises an even greater misery.
    Al Jazeera’s Tony Cheng travelled to the Tibetan plateau to witness first-hand the impact of climate change on an area known as the “roof of the world”.

    The northern Himalayas, with crystal clear skies, is one of the cleanest and least polluted places on earth.
    And for the nomadic herders who roam the mountains and valleys, little has changed, their lives packed up on the backs of their nimble footed yaks.
    But they have noticed one big change in all the years they’ve been walking these paths.
    The northern Himalayas, with crystal clear skies, is one of the cleanest and least polluted places on earth…

    Religious leaders pray for melting ice cap – 8 Sep 2007
    Religious leaders from the world’s major faiths have made a prayer pilgrimage to the Arctic Circle to highlight the worrying signs of climate change. Around 170 scientists joined the unique prayer service on the ice pack covering Greenland.It is disappearing at a faster rate than ever before, and if it melts altogether, ocean levels could rise by seven metres, flooding many major cities and small island nations. Al Jazeera’s Nick Clark reports…

    I should like to think that I can rely on the sun-blockers and new nano-tech fabrics and gadgets to help keep out too much UV light, Abdassamad. And why pray for melting ice-caps when the French are praying for war?

    Qatar-led group scouting for deals

    KUALA LUMPUR: A group of Middle Eastern investors, headed by Gulf Petroleum of Qatar, is evaluating and scouting around for investment opportunities in Malaysia.
    Its president Abdulaziz Hamad A. Al-Delaimi said the consortium was looking at investments in oil and gas, real estate and Islamic banking.
    “We have decided with our group in the Gulf area to evaluate and investigate the possibility of developing business in Malaysia,” he told a media conference yesterday.
    Apart from Malaysia, he said the consortium was also looking at Indonesia, Brunei and Thailand for business opportunities.
    Abdulaziz said the group had a long-term plan of making Malaysia a hub for its business in South-East Asia….

    Bank Islam’s gateway to Europe

    Tie-up paves way for Bank Islam to offer Islamic services in Europe

    KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd will gain entry into Europe’s fast-growing Islamic financial services industry through its newly formed partnership with Britain-based European Islamic Investment Bank Plc (EIIB).
    The tie-up would give Bank Islam an immediate presence in Britain and Europe without the need to set up physical infrastructure while providing EIIB with a platform to expand its business to Asia, managing director Datuk Zukri Samat said.
    Bank Islam, he said, would be able to boost its fee-based income by drawing on EIIB’s expertise and capabilities in corporate finance and advisory services.
    “Bank Islam and EIIB will jointly originate, structure and distribute a range of innovative Islamic financial products, particularly in fee income generating areas such as capital market, treasury and wealth/asset management,” he said after the signing of a strategic collaboration accord with EIIB yesterday.
    Zukri said as a start, Bank Islam and EIIB would jointly bid to be lead arranger for a US$300mil sukuk to be issued by a Malaysian company…

    The Atom-Splitters are saying this are just hogwash! What do you have to say, Abdassamad; not that all the answers cannot be with you.

    Yes, Harry should meet Ramlee, P:

    Oh, mencece, mencece, mencece
    Oh, mencece, mencece, mencece

    .
    Bujang lapuk pakai songkok
    Basikal cabuk tak pernah gosok
    Tayar kempis roda bengkok
    Badan pipis macam keropok
    .
    Bujang lapuk keliling kampung
    Naik basikal hai pakai sarung
    Minum air dah naik kembung
    Sakit perut terpekik terlolong
    .
    Hai Bujang lapuk tak boleh harap
    Basikal cabuk dah naik kurap
    Baru putus hai urat sarap
    Masuk angin keluar asap
    .
    Bujang lapuk loyar buruk
    Sana sini hai bikin sebok
    Naik basikal hal macam beruk
    Tak ada kerja tolak abuk

    Oh mencece, mencece, mencece Oh mencece, mencece, mencece

    Yusuf: Style, Strategy, or Technique
    (to be or not to be, abdassamad)

    Terima Kasih

    Syeikh Abdullah Muhammad Siantan Dan Lim Tau Kian

    H. Amryn Helmi Yuda dalam kertas kerjanya berjudul Masuknya Islam ke Pulau Bangka, menulis, “Sejarah menyebutkan bahwa Wan Abduljabar adalah putra dari Abdulhayat, seorang kepercayaan Sultan Johor untuk memerintah di Siantan. Wan Abdulhayat ini semula adalah seorang pejabat tinggi Kerajaan China bernama Lim Tau Kian, yang kerana berselisih faham dikejar-kejar kemudian melarikan diri bersama isterinya sampai ke Johor. Di sini mendapat perlindungan daripada Sultan.

    “Ia kemudian memeluk agama Islam dan menggunakan nama Abdulhayat. Karena keahliannya, ia kemudian diangkat oleh Sultan Johor menjadi kepala negeri di Siantan dengan Ce’ Wan Abdulhayat”.

    (The 17th of Ramadhan, Abdassamad, is a date to remember and rejoice.)

  10. Dear Abdassamad,
    Salaam

    لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ
    POWER, FATE
    (What is your take on technique, then)

    Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission, on every errand:
    Peace!…This until the rise of morn!

    Salaamun ‘ala Isa ibnu-Maryam Al-Maseeh
    in-na kazalika najzil muhsineen
    in-na hu min ‘ibadikas-soliheen

  11. Dear anonymous,

    Thank you for another enigmatic post. Are you obscure because you are subtle, or because you do not want to state what you mean clearly? Do you yourself know?

    This is your second reference to Surah Yusuf, but am unsure of which meaning out of the ocean of meanings you intend by it. Slightly less helpful are your copious portions of Malay, a language of which I know nothing.

    As to the four articles, they are neat illustrations of my thesis, technique amplifying and accelerating the original impulse: in this case, greed. How sad then that Muslims have leapt on this bandwagon of lust eager to line their pockets. One of course would like to think of them as noble warriors in the tradition of the Companions advancing the cause of Islam, but I am not completely simple and so rather doubt it.

    As to who was on the cross, more significant than that is the use made of this myth by the empire: “young men, virtue consists in suffering passively an ignominious death at the hands of the empire.” A very useful religion indeed.

    regards as always,

    Abdassamad

  12. To Be or not to Be
    (anonymous sidi: an avatar of dissillusion)

    To dive into the ocean and say:
    This the blog of bogvaerker.dk!!!!
    being needless thoughts, indeed

    Meaning: maliki: hanafi: shafiee: hambali:
    as ibnu ishaq twirling in the ghazali sea
    and more than a dance as the gamis unfurlingly flare
    from hu to Allah and back
    hungry for more

    Greed! is there a hard standard
    in soft degrees! oh kelvin, see the son of,
    farenheit absolute
    greed upon greed!

    where within such limits
    is a muslim and life goes on as usual
    willing and unwilling
    while the overstepping a fanciful quantum
    the leap of faith to stand on
    the threshold of being not.

    Is that not so enigmatic as posing the line
    what does bogvaeker do anyway; stretching
    the myth that seduced an empire;
    and if there is any wonderful exposition
    as unveiling the beauty of
    the surah twice mentioned,
    joining more than once
    the Saa-ee-lin and the Bookwright:

    Just a clattering, cluster of words, dude
    is to be or not
    to be

    Terima Kasih Daun Keladi

  13. I couldn’t understand some parts of this article Future Islam and the Secret of Technology, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

  14. I found this article, and the ensuing commentary, enigmatic posts, and discussiong very enlightening. The comment by the Administrator on Jesus’s crusifiction is partularly helpful, as is the concept of ‘Greed’ in this framework of nature and/vs. civilisation.

    There is a theory I find useful, that homonids, once they used technology (perhaps, a sharp stone to cut the tough hide of a dead animal) caused, over vast amounts of time, for ‘our’ brains to develp. Perhaps, in this context, ‘greed’ is inevitable, however, one would hope that with a big enoug brain we could evolve into a species that embraced the concept of all living together, as the scholar/President of Iran so wonderfully explained in a recent interview with an antoginistic 60 Minutes American ‘reporter’.

    whatever, thanks to all for the wonderful journey into thought. Yes, let’s start this future Islam NOW.

  15. Thanks Dave for your note.

    But remember that if ‘evolution’ is driven by the ‘survival’ of the DNA, its very essence is selfish, so the only thing we could hope for from development of our brains would be more of the same but amplified, accelerated and multiplied, and this is of course the most nihilistic vision, and I don’t think you are a nihilist. It is simply the pack of cards that we have all been dealt.

    Greed is inevitable, but as a failing in some. If it is the motor of the entire affair, then we are in serious trouble. And I believe we are in serious trouble.

    And thanks for your positive conclusion. Note that in Arabic, as in many languages, the future and the present tense are the same.

  16. Dear Abdassamad,

    is ‘undercutting’ allowed in Economics Culture of Islam

    I am reading and re-reading Global Capitalism and Ireland>A Muslim’s Perspective

    In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Most Merciful

    Abdassamad is ainm dom, O’Cleirigh is mo ainm slinne; os Carraig an Fergus me.

    In what we are about to embark on I would ask for your patience, your utmost concentration, and your forgiveness for a procession of English and European figures, many of whom were inflicted on me in history classes in my childhood but whose significance I have only recently come to terms with. I would suggest …So, in all of this beware of the misnamed Islamic banking, which is in reality the extension of ordinary banking into Muslim business life, disguised merely with a turban. The great majority of so-called Islamic Banking is in fact represented by the major banks of the day such as the HSBC, armed with flawed fatwas from scholars such as Mufti Taqi Uthmani and Yusuf al-Qaradawi, advancing into the new market of the Muslim community, one which was traditionally sceptical of them.

    This resurgence of Islamic interest in gold may be what drives the monetarist system to the wall. However, do not think of that as a kind of threat. Capitalism has intrinsically been a dramatic crisis-driven system. Its demise will not be the collapse of civilisation as we know it. It will open up a world in which everyone, Muslims and non-Muslims, can trade freely in markets without usury and inflation, and without the taxation that leaches the economic life of society. And we will see that the current order’s claim to be civilisation as opposed to the barbarians who lurk outside it is spurious on both counts.
    (6 July, 2006 13:58)

    I am having a hard time deciding: is this a good article or a piece of Irish luck. I guess I will have to patiently await till the Economics Culture of Islam is explained and how it can best be revived. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Terima Kasih and Warmest Regards.

  17. GREAT!!!!
    Just not my day, yet!

    Malaysia as base for ING syariah ops

    KUALA LUMPUR: ING Group is studying the possibility of making Malaysia the key base for syariah-compliant products in the Asia-Pacific, ING Funds Bhd chief executive officer Steve Ong said.

    “We are working with partner SG Asset Management to study the development of more syariah-compliant funds,” he told reporters at the launch of the ING Baraka Commodities Capital Protected fund yesterday.

    At least one or two more syariah funds were in the pipeline for next year, he added.

    Shnoooglingschnaappyschystersheesh!

    I really need to learn Cork Gaelic, Abdassamad.

  18. Dear Abdasamad
    Salaam

    Do you have friends who are able to write about the global economics from a Muslim point of view?

    For example, “The Dollar’s Got Further to Slide”

    Richard Clarida says the fall in the dollar isn’t over yet:

    The Dollar’s Got Further to Slide, by Richard Clarida, Commentary, WSJ: Nearly every day in recent weeks seems to bring news that the dollar has fallen to record lows against the euro and other major currencies. Important factors include the Fed’s bold — but appropriate — 50 basis-point cuts in the Federal Funds rate and the discount rate, and the policies we are likely to see in coming months from the European Central Bank and the Bank of England. …

    Terima Kasih

  19. Wa alaikum as-salam,
    Yes, I have friends who can write about global economics from a Muslim point of view. Hope to see the results of their writings soon.
    As to the dollar and its slide, we have yet to write about the gold dinar and the opposite vital dynamic of Muslim economics. I keep promising I know.
    Abdassamad

  20. Pingback: Kadim Al Saher
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