New religion – new piety

An essential element of the emerging new religion that binds modern people is the new piety: ecological concern. It is not wrong, but it is framed in such a way as to paralyse. For example, the auto manufacturers have produced new cars with drastically smaller carbon footprints, and naturally motorists want to own one, because it will ease his conscience about climate change. But he rarely asks about all the processes that bring that car to us: the sweeping away of inconveniently placed rain-forests, the mining of the minerals, and all the technological and industrial processes that converge to produce that car with a small carbon footprint. All those processes amount to a huge carbon footprint, and yet the private person has been taught to worry about his very own personal and much smaller footprint. 

More alarming is the fact that we cannot distance those corporations as the work of wicked capitalists, for by and large modern man and woman work for those corporations, especially if we realistically count the state as merely another corporation in a corporate world. The state trains people in the institutions laughingly called education to take their place unquestioningly in the corporate world, the garages which claim to dispense something called medicine repair the mis-functioning and return them to the job, and the army dutifully defends corporate interests wherever they are threatened.

So that really significant carbon footprint of what we might call the titans is ours, but we have no control over it. Our voice is not heard, and is not going to be heard. Indeed, so accustomed are we to the idea that we are not going to be heard that we carry out our orders unhesitatingly and keep ecology as a hobby. 

Thus Adolf Eichmann is the symbol for our age. When accused of sending uncountable numbers of Jews to their deaths through his arrangement of the transport to the concentration camps, his defence was that he was only obeying orders; he was simply doing his job. That is the condition of modern man: he is doing his job; the army in Iraq and Afghanistan has a job to do. They need to get on with the job. It is treachery to undermine them in the job they have to do, etc.

But what drives all of this, apart from modern man’s not-inconsiderable passive acquiescence in the crime? State and corporation all are dependent on finance and its mysterious operations. But that is the subject for another day.

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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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  1. Dear Abdassamad

    New religion – new piety
    while trading in the open

    First Para Nota: funny
    depicting – picturing a big dude of a clean smelling close-tight shaved mammoth
    has just stepped out of the tall grasses in his cool glasses and now
    the big galoot is like a worldly with-it lordly khalifah dude
    pachyderm driving a brand new shiny top of the line hybrid bmw convertible with the hood down and cruising
    down the old M6 with the missus cherie besides smiling the mother of smiles in fashion desinger purdah demure.
    The pachys have got good sun blockers from the uv, it seems, Abdassamad.
    Global warming? Due to the carbon footprint on my head? What contributes to these offsprings of carbon baddies, you tell me!
    My my Paralysis Due To The Air Getting BaddernBadder,
    that’s what he tells me – haah!.
    i am more interested in ioniztion radiation? Gamma-ray, cherie

    the radio goes on and on
    recieving admitting transmitting
    recieving admitting transmitting

    Second Para Nota: Subdue
    as men in blacks
    or private contractors amercaine corporate clienteles
    the state run camps just down the hill and across the river potomac
    trains them to kill innocent men women and child
    they were just doing their job, sir!
    guarding national assets moving targets diplomats

    the radio goes on and on and on
    recieving admitting transmitting
    recieving admitting transmitting

    Third Para Nota: anciently sad
    as promethuis with his back to the walls high
    rock hard and rough – almost and all
    rages in his weeps, cries up to the heavens
    head hanging from thick neck and wrists
    hand muscular with veins pronounced
    in the twilight and yellow light
    in bracelets with chains hands cursed
    the echoes laughing in the darkness thick – this is not fair!!!!!!
    while the sea rages beneath
    torrents of regrets of a love remissed

    the radio goes on and on and on
    recieving admitting transmitting
    recieving admitting transmitting

    Fourth Para Nota: judgemental
    gravelly clinical finger-pointed and steepled old churchillian churlish
    remnants of an English war:
    I – yes I – hate hilter for what he is and what he has done
    – to the core!!!
    A palestinian delight in summers spring by the brook of bethelehem
    cools the eyes with roarthorbun fresh and shuns the lips
    mariam in the shades and colors of the holy of holies
    an ungodly children of god Yaweh and Jehovah new said they
    get on with the job trechery and treason in the hot hills
    marching thru the valley and bare plains
    death stalks every where, my son, my daughter, my child
    trampling on the earth light brown and dust plaint as tongue harsh
    none shall happy and glad be but one bi qalbin salim me

    the radio goes on and on and on
    recieving admitting transmitting
    recieving admitting transmitting

    Fifth and Fina Para Nota: white teeth gleeeee!
    – what was that you said, dear? mysteriously
    there is something for tomorrow? – you and me, cherie?
    aha, say dear hubby as sweet as red green black and blue grape juice
    dreaming and driving is dangerous, no – drunk driving hehee?
    – steaming up the tarmac fresh salmons upstream
    where is the supertramp with crime of the century
    linking up compatibles and sympathetics
    burning greenbacks and stealing away the substitute reserves gold dinars
    wanting to get out of the self-destructive and suicidal mode of our late capitalist society
    to forge alliances with individuals, groups and organisations whose aims are harmonious
    to feed the indigenous the yatims and the travellers and so many others like
    Abdassamad and me

    the radio goes on and on and on
    recieving admitting transmitting
    recieving admitting transmitting

    Sollu ‘alaihi was-sallimu taslimma

    Terma Kasih

    ps For further information:




    (Note that the addresses will have to be copied into your programme by hand(?). This is in order to prevent spam. :))

  2. Dear Abdassamad

    Do you want to buy a <A HREF=”” 13th century Qur’an? It is selling it short, don’t you think?

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