Khutba – 3rd March 2017 –
Today is the 4th Jumada al-Akhir 1438
He, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Islam began as a stranger and will return as a stranger, so fragrant good fortune to the strangers.”
The Companions agreed unanimously at the time of Sayyiduna ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him and with them all, that the beginning of Islam is the Hijra of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the small group of individuals and families with him from Makka to the town of Yathrib, then inhabited by sundry Arab and Jewish tribes with uneasy treaties and truces between them and continuous internecine warfare and raiding. Thus ‘Islam’ begins not with a pure Islamic polity but with a messy mix of people of different races, tribes and religions. The idealisation of that beginning causes us much confusion. Continue reading “Khutba – 3rd March 2017”
What constitutes a barrier preventing Islam from being an indigenous religion in Sweden?
When writing about Islam in the West the most compelling topic must be its relations to our post-modern society, in which respect Sweden is certainly at the forefront. But, how can Muslims, who clearly represent a pre-modern culture, have something to say about post-modernity and its particular issues?
If there is a fundamental falsity in the scientific worldview, which few address, that the human is conceived of as an observing mind gazing upon the world and making theories about it, a view that goes some way to explaining the paradoxical dangers for the human being in science and technology, how much danger lurks in theology conceiving of the human as an observing mind looking at the Divine and theorising about Him? Such false beginnings can never approach the greatness of Ash‘ari kalam or appreciate its significance.
The authentic poet – and have no doubt about it, Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore is that fabulous creature – works with the secret of language, which lies at the very core of what it is to be human, to be one of the sons of Adam. In this role, he has restored voices to what our dreary materialism falsely classifies as ‘inanimate’, and thus gives the stars, the winds and all manner of ‘things’ back their ability to ‘speak’, and, when they do, they simply sing the praises of their Lord, and surely there are few poets in our time whose theme has so consistently been the Divine. Indeed, the very fecundity of his imagination and the abundance of his output are in themselves his own response to the munificent generosity that is everywhere evident in a creation that sings so eloquently in these poems. In a dangerous and nihilistic age, far from cursing the darkness, Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore has consistently been lighting a host of joyous candles, showing the way through the darkness to those who would walk it.
(Written at Hajj Abdal-Hayy’s request for the back cover of a volume of poetry)
The dictionary definition of an idol: an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship, from Latin idolum ‘image, form’, from Greek eidolon, from eidos ‘form, shape.’
The colossal form of a female deity towers above New York harbour; it is a gigantic idol. There! We have named it without a trace of irony, metaphor or analogy. The Statue of Liberty is an idol because it is the physical representation of what has become, in this age, the foremost deity in the new pantheon of intangible divinities in whose name people strive to fulfil their highest purpose in life: Freedom.
In the beginning there was nothing technical, but there was a man, and he was almost always a man, not a woman. Initially, he had some gold and silver, usually on trust from others. His great trick was to play his cards close to his chest. Did he have a hundred or a thousand or a million? No one knew. So when he wrote notes lending ‘money’ to others, people played his poker game. And it worked for a while, and sometimes went horribly wrong. People just love poker. Continue reading “In the Beginning a Man”
If one, even if only for a moment, refuses to see the patternings that media and its pundits tell us are there, one begins to see others, and when one sees them, one can never again not see them.
It was while watching demonstrations – three in all – outside Downing Street, that it hit me. The young fiercely bearded Islamists, calling for shari’ah law – for heaven’s sake! – calling for shari’ah law outside Downing Street. The image was clear: mostly dark complexioned, with wonderful black beards, very full. The eyes and faces passionate, lit with, with more than excitement.
Horace thought an author should leave a poem for nine years before publishing it. Most of this book was written more than twenty years ago and only now sees the light of day.