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The Challenges of Becoming a ‘Practising’ Muslim in a ‘Muslim’ family

One segment of the ‘practicing’ Muslim population that often is overlooked are those (usually youth) from non-practicing or more secular families who are brought into the light of guidance by Allah. We often talk about the challenges of converts and those who grow up Muslim, but we don’t often talk about these people. This is … Continue reading The Challenges of Becoming a ‘Practising’ Muslim in a ‘Muslim’ family

What is Kalam?

Basic theology, or Usul-ul-Din, is usually a simple extraction of the beliefs that a Muslim should have based on the Qur’an and Prophetic Sunnah. In Sunni Islam, we attempt to attain orthodoxy in our beliefs by ensuring that our interpretation of the sacred texts in matters of religious belief is as close as ideally possible … Continue reading What is Kalam?

How To Learn Anything

Most people go through school, college or university learning a lot, but often learning little to nothing about HOW to learn. We might figure out how to study for a test, do an assignment or carefully select our courses, but we often don’t pick up on the skills necessary for us to learn independently outside … Continue reading How To Learn Anything

Taqwa For Palestine

Note: this post has not been written to dissuade anyone from being involved in protests or activism for Palestine. Please continue to do so, may Allah reward you and may He rectify our ummah’s affairs. In university, I used to take part in protests and helped to organize political events. A few of them were … Continue reading Taqwa For Palestine

“Follow Allah & His Messenger ﷺ, Not People” – Misunderstanding The Concept Of Taqlid

This is a common phrase uttered by those who are against the madhhabs and the concept of taqlid in fiqh. On the surface such an approach seems very simple, straightforward and directly inspired from passionate faith & piety, which is why people who advocate for it find it difficult to let go of. However, despite … Continue reading “Follow Allah & His Messenger ﷺ, Not People” – Misunderstanding The Concept Of Taqlid

Muslims & Feminism

I have refrained from addressing the issue of feminism & Islam for a long time on this blog, mostly because I feel Muslim discourse on this subject has reached an irrational false détente where you are either pro-feminism and thus a Muslim ‘liberal’, or you are anti-feminist and a ‘toxic Muslim male’. With the added … Continue reading Muslims & Feminism

The Levels Of Ignorance

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم Often on this blog, I talk about learning and the levels of knowledge in a subject. But an important ‘flip side’ to talk about are the levels of ignorance. They are incredibly important to know about, and while classical books have often stuck to a simple/compound ignorance dichotomy, I want to … Continue reading The Levels Of Ignorance

Is Modernism Bad?

What is ‘modernism’ in the Islamic context? The term ‘modernist’ has become a sloppy critique that religious Muslims use to dismiss views they feel are too ‘liberal’ or see as catering too willingly to the Western world and its beneficiaries. But the vast majority of people who make this accusation don’t understand what it means … Continue reading Is Modernism Bad?

Shirk, Takfir & The Fuqaha

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم As Muslims we need to ensure that our understanding of Islam is grounded in knowledge and scholarship. It is not about what we ‘feel’ to be right or are outraged about. There is no better way to attain this understanding than looking to our scholars and scholarly tradition and seeing how … Continue reading Shirk, Takfir & The Fuqaha

How to Identify Authorities in Islamic Knowledge

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم A Muslim must ensure that they are learning their religion or taking fatwa from those who are qualified to do so. Especially in today’s social media and online landscape where amateurs can barely be distinguished from experts, this has become a priority more than ever before.1 Whenever I have written or … Continue reading How to Identify Authorities in Islamic Knowledge

What Does it Mean to Make Islam a Natural Part of Your Life?

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم In the past few years I’ve seen more seekers of knowledge and du’āt talk about ‘making Islam a natural part of our lives’, in that it integrates seamlessly into our personality and worldview to the point where it doesn’t feel forced and unnatural. I was one of these people for a … Continue reading What Does it Mean to Make Islam a Natural Part of Your Life?

How to Call to Good and Warn from Evil

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم I recently skimmed through the relied-upon study text in Hanbali theology ‘Qala’id Ul-Iqyan’ by Imam ibn Balban al-Hanbali. Although the text itself is quite basic and at a beginner level, I was very impressed by the inclusion of an entire chapter on ‘calling to good and warning from evil’ in a … Continue reading How to Call to Good and Warn from Evil

Of Superheroes and Sahabah

Before marriage, I would daydream and imagine what my life would ideally look like in the future. I would be the perfect husband, the perfect father, the perfect employee, the perfect student of knowledge, and the perfect worshipper of Allah. My goal was to be the Bruce Wayne or Jason Bourne of living the Muslim … Continue reading Of Superheroes and Sahabah

How to Study Islam: A Guide

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم This started as a replacement for some of my outdated articles on studying Islam, and as a means to answer questions about books and study tips I am often asked about in private messages. It has now resulted in what is the most important article on my blog I have written … Continue reading How to Study Islam: A Guide

17 Benefits of Adversity & Affliction

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم I noticed this very small text by Izz-ul-Din ibn Abdis-Salam (~577AH – ~670AH) being taught and explained by members of the global Muslim community, and liked it so much that I decided to temporarily suspend my current Islamic Studies curriculum and teach this to my students instead. I want to share … Continue reading 17 Benefits of Adversity & Affliction

The Value of Struggle

An advice I give my high school students is to toughen up and start preparing mentally and spiritually for what looks to be a rocky future. Although I usually do this when they complain about assignments and tests, its also a theme I discuss in Islamic History and the tough times that people went through … Continue reading The Value of Struggle

The Mu’tamad

Do the ‘relied upon’ or mu’tamad/mashhur positions of the madhhabs have any epistemic significance? This question is an interesting one that I have been reflecting over for a while. You often hear (esp. on social media) one of two views: that these are epistemic absolutes that students or scholars of that madhhab MUST abide by … Continue reading The Mu’tamad

Traditionalists vs. Traditionalism

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم This is a very important piece that I should have written a long time ago, but in the end Allah’s will is supreme. Traditionalism as understood in this article is the collective amalgamate of Sunni theological, legal and spiritual traditions. In theology, the Ash’ari, Maturidi and Athari traditions in theology, the … Continue reading Traditionalists vs. Traditionalism

“To understand the Qur’an, you only need tafsir”

This is a fallacious belief that is common among quite a lot of Muslims of Pakistani/Indian subcontinent origin (especially those that study with certain unmentioned international organizations) as well as the understanding of a few contemporary Muslim figures (usually from the same region). Many are the basements in which amateur exegetes claim to interpret the … Continue reading “To understand the Qur’an, you only need tafsir”

Fiqh Naturalism

Along with an academic, traditional and formalist study of fiqh, It is important to have a natural understanding of fiqh as well. What is a natural understanding of fiqh? It is an understanding of fiqh that seamlessly integrates with real people and their real experienced lives. What is a formalist understanding of fiqh? It is … Continue reading Fiqh Naturalism

Does Wahhabism = Terrorism?

This is something I’ve wanted to write for a few months now. Although I have begun to lean in very strongly towards understandings that would be typified as ‘Sufi’ over the past few years, there is a strand of thought in the ‘Sufi’ community that genuinely makes me uncomfortable. I’m sure it could be stated … Continue reading Does Wahhabism = Terrorism?

Beyond Yaqeen – How to Connect With Allah and Not Just Believe in Him

So you’re the cream of the theological crop. You’ve been studying or researching Islamic theology, whether basic or advanced, and you’ve become familiar with what a big fat lie atheism has turned out to be. Whether it’s been through YouTube videos and bloggers, or tomes on epistemology, ontology and theology, or you were blessed to … Continue reading Beyond Yaqeen – How to Connect With Allah and Not Just Believe in Him

Islamic Thought and the Problem of -isms

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم There are three reasons that have compelled me to write this short article. The first is that of Muslim researchers and academics in social science disciplines in which their thoughts on Islam and Islamic issues are influenced by the -isms primarily forming the governing principles of their usually Western academic faculties, … Continue reading Islamic Thought and the Problem of -isms

Atharism, Ash’arism and Tradition

I spent an hour or so pondering over the Ash’ari/Athari polemics and realized the massive impact this has on the perception and importance of tradition between these two theological groups. The only way I could get myself to stop the flow of thoughts was to write them, hence this article. At any rate, this is … Continue reading Atharism, Ash’arism and Tradition

On Salafi ‘Burnout’

As growing numbers of young practicing Muslims (especially students of knowledge or enthusiasts of scholarly discussions) make the decision to abandon Salafism due to either finding it or it’s conclusions intellectually inferior or practically problematic, there are a number of important things to take note of: 1) Do not belittle your reasons for finding Salafism … Continue reading On Salafi ‘Burnout’

A Sample Study Ladder for Mastering the Arabic Language

From a Facebook group where someone asked about important books in learning Arabic: Learning Arabic consists of three steps: 1) Learning basic language skills (can take 1-3 years depending on student) 2) Studying Arabic as a science (can take 2-4 years depending on student) 3) Intensive Academic expertise/research (Lifetime) The first step consists of one word: … Continue reading A Sample Study Ladder for Mastering the Arabic Language

A Journey in Education

Never let yourself or others determine your intelligence, knowledge and scholastic capability based on your grades in school and university. I hope this brief essay serves as a source of learning and benefit about the pitfalls and shortcomings of the modern formalized education system. This is an experience I hope not just to share with … Continue reading A Journey in Education

How to Learn Arabic 2.0

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم Many Muslims are keen to learn the Arabic language. It is, after all, the key to unlocking the doors of the knowledge of Qur’an and Sunnah. However, most people unfortunately give up soon after starting. While this is often attributed to laziness or a lack of motivation, a lot of the … Continue reading How to Learn Arabic 2.0

Some adab while discussing issues of knowledge online

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم Here is some foundational adab when discussing an academic issue of knowledge online (or otherwise). May Allah (عز وجل) make it beneficial: Situation 1: You have studied the related topic in question via a teacher or text and you do not know the level of knowledge of the other individual. As … Continue reading Some adab while discussing issues of knowledge online