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Notes on Surah al-Shu’ara’

Notes on Surah al-Shu’ara’

This surah addresses the intense anxiety that God’s Messenger, salla l-lahu `alayhiwa-sallam, suffered on account of the  negative responses he got when he conveyed to the people the message God had commanded him to convey. It seems that he blamed himself (v. 26:3)....
Thematic Overview: Surah Al ‘Imran

Thematic Overview: Surah Al ‘Imran

The tried and tested way of teaching the Qur’an is to work through it verse by verse, striving to deepen our experience of the words of God, and to improve conscience and practice of the religion. That said, there is also some merit in stepping back, at this stage of...
Critical Reflections on Feminism

Critical Reflections on Feminism

 I have been told that on this occasion I will not be addressing only fellow-Muslims but also non-Muslims. I have tried therefore to present what I wish to say particularly to Muslims in terms that are general, and make some sense to non-Muslims as well. What I have...
Benefitting from our Differences

Benefitting from our Differences

The clear command of God is that when the believers are in dispute over a matter, they should defer it to God and His Messenger, that is to say, the Book and the Wisdom.[1] We cannot obey this command if there is in our community (local, national or international) any...
Orientalists and Hadith

Orientalists and Hadith

Modern Western critical inquiry into texts carrying religious authority have been carried out on the assumption that those texts are of natural (this-worldly) origin and therefore any claims of supernatural origin are simply mechanisms by which the religious authority...
The Origin of a Successful Marriage:

The Origin of a Successful Marriage:

Marriage is a sunnah, a strongly commended act for those who would follow the example of God’s Messenger, and strive to please God. Saying that marriage is a sunnah is also to affirm that it is not mandatory: there may be necessities within a person and perhaps within...
Reflections on Surah al-Jinn

Reflections on Surah al-Jinn

When someone behaves in a way that shows that they are not in control of their will, that they cannot sense what is harmful or dangerous to themselves, the Arabic word used will probably be majnun. Literally, the word means jinn-possessed. In ordinary usage it means...