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Surah al-Takwir & Surah al-Infitar

Surah al-Takwir & Surah al-Infitar

These surahs compel us to call to mind realities that we accept are true but which we almost-never include in our conscious, deliberate calculations when we decide on a course of action or when we put a value on something when we say it is good, bad, or worth this...
Surah al-Insan & al-Dahr

Surah al-Insan & al-Dahr

This surah can be paired with the one before it. Al-Qiyamah ended with a brief account of the lowly first stages of human life, from which one can hardly imagine that there could emerge so complex a creature as a human being capable of knowing right from wrong and...
Surah al-Tatfif

Surah al-Tatfif

Woe unto the mean-hearted – those who, when they take the measure from people, strive to have it full, and when they measure for them, strive to make it short. Although some translations render mutaffifin as fraudsters – perhaps over-influenced by the example of...
Surah Nuh

Surah Nuh

This surah is a condensed overview of the themes found in more extended narration elsewhere in the Qur’an, of the story of Nuh `alayhi s-salam, notably Surah Hud. As always in the Qur’an, the focus on certain elements does not mean that other elements of the whole...
Surah Al-`Imran

Surah Al-`Imran

The longer surahs at the beginning of the received text of the Qur’an have a complex arrangement of passages because they are simultaneously addressing three major concerns of the Qur’an, and the focus of attention alternates between these concerns. The first is to...
Not being able to take a bath after menstruation

Not being able to take a bath after menstruation

Your question: If a woman’s menstruation stops while she is at work or travelling and she is not able in that situation to take a bath (ghusl), is she allowed to miss the obligatory prayers (i.e., defer them until the time when she can take a bath)? My response:...
Those eligible for Zakah

Those eligible for Zakah

Your question: Who should I pay my zakah to in the West? My response: The qualification in the question, “in the West”, does not have much significance for the answer, except that in the West, Muslims however numerous, do not (or do not yet) organise the collection...
Who Taught You Literary Criticism?

Who Taught You Literary Criticism?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم من علمك النقد الأدبي؟ بقلم: محمد أكرم الندوي أوكسفورد  قالوا: ما النقد الأدبي؟ قلت: هو دراسة للأعمال الأدبية وتفسيرها وتحليلها وموازنتها بغيرها والكشف عن محاسنها ومقابحها وما فيها من قوة وضعف ولون وجمال، وهو بكلمة أخرى تقدير النص الأدبي تقديرا...
Taqwa

Taqwa

Taqwa is the root of all the virtues that adorn religious life, and the virtues in turn strengthen the root from which they grow. Without taqwa the motivation for religious life is clouded and confused, brittle, vulnerable to being distracted and destroyed. Taqwa...
The Prophet as a Teacher

The Prophet as a Teacher

The manners and personal preferences, and also the public judgements and policies, of the Prophet, salla l-lahu `alayhiwa-sallam, have been studied and preserved by devout Muslims throughout the millennium and half since the coming of Islam. No other religious leader...