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Few Thoughts on Surah al-‘Ankabut

The surah begins with the question: {a hasiba n-nasu an…} It is not right to translate hasiba as ‘think’/‘imagine’ or ‘suppose’/‘conjecture’. The meaning here is ‘reckon’, ‘calculate’, to use reason to weigh up options in order to come to a judgment about…

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Desire and Love in Marriage

I want to begin by trying to explain to you the difference between desire (hawa) and love (mahabba). Desire is something that happens to you; you are passive before it; it arises; it gets you; it seems strong and you seem weak. It is aroused by…

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Reflections on Education

The importance of religion to Muslims means, an emphasis on Arabic and Qur’anic studies; and the importance of earning their livelihood, means they have instead, to learn English, which is the only medium Western learning could be studied.

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Advice to women travelling for `umrah

Advice to women travelling for `umrah

Women, generally, have always been easy targets of abuse and harassment by misguided, predatory men and hence it has rarely been safe for them to travel alone. That is why the Prophet advised that women when travelling in a potentially unsafe…

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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…

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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…

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Critical Reflections on Feminism

Critical Reflections on Feminism

What I have to say is in two parts: (1) some critical reflections on the direction of contemporary feminism; and (2) an account of three perspectives on how to pursue reforms in the norms and conventions that negatively affect women in Muslim communities.

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Benefitting from our Differences

Benefitting from our Differences

When the believers are in dispute over a matter, they should defer it to God and His Messenger. We cannot obey this command if there is in our community any established institution to which religious differences and disputes among Muslims must be referred.

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