‘Then you came here as I ordained’

Surah Taha (chapter 20 of the Quran) has a strong focus on Moses, one of the central figures of Islam, Christianity and Judaism. The wisdom found in Surah Taha thus has tremendous reach, sweeping across the Abrahamic frontier. The kernel of wisdom that I found in Surah Taha’s telling of Moses’ origins and confrontation with…

Book review: Heavenward

As part of Fraser’s Fun House book tour, I have signed up to read and review Olga Gibb’s debut novel, Heavenward. Several bloggers have done the same, and we have been given allocated dates to publish our reviews. I thought this would be an interesting opportunity to read a fictional book, something that I hardly…

Perverse at Heart: On the Abuse of Scripture

In previous years, ISIS and their ilk have dominated media headlines. The public’s conscious has been loaded with affiliations between nefarious terrorist groups, and the religion of Islam, or at least some interpretations of it. ISIS are well aware of this, and exploit this through their toxic propaganda, in which they attempt to claim the…

Delivered in Comfort: Thoughts on the Sleepers of the Cave

The Sleepers of the Cave is a story of much importance in the Quran, as is the rest of the narrative espoused in Surah Kahf (the Cave). It is to be recited every Friday, so God must have wanted to imprint these particular stories and lessons deeply into our psyche. The story is a short…

The Particularity of Knowledge

The contemporary scholar considers themselves well versed and well informed, guided by the thorough system of contemporary academia. Rems of research papers, scrupulously peer-reviewed, inform and shape their thoughts. And indeed, the contemporary scholar is a paladin of a particular realm of knowledge. Though, crucially, they, and the rest of us, would do well to…

To those alive

To those alive. To those who have stood on a knife edge between life and death, and tipped towards life. To those who have been forced to gaze into the gaping chasm of death from the vista of life, and eschewed it all the same. To those who, after between beaten and battered by hardships,…

Why reading lists might be harming your intellectual growth

The reading list; every line in this humble assembly represents a yearning for knowledge. As useful as these may be, perhaps the reading list silences the dynamism of curiosity. When finishing a book, the reader moves onto the next item on their list. The list represents what the reader wants to read at a particular…

Children Wearing Hijab – Are They Being Indoctrinated and Sexualised?

Recently, a top-ranking primary school in Newham decided to ban the hijab for young children. The ban was later reversed following quite a backlash. Discussions around the hijab followed, reviving the notion that the hijab is a form of indoctrination. The argument goes; girls are forced to don a cloth, sexualising them by treating them…

Society’s Canvass: On Art as a Projection of Social Values

I’m no artist. I’m rather prosaic. But it is difficult to deny the strength of art as a means of self-expression, political resistance, therapy, or as a projection of social values. The blank canvass holds endless possibilities; from ink to paint, surreal to abstract, dusky or vibrant, art provides an unparalleled mode of expression. What…