When Islam Eradicated Poverty: Umar-bin-Abdul Aziz and Zakat

The potential of Zakat as a source of poverty eradication is optimistic and positive. However, the gulf between theory and reality can often be significant. In South and South East Asia, this gulf unfortunately exists. Zakat implementation has had limited success and suffers from significant inefficiency. The woes of modern day Zakat are in stark…

Poverty’s Bane: On Zakat as a Developmental Funding Source

Zakat – the Islamic obligation of alms giving – is said to have once eradicated absolute poverty under the rule of the caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz. Centuries later, with the swelling Muslim populace, perhaps Zakat once again offers the potential for mass poverty reduction. This article will explore the potential of Zakat as a…

Developing Empathy for Holocaust Victims: Recommended Books

I wrote quite a dramatic article on the Holocaust and Genocides. I thought I’d follow up with a more specific article, with a set of books that can help in developing empathy for the victims of the Holocaust. I’m not particularly well read on this, but there were three books in particular (well, two books…

The Echoes of the Oppressed: Holocaust Memorial Week 2018

This week is Holocaust Memorial Week; a morbid reminder of the horror that humans are capable of, but tinged with a glimmer of hope, in that we may be able to stop another such calamity by learning from those who have perished. We are fortunate that stories of survivors have reached us, and equally, the…

Video games and the Mystery of Life

I never expected to better understand the great mystery of life because of a videogame. The game in question, Xenoblade Chronicles X, is a stellar Japanese Role Playing Game (JPRG for short), filled with some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen in a video game, matched with an equally epic soundtrack. It is…

The Moment, Frozen and Explored: On the Power of Storytelling

The human experience is inimitable. What each human experiences in a given moment can never in it’s entirety be experienced by another. It is far too nebulous. Each and every second of our life is informed by our entire life prior to that moment; upbringing, schooling, family, friends, life events, wins, losses; all of these…

Between Harmony and Dissonance: On Muslim Unity

The importance of the Islamic fraternity is a popular lecture topic among scholars and speakers. It is stressed, repeatedly, how important it is for Muslims to be united, how important it is for the Ummah to exist, a boundary-less arch of camaraderie, engulfing Muslims everywhere, only by virtue of their faith. The Prophet of Islam,…

Celestial touch: On the Sky and the Fitrah

Nobody can deny the beauty of the sky. When gazing at mellow, rounded and forgiving clouds, emboldened by the deep blue sky, and shaded by the sun, one cannot help but feel awe. This feeling only magnifies in the night, when the sun yields, and towering constellations come forth. Perhaps this feeling of awe, that…

In pursuit of empathy: thoughts on the Diary of Anne Frank

A couple of weeks ago, I finished the Diary of Anne Frank. I realised afterwards that I had purchased the ‘definitive edition’. This edition wasn’t fitting of the name, since it was edited by Anne’s father, Otto Frank, to remove politically incorrect and offensive diary entries. That would have made for far more interesting reading,…