Smokeless Fire: On the Plausibility of Believing in the Supernatural

Djinn. Beings described in the Quran as made of smokeless fire, are a favourite topic of discussion among Muslims. The mysterious entities often feature in hear-say stories, frivolously passed around. The stories vary from genuinely frightening – possession leading to near-fatal acts of self-harm – to laughable – a man saw a ‘demon’ sitting in…

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…

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…