‘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…

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…

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…

Multi-dimensional: On the Different Uses of Zakat

Whilst walking down Whitechapel Road during Ramadan, it was hard not to notice the sheer number of adverts by Muslim charities, attracting Zakat payments. And almost without exception, the adverts featured a miserable but endearing child, dressed in rags, with large deer-like eyes, inviting warmth and sympathy from beholders. In doing so, the link between…

The Need to Address Women’s Rights in the Muslim Community

One of the most common critiques against Islam is that is oppresses women, burdens them with a sundry of pedantic and outdated legislative shackles, restricting their self-determination to a point of destructiveness. The hijab is viewed as a patriarchal institute, sexualising women by defining them only according to their sex. The traditional nuclear family is…

Protagonist Syndrome: On Narcissism

Yesterday I was on the train home and saw a lone sock on the tube floor. I suggested to my friend, an aspiring play write, that he write a story about a series of very ordinary happenings that led to the sock’s current position; maybe somebody was running late, and hurriedly put their baby’s sock…

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…

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…