Archive for August, 2009

Tips for Ramadan Taraweeh (Tarawih) Prayers

// August 29th, 2009 // 3 Comments » // Blog

My latest contribution for MuslimMatters.org: a list of simple tips for a more productive Taraweeh experience, inshā’Allāh. Please visit the site and add your own! :)

A Pre-Ramadan Thought

// August 19th, 2009 // 5 Comments » // Blog

I left a comment on Organica's latest post, which I wanted to share here, mainly as a reminder to myself:

“It is much easier to do good deeds in Ramadan because your nafs is weakened by fasting, and the shayateen are locked up. This illustrates that there is something inherently good about humanity, which shines through when worldly temptation is removed.

It's a lesson for us to seek that [good] out within ourselves and others all year round, inshā’Allāh.”

An early Ramadan Mubarak to you all!

Channel 4 Revelations: “How Do You Know God Exists?”

// August 16th, 2009 // 1 Comment » // Blog

Programme synopsis:

“Leading figures in the five principal faiths in Britain discuss their beliefs and answer questions about their basic faith and their own spiritual journeys.

The key figures interviewed are Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, Muslim theologian Tariq Ramadan, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and Swami Pramtattvadas.

As well as addressing the 'big questions', including their concepts of God, heaven and hell, they speak frankly about their struggles and frequent moments of doubt, about the divisions within their ranks and crimes that have been committed in the name of religion.”

I only caught the second half of the show, but was just in time to see Tariq Ramadan do a really bad job of explaining the infamous 'wife-beating' verse in the Qur'an. It's not entirely his fault… editing is a dodgy business, and he only had one sentence to work with, really. But that's why I get quite annoyed with these types of shows. You aren't given the time to do justice to any topic.

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British Government’s Meddling with Islam & the Muslim Community

// August 5th, 2009 // No Comments » // Blog

Not the most catchy of titles, I admit, but it'll do.

It's for my article that was published today, over at MuslimMatters:

As I've mentioned on more than one occasion, I am subscribed to alerts from They Work For You – a free site that allows the public to keep track of parliamentary proceedings. Even so, I will continue to remind you all of this fact, because I think everyone should make use of this amazing service. I am hardly politically astute, but I still choose to keep an ear open for when the British government decides to talk about me (or rather, things dear to me), i.e., Islam and the Muslim community.

Recently, there was a sudden rise in the number of alerts I received, containing my keyword of choice, “Islam”, all because one particular British MP, Ben Wallace (Conservative MP for Lancaster & Wyre, Former Conservative MSP for North East Scotland), has been asking a lot of questions on the subject lately – six questions in just two days. After reading through them, I become somewhat alarmed, as they described a number of initiatives that have the potential to directly affect how Islam is understood and practised in the UK. This includes scholarly efforts to 'contextualise' Islam in Britain, and the teaching of Islamic Studies in universities. To add some further context, several of these questions were posed in relation to “Paragraph 9.21 of the UK Strategy for Countering International Terrorism“.

The six questions and answers are presented below.

Continue reading…

I was quite worried about how this article would be received – mainly because politics is not my forte. However, I don't consider this article to be 'political', rather, the intention was simply to be informative. These are matters that concern me – and the rest of the British Muslim community – and I felt it my duty to spread the news.

I am also concerned about sounding like 'just another paranoid Muslim, thinking the government is out to get us'. But the thing is, though my own opinion can be utterly ignored, the facts cannot. And that is what I have aimed to do: present a set of facts – without editing, and providing original sources – then analyse those facts, and present my own theory. The theory could be way off, but the facts remain as facts. Facts, facts, facts… FACTS. [I thought I'd throw that word in a few more times for added emphasis.]

I asked a friend of mine to read over the article while it was still in draft form, and she wasn't aware of any of the initiatives described therein. I'd call her an 'average' Muslim – in that she is conscientious, but not politically active, as such. She, too, was alarmed at the information. So, I am hoping that I am not way off base with my assessment.

Thanks to Indigo Jo for giving the article a once over too, and confirming a mistake that I had made. Though he never told me whether he agreed with my paranoid instincts or not – I'm sure he'll share his opinions soon enough, inshā’Allāh.

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