AL-MANAAR MUSLIM CULTURAL HERITAGE CENTRE
244 Acklam Road, London W10 5YG
Saturday 7th April 2007
We currently operate on the premise that health is the absence of sickness. Thus we have a medicine that expends all its energies on the identification and eradication of sickness. Our medicine is a war medicine, and that is probably because its real origins and its major successes have been in wartime or in crisis and emergency situations. We think if the enemy is dead, then the friend will be alive and well.
Many heaped opprobrium on him, his Synod gave him a standing ovation, but British Muslims have so far had little to say about the Archbishop of Canterbury’s recent foray into the minefield of community cohesion.
Allah, exalted is He, says that whose meaning is:
Who could say anything better
than someone who summons to Allah
and acts rightly
and says, "I am one of the Muslims"? (Surah Fussilat: 33)
So you are a new Muslim, and you may be such even if you have a lineage of Muslim ancestors that stretches back for generations, for each person who genuinely discovers Islam, confirms it and determines to live by it is always new.
You are beginning to find your feet in this strangely topsy-turvey world that is Islam today and that is especially upside-down in our already upside-down world here in the West.
A talk delivered at the Islamic Foundation of Ireland, 163 South Circular Road, Dublin, Ireland on Saturday the 24th of June 2006.
Richard Dawkins is a man whose missionary zeal and the fervour of whose evangelical atheism puzzle even other atheists. I have read articles on him in which journalists have tried to analyse him and his family history (without success) looking for clues – family traumas, neuroses, etc. – which might explain what drives his passionate crusade (I know no more appropriate term) against God. He is a man who as well as anyone else and better than many embodies some of the essential themes with which to decode the science of this epoch, which arguably began with Galileo.
If we regard Thales as the man who was so enamoured of the heavens that he fell down a well which he hadn't noticed, then we might depict Einstein as the man who so enthralled others with the picture he painted of the cosmos that they didn't even notice they themselves had already fallen down the well.
Asking myself the question, what is this for? Why are we doing this and studying this? brought me an answer which gave some focus to what we want to do. The answer is, from George Orwell: who controls the past, controls the future; who controls the present, controls the past.
But that puts us immediately in another relationship to the past.
To see things clearly, with focus and in perspective one needs two eyes. Then things appear in three dimensions. We have been looking at the matter of terrorism with one eye. That is why our actions are ineffective. The first eye must look on the history of Islam, and in this case the history of wahhabism. The second eye must look on something in Europe, because we have been here before. In the nineteenth century and early twentieth we had an almost identical phenomenon.
The following examination of the ayah of Qur'an which is taken to refer to the expansion of the universe is a single example of what is becoming a burgeoning literature among Muslims claiming that science proves the Qur'an to be true.
Based on the notes for a talk delivered in Edinburgh at the ISLAM IN EUROPE CONFERENCE 2005 on Sunday 27th March 2005, this article contains both less and more than that talk, concluding slightly differently. Those interested can probably get the entire conference on CD or DVD from http://www.education-clinic.co.uk
The existing Islamic perspective on science is not a great deal more enlightening than the encyclopaedists' view of Islam. In some modernist works we rub shoulders with an assortment of Isma'ili and Mu'tazili heretics and other figures who are somehow assembled under the label 'Islamic'. Other authors quite desperately contrive to interpret ayat of Qur'an as prefiguring a heliocentric map of the solar system, modern embryology, or even relativity, etc., forgetting that if tomorrow any of these theories are revised, their 'faith' will be seriously compromised. This is in clear contravention of the ayat of Qur'an in Surah Ali 'Imran where Allah, exalted is He, tells us that of the ayat of Qur'an there are those which are muhkamah, i.e. decisive, clearly explicit and unambiguous, which are 'the core of the Book', and there are those which are mutashabihah, i.e. open to interpretation, ambivalent, ambiguous or metaphorical, and that 'those in whose hearts is deviation follow up that of it which is open to interpretation seeking dissension and seeking its inner interpretation.' They also ignore the clear warnings of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, against interpreting the Book of Allah in the light of one's own opinion.
…One day, the French mathematician Laplace presented his newest, most extraordinary work, Celestial Mechanics, to the emperor Napoleon. The emperor said, “Monsieur Laplace, they tell me you have written this large book on the system of the universe and have never even mentioned its Creator.” Laplace is said to have answered, “I have no need of this hypothesis.”
It was almost precisely at this moment in the history of mathematics that the cracks in the building began to show.
Allah says, “The building they built will not cease to be a source of doubt in their hearts unless their hearts are cut to shreds. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.” (Surat at-Tawbah)
Some correlations between … science and usury, are, for example, Galileo’s patronage by the Medicis – and many people count Galileo as the distinct beginning point of modern science, and Newton’s accepting the posts of Warden and then Master of the Mint in the new order that emerged after the Glorious Revolution that saw in the Bank of England, and his setting the price of gold in terms of the new paper currency and thus validating paper money. All of that leads up to the situation we have today about which eminent geneticist R. C. Lewontin avers, “No prominent molecular biologist of my acquaintance is without a financial stake in the biotechnology business.”
A talk at the Froud Centre in London, Sunday 6/6/04.
An article originally commissioned by an Irish magazine of the arts, but refused when it was feared that the magazine's advertisers which included many banks, might withdraw their sponsorship. O'Callaghan, a contemporary of William Cobbett, rediscovered the ancient prohibition of usury at precisely that moment when the church was trying to forget it.
Here we examine the text of the lengthiest and most thoroughly stated fatwa in favour of suicide-bombing that we have seen. This text,in essence, incorporates all the others that we have seen, and so it is this one that we have preferred to examine.
People's Forum at Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) IV, Copenhagen/September 19 to 22, 2002, “Peace and Spirituality – Role of Spirituality and Religion for People-centred Security” – September 21st, 2002, Challenges of globalisation and religious fundamentalism for peace movement.
In the name of Allah, All-Merciful, Most Merciful. Sidi Ali al-Jamal, one of the people of knowledge and spiritual illumination in Islam, said:
A basic wisdom is that the key of things are their opposites. (The Meaning of Man, Diwan Press, Norwich, UK. p118
We examine here the argument advanced for a so-called Islamic state.
A retelling of a story concerning a murid of Dhu'n-Nun al-Misri.
A poem written in the early 90s.
"There is much that is strange, but nothing that surpasses man in strangeness."
When I remember these words of Sophocles I am heart-sore at the thought of what has gone and yet heart-whole. To suffer at the hands of passion is pain indeed but better by far than the life lived in ease and cocooned from all trouble. (An unpublished novel).
The Crash has almost inevitably become over the years the stuff of legend. Such a massive dislocation of ordinary existence must, perhaps unavoidably, grow in dimensions with the passage of time. Primitive peoples had the natural phenomena of lightning, wind and rain, of earthquake and pestilence which they clothed in the garments of the gods, to render them a little more familiar and amenable to propitiation. How much different are we from those ancient peoples, discounting our once-upon-a-time technology and the veneer of culture with which we ornament the dormant savage within? Certainly the events of those fateful years only served to underline the essentially flimsy nature of our vaunted civilisation, even if subsequent history might be interpreted to bear out the optimism of those who believe in man’s basic goodness.
A poem in Arabic on the name Maalik as opposed to Malik.
Both of the latter are unsolicited but very welcome translations by Omar Ribas.
A poem inspired by Nietzsche, before the author came to know of Nietzsche's forthright affirmation of Islam in his penultimate work The AntiChrist.
Fair trading ('adl) in the market-place is based on trust. The establishment of healthy trade is an act of worship, modelled upon the trading practice of the Messenger of Allah, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
From one of his last works, the Anti-Christ, this passage goes strangely unremarked by scholars.
What we want to do is to try and find out what has happened, what's gone wrong. How did we get to where we are?
Let us imagine that we are looking at the body of a crime victim. Multiple injury, heavy duty GBH, rape and robbery of an unprecedented nature. The victim's condition is serious, critical, but there is still life. It's not yet time for an autopsy, but it soon will be, if something is not done.
We have come across the scene of the crime, stumbled over the body, probably got some blood on our clothes. Naturally we are concerned, horrified, but what can we do? We could walk away, pretend we didn't see it, we weren't actually there. Its probably too much to deal with anyway. Can't handle it. Don't get involved.
Or we can accept responsibility for where we find ourselves. The victim is clearly in need; surely there is something that we can do, even if we are not experts.
The victim is the planet and its inhabitants, the people, animals plants, oceans, forests, the air, earth and water. Life itself.(From the famous Norwich conference Usury: The Root Cause of The Injustices of Our Times published by PAID, Norwich, UK, 1987, this talk is the first from the Conference most of which is now available at the Open Trade web-site.)
From the Majmu' Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah Vol.20, this is Ibn Taymiyyah's ringing endorsement of the soundness of the premises (usul), and in particular the 'amal (practice), of the people of Madinah. It has been translated by Aisha Bewley and published as "The Madinan Way" (available from Bookwork)
Muslims you should know that amongst the most important objectives of the Islamic shariah is being united, helping one another to goodness and taqwa and these are amongst the most fundamental goals which the shariah pursues. Our mutual experience of solidarity and gathering and mutual assistance in our obligatory acts of ibada such as the prayer, zakat and hajj and the celebrations of the two Eids is nothing but an active proof and a container of the secrets of the communal nature of our din. It also shows that the din encourages co-operation and mutual concern. There are quranic ayats and prophetic hadiths which order us to come together and forbid us from splitting up.
Shaykh Muhammad al Qasabi is Imam of the Granada Mosque.
Also published in German in "Islamische Zeitung", Weimar, July/August 1995.
Human existence today is constantly disrupted by industrial pollution, petrochemicals, pesticides, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, processed foods, drug therapies, vaccinations, sick buildings, etc.
We define modern epidemics as the generalized pathological expressions which are produced as a direct consequence of the development of science and its practical applications.
Any paradoxes in the biological behaviour, the unexpected result of scientific predictions, the incomprehensible changes that could not be foreseen in studying the creational processes, all that shows us that nature is not a system. Nevertheless systematisation and standardisation has been the characteristic of the medical procedures of the science of this century, from the theoretical realm to its pragmatic applications.
PCBs, polychlorinated biphenyls, were supposed to be an inert substance that would not react with other chemicals. This inherent quality, along with that of being resistant to heat, flame and electrical charge, made them extremely employable and offered tremendous opportunities for their us.
From a talk delivered by Dr. Muhammad Dalmau & Dr. Abdalhamid Evans during August 1992 at the Sixth Conference of Islamic Fiqh, Granada, Spain
The greatest achievement would be to understand that everything factual is already its own theory. Do not look beyond the phenomena; they are themselves the teaching." Goethe Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre 182
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