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Why my focus is on fiqh instead of adab

I don’t see the shortage of books, classes, interest, and literacy in adab that I see when it comes to fiqh. Imam al-Ghazali’s Ihya, Bidayat al-hidayah, and many other adab-centric books have been translated and are taught, yet none of his fiqh-centric books have made it into English. Imam al-Nawawi’s Forty Hadith, Riyad al-salihin, Al-Adhkar, … Read more

Summary: A wife’s religious obligation to perform housework

During the brouhaha related to my earlier post clarifying the Shafii position that husbands must inform wives they are not obligated to cook and clean, someone shared Mufti Shabbir Ahmad Patel’s article on the various opinions on the issue entitled Al-Siraj al-wahhaj fi khidmat al-azwaj (“The shining lamp on serving the spouses”). The full article … Read more

Tinnitus and dhikr

Tinnitus is very frustrating and aggravating. Someone shared an article on /r/tinnitus about how mindful meditation can help reduce tinnitus problems. The explanation it offers about learning to separate one’s tinnitus and one’s reaction to it, and how meditation helps in this regard got me thinking about how my tinnitus tends to be less problematic … Read more

Fiqh arguments and the Toulmin model of argument

Ever since I read about the Toulmin model of argument, I have wanted to use it as a vehicle for presenting fiqh arguments and, perhaps, explain why the arguments aren’t also apparent to non-specialists. According to the Toulmin model, an argument consists of the following components: Claim: A statement that something is so. Data: The … Read more

Why blood money is spread over three years

In a fiqh lesson last week, someone asked why the Shafiis (and others) say that the reduced blood money [diyah mukhafafah] is spread over three years. This issue is discussed in The Ultimate Conspectus and The Accessible Conspectus at the end of the first section of chapter 10. The reasoning presented in Kifayat al-akhyar is … Read more

Monday Morning Musing: More on separating [unIslamic] culture from Islam

Apropos yesterday’s musing on separating [Islamic] culture from Islam: The culture of feeling good about desiring & performing blameworthy acts needs to be separated from Islam—not the culture of feeling good about desiring & performing praiseworthy acts. (Here’s more about feeling good about doing good.) The culture of vice and excess needs to be separated from … Read more

Sunday Evening Musing: Separating [Islamic] culture from Islam

Whenever someone brings up the topic of the need to separate the practices of centuries-old Muslim communities from Islam, I can’t help but wonder why brand new cultural practices are given a pass. Is it the culture obsessed with taking selfies and material consumption that needs to go, or the culture of disciplining the self and … Read more

Infamy #42: Lack of vigilance ~ with commentary

From Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami’s Infamies of the Soul: Among the infamies of the soul is neglecting to demand more from one’s self concerning one’s actions and statements, and being content with what one’s soul is doing. This condition is treated by the individual demanding an increase in [the quality and then the quantity of] … Read more

On Islamic vegetarianism

From my Intensive Animal Farming: Wrongs & Responsibilities paper: Completely eliminating the consumption of animal products is neither a viable or desirable option for Muslims, since animal sacrifice is involved in several religious rites and occasions. Additionally, moderate consumption of meat is a Prophetic norm (Sunnah). So one really cannot make a case that the Sacred … Read more