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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

The Guidance Prayer ~ A Crash Course

Perhaps one the best known Islamic tool for choosing is the Guidance Prayer (ṣalāt al-istikhārah), a prayer named for the supplication for guidance that occurs at its end. The Arabic word “istikhārah” comes from the root “khā-yā-rā.” In his Muʿjam Maqāyīs al-Lughah, Ibn Fāris, the core linguistic sense is to feel favorable or to incline … Read more

A faqih’s evidence isn’t always what it appears to be

Several of the books that I am working on as part of my Shāfiʿī fiqh curriculum include evidence related to fiqh positions. One of the things I watch for is when evidence in later books differs from the evidence in earlier books. Some of these instances involve later scholars citing a hadith as evidence whereas earlier … Read more