Archive for April, 2006

Art of Fatwa 2: Photography & Terrorism

April 29, 2006

I was wasting time this morning and happened to bump into some excellent fatwas at www.daruliftaa.com by Mufti Muhammad Ibn Adam. I will admit that I was pleasantly surprised by their depth and comprehensiveness.

Photographs: Please clarify the position of Islam

There are two positions of contemporary scholars on the issue. There are great scholars of knowledge, wisdom and piety on both sides of the fence; hence, it would be wrong to criticize anyone for following any one of these positions. It is a matter of genuine and valid difference of opinion. It is not an issue where one may condemn another, and one must respect others’ right to follow their conscience.

Islamic stance on the bombings of 7/7

The recent tragic events in London and elsewhere have unfortunately prompted many non-Muslims to associate Islam with violence and terrorism. Muslims worldwide are experiencing a very difficult stage of their existence, and facing many trials and tribulations. We are being accused of terrorism, extremism and fundamentalism. The idea that Islam is a violent religion is becoming more and more widespread to the point that even some ignorant Muslims are being affected with this propaganda.

The Art of Fatwa

April 18, 2006

I recently spent some time with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani. I observed something that I have found to be true of all true 'ulama. Myself and Salman, whenever we would ask the Shaykh anything related to fiqh, would be treated to a stratified answer. Such was also the case when I met with Shaykh Abdur-Rahman Ibn Yusuf last year. In many situations, a simple haram/halal answer treads of insensitivity. Also, we cannot discount the fact that in regards to some issues, a haram/halal binary does not and cannot exist. It is entirely plausible that one thing may be allowed for one and prohibited for someone else; and this is inline with fiqhi maxims. Our time with Shaykh Faraz was memorable, inspirational and most of all, had a good effect on myself and Salman's spiritual states. Regrettably for Shaykh Faraz, he may have inadvertantly rekindled my once lost love for Deoband and its institutions. Also, anyone who meets Shaykh Faraz will realize that he has an excellent (and I mean excellent) sense of humour. He had me laughing on plenty of occasions (Salman of course, being the obedient and respectful student controlled himself and limited himself to a smile everytime). The vibe that I got from him was that of happiness. To me, he was the perfect example of a man who chose to do with his life what his heart truly desired. I think that anyone present in his company would agree that we saw someone who enjoyed waking up in the morning because he chose to pursue his dreams. In him, we can find an example worthy of following.

Saudi Arabia’s baby boomers are redefining the kingdom’s relationship with the modern world

April 8, 2006

Scented smoke from dozens of water pipes mingled with Lebanese pop music at Al-Nakheel, a seaside restaurant in the Red Sea port of Jeddah. Saudi men in white robes and women in black abayas, their head scarves falling to their shoulders, leaned back on red cushions as they sipped tea and shared lamb kebab and hummus. Four young Saudi women, head scarves removed, trailed perfume as they walked past. Nearby, a teenage boy snapped photos of his friends with a cellphone. At an adjoining table, two young men with slicked-back hair swayed their heads to a hip-hop song echoing from the parking lot. [read the entire article]

Another take on madrassa life

April 4, 2006

Pakistan’s decision to expel foreign students, as India’s policy of limiting student visas to foreign madrassas students, will destroy a natural international network system that took decades if not centuries to build. Pakistan’s decision to expel more than a thousand foreign students from its madrassas should not surprise or bewilder anyone of us. [read the entire article]