21/11/2014 Leave a comment
Director, scholar and broadcaster…
15/11/2014 1 Comment
By Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
Apparently, according to some guy called Abu Baraa, wearing poppies is imitating “non-muslims” like Jews and Christians.
“There has even been a campaign recently pushing Muslims to wear ‘poppy hijabs’ and similar clothing. This is worrying not only because of the dangers of imitating non-muslims in their, religious clothes, commemorations, their annual days and religious practices, but also because it highlights the lack of awareness among the new generations about the history of these practices.” (http://www.abubaraa.co.uk/)
Well what about prayer caps, long shirts, turbans, headscarves etc.? When Muslims first started wearing these in the time of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, were they not imitating Jews, Christians and other “non-muslims”, or doesn’t that count?
What can I say? Other than it highlights the lack of awareness among the new generations about the history of these practices!
The argument about imitating non-muslims is a common one among Salafi/Wahabi, Islamist, and wahabised Muslims… I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve encountered it. One of those things I’ve always questioned and resisted since the outset, as it just didn’t sound right or make any logical sense.
What after all are the points of reference, when the points of reference, like articles of “Sunnah clothing” are the same as those that were worn by others? Never mind the use of modern inventions like cars, airplanes, computers, the internet, training shoes, Facebook etc. How is using any of these not imitating “non-muslims”, when in many cases they were invented and developed mainly by Jews, Christians, and Atheists, among others…
The whole concept is completely absurd, yet many vulnerable people are still taken in, and made to believe they are living sinful lives if they do anything similar to a “non muslim”… Even many non-wahabised Muslims are often very attached to their “Muslim clothing”. Ask why, and you’ll probably find “not imitating non-muslims” plays a role in that…
Seems to me the whole point of this argument is to cause Muslims to self-ostracise themselves from their communities. Hence, causing them increased disillusionment, and making them even more vulnerable to the insidious propaganda of extremists.
If Muslims of the past had this mentality, there would have been no Ibn Sina (Avicenna), no Ibn Al Haytham (Alhazan), no Ibn Rushd (Averroes) and so many other luminaries, who’ve benefitted both Islamic Civilisation and Western Civilisation in ways unmeasured. Put simply, we would still be in the Middle Ages!
08/09/2014 Leave a comment
In elfin nature wisdom and folly appear as one and the same; and they are one and the same as long as they are acted out by the anima. Life is crazy and meaningful at once. And when we do not laugh over the one aspect and speculate about the other, life is exceedingly drab, and everything is reduced to the littlest scale. There is then little sense and little nonsense either. When you come to think about it, nothing has any meaning, for when there was nobody to think, there was nobody to interpret what happened. Interpretations are only for those who don’t understand; it is only the things we don’t understand that have any meaning. Man woke up in a world he did not understand, and that is why he tries to interpret it.
Thus the anima and life itself are meaningless in so far as they offer no interpretation. Yet they have a nature that can be interpreted, for in all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order, in all caprice a fixed law, for everything that works is grounded on its opposite. It takes man’s discriminating understanding, which breaks everything down into antinomial judgments, to recognize this. Once he comes to grips with the anima, her chaotic capriciousness will give him cause to suspect a secret order, to sense a plan, a meaning, a purpose over and above her nature, or even-we might almost be tempted to say-to “postulate” such a thing, though this would not be in accord with the truth. For in actual reality we do not have at our command any power of cool reflection, nor does any science or philosophy help us, and the traditional teachings of religion do so only to a limited degree. We are caught and entangled in aimless experience, and the judging intellect with its categories proves itself powerless. Human interpretation fails, for a turbulent life-situation has arisen that refuses to fit any of the traditional meanings assigned to it. It is a moment of collapse. We sink into a final depth – Apuleius calls it “a kind of voluntary death.” It is a surrender of our own powers, not artificially willed but forced upon us by nature; not a voluntary submission and humiliation decked in moral garb but an utter and unmistakable defeat crowned with the panic fear of demoralization. Only when all props and crutches are broken, and no cover from the rear offers even the slightest hope of security, does it become possible for us to experience an archetype that up till then had lain hidden behind the meaningful nonsense played out by the anima. This is the archetype of meaning) just as the anima is the archetype of life itself. It always seems to us as if meaning – compared with life were the younger event, because we assume, with some justification, that we assign it of ourselves, and because we believe, equally rightly no doubt, that the great world can get along without being interpreted. But how do we assign meaning? From what source, in the last analysis, do we derive meaning? The forms we use for assigning meaning are historical categories that reach back into the mists of time-a fact we do not take sufficiently into account. Interpretations make use of certain linguistic matrices that are themselves derived from primordial images. From whatever side we approach this question, everywhere we find ourselves confronted with the history of language, with images and motifs that lead straight back to the primitive wonder-world.
~ Carl Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious.
31/08/2014 Leave a comment
WITH THE NAME OF GOD, MOST GRACIOUS, MOST MERCIFUL
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessings be upon His final messenger Muhammad.
Due to recent events in the Middle East and their impact on some people in Britain, we as imams and scholars based in the UK, would like to issue the following clarifications in the form of a fatwa:
1. There is no doubt that President Assad’s regime in Syria is oppressive, unjust and brutal, and has committed numerous atrocities against its own people.
2. The same is true of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) or self-styled “Caliphate,” formerly known as “The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria”: it is an oppressive and tyrannical group.
3. By murdering prisoners of war, journalists and civilians, including mosque imams who
refused to endorse their campaign, and by enslaving the women and children of their
opponents, ISIS has violated international agreements such as the Geneva Conventions and conventions on slavery that everyone, including Muslims, have signed up to. God says in the Qur’an, “Believers, fulfil your covenants!” (5:1)
4. The IS persecution and massacres of Shia Muslims, Christians and Yazidis is abhorrent and opposed to Islamic teachings and the Islamic tolerance displayed by great empires such as the Mughals and Ottomans.
5. Based on all of the above: IS is a heretical, extremist organisation and it is religiously prohibited (haram) to support or join it; furthermore, it is an obligation on British Muslims to actively oppose its poisonous ideology, especially when this is promoted within Britain.
6. British and other EU citizens are bound by their duties to their home countries according to Islamic theology and jurisprudence: it is therefore prohibited ( haram) to travel to fight with any side in Syria, including non-state actors, since this is forbidden by laws in EU countries.
7. It is a moral obligation upon British Muslims to help the Syrian and Iraqi people without betraying their own societies: “If they ask for your help in religion, you must help, except against a people with whom you have a treaty.” (Qur’an 8:72)
Sheikh Mohammad Shahid Raza OBE
Executive Secretary, Muslim Law (Shariah) Council of UK. Head Imam, Leicester Central Mosque.
Sheikh Qamaruzzaman Azmi
Secretary General, World Islamic Mission. Head Imam, Manchester Central Mosque.
Sheikh Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims.
Sheikh Dr Qari Mohammad Asim MBE
Head Imam, Makkah Masjid, Leeds.
Sheikh Dr Usama Hasan
Author, ISIS Fatwa. Former Imam, Masjid Al-Tawhid Mosque, Leyton. Head Theologian, Quilliam Foundation.
Mufti Abu Layth
Founder, The Islamic Council, UK.