A citizen of a Western republic or commonwealth nation is familiar with the concept of having their voice count. From a young age it is ingrained into us that without having our voices heard, our rights will be trampled upon and that we have a civic obligation to vote and actively participate in the political process. This type of rhetoric might be even more common if, like me, you are part of a minority community. However, this concept is not 100% accurate. In fact, it’s a common misconception that Westerners, both minorities and majorities alike, have regarding their government. Our…

The Grave of Muhammad Siddiq al-Ghumari in Tangiers

Have constant awareness (taqwa) in public and private.

Stay away from actions that cause the Divine to withhold blessings upon us; asking for Divine assistance without preparation is like traveling without packing.

Monitor every breath you take and protect all your senses.

Be content with what is present and be patient with what has gone.

Honor all your promises.

Increase your prayers.

Stop overthinking and overplanning for the future.

Practice not choosing and rely on what God has planned and chosen for you.

Follow the Sunna and the ways of the Imams.

Be like the person who strives for God…

“God does not take knowledge from people, but rather takes scholars so that people will only find the unlearned and untrained and take them as leaders. When these are asked for guidance, they dispense it without knowledge and are therefore misguided and lead others to misguidance.” Prophet Muhammad (Bukhari & Muslim)

Of all the types of Islamologists that I will cover in this series, this type is perhaps the most numerous, making their damage the greatest and most threatening. The danger of the untrained person is not in the lack of training and study. In fact, many of them have…

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I am asked a lot about what the best books are to read about Islam. To be honest, this question is a lot harder than it might seem to answer. People have different interests and what might be good for one, is not necessarily good for another. That being said, I do make an effort to make recommendations that I feel offer a fair 360-degree view of the tradition.

These are the six books I often recommend and a few sentences on why I think they are important:

1. A Thinking Person’s Guide…

‘Abdallah Bin ‘Amr Bin ‘Āṣ said that he heard the Messenger of God (God bless him and give him peace) say, “There are forty acts, the best of which is giving food, if any are done seeking their reward and believing in their promise, God will grant them Paradise by this act.” (Bukhari).

Shaykh ‘Abdullah Bin Siddīq al-Ghumārī (d. 1993) wrote a small book enumerating these forty acts and finding all the supporting hadith for them. I took the liberty of distilling this book in the following list, finding the appropriate modern English equivalent of the Prophetic expressions so as…

How I Turned a Simple Trip Into a Long-Term Relationship

A snap of Mt. Fuji on our way by Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto

About two years ago, an opportunity to travel to Japan emerged from some of the consultancy work I do. Since my approach to preventing violence and extremism is unique and effective (I hope to share something about this soon), and since my background in comparative religions is well known amongst the people I work for and with, there was interest for me to travel and meet with Japanese religious leaders, especially Muslims, and share information and lessons learned. It was supposed to be a simple, straightforward trip, and from a…

The Meknez Hadith Collection-my go-to edition for hadith

I hope that the brevity of this post will be compensated by its great benefit. The Hadith is a vast body of literature within the Islamic sciences and it is all too easy for a student/scholar to become overwhelmed by the sheer volume. For some, unfortunately, this means that they don’t approach it all. For others, tragically, they reject the importance of it all together. However, we know that the two primary sources of our religion are the Quran and the Hadith traditions of the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace), and therefore we need a roadmap to…

For many people life is an endless quest for the elusive. We seek success, advancement, and wealth. We crave ultimate and unending happiness through the acquisition of material things. We desire the perfect companion, friend, and lover. The list goes on, and on. Without having a map, however, and without having rules and principles to guide you along the way, this can oftentimes lead to the opposite desired effect: frustration and grief. You never seem to actually get what you want, so you give up believing that the quest is impossible, and the dream is unachievable. However, if you understand…

Salafis in Egypt protesting……well, whatever….

From the wisdom of David is that the believer knows what they need for their own affairs and is aware of the time in which they live.

Prophet Muhammad (Ibn Ḥibbān)

In the first part of this series I introduced the concept of the Islamologist based on Robert Pirsig’s notion of the philosopholigist articulated in his book Lila: An Inquiry into Morals. Following this, I began to outline one type of Islamologist; the western academic who studies Islam. My choice in so doing reflects not the chronology of various types of Islamologists, but rather a personal belief that this particular…

‘Art Critic’ (close up) — by Norman Rockwell, 1955

Sacred knowledge is religion, so look to who you take your religion from.

Muhammad Ibn Sirīn (Saḥīḥ Musilm)

The American writer and philosopher Robert Pirsig (author of the cult classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) introduced the term “philosophology” in his book Lila: An Inquiry into Morals. He defined it as:

Philosophology is to philosophy as musicology is to music, or as art history and art appreciation are to art, or as literary criticism is to creative writing. …

Tarek Elgawhary

Reflections on Islam, life, and mindfulness. www.makingsenseofislam.com

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