Understanding Islam

“ISIS”, “Al-Qaida”, suicide bombing, “Muslim” intolerance and all the rest of it: anyone with an even elementary knowledge of Islamic learning and culture will know how strange and alien, indeed how “extreme” and unfamiliar the picture so often painted of Islam today is, especially when viewed in the context of the vast sweep of Islam’s great civilisational history, where it has been a paragon of peaceful coexistence, cultural diversity, scientific learning, broadmindedness and deep spirituality quite unparalleled elsewhere in human history. Inherited and media prejudices The first obstacle that some…

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The spiritual crisis of Western civilisation in the 21st century

“Humankind cannot bear very much reality.” T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton In the alarming times in which we live, in which the post-Enlightenment Western world has once again, after the anti-semitism of the 1930s, chosen a universal scapegoat to serve as a negative self-definition – and this time it is Islam – nothing could be more topical than an analysis of the spiritual crisis within Western civilisation itself, that persists relentlessly in inflicting such intense suffering on itself and the rest of the world. For in this strange post-9/11 world, the…

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The Miraculous Inimitability of the Word of Allah

The Qur’an is the inimitable, eternal Divine address to mankind. *This article is the transcription of a talk given in a workshop. The Qur’anic Miracles (al-Mu’jizatul Qur’aniyya) is one of the most important “risalas” (which means epistle or treatise) in the Risale-i Nur. And the subject is al Mu’jizat al-Qur’aniyya, the Qur’anic miracles, the miraculousness or as you might call it inimitability of the Qur’an. Iʿjaz (اعجاز) literally means to make someone impotent, to make someone powerless, and to make someone unable to act. What the Qur’an does in its…

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The Onslaught of Misguidance: Philosophy and Science

In order to understand how materialism spread through the world, we need to understand the intellectual transformation that Europe has undergone in the past few hundred years. Though the Muslim world has been substantially affected by this way of thinking, the remedy is at hand. The subject of this article is a momentous issue that affects all Muslims very deeply, and that has played a large part in causing the decline of Muslim civilisation, the weakness of Muslim peoples, and the political and intellectual fragmentation and disunity of the Muslim…

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