June 28, 2011
Make our journey for your sake, full of strength, full of love, full of might!
Make our journey for the sake of your Ilm, full of light, full of clarity, full of perseverence.
Make our journey for the lands of the Holy, full of khayr & barakah, and in the footsteps of our Saints!
“Oh Allah! Grant us with (the recitation of every) alif, ulfah [love] with (every) baa, barakah [blessing] with (every) taa, tawbah [repentance] with (every) thaa, thawaab [reward] with (every) jeem, jamaal [beauty] with (every) haa, hikmah [wisdom] with (every) khaa, khair [goodness] with (every) daal, daleel [proof] with (every) dhaal, dhakaa [intelligence] with (every) raa, rahmah [mercy] with (every) zaa, zakaah [purity] with (every) seen, sa’aadah [happiness] with (every) sheen, shifaa’ [cure] with (every) saad, sidq [sincerity] with (every) daad, diyaa’ [light] with (every) taa, taraawah [tenderness] with (every) zaa, zafar [victory] with (every) ‘ain, ‘ilm [knowledge] with (every) ghain, ghinaa [wealth] with (every) faa, falaah [success] with (every) qaaf, qurbah [nearness] with (every) kaaf, karamah [nobility] with (every) laam, lutf [gentleness] with (every) meem, maw’izah [exhortation] with (every) nun, noor [light] with (every) waaw, wuslah [connection] with (every) haa, hidayah [guidance] and with (every) yaa, yaqeen [certainty]!”
Here we come Uludag, Bursa, Istanbul, Turkiyaa.
June 17, 2011
My all time, ultimate favorite Only Time 🙂
Truly, only with Time…
June 1, 2011
Can Liberalism Tolerate Islam?
Abdul Hakim Murad. March 2011.
Must one be liberal to belong to the West? For all the polite multiculturalist denials, this question is being put to us more and more insistently. The European Union, as it struggles to articulate a common cultural as well as economic vision, regularly toys with grand statements about Europe as a vision of human community, whose success underpins the universal model now being urged upon the rest of humanity. European liberals, with their Enlightenment, civil society, democratic institutions, and human rights codes, sometimes seem to self-define as a secular Messiah, willing and ready to save the world. To resist is, by implication, to align oneself with an unregenerate, sinful humanity.
Yet we Europeans are in fact in the middle of a difficult argument. We are constantly quarrelling with ourselves over definitions of belonging. We can unite to build an Airbus, but will we really unite around a moral or cultural ideal? What, after all, are the exact historic grounds for European cultural unity? And – this now looks like the continent’s greatest concern – how can Muslims fit in?
Perhaps it helps if we look at Europe’s distant roots. Homer, long ago, told us how Europa, the daughter of the King of Phoenicia, was abducted by Zeus, duly ravished, and borne off to the island of Crete, where she gave birth to the Europeans. There is something emblematic and transgressive about this myth of origin: a Lebanese maiden torn from the breast of Asia and deposited in a corner of the continent which eventually bore her name. The beginning of our story is a violent European raid upon Asia, an unhappy immigration, and a confiscation of identity.
Perhaps we can trace back this far – and Europe’s literature in fact begins with Homer – Europe’s ambiguity about its self and its values. But Europa only finds herself, and discovers the limits of her soul and body, long after this classical prologue. For the Romans, it was the Mediterranean which defined the core of their terrain and their commercial and religious life. Rome equally embraced the European, African and Asian shores of the Middle Sea. But while it saw itself as superior, it rarely sought to impose its philosophy or social values on others. So we will hesitate to accept the common cliché that in our time, ancient history has been reborn: America is Rome, Europe is Athens, while Islam is an endlessly troublesome Judea. Ancient Rome and Athens had no systematic programme of universalizing their values, even within the bounds of their political sway, and still less did they encourage other nations to accept their social beliefs.
When Islam appeared in the seventh century, the African and Asian shores were lost. Thrown back on its own resources, Europe sought to define itself, then as now, as the prolongation of the rather small remnant of antiquity that the Saracens missed. From that time on, it developed ideas of its unique and universal social rightness.
The historian Fernand Braudel insists that it was the electric shock of the Battle of Poitiers in 732, when the Arab and Berber advance into France was finally stemmed, which gave the Franks and hence the Europeans their sense of self. Charlemagne’s capital of Aachen seemed symbolically to straddle both banks of the Rhine, making a nonsense of the old Roman borders. The German barbarians who brought down Rome, and who now ruled in France and Germany as they had ruled in Italy and Spain, now claimed to be heirs of the imperium. The almost obsessive cult of the Latin language and classical mythology which characterised European education until well into the twentieth century shows how anxious the Germanic and other ‘European’ peoples were to see themselves, rather than the Saracens who controlled most of the Mediterranean, as heirs to the Roman Empire. When the Ottomans captured and sacked Constantinople in 1453, Sultan Mehmet II claimed the title of Roman emperor, but Europe rejected this absolutely. Rather as the Bible rejects Ishmael in favour of Isaac, so Europe has been united in nothing so much as its rejection of Islam’s claims to legitimate participation in the blessings bestowed by antiquity, and by those other patriarchs, Plato and Aristotle.
As a matter of fact – and this is not widely noticed by liberal advocates of European uniqueness – Islam was for much of its history the principal heir of Hellenism, geographically and intellectually. Yet Europe will no more see Islam as a rightful inheritor of Athens than it will allow Ishmael legitimate authority over Jerusalem. The reason was Christianity. Christian monks saw themselves as the true interpreters of Hellenism, for all their borrowings from Ibn Rushd and Ghazali. Rome, the only remaining Christian metropolis of the classical world, was assumed to be the inheritor of that world’s riches, which had moved West, rather than remaining in their place of origin in Antioch, Ephesus, Cyrene and Alexandria. The Saracen was an interloper, an upstart. Thanks to the same furor Teutonicus which baffled and brought down Rome, the Franks kept the false inheritors at bay, and even, during the Crusades, found themselves united as Europeans in a counter-attack that brought Jerusalem again into Christian hands. From that time until the present, Europe, followed by its children in the ethnically-cleansed Americas, has been sure of its sole proper possession not only of ancient Semitic prophecy, but also of the legacy of Athens with which it coexisted in such a complex and often unstable marriage.
An older Orientalism will claim that Islam, the major Semitism, sniffed briefly at Greece but then turned away from it. This is the notion of the theologian al-Ghazali sounding the death-knell of Greek philosophy in the world of Islam. Hellenism, according to the likes of Leo Strauss, could only find room in the European inn; Islam, with its burden of scriptural literalism, treated it as a resident alien at best. This applies not only to metaphysics, but also to political theory – Plato’s brief Muslim apotheosis on the pages of al-Farabi. Strauss has had many admirers: ominously, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz were among them, together with various thinkers on Europe’s new Islamophobic right. And Pope Benedict’s famous 2007 lecture at Regensburg likewise seemed to present the Muslims as improper heirs to the classical legacy of rationality and rights which, according to this heir of the Holy Office, is Europe’s alone. But the best recent scholarship, such as the work of Robert Wisnovsky, has blown this apart: we are now more likely to see Juwayni, Ghazali and Razi as the great advocates of a selective but profound internalising of Greek reason. Greek ethics lives on powerfully on the pages of Miskawayh, al-Raghib al-Isfahani, and al-Ghazali. In political thought, particularly, the old themes also lived on in manuals of statecraft studied carefully by Ottoman, Safavid and Moghul emperors and their grand viziers. And if Plato was modified drastically by the Sira, that was no bad thing, given that Plato has so often been an enemy of the open society.