Posts Tagged ‘2018’

The Fantasy of Growth – Signs of the Earth

Written by R on . Posted in From Kube Shelves

The Fantasy of Growth

The ‘Holy Grail’ Everything that comes into existence grows, matures, flourishes, perishes and finally decays. Then, if the conditions are right there is renewal. These are unalterable universal laws; growth is the flip-side of development. The maturing and flourishing dimensions are the developmental aspects of growth. In another sense the terms ‘development’ and ‘growth’ are interchangeable, but in economics they have specific meanings, like in the sentence: ‘Development is dependent on growth.’ But we can have development without growth. That is, improving our state of well being without economic growth; without the accumulation of material possessions that, in their increasing manufacture and use contribute to a degraded planet. We need to differentiate between quality and quantity and ask if possessions can improve the quality of life. Up to a point, perhaps, when they can relieve us of our daily drudgery. But beyond that we succumb to greed, euphemistically described today as consumerism; a state by which we measure our self-worth through the things we possess, capitulating to advertising techniques designed to leave us addicted to wanting more stuff.

This is the consequence of denying ourselves the secret we call contentment, an essential ingredient for happiness. The extreme example of the desire to possess is the millions the rich spend on works of art. Somehow the possession and display of these artefacts give their owners a sense of power and importance, and perhaps happiness. Growth has become the holy grail of the nation state in these times; it is the driver that provides the raison d’être of the modern world. One never ceases to hear about economic growth, as if this was the universal remedy that would deliver to the human race the good life it seeks. Politicians are sold on the growth agenda because this is how they can make their contribution to improving the living standards of their people. This is, after all, what they were elected to do and if they succeed they remain in power. The project is to enhance their appeal to the electorate, and this is the underlying reason why it has been difficult to reach agreement on climate change discussions.

Reducing carbon footprints means curbing growth rates, and who is going to be the first to do that? This is why the United States did not ratify the Kyoto protocol in 2005, and Trump provides us with a textbook example of how this is done: tell people the lie they want to hear and scupper international agreements ostensibly in the national interest.

International agencies like the World Trade Organisation (WTO) constantly promote growth. As Roberto Azevêdo, the Director-General of WTO, declares in his concerns for the environment, the fact cannot be ignored that the principle concern of his organisation is economic growth. Economists always promote growth because it is part of their belief system, and in their reckoning the environment is relegated to second place. As we move into unexplored territory a new jargon appears: the ‘ecology of investment’, and in this idea investors sensitive to climate change look for growth opportunities in the development and application of renewable energy.

The media, which with a few exceptions is part of big business, supports the growth agenda to the hilt. One only has to look at the financial pages in the newspapers. The following headline appeared in the Telegraph of 30 September 2014: ‘IMF: Infrastructure spending spree last chance to revive growth – International Monetary Fund describes public infrastructure spending as “one of the few remaining policy levers available to support growth”’.

This is an organisation in which its chief officer has declared her grave concerns regarding climate change. To bring this up to date, the latest IMF assessment published in October 2017 makes this observation in its Executive Summary: ‘For 2018, the upward revision (a reference to its foregoing analysis) mainly reflects an expectation that the authorities will maintain a sufficiently expansionary policy mix … to meet their target of doubling real GDP between 2010 and 2020.’

The full title of this report is World Economic Outlook, October 2017: Seeking Sustainable Growth (Short-Term Recovery, Long-Term Challenges). It would be pertinent to ask here if sustainable growth is the same as sustainable development? It quite clearly is not and this raises another question. Is the IMF paying heed to the idea of sustainability that UNDP is taking so
much pain to advocate? These are mixed messages coming from reputable international agencies and only confirms my two-world theory: conservationist versus expansionist.
If we draw a line starting with Adam Smith, the father of modern economics (late eighteenth century) and work our way through John Stuart Mill, economic theorist and moral philosopher (early nineteenth century), and Alfred Marshall, whose Principles of Economics was taught in universities till the 1920s, we discover that economic growth per se didn’t receive any serious mention until the middle of the twentieth century, when economic historian Walt Whitman Rostow made a serious study of this subject in its own right.

He saw the rate of growth as a ‘function of changes in two enormously complex variables’: Output, that is scale and productivity of the workforce; and, capital, which he describes as ‘land, other natural resources as well as scientific, technical and organisational knowledge’. He also describes growth as ‘the art of interrelating economic, social and political factors over time.’ Growth today is expressed as the amount of goods and services produced per head of the population over a period of time.

 

 

The late 1940s and the early 1950s were a period of great hope. Seventy years ago, the American atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had done their work and they provided the illusion that war was outmoded. Postwar reconstruction was reaching a climax, full employment was an aspiration treasured by all politicians, and the welfare state was being put together as a fulfilment of the hopes of war-weary people. Environmental issues were on the horizon, but few people saw them coming. For the first time ever an elected government was able to promise its people a good life by quoting a magic figure. This feat was achieved by RA Butler, Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) of the British government, in 1953: ‘He told the British people that their standard of life, with a 3 per cent growth rate, would double in 25 years.’

Over sixty years later this idea has now taken a grip on the world as a measure of economic progress. The ‘UK Economic Outlook, March 2018’ projects that ‘households will spend over 30% of their budget on housing and utilities by 2030, up from around 27% in 2017.’ The culture is to view this as good news, and why not? Promises of the good life lie behind such statements. At the other end of the growth spectrum are China, who have at times achieved double digit growth rates, and India who follow close behind. And again, why not? The people of these populous nations have a right to a higher standard of living and to be able to go shopping, illusory though this may be. The economic growth agenda that the international order has designed for itself has taxed ecosystems to such an extent that the process of global decay is now well underway. The potent mix of factors, not least of which is climate change, have been simmering for a while and are now coming to the boil.

The planet will recover in its own time, once we have done our mischief and are gone, but in the meantime we are in trouble. I have been around for nearly four-score years and ten and I have yet to see signs that the earth is growing. As far as I am aware, and people keep reminding me, if not stopped in time only cancer and the money supply can keep on growing forever. These two strange bedfellows also have another thing in common, in that if allowed to grow unchecked they will destroy their hosts. However, the growth of the former can be stopped by surgical incision but the latter, which in effect feeds the growth agenda, will need a different kind of surgery to stop it from killing its obese host. There is no Plimsoll line – a point at which we can all see that we are overloading the planet by these very processes.

Here is a perspective on growth from the New Economics Foundation: The most recent data on human use of bio-capacity sends a number of unfortunate signals for believers in the possibility of unrestrained growth. Our global ecological footprint is growing, further overshooting what the biosphere can provide and absorb, and in the process, like two trains heading in opposite directions, we appear to be actually shrinking the available bio capacity on which we depend.

This excerpt is from ‘Signs of the Earth – Islam, Modernity and the Climate Crisis’ by Fazlun Khalid

Report on Global Warming – Signs of the Earth

Written by R on . Posted in From Kube Shelves

Report on Global Warming – Signs of the Earth

 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just issued a Special Report on Global Warming urging policy makers to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The scientists responsible for this report urged in its press release for “… rapid, far- reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society …”. Although the learned scientists make their appeal “… in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty …”, the medicine they prescribe maybe hard to swallow but in my view it is nowhere near strong enough if what we really want is to return Earth systems to a semblance of balance.

Witness what is happening in the Congo as a consequence of our rush to divest from fossil fuels and drive electric cars. The Congo is one of the few places on the Earth that can supply the Cobalt in the quantity that is needed to manufacture the batteries that propel the electric cars we all aspire to be driving in the not too distant future. But at what cost? The environmental and social impact to this country to keep us mobile are dire. This report is not going to stop the production of the millions of cars we will all be driving in the future and in order to do this Cobalt is not the only mineral that we will be scouring the Earth for. Even if we manage to meet our climate targets the human race will continue on its course of wanton destruction of the planet.

But I cannot repeat often enough that there is an inherent urgency in what we face given the predictions by scientists of global systems collapse. What Muslims, who form over one-fifth of the world’s population, can offer the rest to mitigate the collapse and how soon we do it will have a bearing on how the human race will survive in a changed world. Equally, how the rest relate to planet Earth will have a bearing on Muslims, and the times call for a sensitivity to these common challenges in a shared space. The Islamic template provides us with a model whereby we could lead reasonably satisfactory lifestyles that meet our needs based on the prophetic tradition, where caring and sharing takes precedence over selfishness, personal aggrandisement and greed.

I take a radical view of these issues in my book and argue that modernity has created a huge divide between the human race and the natural world and that our behaviour manifests a total dislocation from it. I prescribe some strong medicine which if not taken in appropriate measure will make all the predictions in the IPCC report come true.

By Fazlun Khalid

You can learn more about Fazlun Khalid’s latest book ‘Signs on the Earth Islam, Modernity and the Climate Crisis‘ here.

Paperback  |  ISBN: 9781847740755 

Hardback  |  ISBN: 9781847740762

About the Author

Fazlun M Khalid Since 1992, has devoted himself to raising environmental consciousness among Muslims. In 1994, he founded the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES) and over the years has been recognized through numerous awards and accolades as one of the world’s most important Islamic environmentalists. | http://www.ifees.org.uk/

A Race To Prayer – Sulaiman’s Rewarding Day

Written by R on . Posted in Children's Books

Narrated Abdullah bin Masood:
‘I asked the Prophet “Which deed is the dearest to Allah?” He replied, “To offer the prayers at their early
stated fixed times…”’ Hadith from the collection of Bukhari

 

 

About the book: Something always stops Sulaiman from having fun. First it’s Duhr prayer, then it’s the rain and then the car breaks down just as he is leaving to watch the quad bike races. He eventually gets to the races but then Asr prayer time comes around. Find out how Sulaiman soon realises the blessings of a perfectly-timed prayer.

Inspiration behind the story
This story was inspired by an incident that occurred in 1980 when my husband was watching a football match in the capital city of Algeria, Algiers. When the adhan for the dhuhr prayer was called, my husband left the spectator seats to perform the prayer. It was while he was praying that an earthquake measuring

7.3 on the Richter scale occurred. It is reported that 3,500 people died and many buildings were destroyed making 300,000 people homeless. For the praying people, Allah took their lives while they were performing an obligatory act of worship. For the people who were not praying on time, Allah took their lives while they were doing other activities. For the people who survived and were left homeless, all they had left were their prayers to ask Allah for help.

You’ll be pleased to know my husband survived, as too did all the other spectators in the stadium. No matter what we are doing, we should organise our lives around the prayer times, and not try to fit the prayers around our activities. The prayer doesn’t take long to perform and is much more important than work or play. Allah can make anything happen when we least expect it, so let’s make sure we pray on time.

 

 

 

Take a look inside:

 

A Race To Prayer – Sulaiman’s Rewarding Day – Is available here 

Author: Aliya Vaughan

ISBN: 9780860376538

About the Author

Aliya is an English revert to Islam and lives with her husband and six children in the UK. She gained her first award for a writing competition aged 10. She later began writing children’s stories while home schooling her children. In 2008, she won two awards at the Muslim Writers Awards for best children’s story and writer of the Year.

Abdul Bari Book launch 2018

Book Launch – My Quest For The Middle Way – Finding The Balance in Islam

Written by R on . Posted in News and events

** FREE EVENT ** Book Launch **

Join us for a talk with Dr Abdul Bari author and community based activist,

on his

 Quest For The Middle Way

Finding The Balance In Islam

18:00–20:30pm, Friday 21 September, 2018

East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre

82-92 Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1JQ

MY Quest for the middle way

About the Event

Join us for a talk and book launch with the activist and community figure, Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari discussing his memoir, his personal journey being at the forefront of the British Muslim community’s most pressing challenges whilst trying to find the middle path.

Following the talk Dr Bari will be signing copies of his book: A Long Jihad – My Quest for the Middle Way

Refreshments will be provided!

If you’re coming by tube, the nearest stop is: Whitechapel – Parking may be available but there are very limited spaces.

About the Book

As the leader of Britian’s largest Muslim organisation and mosque, since that fateful day Abdul Bari has been at the forefront of the British Muslim community’s most pressing challenges. In this memoir, he offers an insider’s perspective on the Muslim experience in modern Britian, presenting his blueprint for ‘The Middle Way’.

He offers Muslims and everybody else guidance on a path that rejects extremism and works for the common good of all: living a life of moderation that is, as the Qur’an says, “justly balanced”.

About the Speaker

Muhammad Abdul Bari MBE is an educationalist, community activist, parenting consultant and author. He has written for various newspapers, blogs and journals. Moreover, he’s the author of a number of books on marriage, family, parenting, identity and community issues from contemporary British Muslim perspectives.

To reserve a seat click here or for more information, contact: rohail.sheikh@kubepublishing.com

#ReadInRamadan – 2018

Written by R on . Posted in Read in Ramadan

header #ReadInRamadan

Ramadan is approaching or is already here or has past (depending on when you’re reading this) and here at Kube we would like to continue to encourage more people to read as well as share what you’re reading during this blessed month.

The #ReadInRamadan is used to encourage people, businesses and other publishers to share and talk about which books are inspiring them and to give more books as gifts during Ramadan or for Eid. As our communities strive to seek knowledge and reflect on the wisdom of Islam, we want to celebrate the increasing number of books available on Islam and the Muslim experience, and what better way to do this than by giving a book as a gift.

Reading can aid reflection, broaden understanding and ultimately enhance your experience of this holy month. By carefully choosing some books to read alongside the Qur’an, you can also make Ramadan a transformational time to uplift your spirit and strengthen your belief. Books are also a great way of introducing Ramadan to your children, as they provide the perfect platform for shared discussion and contemplation in an enjoyable and engaging way.

We want you to use the hashtag #ReadInRamadan and tell us what is on your reading or gift list!

Got a Kube book on your wishlist? You can WIN one for free! We’ve got giveaways to announce throughout the month of Ramadan on social media.

Come and join the discussion on: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to join in with the discussion and find out what others are reading too!

Useful resources:

Pre-Ramadan Reading List

Top 10 Reads for Ramadan!

Top 5 for under 5s!

Best Books for Muslim Teens

 

Way to the Qur’an – Living the Qur’an

Written by Humairaa on . Posted in Uncategorized

How can the Qur’an benefit to your life?

This short excerpt from Way to the Qur’an by Khurram Murad, a renowned teacher who spent 40 years in the spiritual teaching and training of thousands of young Muslims around the globe, explores how to read the Qur’an so that it makes a positive impact on your life.

 

Living the Qur’an

Obeying the Qur’an

Reading the Qur’an will be of little benefit to you; it may even bring misery and harm, unless you, from the first moment, begin to change and reconstruct your life in total surrender to God who has given you the Qur’an. Without the will and striving to act, neither the states of heart and enraptures of the soul, nor the ecstasies of mood, nor intellectual enrichment will be of any use to you. If the Qur’an does not have any impact upon your actions and if you do not obey what it enjoins and avoid what it prohibits, then you are not getting nearer to it.

On every page of the Qur’an is an invitation to surrender and submit, to act and change. At every step the reader is confronted – to decide and commit himself. Those who do not submit to it are declared to be Kafir, zalim (wrongdoer) and fasiq (iniquitous) ( al-Maidah 5:44-7). Those who are given the Book of God but do not understand it nor act upon it are described as ‘asses which carry loads’, but neither know nor benefit from what they carry ( al-Jumuah 65:5). They are those against whom the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, will plead on the Day of Judgement:

O my Lord! Behold, [some of] my people have taken this Qur’an as a thing to be shunned (al-Furqan 25:30).

To shun the Qur’an, to leave it, and to put it aside, means not to read it, not to understand it, not to live by it, to consider it a ‘thing of the past’, which has ceased to be relevant.

The Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, is no less emphatic in stressing the necessity of obeying the Qur’an:

Many of the hypocrites in my Ummah will be from among the readers of the Qur’an (Ahmad).

He is not a true believer in the Qur’an who treats as halal (permissible) what it has made haram (prohibited) (Tirmidhi).

Read the Qur’an so that it enables you to desist (from what it prohibits]. If it does not enable you to desist you have not really read it (Tabarani).

For the Companions of the Prophet, to learn the Qur’an amounted to reading it, pondering over it, and acting by it. It is narrated that :

Those who were engaged in reading the Qur’an told that people like ‘Uthman Ibn ‘Affan and Abdullah Ibn Masud, once they had learnt ten verses from the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, did not go any further unless they had really ‘learnt’ whatever these verses contained by way of knowledge and practice [understood them and acted upon them]. They used to say that they learnt the Qur’an and knowledge together. That is how they sometimes spent years in learning only one Surah (al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an, Suyuti).

Al-Hasan al-Basri said : ‘ You have taken the night to be a camel that you ride on to pass through various stages of the Qur’an. Those before you considered it as messages from their Lord; they pondered over them at night and lived by them by day’ (Ihya).

Reading the Qur’an should induce faith inside your heart; that faith should shape your lives. It is not a gradual, piecemeal process, by which you first spend years reading the Qur’an, then understanding it and strengthening your faith, you only then act upon it. The whole is one unified process, all things take place simultaneously. As you hear or receive the words, they kindle faith inside you; as you have faith inside you, your life begins to change.

What you must remember is that to live by the Qur’an requires a major decision on your part: you have to completely alter the course of your life, irrespective of what may be the dominant thought-patterns around you, of what your society may be dictating, or what others may be doing. This decision requires major sacrifices. But unless you, as believers in the Qur’an being the word of God, are prepared to take the plunge, not much good will come out of the time you spend with the Qur’an.

From the very first moment, at the first step, it is made abundantly clear that the Qur’an is a guidance for those who are prepared to act to save themselves from the harm that comes from living against God’s will, from earning His displeasure, and who fear the consequences – they are the al-muttaqin (al Baqarah 2: 1-5). The Qur’an does not recognize any polarity between knowledge and action, between faith (Iman) and righteous deeds (al-amal al-salih).

 

Find the book, and more information about it, here: https://www.kubepublishing.com/shop/way-to-the-quran/

 

Top 5 for under 5s!

Written by R on . Posted in Children's Books, From Kube Shelves

Top 5 for under 5s!

Here are some great books for children under 5 published by us!

1. My First Book About the Qur’an by Sara Khan

My First Book About The Quran Cover

“The perfect book to introduce children to the teachings in the Qur’an”

“The writer has done an outstanding job. Simple and captivating..The way the illustrator has captured the essence of the text and expressed it through illustrations is truly amazing.” Saniyasnain Khan, Director of Goodword Books

First Book About the Quran - Space

My First Book About the Qur’an: Teachings for Toddlers and Young Children

Available here

Take a look inside!

Read a review

2. 5 pillars (board book) by Anwar Cara

Written in simple, rhyming language and accompanied with bold, colourful illustrations this book is perfect to introduce young children to the most important acts in Islam: the Five Pillars. Each spread features one of the Five Pillars: believing in Allah and His Messenger, praying, fasting, giving charity and performing Hajj.

5 Pillars Board Book

Available here

3. Allah Made Everything by Zain Bhikha

Allah Made Everything Cover

Allah Made Everything, the song book, is based on the lyrics of the well loved children’s song by renowned singer and songwriter Zain Bhikha. The song was first released in 2015, and together with the hit video, has become one of the most popular children’s songs across the world.

“May this delightful book bring as much joy to your home as the song, ‘Allah Made Everything’, and may you enjoy many precious hours discussing the world through the eyes of your child as you share the knowledge that we are all Allah’s beautiful creation.” Zain Bhikha (2018)

 

Allah Made Everything - Inside Image

Inside page

Available here

Take a look inside!

Listen to the nasheed!

4. I can… series (board book)

This set of colourfully illustrated board books introduces basic concepts of Islamic practice to young children while helping to strengthen their confidence and identities as Muslims.

I can series books

Available here

5. Allah gave me series

Delightful accounts of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch, encouraging children to give thanks to the Creator.

Allah Made Everything Bundle

Available in the series:

-Allah Gave Me Two Eyes to See by Fatima D’Oyen
-Allah Gave Me a Tongue to Taste by Ayesha Jones
-Allah Gave Me a Nose to Smell by Rizwana Qamaruddin
-Allah Gave Me Two Hands and Feet by Raana Bokhari
-Allah Gave Me Two Ears to Hear by Amrana Arif

Available here

For more children’s books click over here

 

 

 

Allah Made Everything Cover

New Book By Zain Bhikha – Allah Made Everything Published by Kube Publishing

Written by R on . Posted in Children's Books

Allah Made Everything!

Allah Made Everything, the song book, is based on the lyrics of the well loved children’s song by renowned singer and songwriter Zain Bhikha. The song was first released in 2015, and together with the hit video, has become one of the most popular children’s songs across the world.

Allah Made Everything - Inside Image

“May this delightful book bring as much joy to your home as the song, ‘Allah Made Everything‘ and may you enjoy many precious hours discussing the world through the eyes of your child as you share the knowledge that we are all Allah’s beautiful creation.” Zain Bhikha (2018)

Inside page - Allah Made Everything Nasheed 2018

Say: “Who is the Lord and Sustainer of the Heavens and the Earth?”

Say: “It is Allah.” … “Allah is the creator of all things: He is the One, the Supreme and Irresistible.”

Surah Al-Ra’d 13 Verse 16

Read a sample Here:

 

About Zain Bhikha:

Zain Bhikha is a South African singer-songwriter who performs Islamic nasheed songs, was born in Pretoria, South Africa. Zain was musically inclined from a young age and often commended for his melodious singing voice. Associated with other Muslim musicians, including Yusuf Islam and Dawud Wharnsby, Bhikha has collaborated on albums and also released several solo albums..

Zain Bhikha’s songs proved to be popular throughout South Africa, especially with young children who found them educational and inspiring. As the interest in his music grew, his albums began to filter abroad. In 2005 Zain established a South African based production company called Zain Bhikha Studios to house all of his enterprises and also give local and international artists the platform to gain exposure to global markets. Today, Zain Bhikha Studios is a non-profit organisation and all proceeds from Zain’s album sales and shows go towards deserving charities. Inside page

Under his own label, Zain Bhikha has released many albums, singles and a video autobiography. His albums have featured consistently amongst the top ten best Muslim Artists. His artistically produced videos have appeared on television channels throughout the world and on his YouTube channel.

Sing a long here:

This is the first in a series of books, games and other media under the Zeebee Kids label. Zeebee Kids is a division of Zain Bhikha Studios. For more information, visit www.zeebeekids.com.

Buy the Book here

Text and Lyrics Zain Bhikha

Illustrated by Azra Momin

28 Pages of

Binding: Hardback

ISBN: 9780860377702

 

Books published in partnership with The Islamic Foundation, an imprint of Kube Publishing.

Women In the Quran - Book Cover

The language of the Quran, a masculine language?

Written by R on . Posted in From Kube Shelves

WHEN THE QURAN SPEAKS TO WOMEN  Blue Hijab

The language of the Qur’an, a masculine language?

We’ve seen how the Qur’an speaks about women, through the examples of illustrious female characters, depicted with great subtleness, beauty and eloquence.

Here, the Divine word comes to counter what social prejudice continues to support in the name of a universally accepted sacrality; that of the discrimination against women, structurally weaker beings, destined to subordination.

Through these Qur’anic stories about women, one perceives a constant desire to recognise and appreciate this consistently assailed feminine identity. Women as vectors of faith, which was a new conception of femininity and in particular the anticipated announcement of a project of liberation, replete with meaning, for the climate of the time.

Sister reflecting at the river

It is especially important to bear in mind the framework of revelation, that of an intransigent patriarchal context where women were all but a human being worthy of dignity. It is at the heart of this Bedouin society with its very harsh mores, its implacably misogynistic ancestral customs and which ignores the feminine being, that the Qur’an reveals its feminine models of Muslim women, believing, intelligent. Qur’anic image of sovereign enlightened women, of saints, educators, scholars, resistors, passionate figures as we discover them through Balkis, Maryam, Asiah and all the others.
Beside this Divine speech talking about women, there is that which speaks to women, directly, personally and solemnly … .It is true that the Qur’an is the Divine word destined for all human beings regardless of their gender, their ethnicity or their colour, a speech which addresses human beings in what is most noble in their soul: their reason and their intellect.

Woman walking by wall

Muslim scholars more or less agree that the masculine language expressed in the Qur’an systemically includes the feminine gender and that Divine words in general speak to both women and men, without any distinction. The masculine gender in the Qur’an is used as a neutral gender and the formalisation of masculine language implies human universality. The term ‘men’ or, rijal in Arabic is polysemous and also signifies an elite of men and women. This linguistic characteristic is moreover not exclusive to the Arabic language as it is used in the Qur’an. All the other universal languages use masculine as a neutral gender. Does the term ‘men’ in English not also encompass human beings in general? This formalisation of the word man as a universal category is actually being questioned today. This is the case when it comes to the terminology used in the universal charter of Human Rights which many are currently seeking to reform.
Nonetheless, the Qur’anic text uses the feminine gender in very precise circumstances and employs a strictly feminine language in this case, where the discourse involves calling on women specifically to respond to quests emanating from a given context or right an injustice committed against them. It is a Divine word which descends from the high Heavens specifically for them as if to better free them, better emancipate them from outdated customs, give them a new breath … as if to better love them also.

 

This excerpt is from page 91, Women In The Qur’an – An Emancipatory Reading by Asma Lamrabet translation by Myriam Francois-Carrah

Women In the Quran - Book Cover

  • ISBN: 9780993516610
  • Pages: 212
  • Paperback and Hardback
  • Published: 2016

 

Living with the Qur'an - Kube Publishing

Living with the Qur’an

Written by R on . Posted in From Kube Shelves, Read in Ramadan

Living and obeying the Qur’an

Reading the Qur’an will be of little benefit to you, it may even bring misery and harm, unless you, from the first moment, begin to change and reconstruct your life in total surrender to God who has given you the Qur’an. Without the will and striving to act, neither the states of heart and enraptures of the soul, nor the ecstasies of mood, nor intellectual enrichment will be of any use to you. If the Qur’an does not have any impact upon your actions and if you do not obey what it enjoins and avoid what it prohibits, then you are not getting nearer to it.

On every page of the Qur’an is an invitation to surrender and submit, to act and change. At every step the reader is confronted – to decide and commit himself. Those who do not submit to it are declared to be Kafir, zalim (wrongdoer) and fasiq (iniquitous) ( al-Maidah 5:44-7). Those who are given the Book of God but do not understand it nor act upon it are described as ‘asses which carry loads’, but neither know nor benefit from what they carry’ ( al-Jumuah 65:5). They are those against whom the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, will plead on the Day of Judgement:

O my Lord! Behold, [some of] my people have taken this Qur’an as a thing to be shunned (al-Furqan 25:30).

Way to the Quran

To shun the Qur’an, to leave it, and to put it aside, means not to read it, not to understand it, not to live by it, to consider it a ‘thing of the past’, which has ceased to be relevant.

The Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, is no less emphatic in stressing the necessity of obeying the Qur’an:

Many of the hypocrites in my Ummah will be from among the readers of the Qur’an (Ahmad).

He is not a true believer in the Qur’an who treats as halal (permissible) what it has made haram (prohibited) (Tirmidhi).

Read the Qur’an so that it enables you to desist (from what it prohibits]. If it does not enable you to desist you have not really read it (Tabarani).

Living with the Qur'an - Kube Publishing

For the Companions of the Prophet, to learn the Qur’an amounted to reading it, pondering over it, and acting by it. It is narrated that :

Those who were engaged in reading the Qur’an told that people like ‘Uthman Ibn ‘Affan and Abdullah Ibn Masud, once they had learnt ten verses from the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, did not go any further unless they had really ‘learnt’ whatever these verses contained by way of knowledge and practice [understood them and acted upon them]. They used to say that they learnt the Qur’an and knowledge together. That is how they sometimes spent years in learning only one Surah (al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an, Suyuti).

Al-Hasan al-Basri said : ‘ You have taken the night to be a camel that you ride on to you to pass through various stages of the Qur’an. Those before you considered it as messages from their Lord; they pondered over them at night and lived by them by day’ (Ihya).

Reading the Qur’an should induce faith inside your heart; that faith should shape your lives. It is not gradual, piecemeal process, by which you first spend years reading the Qur’an, then understanding it and strengthening your faith, you only then act upon it. The whole is one unified process, all things take place simultaneously. As you hear or receive the words, they kindle faith inside you; as you have faith inside you, your life begins to change.

What you must remember is that to live by the Qur’an requires a major decision on your part: you have to completely alter the course of your life, irrespective of what may be the dominant thought-patterns around you, of what your society may be dictating, or what others may be doing. This decision requires major sacrifices. But unless you, as believers in the Qur’an being the word of God, are prepared to take the plunge, not much good will come out of the time you spend with the Qur’an.

From the very first moment, at the first step, it is made abundantly clear that the Qur’an is a guidance for those who are prepared to act to save themselves from the harm that comes from living against God’s will, from earning His displeasure, and who fear the consequences – they are the al-muttaqin (al Baqarah 2: 1-5). The Qur’an does not recognize any polarity between knowledge and action, between faith (Iman) and righteous deeds (al-amal al-salih).

This excerpt was taken from ‘Way To The Qur’an’ by Khurram Murad

 

How to Turn Your Passion for Writing and Islam into a Career

Written by R on . Posted in Uncategorized

How to Turn Your Passion for Writing and Islam into a Career

Knowledge is one of the most important underpinnings of law and faith. In a famous Hadith, the Prophet (SAW) said, ‘To seek knowledge is an obligation upon every believer’. There are numerous ways that knowledge is exchanged, disseminated, discussed – and literature is one of the essential ways this is done.

Many Muslims find that their interest in spirituality and the light of Islam is intertwined with a keen interest in the beauty and metaphor of Islamic literature. The Holy Qur’an – the word of the Almighty – itself contains the most unique, most eloquent words – words which could never have been constructed by man.

There is a vast and extensive Islamic scholarly tradition, with countless books on Islamic jurisprudence, theology and law. This is compounded by literature in other forms, like poetry. Islam itself places an emphasis on using precise language. If you feel drawn to this scholarly tradition, then you might be able to use your love of both writing and Islam to enhance your career.

 

Sticking to Your Passions

When you are engaged in an activity that is meaningful, you thrive and feel motivated. In psychology, this is known as a ‘flow state’. You might have felt this when you’re fully engaged with a fulfilling task or reading a fascinating book. Somehow, without you knowing it, hours have passed. If you achieve this state when writing about Islam, then you know that this could be work that you could stick to.

Writing about Islam can take many different forms. If you are skilled at writing journalistic pieces, then you can use your talent to address topics of interest in Islam. If you enjoy writing blog posts, your writing could be a means of reflection. If poetry’s your thing – then by all means, take inspiration from one of the most famous poets, Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi, and explore your religion thus.

When selecting a new hobby, you’ll have noticed that you keep going with those which are naturally enjoyable and produce this flow state. If writing falls under this category, then perhaps it’s worth wondering if you can charge for it.

 

Where to Find Work

There is a greater need for written content than ever and, with Muslim populations rising in the West, increasing demand for Islamic literature. A good place to start is with your own blog. There are numerous blogs, varying as widely in content as in style and form – such as Ayeina, which is an inspiring blog developed with the intention of self-reflection and self development.  A possible place for inspiration on where to begin your writing journey is the Muslim Writers Club (http://muslimwritersclub.com/) where writers share valuable information about the art as well as the business of publishing.

You can also keep your eyes open for print magazine and newspapers. Check if they accept submissions and if they offer payment. Keep a list of those which look interesting and carefully study their audience before writing a piece for them.

If your children or younger siblings love to write, why not encourage and challenge them to submit their work to the Young Muslim Writers Awards (https://ymwa.org.uk/) It’s a great platform to promote their love of writing and develop their literacy skills.

Keep Going!

Finding work as a writer can be difficult and beginners will often feel disheartened by their first few rejections. However, you have a niche in Islamic writing which can help you stand out. Keep studying your passions and practicing your writing and you’ll make progress.

Becoming a writer can be a dream come true for many people. If you have a real passion for writing about Islam, then it is possible to turn it into a full-time career or at least a side job. Be persistent and perfect your craft for the greatest chance of success. As the Hadith goes – ‘Actions are according to intentions’. Focus your intention and Insha’Allah you will turn your passion for writing and Islam into a career!

By Jane Sandwood

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers:

£0.000 items