It is 21.30/27/01/07
I am currently re-reading...
UNDERSTANDING THE FOUR MADHHABS
the problem with anti-madhhabism
[revised edition now with footnotes)
© Abdal-Hakim Murad
The ummah's greatest achievement over the past millennium has undoubtedly been its internal intellectual cohesion. From the fifth century of the Hijra almost to the present day, and despite the outward drama of the clash of dynasties, the Sunni Muslims have maintained an almost unfailing attitude of religious respect and brotherhood among themselves. It is a striking fact that virtually no religious wars, riots or persecutions divided them during this extended period, so difficult in other ways.
The history of religious movements suggests that this is an unusual outcome. The normal sociological view, as expounded by Max Weber and his disciples, is that religions enjoy an initial period of unity, and then descend into an increasingly bitter factionalism led by rival hierarchies. Christianity has furnished the most obvious example of this; but one could add many others, including secular faiths such as Marxism. On the face of it, Islam's ability to avoid this fate is astonishing, and demands careful analysis.There is, of course, a straightforwardly religious explanation. Islam is the final religion, the last bus home, and as such has been divinely secured from the more terminal forms of decay.
This is a wonderful article(hence I am rereading it)and I will begin translating the book 'The 4 Madhhabs' By Abdul Hakim Winters into Chinese this week. I am a big fan of Prof Hakim Murad, who, alongside Nuh Ha Min Keller, Yahya Birt and of course Hamza Yusuf are the shining lights of Islam within these turbulent times. I am still disturbed by that 'Dispatches:Undercover Mosque' programme and did write to 'The Guardian' (see end of blog)
It seems I will be heading back to China. I am awaiting the letter of invitation from a University in Dalian where I will be teaching 'Western Civilisation' an 'American History'.It will be nice to return to china & even nicer to be back in Dalian-I miss Dalian very much. I am hoping I can catch up with Yang Na and Wenwen, as well as Faye(C's best friend). I know this will just be a relatively short stint and hopefully I can start the PGCE the coming academic year. Let us see, I still have about 5 interviews pending...
I spoke with Song Song today who did not sound so happy. she just felt we had been away from each other for so long & she said she felt as if she had nobody. I think it must be hard for her and so I do try to be understanding. she is a really good girl.I am lucky to have her as a part of my life. i miss Hui Fen and hope If I land in shanghai first i can spend afew days with her (for some reason it is cheaper to flu from London to Shanghai then London to Beijing-lord knows why...). Fen Fen is a lovely lovely gentle girl who has had a hard couple of years...Jenny emailed me, Jenny-aaa!!!I guess in Dalian i can also make a bunch of new friends as well :)...I had this dream about Yang Na recently and this reoccurring dream of Han Jun....god I miss Han Jun so badly, I would say bar Song Song she would be the only other girl I could love...
I need to buy a decent Digital Camera, 1.3MPs by my Mobile is pretty awful...I think I will procure one before i head out...
Talking of buying things, i recently bought and am reading/have read the following...
The State We Are In: Identity, Terror and the Law of Jihad
(excellent book, very informative indeed)
All Under Heaven: A Complete History of China
(A good overview, though brief in parts...)
Classical Chinese Literature: An Anthology of Translations: From Antiquity to the Tang Dynasty v. 1 (Classical Chinese Literature; An Anthology of Translations)
(Just came today-seems awesome though..)
Images of Women in Chinese Thought and Culture: Writings from the Pre-Qin Period to the Song Dynasty
(Very very good)
While looking at Amazon.co.uk I concluded books Muslims should not buy...
The Ultimate Sniper: An Advanced Training Manual for Military and Police Snipers
Expedient Homemade Firearms: The 9mm Submachine Gun
I do wonder why they would allow such books to be sold.
After reading extensively on history, of various period etc I concluded that Britain, well Europe is wonderful at creating 'fitna' within other nations. it is very interesting & disturbing if you actually read this. worse still they often used Christan Missionaries to bring this social divisions about and create social and political unrest. They called this 'The Great Game'. Interesting and scary....know your history people!
The papers today say...
The myth of McCain
Once the presumptive next US president, the Republican frontrunner's popularity has nose dived
Saturday January 27, 2007
When Senator John McCain appeared at the Conservative party conference in Bournemouth last October as the presumptive next president of the US, the stars seemed fixed in the firmament for him. The myth of McCain appeared as invincible as ever.
Hillary and Barack battle it out for Hollywood elite's millions
By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles
Published: 27 January 2007
Barack Obama's surging campaign for the White House is winning him new friends in Hollywood, where chequebooks speak louder than political opinions and some of the most influential entertainment industry figures are already promising big-money contributions that might otherwise be going to Hillary Clinton.
Senator Obama will be feted at a $2,300-per-head fundraiser at the Beverly Hills Hotel hosted by Steven Spielberg and his former DreamWorks partners David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg next month.
Hundreds of invitations went out earlier this week to southern California's most generous political donors, including studio heads, A-list actors, directors and producers.
All else is good...Shining forgets her Pig..zemme ban....I miss her!!
After seeing the Dispatches Programme, ‘Undercover Mosque’ I feel certain issues need to be addressed which I hope you will read out.
1) As a British Muslim I will say categorically that the views expressed by certain Muslims within that show in no way reflect the actual teaching of Islam and are a distortion of its teachings on every level.
2) The rejection of ‘Ijtihad-the use of Islamic rulings based upon the understanding of scholars who have spent their life studying Islam-is fundamentally the reason for the rise in such heinous thinking within some Muslim communities. Being able to read Arabic does not give you any Islamic right to make any Islamic rulings. Traditionally people adhered to a school of Thought. However Whahabbism rejects this notion based on the misguided premise of ‘they were men and we were men’so we can understand the Quran by our own (limited) intellects. Who would you trust someone who has spent his or her life studying something or someone who has taken a 4 week course.. It is like asking Jade from BB to read and write an exegesis on Kant’s Prolegomena.
3) Nowhere in the Quran does it say Men are higher in status than women or that women are inferior. The verse cited, in the original Arabic is traditionally translated as ‘in responsibility’. I.e ‘men are higher in responsibility’ to women as ‘Jihad(meaning a struggle, not war)is obligatory upon men but not women. Also men must fulfil all their duties to women but women do not have to fulfil all her duties to men. Regarding hitting women, the Prophet never struck his wife and nowhere does it say you can hit a women for not covering their hair, that is complete nonsense and against any Islamic teaching.
4) In Islamic law a Muslim must live by the Laws of the land he or she is in or, under Islamic law, they must make ‘hijrah’ (migrate) to another land if they feel they are unable to freely practice their Faith. This is Islam.
5) Kuffar(that infamous phrase)means ‘someone who rejects the Truth’ Not all non Muslims can be called ‘Kafir’ and even those who are must be respected. Al Ghazaali said people who have not rejected Islam can not be called Kafir as they may have a misunderstanding of the Truth and so do not actually reject Islam but are rejected a misrepresentation of Islam. This is very often the case with non Muslim who are hostile towards Islam, they are given a misrepresentation by these types of people.
6) Muslims need to stop saying Jews are pigs etc. They are the decedents of Prophets and should be respected as such. This is completely against the Islamic tradition. Political issues regarding Israel does not give anyone the right to collectively punish anyone. ‘No soul bears the sins of another’ –Quran.
These are just afew of the issues. Islam is a beautiful religion which has helped shape modern civilisation immensely, please do not see the views of afew morons as that of the majority.
Imran zeb (Oxford)
PS. Thank god for such people as Abdul Hakim Winters & Hamza Yusuf etc, the shining Lights of this Ummah in an age of un precedented darkness.