Essays & Articles

June 18, 2022

Is the Qur’an Contradictory? Part 2: Western Scholarship & Six Popular Contentions

This is the second essay in the two-part series on so-called contradictions in the Quran. This essay investigates six popular contradictions of the Quran that are widespread in Anglophone print and online domains. Special emphasis will be given to Western academic sources that provide a response to such claims of contradictions. This essay hopes to show that a thorough and adequate perusal of scholarship on Islam is imperative in order to better evaluate and respond to the misplaced claims of contradictions in the Quran that are articulated in the English language.
June 15, 2022

Is the Qur’an Contradictory? Part 1: Arabic Scholarship & Al-Shinqīti’s Methodology

This two-part essay series discusses the issue of contradictions in the Quran. The first essay will delve into how Arabic scholarship has dealt with the topic. The renowned scholar Muhammad Amīn Al-Shinqīti has provided a rigorous methodological approach to engaging with apparent contradictions in the Quran. The essay analyses the important features and applications of Al-Shinqīti’s methodology, as well as evaluating its effectiveness. The second essay delves into how Western scholarship deals with the topic. Six major contradictions in the Quran will be analysed using English-language academic sources in order to better understand them. The facts brought up in this essay series show that any confident assertion that the Qur'an is contradictory is unwarranted.
February 1, 2022

“Produce One Chapter Like It”: The Miraculous Inimitability of the Qur’ān’s Shortest Chapter

The Qur'ān presents a challenge to humanity to produce one chapter like it. Its shortest chapter, Al-Kawthar, displays a remarkable frequency of linguistic devices and literary features, and it expresses maximal meaning within a unique structure. Informed by both Islamic and Western scholarship, this essay aims to showcase the Qur’ān’s miraculous literary and linguistic inimitability by analysing its smallest chapter. It also addresses key objections.
December 31, 2021

Polemics as Caricature: The False Portrayal of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ by John of Damascus and Thomas Aquinas

This essay examines a historic Christian polemical tradition espoused by two high-ranking and influential Christian polemicists and apologists: John of Damascus and Thomas Aquinas. Falsely portraying Islam and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was a key characteristic of the approach adopted by many Christian apologists. The Prophetic response to those who caricature Islam is to remain God-centric and morally upright.
October 23, 2021

Wrestling with Free Will: Reflections on Divine and Human Freedom

In theology, Divine determinism and human free will are one of the most contentious issues. Where is the space for human free will, with an omnipotent God who knows and wills the future? Is this not some kind of cosmic ventriloquism? If theological compatibilism is true, what is the mechanism through which Divine determinism and human free will can coexist?
September 7, 2021

Does the Qur’an say the earth is flat? Islamic scholarship & the multiplicity of readings approach

This article addresses the question of whether the Qur'an says the world is flat. This question is answered in a comprehensive way by referring to classical Islamic scholarship, the Qur'an and applying the multiplicity of readings approach.
February 20, 2021

Nihilism as a Poison – Part 1: The Death of Meaning

In part one of a two part series, Yusuf Ponders introduces the reader to the problem of nihilism, its causes and its effects on society. The essay explores nihilism's relationship with meaninglessness, indifference to truth and amorality. Part one concludes with an introduction to part two: how Islam can be an effective antidote to the poison of nihilism.
December 9, 2020

Who Shoulders the Burden of Proof? Reformed Epistemology & Properly-Basic Islamic Belief

This essay attempts to outline both a coherent epistemic theory of knowledge, and stipulate its relationship to religious belief. In doing so, the essay argues for the following thesis: that specifically Islamic belief held in a basic way, can be sufficient for knowledge without resorting to rational argumentation, and that the those who believe in Islamic theism do not shoulder the burden of proof.
December 7, 2020

The Pathology of Flamboyant Denial

The rise of technology, of cinematography, of state power and individual autonomy has furthered man’s potential of narcissistic grandiosity, of arrogance, self-entitlement and exploitative behaviours. In light of this, this article will consider the behaviourism of the flamboyant denier, drawing on anticipated behaviour of antagonists, their tendencies and pathology as described in the Qur’an.
September 19, 2020

Divine Certainty: A Qur’anic and Philosophical Argument for God

This essay provides a convincing qur'anic and philosophical argument for the existence of an uncreated creator who willed the universe to come into existence. The essay argues that this creator is uniquely one, eternal, transcendent, powerful and knowing. It also addresses popular and academic objections.
September 12, 2020

Cracks in the Mirror: Idolatry in Celebrity Culture

The Qur’an informs its readers that man can exhibit a destructive psychopathological tendency of seeking temporary comfort and validation in pseudo-characters and icons, the pursuit of which symbolises an illusory closeness and affinity with those who come to represent them. This article explains this social malaise through a Qur’anic framework.
June 16, 2020

Affluence and Atheism: Is there a Correlation?

The Qur’an reveals an interesting exposition of some people’s opposition to faith. It shows that the setting of wealth and children as benchmarks for success and stature can consequently act as impediments to effective engagement with the divine instructive. Such people are described as finding great security and self-assurance in their affluence.
June 9, 2020

“I Can’t Breathe”

The killing of George Floyd on May 25th 2020 tugged at our collective conscience. With every waning breath and dying plea ‘I can’t breathe’ screamed in its silence and we gasped together. The coalescing of brutal indifference of state power with a forlorn plea for mercy, for understanding, for pity, for empathy, placed us all in an unavoidable frame of witnessing.
May 23, 2020

Prophetic Mercy and Empathy as a Social Outlook

In our engagement with others, we should remember that we as humans are mostly comforted by similar things — displays of kindness and mercy. God describes Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as an embodiment of merciful character: Mercy, compassion and empathy are interlinked features of the best of what all people seek.
May 16, 2020

Divine Link: Dependency and God’s Existence

The universe and everything within it is dependent. The only plausible explanation is that the universe, and everything within it, has to depend on an entity whose existence is in some ways independent from the universe. Therefore, there must be an independent and eternal Being.
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