Essays & Articles

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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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