Essays and Articles

September 7, 2022

Does the Qur’ān make a mistake on where semen or sperm is produced?

This article responds to the objection that the Qur'an, in chapter 86, makes a mistake on where semen or sperm are produced. This objection only undermines the Qur’ān if all the valid interpretations are at odds with established science. What is meant by established science is any empirical observation or scientific conclusion that is extremely unlikely to change. It does not refer to scientific conclusions or theories that may change over time due to new data or observations. The objective of the article is to show that there are at least three valid interpretations of this verse that do not contradict established science or do contain any scientific error.
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.

Book Reviews

September 27, 2022

Book Review: Saffron Republic: Hindu Nationalism & State Power in India

Thomas Blom Hansen, of Stanford University, and Srirupa Roy, of University of Göttingen, edited an anthology of thirteen essays that explores the “New Hindutva.” In this volume, world-leading academics, award-winning journalists, and independent filmmakers raise concerns over the violent ideology that defines contemporary Hindu nationalism. Saffron Republic: Hindu Nationalism and State Power in India (2020), by Cambridge University Press, discusses details of Hindutva repression that rarely make it to the mainstream media. The oppression of Muslims, Christians, Dalits, and Women in India by state apparatus has reached an all-time high. Anyone interested in South Asia, both the region and diaspora, will welcome this timely contribution.
September 24, 2022

Book Review: The Intelligent Design Debate & The Temptation of Scientism

The Intelligent Design (ID) debate is one of the raging debates in contemporary times. Two opposing camps have established themselves. There is the pro-ID who support creationism; there is the anti-ID who support evolution. The debate is reflected strongly in the theism vs. atheism debate in popular culture. In The Intelligent Design Debate And The Temptation of Scientism (Routledge, 2016), Erkki Vesa Rope Kojonen takes a step back from the often vitriolic passion of the debate and provides a calm and refreshing overview of the important details that get lost over the shouting of both sides. Kojonen’s book allows readers to see the ID debate in a new light that is unlike what popular culture portrays.
February 21, 2022

Book Review: The War on the Uyghurs

'The War on the Uyghurs' (Princeton University Press, 2020), by Sean R. Roberts, is key reading for those who seek to educate themselves on the complexities of the ethnoreligious genocide. We all have a moral obligation to help the Uyghurs; the first step is to educate ourselves on the complexities of China's crimes against humanity. The War on the Uyghurs is perfect on this score. Social media is being flooded by CCP activists and trolls who engage in misinformation, especially in labeling Uyghurs as terrorists. Sean R. Roberts has exposed a variety of such falsehoods; so, his book is important for those challenging CCP propaganda.
January 3, 2022

Book Review: Ibn Taymiyya’s Theological Ethics

In Ibn Taymiyya’s Theological Ethics (Oxford University Press), Sophia Vasalou takes us on a fascinating journey through Ibn Taymiyya’s oeuvre. She marshals an impressive array of wide-ranging primary and secondary sources. She collects and collates the various strands in Ibn Taymiyya’s thought to give us a detailed picture of his ethics. This book review summarises her main arguments, highlights some of the book's shortcomings, and presents four ways how those who educate others about Islam can benefit.
November 2, 2021

Book Review: Arguments for God’s Existence in Classical Islamic Thought – A Reappraisal of the Discourse

The academic consensus is that Islamic philosophy puts great emphasis on rational proofs for God’s existence. In her book, Arguments for God’s Existence in Classical Islamic Thought, Hannah Erlwein seeks to overturn this consensus by a radical proposal. Her book is unlike anything else in the field.
October 13, 2021

Book Review: Darwin Devolves – The New Science About DNA That Challenges Evolution

A book review of Michael Behe's book, "Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA That Challenges Evolution". This review summarises Behe's key arguments, criticises some of his logical errors and explains how parents, students and those who seek to share Islam can use this book.
October 6, 2021

Book Review: Jihad, Radicalism, and The New Atheism

A book review of Mohammad Hassan Khalil's book, "Jihad, Radicalism, and New Atheism" published by Cambridge University Press. This review provides various insights for those interested in sharing Islam, specifically in the context of addressing misconceptions regarding Jihad.

Books

April 2, 2022

No Doubt: 10 Effective Strategies On How To Deal With Your & Other People’s Doubts

The book is about destructive doubts. While one of the sources of doubts about Islam could be about liberalism and Islamic ethics, it may not be the doubt that you are having or someone you know is experiencing. Perhaps, that doubt stems from a problematic hadīth you read or not being able to reconcile science and the Qur'an. Maybe a traumatic experience has led you to question God’s mercy, or perhaps, the idea of following a religion with so many rules is too much to swallow. Whatever doubts you or someone you know is going through, this book has been written to address them. This book presents 10 effective strategies that will equip students with the necessary epistemic and psycho-spiritual tools needed to deal with your and other people's destructive doubts.
April 2, 2022

The Miracle of the Qur’an: A Classical Treatise Explaining the Literary Miracle of Allah’s Book

Abū Sulaymān Ḥamd ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrāhīm al-Khaṭṭābī was a 10th century Muslim scholar of hadith, Islamic law, and the Arabic language. In his treatise he argues that when one analyses and examines the cause for the Qur’an’s inimitability they will conclude that the genres of speech therein contrast with each other, their levels in relation to explanation vary, and the stages of their rhetorical eloquence diverge – they are not always the same. All these categories of speech are praiseworthy and irreproachable. This is in contrast to the type of speech that is excoriated and criticised, none of which is found in the Qur’an.
March 17, 2022

The Incoherence of Atheism: Why Belief in God is Both Natural and Rational

The Incoherence of Atheism outlines a powerfully convincing case for why belief in God is both a natural product of human nature and a natural consequence of the dictates of human reason. It offers a unique analysis of key arguments expounded by neo-atheists, and exposes their inherent flaws. In examining both cosmological and teleological approaches toward establishing the truth of theism, the work draws on important insights in both contemporary science, as well as medieval Islamic theology.
February 14, 2022

Divine Perfection: Christianity and Islam on Sin and Salvation

In seeking to understand the issues surrounding Divine perfection, sin and salvation, Dr. Osman Latiff looks back in history and unearths the roots of their differences, centred on what the book terms ‘The Adamic conundrum’. The author exposes and corrects numerous objections made by Christian missionaries and apologists, and compassionately reaches out to Christians to take a closer look at their own tradition and that of Islam. Divine Perfection incorporates clear and accessible analysis of Christian and Islamic theology and philosophical ideas, and documents the scriptural evidence that shines a radiant light on the perfect justice, mercy and love of Allah.
December 15, 2021

The Burhān: Arguments for a Necessary Being Inspired by Islamic Thought

In The Burhān Mohammed Hijab analyses Ibn Sīnā’s argument for the existence of God and responds to popular and academic objections. Inspired by Islamic scholarship, Hijab provides novel arguments for God's existence and re-articulates Ibn Sīnā’s argument, making it accessible for theists to make the case for God.
October 1, 2020

The Divine Reality: God, Islam & The Mirage of Atheism

In The Divine Reality, Hamza Andreas Tzortzis provides a compelling case for the rational and spiritual foundations of Islam, whilst intelligently and compassionately deconstructing atheism. Join him on an existential, spiritual and rational journey that articulates powerful arguments for the existence of God, the Qur’an, the Prophethood of Muhammad and why we must know, love and worship God.
July 15, 2020

The Scientific Deception of the New Atheists

This book written by Mohammad Hijab discusses how proponents of the New Atheist movement commonly assert various arguments that assert that science undermines God. This small book is a refutation of these claims. By referencing the works of western intellectuals, the author demonstrates decisively how flawed these postulations are.
July 14, 2020

On Being Human

This book written by Dr. Osman Latiff seeks to understand the Muslim’s role in a world of sometimes discordant relations festered by attitudes of othering and dehumanisation. It shows that such attitudes, fuelled by hate, impinge upon a conviviality, harmony of existence and mutual understanding between peoples – as reflected in the Qur’ānic paradigm.

Answers

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