The Wisdom Behind the Number of Units of Prayer

In a previous monograph, Dr. Akram revealed some of his insights into the timings of prayer and how they relate to the Ibrāhīmic call. In this one, he takes a deeper look at the number of units of prayer in a full day, expounding on their wisdom and touching on some brief issues relating to the obligatory and supererogatory prayers, the Witr prayer and the Tarāwīḥ of Ramadan.

Please note that this translation has been revised as of May 21, 2018 to correct two mistakes. 


The Number of Units of Prayer-1

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Blessed Ramadan 2018

I wish you all a blessed and productive Ramadan 1439/2018! Please utilize our annual planner for your benefit. Please note that the Eid dates may change subject to moon-sighting. There are two versions based on Wed and Thurs start dates. Download image below or in pdf here:

Ramadan Planner 2018-Wed Start

Ramadan Planner 2018 Thurs start

September 2008 • Ramadan 1429

Ramadan Planner 2018 Thurs start-1.jpg

 

Between Ḥadīth and Philosophy

The tension between reason and revelation as a source of knowledge has manifested itself repeatedly and persistently throughout the annals of Islamic intellectual thought, particularly in the field of kalām (scholastic theology). Reason was deemed to be based on a set of rational precepts, derived from a predominantly Hellenistic tradition, whereas revelation was transmitted and not rationally known. This ʿaql-versus-naql divide surfaced in later times in the forced comparison between ḥadīth as a set of transmitted reports often presumed to be fallibleand philosophy as a set of intellectually derived principles, generally considered reliable and certain. In this monograph, Dr Akram clarifies the fallaciousness of this comparison and the true differences between both.

Difference Between Hadith and Philosophy-1

Between Hadith and Philosophy pdf

Imlā al-Khāṭir Series

In this series, which he names Imlā al-Khāṭir (literally, “dictation of thoughts”), Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi follows in the tradition of the Ḥanbalī scholar Ibn al-Jawzī’s Ṣayd al-Khāṭir and shares with the world his reflections on a variety of topics ranging from theology to law, history to heart softeners, philosophy, education and more. Composed in a casual, conversational style consisting of questions followed by their brief answers (each portion predicated by qālū/qultu, “they said”/”I responded”), he utilizes therein the highest level of Arabic, reflecting his love of the language and his extensive expertise in Arabic grammar and rhetoric. These short but poignant reflections are part of the balāghah genre and tradition of Arabic literature. It should be noted that these translations, done by his senior students, serve as a guide and can never fully match the style, tone and eloquence of the original Arabic. Also note that Dr. Akram does not necessarily review each translation and is not responsible for any errors, improper word choices, or the likes, that are an inevitable part of the translation process.

 

سلسلة إملاء الخاطر | Imlā al-Khāṭir Series

ASI

A Centre for Arabic and Islamic Sciences

Oxford . London . Online

 

Who Taught You History?

In this monograph, Dr. Akram expounds on his thoughts on the discipline of historyoften neglected in Islamic syllabi and curriculawhile sharing some biographical material on the teacher who influenced his approach to history the most: Shaykh Abū al-ʿIrfān Nadwī.

Who Taught You History-1

Who Taught You History pdf

Imlā al-Khāṭir Series

In this series, which he names Imlā al-Khāṭir (literally, “dictation of thoughts”), Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi follows in the tradition of the Ḥanbalī scholar Ibn al-Jawzī’s Ṣayd al-Khāṭir and shares with the world his reflections on a variety of topics ranging from theology to law, history to heart softeners, philosophy, education and more. Composed in a casual, conversational style consisting of questions followed by their brief answers (each portion predicated by qālū/qultu, “they said”/”I responded”), he utilizes therein the highest level of Arabic, reflecting his love of the language and his extensive expertise in Arabic grammar and rhetoric. These short but poignant reflections are part of the balāghah genre and tradition of Arabic literature. It should be noted that these translations, done by his senior students, serve as a guide and can never fully match the style, tone and eloquence of the original Arabic. Also note that Dr. Akram does not necessarily review each translation and is not responsible for any errors, improper word choices, or the likes, that are an inevitable part of the translation process.

 

سلسلة إملاء الخاطر | Imlā al-Khāṭir Series

ASI

A Centre for Arabic and Islamic Sciences

Oxford . London . Online

 

Shaykha Bahiyyah Quṭbiyyah of Meknas: A Sign of Allah in Our Times

_DSC7094Born 1326/1908 in the city of Meknās in Morocco, Shaykha Bahiyyah bint  Hāshim al-Quṭbiyyah al-Filāliyyah was one of the rare scholarly giants who still remained from the previous generation who was a great inspiration for men and women alike.

She memorized Qurʾān at the age of 14 at the hands of al-Qāḍī Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Ismāʿīlī al-ʿAlawī and studied the various Islamic sciences with the renowned scholars of her region. She made Ḥajj at age 18 where she studied with scholars of the Ḥijāz. In 1374/1955 she traveled to Tunisia where she studied for 5 years at the renowned Zaytūnah University, being the only woman there at the time. There she was the student of the great scholar of the 20th century Shaykh al-Islām al-Ṭāhir ibn ʿĀshūr (d. 1393/1973) and received Ijāzah from him. After graduating with distinction, she was requested to stay there but she chose to return to her own country. Continue reading

Reviewing Dr. Nasr’s ISLAM: Religion, History and Civilization

51uPP-duy1L._AC_UL320_SR210,320_ISLAM: Religion, History and Civilization by Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr is an introductory work to the religion, culture, history and intellectual thought of the Islamic world by a noted contemporary Muslim scholar who is no stranger to Muslim communities in the West. Although written for a layperson in an easy language and well-arranged in logical chapters, at the same time, it remains extremely well-written and eloquent, with some passages that particularly stand out for their clarity and beauty of expression. His discussions on the origin of man, the Muslim view of the cosmos, the central role of religion in Muslim life, and the relation between Islām, Īmān and Iḥsān are nothing short of brilliant.

On the role of the Qurʾān in Muslim life, for instance, he writes, “In a sense, the soul of the Muslim is woven of verses and expressions drawn from the Qurʾān. . . Every legitimate action begins with a bismillah and ends with an alhamdulillah, while the attitude toward the future is always conditioned by the awareness of inshaAllah, for all depends on the Divine Will.”

The wisdom of the varied experiences of the Prophet Muḥammad is also beautifully stated: “His extraordinary life included almost every possible human experience, which he was able to sanctify and integrate into the Islamic perspective. He experienced poverty, oppression, and cruelty as well as power and dominion. He tasted great love as well as the tragedy of the death of his beloved wife Khadījah and his only son. He lived in great simplicity, yet ruled over a whole cosmic sector. He lived with a single wife much older than he was until the age of fifty and then contracted many marriages in his later years . . .”

For Islamic communities, it remains mostly, but not entirely, true to orthodox perspectives on Islamic thought. Some will cringe at the constant reference to minority and non-Sunni perspectives in every section, as well as the endorsement of certain non-orthodox religious practices as well as mystical beliefs. These inclusions serve to over-inflate the significance of these minority beliefs and practices in the actual Muslim world. His discussions on Tawḥīd and the Divine Essence are also colored by his philosophical inclinations. Perhaps that is to be expected of any academic scholar let alone someone with the background of Dr Nasr.

Overall, our group found it to be a great book for those generally interested in a deeper and more intellectual look at the world of Islām beyond the basics. For those, however, who are more serious in their interest in Islām as a faith and religion, a work that presents the basic beliefs and practices of Islām in a more coherent and uniform fashion would be better served.

Abu Zayd

Our book club meets weekly on Tuesday evenings at the Islamic Learning Center in Jersey City, NJ. Follow our Facebook group or email us to join.