The Qur'an
Tazkiyyah (Spiritual Development)

Religious Knowledge Should Increase Your Righteous Actions

“No person to whom God had given the Scripture, wisdom, and prophethood would ever say to people, ‘Be my servants, not God’s.’ [He would say], ‘You should be devoted to God because you have taught the Scripture and studied it closely’” [Quran 3:79]. There is no point in seeking religious knowledge if it does not increase your taqwa (mindfulness of God). One of the fundamental points of seeking this sacred knowledge is to increase your level of righteousness. In a verse in the Qur’an, Allah directly draws a connection between acts of devotion to to Him and knowledge: “What about…

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Usul ul Fiqh (Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence)

Understanding Ijtihad

By Surkheel Abu Aaliyah The science that evolved in understanding the shari‘ah, or Sacred Law of Islam, is called fiqh: usually translated as “jurisprudence”, and comes from the word faqiha, meaning: “to understand”. Fiqh, therefore, is all about understanding these divine laws and the way they shape the life-pattern of believers. Strictly speaking, shari‘ah refers to the body of laws revealed to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ which he taught and lived by in his day to day life; while fiqh is the science of understanding, extracting and developing these laws – and this involves human effort. Now “effort” in the…

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Tazkiyyah (Spiritual Development)

Al-Muttaqun: Those Mindful of God

Allah Says [meaning of which is]: “Allah loves those who are mindful of Him (Al-Muttaqeen)” [Qur’an 9:4]. The word Muttaqun comes from the word Taqwa. It is reported that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “Taqwa is here” and he pointed to his chest three times” [Muslim]. In another narration, he is reported to have said, “Allah does not look to your bodies nor to your faces but He looks to your hearts” and he pointed towards his chest with his fingers [Muslim]. It means that external actions will not make a person acquire Tawqa, rather, it can only be acquired by having a…

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Contemporary Issues, Guest

Islam and Homosexuality

The following piece is taken from the editorial introduction of American Journal of Islamic Science’s special issue dealing with homosexuality. It is posted here with Dr. Ovamir Anjum’s permission, who is the editor-in-chief of the journal. Menu Introduction | The Limits of Consent and the Autonomy of the Self | The Limits of Historicism and Social Construction | The Imperative to Draw Reasoned Boundaries | Endnotes By Dr. Ovamir Anjum Introduction In your hands is another thematic issue of AJISS, one that consists of two main contributions that address the Islamic tradition’s prohibition of the homosexual act. Jonathan A. C. Brown’s essay analyzes the authenticity…

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