Contentions: whys and wherefores

Circle - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - November 2012 - 1 hour 11 mins 53 secs

In a circle that is bound to interest many, the Sheikh discusses his Contentions, a series of aphoristic statements that he writes, the latest of which may be found here. At the heart of these collections is the relationship between Islam and language. The Islamic perception of language is that it is a vehicle of meaning but also a springboard for a new and intoxicating literature. Historically this has been true; one must look at the poetry of the Turkic and Persian peoples for just a few quick examples of this. Theologically this approach to language is also sound; the Qur'an says that 'among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colours'. Not for Islam then the Babelite curse. Every language may be a fully valid means of connecting with the Truth. This is the context within which the Contentions themselves operate. According to the Sheikh they are there to see what Divine indications are supplied by the English language, they hope to be part of a discovery of the luminosity inherent within it. The point is not necessarily to pose a truth but to evoke an atmosphere. Like our poetry they are closer to music than prose conveying truth claims.

The Sheikh ends the circle by talking about the following contentions in the eleventh set:

10: The Liber Asian vs. The Manu Mission: a woman may be Arahat on Arafat

21. Anthropomorphism is gender-biased

38. If you have not seen the saint, you have not seen the sunna 

For a full commentary of the whole set written by the Sheikh himself please visit the Quilliam Press website here. A most worthy addition to any library! 

Photo of muqarnas taken in the Alhambra Palace by the CKETC team. It has been argued that the muqaras were themselves inspired by the occasionalist theology that the Sheikh mentions so often in this circle.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The link to some of his book statements does not work.