Archive for May, 2009

Beauty in Diversity, Diversity in Beauty
May 30, 2009

student:  “Ya Shaykh, how can there be differences in the ‘mathaahib’ (four mainstream schools of Islamic jurisprudence) but yet all of the ‘mathaahib’ are correct – should they not all be the same?”

Shaykh:  “It’s from the Magnanimity of Allah that He Graced us with diversity that is all correct.  There is beauty in diversity and diversity in beauty… ”

Patchwork of carpets in Marrakech, Morocco


def’n: ikhlaas
May 17, 2009

I often find that if i compare my account of one day to the next day, i learn that i rarely complete one thing/task consistently.  Habitually leaving things incomplete.  To furnish an example, see the long gap between posts on this blog…

niyaah and ikhlaas are the first deficiencies to come to mind, and therefore the struggle to find a digestable answer when i ask myself “why?” during mid-task.  David Coolidge unridles my idiosyncrasies in my all-time favorite article –


The Sincere Muslim Intellectual


“Actions are only judged by the intentions which accompany them.” This phrase is repeated in mosques and classrooms across the world, and is found in books too numerable to document. At first thought, we might assume that its meaning is obvious and that it is essential to how people think of Islam. However, concepts understood intellectually do not always translate into states of being, which in turn give life to those very concepts. Such is the case in many of the intellectual discussions on Islam that pervade our lives.

Perhaps if you grew up in a country or house devoid of intellectualism, you might protest out of fear that I am decrying intellectualism. This would be a fair response. But for those of us, many in North America and Europe, who are stimulated by discussion after discussion and book after book, the situation is often radically different. Rachid al-Ghannouchi reportedly said that Tunisians in Tunis need human rights, while Tunisians in France need mosques. Different points of emphasis for different folks.

What I have felt in the core of my being is the fact that I can never know with absolute certainty when I am speaking or writing or teaching or reading for the sake of Allah alone. (more…)

HOME – Yann Arthus-Bertrand
May 15, 2009

June 5th premier: