Muslims usually repeat this prayer “Allahuma ballighna Ramadhan”, and this year Allah blessed us again with this sacred month’s visit.
This evening “ladjnat al ahilla” will meet in Algeria to decide of the beginning of Ramadhan, and like many Algerians, I will be watching TV and listening to the usual words the committee’s members will say on the benefits of the month before announcing its starting date. Needless to say that I will have a special thought for Cheikh ElDjilali.
Many Muslim countries have already announced the first day of Ramadhan will be tomorrow. And as usual, this announcement stirred heated discussions on Islam and science, Islam and the Muslim world unity, etc. I wonder if these talks will ever stop… Continue reading →
I am going to make some blatant generalisations in this post and I will therefore neglect most of the special cases which have little statistical representativity. I will also misuse the “intellectuals” word as I am going to use it every time I will refer to people whose voices are, or could be, heard in Algeria. So the “intellectuals” in this post would be the journalists, teachers, thinkers, politicians (I exclude the beggara here), novelists, poets, researchers, etc. And this means the “intellectuals” will be either genuine ones, intellectomans (as they were called by Malek Bennabi) or some other people who don’t have a clue. Finally, I will probably use some (many?) examples for illustration purpose.
I remember my Arabic language teacher (who obviously studied in Arabic and was what we call an arabophone) during my secondary school years who spent all his free time chatting to female pupils who didn’t wear hidjab and trying to convince them to put it on. On the other hand, Continue reading →
The recent and tragic freedom flotilla massacre has been viewed by many analysts as a turning point both in Israeli-Turkish relations and Turkish-Arab ties. Although it cannot be denied that the Turks are furious at how Israel has treated their countrymen, talks of severing ties with Israel seem premature. The Arabs as usual have gone euphoric, chanting slogans of the return of former glory at the hands of the returning Ottoman Sultan Erdogan The Great who has now become an Arab hero (this young chap here likens Erdogan to Ottoman Sultan Mehmed Al Fatih), interestingly. This is an all-telling quote from the same article:
The Turkish President or the “Ottoman Sultan” Recep Tayyip Erdogan is like the famous Turkish sweet, Turkish Delight. For the first time, the nations of the Islamic world tasted the special and unique taste of the Turkish confectionery and wished these kinds of sweets would spread all over the Islamic and Arab world.
Nowadays, terrorism and violence is routinely linked with Islam and Muslim culture. Whether in the media, the cinema or literature, the stereotypical terrorist is a Muslim or at least an Arab or Persian character (and this also applies to Arab media and arts). It is true that this is largely a reflection of what has been a trend of events in recent years and especially ever since 9/11, however, what is interesting is the linkage between violence and Islam in particular (or violence and Arab culture). Christianity for example has seized this opportunity to rebrand itself as the religion of peace to regain some of its lost control over Western culture, it is evident that Western culture today is struggling to get rid of what it perceives as the Islamic threat and many political entities are playing their cards accordingly. This has always been the case however, in the sense that Islam and Arabs have always been perceived as barbarous by the West and to a large extent, Western ‘civilization’ has always constructed itself by contrasting itself with Islam or what is generally termed as the ‘Orient’.
But if we were to compare Western culture and Muslim/ Arab culture, not only in the past but today also, I think the Western culture will come out as the more violent of the two. A violence Continue reading →
Hanzala reported: We were in the company of Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) and he delivered to us a sermon and made a mention of Hell-Fire.
Then I came to my house and began to laugh with my children and sport with my wife. (Hanzala) further reported: I went out and met Abu Bakr and made a mention of that to him. Thereupon he said: I have done the same as you have mentioned. So we went to see Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said to him: Allah’s Messenger, Hanzala has turned to a hypocrite. And he (the Holy Prophet) said: Show respite. And then I narrated to him the story, and Abu Bakr said: I have done the same as he has done. Thereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: Hanzala, there is a time for worldly affairs and a time for (worship and devotion), and if your state of mind is always the same as it is at the time of remembrance of Allah, the Angels would shake hands with you and would greet you on the path by saying: As-Salamu-Alaikum. Book 037, Number 6624
Apparently, if you’re a good Muslim, you should nod your head and shut your mouth (and brain). Any other way of dealing with current affairs or questions related to religion is ‘American’, ‘Democratic’ and ‘Kufr-like’, which are all definitely un-Islamic things. The irony is, as a ‘practicing Muslim’ as is the fashion in describing oneself nowadays, when I watched these videos, I nodded my head (horizontally) and shut my …erm ears. Oh dear! Must be a terrible Muslim! On a more serious note, I do think these two ‘scholars’ are making a valid point, but as with so many issues related to the modern age, they are completely confusing and conflating many issues under the ultimate get out clause: ‘God (I) said so. Case closed (shut up and do as I say).‘ The danger is Continue reading →
Les Algériens d’Angleterre expertisés: there seems to be a bit of a confusion about the sense of identity of Algerian immigrants in the UK (even those who were born and bred in Algeria). The terrorism decade has traumatized us as a nation, even Algerians who are living in Algeria exhibit the same identity schisms. It will take forever to mend what has been shattered, but I suspect we will have to start by fixing the past before contemplating the future. We desperately need to have a serious look at our history pre- and post- revolution. We also need to have a frank and critical discussion about it.