Ways to better the ummah

A few suggestions to better the state that we find the ummah in today.

بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم، وصلوات الله وسلامه على أشرف المرسلين

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

I just watched a khutbah by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan (about the Paris shooting) which gave a relatively grim outlook on the current state of the Muslim ummah. You can see the khutbah here. I left some comments which you can read/reply to here and here. I will reprint the second comment below.

Some ideas to better the ummah: Continue reading “Ways to better the ummah”

2014 in review – automatically generated post

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 33 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Chance, probability and the origin of life

Calculating the probability that a protein – a molecule essential to life – could have formed by chance.

بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم، وصلوات الله وسلامه على أشرف المرسلين

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

I’m currently reading a book called Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design by Stephen C. Meyer. The book makes lots of well-argued points as well as convincing rebuttals of Darwinist arguments. I plan on writing a detailed review of the book after finishing it, In Sha Allah (God willing). For now, I want to focus on one particular aspect of the book that I found quite intriguing: the probability of life arising out of chance. Continue reading “Chance, probability and the origin of life”

An anecdote about the Khawarij

The recent terrorist attacks remind me of similar incidents carried out by the Khawarij.

بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم، وصلوات الله وسلامه على أشرف المرسلين

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

The Khawarij (a.k.a. “Kharijites” – literally, “those who leave”) are the only deviant sect in Islam that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ specifically warned about in detail. I don’t want to get too deep into their ideology here but I’d recommend seeing this very detailed video by Imran Mansur which explains the Khawarij, who they are, and how ISIS are from among them. Continue reading “An anecdote about the Khawarij”

David Berlinski on the God of the Gaps

David Berlinski smartly deals with the “god-of-the-gaps” fallacy.

بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم، وصلوات الله وسلامه على أشرف المرسلين

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

I previously quoted David Berlinski here, but as I am currently reading a book about Intelligent Design (which is often accused of employing the god-of-the-gaps fallacy) I decided to quote him again. This is a good one so make sure you read it carefully. Like before, the source is his book titled The Devil’s Delusion. And in case you are wondering: “Wotan” was a pagan deity who is no longer believed in or worshiped.

Scientific atheism is not an undertaking that has cherished rhetorical inventiveness. It has one brilliant insult to its credit, and that is the description of intelligent design as “creationism in a cheap tuxedo.” I do not know who coined the phrase, but whoever it was, chapeau. By the same token, it has only one stock character in repertoire, and that is the God of the Gaps. Unlike the God of Old, who ruled irritably over everything, the God of the Gaps rules over gaps in argument or evidence. He is a presiding God, to be sure, but one with limited administrative functions. With gaps in view, He undertakes his very specialized activity of incarnating Himself as a stopgap. If He is resentful at the limitations in scope afforded by His narrow specialization, He is, scientific atheists assume, grateful to have any work at all.

When the gaps are all filled, He will join Wotan in Valhalla.

As a rhetorical contrivance, the God of the Gaps makes his effect contingent on a specific assumption: that whatever the gaps, they will in the course of scientific research be filled. It is an assumption both intellectually primitive and morally abhorrent—primitive because it reflects a phlegmatic absence of curiosity, and abhorrent because it assigns to our intellectual future a degree of authority alien to human experience. Western science has proceeded by filling gaps, but in filling them, it has created gaps all over again. The process is inexhaustible. Einstein created the special theory of relativity to accommodate certain anomalies in the interpretation of Clerk Maxwell’s theory of the electromagnetic field. Special relativity led directly to general relativity. But general relativity is inconsistent with quantum mechanics, the largest visions of the physical world alien to one another. Understanding has improved, but within the physical sciences, anomalies have grown great, and what is more, anomalies have grown great because understanding has improved.

The God of the Gaps? I am prepared with the best of them to revile and denounce him. It is easy enough to do just that, one reason that so many scientists are doing it. But why not say with equal authority that for all we know, it is the God of Old who continues to preside over the bent world with His accustomed fearful majesty, and that He has chosen to reveal Himself by drawing the curtain on His own magnificence at precisely the place in which general relativity and quantum mechanics should have met but do not touch? Whether gaps in the manifold of our understanding reveal nothing more than the God of the Gaps or nothing less than the God of Old is hardly a matter open to rational debate.

Well said.

~ Yousuf

29 November 2014

My First Time with Salman Rushdie

This is an old but good post (from April 2010) by Sana Saeed. She describes what happened when she attended a lecture by Salman Rushdie at her university. I could definitely relate to her feelings about Rushdie before the lecture, and was pleasantly surprised at how the lecture unfolded. For some reason I wasn’t surprised at what he said in the Q&A though.

The Cool Table

Amongst the most memorable names to cross my ears as a child, growing up in a South Asian Muslim household, was that of (sir) Salman Rushdie. There was always an air of frustration, anger and utter hatred that seemed to accompany it’s mere mention by those of my kin. I was unaware, as a child, precisely what all the fuss was about. What I ended up gathering from the various snippets of conversations and outbursts was that he was a writer who had written some sort of novel in which the Prophet Muhammad, alongside Islam in general, was portrayed in a most vile sense. The grouping of words of those around me – including the words of those on television who would discuss him – was enough to create an authoritative perspective on the issue that I slowly, with a naive mind, took on as my own.

Regardless of what…

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Does science lead to objective truth?

Are scientific theories objective truths about the universe, or just the creation of human minds?

بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم، وصلوات الله وسلامه على أشرف المرسلين

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, a well-known and respected physicist, published this tweet a few days ago:

No doubt, he is referring to scientific discoveries when he talks about “objective truths.” But does he have any rational justification for asserting that? Continue reading “Does science lead to objective truth?”