Review of Ertugrul Season 1

To fight against injustice is not just about personal benefit, it’s a duty and an honor. These are excellent themes and it’s great seeing a TV show promoting them… We should definitely popularize Muslim-friendly shows that encourage good and provide positive role models for Muslim youth.

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، وصلوات الله وسلامه على أشرف المرسلين

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

I just finished watching the first season of the Turkish TV series Dirilis: Ertugrul, which is available on Netflix with English subtitles. In this post, I’ll summarize what this series is about, who the main characters are, what I liked and what I didn’t like. I’ll end with my overall thoughts about the show and its role in the media landscape, especially for Muslims, and then I’ll list other shows people who like Ertugrul might also like.

Please note that while I will attempt to keep spoilers to a minimum, there will naturally be some spoilers in this post. If you’re going to read it, don’t complain about spoilers later. You were warned.

Continue reading “Review of Ertugrul Season 1”

Dr. Jonathan Brown on Historical Criticism of Islamic Primary Texts

A post based on my lecture notes from a talk given by Dr. Jonathan Brown, where he discussed the historical critical method and how it’s been applied to Islamic texts and especially hadith.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، وصلوات الله وسلامه على أشرف المرسلين

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

This blog post is adapted from my notes taken from Dr. Jonathan A. C. Brown’s lecture on the topic of historical criticism and how it’s been applied to Islamic primary texts, especially the hadith collections. Watch the lecture here: part 1part 2part 3. Note that it’s about 3 hours long including the Q&A, so be warned. It’s definitely worth a watch though, from beginning to end.

The lecture was given around the time that the UK government-sponsored documentary Islam: The Untold Story by charlatan historian Tom Holland was in the news. Basically, the documentary tries to tell a speculative revisionist story of the origins of Islam. Dr. Brown’s lecture is not a direct response to the documentary, but it contextualizes some of the assumptions being made in this documentary and other revisionist pieces that are claiming to examine Islam from a “critical” lens. Anyway, I’ll end the introduction here and start the portion based on my notes. Note that the section “My Thoughts” at the end of this post is not based on the lecture; those opinions are strictly mine.

Continue reading “Dr. Jonathan Brown on Historical Criticism of Islamic Primary Texts”

The Diversity of Religion

Humans follow many diverse religions, each of which claims to be the truth. What’s the best explanation for this?

بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم، وصلوات الله وسلامه على أشرف المرسلين

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

Human beings follow many, many religions, and each one claims to be the truth. Obviously, these claims to absolute truth are, for the most part, irreconcilable. Christianity and Hinduism can’t be true at the same time. Same for Islam and Zoroastrianism. Either there is one God, or many deities, or none. The mutual exclusivity of the world’s religions (and for the purposes of this post I’ll count atheism/agnosticism as a “religion” even though they’re technically not) should be quite clear to most people, hopefully.

So how do we explain this diversity? Continue reading “The Diversity of Religion”

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”