Record of Accounts

Al-Haqqah (The Inevitable Truth) Sura 69: Verses 19-24

"He who is given his record in his right hand will say, 'Come you all! Read this my record, I certainly knew that one day I would have to face my account.' He will be in a happy state of life, in a lofty garden, with its fruits within easy reach. 'Eat and drink to your heart's content as a reward for what you have done in days gone by.'"

Traditional Knowledge

By Assad Bhuglah

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Human beings do so many things in their day-to-day life, with confidence and certainty, that they little realize how and where they learned the art and skills of executing their routine actions. The Bhandari who prepares a delicious Biryani or a spicy Haleem; the parents who teach family manners etiquette to their kids; the labourers who toil the land and cultivate sugarcanes and so on – they did not acquire the knowledge from formal training or schools. They inherited it from their elders and ancestral links. In modern parlance, this is known as traditional knowledge --- which can be defined as know-how, skills and practices that are developed, sustained and passed on from generation to generation within a community, often forming part of its cultural or spiritual identity. Traditional knowledge embodies a wealth of wisdom and experience of nature gained over millennia from direct observations, and transmitted—most often orally—over generations. There is a common idiom that says when an elder dies, a library is buried with him and when a community disappears, an archive of memories vanishes.

Unjust Power Relations

A number of decades ago, the "Abrahamic" identity was created to expand Christian-Jewish dialogue to include Muslims. This was a positive development that has since established a shared platform for dialogue and engagement. At the same time, it is a constructed identity that does not fully encompass the theological ethics and identity of each of us or all of us. Anything we build will necessarily be limited in space and perspective, and we must be mindful that enclosures, as much as they unite people in a space, also restrict that space. I am particularly concerned that the "Abrahamic" appellation reinforces a patriarchal lineage that I believe Islam came to reform. The elder men of the community have no preferential claim on religious leadership and authority in Islam, as much as that might be the cultural preference and social reality of many Muslims. As we work together to build a more peaceful world, we must embrace language and appellations that do not replicate or reinstate unjust power relations.

Public and Private

Several ahadith, by different reporters, highlight the fact that the Prophet (peace be upon him) never used foul language. Anas ibn Malik reports: "God's Messenger was not given to the use of foul language, cursing or abusive names. When he expressed displeasure with someone, he would say, 'What is wrong with him; may he have dust on his forehead.'" (Bukhari.) In answer to a question about the Prophet's manners, Aishah said: "He never used foul or obscene language. Nor was he quarrelsome in the market place. He did not repay a bad turn with a similarly bad one, but would rather forgive and forebear." (Ahmad, Tirmidhi)

Soccer Politics in the Arab World

By Assad Bhuglah

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Soccer is the second religion in the Arab world. It is interesting to understand the Arab passion for football/soccer while diving deeper into the Arab World.  While learning the important role that soccer plays in the Arab nations, this game also provides the opportunity to expose the richness found in the customs, beliefs, foods, and culture of the Arab World. However, soccer in the Arab world is played as much on as off the pitch. Stadiums are a symbol of the battle for political freedom; economic opportunity; ethnic, religious and national identity; and gender rights.