What is Islamic Art?

Is there such a thing as Islamic Art and Architecture? What makes something Islamic? Is it the architect or artist who creates the form, or is it the bricklayer who places the bricks in a certain fashion or is it the land or time in which it is created? Or can such a rich and…

The Importance of Persia in Islam

Once known as Persia, Iran and Afghanistan hold a very special place in the history of Islam. The perception of Iran today is highly skewed and misunderstood by almost all. A plague of short-sightedness has caused even Muslims to see this great and rich land as a place with hostility, mistrust and fear. For the…

Podcast: Mexican Orientalism

Join me and Andrea Muñoz, a Mexican archaeologist and anthropologist discuss the common phenomenon of being studied and categorised by the European gaze. We discuss avocados and oil, drug cartels and terrorism, and finally the growth of Islam in the native Mexican population.

Finding Him – How I found God

If you were ‘born a Muslim’, do you remember the first time you whispered the creed? The words that recognised and then reverberated in you the oneness of God, that united all your separate existences into one – that there is none but One. Did you recognise then, or do you recognise now, the concept…

The Saints of Shiraz

Shiraz knows no parallel in all of Persia and the world. Sought by all but plucked by none, it remains a mole on the cheek of the most beautiful of Muslim lands. Shiraz has been saved it seems, most certainly by plan, to deliver to the thirsty, hungry and blind of this world – the endless stream of verses that flow in abundance from the lips of its poets and saints.

Cairo: a city of a thousand minarets

In Cairo is the history and detail of our past. In the old city are the houses with keys in the door left behind, here are the libraries with no custodians to guide, here are the limps unlit and prayer rugs covered in dust, all waiting for its children to return and ask the same questions as those before us, the Fatimid, Ayyubid, Mamluk and Ottoman have done their duty – out of an immaterial love they created the city that became the mother of the Muslims.

Finding Imam Al-Ghazali

He is known by many names. The most famous, and perhaps the most profound is ‘Hujjat al-Islam’ – ‘Proof of Islam’. Abu Hamid Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Al-Ghazali died at the age of 53. It is not an understatement to say he was, and still is, the most prominent Muslim philosopher, theologian, jurist and mystic of Sunni…