Contentions 4

1. The Thou that can be known is not the eternal Thou.

2.  The alternative to Calvinism does not need to be Jansenism.

3.  The false Salafism: an optimism about the present which justifies a pessimism about the past.

4.  All Islam offers is God.

5.  From servant to savant; from ‘aqedah to ‘aqidah.

6.  No liberation without libation. (‘I charge you to be good to women.’)

7.  Shari‘a is a side of God’s mercy. Tariqa is a sign of God’s mercy. Haqiqa is a sigh of God’s mercy.

8.  He created Hell only that He might be called ‘Merciful’.

9.  ‘Leave the ghazal, look into the azal.’ (Rumi)

10.  The lubb: humanity without nature is like nature without daylight.

11.  No religion without love of the founder; no love of the founder without poetry. (Everyone should be the fruit of a na‘t-case.)

12.  ‘Die Bösen haben keine Lieder.’

13.  Hawa: the wind of fancy.

14.  Adab: we must re-member our bodies.

15.  Judaism was not displaced by Christianity or Islam so much as it was displaced by Zionism.

16.  Moderation in miracles: ‘Enter houses by their doors.’

17.  Where there is no iman there is no theology.

18.  The fact that we so regularly misunderstand each other is a proof of Islam’s universality.

19.  Those that mind the state must mind their state of mind.

20.  Our muniments are our munitions.

21.  Maidens! Mey’den meydanlar medeniyyet’tir!

22.  Islam provides hope; the umma provides fear. ‘Whoever unites both wings shall fly.’

23.  A theology which attributes the jalal to a failure of jamal must end in secularity.

24. To whom are the Mothers of Believers entrusted, after his death? Not to John, but to themselves.

25.  It is better to be tolerant than to be terminated.

26.  If Zionism is not a xenotransplant, why are there so many antibodies?

27.  We need an Erasmus, not a Luther.

28.  The next conquest must take place south of Poitiers.

29.  Halakhah: Israel is the handmaiden of Judaism. Herzl: Judaism is the handmaiden of Israel.

30.  Mars goes over; Venus goes through. Only when we know the destination can we begin to speak of equality.

31.  Jihad: before drawing your sword, learn how to open your eyes.

32.  Without eschatology there is only scatology.

33.  Shi‘ism: He was infallible, except in his choice of wives.

34.  If you want truth to be accepted, you must be accepted. If you want to be accepted, proclaim what you can accept.

35.  Punching buttons is il don fatale for the fata.

36.  Holidays: they think their bodies are solar-powered.

37.  Takhrij is no substitute for exegesis.

38.  Miss Aisha Featherstone-Pugh

Has problems performing wudu.

When splashing with water,

I’m sure that she oughter,

Take off her veil and her gloves too.

39.  Does the infinity of God leave space for anything else?

40.  The kafir: the baby turtle that forgot the sea.

41.  One turbe for both the duarum turbarum.

42.  We need nothing so much as proof of our own hypocrisy.

43.  It is blasphemous to use religion as an excuse for one’s lack of culture.

44.  Religion should help us to include more, not less.

45.  The judge of the art competition seeks only beauty in our portfolios.

46.  The emasculation by email replaces quality with equality.

47.  The false Salafism: a nostalgia that is not homesickness.

48.  Optimism: the false Salafism is pollarding.

49.  Suicide bombing is an extreme way of shooting oneself in the foot.

50.  The more we have, the less we are.

51.  The Christian Messiah is false because he brings calamity to the Jews. The Muslim Messiah is true because he brings their liberation.

52.  Secular decadence is less ugly than religious decadence because only organic matter can really decompose.

53.  Love of the saints is the proof of religion and of religiosity.

54.  Nothing brings less ease than sloth.

55.  The posterior has no posterity.

56.  Zealotry: the fetishizing of the liminal.

57.  Where there is no division in vision there is vision even in division.

58.  Secularity: Islam has got the bends. Islam: we are suffering from oxygen deficiency.

59.  The West treats other civilisations like stroke victims.

60.  Palestine: the burnt offering that atones for Paul’s original sin.

61.  How to rebridge the sexes? To reach the point of reconciliation? Only the logos can achieve this, and a logos that is ungendered.

62.  Kalam is negative theology. Sufism is positive theology.

63.  Moriah is the mar’a, the seeing-place. ‘The heart denied not that which it saw.’

64.  Mind the Bible with your P’s and Q’s.

65.  Atheism: the belief that water originates in the well.

66.  Islam: the transformation of nature into culture.

67.  If you can’t beat them, be joined by them.

68.  Gender: the equator is only equitable if we include the sea. (Ave maris stella!)

69.  There is no secular masculinity.

70.  Even Hind was not ultimately the hindmost.

71.  Heuristics: the ideal ear is the idea without the Id.

72.  Popular taqlid sounds like four-part harmony. Popular ijtihad is cacophony.

73.  England needs Priestley’s other oxygen.

74.  Without determinism there can be no miracles.

75.  Wrath is finite; mercy knows no end.

76.  The way forwards is only the way back.

77.  Good architecture is to promote thankfulness.

78.  Give thanks for the tangible, that you may give thanks for the intangible.

79.  Global warming is from the gases of our indigestion.

80.  The alternative to tasawwuf is wool-gathering.

81.  Nothing is more dangerous than the ego wearing the robes of the spirit.

82.  Nomocentrism exists only to exclude egocentrism.

83.  Do not ask, ‘Where is God?’, but ask, ‘How am I?’

84.  Learn from the Law in the saint alone.

85.  Religion is the recognition of beauty.

86.  Only the Messiah can write history as the promised palindrome.

87.  The American for erotic is erratic.

88.  The Other calls us forth through the other.

89.  Ideology must not be self-critical; religion must be.

90.  We cannot progress until we can stand still.

91.  The Turks were even more catholic than the Anglicans.

92.  Utopianism was the Jahiliyya of the 20th century.

93.  We must be the legatees of the Legate.

94.  Laziness is its own chastisement.

95.  The umma decays before the shari‘a, the shari‘a before the haqiqa. The haqiqa never decays at all.

96.  Those that follow a religion that cannot create a civilisation will create a civilisation that cannot follow a religion.

97.  Halakhah without halaqah is a vulnerable linearity.

98.  Is it willpower that frees us from our wilfulness?

99.  Initiation is to realise the lightness of the Law.

100.  Modernity is the teaching of perfect misunderstanding.


Contentions 5

1.     ‘Islam is not Islamism - never forget this - but the latter operates in the name of the former, and this is the grave question of the name.’ (Derrida)

2.     Maimonides made the Mishnah out of the Talmud; Sayyid Sabiq made a Talmud out of the Mishnah.

3.     Some drink deeply at the Fountain of Life; others merely gargle.

4.     Political Islam? It would be a good idea.

5.     Because of self there is suffering.

6.     De coeli: alterities are only nominal. De terrae: realities are only nominal.

7.     Terrorism is to jihad what adultery is to marriage.

8.     Truth is stronger than faction.

9.     Formalism is an excuse.

10.    Exoterism offers only literalism or liberalism.

11.    The idolator is he who takes symbols literally.

12.    Against Urizen’s shield, bullet points avail more than the sword.

13.    After the khalaf there is only the Mahdi.

14.    Culture builds the ceiling of religion higher.

15.    Beware the word that is an excuse for not making dhikr.

16.    Compliance is no excuse for strictness.

17.    Prefer the rukhsa when it leads to recollection. Fear the azima when it leads to turbulence of the heart.

18.    Literalism is defensible on all levels save the sacred.

19.    Tradition: esoterism is subject to the exoteric. Reform: the esoteric is subject to exoterism.

20.    The failures of exoterism are not usually the victories of esoterism.

21.    True humanism: the Real is known only through mu‘amala.

22.    Exoterism cannot see that nothing is strong enough to limit His self-disclosures.

23.    Self-knowledge without Divine knowledge? Divine knowledge without self-knowledge?

24.    Paradise is occupied mainly by the stupid and the Sufis.

25.    The Law upholds the Umma better than the Umma upholds the Law.

26.    Uncertainty is only superficial.

27.    Modernity: the nuclear winter of the Reformation.

28.    A madhhab is a grammar of the Law.

29.    For ignorance to submit to knowledge, the many must submit to the One.

30.    Scripture provides the consonants, and culture the vowels, of a sacred civilisation.

31.    Being hard is the soft option.

32.    The existence of God is proven by existence. The existence of existence is proven by the one for whom it exists.

33.    Heresy is the gad-fly that makes the horse trot.

34.    Detachment from the need to conform is perfect only when it yields perfect conformity.

35.    Literalism: have you seen him that worships God on a harf?

36.    Without the batin, the zahir is an idol.

37.    The lower cannot cause the higher, but it can be adequate to receive it.

38.    Only those who dislike formalism can bear it.

39.    No meditation without mediation. No self without the Zulf.

40.    Those that sell Tornadoes shall reap the whirlwind.

41.    Religion is not what we do, but what we mean.

42.    The Prophet carries all of great Islam.

43.    Les Lumiéres? Mais nous sommes la derriére-garde!

44.    Liberals make mercy colder than justice.

45.    A god is any site of independent volition.

46.    The Sutra is a zunnar. The Sura is for the ahrar. (‘Say: my Lord enjoins justice.’)

47.    The impermanent cannot be devoid of suffering.

48.    The internal, not the external, reaches the eternal.

49.    The formalist is the corpse of an angel.

50.    Modernity: ‘a world full of Christian ideas gone mad.’ (Chesterton.)

51.    Prayer shows us what we truly desire.

52.    Never trust a leadership position you find convenient.

53.    Popular culture dwells in deep pockets.

54.    Tajdid involves liposuction, not resurrection.

55.    The zulf is the truth of the Self. The Dhat is the truth of the That.

56.    The Liber Asian trumped the Manu mission.

57.    Morality means more-reality.

58.    Modern Islam: triumphalism without a triumph.

59.    It is better to flourish as a second-class citizen than to be threatened as an equal.

60.    Conformity can be more radical than alienation.

61.    Jahiliyya is ‘knowing no other way’.

62.    Fiqh is a sword for Theotormon.

63.    Stridharma? Allahu astar. Karma? Allahu akram.

64.    Only the sage has the right to be spontaneous.

65.    Inequality is from the nafs alone.

66.    Do not number fiqh among your worldly concerns.

67.    The hope for radical success is normally a sign of Westernisation.

68.    Error is its own punishment.

69.    To claim that beauty is decadence is decadence.

70.    The Affective to the Traditional: the Mosaic becomes a mosaic.

71.    Islam is a frame. Iman is a claim. Ihsan is the Name.

72.    The body cannot overcome the nafs, because the nafs is bigger than it.

73.    Formalism: to esteem his fingers over his soul.

74.    The durud is all our theology, and all our spirituality.

75.    Be wrathful against error in its depriving, not in its difference.

76.    The true king admits the beggar first.

77.    Let us pray, O Lord.

78.    God is only absent from creation when we are too.

79.    Ijma‘ records unity in order to supply it.

80.    Truth is proven in the diversity of saints.

81.    The body exists that we might grow wings.

82.    Nothing is difficult, except in our thoughts.

83.    Hijra today means the move from the cenobitic to the idiorhythmic.

84.    Maimonides showed that Jesus was indeed a redeemer.

85.    The shallow always dries up.

86.    The last was also the comprehensive.

87.    The world has shrunk, but so have we.

88.    Tawakkul: the lock, as well as the key, is a revelation.

89.    Only the Liber Asian can free Oothoon from Bromion.

90.    Despair is the only grounds for despair.

91.    An movement is Islamic to the extent that it truly succeeds.

92.    Today it is hard to achieve zuhd through poverty.

93.    Levinas offers only juda’-ism. (‘Ma be-falak bude-im …’)

94.    That anima came from Amina. That harth brought forth the heart.

95.    Warm the hearth, that there might be gratefulness.

96.    America is Rome. Europe is Athens. Islam is Jerusalem.

97.    The Church is the bride of Christ’. But he was too generous to be a monogamist.

98.    Bassa Selim always gets the loudest cheers. (‘Save him that comes to God with a sound heart.’)

99.    If you seek light, avoid the narrow view.

100.  The ahl al-hadith have only four madhhabs.