Shabana on “Literalistic Wahhabistic Sufism”

I see that while I've been blogging about dancing aliens and even surreal social problems (namely, the mistreatment of domestics by imaginary cartoon characters), Shabana's obviously been having Deep Thoughts.  Check out her thought-provoking post on "Literalistic Wahhabistic Sufism".    … [Read more...]

The passing of Rafi Sharif

Another dear friend has passed. Last August, I blogged about the shocking and poignant demise of Marian, a friend and the wife of a close family friend of mine, Rafi Sharif.  (Note: I've since added the text from the Baltimore Sun's beautiful article on the sad occasion to the end of that post.) It's with a heavy heart that I report Rafi's passing last Thursday, ironically on my birthday.  Inna lillah wa innaa ilayhi rajioon.  To God we belong and to Him we … [Read more...]

The passing of Rafi Sharif

This post has been updated and moved here. … [Read more...]

Sufis vs. Shiahs in Iran

Police, Sufis clash in Iran     Sufi Muslim spirituality is tolerated under mainly Shia Iran's strict Islamic laws, although some senior religious figures occasionally call for a clampdown on its rites.Foreign plot    Abbas Mohtaj, the governor-general of Qom, accused the dervishes of being part of a foreign plot, but he did not explain this.[...]        The Sufis' mystical path to God through dance and music does not go down well with some of the most … [Read more...]

Wonderful online courses at SunniPath

The good folks at SunniPath have a bunch of exciting new online courses on Islam which will begin on February 25th. While I occasionally find myself in disagreement with them on some important matters (e.g., their view of Shiah Islam, their approach to gender issues), these are admittedly not simple questions and in any case I have nothing but praise for this innovative and important work.    They're offering a wide range of courses by traditionally trained scholars--some of whom are … [Read more...]

Islam & Science

Chanced upon a great website on Islamic thought.  I particularly appreciate its broad scope and holistic vision. Note:  The "Major Voices" index page (which lists thinkers in alphabetical order) does not work properly, but you can reach the same information via the "Through the Ages" page (which lists the same figures, but chronologically). Center for Islam & Science Home Page Center for Islam and Science (CIS) is dedicated to the promotion of research and … [Read more...]

Shabana on “Clothes, Class and Religion”

My better half just blogged insightfully about the intersection of money, class and gender among North American Muslims. Some excerpts:The most high-profile second-generation American Muslims of immigrant origin tend to be high-income, upwardly mobile, elitist. And very fashion-conscious.As a result, their notions of "modesty" are pricey ones. These notions are pretty specific. The clearance aisle at KMart does not cater to these notions of modesty. Heck, Marshall's doesn't. Sears … [Read more...]

Must Sufis be Muslims?

In the West, there are many who identify themselves as Sufi but not Muslim. Kabir Helminski questions whether Sufism can be disconnected from the Islamic faith and tradition in which it developed over the centuries in  "What is Truly Universal Spirituality". … [Read more...]