“If you want the mirror to reflect the face,
hold it straight and keep it polished bright;
although the sun does not begrudge its light,
when seen in a mist it only looks like glass;
and creatures comelier than angels even
seem in a dagger to have devils’ faces.
Your dagger will never tell you true from false;
it will never serve you as a mirror.”

Hakim Sanai, 12th Century Persian poet and one of Jalaludin Rumi’s inspirations.
Translation by David Pendlebury, ‘The Walled Garden of Truth’.

Reflection of the soul by Astridle on Deviantart

Mullah Nasruddin was in a contemplative mood, drinking coffee with his friends. They found themselves pondering death and the legacy they would leave behind.
“When you are lying wrapped in your shroud, with your friends and family mourning you, what would you like to hear them say about you?” asked a friend.
“I would like to hear them say that I was a great healer who saved hundreds of lives,” said the local hakeem.
The barber stroked his ample beard and said, “I would like to hear that I was a great father to my children and raised a fine brood who will bring honour to our tribe for generations to come.”
The Mullah smiled at their words. “Well, what I’d really like to hear them say is ‘Look! He’s MOVING!!!” he exclaimed.


Have you ever woken from a half-remembered dream, feeling like you’ve returned from a journey of a thousand leagues or more? I’ve  just discovered the quirky, dark and playful landscapes of Jacek Yerka.  Got to love his dreamlands, even if they make your head spin a little.

Jacek_Yerka_Erosion (more…)

Salams and Juma’ Mubarak,

I could say a lot about this video – that I’ve been waiting for someone like him to say something like this for longer than I care to recall. That it’s an overdue wake-up call to the Ummah, especially those of us in the West…but I’ll let the Shaykh do the talking.

The video is only 13 minutes long and it starts with an appeal on behalf of a destitute woman. Shaykh Habib Ali al Jifri then reacts to what he hears, and tells it like it is.

“To the men, especially those who are religious – before looking right and left, look at yourself. How do you view women? Your night prayers, your daily fasts, your memorization of scripture, your charity, your pilgrimage, your knowledge and your teaching, your struggles for the sake of God – everything you do – won’t get you to a point where you are something before God if you don’t let all of that pass through the gateway of benevolence to women.”

May Allah grant us the tawfeeq to stop talking and walk the walk. May we establish justice within our communities before we are held to account for it on the Day of Judgement. Ameen.



A gallery of photos by one of my favourite photographers, on the theme of one of my favourite things. Enjoy.

Originally posted on Steve McCurry's Blog:

To read is to fly:
it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view
over  wide terrains of history,

human variety, ideas, shared experience and the
fruits of many inquiries.

– A. C. Grayling

Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991

Books are the plane, and the train, and the road.
They are the destination, and the journey.
They are home.
– Anna Quindlen



Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something,
learned something, become a better person.
Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on…
Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.
– Nora Ephron


Everywhere I go in the world, I see young and old, rich and poor, reading books.  

Whether readers are engaged in the sacred or the secular, they are, for a time,
transported to  another…

View original 358 more words

I thought I’d start a collection of  ‘Unexpected Muslims’ – living or late, converts or born into the faith, whose lives challenge our preconceptions of what a Muslim ought to be. The collection will include people who’ve done something unexpected, unusual or outright eccentric with their lives – like deciding to become Muslim in 19th century England.

Our first unexpected muslim is Henry the brother baron, born in 1827. Or to give him his full title, Henry Edward John Stanley, 3rd Baron Stanley of Alderley and 2nd Baron Eddisbury (11 July 1827 – 10 December 1903). He may have adopted the name Abdur Rahman.

Edward John Stanley senior

Couldn’t find a photo, sorry, so here’s his dad instead – Edward John Stanley.

Henry could have lived an unremarkable life as just another member of the Victorian British aristocracy. Instead in 1862, aged 35, he converted to Islam. Incidentally, his sister was the mother of Bertrand Russell, the Nobel prize-winning philosopher and agnostic anti-war activist.

I spotted the ‘Dine @ Mine’ project and had to share. It’s an excellent initiative that’s reviving the sunnah of our beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, to sit down and break bread, khubz or roti with your neighbours.

You can offer to host an iftar and the organisers will put you in touch with a brave local volunteer, willing to sample your cuisine. It’s part of the Ramadan Festival ( ‘fastival’?) and has proven to be so popular that they’re extending the week to all of Ramadan. The idea is also starting to go international, with families in South Africa, India and the US joining in.

Main page here: http://www.ramadanfestival.org/?p=505
See also Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DineAtMineWeek


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