Faith is often upheld as a sombre exercise in ancestral piety only to be found in a quiet corner of a mosque but in reality, and as God intended, faith is life. It goes on in the clamour of the classroom, the interactions at the office, around an animated dinner table, in terse social media posts, and in bustling public spaces.
I want to demystify God and what He wants of us, and de-exoticise the practice of faith, whilst probing into the spirit of the law in a way that uncovers the profound meaning behind the things we do. This ought to inform the way we do faith and means instituting first principles that take a common sense approach to matters, remains faithful to what God has revealed, and inspires a tradition that’s lived.
I seek to draw on the resources, insights and values of the Abrahamic tradition (hanīfiyyah) to contribute to the welfare of society, facilitate progress, and improve the maturation of believers.
I want to promote an application of godliness that highlights its potential in addressing everyday concerns, showing how we integrate the sharī’ah seamlessly into our western lives. By raising the very big questions right under our noses that we take for granted, and recreating shar’ī values in our modern and western context, I hope to provide food for thought by empowering the modern western believer.
My approach might be summarised as follows:
– God centered
I explicitly infuse God into every discussion by raising the fundamental question as to what it is God wants of us in the respective scenario. With my starting point as revelation, I look for a holistic conception of what God wants rather than superficially relying on a couple of citations or the status-quo. I believe that what God wants is both rational and reasonable, it resonates with both the mind and the heart.
– First principles
I address every topic, no matter how complex, with an account from first-principles where I seek to show how it is consistent with the purpose of human existence and human life on earth, by going back to the very beginning and locating a consistent theme. It is by understanding the entire story behind what God wants that we can appropriately contextualise how to effectuate ahkam completely and faithfully so as to achieve the outcomes intended by God.
– A functional approach
I believe in a functional approach to the sharī’ah as I hold that everything God ordains for humans on earth has a functional purpose that extends beyond ceremonial value. As a result I engender a problem-solving attitude to issues which means I’m engaged in a perpetual exploration for meaning and optimum outcomes.
– Embracing our western-ness
I believe that there is much to be celebrated in being a British believer, where the sharī’ah converges with western culture and interacts with its norms. It is a point of belief that to God belongs both the east and the west, so the idea that Abrahamic monotheism should only be melded to eastern cultures is misguided. Whilst it might be understandable that those still trying to determine their sense of belonging have certain anxieties, for native westerners as well as those who embrace their western identity the false dichotomy between true subservience to God (islam) and being a westerner is both erroneous and unproductive. I hope to present clear and constructive conceptualisations of what it means to be culturally western in a way that is faithful to what God wants of us.