Author: Bilal Cleland

The effect of fasting upon social consciousness

Without doubt the prescription of fasting has a profound purpose.  “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may acquire Taqwa.” (Quran 2:183) “The term taqwa refers to the state of the heart which reflects the Divine attributes, and as such is ‘protected’ from evil (= the negation of the Divine attributes). ..Taqwa is in fact “a relationship based on awareness of Allah that leads to the sense of awe and awareness of His presence.”   [https://amuslimdownunder.wordpress.com/2016/02/07/] Such awareness of the presence of Allah is part of awareness...

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Real Australian values and the dog-whistle

The lack of political commitment to an inclusive democracy has been brought into the limelight once again.  Stimulated by the fear that the One Nation Party will garner votes in the forthcoming Queensland state election, the dog-whistle has been brought out.  Instead of demolishing racism and religious bigotry, the Turnbull government, following the previous example of John Howard, has opted for compromise on basic principles. As the ABC summed it up “The new measures would see migrants face a tougher citizenship test which will assess their commitment to Australia and their attitudes to religious freedom and gender equality.” Michelle...

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Unity and diversity within Islam

The Islamic articles of Belief and the Pillars of Islam are firmly based in the Quran and form the core of the faith. However the great depth of its message, analysed by scholars over the centuries, remains fresh for each generation.   The scholar of the modern period, Said Nursi in the 25th Word of Risale-i-Nur, which deals with the miraculous character of the Quran, describes it  as  ”a revealed scripture which contains in summary the books of all the prophets, whose times were all different, the writings of all the saints, whose paths are all different, and the...

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No compassion in Nazi and racist philosophies

The spread of anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim propaganda and the establishment of a myriad of anti-halal, Islamophobic organisations in Australia, as well as in the USA and Europe, give justifiable cause for concern to Muslims and all defenders of inclusive democracies.  What is quite startling is that some of these self-proclaimed “Patriot” groups have individuals wearing swastikas in their public demonstrations and make strong supporting noises in favour of white supremacy. On 15 February we commemorated the Fall of Singapore to the Japanese invaders, when they were part of the Axis Powers attempt to assert world domination. Thousands of our...

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Rising above the tide of Islamophobia

The attack upon the character and life of Muhammad (s) is part of an attempt to delegitimise the message and the civilization it established.  Included in this is ‘perhaps the most invidious insult…that he (Muhammad (s)) overcame his foes with terror only to rule them with cruelty.’  A paper from the Yaqeen Institute “How the Prophet Muhammad Rose above Enmity and Insult,” remarks “how Islamophobia, and its associated fear mongering are truly blessings in disguise.” Blessings, because they are forcing us to investigate our Prophet and “to rediscover his character anew.” The 70 incidents in this paper, in which...

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