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Mohamed Ghilan

Commentary on religion, philosophy, science, society and culture, and the like.
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May 7, 2018

Fasting is a practice that according to the Quran has been prescribed upon Muslims as it has been prescribed upon those who have come before. At the external superficial level, it's described as the abstaining from eating, drinking, and having intimate sexual relations from the break of dawn until sunset. However, there is much more to this practice that one must be mindful off lest they risk being included in the Hadith stating that many who fast get nothing from it other than hunger and thirst.

This 5-part series explores the inner dimensions of fasting through covering two texts from Imam Abu Hāmid al-Ghazaālī's magnum opus "Ihya' Uloom ad'Deen" (Revivification of the Religious Sciences". The first text covered was "The Book of Breaking the Two Desires", and the second was "The Book of the Secrets of Fasting". 

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

 

Apr 22, 2018

What passes off as "rational" today is nothing more than a cognitive exercise in the pursuit of rationalizing the fulfillment of whims and desires. Given the dominance of various -isms present in a variety of social movements, it is important to question their merit and to what degree can we be justified in participating in them.

The article mentioned in this episode:

Blind Faith in Intellectual Circles 

https://almadinainstitute.org/blog/blind-faith-in-intellectual-circles/

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

 

Apr 15, 2018

The recent controversy surrounding Imam Zaid Shakir's khutba on feminism speaks to the rise of an increasingly aggressive feminist movement in the Muslim community. In this informal episode, I offer some thoughts on this matter and address my recent change in social media engagement.

Articles mentioned in this episode:

Feminism and Use of the Secular to Save Tradition http://andalusonline.org/2018/03/30/feminism-and-use-of-the-secular-to-save-tradition/

Masculine, Feminine, and a Cycle of Oppression http://almadinainstitute.org/blog/masculine-feminine-and-a-cycle-of-oppression/

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

 

Feb 18, 2018

What does it mean to be a Muslim feminist? How does feminism align with Islamic theology? And what does toxic masculinity come? As these questions continue to be discussed by various figures, including Muslims, the cosmological and theological perspectives are often omitted from the conversation.

In this episode is a reading of and commentary on an article I recently published in ImanWire where I tackle these issues using Islamic theology and cosmology as the springboard to evaluate how they're being discussed in the prevailing modern paradigm of philosophical naturalism and postmodernism.

Masculine, Feminine, and a Cycle of Oppression http://almadinainstitute.org/blog/masculine-feminine-and-a-cycle-of-oppression/

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

 

Feb 4, 2018

Free speech is an often-invoked principle to justify vitriolic and hateful rhetoric against racial and religious groups. However, the philosophical argument for free speech does not necessarily support the form in which the principle of free speech is being invoked in these cases. Furthermore, current research suggests that the issue here is not about the principle of free speech as much as it about the ability to express biased attitudes without having to face consequences.

Topics addressed in this episode include the nature of free speech, why it must be defended in terms of the function it is intended to serve in civil society, and how the principle of free speech is deployed by racists who are defending other racists.

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

Articles cited in this episode:

Freedom of Speech (Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy) https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/freedom-speech/

Freedome of Racist Speech: Ego and Expressive Threats http://psycnet.apa.org.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/fulltext/2017-17075-001.html

Research shows prejudice, not principle, often underpins 'free-speech defense' of racist language https://news.ku.edu/2017/05/01/research-shows-prejudice-not-principle-often-underpins-free-speech-defense-racist

 

Jan 29, 2018

In this wide-ranging "Listener Interactions" episode, I cover a wide range of subjects, including questions about education, career choices, marriage, Muslims doing yoga, and reconciling God's attributes as the Merciful and the Just with eternal damnation in Hell for disbelievers.

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

Dec 11, 2017

What is Jerusalem worth? What kind of attachment does being a Muslim entail to the Holy Land?

The recent announcement from U.S. President Donald Trump that recognizes Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel has created massive outcries and lamentations over the grim prospects for peace. However, from a spiritual and Quranic standpoint, much good has come out from this announcement. We just need to have the right perspective to see it.

Topics discussed in this episode include the status of Jerusalem in Islam and the attitude a Muslim should adopt with regards to their relationship to the Holy Land.

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

Dec 4, 2017

Very few subjects are as polarizing for Muslims as the relationship between scholars and dictators. Many scholars are often discredited as "hypocrites" and "scholars of the sultan" when they praise rulers. However, the human element and context are lacking in this discussion.

Topics addressed in this episode include the expectations average Muslims have of scholars in their interactions with rulers and the reality of relationships, including the consequences of disobedience as exemplified by historical and contemporary figures.

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

Nov 27, 2017

What is the point of what you do? Whether it's educational, career, or business pursuits, life is filled with transitions that end with the ultimate transition from this stage of our existence to the next. As we pass from this world we take nothing with us, and when we meet the angels in the grave we get hit with the reality that none of our titles, accolades, and material wealth meant nothing in and of themselves. Arriving at this realization before our death can trigger an existential crisis. This is not a matter of addressing our specific purpose, but a matter of answering the larger question of life's purpose.

Topics addressed in this episode include the conception of Islam as a state of being as opposed to a religion, what makes humans different from animals, and the Quranic conception of how knowledge of God is attained.

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

Nov 19, 2017

The body is a sacred trust from God and similar to other material possessions we have under our care in this world we will be asked about how we took care of it. How we physically look is a manifestation of how we treat our bodies, and how we treat our bodies manifests in our mindset and how we conduct our lives. All this has a direct impact on our spiritual development.

Topics addressed in this episode include the relationship between the impact of stress on the brain and physical exertion, the importance of exercise and eating habits, and life lessons learned in the gym.

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

Oct 15, 2017

The relationship dynamic between the teacher and student, the religious leadership and community, between parents and their children, or even between spouses can fall into spiritually toxic patterns. The challenge is in knowing when spirituality becomes a weapon of abuse as opposed to a path to connecting with God.

Topics addressed in this episode include the nature of abuse, how spiritual abuse can be identified, what are the parameters of a spiritually healthy vs a spiritually abusive leadership, and how to know when a teacher is not helping you establish your relationship with the Divine.

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

Oct 8, 2017

On September 15th, 2017 I was invited by the Muslim Student Association at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia to participate in a discussion panel the Peter Slezak, a philosopher of science. The general theme was the question "If God Exists, Where is He?" We spoke for close to 3 hours on a number of topics under this wide umbrella, which included what is God, what is science, the nature of belief, the nature of morality, rationalism vs. empiricism, the problem of evil, and ethics. 

This episode is the audio recording of the evening.

The video of the event can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhNdIIJ5o0w

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

Oct 2, 2017

The derivation and application of Islamic law rely primarily on a number of juristic principles that attempt to reflect what is understood to be divine will. That is why the Arabic term to describe it, Sharia, literally means "a way to the source". Though some might find it arbitrary and unyielding in some aspects, there is a logic to the Sharia that can only be ascertained most clearly if one is familiar with the Quran and Sunnah, and confirmed through familiarity with research exploring the various aspects of the human experience.

Topics addressed in this episode include the legal principle of closing off the means, modern perception of religion and Islamic law, and research in psychology on delayed gratification and willpower. 

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

Aug 27, 2017

Eid al-Ad'ha is a blessed and significant time in the Muslim calendar in which the great sacrifice of our father Abraham peace be upon him and his son is commemorated. It also presents an opportunity to clarify the epistemological difference between Muslim and non-Muslim vegans. The choice to give up the consumption of meat and other animal products for a Muslim is not based on the same foundation as a non-Muslim, and Eid al-Ad'ha is a time to practically show how that is.

Topics addressed in this episode include the ruling on sacrificing an animal on Eid, how the Companions of the Beloved ﷺ approached this question and why a number of them stopped sacrificing animals on Eid al-Ad'ha, and the evolution of moral judgment on eating meat.

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

Aug 20, 2017

I receive many questions and comments through Andalus Online and Facebook, and in this second round of Listener Interactions, I delve into some of them.

Topics addressed in this episode include the difference in opinion on the identity of who Ibrahim peace be upon him was instructed to sacrifice (Isaac or Ismail), how I get the most out of what I read and remember key points and data, studying Islam, philosophy, and medicine at the same time, what to do about shaken foundations of belief, is it allowed for men to express an opinion about the hijab?, and how can a convert to Islam deal with an Islamophobic family?

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

Aug 14, 2017

Modern culture can be characterized as one that elevates feeling over fact and equivocates between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome. Islamic cosmology and the Quran teach that the male and the female are equal, yet different opposing parts of a whole. Their relationship is that of complementarity as opposed to sameness.

Despite the indefatigable efforts to attribute all differences between men and women to social roles imposed by culture and upbringing, studies in the fields of anatomy, neuroscience, psychology, and social psychology have established that nature plays an important role in producing differences that make men and women as collective group significantly different from each other in some key areas. Though a spectrum may exist in some of their traits, men and women are each distinct from one another and these differences give rise to differences in disease, behaviour, and what they consider as priorities in life.

Topics addressed in this episode include the cosmological role and status of women in Revelation and Prophethood, impact of sex hormones on brain development, emergence of sex differences between boys and girls, differences in personality traits between men and women, and how these underlie the gender pay gap.

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

Aug 6, 2017

Where is political authority to be grounded - in claims of revelation, or in claims of human reason? The relationship and tension between religion and politics was called by the German-American philosopher Leo Strauss the "theologico-political" problem. Advocates of secularization theory, such as Karl Marx, Max Weber, and others saw the rise of religious diversity and attacks against religious belief, coupled with the fall political authority that drew on claims of divine appointment as conditions that would ultimately lead to the disappearance or at the very least the privatization of religion. However, their prediction has not come to fruition. Moreover, the context in which secularization arose in Western Europe is a specific one that has given rise to falsely generalized assumptions about the relationship between religion and politics, many of which do not apply in the Islamic context.

Topics addressed in this episode include the Islamic conception of what religion is, the role religion plays in politics, whether secularism is compatible with Islam, and brief remarks about the development of political thought in the Islamic tradition.

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

Jul 30, 2017

The relationship between Islam and Science, and the topic of Evolutionary Theory are among the chief concerns many young Muslims find themselves having to deal with. In addition, many Muslims undertake graduate level degree programs in Islamic Studies departments in Western universities, but they hardly have spent time in traditional study of the religion, and most haven't undertaken courses on epistemology. It is therefore not surprising in this climate of intellectual chaos to find an increasing number of Muslims express doubts about Islam.

Topics addressed in this episode include brief remarks on the nature of Islamic Studies in the West, Science and Evolution, and the role that doubt has in establishing faith.

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

Jul 23, 2017

 

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is reported to have said, "Every newborn is born upon the Fitra, then their parents will turn them into a Jew, a Christian, or a Magian."

Topics addressed in this episode include the questions: What is the Fitra, and how does it relate to instinct and to human nature? Is morality innate or acquired? What constitutes a universal human trait? And are we born with the capacity to reason or do we acquire this from our parents and through education?

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

Jul 16, 2017

What makes something true and a belief about a proposition a valid one? The philosophical literature is rich with discussions and theories about the nature of Truth, much of which may appear to be more of an exercise in intellectual musings. However, there is a real personal impact one will experience when they have to decide between competing claims to truth.

Topics discussed in this episode include the difference between correspondence and coherence theories of truth, and how they apply in terms of Islamic reform and the relationship between science and religion.

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

Jul 9, 2017

The idea of being religious often conjures up to the mind the image of one being divorced from the material world to engage in ritual practice with the purpose of attaining nearness to God. However, from an Islamic point of view this is an extremely narrow understanding that limits the scope of what Islam is meant to encompass as a way of life. While devotion to ritual practice is highly encourage and praised, it certainly is not the only way to get close to God. Indeed, Muslim scholars have considered that the ritualistic night vigil for a student or a scholar is to study and write. From this the division of transitive and non-transitive acts of worship was developed, where in which the merit of the action is evaluated based on whether its benefit is restricted to the person performing it or more widespread to benefit the whole community.

The topic addressed in this episode is on the question of religiosity in Islam, which encompasses much more than simply holding prayers and fasting.

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

May 14, 2017

Website http://www.andalusonline.org

JOIN Andalus Book Club http://www.andalusonline.org/andalus-book-club

Become a Supporter through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MohamedGhilan

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/drmohamedghilan

Twitter https://twitter.com/MohamedGhilan

iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/mohamed-ghilan/id1093009815

Understanding The History Behind Communities’ Vaccine Fears, NPR, May 3

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/05/03/526595475/understanding-the-history-behind-communities-vaccine-fears

Vaccine hesitancy, vaccine refusal and the anti vaccine movement: influence, impact and implications, Expert Review of Vaccines 2015

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25373435

Values and vacciens: Parents who reject vaccination are making a rational choice – they prefer to put their children above the public good

https://aeon.co/essays/anti-vaccination-might-be-rational-but-is-it-reasonable

 

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