That time of year

The month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic (Hijri) calendar, is one of four months that, in addition to Ramadan, are explicitly identified as sacred months in the Qurʾan. This is probably an extension of a pre-Islamic Arabian tradition wherein certain months were set aside to be free from violence. The tenth day… Continue reading That time of year

More sectarian fun

At LobeLog, Georgetown’s Shireen Hunter took a deeper dive into the Saudi Grand Mufti’s declaration that Iranians are not Muslim. Of course, there’s no deep theology behind the mufti’s pronouncement; it’s simple anti-Shiʿa bigotry: This belief is neither new nor limited to the Saudis or the Wahhabis. However, as far as I can recall, no… Continue reading More sectarian fun

The Saudi-Iran feud gets more ridiculous

I hope you’ll forgive the light posting the past couple of days. I’m back at it, but “back at it” has meant writing for LobeLog instead of here. For example, as you know, the annual Hajj took place over the weekend. This year, contrary to most years, there weren’t any Iranians making the pilgrimage (at… Continue reading The Saudi-Iran feud gets more ridiculous

Could you be a bit more specific?

This is some D-minus evangelizing, folks: Last year, televangelist Jim Bakker prophesied that all sorts of bad things might happen on September 13 of that year, including typhoons, earthquakes, bombings, a financial collapse and/or an unspecified incident involving Pope Francis. Since none of those prophesies ended up coming true, Bakker has now started making much… Continue reading Could you be a bit more specific?

Islamic History, part 29b: Early Islamic Law (c. 700 – c. 850) — Shafiʿi and Ibn Hanbal

Islamic History Series Please start with part 29a Muhammad b. Idris al-Shafiʿi (d. ~820), who I just mentioned in the last entry, is the third legal theorist (founder of the Shafiʿi madhhab) you need to know something about. Born in Gaza in or around 767, his family moved to Mecca when he was still a… Continue reading Islamic History, part 29b: Early Islamic Law (c. 700 – c. 850) — Shafiʿi and Ibn Hanbal