Category Archives: Thematic

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The Golden Rule: An Islamic-Dialogic Perspective (2012)

Category : Thematic , Values

By Sohaib Saeed

Anyone with an interest in the philosophy of ethics, or in the common ground between different faiths and cultures, is very likely to be familiar with a dictum known as the “Golden Rule”. Worded in various ways, its straightforward message is to treat other people as you would like to be treated; or to refrain from treating them in a way that you would dislike to be treated. In this article, I shall explore the concept as it is expressed within the Islamic tradition, and then outline how the Golden Rule can be applied to great benefit in the broader context of interfaith understanding and dialogue. Before tackling these two subjects, however, the concept and its significance deserve some introductory exploration.

“Whoever shows no mercy is not shown mercy.” Artwork on display at Fanar Center, Doha


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Brotherhood in the Qur’an | الأخوة في القرآن الكريم

Category : Thematic

الأخوة في القرآن الكريم : مفاهيم وموجبات
صهيب سعيد الأزهري

The above paper in Arabic is an extended study of the theme first explored in my English article, Brotherhood in Faith and Humanity. It was originally an assignment for my final-year class on Thematic Tafsir at Al-Azhar University.


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Eating Tayyib

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Category : Reflections , Thematic

By Sohaib Saeed
Originally published by 1st Ethical

O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful (ḥalāl) and wholesome (ṭayyib) and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy. (Qur’an 2:168)

And eat of what God has provided for you, lawful and wholesome. And fear God, in Whom you are believers. (Q 5:88)

Then eat of what God has provided for you, lawful and wholesome. And be grateful for the favour of God, if you do worship Him. (16:114)

After quoting these verses from the Qur’an, which – along with similar verses – call upon human beings and believers to eat what is lawful and wholesome, I am moved to share the following reflections:

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Brotherhood in Faith and Humanity (A Quranic Study)

Category : Thematic

By Sohaib Saeed

The significance of a concept in the Islamic worldview can be grasped by surveying its occurrence in the Qur’an, the peak of divine revelation and the fount of knowledge and guidance. One aspect of such study is to follow the appearance of a certain word in its various contexts, extracting lessons and drawing conclusions.

The concept of brotherhood (and sisterhood) is increasingly discussed in our times as a foundation for human equality, reconciliation and cooperation. Words pertaining to brotherhood (i.e. derivatives of the Arabic root ʾ–kh–w / أ–خ–و) occur in the Qur’an in almost one hundred places. This study looks at these occurrences, beginning with those in their literal meanings, and then outlining the various metaphorical senses in which brotherhood is mentioned. Then there is a specific focus on Islamic brotherhood in faith and the broader concept of brotherhood in humanity, with reference to Islamic scripture and the opinions of Muslim scholars.

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Islam: What’s in a Name? (A Quranic Study)

Category : Thematic

By Sohaib Saeed

It is a common practice of Muslim scholars writing on some field of knowledge to define its basic terms; when it comes to Arabic words, this involves looking at their root meanings as well as their usage. This practice is certainly useful when seeking to understand Islam as a faith and way of life, as there are many things to learn from the very fact that it is so named. Generally speaking, when naming something new, or a new addition to the family, we choose a name that reflects the appropriate and desired meanings.

In this article, we shall explore five significant features of the name Islam, making special reference to how the Qur’an speaks of Islam and being Muslim. We shall note that the word reflects the concept of peace, that it is a name used right from the start, that it was specially chosen by the Creator, that it reflects an action and way of life, and that it has a universal meaning and appeal.

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