Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
For those who are interested in such matters, my main website is islam from inside, this current site. My secondary site is irshaad.net, which is for now, a scratchpad, a storyboard, an online notebook, a place where I can jot down unpolished thoughts and explorations on a variety of subjects and interests. There the posts will be fairly short (which some readers will applaud) and cover a wider range of topics although my tendency is, no matter the topic, to view it from an Islamic perspective. This is not something I can help, it is simply reflective of paths taken and influences experienced. The first time I read the Qur’an (while still quite young), I felt a personal earthquake shake through my being - it was the verses in the last section of the Qur’an that I read first…and the words powerfully affected me, seized my mind and turned it in directions toward which I had never looked or looked at only distractedly, hazily - without deep interest. The recognition of and respect for the revelatory power of this book has been with me ever since.
Islam from inside reflects this influence in a more formal, intellectualized manner. irshaad.net is meant to be a more casual catalog of thoughts, influences, experiences, travelogues, and other miscellany - but religion in general, and Islam in particular, will likely enter into and shape most of what appears there or here. What I write will likely be as much directed towards attempting to understand and explore my own encounter with religion, as an exploration of religion in the wider world.
1 – Ongoing Changes – Regular visitors to the site will notice that islam from inside is being redesigned. The primary aim behind the layout redesign is improving the readability of the site especially when viewed on devices such as the iPad and iPhone. As much as possible the layout should just recede into the background and allow legible to text to come to the forefront. At the same time, the haloscan commenting system used for comments is being replaced by disqus. Why - because haloscan is shutting down and has warned that all comments will be deleted when it closes its doors. As there is no easy migration path from haloscan to disqus, the comments need to be manually shifted over to the new platform - the original date of the comment is lost in the transition and the current date is applied. So if you notice that many comments all have date/timestamps within minutes of each other, this is due to the transition. Hopefully, we won't have to repeat this shift in the future.↵
2 – About this Site – Anyone who reads the Qur'an is likely to be struck by the unique nature of its construction, its unusual and constantly shifting rhythms and the sudden transmutations and displacements in its subject matter. At first this ever changing literary terrain seems an obstacle to understanding, but the more time one spends with this book, the more organic, the more natural the flow of its words feel. It is almost like flying over an ever-changing landscape - rolling valleys punctuated by jagged rocks, forests and plains giving way to upthrust mountains, high plateaus broken by deep lakes, deserts sprinkled with oasis' and cleft by canyons. Despite the variety of the forms, despite the startling contrast of adjacent features, a complex organic beauty underlies and unites all the various elements. The reflections on this site emerged from numerous brief scattered notes made while reading the Qur'an (along with numerous commentaries and the works of various scholars whose profound analyses strongly affected my views) and reflecting on its content. As well, many, many years of participation in a hallakha, a Qur'anic study circle, have led to many the articles presented here, articles originally researched for presentation at that forum. ↵