12. Early Madina – an End to Nihilism

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم وصلى الله على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين وسلّم

Title: Early Madina – an End to Nihilism

Author: Abdassamad Clarke

Publication date: 23rd November 2013

Assalamu alaykum. Welcome to the Muslim History Programme of the MFAS. This is the last of 12 sessions which make up the Early Madina module. The lecture will last approximately 40 minutes during which time you should make a written note of any questions that may occur to you for clarification after the lecture. 

12. Early Madina – An End to Nihilism

History is not inevitable

Because we look backwards at it, history is the most inevitable thing we can imagine. It has already happened. It was decreed thus. Could anything be more inevitable than that? Yet, when it is happening, nothing is guaranteed. 

History is not the movement of inevitable and inexorable forces and the sweep of epochs of time that succeed one another, but is the result of people who were very aware that their decisions mattered and that the outcome was by no means assured.

There are very many instances in which you see that the actions of individuals carried the day or brought about defeat when neither was guaranteed. Just as the hero snatches victory from the jaws of defeat many are they who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

So when in our lecture courses we spoke about issues such as modernity, which is dated from around 1500, and its concomitant terms such as science, technique, technology, and nihilism, none of these are unstoppable forces working towards sure conclusions. Rather they are the results of individuals and their decisions and choices, sometimes in the face of what seems to be destiny and decree.

The Renaissance

As an example of an epoch we take the Renaissance, which is usually taken as a natural occurrence almost like spring or winter followed closely by the Reformation, the Enlightenment and then us. As shown by Strathern1, much of the Renaissance is the result of the guilty conscience of one christian usurer, Cosimo de Medici2 who, troubled by his livelihood, which he knew is a mortal sin according to christian theology, made the fateful decision not to give it up and restore his ill-gotten gains but to try and salve his conscience by giving away some of the proceeds in largesse and philanthropy to men like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo and to further projects such as the translation of Plato and the philosophers into mediaeval Italian. His descendants were to go even further.

Later, Pope Leo X3, born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, untroubled by many of the scruples that were so bothersome to Cosimo, saw the papacy as a money-making machine and instituted the industrial scale production of indulgences that so incensed Martin Luther. Thus, we have a Medici to thank, along with Luther and Calvin, for the Reformation and for the split it introduced in Europe. That was only resolved, and partially at that, with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1645, regarded by historians as the birth of the ‘state’. 

An even later Medici, Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany4, would be the patron of Galileo, who is arguably the progenitor of the modern science whose elaboration would lead to the Enlightenment that gives us the modern world we inhabit. 

In other words, and with due reservations about overstating the contributions of individuals, a number of dynamic and ambitious men from one particular family had an overwhelming impact on the creation of the modern world and I have not even mentioned their work in bringing banking from the underside of society to the fore and making it an unquestioned pillar of modern life rather than a mortal sin whose perpetrator could be refused the Last Rites and christian burial.

Thus, we approach our topic nihilism not regarding it merely as a motive force in itself that mysteriously works its wicked way in history.


However, let us set the scene, and here it would be easy to step backwards as it were, and think that we are dealing with vast impersonal forces. Be careful. Heidegger writes:

Nietzsche himself interprets the course of Western history metaphysically, and indeed as the rise and development of nihilism.5

He goes on:

[Nihilism] is the name for a historical movement, recognized by Nietzsche, already ruling throughout preceding centuries, and now determining this century. Nietzsche sums up his interpretation of it in the brief statement : "God is dead."6

And later:

Nihilism is a historical movement, and not just any view or doctrine advocated by someone or other. Nihilism moves history after the manner of a fundamental ongoing event that is scarcely recognized in the destining of the Western peoples. Hence nihilism is also not simply one historical phenomenon among others not simply one intellectual current that, along with others, with Christendom, with humanism, and with the Enlightenment also comes to the fore within Western history.

Nihilism, thought in its essence, is, rather, the fundamental movement of the history of the West. It shows such great profundity that its unfolding can have nothing but world catastrophes as its consequence. Nihilism is the world-historical movement of the peoples of the earth who have been drawn into the power realm of the modern age. Hence it is not only a phenomenon of the present age, nor is it primarily the product of the nineteenth century, in which to be sure a perspicacious eye for nihilism awoke and the name also became current. No more is nihilism the exclusive product of particular nations whose thinkers and writers speak expressly of it. Those who fancy themselves free of nihilism perhaps push forward its development most fundamentally.7

Location without order

Let us examine this term further in the light of Carl Schmitt’s penetrating insight that it is the separation of order and location.8 A location without order is apparently a fairly obvious sort of nihilism. It is the world as it appears increasingly to us today. It appears to be sinking rapidly into chaos. That appearance, however, is not what it seems. Rather the chaos is the deliberate result of an ideal stemming from an idea. The idea in question is a part of scientific atheism and is called the science of emergence. 

Understandably, scientists had been uncomfortable with the anthropomorphic christian god but tried to replace him with explanations of how the universe itself did all those things that were ordinarily ascribed to god. Things were not created; they emerged. Thus, when extended into the zone we are looking at now the theory assumed that existing political, religious and economic order were artificial and that when removed then democratic, secular banking orders would ‘emerge’ naturally since they are assumed to be natural. Unfaithful to their thesis but true to the reality of history, they proceeded to make absolutely sure that what they wanted to emerge did so. Thus, world chaos today has been created deliberately because out of it will come the new order that they believe in, and yet they dare not wait for it to come of its own but are striving very dedicatedly to that end. Thus an idea, ‘emergence’, an order without location, became the cause of a very real nihilism that threatens to consume the planet, or, worse, reduce it to precisely the outcome sought: a passive global consumer society that goes through the rituals of electing officials to meaningless political roles in the world state while financiers and technocrats make decisions that really matter. An order without location is producing a location without order.

The picture is more complex than we had thought and is not about an abstract force at work but very specific and dedicated men and women who work hard day and night to attain their goals.

An order without location

Thus we have already met ‘order without location’, they key form of which is the idea and the ideal. The idea and the ideal are an order. They are opposite to the real. Idealism is opposite to realism. But Allah is the Real. He is the Haqq. The ideal is necessarily unachievable. The result is disillusionment for the idealist. Burn-out for the ideologue. The inevitable result of the idea and the ideal is nihilism and this is what Nietzsche recognised, the sickness at the heart of the judaeo-christian order and the Socratic tradition. 

In Christianity, because of the failure to understand ‘Īsā e within the context of the Children of Israel, his life was considered a kind of ideal – do not work, do not marry or have sexual relations – which was considered impossible. Thus hermitism, monasticism and celibacy were its norm and marriage and life in the world a concession to human nature. It was further complicated by the deification of ‘Īsā which also provided a let-out clause. Of course the ideal is unattainable. Only a god can do it. 

Judaism is burn-out, the cynicism when the idealism fails as it had done before christianity.

Socratic thought arises from the Greeks’ despair at the turning about of history and thus tries to posit the ideal society, which is of course unattainable and sometimes for that we are grateful.

Idealism leads in a direct line to the monstrous spectacle of a woman, Madeleine Albright saying that the death of a half million children in Iraq due to sanctions and other matters was ‘worth it’9. From her perspective, she was fighting for an idea and an ideal – democracy for benighted, autocrat-ridden, middle easterners. We must constantly remind ourselves, however, that, as with Cosimo de’ Medici, there is always a sub-text. In his case it was banking and in Madeleine Albright’s case it is the same story: the extension of a banking driven society throughout the world.

The Revelation

Now although the revelation itself is not an ‘idea’ it is order. Yet, without a location and through misunderstanding it, it can become an idea and an ideal; Muslims can potentially make it a nihilistic factor. 

Once the Divine order is separated from location, as with the fall of the Osmanlı and the Mughal dawlahs and other polities, the potential for nihilism is also there in Islam. This is important to understand because the overwhelming image in the media and the popular imagination, and again this is not necessarily accidental, is of Islam as nihilistic.

Madīnah – Order and Location

So to return to the root and our affirmation in the title that the study of Early Madīnah is an end to nihilism, let us examine Islam’s beginning. The Companions dated the beginning of Islam from the Hijrah. The divinely revealed order found its location in Madīnah. Madīnah is thus the foundation of a non-nihilistic society in this age. From it many more non-nihilistic societies have been founded East and West. It is therefore of crucial importance for the people of our age. It is non-nihilistic because it is not based on ideas and ideals as in judaeo-christian society and post-Socratic philosophy. Revelation is not an idea. Moreover, the one who received the revelation a translated it into practice and his people took it from him in practice and transmitted it the same way, not as ideas or ideals. That is called Sunnah. And in the school of Madīnah it is called ‘amal – practice.

The Location 

The nihilism that Muslims are seen to contribute to the world today is because Islam has no location. What location is the correct one for Islam? Is it the Muslim world? Is it an Islamic state? No, it is the world itself in its entirety. Islam is revealed to the last Prophet a who was sent for all mankind until the end of time. Therefore, the ‘Muslim world’ was only a temporary affair; Islam is revealed for the world. All the world is his a ummah.10

But while this is vital to grasp, and few things have more undermined the dīn in our time than the fallacious notion of a ‘Muslim world’, nevertheless something more definite is needed while retaining this universal perspective. The world itself comprises all locations and thus cannot itself serve usefully as a definite location. Thus, we must have recourse to the sīrah itself and this is what brings us to Madīnah.

Modern Muslims have grappled with the nature of the location in which Islam must be restored. Affected by European ideas of the nation state, even if they translated that into terms such as the world ummah and the khilāfah, modernists called for an Islamic state failing to recognise that they had merely imported a specific formulation of the state that had evolved in Europe for very specific historical reasons. Since the dīn is pragmatic and not idealistic, failure itself ought instantly to be recognised and parameters adjusted rather than, as with the Muslim Brotherhood, persisting in a self-evidently failed process and repeating again and again a pattern of defeat, imprisonment, torture, exile and execution.

لَا يُلْدَغُ المُؤْمِنُ مِنْ جُحْرٍ وَاحِدٍ مَرَّتَيْنِ.

٪ (حم خ م د ه عن أبي هريرة) (عق عن جابر) (ط ه حم طب) (والحكيم عن ابن عمر) (طب عن كثير بن عبد الله عن أبيه عن جده).

Abū Hurayrah, Jābir and Ibn ‘Umar l narrated that the Prophet a said, “The believer is not stung from one burrow twice.” (Al-Bukhārī, Muslim and others)

With the collapse of the Osmanlı and the Mughal and other polities, in essence we are in the position of starting again. Thus, studying the sīrah carefully and taking careful consideration of the consensus of the Companions that Islam itself began with the Hijrah, one would necessarily conclude that to start again, one should start with a city and preferably a small city. Madīnah had around 12,000 inhabitants. Now we have reservations with equating our situation too loosely with the sīrah in the way that people do, talking of Makkan and Madinan situations, for example. Nevertheless, we must find some pointers and we must draw lessons from the failures of the attempts to found ‘Islamic states’.

Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi 

The 60s and early 70s

It is appropriate at this point to examine to the work of Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi who has consistently stressed the importance of Madīnah. For that, it is important to understand the context within which Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi worked when he accepted Islam, which was probably at the historical low point of Islam in the modern era. In the Muslim countries, it has been estimated that as few as 10% practised the dīn in any recognisable fashion. The Arab world had been swept by Arab nationalism, which had no connection to the dīn whatsoever and which threw up secularists such as Nasser and the Ba’ath parties of Iraq and Syria and their autocrats such as Hafez Assad and Saddam Hussein. The Muslim Brotherhood were engaged in the cycle of recovering from suppression and political exile and struggling to be accepted as a democratic political party after their suppression under Nasser. 

British Muslims were largely from the Indian sub-continent and considered themselves in exile in the UK and gathering what they needed to return home. Nevertheless while here, they were riven by the seemingly interminable Deobandi-Barelvi controversy. This controversy satisfies our requirements for a nihilistic process since it is the conflict of two almost abstract scholarly positions without effective locations beyond their respective madrasahs. The separation of order and location.

The most dynamic movement was the Tablighi Jama’at, a subgroup of Deoband, which, however, refused to have anything to do with establishing the dīn in the UK beyond dragooning Pakistani Muslims back into the mosques. They rejected the offer made by Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi to work together to call British people to Islam saying that that could not be done until the existing Muslims were practising the dīn fully. In spite of all of the above, British people were accepting Islam and had been doing so for some time, but largely to remain isolated individuals and families whose children often regarded them as eccentric and thus did not continue in the dīn.

The other movements of significance of the time, the Ṣūfīs and the Wahhabis, presented very different aspects from today. Sufism, at least in the popular apprehension of it, was limited to folkloric manifestations of intense dhikr, singing and dancing, which its dialectical opposite the Wahhabis, denounced as bid‘ah with a threatening sub-text of accusation that they were engaged in shirk. Again a nihilistic process. Two quite different orderings of the dīn both without significant location. One might argue that Wahhabism does indeed have a location since it can claim the polity of Saudi Arabia and to a lesser extent of other Gulf Arab states. Nevertheless, it is clear from these states, that Wahhabism rules in a kind of token way in mosques and other negligible matters whereas elsewhere corporations decide everything of any significance. Wahhabism fills our criteria for an order without location and is thus a classic nihilist phenomenon.

The picture was altered significantly in 1973 by the second Arab-Israeli war and the subsequent OPEC oil price rises which had a huge impact on the public perception of Arabs and, consequently, Islam.

Then in 1979, there was the revolution in Iran that was widely touted as an ‘Islamic Revolution’. This is a complex story with many dimensions to it including oil and US geopolitical strategy. That the revolution owed more to the French Revolution and Fanon than to the Sunnah is clear. But as relates to our study here and the image of Islam in the West, which is the backdrop of our story, it presented an image of Islam as a religion with a priestly hierarchy and, because of the shi‘ah relationship to taqiyah, an intrinsically duplicitous character. The damage was even worse than simply that done to the image of the dīn, because there is little doubt that significant elements of shi’ism had already been absorbed into the quotidian reality of Muslims and the Revolution accelerated that process.

It is well to note in passing, that shi’ism meets our criteria for a nihilistic process since it proclaims a high idealism that has no location. Consequently it is locked into a denunciation of the injustice of others rather than the establishment of justice, for example, excessive and slanderous denunciations of Bani Umayyah. On attaining its own polity, new external injustices were needed and so Iran became locked into a dialectical relationship with ‘the Great Satan’ the US.

In this context, Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi did a number of things whose decisive importance has only been underscored by the passage of time. Referring back to our opening, it is clear that he did not regard history as something inevitable.


Perhaps the overarching concern for Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi has been to find and articulate a clear ‘aqīdah. Thus he has endorsed Ash‘ari kalam but recognised also that an authentic ‘aqīdah would be able to engage with and make sense of the ideological, philosophical and scientific currents of any age. Thus we must understand his concern for the otherwise perplexing list of thinkers such as Nietzsche, Heidegger and Heisenberg.


He pursued a vigorous course of da’wah seeing clearly that Islam is the dīn for Britain, Europe and the West just has it has been for Arabia, Turkey, India and the East. Thus, almost without resources and support, he and his people travelled extensively in the UK and the US inviting people to the dīn, and then later on in mainland Europe and further afield. Dr. Aziz El Kobaiti Idrissi, a Foundation Fellow of MFAS, discovered while researching his PhD on Islamic Sufism in the United States that everywhere he went Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi had preceded him and had had significant formative impact on Islam in the US.

It must be noted here that although the Shaykh is ferociously well equipped intellectually and he has advanced many arguments on behalf of the dīn and repudiated many counter arguments, his da’wah has more often rested upon his foundation of communities and the good character of their people rather than on the intellect alone. But since those early years a large number of individuals and groups have appeared who have engaged in debate and argument without the balancing work to establish the dīn and a great deal of damage has arguably been done inasmuch as people have flocked into Islam and have not found teaching or supportive communities.


That leads to my next point. Contrary to others who also invited to Islam, if possible he did not let people drift back into the private bourgeois lifestyles of modern people, but held these new Muslims together in communities in which the ṣalāh is established and in which a genuine attempt is made to live socially much as the first community of Madīnah had done at the beginning of the story. For Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi, Madīnah is the guiding light.


From the very first days, Shaykh Abdalqadir, himself highly educated in a classical sense that was soon to all but vanish, saw the sorry state of the education system and its transformation from one predicated on cultivating good character and people who are knowledgeable both generally and in their chosen specialisation into a system nakedly devoted to producing and training technical people suited to fitting into a global producer-consumer society. Thus, he set himself the task of educating those for whom he was responsible, both adults and children, which resulted in a variety of educational initiatives which today span from kindergarten through primary and secondary schools and includes a traditional Qur’ānic madrasah in Mallorca and then what are arguably the pinnacle of this work, the Dallas College of Leadership in Cape Town for young men and its sister institution the Lady Aisha College for young women. As our Foundation Fellow Dr. Amjad Hussain made clear in his lecture in this course on Tarbiyah and in his book on the Social History of Education in the Muslim World, education, tarbiyah and kindred matters have been at the core of the dīn since the very first days in Madīnah.

Medicine and Science

In parallel with this, although less well known, under Shaykh Abdalqadir’s aegis a number of physicians established clinics and practices marrying to greater or lesser degree regular medical training with various other therapeutic approaches such as homoeopathy, Chinese five element medicine and others. This, however, was a practical subset of his more theoretical interest in tackling science and its universalist claim, a work that he conducted throughout his writings. The implications of homoeopathy, for example, are vast, as a May 1998 editorial in New Scientist acknowledged when confronted with evidence from two studies that there is ‘significant’ statistical evidence that there is something at work. The editor responded to these two trials by saying that he would not accept such scientific evidence since if homoeopathy is true then we will be required to re-examine all the laws of physics and chemistry and we will not do that.

The Muslim Village

In pursuit of the Madinan model, Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi and his people attempted a number of times to found Muslim villages that might permit a complete embodiment of the dīn, first in Norfolk in 1976 and later outside of Granada in the early 90s. Even though these attempts were not successful, they laid the seed among others and led to a number of other initiatives in the wider Muslim community in the West. In this course, this interest was represented by Maḥmūd Manning’s paper on “Architecture and urban planning” in Early Madīnah and his delineation of some of the forms, such as the Hosh, which had particular impact on the nature of that society and subsequent societies modelled on it.

Maliki Fiqh

In further pursuit of the Madinan model and looking for a sound basis for the communities for which he was responsible, in the early 80s Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi embraced the fiqh of the people of Madīnah as taught by Imām Mālik and his students, initiating the first complete translation of the Muwaṭṭa’, arguably the first ṣaḥīḥ work in addition to all its other dimensions. He had adopted Maliki fiqh when he accepted Islam in Morocco in 1967 but had been quite open to adopting whatever madhhab was best for his communities or indeed abandoning madhhabs entirely. This embrace of the school of Madīnah led to the translation of a number of key Maliki works and the study by a number of the Shaykh’s students of Arabic and Maliki fiqh. His work was widely misunderstood as a demand for the ummah in its entirety to become Maliki but as was ably demonstrated by our Director of Studies, Tobias Sahl Andersson in his concluding lecture for the MFAS Madhhabs of Islam course, the over-riding concern was for the fiqh of the communities for which the Shaykh was responsible and for the direction that Islam in the West would take.

Arguably, as with many other initiatives of the Shaykh it had consequences far beyond the limited circles of his students and in this case led to the revival of traditional Islamic teaching in all the madhhabs in the West, even if only as a reaction to his passionate endorsement of Mālik.

It is clear from Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi’s writings, in particular his seminal Root Islamic Education from the San Antonio seminar of the same name in 1982, that his interest in Maliki fiqh is not as one out of four legitimate schools of law, but rather as the transmission of the madhhab of the school of Madīnah. This has understandably caused dismay in the adherents of other madhhabs and yet each madhhab is actually based on its adherents’ understanding that its uṣūl are correct. The eponymous founders of the madhhabs each had the sole intention of the welfare of Islam and the Muslims, rather than founding a school of thought and practice to be named after him, and all are claimed by their adherents as singled out in some fashion, thus the soubriquet of Abū Ḥanīfah al-Imām al-A‘ẓam – the Greatest Imam. And yet each madhhab admits the legitimate right of the others to exist and that their uṣūl are sound and within the pale of Islam, something not extended to the shi‘ah or the khawārij despite the Amman Agreement.

In this course, that initiative has been represented by Dr. Yasin Dutton’s paper on “Some Thoughts on the Transmission of Qur'an and Sunna” in which he pursued his lifelong fascination on the nature of early Islam prior to the elaboration of the madhhabs and later cultural forms.

European Culture

In the 80s, Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi began a process of examining the European heritage to see what is consonant with Islam, what is not, and also to understand how we got to be in the situation that we are in. This work led him to the works of Goethe, Shakespeare, Wagner, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Heisenberg and many others, in the process turning a clear critical gaze on the deleterious effects of thinkers such as Darwin and Freud. It led him more recently to begin a full re-appraisal of much of European history beginning from prehistory, proceeding through the Greeks and Romans and up until the rise of the modern state in the French Revolution and taking in a consideration of the natures of totalitarianism, democracy and republicanism particularly as they pertain to European and US politics.

Mosque Foundation

As a core part of his establishment of living communities, Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi has inaugurated the foundation of three jumu‘ah mosques, in Norwich in the UK, Granada in Spain, and Cape Town in South Africa.


In parallel with that initiative he has called for, and his communities have striven for, the re-establishment of zakāh collected by community leaders from the held wealth of community members in gold and silver and distributed locally rather than sent overseas to worthy objects of charity. This was represented in this course in part by the paper of Dr. Asadullah Yate on “Social Welfare”.

The Market and Mu‘āmalāt

Consistently with his analysis of the position of economics in dominating the political arena, Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi has called for a restoration of the mu‘āmalāt of ordinary transactions and his students have been at the forefront of such initiatives, most visibly the gold dinar and silver dirham, particularly in Malaysia and Indonesia, and a number of open and free markets. This has manifested in this course with the lecture by Dr. Adi Setia on “Trade and Commerce in Early Madina: A Brief Outline”.


Although reserved here for treatment as the last of our topics, as one might expect from Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi’s name, taṣawwuf has historically had a high priority in his own upbringing in the dīn and his own understanding. But, he has arguably rescued a taṣawwuf of the Book and the Sunnah from its perceived position at the moment he accepted Islam. Such a taṣawwuf is inarguably the core of the dīn in its entirety as is amply demonstrated by the numerous texts of the Book and the Sunnah, even if peripheral matters such as dhikr performed out loud in a group and the hadrah are still legitimate matters of disagreement. Thus, his taṣawwuf demands an engagement with bringing the dīn and sharī‘ah into effect where they do not exist and restoring them and their constituent parts where they have fallen into disuse. Moreover, rather than emphasising spiritual states and stations, the Shaykh has restored the classical picture of taṣawwuf of building good character, intense worship and remembrance of Allah, and devotion to service to the Muslims in general. An important aspect of this work has necessarily been a picture of who the human being is, both in sickness and in health, and that has necessarily resulted in an engagement with psychology in a number of ways. This has been exemplified in our “Technique and Science” and “Society through Literature” courses by the work of Abdalhamid Evans a close student of Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi for many years.

I hesitated before presenting this picture which is not meant hagiographically. In my view the historical evidence bears out my contention of the significance of what Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi has done and thus his work merits attention by MFAS beyond any allegiance of individual MFAS officers or lecturers. Moreover, because of the obvious connections of many of the above topics to this particular course and other MFAS courses, it seemed appropriate to examine his work at this point.

It would be easy to overlook his contribution since the age focuses on what Abdalbarr Brown, in his lecture on the “The Concept of the Worker in the Works of Ernst and Friedrich Georg Jünger”, characterised as Titanic forces. We are in an age that only understands great mass movements, the foundation of ‘states’, ‘superstates’ and the ‘sole global superpower’, the interaction of state actors and, economically, the transfer of trillions, the million now being relegated to the realm of small change and the billion to the domain of the businessman. Yet, the Shaykh’s inspiration is clearly a small city of 12,000 people called the Illuminated City – al-Madīnah al-Munawwarah – whose inhabitants nevertheless changed history. It has been the task of this course to try and get a glimpse of the context of that.

That brings us to the end of today’s lecture. For the latter part of the lecture I would recommend Shaykh Abdalhaqq Bewley’s “The Recovery of True Islamic Fiqh”. This is the last lecture in this course. The subject of our next course, which is as yet untitled and which is not scheduled until after February 2014, will be on the subject of economics, commerce, trade and finance. Recommended reading for that is the book Banking, the Root Cause of the Injustices of Our Time. Thank you for your attention. Assalamu alaykum.


Dr. Riyad Asvat, Sufi Epistemology Encounters Modernity in the Tariqa of the Sufi Master Shaykh ‘Abdqadir as-Sufi. Unpublished PhD. Due for publication in 2014.

Shaykh Abdalhaqq Bewley FFAS, Rector of MFAS, “The Recovery of True Islamic Fiqh – an introduction to the work of Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi” http://bewley.virtualave.net/saq.html

Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Ṣūfī, For the Coming Man. A re-appraisal of Nietzsche and Heidegger in the light of the dīn.

Martin Heidegger, “The Word of Nietzsche: God is Dead” in The Question Concerning Technology.

1 Paul Strathern, The Medici, Godfathers of the Renaissance.

2  27 September 1389 – 1 August 1464

3  11 December 1475 – 1 December 1521

4  12 May 1590 – 28 February 1621

5 Martin Heidegger, “The Word of Nietzsche: God is Dead” in The Question Concerning Technology, p.54

6 Ibid. p.57

7 Ibid. pp.62-63

8 See Abu Bakr Rieger, “Dallas College – Opening Address”, Cape Town, 21 February 2005

9 On “60 Minutes,” in May 1996, when Lesley Stahl interviewed Albright, Stahl stated with reference to the sanctions in Iraq: “We have heard that a half-million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” Albright replied: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM0uvgHKZe8)

10 عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّه قَالَ: "وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ لاَ يَسْمَعُ بِي أَحَدٌ مِنْ هَذِهِ الأُمَّةِ يَهُودِيٌّ وَلاَ نَصْرَانِيٌّ، ثُمّ يَمُوتُ وَلَمْ يُؤْمِنْ بِالَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِهِ، إِلَّا كَانَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّارِ". رواه مسلم.

Abū Hurayrah narrated from the Messenger of Allah a that he said, “By the One in Whose hand is the soul of Muḥammad, no one of this ummah – whether a Jew or a Christian – hears about me and then later dies not believing in that with which I have been sent but that he is one of the people of the Fire.” (Muslim)

The point that is taken from this hadith is that the Prophet a spoke of the Jews and Christians as being from ‘this ummah’ even though they are undoubtedly kāfirūn.