Essentials of Aqida

Dr Umar Faruq Abd-Allah presented this important series of five discourses on the essentials of Islamic aqida during the 2013 Al-Ghaz Retreatali in Los Rosales, Spain.

The Four Imams and their Schools

Gibril Fouad Haddad provides an in-depth study of the founders and leading students of the primary schools of jurisprudence in Islam in the Four Imams and their Schools.

A beginner's guide to Andalusian calligraphy

Barzakh Film

A Beginners Guide to Andalusi Calligraphy. A beginner's guide to Andalusian calligraphy.

Filmed in and around Orgiva and al-Andalus, and presenting interviews with Ian Whiteman and Emin Alzueta, this is the untold story of the only European calligraphic script used to write the Koran. Almost extinct, however, it was once part of the most extraordinary cultural flourish of the Middle Ages. Trace your journey from Medina to your pinnacle in Al-Andalus, Spain, where we see the rich context in which it evolved.

Directed and produced by Zakariyya Whiteman




Gandhi and Islam


Gandhi, Islam, and the Principles of Non-violence and Attachment to Truth

by Dr. Karim Lahham

‘History,’ Lord Acton eleven said, ‘should be, not a burden on the memory, but an illumination of the soul.’ This implies the need for a synthesis of the historical flux into an intelligible form that can serve as a basis for illumination. It is common enough a point to agree that the function of the historian is to record socio-political facts, but we would add that it is no less his duty to provide also formulas, relational aspects that are necessary to make such intel understand facts.

The Road to Mecca

Book Review by A. Razzaq Pérez Fernández

The Way of Mesa by Muhammad Asad / Translation: A. Razzaq Pérez Fernández

This work is the spiritual biography of Muhammad Asad, Austrian journalist, writer and traveler, born in 1900 in the city of Lvov, then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and today in Ukraine. The son of a Jewish lawyer and grandson of an Orthodox rabbi. He died in Mijas, Malaga, in 1992, and is buried in the Rauda de Granada.
Read more

Pearls of faith

Book Review by Ian Whiteman

Pearls of the Faith by British Victorian journalist and traveller Sir Edwin Arnold.

First published in 1884 Pearls of the Faith was an attempt to present Islam in an appealing and intelligent manner to a world steeped in prejudice and colonial disdain for Islam. When I first saw the text ten years ago it seemed archaic and written in a kind of verse that reminded me of the stories of Rupert Bear, an illustrated childrens' story book awned in verse form which I had up with grown. I didn't really understand Hamza Yusuf's motives in wanting to republish it but after ten years and a now very different world that we live in, it actually makes a lot of sense to re-present it to the public. After careful editing involving many spelling changes and the addition of the essay by Gai Eaton, a foreword by Robert P George, a prominent professor of Law from Princeton who gives a Christian perspective, the book has been given a new lease of life. Hamza's preface unlocks his own motives behind its publication and how he came to find the book in the first place. Part of his preface I have reproduced here.

Read more



Calligraphy and Islamic art in several mediums produced in Argiva by Abdelkarim Cederberg.

The legacy of Andalusian agriculture

The Andalusian Books of Filāḥa

While agriculture improved and expanded throughout the Muslim lands, it was in Al-Andalus that it reached its apogee. In the opinion of Scott in his History of the Moorish Empire in Europe the agricultural system of Moorish Andalusia was “the most complex, the most scientific, the most perfect, ever devised by the ingenuity of man”14. Superlatives aside, it surely marks one of the high points in world agricultural history, supporting a 10th century population of about 10 million15 as well as major exporting sugar-refining and textile industries, the latter based on the fibre cotton crops, flax and hemp and dye-plants including indigo, henna, madder and wo
Ad. The extraordinarily bio-diverse agro-ecosystem of Al-Andalus was composed of cultivated lands – a mosaic of tree crops, orchard or market-garden crops, and field crops, both irrigated and rain-fed – permanent meadows and pasture lands, and commons with rights of usage by local inhabitants. The range of crops available to the medieval Andalusi farmer was extensive. Towards the end of the 11th century Ibn Ba’l mentions more than 180 cultivated crops and plants, and at the end of the 12th century Ibn al-‘Aww’m notes 585 different species and cultivars, not though all of these would have been cultivated. It is worth listing the most important of these:

Tree crops included olives, vines, almonds, carobs, figs, peaches, apricots, apples, pears, medlars, fifteens, chestnuts, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, hawthorns, date palms, lemons, citrons, orange sours, jujubes, ne treesttle and mulberry trees, as well as holm-oaks, arbutus and myrtles.

Kitchen gardens grew lettuces, carrots, radishes, cabbages, cauliflowers, melons, cucumbers, spinach, leeks, onions, aubergines, kidney beans, cardoons, artichokes, purslane and numerous aromatic plants as basil, cress, caraway, saffron, cumin, capers, mustard, marjoram, fennel, lemon verbena.

Fields of cereals and pulses were sown with wheat, barley, rice, millet and spelt among the former, and broad beans, kidney beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, vetch, lupine and fenugreek among the latter; sugar-cane was grown on the coast of Almuñécar and Vélez-Málaga; fibre plants included flax, Asian cotton and hemp; dye plants included safflower, madder, henna, woad and saffron, and sumac was grown for tanning; wild species such as esparto, osier and oil-palm were harvested; numerous ornamental species were planted in gardens and an enormous number of medicinal herbs were also employed16.

It was here too in Al-Andalus that an important development in Islamic agriculture took root and flourished in the form of an Arabic literary genre – the Books of Fil’a – which attempted to synthesize the accumulated knowledge and theories of the past with practical husbandry on ground the, the systematizing a new science of agriculture. The Books of Fil’a are scattered in hundreds of manuscripts, many of a miscellaneous character and frequently mis-catalogued, in dozens of libraries across the world, and it is only relatively recently that these texts and their authors have been established with reasonable certainty. Nevertheless many questions remain and there is still much work to be done on the corpus of Arabic agricultural literature in general.

excerpt from the Filaha Text Project

Andalusian calligraphy


A Beginners Guide to Andalusi Calligraphy. Filmed in and around Orgiva and al-Andalus, this is the untold story of the only European calligraphic script used to write the Quran. Almost extinct, yet it was eleven a part of the most extraordinary cultural flourishing of the Middle Ages. Trace its journey from Madinah to its pinnacle in Al-Andalus, Spain where we see the rich context in which it evolved.

Directed and produced by Zakariyya Whiteman




What images they are making to our souls

 A Conversation with Dr. Mark Delp

Does it usually exposure to digital images destroy the stillness of the heart required for seeing God within our soul?

from Renovatio, the Journal of Zaytuna College