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Reminding me very much of Advent calendars (probably not the desired association!), these children’s Ramadan calendars are made of silk and have thirty pockets, one for each day of Ramadan. Each 3” square pocket has a star button, and every evening, children mark the passing of another day of the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2011 at philosufi
Sufi Comics has published its first book, 40 Sufi Comics! If you're not familiar with Sufi Comics, it's a series by two Bangalore-based brothers, Arif and Ali, which conveys various Sufi teaching tales and religious stories through the medium of web comics. Okay, maybe Ali's not Jack Kirby, but the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2011 at philosufi
We had a guest lecturer in my class on Islamic mysticism this week: talented Toronto poet/spoken word artist Sheniz Janmohamed. She came in at my beloved professor's request to talk to us about Sufi poetry and music. Janmohamed is young, but she's already done lots, such as founding Ignite Poets,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2010 at philosufi
A couple of years ago, one of the courses I took in the seemingly endless quest for my degree in religious studies focused on religion and horror films. Most people I mentioned this to were perplexed, thinking that horror cinema and religion have little or nothing to do with each... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2010 at philosufi
Coleman Barks (at far right) and two dervishes. We were at RumiFest Saturday night. I thought it was an annual thing but it turns out this was the first one, organized by Nomans Land Productions. It was held in the sanctuary of Trinity-St. Paul's United Church, a beautiful, intimate space.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2010 at philosufi
How can we NOT love this film? We’re both in it. No, seriously, we are! Okay, just barely: you can see the backs of our heads in some of the scenes of Michael Muhammad Knight’s reading at The Gladstone in Toronto in early 2009. Director Omar Majeed was there, too,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2010 at philosufi
Here's a seriously weird and talented dude I'm happy to have discovered: Gonjasufi. His given name is listed variously as Sumach Ecks or Sumach Valentine, and Wikipedia describes his heritage as Mexican, American, and Ethiopian. Gonjasufi is described as many things, among them: devout Muslim, musician, DJ, MC, music producer,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2010 at philosufi
Hey! Good news: if you can be in Toronto this Saturday night, there are still tickets for Eyad Zahra's new film The Taqwacores. (Not to be confused with Omar Majeed's 2010 documentary, Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam -- also very worthwhile. You should see that, too.) Both films were... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2010 at philosufi
Dervishes Mira Hunter, left, and Tanya Evanson The other day, in the Islamic Mysticism class I am taking this term, my prof showed a documentary called Sufi Soul: The Mystical Music of Islam. As narrator William Dalrymple trips around India, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria, and Turkey, I was fascinated to see... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2010 at philosufi
One of this Ramadan’s indisputable delights for me has been discovering that Muslim feminist scholar Amina Wadud started keeping a blog on Religion Dispatches, which is one of my favourite online magazines on the subject of religion. Every morning, after fajr, I eagerly check my blog reader looking for the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2010 at philosufi
I am not a gamer. I say that with no arrogance or judgment. I learned, from alarmingly strong (albeit thankfully short-lived) addictions to things as simple as Tetris, Solitaire, FreeCell, Minesweeper, Wolfenstein (yeah, I’m old), and various word games that I am far too inclined to spend too much time... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2010 at philosufi
Respect Your Elders by eL Seed You might think you’ve seen Arabic calligraphy or Islamic art, but you probably haven't seen it like this: beautifully spray-painted fifteen feet high high on brick walls in the street, on canvases in art galleries, and on hoardings at festivals. Oh, and on the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2010 at philosufi
“Iran is not defined by a geographic boundary, but by its cultural range.” – Arash Sobhani of Kiosk Man, I’m dying to find me some Persian rap that samples “Rock the Casbah.” In the meantime, I’m happy to have stumbled across a podcast on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) called... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2010 at philosufi
Andrew Kosorok's Al-Jabbar (The Compeller) Andrew Kosorok is a Mormon glass artist based in Provo, Utah who has undertaken an ambitious and unusual project: to create 99 glass sculptures representing each of the 99 most beautiful names of God. Kosorok, who also teaches at Brigham Young University, will make a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2010 at philosufi
American artist Sandow Birk’s body of work is diverse and distinctive. An artist and filmmaker of note who frequently tackles challenging subject matter—from prisons to empire to the war in Iraq—he recently took on what is likely to be his most controversial project to date: American Qur’an. Using copyright-free English... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2010 at philosufi
As a religious studies major, and as one-half of a couple who registered for (and received!) LEGO for our wedding, I can hardly even describe my delight at discovering this blog called GodBricks: Blogging at the intersection between LEGO and religion, by Bruce Hietbrink. I might have even squealed. It’s... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2010 at philosufi
The official trailer for Mooz-lum: The Movie was just released a few days ago. Here's the synopsis from the movie's Facebook page: Pulled between his strict Muslim upbringing by his father and the normal social life he's never had, Tariq Mahdi enters college in a state of confusion. New relationships... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2010 at philosufi
Just stumbled across this absolutely wonderful song called "Alif Allah (Chambey Di Booty)" by esteemed Pakistani folk musician Arif Lohar and musician/model Meesha Shafi (lead singer of Overload, "the loudest band in Pakistan" -- note that you can download their whole album, Pichal Pairee, from that site for free). It... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2010 at philosufi
Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings. ~Heinrich Heine, Almansor, 1823 Likely you've heard about the uninspired plans of a Florida-based (and comically named) church, the Dove World Outreach Center, to commemorate September 11 by burning Qur'ans. As a bonus for the haters, many... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2010 at philosufi
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Aug 4, 2010