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The Thinking Muslim

Religion & Spirituality Podcasts

This podcast is dedicated to exploring issues in some more depth and untangling the complexities of the world around us. We engage thinkers, academics, and scholars in conversation on a number of themes to appreciate the ideas that make up Islam as a system of thought. Follow us on And twitter @thinking_muslim Email

This podcast is dedicated to exploring issues in some more depth and untangling the complexities of the world around us. We engage thinkers, academics, and scholars in conversation on a number of themes to appreciate the ideas that make up Islam as a system of thought. Follow us on And twitter @thinking_muslim Email


United Kingdom


This podcast is dedicated to exploring issues in some more depth and untangling the complexities of the world around us. We engage thinkers, academics, and scholars in conversation on a number of themes to appreciate the ideas that make up Islam as a system of thought. Follow us on And twitter @thinking_muslim Email




Why Islam is Incompatible with Liberalism with Professor Joseph Kaminski

We live in a world crafted by the tenets of liberalism. Western societies, of all hues, broadly base their politics, laws and thinking around this very idea. Inevitably, Muslims have been impacted by liberalism, not least because after the fall of the Ottoman caliphate, the Muslim world became subject to a liberal intellectual inquisition. Today many of us cannot see the tradition except through a liberal lens, this is most pronounced with Muslims living in western societies. This week we...


Ottoman Decline & Muslim Collective Amnesia with Dr Yakoob Ahmed

The Ottoman state was the last Islamic Caliphate, that at its height brought diverse Muslims together under one banner. Yet, for a state that dominated world politics and created a unique order in the world, very little of its details are studied and understood by Muslims. According to Dr Yakoob Ahmed, my guest this week, this ‘collective amnesia’ was deliberately devised as a means to consolidate the modern nation state. I initially asked Dr Ahmed to discuss Ottoman decline, why this vast...


The significance of Jerusalem (al-Quds) and Al Aqsa Mosque - with Ustadh Iyad Hilal

Masjid al-Aqsa is a sacred mosque on a sacred site, observed by Muslims to be the third most revered religious site in Islam. In this episode, we talk to Ustadh Iyad Hilal from al-Arqam Institute about how Muslims should understand this Masjid and its precincts. He takes a look at the contemporary attempt to reduce its importance in the eyes of the ummah and reflects on his own families experience after the nakba in 1948. We also cover the history of Islam’s entry into Palestine at the time...


France - Unveiling the Muslim Woman in Colonial Algeria with Zara Choudhary

France, like many European countries, were once the colonising force in the Muslim world. And like many of these countries, colonialism was sold as a benevolent project, looking to civilise the savages. France’s history is at times brutal, but the French also had a strong commitment to spreading so-called enlightenment values to the east. In the process, it sought to bring the good message of French liberalism to the Muslim orient. This French obsession remains to today, with the most recent...


Al-Aqsa attacks, Sheikh Jarrah & Gaza with Dr Azzam Tamimi

For most Muslims, Ramadan’s routine of prayer, reflection and dua was interrupted by the horrific acts of savagery perpetrated by the Israelis against Palestinians. It started with the Sheikh Jarrah land grab, the latest episode in the ongoing project of settler colonialism and then the sanctities of Al-Aqsa was defiled by police officers hell-bent on provoking the sentiments of worshippers. This week we discuss the politics of Palestine with the veteran commentator Dr Azzam Tamimi. Support...


In Conversation with Mohamedou Slahi - the most tortured man in Guantanamo Bay

Mohamedou Slahi’s period of unlawful detention in Guantanamo Bey has recently been portrayed in the film ‘The Mauritanian’. His resilience and sense of human dignity comes through in the movie. In this episode, we reached out to Mohamedou to find out about his fortitude, what gave him the ability to remain strong throughout his ordeal? I asked him about his childhood, the context of his arrest and his ability to contextualise his incarceration and not descend into bitterness. I start with...


Building an Intimate Relationship with the Qur'an - Ustadh Nuh Saunders

In the month of Ramadan we commonly hear that this is the month of the Qur’an. Usually, we associate this with its increased recitation in say taraweeh prayers. But how do we gain an intimate relationship with the book of Allah? This week we speak to Nuh Saunders who has given a lifetime of service to inculcating a love for the book of Allah. His passion for the Qur’an can be seen through his social media interactions, in a recent post he talked of his desire to build a Qur’an school in...


Understanding Ramadan Moonsighting with Ustadh Iyad Hilal

The subject of the sighting of the moon has become a metaphor for our broader division as an ummah. We have disputes over the correct day to start and end Ramadan and invariably this leads to division. This weeks guest Ustadh Iyad Hilal argues that in origin what constitutes sighting has been subject to differences between the classical scholars. To insist on one way, as some Islamic groups do, in the absence of a caliphal authority, comes from a shallow understanding of the lawfulness of...


The Mauritanian with Moazzam Begg

If you want to see a film that simultaneously depicts the horrors of man’s excessive barbarism but also the indominable spirit of human resilience, you have to watch The Mauritanian. Set in the legally dubious post-9/11 world, it tells the gripping story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi and his rendition to the infamous ex-Soviet airbase, Bagram in Afghanistan and then Guantanamo Bey. Slahi was falsely accused of links to Al-Qaeda and without recourse to due process, international treaties and...


Demystifying social science and the religion of liberal economics with Dr Asad Zaman (Pakistan)

The social sciences, the humanities, politics, geography and the like are looked upon with the same reverence as natural sciences. And the queen of these sciences is economic science. Economists in the new era have convinced us that they have unearthed the universal truth of human economic activity and the markets are infallible. We often hear newsreaders speak of ‘the markets’ as if they were a natural law, a deity that cannot be questioned. Our guest this episode is Dr Asad Zaman has a...


Understanding the Objectives of the Shari'ah (Maqasid al Shari'ah)

We live in a world where Islam is subject to an almighty project of reform. In this difficult environment, the simple truths of Islam and the age-old process of arriving at such truths have been muddied by modernist constructions that at their heart hope to reconcile Islam with a dominant ideological narrative. To give this campaign a fig leaf of legitimacy, the traditional principle of al-maqasid al-shariah, loosely translated as the general goals of the shariah, has been co-opted by...


Freedom of Speech and Muslims with Hamza Tzortzis

A Special Extended Interview Freedom of speech is an idea we all naturally gravitate towards. Who would want to live in a society where certain types of speech were outlawed or regulated? Or where we had to watch what we say at every turn. To understand this subject further, we have Hamza Tzortzis to break down the idea and to give us an Islamic perspective. Hamza is the author of The Divine Reality: God, Islam & The Mirage of Atheism. He is a public speaker, instructor and essayist and a...


Understanding Vaccines with Dr Hisham Abdallah

Vaccines are in the news. As the coronavirus ravages the world, causing untold damage to lives, communities and livelihoods, a glimmer of hope has come in the production of new vaccines. This breakthrough, however has not been universally embraced. Theories abound, across the internet and on social media, suggesting a number of reasons why vaccines are dangerous. So how should we think about vaccines? Well the first step is to consult a trustworthy expert so we can make an informed decision....


The Islamic view on vaccines, fake news and expertise with Ustadh Iyad Hilal

This week we invite back onto the show Ustadh Iyad Hilal from California’s Al Arqam Institute. Ustadh Iyad has expertise in usul ul-fiqh and has recently presented a stimulating and accessible online usul course. We ask him to untangle the issues of vaccines, medicines in general and we discuss how a Muslim should arrive at judgments and our responsibilities to not fall prey to theories not grounded in reality. For more information and to view our archive, visit...


Capitalism and Socialism - Thoughts on Islamic Economics - with Almir Colan

Riaz Hasan speaks to Almir Colan, a thinker on Islamic economics and host of the thought provoking Islamic Finance podcast and Director of the Australian Centre for Islamic Finance. He speaks to us about the problems with the current paradigms of capitalism and socialism and how greater thinking on Islamic economics needs to take place. He also speaks about his 'Shepherds Model', the manner we need to look at economy. You can listen to his Islamic finance podcast here...


The Return of Tyrants and Foiled Dreams with Iyad El-Baghdadi

This episode, I speak at length to the Arab Spring activist Iyad El-Baghdadi about his valuable experience, analysis and forecast about the years ahead. He rose to prominence in the aftermath of the Arab revolutions of 2011 before being summarily arrested and forcibly exiled from his home in the UAE in April 2014. Today he is recognized among the most influential and prominent Arab voices online. He lives in Oslo, Norway, where he has been granted political asylum, and writes regularly for...


Macron’s France and the “Muslim Problem” - with Dr Yasir Qadhi

To help us understand the current crises in France, I am delighted to have on The Thinking Muslim Sheikh Yasir Qadhi. Dr Yasir Qadhi is well known in the Muslim community, he is a scholar and since 2001, he has served as Dean of Academic Affairs at the Al-Maghrib Institute, with a center in Houston, Texas. He is currently the resident scholar of the East Plano Islamic Center in Texas. Dr Qadhi has raised some searching questions over the past few weeks about French policy towards Muslims,...


The US elections and the Muslim Community - with Mohammed Hannini

To an outsider, the United States looks like it is in meltdown. In what seems like months, the farce of the US elections has dwarfed coverage of huge Coronavirus deaths, with most political pundits predicting a Biden victory. But with talk of potential challenge to the result, all signs indicate the possibility of a protracted period of uncertainty. American democracy today seems to be sinking under the contradictions, inequalities and culture wars that undermine the fabric of its political...


Why the Arab Spring has only just begun? - A conversation with Dr Azzam Tamimi

As part of our Arab Spring series, we take a look at the events that shook the region at the beginning of 2011 and ask searching questions about where we are now. The Middle East today remains a cauldron of instability, yet the autocrats and their backers have successfully, for now, subverted a revolution that once filled Arabs and Muslims with hope. My guest this week is Dr Azzam Tamimi. Dr Tamimi is a Palestinian academic and activist and has for decades contributed to Islamic and...


The Arab Spring 10 years on: What went wrong in Egypt and Syria? - Dr Osman Bakash

We are coming to the tenth anniversary of the Arab Spring, the momentous series of events that started in hope with the desperate act of a Tunisian vegetable seller. With the return of another pharaoh in Egypt, the impunity with which he has meted out retribution upon those that were opposed to the regime and the killing field of Syria, whose soil today stands soaked with the blood of martyrs, makes even the most optimistic person surmise that the Arab Spring has turned into what can be...