Good will and welcome, one and all to my blog, The Humble “I”. I hope you find the contents of some benefit, God-willing, in whatever small way. Feel free to leave any thoughts or comments (keeping within the bounds of civil, even if critical, discourse).
About the blog. Well, I suppose the blog is about whatever interests me, or whatever is of concern to me (and to others, I hope). Sometimes I’ll blog society. Sometimes I’ll be blogging family and gender. At other times I’ll blog politics, or religion, or science and science fiction; literature and poetry, even. Usually, though, I’ll be blogging about things which relate to the Spirit and the spiritual.
About myself. Barring family, relatives or those who knew me before the mid 1980s, most people know me as Abu Aaliyah – “Father of Aaliyah”. My actual name, however, is Surkheel Sharif. Born and raised in London, I began my more formal studies of the Islamic sciences around the late 1980s (just a few years after having quit my degree in Astrophysics). I still continue to study with scholars and shaykhs, and (at the time of writing this) just recently finished studying al-Bayjuri’s commentary on al-Tirmidhi’s al-Shama’il. I received an MA in Islamic Studies from Birkbeck College, University of London, in 2009, and am currently considering post-graduate studies.
I am a Friday khatib at Eman Foundation (Goodmayes, London), and have been since 2004. Over the years, I have translated a few Islamic works from Arabic into English; the last being a short text on Muslim spirituality, called The Exquisite Pearl (2000). I have also written two books, one called More Fish Please & the Earth’s Complaint (2011); the other, Fussing Over the 15th of Sha’ban & the Golden Rule of Differing (2011).
Barring a few TV shows (“Counsels of the Heart” being the last one), and a few radio broadcasts, my days tends to be divided between teaching the Islamic sciences, public speaking, pastoral work in the local community, and translating and authoring (oh yes, and not forgetting wife and family … and our pet cat, Genie!). The goal is to post one or two blogs a month, God-willing – welcoming comments and endeavouring to reply to them. All this, in the hope that they will be a vehicle for: knowing, doing and becoming.