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 about 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, as far as Islam is concerned.
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, England, 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) and continue to study with scholars. I received an MA in Islamic Studies from Birkbeck College, University of London, in 2009, and am currently considering post-graduate studies.
Currently, I deliver Friday khutbahs at Eman Foundation in Goodmayes; London, and at LSE. 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 authored 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 programs (“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 four grown-up children … and our pet cats, Genie and Cleo!). The goal is to post one or two blogs per month, God-willing – welcoming comments and constructive criticism, as well as endeavouring to reply to them. All this, in the hope that they will be part of the process for: knowing, doing and becoming.