Reflecting on the spiritual, social and political issues to do with how Muslims today can best navigate the challenges of liberal modernity, The Red Umbrella podcasts hopes to offer some much needed food for thought, and even a call to action. Thus taking intellectual and spiritual inquiry as our starting point, and God as our intended goal, here are The Red Umbrella podcasts thus far (these podcasts can also be found on iTunes here):

Open Your Umbrella: This is the first episode of the podcast, The Red Umbrella: Seeking the Divine Shade. It’s a welcome episode, explaining what the podcast aims to discuss, and why. If there were to be a catchline for these podcasts, it would very likely be these words of Walter Gropius, a famous German architect: ‘The mind is like an umbrella. It’s best useful when open.’ Please do listen, subscribe and share. Podcast length: 12’29”.

2. Islam, Progress & Progressive Islam: This second episode looks at the issue of Islam & Progress. It asks what we mean by the term “progress” and how we as individuals can best progress to God. It then looks at the ideas of ‘Liberal’ or ‘Progressive’ Islam and its body of ideas, and asks that nagging question: Is Islam in a crisis? Podcast length: 37’50”.

3. Knowing God is Like Knowing Your Neighbour: We moderns are often a huge bundle of contradictions; and we Muslims are no exception. So while many of us are keen to know about God’s laws, or know how best to work for the rights of those of God’s servants who face political injustice or persecution, it appears that too few of us seem keen to want to know about God Himself. So the latest episode of this podcast seeks to help rectify this by exploring how hearts may deepen their knowledge of God and yearn for Him. Podcast length: 26’22”.

4. Weaning Ourselves Off Worldliness: How do viruses, self isolation or the need for social distancing, relate to the latest The Red Umbrella podcast? And what does it mean to wean ourselves off the world [worldliness]? Where does money or wealth fit into the religious life and seeking God? Find out, as we probe these crucial ethical challenges that confront us in this age of turbo-consumerism. Podcast length: 11’45”.

5. Why Isn’t My Life Blessed?: In this fifth episode, we explore the question that many of us find ourselves asking in our lives: Why does my life lack so much of the blessings which others have? Why is my life not as smooth sailing as that of others? In other words, Why isn’t my life blessed?! The Qur’an proffers a satisfying response to such questions, which isn’t as complicated as one might expect. Podcast length: 14’11”.