FAQ

Are you a Northerner?

I certainly identify as a northerner and Yorkshireman, but I have been living darn sarf for all of my adult life, so that probably makes me a soft southerner (or turncoat).

Don’t you want to go back where you come from?

I often contemplate doing just that, but my wife and children have told me I’d have to go alone.

Are you a Muslim?

Yes.

What kind of Muslim are you?

I have been dismissed as a Wahabi, a Quranist, a Sufi and all manner of other names I never claimed for myself.

The only identifier I claim for myself is Muslim. I disclaim any other label assigned to me.

What school of fiqh do you follow?

Formally, I try to follow the Maliki school in acts of worship and personal living. However, as most Muslims I come into contact with follow the Hanafi school, I suspect it is a bit of a mishmash in practice.

Are you a new Muslim?

I am now in my mid-40s and at this stage have lived more than half my life as a Muslim. So, probably not.

Are you a convert to Islam?

Yes, I converted to Islam while at university.

What was your religion before you were Muslim?

Immediately before I became Muslim, I was an agnostic. I was raised a Christian, in the Anglican tradition.

Do you think you’re a true Muslim?

Far be it from a sinner like me to claim to be a True Muslim™ all others be damned. First you become a Muslim, then you must struggle to become a Mumin. That struggle is lifelong, and the outcome known only to the One.

Are you a sufi?

I aspire to be a Mumin and of the Saliheen, but I am far too conceited and wayward to claim either as a descriptor. One day, perhaps, if the Most Merciful wills.

What do you do for a living?

I sit at a computer and press buttons all day (according to my children).

Why do you write anonymously?

My family asked me to.

Why do you blog?

Mostly to let off steam and counsel myself.

Is your blog popular?

No, it is barely read, except by a handful of loyal followers (thanks guys).

Why don’t other bloggers link to you?

Linking is not compulsory. They are probably not interested in anything I have to say.

Do you ever think about quitting blogging?

Constantly.

Why do you write about religion so much?

Short answer: I guess I am obsessed.

Long answer: I was raised in a very religious family. I knew my father as a preacher from my infancy, my mother was amongst the first ordained women in the Church of England, and they both spent their weekends writing and delivering sermons. I guess that rubbed off on me.

What makes you think your opinions are correct?

I don’t. I don’t claim to be correct in anything I write; these are merely my humble opinions founded on my current understanding of the world.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A mumin, inshallah. I’d quite like to be a writer too.

Are you woke or anti-woke?

If by woke you mean “alert to injustice in society” then I suppose that’s what I am. I believe in treating others as I’d like to be treated. I think campaigning against discrimination is a good thing.

Are you a nationalist?

I’m an internationalist in outlook. My family is multicultural and I celebrate that.

What’s your race?

Human. I think saying the “White Race” is really an American thing; I never heard of these things growing up. I think it’s pretty dumb judging people on the amount of melanin in their skin, hairs and eyes.

Do you consider yourself a scholar?

Not at all. I hope nobody takes me as a guide. I am merely an opinionated fool, wittering away mostly to myself.

Are you on social media?

No.

Why should I take you seriously?

No reason. You found me, not the other way around.

Do you condone terrorism?

Of course not. I condemn all acts of indiscriminate violence against innocent people, whether perpetrated by lone individuals or state powers.

Are you a pacifist?

I believe that we should strive for peace as much as we are able to, but recognise that military action is sometimes necessary and unavoidable, for example to repel aggression or prevent oppression and tyranny. In an ideal world, there would be no war, but we do not live in an ideal world.

Are you the least-white white man I have ever known?

A statement of such fatuous stupidity that I would not even know where to start. What is this mythical “white man” you speak of? People are just people.

What do you think other Muslims think of you?

No idea, nor do I care.

Do you have any friends?

One or two.

Are you egocentric?

Very. I wish I wasn’t.

Do you try to represent the marginalised in your writing?

I do not believe in “representing” others, especially if I have not been asked to. In my fiction, I just tell stories. On my blog, I just share how I feel about things, even if those views may be unpopular.

Do you consider yourself a marginalised voice?

Yes and no. Possibly. Possibly not.

Do you consider yourself Leftwing or Rightwing?

I identify with the Middle Way, which may align with some components of either political leaning. My general motto is “be nice to people” and treat others as you would like to be treated.

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