This article describes the aspects
and reasons for the fall of the family and family values in the
east and west.
The Fall of the Family
By Abdal Hakim Murad
Abdal Wadod Shalabi has remarked that
a society only becomes truly decadent when "decadence"
as a principle is never referred to in public debate. Prior generations
of Muslims and Christians were forever fretting about their own
unworthiness when measured against past golden ages of goodness
and sanctity. But in our self-satisfied era, to invoke the idea
of decadence is to invite accusations of a retrograde romanticism:
it is itself perceived, perversely enough, as a decadence.
Muslims looking at the West with a critical but compassionate
eye are often disturbed by this absence of old-fashioned self-scrutiny.
We note that no longer does the dominant culture avert complacency
through reference to past moral and cultural excellence; rather,
the paradigm to which conformity is now required is that of the
ever-shifting liberal consensus. In this ambitiously inverted
world, it is the future that is to serve as the model, never
anything in the past. In fact, no truly outrageous ("blasphemous")
discourse remains possible in modern societies, except that which
violates the totalising liberalism supposedly generated by autonomous
popular consent, but which is often in reality manufactured by
the small, often personally immoral but nonetheless ideologised
elites who dominate the media and sculpt public opinion into
increasingly bizarre and unprecedented shapes.
The debate over the status of the family lies at the heart of
the present ideological collision between the bloated but "decadent"
North and the progressively impoverished South, a collision in
the midst of which our community is attempting to define itself
and to survive. This culture clash is so vital to the self-perception
of each side that it is now all but inescapable. It seems that
each time we switch on our televisions and sit back, we must
observe northern prejudice and insecurity being massaged by an
endless, earnest-humane diet of documentaries about the ills
of the rigidly family-centred Third World, and the wicked reluctance
of its peoples to conform to the social doctrines of the liberal
democracies. To the average Westerner this one-way polemic seems
satisfying and unarguable, confirming as it does assumptions
of superiority which allay his nervousness about problems in
his own society. It shapes the public opinion that goes on to
acquiesce in the liquidation of Palestinians, Bosnians or Chechens
with only the mildest (but self-righteously proclaimed) twinges
of guilt. In fact, it is hard to resist the conclusion that the
social doctrines of the modern West have been forged into the
imperial ideologies of the closing years of the century, as polemicists
use orthodox feminism and homosexualism as the perfect sticks
with which to beat the Third World. A hundred years ago, white
Christians interfered with everyone else for the sake of theological
dogma and commerce; now they do so for reasons of social dogma
and commerce. But the underlying attitude of contempt has remained
Muslims living in the West are perched in an interesting vantage
point on this question. While many Islamic theologians have written
on the "westernisation process" in the Muslim world
and its nefarious effects on family life, the reality, as some
of them have noted, is that this process is being championed
by obsolete secular elites whose cultural formation was the achievement
of the old imperial powers. The family lifestyle of the average
secular Syrian or Turk is not that of a modern European, despite
his outraged claims to the contrary. His clothes, furnishings,
marriage rituals, and most details of life are more redolent
of the 1940s and 1950s than of the present realities of Western
existence. And so the mainstream Muslim debate on changes in
the family, led by such thinkers as Anwar al-Jindi and Rasim
Ozdenoren, tends to be of only slight relevance to our situation
here in the heartlands of the "liberated" West.
As we attempt to theorise about our own condition, we are at
once confronted by the irony that the country to which many of
us migrated no longer exists. Back in the 1950s and early 1960s,
British family values were still recognisably derived from a
great religious tradition rooted in the family-nurturing Abrahamic
soil. While the doctrinal debates between Islam and Christianity
remained sharp, the moral and social assumptions of the "guest-workers"
and their "hosts" were in most respects reassuringly
and productively similar.
That overlap has now almost gone. Even the Churches no longer
claim to be the coherent and convincing voices of absolute moral
truths, as an increasingly spongelike rock of ages finds itself
scoured and reshaped by the libertarian sandstorm. Cardinal Hume,
the usually clear-headed spokesman of Britain's Catholics, has
recently made conciliatory remarks about homophilia; while an
Anglican bishop, resplendent in tight jeans and leather jacket,
has openly announced his relationship with another man. So far
from representing family values to their flock, 200 out of 900
London priests are said to subscribe to homosexual tendencies.
The number of Christian and Jewish organisations and individuals
eloquently singing the virtues of Sodom seems set to rise and
rise, cheered on by the secularists, until the remaining voices
of tradition are finally shouted down.
All this means that the Muslim community, already marginalised
in terms of class, race, and economics, is now having to confront
a further and potentially far more drastic form of alienation.
As newcomers who are the sole defenders of values which would
be recognised as legitimate by earlier generations of Britons,
we are in a disorienting position. The temptation to panic, to
retreat into factions and cults which excoriate the wider world
as impure and evil, will claim many of us. Already such movements
are making headway on the campuses. But such a sterile and facile
temptation should be resisted, and, if our faith is really as
strong as we and our detractors like to believe, it can be resisted
easily and in favour of a far more mature and fruitful grasp
of our relationship with the "host community".
But a strategy for the articulation of such a stance must be
grounded in the knowledge that Muslim traditionalism does not
appeal to the sort of comforting essentialist "metanarrative"
whose claims to objective truth are less important than its status
as a definer of cultural identity. Such has been the emergent
error of the twentieth-century's rival essentialisms, particularly
nationalism and fascism; and it is all too often the error of
Muslim activists whose alertness to spiritual realities is subordinated
to, or even replaced by, the quest for the pseudo-spiritual solace
of authenticity. The narrative of Muslim civilisation, inspirational
for the Muslim Brotherhood and neo-Ottoman revivalists until
the 1970s, has suddenly given way to the utopian narrative of
"the Salaf", on the problematic claim that the Salaf
followed a consistent school of thought; but among the adherents
of neither position do we find an immediate and responsive type
of faith that yields, as true faith must, an ethic rooted in
compassion and concern rather than a chronic obsession with purity.
What this means is that unless Muslims in Britain can counteract
the impoverishing and exclusivist "ideologising" of
Islam that has taken place in some Muslim countries, and return
to an image of the faith as rooted in immediate and sincere concern
for human welfare under a compassionate God, we will continue
to fail to contribute to the national debate on this or any other
question of real moment. It is not enough for the exclusivists
to shrug, "But who cares what the unbelievers think".
For Muslims are directed by the Quran to be an example to others.
We cannot be an example, or successfully convey the message that
God has revealed, if we hide in cultural ghettoes and act abrasively
and arrogantly towards those we take such exquisite pleasure
in considering beyond the pale. Instead, we must take the more
difficult path of understanding the real dilemmas of this society,
and then the even more difficult one of gently suggesting a remedy
that may be of real assistance.
The time for such an advocacy is now. In recent weeks, several
religious figures in Britain have offered their thoughts, often
anguished, generally cogent, on the tragedy of the progressive
decay of the family. The Bishop of Liverpool and the Chief Rabbi
have both summarised the process with the usual statistics: 34%
of British children are now born outside wedlock; a similar proportion
of adults suffer the heartbreak of divorce; within twenty years
fewer than half of the nation's children will be brought up by
their own two parents; and so on. Few doubt the practical catastrophes
which ensue: in the United States, it is said that over half
of prison inmates are from broken homes, while men and women
are known to suffer deep psychological harm from parental divorce
even in middle life or old age. Sheppard and Sacks lament together
that in a rapidly-changing world where the family haven has never
been more needed by children and adults alike, it should have
been wrecked by that most basic of all sins: selfishness. Nobody
likes making a sacrifice: bowing at the idol of personal freedom
we all shout for our rights and chafe under our duties. The lesson
is irritating but clear: the Thatcherite egocentrism which posed
as the apotheosis of Adam Smith's advocacy of competitive self-interest
as the key to collective social advancement is claiming so many
casualties as to endanger the whole undertaking. Greed creates
rich men and happy Chancellors, but it now appears to come at
a long-term price. Gigantic social and economic bills are now
rolling in for extra policing, prisons, social workers and a
growing blizzard of DHSS cheques. The socialist revolution has
already failed; it seems that capitalism too may ultimately choke
on its own contradictions.
So far, so good. It is unarguable, and not just to religious
people, that greed has been a culprit. And yet the pleas for
a return to selflessness have been heard so often in past ages,
and with so little manifest effect, that they cannot be seen
as holding out a believably sufficient solution. If religions
are truly to have the capacity to overcome the worst consequences
of human sinfulness then they must acknowledge that simple appeals
to "be good" rarely have much impact, and must be accompanied
by a practicable paradigm for reform. Neither the bishop nor
the rabbi seem to have much to offer that is practical and concrete;
which is perhaps why they have been tolerated and even platformed
by politicians and the liberal media. But as Muslims, possessed
of a religious dispensation granted through an intermediary whose
status as "a mercy to the nations" was manifested in
a concrete social as well as moral programme, we know that the
present plight of society will never be reformed through homiletics.
Structural changes are called for as well: and, given the gravity
of the problem, we should not be surprised to learn that they
can be painful.
Hardly less obvious than the causes of family decline are the
reasons why establishment ideologues refuse to recognise them.
The politicians are the most flagrant instance: last week's sorry
resignation by Social Charter minister Robert Hughes in order
to "repair his marriage" after an illicit fling is
simply the latest in a string of by now frankly boring incidents
which show the political establishment (and not even the moralising
Mr Ashdown, the leader of the UK Liberal Democrat Party, has
been immune) as largely incapable of leading a moral life. And
yet tucked away in the office of every MP are all the clues we
need. There before his desk, adding spice to his every tedious
letterwriting moment, is that anarchic presence which unless
he is very buttoned up indeed may prove his undoing. The number
of MPs who have secretaries as second wives is second only to
the number with surreptitious concubines. Only aberrant idiocy
- or complaisance - can ignore the fact that if a politician,
charged with that eroticism which power seems to generate, works
late hours with a member of the opposite sex, a conflagration
is probable rather than possible. Under such conditions the system
offers no protection whatsoever for suffering children and spouses,
who will be traumatised even to the point of suicide. Again,
the disastrous notion that individual rights take precedence
over the rights of the family has resulted in degradation for
But politics is merely the most notorious example of an environment
in which, as the Iranians say, "fire dwelleth with cotton".
As the current anguished debate over sexual harrassment reveals,
there remains hardly a public space into which private desires
do not obtrude. Never before has there been a society in which
men and women mingle so casually, and where the radically increased
opportunity for temptation and unfaithfulness is so patent that
even the most anti-moralising journalist, politician or social
strategist must see it.
In Tom Wolfe's popular novel Bonfire of the Vanities, a young
financier commits adultery, destroying his wife and daughter,
simply because New York is a city "drowning in concupiscence"
and he is its child. It is not simply the routine mixing of the
sexes that brings about his downfall. Everywhere his eyes wander
he sees advertising, pornography, news stories and squeezy fashions
that grasp at him and shout aloud the charm of duty-free sex.
Wolfe's adulterer is an ordinary, not a fundamentally evil man:
he is simply living in a world in which most human beings cannot
New York is not yet London - but the Atlantic grows narrower
all the time, and the eroticising of the public space has become
part of our culture. Middle-aged men with middle-aged wives once
had little to tempt them, short of an unhealthy adventure with
a Piccadilly tart. Now, with a superabundance of flesh reminding
them painfully at every turn of what they are missing, they are
unlikely to remain loyal unless they are either stupid, or belong
to that category of powerfully moral human beings which always
has been and always will be a minority.
A radical diagnosis, although obvious enough: but is there a
cure? Islam recognises as a major misdemeanour a crime unimaginable
in the West: khalwa, or "illegitimate seclusion". Moral
disasters always have preludes; Islam seeks to reduce the social
matrix in which such preludes can occur. Thus our commitment
to single-sex education. Not for us the absurd desperation of
the Clackmannan headmaster who last month introduced the rule
that boy and girl pupils may not be closer than six inches from
each other, because 'spring is in the air." But schools
are the merest starting-point. The workplace, too, while not
obstructing female advancement, should ensure that the rights
of spouses are protected by denying all possibility of illegitimate
seclusion in the office. Politicians and business people who
insist on employing a personal assistant of the opposite sex
should explain their reasons. Pornography and sub-pornographic
advertising should be carefully censored as intolerably demeaning
and as an incitement to marital infidelity, the task of censorship
being entrusted to those feminists who so rightly object to such
portrayals of their sex.
The tragedy for Britain is, of course, that this remedy, while
as self-evidently worth implementing as the sex drive itself,
will be brushed aside with amazement and scorn by passing journalists
and politicians. Convinced that Islam implies discrimination
by its policy of gender separation, and privately depressed by
the prospect of diminished sexual interest at work, the same
liberal establishment which bewails the fragility of modern relationships
will continue to encourage and live in the public environment
which is at the root of the problem. But Islam by its very nature
takes the long view, and we should not be disheartened. The process
of family collapse is proving so radical in its economic and
human consequences that the time must ultimately come when the
decadence will be recognised for what it is and radical solutions
will be considered. Then, quite possibly, the principled Muslim
conservatism that is so derided today will come into its own.
The secular mind may be too witless
to notice, but to religious people the New Social Doctrines are
fast acquiring the look of a new religion. The twentieth century's
great liberationisms often feel like powerful sublimations of
the religious drive, as the innate yearning for freedom from
worldly ties and the straitjacket of the self becomes strangely
transmuted into a great convulsion against restrictions on personal
In this sense, the politically-correct West is an intensely religious
society. It has its dogmas and theologians, its saints, martyrs
and missionaries, and, with the arrival of speech-codes on American
campuses, a well-developed theory of the suppression of blasphemy.
Some have mused that all this is necessary, and that human beings
need certainties and causes, and that without an orthodoxy to
hold itself together the West would rapidly unravel and turn
to lawlessness. But the trouble is that the new doctrines, which
are now enshrined in legislation, school curricula and broadcasting
guidelines, do not make up either an authentic new religion,
or even a sustainable substitute for one. For religious morality,
whether Muslim, Christian, Buddhist or Eskimo, holds society
together with the idea that personal fulfilment is attained through
the honourable discharge of duties. The West's new religion,
in absolute contrast, teaches that it comes about through the
enjoyment of rights.
Given the extremism of this inversion, it is not surprising that
the societies which it affects should be running into difficulties.
To paraphrase Conor Cruise O"Brien, the trouble with secular
social medicines is that the more they are applied, the sicker
the patient seems to become. It is certainly a blasphemy today
to suggest that the new orthodoxies have worsened our social
ills rather than bringing us into a shining and liberated utopia
- but this is what has happened. And yet the pseudo-religion
is still powerful enough to ensure that the notions which have
presided over such destruction may not be subject to criticism
in polite society. Muslims are perhaps the only people left who
do not care for such politeness.
One of the most characteristic liberationisms of this century
has been feminism. Divided into a myriad tendencies, some cautious
and reasoned, others wandering into unimaginable territories
of witchcraft and lesbianism, this is a movement about which
few generalisations can be made. But perhaps a good place to
start is the observation that women were the major though unintended
victims of both Victorian pre-feminist and late twentieth-century
feminist values. The disabilities suffered by wives in traditional
Christian cultures, which denied that they even existed as financial
or legal entities distinct from their husbands, may have been
accepted without demur by most of them; but real injustice and
suffering was caused to those for whom the social supports were
cut away, and who found themselves in need of an independent
existence. The feminism of the suffragettes was thus a real quest
for justice. It moved Western society away from Christian tradition,
and towards the Islamic norm in which a woman is always a separate
legal entity even after marriage, retaining her property, surname,
inheritance rights, and the right to initiate legal proceedings.
What Muslims are less happy about is the new feminism of the
past three decades, the militantly ideologised world-view of
Friedan, Greer and Daly. These thinkers initiated a new phase
by attacking not only structural unfairnesses in society, but
the most fundamental assumptions about male and female identity.
"Until the myth of the maternal instinct is abolished, women
will continue to be subjugated", wrote Simone de Beauvoir;
and similar noises could be heard from the new feminists everywhere.
In this view, the traditional association of femaleness with
feminity and maleness with manhood was biologically and morally
meaningless, and was to be attacked as the underpinning of the
whole traditional edifice of "patriarchy".
At this point, people of Muslim faith have to jump ship. The
Quran and our entire theological tradition are rooted in the
awareness that the two sexes are part of the inherent polarity
of the cosmos. Everything in creation has been set up in pairs,
we believe; and it is this magnetic relationship between alternate
principles which brings movement and value into the world. Like
the ancient Chinese, with their division of the 1,001 Things
into Yin and Yang, the Muslims, naming phenomena with the gender-specific
Arabic of revelation, know that gender is not convention but
principle, not simple biology - but metaphysics.
Allah has ninety-nine names. Some are Names of Majesty: such
as the Compeller, the Overwhelming, the Avenger. Others are Names
of Beauty: the Gentle, the Forgiving, the Loving-Kind. The former
category are broadly associated with male virtues, and the latter
with female ones. But as all are God's perfect Names, and equally
manifest the divine perfection, neither set is superior. And
the Divine Essence to which they all resolve transcends gender.
Islam has no truck with the hazardous Christian notion that God
is male (the "Father"), an assumption that has been
invoked to justify traditional Western notions of the objective
superiority of the male principle.
Islam's position is thus a nuanced one. Metaphysically, the male
and female principles are equal. It is through their interaction
that phenomena appear: all creation is thus in a sense procreation.
But justice is not necessarily served by attempting to establish
a simple parity between the principles in society "here-below".
The divine names have distinct vocations; and human gender differentiation
was created for more than simple genetic convenience. Both man
and woman are God's khalifas on earth; but in manifesting complementary
aspects of the divine perfection their "ministries"
differ in key respects.
Islam's awareness that when human nature (fitra) is cultivated
rather than suppressed, men and women will incline to different
spheres of activity is of course one which provokes howls of
protest from liberals: for them it is a classic case of blasphemy.
But even in the primitive biological and utilitarian terms which
are the liberals" reference, the case for absolute identity
of vocation is highly problematic. However heavily society may
brainwash women into seeking absolute parity, it cannot ignore
the reality that they have babies, and have a tendency to enjoy
looking after them. Those courageous enough to leave their careers
while their children are small increasingly have to put up with
accusations of blasphemy and heresy from society; but they persist
in their belief, outrageous to the secular mind, that mothers
bring up children better than childminders, that breastmilk is
better than formula milk, and even - this as the ultimate heresy
- that bringing up a child can be more satisfying than trading
bonds or driving buses.
There are already signs that women are rebelling against the
feminist orthodoxy that demands an absolute parity of function
with men, and that "dropping out" to look after a child
is less outrageous in the minds of many educated women than the
media might suggest. But much real damage has been done. The
campaign to turn fathers into nurturers and house-husbands shows
little sign of success; and many houses have become more like
dormitories than homes. Mealtimes are desultory, tin-opening
affairs; both parents are too exhausted to spend "quality
time" with active children; and the sense of belonging to
the house and to each other is sadly attenuated. By the time
children leave home, they feel they are not leaving very much.
In such a dismal context, dissolution is almost logical. The
stress of the two-career family is greater than many normal people
can manage. Increased income and (for some) pleasure at work
are poor compensations for the increased scope for fatigue and
dispute. Deprived of the woman's gift for warming a house, both
husband and children are made less secure. The overlap in functions
provides endless room for argument. And when the dissolution
comes, it is almost always the woman who suffers most. As an
ageing lone parent, she finds that society has little interest
in her. She has joined the new class of "wives of the state".
The state, luckily, can afford to be a polygamist. The social
unravelment of modern Britain has coincided with a massive augmentation
of tax revenue. As long as the rate of social collapse does not
outstrip the annual growth in GDP there is little for politicians
to worry about. And yet the fate of literally millions of single
families is a harsh one. The case for traditional single-income
families, in which women are permitted to celebrate rather than
suppress their nurturing genius, is increasingly looking more
moral than the liberals have guessed.
But the feminists are not the only moths to have been gnawing
the social fabric. There are others, some of them even more radical.
The most strident are the homosexualists, the curious but always
repulsive ideologues who are forcing on the population a dogma
whose consequences for the family are already proving lethal.
As with feminism, the theological case against homosexuality
is related to our understanding of the "dyadic" nature
of creation. Human sexuality is an incarnation of the divinely-willed
polarity of the cosmos. Male and female are complementary principles,
and sexuality is their sacramental and fecund reconciliation.
Sexual activity between members of the same sex is therefore
the most extreme of all possible violations of the natural order.
Its biological sterility is the sign of its metaphysical failure
to honour the basic duality which God has used as the warp and
woof of the world.
It is true, nonetheless, that the homosexual drive remains poorly
understood. It appears as the definitive argument against Darwinism's
hypothesis of the systematic elimination over time of anti-reproductive
traits. In some cultures it is extremely rare: Wilfred Thesiger
records that in the course of his long wanderings with the Arabian
bedouins he never encountered the slightest indication of the
practice. In other societies, particularly modern urban cultures,
it is very widespread. Theories abound as to why this should
be so: some researchers speculate that in overpopulated communities
the tendency represents Nature's own technique of population
control. Laboratory rats, we are told, will remain resolutely
heterosexual until disturbed by bright lights, loud noises, and
extreme overcrowding. Other scientists have speculated about
the effects of "hormone pollution" from the thousands
of tonnes of estrogen released into the water supply by users
of contraceptive pills. Again, this remains without proof.
But what is increasingly suggested by recent research is that
homosexual tendencies are not always acquired, and that some
individuals are born with them as an identifiable irregularity
in the chromosomes. The implications of this for moral theology
are clear: given the Quran's insistence that human beings are
responsible only for actions they have voluntarily acquired,
homosexuality as an innate disposition cannot be a sin.
It does not follow from this, of course, that acting in accordance
with such a tendency is justifiable. Similar research has indicated
that many human tendencies, including forms of criminal behaviour,
are also on occasion traceable to genetic disorders; and yet
nobody would conclude that the behaviour was therefore legitimate.
Instead, we are learning that just as God has given people differing
physical and intellectual gifts, He tests some of us by implanting
moral tendencies which we must struggle to overcome as part of
our self-reform and discipline. A mental patient with an obsessive
desire to set fire to houses has been given a particular hurdle
to overcome. A man or woman with strong homosexual urges faces
the same challenge.
To the religious believer, it is unarguable that homosexual acts
are a metaphysical as well as a moral crime. Heterosexuality,
with its association with conception, is the astonishing union
which leads to new life, to children, grandchildren, and an endless
progeny: it is a door to infinity. Sodomy, by absolute contrast,
leads nowhere. As always, the most extreme vice comes about when
a virtue is inverted.
None of this is of interest to the secular mind, of course, which
detects no meaning in existence and hence cannot imagine why
maximum pleasure and gratification should not be the goal of
human life. The notion that we are here on earth in order to
purify our souls and experience the incomparable bliss of the
divine presence is utterly alien to most of our compatriots.
And yet there is a purely secular argument against homophilia
which we can attempt to deploy.
Homosexualism represents a radical challenge to the institution
of marriage. Its propagandists will not concede the fact, but
it attacks the most vital norm of our species, which is the union
of male and female for which we are manifestly designed and which
is the natural context for the raising of children. In times
such as ours, when nature is no longer regarded as authoritative,
and lifestyles are in all other respects an abnormal departure
from the way in which human beings have lived for countless millennia,
society cannot afford to believe that male-female unions are
of only relative worth. The more the alternatives proliferate,
the less the norm will be seen as sacred. Every victory for the
homosexualist lobby is thus a blow struck against that normality
without which society cannot survive.
It is in the context of the struggle to protect the family that
the campaign against homosexualism becomes most universally accessible.
The screaming fanatics who "out" bishops and demand
a lowering of the "gay" age of consent are among the
most bitter enemies of the fitra, that primordial norm which,
for all the diversity of the human race, has consistently expressed
itself in marriage as the natural context for the nurturing of
the new generation. That which is against the fitra is by definition
destructive: it is against humanity and against God. This awareness
needs to be reflected in legislation, which for too long has
sought to relativise the family as merely one of a range of lifestyle
Muslims sometimes hold that the collapse of family values in
the West will serve the interests of wider humanity. Decadence,
they say, is what it has chosen and deserves; and the inevitable
implosion of its society will leave the field open for morally-strong
Islam to regain its place as the world's dominant civilisation.
The trouble with this theory is that the implosion shows no sign
of leading to total collapse. Technology and wealth allow the
creation of surveillance and social-security systems which can
deal with the growing number of casualties. There is certainly
an irony in a New World Order policed by a state which cannot
keep order in Central Park after nightfall. But unless we are
foolishly optimistic, or hope for absolute totalitarianism, we
cannot but be anxious about social trends in the West. The survival
of the Western family is a question of immediate Muslim concern,
and we must offer our views until the time comes when our friends
and neighbours, their doctrines broken on the anvil of reality,
are humbled enough to listen.
-Abdal Hakim Murad
[Currently, he is a
Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. He studied at the
universities of Cambridge and al-Azhar, Egypt, and has also translated
a number of Islamic works including Imam al-Bayhaqi's The
Seventy Seven Branches of Faith (Quilliam Press, 1992).]