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Noah Schiller: Western Modernism’s Clash with Islamic Civilization

Noah Schiller: Western Modernism’s Clash with Islamic Civilization

I think it is somewhat indisputable that religion is a major factor in a Muslim disenchantment with modernity, because Islamic Civilization has been, since its inception, exactly that: a civilization founded on Islamic values, guided in many facets by the Quran, and which never made a formal distinction between “church and state,” as has been(…)

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Noah Schiller: Essence of the Three Gunpowder Empires

Noah Schiller: Essence of the Three Gunpowder Empires

The Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires, often referred to as the three “Gunpowder Empires,” together established Muslim rule across a vast swath of Eurasia reaching from India to Vienna and comprised an area of land which has come to define what we commonly think of as the Muslim world today. Each empire had its own(…)

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Noah Schiller: The Missing Link of Islamic Civilization

Noah Schiller: The Missing Link of Islamic Civilization

Upon learning how much influence Islamic civilization had on the oft celebrated European Renaissance, and hence on Western civilization as a whole, it is revealing to reflect on the common narrative fed to us of European history and progress. The common story, at least in my educational experience (which I would imagine is similar across(…)

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Noah Schiller: Significant Characteristics of the Prophet in Context of 7th Century Arabia

Noah Schiller: Significant Characteristics of the Prophet in Context of 7th Century Arabia

The Prophet Muhammad’s characteristics were perfectly suited to address the particular socio-political and religious conditions of the world he was born into. Arabia in the 7th century was a tumultuous place – a land splintered into 250 different constantly warring tribes who worshipped hundreds of deities between them. However, due to the proximity and prevailing(…)

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Noah Schiller: Ibn ‘Arabi and Dogen on Non-Duality (Final paper)

Noah Schiller: Ibn ‘Arabi and Dogen on Non-Duality (Final paper)

Non-Duality: The Essential Understanding of Dogen and Ibn Arabi In the worlds of Islam and Buddhism, Sufism and Zen are often seen, respectively, as the most deeply philosophically engaged and incomprehensible traditions in their respective religions. Despite that no evidence has been unearthed showing the two traditions to have any historical link or common origin(…)

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Noah Schiller: Three Rumi Poems

Noah Schiller: Three Rumi Poems

The first poem I have selected to analyze is The Qazvin Softie Who Wanted a Tattoo. I found this poem both humorous and insightful. The poem is about a man from a town called Qazvin who asks his barber to tattoo a lion across his shoulder blades. However, whenever the barber begins his work, the(…)

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Noah Schiller: Sufism’s Bearings on the Modern World

I think the mystical views of Sufism are incredibly relevant to modern life, particularly in the Western world, where religious beliefs no longer, at least officially, govern any domain of life outside of what has been specifically designated as religious. It seems that as a collective, we’ve come to the conclusion, by way of history,(…)

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Noah Schiller – Four Foundational Sufi Concepts

Noah Schiller – Four Foundational Sufi Concepts

In thinking about what the four foundational concepts of Sufism are, the task seems primarily to be an art of where to draw the lines in a sea of interconnected ideas and practices. The more I feel I come to an understanding of what Sufism is, the more it seems one must take into account(…)

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Noah Schiller: Necessity of the Role Model in Sufism

Noah Schiller: Necessity of the Role Model in Sufism

It seems to me the question of the importance of role models in Sufism comes down to its nature as an inner, mystical pursuit, as opposed to the external, legalistic approach of other Islamic institutions. Sufis aspire to gain the actual experience of Islamic insights, of getting closer to God and losing oneself in God,(…)

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