akbarschamber public
[search 0]
More

Download the App!

show episodes
 
Akbar’s Chamber offers a non-political, non-sectarian and non-partisan space for exploring the past and present of Islam. It has no political or theological bias other than a commitment to the Socratic method (which is to say that questions lead us to understanding) and the empirical record (which is to say the evidence of the world around us). By these methods, Akbar’s Chamber is devoted to enriching public awareness of Islam and Muslims both past and present. The podcast aims to improve un ...
 
Loading …
show series
 
In this episode we’ll explore the history of a ‘hidden caliphate’ through which scholar-saints of the Naqshbandi Sufi order provided social stability during times of tremendous political upheaval. The Sufis in question were followers of Ahmad Sirhindi, who in the years after his death in 1624 – or 1034 in the Muslim calendar – designated him as the…
 
Africa’s Islamic traditions receive far less attention than is warranted by their intellectual and spiritual wealth. Because African Muslims have not only been major contributors to Arabic learning for a millennium or more. They also developed writings in their own languages that enriched Islam through insights and idioms drawn from the experience …
 
For anyone entering a yoga studio today, the world of Islam might feel a million miles away. Yet for more than a thousand years, practitioners of Yoga have lived side by side with the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. The history of Islam and Yoga, of Muslims and Hindus, is more than a tale of simple coexistence, though. It’s also a story of clos…
 
In the twentieth century, the rise of science and secularism became major preoccupations for countless religious thinkers, Muslim or otherwise. Among them was Said Nursi, an influential Kurdish-Turkish thinker who grappled with such timeless questions as what is a human being, and what constitutes true knowledge? After living through the collapse o…
 
Discussions of Islam in Europe often focus on the northern and western regions of the continent, where Muslim communities only evolved in the late twentieth century. But the history of Islam in southeastern Europe is far older, reaching back to the mid-1300s. Over the course of almost seven centuries, the Balkan region – encompassing today’s Greece…
 
Historians have long recognized how the spread of printing in early modern Europe was a major contributor to the Reformation and Renaissance. So, when printing spread across the Islamic world in the nineteenth century, what were the consequences for the religious and cultural life of Muslims? In this episode, we’ll explore this question by looking …
 
Since early Islamic times, the shores and islands of East Africa have been closely linked to the Arabian Peninsula by monsoon winds that carried traders, scholars and mystics to sultanates that flourished along the Swahili Coast for almost a millennium. As well as contributing to the rich Swahili culture that developed through these Afro-Arabian in…
 
Today Indonesia is home to the largest Muslim population of any nation on the planet. But when, and how, was this region converted? And how were Islamic ideas and texts translated into the Malay language that became a regional lingua franca for Muslims across Southeast Asia at large? In this episode, we’ll survey over a thousand years of Southeast …
 
From the verses of the Quran and the deeds of the Prophet Muhammad, charity has taken on many different forms over the fourteen centuries of Muslim history. The terms for obligatory and voluntary charity – zakat and sadaqa – are mentioned nearly sixty times in the Quran, while Sunni Muslims consider zakat to be one of the Five Pillars of the faith.…
 
In this episode, we explore the interplay between religion and geography through a case study of the mountain regions that formed the borderlands between Afghanistan and British India then, from 1947, Pakistan. In recent years, the region entered the headlines through its association with the so-called Pakistani Taliban. But this was only the lates…
 
Since the middle of the sixteenth century, Russia has been home to a large but little-known Muslim community that stretches from the Caucasus mountains across the Volga-Ural plains to Siberia. Today, Russia’s Muslims make up between 10 and 15 percent of the overall population, between two and three times the proportion of Muslims in the European Un…
 
In 1575, the Mughal emperor Akbar established the Ibadat-khana, or ‘House of Worship,’ at his Indian capital of Fatehpur Sikri. Over the following years, it would act as a space of religious dialogue between Muslims, Hindus, Zoroastrians, and Jews, along with Christian missionaries of the Jesuit order. By emphasizing the use of aql, or ‘reason,’ th…
 
The Uyghurs of the Xinjiang region of China have been the focus of much media attention in the past few years. In this episode, we journey beyond the headlines to explore the religious and cultural history of the Turkic Muslim people who in the modern era came to be called Uyghurs. We’ll pay special attention to their relationship with their homela…
 
While the Quran was revealed in Arabic, for more than a thousand years Muslims have explored its meanings and implications in many other languages. In the medieval period, this process of ‘vernacularization’ accelerated as wandering holy men — known as dervishes and abdals — preached profound mystical doctrines in languages understood by ordinary p…
 
In 1898, an obscure Syrian scholar called Rashid Rida founded a magazine in Cairo called al-Manar (‘The Lighthouse’). Over the next forty years, it reached readers as far apart as India and Argentina, Africa and Indonesia, spreading worldwide the new form of Islam called Salafism. Despite never holding any formal religious office, by seizing the op…
 
Akbar’s Chamber offers a non-political, non-sectarian and non-partisan space for exploring the past and present of Islam. It has no political or theological bias other than a commitment to the Socratic method (which is to say that questions lead us to understanding) and the empirical record (which is to say the evidence of the world around us). By …
 
Almost everyone nowadays has heard of the Quran. But what about the Hadith? Far larger than the Quran itself, the Hadith comprise several hundred thousand reports about what the Prophet Muhammad said and did. For almost fourteen centuries, learned Muslim have drawn on these reports for myriad purposes, whether moral or mystical, political or legal.…
 
From its humble origins as a small-town madrasa founded in colonial India in 1866, the Deoband movement has become one of the most influential molders of contemporary Islam. By tracing its trajectory of expansion, and unpacking its doctrines, this podcast follows Deobandism from provincial India to the world, before turning to its complex relations…
 
Among the many varieties of Islam, and the numerous Muslim minorities, few are less known but more fascinating than the Bohras. A minority within a minority, this million-strong community of Ismaili Shi‘is emerged in Egypt before their leaders fled to Yemen then finally found refuge in India. In this podcast, we’ll follow the Bohras from medieval C…
 
Founded in Egypt in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood became the key promoter of the political visions of Islam that spread more widely as the century progressed. By following the biography of its founder, Hasan al-Banna, this episode examines the circumstances, debates and idiosyncrasies that gave shape to the world’s most influential Islamist movement…
 
How did Muslims encounter and interpret other cultures before the modern era of globalization? To answer this question, we turn to the testimony of one of the great genres of Muslim literature: the travelogue. In this podcast, we’ll rove around the Bay of Bengal, where the Persian lingua franca promoted by the Mughal then British empires became the…
 
In the decades either side of 1900, a series of influential Muslim thinkers tried to reconcile Islam with the modern world. As their ideas gained prominence in late colonial India, the doctrines of Islamic modernism formed an informal religious charter for the founding of Pakistan in 1947. But over the subsequent seventy years, Pakistan’s ruling el…
 
For almost a thousand years, cultured Muslims from many regions of the world turned for inspiration and solace to the Persian mystical poetry of the Sufis. Originating in medieval Iran and Afghanistan, these poems spread as far as the Balkans, Bengal and beyond, shaping the religious and cultural life of South and Central Asia no less than the Midd…
 
Over its long history, Islam has taken on many distinctive regional forms. With its many languages and countless cultural influences, South Asia – comprising India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – has produced a particularly rich variety of these localized versions of Islam. Taking the example of the Tamil-speaking Muslims of southern India an…
 
Situated in northern Afghanistan, the ancient city of Balkh was one of the great cultural crossroads of world history. Following its transformation from a sacred Buddhist center into one of the holy cities of Islam, this podcast delves into the little-known interactions of Muslim, Buddhist and Jewish peoples along the pilgrimage and trade routes of…
 
In terms of geographical breadth no less than population numbers, the British Empire was the largest ‘empire of Muslims’ in history, reaching from West to East Africa via Egypt and Palestine through India (and what is now Pakistan) to the Maldives and Malaysia. Right in the middle – in easy reach of the colonial transport hubs of Aden and Suez – la…
 
When Middle Eastern students were sent to study medicine in Europe, one of the unexpected outcomes was the introduction to Iran of the fashionable occult movements that flourished in the West amid the decline of traditional Christianity. Using the scientific language of laboratory-like seances, Iran’s occult impresarios presented their methods as a…
 
The late nineteenth century saw the onset of a great religious transformation that might well be called the Muslim reformation. Among Sunnis at least, arguably the most influential figure was the Egyptian thinker Muhammad Abduh. In this podcast, we’ll follow Abduh from his rural upbringing through his youthful years of political activism and debate…
 
Over the past millennium, pilgrimages to the shrines of Sufi saints have played an important part in religious and cultural life for most regions of the Muslim world. But in modern times, these shrines have become the focus of intense criticism by Muslim reformists, who see them as sites of superstitious deviation from true religion. In this podcas…
 
Loading …

Quick Reference Guide

Copyright 2022 | Sitemap | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Google login Twitter login Classic login