Our top ten relationship break-ups of all time – in increasing order of their earth-shattering importance and magnitude on the heartbreak Richter scale.
You have to go on a package tour (as there is no other way) to Mecca at least once in your life. But we recommend that you take the once in a life-time recommendation literally. God knows how many Muslims take everything else about their religion literally.
Women terrorists trigger particularly morbid fascination because it is men that we usually associate with power and aggression. With this in mind, we present our eclectic but admittedly limited list of Top Ten Jihadi Janes.
Turkey is always fascinating, enchanting and never, ever dull. There is much to like and love about the country but our list is limited to a top ten of Turkish delights.
You want to be happy, educated and true to the spirit of Islam? Well, good fortune smiles on you: there is no lack of great thinkers eager to walk you through to your destination. The issue of knowledge and education has preoccupied Muslims right from the inception of Islam.
Power is endlessly fascinating. Power is perennially enigmatic. The more complex society becomes the harder it is to define exactly where power resides. How do things happen? Why do things happen the way they do?
A spectre is haunting Europe: the spectre of the far-right. Right across the continent, extremist political parties are attracting millions of votes. They now have solid representation in national and European parliaments. They receive strong doses of, to use the words of the late Margaret Thatcher, ‘the oxygen of publicity’ from the media, and their leaders are regarded as having something important to say.
If you subscribe to the ‘Foreign Policy’ list, and think that Malala Yousafzai and Aung San Suu Kyi (who is happy to turn a blind eye towards the massacre of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar) are ‘global thinkers’, then you are clearly not living on the freethinking planet.
In the pre-revolution days, Syrians were ever ready to list ten of their favourite picnic spots, ten of their much-loved restaurants, or even ten of the sects participating in the imaginary happy mosaic. Today, lists of traumatisation leap to the mind: the ten largest refugee camps, or ten major massacres, or perhaps ten of the numerous new militias.
There is One God, One Prophet and, allegedly, one international Muslim community – the ummah. There are five daily prayers and five pillars of Islam (profession of faith, zakat, prayer, fasting during Ramadan, and pilgrimage to Mecca, the hajj, at least once in a lifetime). There are six, for Sunnis, Articles of Faith (belief in One God; the angels of God; the books of God; the prophets of God; the Day of Judgment ; and the supremacy of God’s will), seven circuits around the Kaaba (when you actually get to Mecca) and seven verses in the Fatiha, ‘the Opening’ chapter of the Qur’an, which has 114 Surahs or chapters. The Prophet had twelve wives; and the Shia have twelve Imams.