Dr. T. J. Winter

Dr. T. J. Winter

Dr. T. J. Winter (b. 1960)

T. J. Winter

“Despite its origins in 7th
century Arabia, it [Islam] works everywhere, and this is itself
a sign of its miraculous and divine origin […] Islam, once we
have become familiar with it, and settled into it comfortably,
is the most suitable faith for the British. Its values are our
values. Its moderate, undemonstrative style of piety, still
waters running deep; its insistence on modesty and a certain
reserve, and its insistence on common sense and on pragmatism,
combine to furnish the most natural and easy religious option
for our people […] Islam is the true consanguinity of
believers in the One True God, the common bond of those who seek
to remain focussed on the divine Source of our being in this
diffuse, ignorant and tragic age. But it is generous and
inclusive. It allows us to celebrate our particularity, the
genius of our heritage; within, rather than in tension with, the
greater and more lasting fellowship of faith.”

Dr. T. J. Winter, known now as Abdal-Hakim Murad, is a
British convert to Islam. He received his masters degree from the
Cambridge University
at England and later studied at Al Azhar.
He was a research fellow at the Oxford University. Currently, he
is a lecturer of Theology at Cambridge University. Among his works is
the translation of al Bayhaqi’s “Seventy-Seven Branches of Faith” into
English. He has also authored many articles about Islam and Muslims.

His 8-tape lecture series called
Understanding
Islam
received much acclamation from both Muslims and non-Muslims.
The lectures were given to a primarily non-Muslims audience and is
considered unparalleled for its objectivity and research. It covers the
following topics: The Five Pillars of Islam; Sunnah, Shariah,
Sectarianism and Ijtihad; Scriptural Links Between Judaism, Christianity
and Islam; Muslim-Christian Views of One Another; Muslim Theology and
Islamic Mysticism; and The Muslim Influence on Europe and the West.

Balancing the Zahir and the Batin

Islam is a balance between the zahir and the batin, i.e.,
the form and the spirit, the external and the internal, the expressed
and the hidden, the husk and the kernel, the body and the soul. It is
such a balance that are meant to be manifested in a believer. When that
happens, he or she is a beauty.

This essential quality of a believer is excellently elaborated by Winter
in two of his best articles:
Seeing With Both
Eyes
and The
Sunna As Primordiality
. He concludes one of these articles with the
following soothing words that give us hope and re-assurance in a world
that is seemingly full of evil and oppression:

“Those of us who have lived far from nature, and far
from beauty, and far from the saints, often have anger, and darkness,
and confusion in our hearts. But this is not the Sunna [the examples of
Prophet Muhammad]. The sunna is about detachment, about the confidence
that however seemingly black the situation of the world, however great
the oppression, no leaf falls without the will of Allah. Ultimately, all
is well. The cosmos, and history, are in good hands.

“That was the confidence of Rasulullah (s.w.s.) [the Prophet]. It has to
be our confidence as well. There is too much depression among us, which
leads either to demoralisation and immorality, or to panic, and
meaningless, ugly forms of extremism, which have nothing to do with the
serenity and beauty to which the Ka’ba summons us. But Islam commands
wisdom, and balance. It is the middle way. And for us, whatever our
situation, it is always available, and can always be put into practice.
We are the fortunate umma in today’s world. Fortunate, because unlike
Westerners, we are still centred on beauty. In other words, we still
know what we are, and what we are called to be. ” – Dr. T. J. Winter

Some of his other articles include:


British and Muslim?

The Trinity – a
Muslim Perspective

Understanding
the Four Madhhabs

Islam and the
New Millennium

Diana and
Dionysus

Islam,
Irigaray, and the Retrieval of Gender

The Poverty Of
Fanaticism

The Fall of the
Family (Part I)

Boys will be Boys
– Gender Identity Issues


“Our doctrine could not be
more straightforward. The most pure, exalted, uncompromising
monotheism: the clearest idea of God there has ever been. A
system of worship that requires no paraphernalia: no
crosses, confessionals, priests or pews. Just the human
creature, and its Lord. The Hajj and Umra also take us back
to an ancient time, as we wear the simplest of garments, and
perform primordial rites that reconnect us with the symbolic
centre, around the purest building there has ever been. The
fast of Ramadan is also timeless: bringing us into contact
and continuity with one of the oldest of all religious
devotions […] By stepping inside the protecting circle of
Islam, the human creature is thus reconnected to the ancient
simplicity and dignity of the human condition. Islam allows
us to reclaim our status as khalifas: Allah’s
deputies on earth.”
– Dr. T. J. Winter

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