Mortimer Adler on How to Read a Book

Mortimer Adler is one of my favourite twentieth century philosophers. My encounter with his writings began with his best selling ‘How to Read a Book’ first published in 1940. Since then, (not in 1940) I have collected any book of his that I can get my hands on. My annual trip to Haye-on-Wye has Mortimer Adler on the top of my book list and many others are in my Amazon wish list. I wrote the following as a handout for a class I gave on ‘How to Read a Book’ and I reproduce it here for the benefit of all. Continue reading →


Ibn Ataillah’s Aphorisms on Sincerity with explanatory notes by Shaykh Abdullah Gangohi

Works are like lifeless forms and the presence of sincerity endows them with spirit.

Works, like ritual prayers, fasting and hajj without sincerity are like lifeless forms. They are like pictures of animate beings and the presence of sincerity therein endows them with life. Sincerity means to perform works solely for the pleasure of Allah. The presence of sincerity renders the work fruitful in the hereafter, and its absence renders it fruitless. Continue reading →

What Every Child Should Be Able To Do by 12 Years of Age

“When you have to do one of the following chores, invite your child to help – let him or her watch as you demonstrate, then have a go. Give plenty of praise for effort and progress. Next time it crops up, invite your child to help again, and this time to do a little more. Give lots more praise. Eventually, you can hand over the task. But don’t rush at it – it’s not a race – and don’t get impatient if your child takes a long time to acquire the skill. Just enjoy the oppurtunity to spend time together. Continue reading →