Food Rules

fr-3If we can’t rely on the marketers or the government or even the nutritionists to guide us through the supermarket, then who can we rely on? Well, ask yourself another question: How did humans manage to choose foods and stay healthy before there were nutrition experts and food pyramids or breakfast cereals promising to improve your child’s focus? We relied on culture, which is another way of saying: on the accumulated wisdom of the tribe. (Which is itself another way of saying: on your mom and your grandma.) All of us carry around rules of thumb about eating that have been passed down in our families or plucked from the cultural conversation. Think of this body of food knowledge as samizdat nutrition: an informal, unsanctioned way of negotiating our eating lives that becomes indispensable at a time when official modes of talking about food have suffered a serious loss of credibility.

Continue reading →

Advertisements

Sufism: Distinguishing the Kernel from the Shell

sufism Any sane person would agree that having upright good-moral character is an objective of Islamic Law; that Ikhlas (sincerity) is a noble trait; that jealousy and pride are blameworthy characteristics. All and sundry would agree that ridding oneself of blameworthy traits and adorning oneself with praiseworthy traits are Shariah-countenanced aims. Yet the moment the word Sufism, Tasawwuf or any other of its synonyms is mentioned it becomes a bidah or reprehensible innovation.

Continue reading →