Shabbir Akhtar (born 1960) is a British-Pakistani philosopher, poet, researcher and writer. His interests include political Islam, Quranic interpretation, revival of philosophical discourse in Islam, the thought of Søren Kierkegaard, inter-faith dialogue as well as Islamic readings of the New Testament.
- To deny that God sits upon a throne or speaks to humankind is to deny both the Quran and divine attributes. But to take it literally is to make God corporeal wich amounts to tashbih, literal anthropomorphism. Both are incorrect. Quranic assertions about God, however, must be believed - but bilā kaifā (without asking how). This last doctrine was originally developed by the othodox theologian and tradionist—jurist Ah.mad Ibn Hanbal, the founder of the last of the four Sunni schools of law. He was publicly flagelatted in Baghdad and incarcerated for his views during the rationalist inquisition. But his traditional views were to triumph later to become not only an incubus but an operative veto on the further inquiry in the metaphisical obsurities of the Quran.
- Freedom is a precondition of profundity: no wonder philosophy has no place in the cultural life of Muslims. Religion is merely ritual without the spirtiual introspection that philosophical insight brings... It is not the task of religionn to seek to reduce us from the straight path of reason.
- Shabbir Akhtar quoted in in Lal, K. S. (2002). Return to roots: Emancipation of Indian Muslims. New Delhi: Radha.(69) and in in S.R. Goel, ed., Freedom of Expression
- I lived in Malaysia for three years in the kind of uncertainty westerners face only in times of war. The five daily calls to prayer are the only predictable events in the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. The power cuts are frequent, the traffic jams continuous. Islam is the official religion, but materialism is the ruling creed. ... Islam is practised with ritual precision and with perfect reverence for its Arabian dimension. All Malays, including the royal family, look up to Arabs, the white men of the East.