It has been two years to the day that I began peddling my wares here at the Doctrine. 167 entries, 366 comments and 43,623 views (and a few public engagements, dubious TV appearances and a spinout multimedia publishing portal) later, the site has grown into, if not a successful business, then, at least, an important part of my life, whose readership affords me an opportunity to learn more about myself (according to the “Three Princes” principle of intersubjective reflection).
In December 2008 the readership began with an average of 1 or 2 views a day but, over the course of Time, has moved into the 100s. Our busiest day was around 400 views, thanks to Facebook shares of my piece on “Draw Muhammed Day”. My day job involves academic research in a specialist area of computational logic and demands I publish papers to disseminate my research results. I would be lucky to get more than 500 readers for a popular paper in a year, much less for a typical paper: so in terms of what “impact factor”, my secret identity as your friendly neighbourhood tailor has become more significant than my everyday research job. That said, I have found the two roles blurring increasingly: at least I consider the entirety of this and that to be one Science, a investigative continuum of Logic and Love.
I’m touched, honoured and blessed that you have deemed my couture work something worth inspecting and hope I have not offended over this time.
Sadiq the Jeweller (Mystic Saint) came to visit me in London recently. He has been very helpful in publicising this portal: my main business referral, so to speak (we’ve done the odd two-for-one offer over the years, jewels and robes).
We were discussing niyat, I suppose: intent. I was explaining my original motivation was quite grand, certainly Quixotic: to change the way the ummah read the Reading — I believe I’d been to one uninspired hutba too many (the last in that December involving a profoundly asinine literal reading of the story of Umm Waraqah, whose ultimate significance is the nature of jummah itself, a significance outlined rather tersely in my first post).
But things turned out the other way. The Doctrine changed me, not the ummah (who continues to confound me with her ultimate unreachability), particularly with respect to motivation. You might say I’ve lost all motivation: except to read and keep on reading. Because that’s how I love. And to read aloud to you and with you, as friends, if you have an ear (or tolerance) for my accent, because that’s probably the only way I can express my love for you.
In closing, I’d like to thank the Academy, my readers, my parents, my darling wife, my two daughters and, last but not least, Allah.
And offer you a gift in appreciation of your readership (it will only be downloadable for about 3 days from now, so grab it while its hot): a free download of the Friends of Design’s Suficore album which, in its own way, is the most effective precis of what I’ve been trying to say here all this time. (Lyrics are available over at Fernmind.)