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NEW COMMENTS

  • Overall Islam is a religion liable of misinterpretations, hence ‘dangerous.' '
    ( By sunny )
  • The Doctrine of Abrogation must be revised. Believing that latter verses abrogate earlier verses would only make us more intolerant and warlike. A better test ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is precisely what I am telling you and other ulema, Ghulam Ghaus Saheb. If you base your religion on Meccan Islam with its foundational ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • I like the effort of differentiating between focusing on your contributions vs your complaints. Because if you go with the former you have to see ...
    ( By Muzammil )
  • It is refreshing to hear a Muslim leader speak about the need for Muslims to adopt a new way of thinking in regards to political ...
    ( By Najiba akbar )
  • मुसलमान मुसलमान के साथ भी शान्ति के साथ नहीं रह सकता है। जिस तरह मुस्लिम देशों में इस्लाम के दूसरे फिरकों की मस्जिदों में बम ...
    ( By Rakesh Agarwal )
  • Dear Sultan Shahin sahib, You have quoted Imam Ghazali various times in your articles. You quoted to tell the readers about his “offensive” interpretation. I ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
  • शिक्षित और अशिक्षित के बीच गहरी खाई का दुख परिणाम'
    ( By अजय कुमार जैन )
  • We Muslims believe that our Lord Allah Almighty is able to do everything. Nothing is impossible for Him. As a creator of the world, Allah ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
  • Science is Islam.There is never a statement to hate non-muslims.Be with your basics & let other do as per their belief.There is no need to ...
    ( By Ibrahim Usmani )
  • Beware of this false propaganda. ... Their is nothing like new age Islam. Islam is complete religion. Islam is best religion. Their is no ...
    ( By Altaf Khan )
  • There are ignorant fanatics supported by politicians n media in all religions and countries that is what we observe around us'
    ( By Hamza Philip )
  • Dear Ghulam Ghaus Saheb, Along with Dr. Tahirul Qadri, you too say, there are no intolerant verses in Quran. Do please tell me, how would ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • All these arguments and debates won't work anymore. I and many Hindus know that this has to be solved all over the world only through ...
    ( By Hindu reader )
  • May Sultan Shahin & his tribe prosper & multiply.'
    ( By Dileep Kumar Sen )
  • It is not righteousness that you turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, ...
    ( By Syed Ahmed Shah )
  • Commendable and brave indeed!'
    ( By Rajeev Khullar )
  • As education will increase among Muslims, these types of thoughts will start emerging. That's what mullahs and moulvis fear the most. That's why they don't ...
    ( By Deepak Sabarwal )
  • A nice piece of an intellectual thought that need be given due weightage in order to synthesize this burning issue arose before us.'
    ( By Rajmani Tewari )
  • Pakistan me 14% Hindu the ab 1% bache h 426 mandir the ab 28 bache h roz 12 hindu ladkio ko uta le jate h ...
    ( By Raj Srivastava )
  • Wonderful your mind set ! Muslims are not safe in the world , you can't feel it ? Why are you silent ? Raise against ...
    ( By Elan Munshi )
  • Mr Sultan Sahin I don't know who are you and what is your job but it is very much clear that you are international stooge ...
    ( By Mohd Yunus )
  • A satanic agent'
    ( By Mohammad Qazim )
  • Some people are mad and talk nonsense but Sir why you?'
    ( By AL Misbah Rehman )
  • Sane has no use for religion..insane understand life is a prison.'
    ( By Kuldeep Pandita )
  • I have asked time and again point 1 mistake otherwise stop this. I dont know whom you are trying to please, but I can only ...
    ( By Mastan Shaik )
  • First of All there is nothing like New Age Islam, the thing that is 'New' is the New world order. Second thing is that nodoubt ...
    ( By Jahan Zeb )
  • Dear Admin Your 95% fellow brethern doesn't want change!! Liberalism can't be accepted in your society where fundamentalism is so deep in its roots. Always ignoring ...
    ( By भागीरथ गोदारा )
  • Mr.Shahin.is your magazine available on bookstalls? I want your I'm book form. Pl reply.
    ( By U.p. Ojha )
  • Mohammad Ghitreef sahib, The old great jurists of Islam have discussed and even agreed to accept the peaceful coexistence under the command of the Qur’an ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
  • When talking about the war-related verses as contextual, the Sufi-Sunni clerics and great theologians of the past have already called them contextual. So we should ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
  • Yes, the war-related verses are contextual applicable only for defence after no option is left for Muslims as a community except to defend their life. ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
  • Of course, there is not a single “intolerant” verse in the holy Quran. It is merely a cause of misunderstanding or wrong to use the bad ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
  • Incisive, precise and profound analysis of a complex problem-absolutely brilliant. Why isn't this man the Governor already? '
    ( By yoginder sharma )
  • Obviously Mr. Tufail Ahmad has never been involved in any actual fight for reforms to which groups such as the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan have ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Unless the Pakistani Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has equal numbers of male and female members, its pronouncements must be considered null and void.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • If ISIS self proclaimed Caliph Baghdadi says that Islam is a religion of permanent war with non Muslims,then it is not surprising. Simply because all ...
    ( By Mohammad Ghitreef )
  • Sultan shahin...you're the great...atleast there is someone who can understand islam...and showing ...
    ( By Vishesh )
  • GREAT work, Mr. Sultan Shahin. Please do keep doing it despite the brickbats (and the risk). Just please be safe. After the ...
    ( By Owais Khan )
  • کیا ایک مجلس میں‌ دی جانی والی تمام طلاقوں‌ کو ایک طلاق مانا جائے گا؟ سوال ۲: کیا حضرت عمر رضی اللہ عنہ نے 3 طلاق ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
  • LATEST ARTICLES

    Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

    The Islamic State (ISIS) has successfully managed to radicalise and attract to its ranks several Indian-origin youth from the huge diaspora in West Asian countries, Indian security agencies have found. Refusing to speculate on the exact number of Indians who have joined the ISIS, a top intelligence official told this newspaper: “How many of Indian-origin youth have left from West Asia to join the ISIS we don’t know. We have some leads, but it is difficult to say anything conclusively now.” Already the number of Indians who have joined the ISIS has been revised from around 25 to about 40 now.

     
    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    ISIS’ Millenarian Theory and its Refutation: Perspectives from Several World Religions on Mahdaviat Doctrine and its Misinterpretations (Part 1)
    Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

     Note: A large part of the attraction of ISIS for Muslim youth is its millenarian thesis. It has convinced many that end of times is at hand, that they are engaged in the end-times battle, the Malhama. This has made the war they are engaged in imperative and urgent. Millenarianism or Islamic Eschatology, Ilm-e-Aakhiruzzaman, was an inspiration behind some ideologues of al-Qaeda as well. But Osama bin Laden himself and most of his ideologues did not emphasize it much. As for ISIS, even in its previous avatar as Jamāʻat al-Tawīd wa-al-Jihād (The Organisation of Monotheism and Jihad) founded in 1999 by Jordanian radical Abu Musab al-Zarqawi which later pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda, several ideologues strongly believed in the apocalyptic worldview, the theory of this war being the final great war, al-Malhama al-Kubra, in which Islam will conquer the world.

     

    World domination has been a Muslim dream for ever. Books like Qeyamat Ki Peshingoyian, or prophesies of the Prophet about the last days on earth have always been a bestseller in Muslim religious bookshops in every part of the world. No matter how irrational, Muslims of all denominations have for ever been waiting for a Mahdi or an Imam who will appear in the final days and set everything right. Indeed, this belief cuts across religious barriers. Believers in a number of religions are looking forward to the sudden appearance of a deliverer. This has made the task of ISIS easier. To help understand this phenomenon better, New Age Islam is presenting a study by our regular columnist Mr. Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, a classical Islamic scholar who specialises in comparative religion. Almost the entire Islamic Eschatology is based on Hadees, and we don’t think by strengthening the institution of Hadees, that were collected up to 300 years after the demise of the Prophet (p.b.u.h), seeking to find answers in Hadees itself, we can fight the radical Islamic theology. But it is important to know and understand.  --- Editor

     
    From the Desk of Editor

    With Our 7th Century Mind-Set, Can We Muslims Co-Exist With Other Religious Communities In Any Part Of The World?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    The Holy Quran had asked Muslims to fight for the existence of all those worship houses, synagogues, churches, monasteries, temples where God is praised in abundance.

    “…If God had not checked one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his (cause); —for verily Allah is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will). (Qur'an, 22:40)

    You can see that here God makes the cause of protecting worship houses of all religious communities, “monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques,” as His own cause. But have you heard any Muslim demanding Saudi Arabia or Pakistan or Bangladesh or any other Muslim country where religious minorities face persecution, to desist and follow the dictates of the Quran for religious freedom and diversity? I would have thought that if Muslims followed Quran, not to speak of the charter of The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we would be fighting Jihad against Saudi government to allow other religious communities to establish their own worship houses, against Pakistan and Bangladesh to stop persecuting Hindus, Christians and Ahmadis, etc.

    Islamic World News

    Muslims in Turkey Demand Right to Pray At Hagia Sophia

    Iran to Miss Hajj, Alleges Saudi Arabia 'Blocking Path to Allah'

    Nuclear-Armed Pakistan Can 'Target' Delhi in 5 Minutes: Abdul Qadeer Khan

    Mideast

    Clashes between ISIL, Syria Rebels Kill Dozens near Turkey: Monitor

    Arab World

    Anbar Province: Iraqi Forces Kill 110 ISIL Terrorists Near Fallujah City

    700 Migrants Feared Dead in Mediterranean Shipwrecks

    Pakistan

    Banned In Pakistan: Condom Ads That Incite Curiosity in ‘Innocent Children’

    Europe

    Islamic Terrorism Is a Form of Islam and We Can't Deny It, Says Salman Rushdie

    South Asia

    10 Taliban Commanders Killed In Baghlan Airstrike, MoD Claims

    Afghan Police Suffer Casualties in Taliban Attack in Helmand

    Southeast Asia

    ‘Compulsory’ For Muslims to Support Shariah Amendments, AGC Shariah Adviser Says

    Africa

    Forces Backed By Libya's Unity Govt Seek To Encircle Islamic State-Held Sirte

    North America

    US-Led Coalition Troops Seen Near Front Line in New Iraq Offensive

    India

    Beijing at It Again, Now Says India-Iran Chabahar Deal Will Help China

    Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

    For Details and More Headlines from All Regions, Please click, ‘More’

     
    Islam, Women and Feminism

    Indian Muslim Women Rise Against Triple Talaq

    Islamic State Fighters Appear To Be Hawking Sex Slaves on the Web

    UAE Curriculums Must Lift the Veil off Female Thinkers

    Orange County Residents Gather To Support 2 Muslim Women Berated By Man at Ice Cream Store

    Kurdish Female Commander of Northern Raqqa Campaign Says Operations Continue

    A Triumph for Co-Existing: Christian Israeli-Arab Crowned First-Ever 'Miss Trans Israel'

    Human Rights Activist: What the Future Holds For Afghan Women

    Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

     
    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    The Sunni Arab states still do not seem to understand the extent to which extreme versions of Islam imperil them as well. Although the Saudi royal family relies on the Wahhabi clerics for their political legitimacy, the Islamic State accuses the monarchy of corrupting the faith to preserve its power....

     
    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    As Al Qaeda Slips and ISIS Gains, Pakistan Will Be the Test-Tube For the Next Jihad
    Khaled Ahmed

    There is no doubt that Haqqanis getting on top of the Taliban in Afghanistan would find favour with some quarters in Pakistan unmindful of the way this would expose the country to global wrath. By creating chaos in which women and children suffer most, the jihad enthusiasts will take Pakistan from permanent instability to permanent conflict....

     
    Islamic World News

    Muslim Organisations to Divide Muslim Votes On The Basis Of Cult (Maslak)

    Iranian Students Threw a Graduation Dance Party, It Cost Them 99 Lashes Each

    Texas Men Train to Shoot Muslims and Dip Bullets in Pig Blood So Victims ‘Go Straight to Hell’

    Pakistan Cannot Accept China's Rejection of Islam Says Hafeez Sayeed

    India

    Two Muslim Youth Held For Insulting Goddess Kali on Facebook

    Arab World

    Notorious ISIL Militant Caught in Women’s Clothes Trying to Flee Iraq

    Terrorist Groups Use Turkish Territories to Transfer Forces, Arms from Idlib to Aleppo

    North America

    Amid Growing Tension, Muslim Convention Aims To Dispel 'Destructive Myths' About Islam

    Pakistan

    Jamaat ud Dawa Offers Funeral Prayer for Mullah Mansour in Peshawar

    Southeast Asia

    Outrage in Multi-Ethnic Malaysia as Government Backs Islamic Law

    Mideast

    Turkish Army Hits ISIL Targets in Syria, Says 104 Rebels Killed

    South Asia

    Taliban Suffer Heavy Casualties in South, 52 Killed, 29 Wounded

    Africa

    Why Africa Can’t Afford To Give Up On Somalia’s Peacekeeping Force Yet

    Europe

    Islam Should Be Taught In All German Schools - Bavarian Bishop

    Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

    For Details and More Headlines from All Regions, Please click, ‘More’

     
    Islam, Women and Feminism

    ISIS Is Fining Women $10 for Showing Their Eyes
    Lisa Valentine

    Judge Throws Muslim Woman in Jail for Refusing To Remove Headscarf in Court

    Facebook Page Promotes Islamic Female Circumcision

    Child Marriage Shame: 30% Hindu, Muslim Indian Women Tie Knot before Turning 18

    Take a Look at a Century of the Hijab's History

    Muslim Woman after Egypt Mob Riot: I ‘Had No Affair’ With Christian Man

    Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

     
    Current Affairs

    In what is probably the first incident of its kind, terror outfit Islamic State (ISIS) has successfully managed to radicalise and rope in an Indian studying in the United States....

     


    BEST OF BEFORE ARTICLES

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    From Indian Mujahidin to ISIS: What Explains the Transformation
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Merely hoping that Indian Muslim youth would not get attracted to ISIS ideology is wishful thinking or another way of saying that the problem does not exist in India. But this is hardly the case: …Waging jihad against the perceived persecution of Muslims is no longer the key tenet, rather, driving away shirk (2) and polytheism as a religious duty is what comes across in these videos. The grievance of these youths is transformed from a contextual perception of alleged violence against Muslims (as in the Indian Mujahidin email of 2008) to something which is de-contextualised and purely a scriptural command to wage war against the infidels till no Fitna (3) remains. This seems to be the contribution of Salafi ISIS ideology which they are now fully embedded into: ‘scriptures speak for themselves; they do not have a context and there is no need for a contextual reading of Islamic scripture.’

    A large part of the diatribe in this video is also reserved for the Indian Ulema. Called as Ulema e Suu (false or evil scholars), they are attacked for not telling the Muslim masses the true teachings of Islam. This true teaching of Islam, according the ISIS video is that Islam is a religion of war rather than a religion of peace. An average Indian Alim is thus held guilty for teaching that Islam is a religion of peace. … One can only hope that a response to this video will come from the Indian Muslim community, particularly the Ulema. So far their silence has only meant that perhaps they have nothing to say. Or is it that sections of the Ulema themselves are convinced of the veracity of what ISIS has to say about Islam? ...

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Will Indian Ulema Respond To The Latest ISIS Outrage? Is Islam Not A Religion Of Peace? Is Offensive Jihad An Individual Religious Duty (Farz-e-Ain)?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    If past record is any guide, nothing much should be expected. The Ulema (clerics) kept quiet when one of them Maulana Salman Nadwi wrote a letter to the self-declared Khalifa Baghdadi, addressing him as Amir ul Momineen.  They had kept quiet earlier when Maulana Abdul Aleem Islahi, of Hyderabad, the inspiration behind Indian Mujahedeen wrote and propagated: “It is the duty (of Muslims) to struggle for the domination of Islam over false religions and subdue and subjugate Ahl-e-Kufr-o-Shirk (infidels and polytheists) in the same way as it is the duty of the Muslims to proselytise and invite people to Islam. The responsibility to testify to the Truth and pronounce the Deen God has entrusted with the Muslims cannot be fulfilled merely by preaching and proselytising. If it were so there would be no need for the battles that were fought. "And fight them until there is no fitnah (mischief) and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah. And if they cease - then indeed, Allah is Seeing of what they do." Surah Anfal 8:39). ...

    I have grave doubts that Indian Ulema will respond to the Indian Mujahedeen speaking in the ISIS video in any meaningful way. However, I keep appealing to them in the hope that someday they will realise the dangers to the nation, the community and the world, and decide to take the bull by its horns, unless, of course, they themselves believe that ISIS is justified in demanding that Muslims engage in offensive Jihad against so-called infidels until the sovereignty of God is established on earth. I would appeal to Ulema to help evolve a parallel theology of peace and pluralism, harmonious co-existence with all, acceptance of all religions as based on messages from God, in keeping with the original message of Islam as revealed in Makkah to Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him).

    Debating Islam

    Reform Muslim Personal Law, Use Debate on Triple Talaq as an opportunity to Breach the Stagnation in Muslim Religious Thought
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Reform of Muslim personal law is the need of the hour. A demand for this has been made for decades in conferences, seminars and marches, organised by several progressive Islamic organisations including New Age Islam Foundation. These demands need to be intensified and peaceful demonstrations organised on a large scale, demanding that the government reform these laws. It will inevitably be opposed and equally inevitably expose the two-facedness of Islamic fundamentalists in the country. This would lead to a much needed debate on the hypocrisy of our ulema.

    Faced with a barrage of questions, the ulema have now decided to challenge the progressive Muslims on their theological knowledge and more importantly, the courage, to stand up to their beliefs. At the same time, they are blaming them for encouraging courts to intervene, while taking their regular subversive position that courts and government should not intervene in matters of Muslim Personal Law as it is a matter of faith.

    Rather than being cowed into silence or even dismiss this challenge as an effort to obfuscate matters, progressive Muslims should pick up the gauntlet and battle it out. This should be used as a great opportunity to breach the total stagnation that has prevailed in Islamic theological debates in the country. This will not only help the victims of our Anglo-Mohammedan Personal Law but also help open up issues related to violent extremism that is attracting our youth more and more in the absence of debate. For instance, accepting that triple talaq is not a part of Quranic teachings or even Hadith (sayings of the Prophet). A classical Muslim scholar, Hafeez Nomani, has asked if Quran alone is legitimate Islamic scripture and whether a bid’at (innovation) like triple talaq ordered by the second Caliph Hazrat Umar cannot be considered legitimate. He then goes on to ask that if triple talaq cannot be accepted, as it is a bid’at, then what about Quran, which in its present form is itself an innovation ordered by the same caliph and completed by the third Caliph Hazrat Usman.

    These are among the issues that Muslims need to debate urgently for the wider good of the community as well as the nation and the world. We must never forget the solemn warning issued by Canadian scholar Winfred Cantwell Smith in mid-20th century that a healthy, functioning Islam is crucial for world peace. Clearly, the Islam today is not healthy and functioning. So it is not only the Muslims but the nation at large that should welcome an opportunity to debate and understand Islamic theological issues.

    Islamic Society

    The Normality of Torture in Saudi Arabia: Islamic Law or the Shariah in Action?
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Saudi Wahhabi regime is a regime of torture. And that torture is considered normal and even Islamic by the Wahhabi regime. Till the time we recognise this normality, we will not have an engaged discussion on what goes on in the name of Islam in that country....

     
    Islamic Ideology

    Recalling Maulana Shibli Nomani and His Religious Ideas Inspired By Ilm ul Kalam (Rational Philosophy of Islam) In an Era of Salafi Islam Which Has Outlawed Rationality
    Maulana Shibli Nomani

    Ilm ul Kalam (rational and creative interpretation of Islamic precepts) has been practically outlawed by Wahhabi/Salafi Islam on the pain of death. But it was inspired by Ilm ul Kalam that one of India’s greatest rationalist, progressive Islamic thinkers Maulana Shibli Nomani pointed out that blind faith or unchecked servitude should never be the criterion to profess and practice Islamic postulates. …

     
    Islamic Ideology

    What Is Kufr And Who Is A Kafir In The Quran? (Full and Revised Text of the New Age Islam Series on the Subject)
    Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

    The Qu’ran has been mined to understand how the words Kafir and kufr (kufr is what makes a kafir or what a kafir does) have been used. It turns out that Sunni theology has erred grievously in treating all non-Muslim as kafir because the Quran does not do so. In verses that deal with the temporal dimension or this World, the Quran uses the word in a faith-neutral way. For example, miserliness is a form of kufr which clearly is a characteristic independent of one’s faith. There are “Muslims” who are niggardly and there are non-Muslims who spend freely in charity. ...

    There is not a single verse in the entire Quran that directs the Muslims to treat people of other faiths with anything other than kindness and justice. The war is only against the Kafir among them for the exclusive Kufr of:

    Those who fight the Muslims for their faith and drive them out of their homes.

    Those who break their treaties and fight or aid other enemies of the Muslims

    There is no verse in the Quran that asks the Muslims to fight with the kafir for any other form of kufr such as: Blasphemy, ridicule, rejecting faith etc. Surah 109 Al-Kafirun is explicit about living in peace with the peaceful Kafirun and ends with “(109:6) To you be your Way/religion, and to me mine.

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    An Appeal to Sufi Divines: Please Go Beyond Clichés Like Islam Is a Religion of Peace, Refute the Generally Accepted Core Theology Which Is Helping Jihadis Lure Our Youths to Terrorism
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Respected Sufi divines, I would, therefore, earnestly appeal to you to use the opportunity provided by the Delhi conclave to go beyond the usual shibboleths. Sufi approach of focussing on the positive features of Islam worked well at one time. There was no internet then. In the internet age everyone is a scholar. In this age of instant scholarship, nothing can be hidden or bypassed.

    It must be understood, that the radical Islamist theology and the current Islamic theology of consensus are by and large one and the same. Any differences are cosmetic. ISIS may vanish tomorrow. But the problem of radicalisation will remain. Islam supremacism, xenophobia, intolerance and exclusivism are inherent in the current Islamic, and not just Islamist theology.

    Focusing on positive features of Islam is an essential part of De-radicalisation or, more realistically, Preventing Radicalisation. But it is not bearing fruit in full measure as the core theology agreed to by nearly all Muslims militates against these positives. As briefly outlined above, this core and consensual theology nullifies the impact of all arguments made against violent extremism. It is this core theology that needs to be refuted and changed.  Let us all try and bring the core Islamic theology in line with the actual teachings of Quran and Sunnah. Let us move away from the current theology of violence and xenophobia. Let us move towards a coherent, comprehensive theology of peace and pluralism, co-existence and gender justice.

    Books and Documents

    Deoband and Theological Anti-Pluralism: A Critique of Husain Ahmad Madani’s ‘Islam and Composite Nationalism’

    In order to make this transition from plurality to pluralism, Madani would have to forgo his own notion of superiority of Islam over other religions. This he is clearly unwilling to do. Islam for him is the only true religion and it is this conviction which leads him to claim that, ‘while being aware of the truth of their (other religions’) falsehood’, Islam is ready to ‘cooperate and tolerate’ them. In other words, Madani not only disqualifies and derogates other religions as being false, he is also of the view that, ultimately, Hindustan be Islamised: that the Hindu–Muslim entente (composite nationalism) is only required till the time people of this country do not become Muslims (Jab Tak Hindustan Ke Tamam Baashinde Mussalman Nahin Ho Jate). Such a notion hardly augurs well for any kind of pluralism….

    Although, Madani accepts that Muslims in India already cooperate with ‘non-Muslims’ on a number of civic and non-religious issues, his plea is that this temporal cooperation should not be confused with any kind of religious co-operation. Even the ‘compositeness’ of his nationalism is not an end in itself. In his own words, this composite nationalism is ‘temporary and special’ and is only required till the ‘light of true religion (read Islam) dispels its (India’s) darkness’. Shedding further light on his ‘special’ and ‘temporary’ concept, Madani elucidates that ‘composite nationalism is needed only till such time different communities (Aqwaam, sng. Qaum) and different religions exist in a country. When the entire nation becomes Muslim (which is the prime real aim: Jo Ki Awwaleen Maksad Hai), where is the need for it?’ It is very clear, therefore, that for Madani, even diversity, (forget pluralism) holds no merit of its own, rather its advocacy is strategically needed only for such time till Islam becomes the sole hegemonic religion of India. ….                                                                           

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Religious and Theological Underpinning of Global Islamist Terror: Full Text of Speech at International Counter Terrorism Conference 2016 in Jaipur
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    ISIS may be militarily defeated tomorrow and even go out of existence. But this will not solve the problem of Muslim radicalisation. If our madrasas and educational institutions continue to prepare the ground for self-segregation and militancy, expounding the current theology, mixed with narratives of victimhood and marginalisation, Islam will continue to be hobbled, Muslims will continue to struggle to fit in the way of life in contemporary world.

    Moderate, progressive Muslims must urgently evolve and propagate an alternative theology of peace and pluralism, consistent in all respects with the teachings of Islam, and suitable for contemporary and future societies, while refuting the current theology of violence and supremacism.

    Unfortunately, as we have seen above, the task is not so easy. Radicalisation has not just happened overnight. Jihadi theology has evolved over hundreds of years. Major theologians who have studied Islam independently have brought to us a political version of Islam, stripping the religion of all its spirituality.

    While it is primarily the duty of Muslims to fight this ideological war within slam, this is no longer just a Muslim concern. The world too must confront Muslim scholars with the supremacism and extremism present in their theology and ask them to rethink Islam.  ProgressiveMuslims should join the rest of the world to defeat extremism in Islamic theology.

    Books and Documents

    Essential Message of Islam: A Pioneering Work by Quran Exegetes Muhammad Yunus & Ashfaque Ullah Syed (Full Text exclusively available on NewAgeIslam.com)

    Barren sandy desert, extremely hot climate, and scarcity of water resources made the heartland of the Arabian Peninsula an inhospitable abode for man since ancient times. Its original people were pagans, except for some Unitarians (ahnaf) who contemplated on the Oneness of God. In the post Judeo-Christian era, pockets of wet fertile land attracted Jewish and Christian settlers from the adjoining regions, and became isolated centres of trade and commerce. However, the vast stretches of the desert heartland that only sustained a nomadic life, remained in a primitive state until the advent of Islam. The nomadic tribes had preserved their ancestral paganism, with each tribe having its own idol; and the Ka‘ba, a cubical shrine at the heart of an ancient sanctuary (Haram) in Mecca, was the centre of idol worship. The nomadic Arabs were largely unlettered, had no notion of central state or kingdom, and their social and moral norms were based on traditions (Sunnah) and dictated by the struggle for survival. .....

    Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

    Facing The Jihadist Challenge: Muslims Need To Refute Jihadis’ Xenophobic, Supremacist, Millenarian Thesis And Focus On Islamic Pluralism, Says Sultan Shahin At UNHRC In Geneva
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Facing the brutalities of Islamist terror, while President Obama will not go beyond calling it violent extremism, the head of Sunni Islam's oldest seat of learning, Jamia al-Azhar admitted in a counter-terrorism conference in Mecca that extremism was caused by “corrupt interpretations of Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad”, and Islamic curriculums needed to change.

    This call for reform, coming from Jamia Al-Azhar, is gratifying. But a half-hearted approach to reform will not work. The problems Muslims face are very basic and cannot be solved with mere tinkering with text-books. The global Muslim community will have to introspect. One question repeatedly asked, for instance, is about the contextual verses of the holy Quran that are utilised by Jihadists to brainwash our youth. Jihadists present these contextual verses as an eternal guide for Muslims.

    One would imagine that the followers of Islam who believe, and many certainly do, that Islam is a religion of spirituality, peace, coexistence and tolerance, would be up in arms against the Islamic State. But while routine denunciations from some sections do come occasionally, there is no outrage visible in the Muslim society. The world cannot help noticing that while tens of thousands of Muslims come out on streets to demonstrate the moment there is an allegation of so-called blasphemy against any one, hardly any Muslim would protest at the myriad brutalities perpetrated by Islamist terrorists.

    Clearly there is something wrong, some disconnect, some deeper and more complex phenomenon at work than what can be understood from a superficial look at the issue. Instead of expressing outrage, we find thousands of Muslim young men and women running from their comfortable homes, private schools and cushy jobs to fight and join in the brutalities of the so-called Islamic State. Some 12,000 Muslim young men and women are said to have joined so far from 80 countries……

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Preventing Further Radicalisation Is the Challenge Muslims Must Undertake: Some Concrete Suggestions
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Now the question is, how do we go forward? If we really want to make a difference, we will have to start a substantive dialogue with the ulema and make sure that they agree to:

    1) open the gates of ijtihad, rethinking all tenets of Islam in the light of the situation prevailing today. As we have not done our homework for over a millennium, this will have to be pretty revolutionary.

    2) declare that only constitutive and essential, not the contextual and allegorical verses of Quran, are meant to guide us today.

    3) compile Qur'anic verses in the order in which they were revealed, thus restoring primacy to Meccan verses that mostly constitute the essential and universal teachings of Quran, as they can be understood without any need for knowing the context in which they were revealed.

    4) declare that Ahadees cannot be considered any form of revelation from God. Islamic State’s millenarian thesis is almost entirely based on ahadees, though they use some allegorical verses of Quran as well. The claim of al-Baghdadi leading an end-time war, al-Malhama, just before the final Armageddon, has been a big draw. Some Muslims have come to think life on earth has no meaning left in the times of al-Malhama and so are rushing to join the war.

    5) declare that Sharia (fiqh) is not divine. It was created over a century after the demise of the Prophet by ulema who tried to codify laws on the basis of Qur'anic postulates and Arab cultural practices.

    6) declare clearly that Islam believes in co-existence with other religions, not dominion over the world.

    7) re-define commonly used Islamic terms like Muslim, kafir, mushrik, ahl-e-kitab, jihad, qital, farz, sunnat, etc.

    In a word, we must evolve a truly Islamic and a coherent theology of peace and co-existence, moderation and modernity, to counter the very coherent theology of violence and xenophobia, intolerance and supremacism that Jihadi ulema have created over centuries. All ulema say Islam is a religion of peace and co-existence. It's time for them to walk their talk. But if they refuse to consider change, we will need to directly reach the Muslim masses. ...

    Finally, the larger Indian community too should introspect. As Daniel Pipes said in an international counter-terrorism conference in Jaipur recently, in this war of ideas, the world should not only encourage and support progressive, modern Muslims but also oppose and refrain from supporting the fundamentalists and extremists.

    1) Our national leadership supported Khilafat in 1920s, considering it an essential part of Islamic theology. That was wrong. Now we must repudiate that stance and acknowledge our mistake.

    2) Muslim Personal Law in India has not been reformed even to the extent it has been in Pakistan and Bangladesh. This must change. At least General Ayyub Khan’s reforms in Pakistan must be introduced and Ulema should be told to accept what their Pakistani and Bangladeshi counterparts did decades earlier. This is not a satisfactory solution but at least it will be a start and it is doable.

    3) Madrasa education is a serious violation of the human rights of Muslim children. It destroys their lives and fills their minds with xenophobia and intolerance. Our government not only allows this but partly funds some madrasas. This must stop, unless, of course, madrasas actually change to become modern versions of what madrasas used to be like, in the Golden Age of Islam, and produce scientists and philosophers. A secular, democratic government should not be in the business of funding xenophobia and intolerance.

    Islam and Politics

    Manipulative Nationalism: The Fatwa against Chanting Bharat Mata Ki Jai Is an Exercise for Hegemony within Indian Muslim Society
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Considered as the most important article of the Islamic faith, Tawheed, or belief in the oneness of God, is understandably the essential component of Islamic faith. The problem, however, is that throughout the Muslim world, Tawheed is understood and expressed in different ways. For example, within many Sufi traditions, Tawheed is also understood as the link which binds human beings to the Almighty through a very complicated scared cosmology.

    The Ahle Sunnat wa Jamaat in India (popularly called the Barelwis) link the individual soul to the One through a very complex web of chains called the Silsila. So according to this rationality, bowing to the grave of a Sufi divine is not a negation of the principle of Tawheed, but its very affirmation. The act of Sajda near the grave of the Sufi is an occasion to remember the divine, to come closer to the Almighty. The act of bowing transposes the faithful into a sacred time, linking him or her to the Almighty through the grace of the Sufi.

    But alas, for the Deobandis and other purist Salafi reformists within Islam, this beautiful imagination of spiritualism must be condemned as tantamount to associating partners to Allah.

    … Thus it is important to understand that the fatwa against chanting Bharat Mata ki Jai is an exercise for hegemony within Indian Muslim society. In other words, it is more fundamentally a position within Muslim society which has the potential of erasing multiple religiosities of Muslim experience in India. As Hindutva uses the icon of Bharat Mata for its own exclusionary purpose, the reformist Islam uses the icon of Mata to extend its own hegemony through its own interpretation of Islam. What gets lost amongst this manipulative nationalism is the myriad other imaginations of the nation, which provides the real glue that binds this country together…..

    War on Terror

    This pathological denialism has infected Leftists in India as well. Those who admit that Hindu texts such as Manusmriti have inspired centuries of terror unleashed by caste Hindus on Dalits, will shy away from accepting the Quran and Hadiths' influence on Islamists. When Hindu right-wing lynch mobs murder beef-eaters in defence of the 'holy cow', Leftists correctly call it Hindutva fascism. However, an Islamist terror attack is said to have 'nothing to do with Islam'. This doublespeak has only helped Hindutva outfits gain political points among the conservative Hindu base, in the same way Trump has done with xenophobic republicans

    Islam and Pluralism

    Indian Muslim orthodoxy's response to demands of modernity: Can Muslims co-exist with other religious communities in plural societies?
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    While the evolution of this comprehensive and coherent theology of peace and pluralism will remain a continuing process, the already available essential elements of this theology should be brought to the Muslim masses. Since support for such a venture cannot be expected from clerics, of any hue,  popular acceptance of this theology should be gained through the use of media as well as genuine grassroots movements.

    Essentially, Jihadism is a Muslim problem and Muslims must tackle it. But the societies in non-Muslim majority countries can help kick-start the debate.  It must be understood that a madrasa graduate who has been brainwashed into believing, as most are, that "life begins in the grave," is a ticking time bomb that should be defused with the same urgency as other bombs are. A secular government should not allow anyone to spread the poison of intolerance and xenophobia either in mosques or in madrasas. A study of what is taught in Indian madrasas, and the content of sermons delivered in mosques, is urgently required. If found intolerant, supremacist, exclusivist and xenophobic, the ulema, madrasas and imams should be confronted with them and asked to change.

    Also, the least the government of India can do to ameliorate the plight of Muslim women today is to promulgate a law similar to Pakistan's  Muslim Family Laws Ordinance of 1961, with just one difference, fixing the age of marriage of girls at 18, instead of 14, as in the Ordinance. This should have been done along with reforms in Hindu personal laws in the 1950s, or at least immediately after reforms in Muslim laws in Pakistan. But better half a century late than never. Male chauvinist Indian Muslim ulema will still howl in protest. But they will not have much to say as these reforms have been acceptable to their counterparts in Pakistan and Bangladesh for over half a century. ...  Muslims have to start reclaiming the Islam that the Prophet had brought and rethinking how it can be lived and practised in the vastly changed circumstances of the 21st century.



    TOP ARTICLE

    Debating Islam
    Reform Muslim Personal Law, Use Debate on Triple Talaq as an opportunity to Breach the Stagnation in Muslim Religious Thought
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Reform of Muslim personal law is the need of the hour. A demand for this has been made for decades in conferences, seminars and marches, organised by several progressive Islamic organisations including New Age Islam Foundation. These demands need to be intensified and peaceful demonstrations organised on a large scale, demanding that the government reform these laws. It will inevitably be opposed and equally inevitably expose the two-facedness of Islamic fundamentalists in the country. This would lead to a much needed debate on the hypocrisy of our ulema.

    Faced with a barrage of questions, the ulema have now decided to challenge the progressive Muslims on their theological knowledge and more importantly, the courage, to stand up to their beliefs. At the same time, they are blaming them for encouraging courts to intervene, while taking their regular subversive position that courts and government should not intervene in matters of Muslim Personal Law as it is a matter of faith.

    Rather than being cowed into silence or even dismiss this challenge as an effort to obfuscate matters, progressive Muslims should pick up the gauntlet and battle it out. This should be used as a great opportunity to breach the total stagnation that has prevailed in Islamic theological debates in the country. This will not only help the victims of our Anglo-Mohammedan Personal Law but also help open up issues related to violent extremism that is attracting our youth more and more in the absence of debate. For instance, accepting that triple talaq is not a part of Quranic teachings or even Hadith (sayings of the Prophet). A classical Muslim scholar, Hafeez Nomani, has asked if Quran alone is legitimate Islamic scripture and whether a bid’at (innovation) like triple talaq ordered by the second Caliph Hazrat Umar cannot be considered legitimate. He then goes on to ask that if triple talaq cannot be accepted, as it is a bid’at, then what about Quran, which in its present form is itself an innovation ordered by the same caliph and completed by the third Caliph Hazrat Usman.

    These are among the issues that Muslims need to debate urgently for the wider good of the community as well as the nation and the world. We must never forget the solemn warning issued by Canadian scholar Winfred Cantwell Smith in mid-20th century that a healthy, functioning Islam is crucial for world peace. Clearly, the Islam today is not healthy and functioning. So it is not only the Muslims but the nation at large that should welcome an opportunity to debate and understand Islamic theological issues.

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