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Books and Documents

Books and Documents

.....there is no Qur’anic basis to extending any special favor or according any spiritual superiority to an individual just because he or she is, or claims to be, a descendent of the Prophet, and that there is absolutely no Qur’anic basis for anyone, no matter his line of descent from the Prophet, to claim intercession with God on anyone’s behalf as a spiritual guide. .....

 

Pakistan has also kept its occupation the area as a pretext of fraudulent agreement between Pakistan and 2 of its stooges from occupied Jammu & Kashmir without the knowledge and consent of people of Gilgit Baltistan on 28th April 1949 on the same date, when UNCIP had asked Pakistan to withdraw its forces from this disputed part. In 1963 Pakistan illegally conceded 7000 Sq KMs area of Shimshal, part of Hunza (Occupied Gilgit Baltistan) to China  for the construction of Karakorum Highway (KKH) which is being used extensively by both China and Pakistan for economic as well as military purposes....

 
Exposing Lies, Telling the Truth
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
Exposing Lies, Telling the Truth
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

He shows, again and again, that the one recurring legacy of violence is more violence. Time after time, he shows that even when the war ended, 'the violence never stopped'. He also illustrates how those secondary beneficiaries of Empire – those of us in western countries who benefit from the violence and plunder of 'our' elites and who are too afraid to challenge, let alone confront, these elites....

 

.....any generalization of the noted Qur’anic verses to foment hatred against contemporary Christians and Jews will be tantamount to distorting the message of the Qur’an. To the critic however, this may sound apologetic, as it contradicts the ground reality of the present day Muslim world, where anti-Semitic sentiments run high. It may therefore be useful to clarify this by drawing on modern secular scholarship. Thus to quote Karen Armstrong: “Anti-Semitism is a Christian vice. Hatred of the Jews became marked in the Muslim world after the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. It is significant that Muslims were compelled to import anti-Jewish myths from Europe and translate into Arabic such virulently anti-Semitic texts as the Protocols of the elders of Zion......

The historical narrative of the “woman question” in Iran is an intricate labyrinth, not a story that can be accurately recounted by portraying women as either “oppressed” or “liberated” during a particular historical period. In fact, that audacious history winds through unexpected twists and turns, gains and losses, triumphs and defeats....

 
God for the 21st Century
God for the 21st Century
Roshan, New Age Islam

Contrary to what many atheist commentators had predicted, the march of ‘modernity’ in the 21st century has not led to the extinction of religion. Belying their hopes, modern science miserably failed to disprove God. In fact, today there is an increasing convergence between science and religion, something that was considered absolutely impossible by many ‘progressives’ just a few decades ago....

 

Contrary to what many believe, science definitely has not disproven God. This myth draws its sustenance in part from the way atheist scientists have defined what science and the ‘scientific method’ are, leaving out the question of God in what they regard as science. That is why, Guillen says, God will never be part of science’s so-called theory of everything, given the way atheist scientists have defined what science and is not. But that does not at all mean that science has or can ever disprove God.....

The Qur’an fully clarifies itself in a passage dating from the late Medinite period that asks the Muslims to be just and virtuous to those who did not fight against them over religion, nor expelled them from their homelands (60:8), and reminds them that their enemies could eventually turn their friends (60:7), thus predicting the eventual friendship of the Medinite Muslim community with their Meccan foes. The revelation also clarifies that it forbade the Muslims to befriend only those who fought against them over religion, and expelled them from their homelands and helped (others) in their expulsion (60:9).....

 
Matters of Faith, Peace and War
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Matters of Faith, Peace and War
Ziya Us Salam

A couple of days after I started reading Fatah’s book, I received a couple of books penned by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, as soft-spoken a man as one can come across. Also, a proponent of enduring peace who never tires of reminding Muslims – and the world – that Islam stands for peace, he is an intellectual who believes that Jihad begins not with fighting the enemy in battle but overcoming your own ‘nafs’. This does not necessarily mean that everybody within the community or the larger polity happily soaks in what he says....

 
Muslims Won’t Listen To Hirsi Ali
Tarek Fatah
Muslims Won’t Listen To Hirsi Ali
Tarek Fatah

Hirsi Ali identifies her audience as “Mecca Muslims”, her label for non-radical, religious Muslims, a category few Muslims will understand unless they read her book. She writes: “I hope to engage (Mecca Muslims) … in a dialogue about the meaning and practice of their faith. I hope that they will be one of the primary audiences for this book....

Addressed to a largely unlettered people and aimed at bringing about a quantum change in the social order of the world under the ambit of its monotheistic discourse, the Qur’an does not talk about pursuing universal knowledge in a direct and straightforward way. However, its broader message resonates with exhortations and inspirations to acquiring universal knowledge.

The very first revelation of the Qur’an is a commandment to reading and an affirmation of the intellectual potential of man (96:1-5/Ch. 1.2). With the progress of the revelation the Qur’an declares that: i) man is assigned the role of God’s deputy on earth and endowed with the intellectual faculty to identify and characterize every object individually (2:30-35/Ch. 5.1), ii) granted special ‘favours’ above much of the creation (17:70), iii) fashioned in the finest model (95:4), and iv) whatever is in the heavens and the earth is made serviceable to him  (31:20, 45:13)....

 

Pieced together, the foregoing verses and those in the last two chapters bring across the Qur’anic vision of a universal brotherhood of humanity that will allow people of diverse faith, culture, colour and language to live together, to know each other and to assist each other to make life easy and peaceful for all human beings. Some Muslim scholars, however, advocate that the non-Muslims (in its present day sense), who do not believe in the Prophet Muhammad, will not qualify for God’s mercy.....

He also wanted to talk to her on Skype but Erelle put him off until the next day. The next evening she was ready for him, her hair covered by a Hijab, the traditional headcovering - and with a photographer positioned out of sight to take pictures of the terrorist on the computer screen....

 
Heresy Based On Hearsay
Ziya Us Salam
Heresy Based On Hearsay
Ziya Us Salam

Does it strike her that in Islam no woman is expected to change her name following marriage and she can even walk out of it without giving any reason whatsoever? The prophet’s wives retained their maiden names. And a woman enjoys three times the rights of the man over her children. These nuances would not have struck her mind. In the season of Islam bashing, she adds to the din. Full of contradictions and anomalies, low on facts....

Related Article:

Salam! Maulana Ziya Us Salam

 

Zakaria, then a 10-year-old, is baffled when her aunt Amina's husband, Sohail, takes a second wife, something unheard of in their family till then. Zakaira tells parallel stories of Amina's polygamous marriage and Pakistan's hopes and betrayals through this book....

 

There can be no debate that din al-Islam is the religion of the followers of the Prophet Muhammad: Islam. However, the Qur’an also uses the generic word Islam, and its different roots, and the word din, with various shades of meaning. Thus the Qur’an uses the word ‘din’ to denote judgment (1:4), divine law (2:193), law (of the land) (12:76), obedience or devotion (39:3), faith, religion, moral responsibility (107:1), religion in the conventional sense (110:2) etc. Based on these Qur’anic illustrations, the term din would appear to embrace the broader notion of obedience (to God) or compliance (with God’s commandments), as against religion in its popular sense.....

 

This book is not without its flaws. A drawback of the anecdotal style in which it is written is that Ahmad’s life is presented with neither chronological nor thematic consistency. Comprehensive indices would make this a minor irritant, but since the index here is rather incomplete, reviewing material on any particular event or subject necessitates paging through the entire book....

 
Qur’anic Reflections on Nature: Chapter 4, Essential Message of Islam
Muhammad Yunus
Qur’anic Reflections on Nature: Chapter 4, Essential Message of Islam
Muhammad Yunus & Ashfaque Ullah Syed

The Qur’an is alive with reflections on the beauty and harmony of nature and on its relationship with life as part of its ontological debate. These reflections are in the form of statements, which capture the laws of the cosmos in expansive open ways that captivate and beguile us by their beauty, majesty and accuracy. Thus for example, the following Qur’anic observations are picturesque and imaginative, and at the same time clearly indicative of the axial and the orbital rotations of heavenly bodies that science discovered many centuries later…..

According to Pakistani law, a man can have up to four wives, which could leave a woman devastated and publicly humiliated after her husband decides to exercise this legal right. It’s this interplay between the private and public that journalist and human rights activist Rafia Zakaria explores in her first book, The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan….

 
The Text of the Qur’an: Chapter 2, 'Essential Message of Islam'
Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam
The Text of the Qur’an: Chapter 2, 'Essential Message of Islam'
Muhammad Yunus & Ashfaque Ullah Syed

An unqualified and wholesome belief in the One Almighty God (tawhid), without the slightest association of anything with Him (shirk) distinguishes the Qur’an as the epitome of the purest form of monotheism. The Qur’an repeatedly asserts the transcendence of God and uses a rosary of attributes to convey the multifarious manifestations of His Words (kalimat). It recounts almost a hundred attributes of God such as, the Sustainer (Lord), the Sovereign, the Holy, the (source of) Peace, the Secure, the Preserver (of safety), the Mighty, the Inexorable, the Supreme, the Eternal Source (of everything), the Complete, the Fearless, the Exalted, the Wise, the Permanent, the Merciful, the Independent, the Omnipotent, the Originator of Heaven and Earth etc. The Qur’an however makes it clear that all Words are due to Him….

The Underground Girls of Kabul is not a sob story of women's woes (of which there are many) in a deeply patriarchal milieu. It is an ambitious and diligent attempt at documenting, deciphering and distilling the reality of the hundreds, perhaps thousands of girls who dress up boys....

 

The book is a mix of intimate memoir – she writes with great emotion about the decision to wear a Hijab, and later to leave her head uncovered – and jeremiad against the “tyrants” who oppress Arab women in their governments, and in their homes....

 
Culture of the Cosmos Is a ‘Culture of Peace’
Culture of the Cosmos Is a ‘Culture of Peace’
Belinda F. Espiritu for New Age Islam

Maulana Khan explains that the culture of the cosmos is a ‘culture of peace’, which enables the cosmos to function for millions of years without witnessing any confrontation that could have impaired its functioning. In his thoughts, “if a ‘culture of violence’ had informed the cosmos, by now it would have been devastated, and there would have been no possibility for human life to exist”....

 

I know of many cases where Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh women have been pressured into arranged marriages against their will. But, Islam cannot be scapegoated for Ms. Ali’s disturbing circumstances. Religion is not the culprit; cultural traditions are responsible for the pressuring of women and girls to enter into marriages against their will. Islam unmistakably outlines that a woman’s consent is mandatory for marriage. Therefore, coercion is prohibited in our faith....

 

With the authorities having loudly and repeatedly declared the word off-limits to all non-Muslims, especially in their Malay-language religious texts, arguments, counter-arguments and outright displays of obstinacy have come (and will probably keep coming) from all sides in the past decade....

 


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