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Books and Documents

Books and Documents

How Islam Shaped the Enlightenment

What this book shows is that the great philosophes may have been innovative thinkers, and they took Islam seriously as a religion, but they ultimately lacked the scholarly skill to excavate Islam in Europe. It was, instead, done by an often motley group of scholars who fought against remarkable odds to establish the field of Islamic studies. As we know today, this did not necessarily lead to a great understanding between religions....

 

Making Music for a Peaceful World!

Splashed with amazing colour pictures, Why I Still Carry a Guitar is a must-read book that can stir one’s conscience and make us think that though we may be born in a certain faith context, as we grow up, rather than blindly swallowing whatever has been told to us by others, we should to study deeply matters of faith independently and seek thereby to get a better understanding of God. Then religion may become sheer music to the ears! ....

 

The Ideology of ISIS: A Global Threat

One of the major debates under the rubric of security dilemma shaped the question: how to understand Islam? The American presence in the Middle East in general and its influence in Muslim majority countries first saw the birth of Al-Qaeda, a group under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden. He once was the blue-eyed boy of the White House who later turned rogue. The attack in 2001 shaped the American policies towards Muslims in general; it led to American misadventures in Iraq in 2003 under the rhetoric of ‘either with us or against us’....

 

There is always the question of the degree of religiosity observed by a family. Then there are other questions that Farooquee’s childhood stories address: What does your family think about cow slaughter? They oppose it when others around them oppose it as they do not want sentiments to be hurt. Is circumcision painful? Not at all. You can hardly feel it when it happens....

 

Why Europe Need Not Fear Muslims

“The civilization of Muslim Spain was the embodiment of the Islamic compulsion to seek Ilm, or knowledge. Andalusia produced many firsts. Through Spain, Europe received models for universities (Oxford and Cambridge are examples), philosophy and literature, and the study of medicine originating from the work of Avicenna and Abulcasis.”...

Islam Is All about God’s Immense Compassion: Islam Is Good, Muslims Should Follow It – Part 2
Sanjiv Bhatla, New Age Islam

It stands to reason that if Islamic jurists had set the example of kindness and compassion as advocated by Islam, and additionally of tolerance and open mindedness as displayed by Prophet Muhammad himself, then a common Muslim too would have cultivated these qualities in his day-to-day conduct. …As things stand, because of the Islamic jurists’ rigidity, a common Muslim walks around with a halo of intolerance hanging over his head. It surely puts him in a bad light in comparison to the peoples from other faiths.  To love a religion is one thing, to be haughty about it is another. Muslims by and large do not seem to understand the difference…..

 

Islam's Goodness Has Been Its Undoing; It Has Been a Victim of Its Followers' Excess Ardour: Islam Is Good; Muslims Should Follow It – Part 1

Islam's goodness has been its undoing -- it has been a victim of its followers' excess ardor. Long before Karl Marx was born, Islam was already preaching Dignity and Equality for the underprivileged. Not surprising, therefore, that most of its early believers belonged to the deprived classes. Its humane attitude pleased and energized them, and they set about to spread the message with an urgent zeal.

Islam lacked a centralized controlling institution like the Church in Christianity, and a battery of affable devotees like Christian missionaries to peacefully disseminate its message. The spirited Muslims let their swords do the talking. As a result, Islam acquired the image of an aggressive faith quite in contrast to its true values. Even in matters of Justice and the Veil, Islam suffered due to myopic interpretations of its self-righteous aficionados.

It is now for the present-day Muslims to make amends and restore the praise that Islam truly deserves. And the remedy is close at hand -- they only need to follow Islam!...

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children… This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron....

 

Many scholars have argued in addition that the modern Western construction of itself as the paragon of righteousness was often done at the expense of Islam. Yet even though such “orientalism” has been roundly critiqued by decades of scholarship, these earlier views persist. In fact, the attempts by contemporary scholars and museum curators to overturn such stereotypes by means of books and lavish museum exhibits highlighting Muslim tolerance and periods of Islamic exchange with Christian Europe have been unable to diminish the West’s orientalist fear. ...

 

Respected Muslim Personalities Related to the Sikh Religion

Exemplifying the universalism of the message of the Sikh Gurus, Habib explains that the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scripture which is regarded as Guru by the Sikhs, contains verses by Sikh Gurus as well as by several Muslim and Hindu men of God and in different languages. The teachings of this scripture, he tells us, are not specific to just one particular religious community but are of universal appeal and relevance, based on love for and devotion to the One God and leading an ethical life. There are strong parallels between these teachings and those of Muslim Sufis and Hindu Bhagats who advocated the path of love, Habib points out....

Understanding Boko Haram
James H. Barnett

Similarly, while Wahhabist influence from the Gulf has certainly helped shape Nigerian Islam (many prominent Salafists in Borno attended the Islamic University of Medina), those who look for the Saudi bogeyman behind every unfortunate development in the Muslim world will be disappointed by Thurston’s assessment that Boko Haram is ultimately an indigenous product of north-eastern Nigeria—a movement set apart from more conventional Nigerian Salafism by its violence and exclusivism rather than its rejection of Western culture....

 
The Twain Shall Meet
Aijaz Zaka Syed

The Twain Shall Meet
Aijaz Zaka Syed

As our world becomes more and more interconnected and the forces of globalisation make borders irrelevant, the movement of people in search of a better life and opportunities is inevitable. Instead of fighting this natural change, the West and Muslim societies should come to terms with it and find a way forward....

 

Making the World Happier One Good Deed at a Time!

Salma was on a train on a winter morning and saw a woman hug her little child close. The girl was very cold, and her mother was trying hard to keep her warm with her Dupatta. Without a second thought Salma took off her shawl and gave it to the woman and insisted they keep it and got a great way to use the YTN card!...

Growing Up with a Muslim Name, These Are Stories I Recognise
Nazia Erum

Incidents of Islamophobia are common and – for those of us who are targeted by them – easy to recognise. The biggest accomplishment of Erum’s book, therefore, has been to document these stories for those who would not as easily have noticed, or even imagined, their existence. As she puts it herself, she has begun to fill a large gap in Indian literature...

 

Gandhi’s Last Message: ‘Raze the Sacred Sites of Others and You Too Will Be Obliterated’

Gandhi…had wanted to avoid the country’s partition. Failing in that he engaged himself in preventing the division of hearts, emphasising that even as the country had been divided, the hearts must not be divided. Also knowing that if the hearts had not been divided, the country could never have been divided and contending with this paradox, because he understood that neither India nor Pakistan stood to gain in the absence of mutual friendship. Should one become hell, the other can never be heaven.....

 

When Rape Becomes a Weapon of War

“I want to be the last girl in the world with a story like mine,” Murad concludes. Despite recent gains against ISIS in Iraq, many Yazidis still remain in captivity. As a story that hasn’t yet ended, “The Last Girl” is difficult to process. It is a call to action, but as it places Murad’s tragedy in the larger narrative of Iraqi history and American intervention, it leaves the reader with urgent, incendiary questions: What have we done, and what can we do?...

 

Changing the Lens through Which We View Islam
Zakia Soman

The crucial chapter about the Quran records all the important principles enshrined and underlines their relevance in modern times. Fair play, decency, trust, honesty in daily transactions are emphasised in the Quran. Peaceful co-existence, non-violence, non-dynastic rule, freedom of religion, impartiality, compassion, kindness, justice, decorum and good behaviour are some of the values explained at length using quotes from various verses and anecdotes from the life of the Prophet....

 

‘I Hate Muslims’: A Book Uncovers the Bullying Faced By Muslim Children in Many Indian Schools
Nazia Erum

“If they think we are terrorists then we will show them what we can do. How can they say that to us? Every time there is a terror attack in the news, my classmates ask me the next day, “Arre Yeh Kya Karwa Diya Tumne? [What have you done now?]” “As if I am responsible!” When I asked Raffat why he gets into physical fights instead of complaining to the school authorities, he says that there is no point in trying to reason away the unreasonable. “If they want to fight, we cannot shy away!” said the visibly upset young man....

Remembering Dina, Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s daughter
Akbar Ahmed

Neither Indians nor Pakistanis quite forgave Dina Wadia for being Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s daughter; the former made her life miserable through a protracted, mean-spirited grab for her father’s house in Bombay and the latter ignored her as an embarrassment who dared to marry a non-Muslim in defiance of her father’s wishes. ...

The Catholic Writer Garry Wills Explores the Quran

The main point of the Quran’s discussion of violence is to establish limitations on its use, and to “abstain from violence to the degree that that is possible.” While a few endlessly cited verses have to do with violence, “the overall tenor is one of mercy and forgiveness, which are evoked everywhere, almost obsessively.” This is what is striven for in the Quran, not war....

The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World

Over time, then, while earlier generations in the West had regarded the existence of God as a natural and fundamental belief, as something that was self-evidently true, many now took a diametrically opposed view. They began claiming that atheism was the natural philosophy of humanity and that it was the beliefs of religious people that required rational explanation. They insisted that belief in God was a form of wishful thinking for consoling weaker and foolish people and for exploiting the poor, or an illusion created by fearful minds to console themselves in the face of what they regarded as the universe’s meaninglessness....

 

The Secrets about Fatehpur Sikri
Rana Safvi

The Mughal association with it began with the Battle of Khanwa between Babur and Rana Sanga in 1527. After his victory, Babur constructed a garden there, which he named Bagh-e-Fatah (victory garden). The village was renamed Shukri (place of thanksgiving). Babur’s grandson Akbar ordered the construction of a royal city, which then served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571, on an isolated elevated, rocky ridge. Thus was built a majestic imperial city....

 

Everybody Lies: How Google Search Reveals Our Darkest Secrets
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

The final – and, I think, most powerful – value in this data is its ability to lead us from problems to solutions. With more understanding, we might find ways to reduce the world’s supply of nasty attitudes. Let’s return to Obama’s speech about Islamophobia. Recall that every time he argued that people should respect Muslims more, the people he was trying to reach became more enraged. Google searches, however, reveal that there was one line that did trigger the type of response Obama might have wanted. He said: “Muslim Americans are our friends and our neighbours, our co-workers, our sports heroes and, yes, they are our men and women in uniform, who are willing to die in defence of our country.” After this line, for the first time in more than a year, the top Googled noun after “Muslim” was not “terrorists”, “extremists”, or “refugees”. It was “athletes”, followed by “soldiers”.” And, in fact, “athletes” kept the top spot for a full day afterwards. When we lecture angry people, the search data implies that their fury can grow. But subtly provoking people’s curiosity, giving new information, and offering new images of the group that is stoking their rage may turn their thoughts in different, more positive directions.....

 

Chip in the Madrasa: An Insightful Tale That Unravels How the Wahhabis Play Their Vicious Games and Continue To Maintain Their Vice-Like Grip on Muslim Minds across the Globe
Vivek Sinha

“…it’s only to cement our ideology in the Muslim minds. The billions of dollars continue to pour in only to erase all other competing versions and interpretations of Islam for Muslims, and for the rest of the world. These funds are put into the laps of shady businessmen like you so that you expunge all other interpretations and establish that Wahhabism is the only version of Islam....

 

Probe Dispassionately Islam’s Spread in India
Raziuddin Aquil

The Turks, Afghans and Mughals, amongst other sets of Muslim immigrants from Central Asia, Iran and the Middle East, were essentially urban people and wherever they settled down in the subcontinent, new cities and towns emerged. In some cases, following the change in political regimes as well as a dominant Muslim presence, a pre-existing city was renamed and transformed into a Muslim stronghold. Also, the prolonged interaction between Muslim urban centres and a predominantly Hindu rural hinterland led to the gradual diffusion of Islam in this region….

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NEW COMMENTS

  • For Hats Off this is just another opportunity to say something hateful about Muslims! The guy is obsessed with anti-Muslim hatered.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • never mind taxila. or konark. The holy cow of monumentality - taj mahal.
    ( By hats off! )
  • Excellent article. Changed my ignorant mindset. May this idea spread to all the muslims of the world.
    ( By Sahil Raza )
  • Dear sister Teresa, Thanks for this meaningful review. I hope this review will encourage both serious readers and peace....
    ( By SAJID ANWAR )
  • The Crown Prince is only strengthening the monarchy and consolidating the anti-Iran front. He....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Taj Mahal's deterioration is symbolic of a paradigmatic shift in our values.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is so dumb really Turks, Arabs and Persians are not...
    ( By What? )
  • Dear Sister Teresa, You have wonderfully given the gist of the book and created curiosity among the readers ....
    ( By Rajat Malhotra )
  • An anti-reform AIMPLB gives Islam a bad name and is like a curse on the Muslim community. We need new leadership.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • ully agree with this press bulletin. Indian Muslims must reject the leadership of such regressive clerics.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Ghaus Sb says: “The way you are speaking in your comment shows you are not a Muslim.” From what I say, he can....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Ghaus Sb says: Those who say, fitna means “shirk” and opine that the early Muslims fought to end fitna” must have meant “to end that ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Good article. The is only One G-d and Muhammad was the final messenger and prophet of G-d. As I write this, G-d is known ...
    ( By Lenny SB )
  • Please read my article on subject of "there is no compulsion in Religion...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Related article...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Naseer sb, Please read my comment again and again. You did not get my comment. I did not say both...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Arbitration is of two kinds - binding and non-binding. When the parties choose binding arbitration, the decision of the arbitrator is binding on the parties ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • All right thinking Muslims must welcome such a course. Academic independence of the Universities must be protected and respected. There ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Referring to your comment: 7/18/2018 5:04:08 AM, to you both views are valid and fitna could mean “shirk or polytheism” also. The Quran clearly commands ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • What do I mean by acceptance? Read the Quran carefully. There isn’t any verse that calls for tolerance of the peaceful rejecter of Islam. There ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The title question sums up the matter of the article. The answer is the course will discuss in detail how Muslim clerics and fundamentalists misinterpret ...
    ( By arshad )
  • Site Web Israel and Myanmar give more rights to muslims, than muslims give rights to Kafirs,...
    ( By Shan Barani )
  • Good article. The is only One G-d and Muhammad was the final messenger and prophet of G-d. As I write,..
    ( By Lenny SB (Shivarsi) )
  • I fully agree with Faizur Rahman sahib. Such "courts" should be called "Arbitration centers.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A course on "Uses of religions to gain political power" would be entirely appropriate. By the way, Obama refused to use the label "Islamic....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • بہت بہت شکریہ جناب! اللہ عز و جل آپ کے مبارک کلمات کو مستجاب کرے۔ آمین بجاہ سید المرسلین صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم
    ( By misbahul Huda quadri )
  • fve questions
    ( By hats off! )
  • بہت عمدہ ۔ اللہ تعالی ہم مسلمانوں کو صوفیائے کرام کے نہج پر شریعت و طریقت کو سمجھنے اور اس پر عمل کرنے ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Mushrik and muwahhid, Muslims and non-Muslims all equally need to adopt the path of tolerance. One sided tolerance is not helpful. This point should also ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Naseer sb, Muhammad bin Ishaq said that Az-Zuhri informed him from Urwah bin Az-Zubayr and other scholars that (until there is no more fitnah) the Fitnah ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • An excellent read that contextualises many pertinent issues connected to Muslims and Islam! Your angle ....
    ( By Meera )
  • Naseer sb, Can you suggest me how many books have you read on theology? From your comments it appears you have been inspired by orientalist ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Naseer sahib, What is theology? Why do you use theology in general term? In your comment you meant that those who follow theology are following ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Before I say anything further, could you please explain your questions? What do you mean by acceptance?....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Tolerance in Muslim society earlier was because of low level of outward piety. Intolerance grows as the level of outward piety grows. Outward piety is ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The Muslim nation (with the exception of one or two Muslim countries) as a whole has been blind and deaf to the above advice and ...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • I fully agree with Rashid sahib.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • At this rate Hats Off may soon get some insight into his unquenchable hatred of Muslims.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is the time when the anti-Muslim hate propaganda of the BJP/RSS is at full blast to cover up for the absence of any acchhe ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Excellent book review! As the reviewer says, "secularism cannot be used as a pretext to ignore discrimination on grounds....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )