Books and Documents

Books and Documents

Islam, Race and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora
Craig Considine

Muhammad was then brought to a local police station where he was interrogated as someone who might have had something dangerous underneath his shirt. The veteran had reported him to the train conductor on the grounds that he was carrying a bomb. Law enforcement officials questioned Muhammad about his family background, religious beliefs and political views....


When Will Young Pakistani Women Find Their Own Fiery Brand Of Revolution? Or Is It Here Already?
Aneela Zeb Babar

There was, however, the sound of rumblings on the horizon; the mullahs (clergy) of Pakistan had expressed their displeasure at the institution of the women guards and their presence in the celebrations of the new state. Some of the clergy had issued religious edicts against women parading with their heads uncovered and bosoms exposed, fuming that these women would be staring into eyes of men, and be left with no shame and dignity. ...


Spiritual Transformation the Only Way Out Of the Ecological Crisis

It is only through awareness of the Creator—God—and of the fact that this world is God’s, not ours—can we develop a truly respectful attitude towards nature and other species. A spiritual transformation is thus the only way out of the ecological crisis and for extricating us out of the morass of soul-numbing materialism in which we are drowning. ...

The Political Education of Mahmoud Abbas

When Israeli tanks besieged Yasser Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah in 2002, the Palestinian leader famously declared, “Oh God, grant me a martyr’s death.” Two and a half years later, his wish came true, in part. In November of 2004, the “Old Man” died in Paris after suffering a brain haemorrhage. Arafat’s death left his party, Fatah, in disarray....


The 1,000-Year-Old Lost Arab Poetry That Lives on in Hebrew
Benjamin Ramm

A thousand years ago, as much of Europe languished in the Dark Ages; the Iberian Peninsula was a cultural oasis, the brightest beacon of civilisation. Under the Umayyad dynasty, the caliphate of Al-Andalus stretched from Lisbon to Zaragoza, and centred on the Andalusian cities of Córdoba, Granada and Seville. From the 8th Century, the caliphate oversaw a period of extraordinary cross-cultural creativity known as La Convivencia (the Coexistence)....


Women, Interrupted: They Have Had To Bear the Brunt of Religious Zealotry in Pakistan
Khaled Ahmed

“Before being killed, she begged the men who had dragged her out of the house not to slit her throat, which they would usually do, but shoot her instead. They fulfilled her last wish and shot her in the head. Her corpse was hung from the lamp-post like those of other such victims in the main square of the chief city of the Swat Valley, where such executions were regularly being carried on.”....


How Wonder Woman Turned From a Hero to A War Crimes Supporter
Susan Abulhawa

But make no mistake. Zionism cannot reconcile with feminism, and such antiquated imperial feminism belongs to another era, when feminists fought for the right to vote, but only for white women. In the words of Jaime Omar Yassin, "Feminism cannot be Zionist, just as it cannot be neo-Nazi - feminism that doesn't have an understanding of how it intersects with racial and ethnic oppression is simply a diversification of white supremacy."....


Sufism Remains Heart of Islam, Even Now

Yet, in a context like medieval India, Sufi saints did play major roles in shaping political culture as well as social mores. They enjoyed large followings of the kind that has continued in modern times—followings transcending communal religious boundaries. Despite some questionable appropriations and tactical compromises, Sufism remains the heart of Islam, practising and preaching in the language of love even in these times of terror and violence....


The fact that Manal was born to a family on the West coast and that her mother is from North Africa made it more likely for her to be circumcised than for the majority of Saudi women in the rest of the country. Unlike her, I’ve never had a fundamentalist phase. Even as a child I was immune because I was repulsed by the similarities I saw between the self-righteousness and certainty of both Kansas Christians and Riyadh Muslims....


Recommended Reading: Explaining Our World Today
Akbar Ahmed

These are not normal times for a Muslim professor on a Western campus. At the beginning of each term, I calculate that students coming to my class have lived just about their entire lives in a post-9/11 environment. There is an Islamophobic atmosphere of controversy and crisis around Islam and widespread outright lies and falsehoods about the religion—“fake news.” Every act of Muslim terror only makes matters worse....


Arab TV Series Dramatizes Life under ISIS
Ben Hubbard

A mother travels to Syria to find her son after he ran away to join the Islamic State. A Christian renounces her faith and plots to blow up a church. A black-clad matron tells teenage girls to rest up before they are raped by extremist fighters. These frighteningly familiar stories of life under the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria will this month become plotlines on prime-time television across the Arab world.....


Modern Politics in Pre-Modern History
Audrey Truschke

Aurangzeb is controversial not so much because of India’s past but rather because of India’s present. Twenty-first-century India is plagued by religious-based conflict, especially between Hindus and Muslims, India’s religious majority and its largest religious minority, respectively. As the minority, Indian Muslim communities are in the weaker position. They are often demonised as anti-national, less Indian than Hindus, and tend to bear the brunt of religious-based clashes in terms of the loss of human life and livelihood.....

The Myth of the Muslim World
Asma Afsaruddin

"The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the hours of the Prophet have never transgressed the measure of human virtues; and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion." Such views influenced Edward Gibbon and his largely favourable depiction of Islam in his The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Similar positive assessments of Islam continued to be found through the first quarter of the 19th century;...


Fleeing a Fictional World of Despots and Drones
Francine Prose

As the violence escalates, the central characters become hunted fugitives, refugees in their own city. We learn their closely guarded secrets, and we come to share their terror of the probable consequences should those secrets be revealed. We read with increasing anxiety and in the growing hope that these heroic men and women — Christian and Muslim, from a wide range of backgrounds — will somehow triumph....


How the Islamic State Rose
Stanly Johny

The ISIS may now be losing territories to Kurdish rebels in Syria and the Iraqi Army in Iraq, both backed by the U.S. But its ideology, like that of al-Qaeda and other jihadist organisations, is unlikely to fade away in the near future given the geopolitical and sectarian fault lines of West Asia. ...


Jihad and Death – The Global Appeal of Islamic State

Are the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad responsible for modern Jihadism, or does the terrorists’ ignorance of their religion show that Islam is cover for inner disquiets that make more sense to the psychologist than the imam? Last July’s lorry massacre on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice was committed by an unstable libertine who had only recently discovered Jihadism....


The Enemy within – A Thrilling and Satisfying Polemic
Leila Aboulela

Despite all this, she has been subjected to the insult of being perceived as “the enemy within”, and finds herself wondering whether the UK will still be a home for her grandchildren. It is this personal stake that gives her forthright and intelligent book its sense of urgency. By tackling the “Muslim problem” head on...


Reconciling Islam with the Modern World

She first quotes Iqbal (whose suggestion that elected Parliament should be able to complement Ulema’s work and exercise Ijtihad appears shockingly modernist).“The law revealed by the Prophet takes special notice of the habits, ways and peculiarities of the people to whom he is specifically sent. The sharia values [ahkam] are in a sense specific to that people; and since their observance is not an end in itself they cannot be strictly enforced in the case of future generations....

Religion Gone Astray—What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith

Like individuals, religions, when they become institutions, can, as the title of this book says, go ‘astray’, deviating far from their purpose. They do this, the authors say, when, for instance, they are interpreted to promote monopolistic claims to truth, when they are marshalled to foment conflict and engage in violence against people who behave and believe differently and when they are invoked to seek to justify gender injustice. Hence, the authors stress, they ‘need to be called back’—...

The Story of Piro and the Gulabdasis

The main protagonists of this fascinating piece of work are a terribly marginalised Piro—a low-caste Muslim prostitute in nineteenth-century Punjab—and her Guru Gulabdas, a cult-figure and preacher of syncretistic Bhakti variety. The main part of the story revolves around Piro’s struggles over her own life, body and thought in association with Gulabdas, for whom she abandoned her Muslim-ness, amidst violent opposition, and sought a new beginning in the devotional milieu at the Dera of the Guru....


Guru Nanak’s Devotion to God and His Message of Social Equality

About his mission to unite people who claimed to follow different faiths in common devotion to the One God, because of which many Hindus and Muslims came to accept him as a true man of God. About his teachings about the meaninglessness of narrowly-inscribed religious labels and identities that hinder one from realizing God.  About his critique of supremacism, bigotry, exclusivism, communalism, priest craft, caste and caste-based discrimination and superstition in the name of religion. About his insistence that mere rituals or belief in dogmas are utterly insufficient for salvation.....


Non-Violence and Peace-Building in Islam

Hardly a day passes without the media reporting some violent barbarity somewhere in the world being committed in the name of Islam. Today, there is an urgent need for popularising an alternate understanding of Islam, one rooted in a commitment to peace, nonviolence and inter-community harmony. Peace and prosperity for all peoples, not just Muslims alone, crucially depends on this....

Pained at the horrific conditions of many Muslim societies today, that are characterized by patriarchy, intolerance, violence and oppression, Sardar insists that the root cause for their malaise is what has come to be seen as ‘Islamic orthodoxy’ (in its Sunni as well as Shia versions). Hence, the only solution lies in replacing this with an alternate understanding of Islam, one drawing on the tradition of Muslims like the Mutazilites, who placed a premium on reason in their understanding of Islam, and the Sufis, for whom love was the pivot.....


Social and Political Issues Facing Muslims Living in the West

He also sees value in Western secularism, explaining that “Muslim Westerners have understood that when secularism and religious neutrality are not instrumentalised by ideologues or intellectuals or political trends opposed to any presence of religion, they guarantee religious pluralism in Western societies and protect their legitimate rights.”...

A Call for Spiritual Renewal
K. Suhela, New Age Islam

A Call for Spiritual Renewal

It’s hard for us even to be civilized in the parking lot of a Masjid, for God’s sake. The only time we are organized is when we have to be organized in Sufuf (rows), when Salah is called, but outside of that—forget about it! Just basic human decency, basic human decency, we don’t possess. We don’t possess it. What have we done? What have we produced as a people? How have we contributed to the world? The only time we make it to the news is when we blow something up or we are in some chaos or another....

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  • From the title of the article, it is clear that the author believes in abrogation of verses of the Quran but has reason to believe ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • When somebody talks of a methodology without using the same and showing us the results, what is he except another windbag academician? Can GM ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • GM sb, You are the one who runs away from specifics. You have not clarified whether you agree with me when I say  based on ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Are you sure Magians did not actively contribute to such malevolent efforts? If not, why criticize  someone who is trying to invalidate bad Hadiths? 
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
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  • "Non-Muslims, especially Magians, actively contributed to all these malevolent efforts. Thousands and thousands of new Ahadith came into being which were inconsistent, curious, bewildering ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • I have already said supremacism is the nature of every human being
    ( By Huzaifa )
  • What is peace? Where is peace? In spiritual world, when your mind is not at peace, you are not peaceful. Respect for human beings is not limited ...
    ( By Ghulam Hasan )
  • I saw a video recently in which a muslim girl was checked at USA the way it made her feel inferiority actually the question of ...
    ( By Huzaifa )
  • Comparing someone who seems to be a dedicated jihadist with terroristic tendencies to "a (disturbingly large) number of expatriate muslims," is dumb and irresponsible. 
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "islam is more about prophet worship than allah worship. and they have the gall to hate idolators and polytheists!"this is totally wrong perception of ...
    ( By Talha )
  • Good question by Ghulam Mohiyuddin sb to Naseer sb, "Why can't you discuss issues instead of going boasting about your integrity and your superior understanding ...
    ( By Talha )
  • Not for those who come out with long pronouncements at the drop of a hat.'
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Why should that be a concern for Hats Off? He has left Islam anyway.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Too much debate is about burqa, beard, kurta, pyjama, fundamentalism, tolerance for other people, Can anyone please talk about whether people of this 21 century are ...
    ( By Huzaifa )
  • Hats Off lives and dies for his singular mission: Keep smearing "moderate Muslims", whatever that means!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Silly comment from Hats Off! How simplistic can you get!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • @anburaj  Atheism is more dangerous than religions of this world in this age people are unable to see the danger of atheism. Atheism is the kind of venom that ...
    ( By Talha )
  • sULTAN SHAIN   IS trying  to make islam relevant to 21 st century. He is trying to desalinate Islam. Muslims  are always Muslims. Self-centred mentality ...
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • Mohammed  wrongly had believed that  Arab culture alone was recognised  by God/Allah and he wanted  other cultures to be destroyed .His motto was Be ...
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • People in this age are in need of peace, let alone talking about 'love' the essence of which is hardly understood in the non-spiritual world. 
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • AayinaAap bhi article likh sakte hoKashmiri pandist k bare m likhna h likho. Lekin jo likh rahe hai burma par wo bhi theek hain...Unko fake ...
    ( By Rumish )
  • Where is the philosophy of "love"? 
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • it is very easy to do this. many.a (disturbingly large) number of expatriate muslims have nothing but contempt for the free mixing, binge drinking, ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • oh! so you are a closet atheist after all! but the garden variety.
    ( By hats off! )
  • silence is golden and speech is silvern.
    ( By hats off! )
  • islam is more about prophet worship than allah worship. and they have the gall to hate idolators and polytheists!no shame whatsoever. no self criticism. ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • in the famous words of "extremists"-enabling moderate muslims - the verse was quoted out of context.
    ( By hats off! )
  • Due you know genocide of Buddist in Tebet, Kshmiri pandits in Kshamir. Biased Matthew smith a fake humunist, shameless sultan Shahin has not put single ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • lets make it simple."There is no compulsion in relgion but humiliation" is this make clear the treatment of not agree with Mouhmmad self declared ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • hatts off, you cannot expect from Hindu hate lover like Gulam Mohyuddin to acknowledge that numerical system was given by Hindus, they will talk ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • The articles presents some wonderful quotes from different authors.My favorite is from Mark Twain: "Man is the Religious Animal. . . . He is ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Why are the United States and the Gulf Emirates silent on this subject?
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is a great inspiring article. It was very helpful. Thanks for sharing sach a wanderfull post, It was really ...
    ( By Andrew Saiman )
  • I clicked this article also posted on quora. this is very good article and must read for young generation of todays kahsmirs.
    ( By Shahzeb )