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Books and Documents

Books and Documents

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....

 

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! ....

 

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....

 

“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
Islam Is All about God’s Immense Compassion: Islam Is Good, Muslims Should Follow It – Part 2
Sanjiv Bhatla, Exclusive to 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 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. ...

 

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....

 

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!...

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…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.....

 

“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?...

 

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....

 
How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations
How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam

The idea of the dignity of difference does not mean relativism, the Rabbi explains. It is based on God’s transcendence of God from the created universe, with its astonishing diversity of life forms, all of which derive from a single source. The Rabbi suggests a “test of faith” being whether believers in God can make space for difference. “Can I recognize God’s image in someone who is not in my image, whose language, faith, ideals, are different from mine?” he asks, adding, “If I cannot, then I have made God in my image instead of allowing him to remake me in his.”....

 

“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....

Muslims have to look within and do a soul searching about their political priorities. They also have to ask whether there is anything wrong with the theology which they have been practising so far. There is a problem if there is a reluctance on part of the community to teach their young about modernity and become an obstacle in the education of millions of young children. There is the added problem that the hegemonic Muslim theology has had a complicated relationship with the idea of the nation itself. ...

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 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....

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 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
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.....

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • dear mr GRD, i thank you from the bottom of my heart....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Quran supports God disapproves those who reject the revelation of God. Al-Baqara (The Cow) - 2:89 [read in context] وَلَمَّا جَاءهُمْ كِتَابٌ مِّنْ عِندِ اللّهِ ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Dear GRD, Js this Human Fraternity Document available in English? Please post that in your next comment.'
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Democracy with its focus on votes and notes favors mullahs over facts and unless the flaws of democracy....
    ( By SatishB )
  • Quran refers polytheists to those who worship idols yet do not worship God. Muslim extremists support ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Quran 4:136 calls Muslims to hold fast the revelation that were received aforetime. The following is the extract:...
    ( By zuma )
  • While Muslims in Egypt and UAE are constructing Churches & Temples for non-Muslims, Indian Muslims are still ....
    ( By GRD )
  • Does Quran 7:157 condemn those who do not believe in the Prophet to hell? Al-A'raf (The Heights) - 7:157 الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ....
    ( By zuma )
  • Islam is not a religion of peace. The watered down version of islam taught by corrupt scholars will ...
    ( By Irshad )
  • Cogent article! Our youth seem to find some of their emotional needs met by the call of the ISIS. ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Enclose herewith the Quran verse for my first comment: Yunus (Jonah) - 10:37 [read in context] وَمَا كَانَ هَـذَا الْقُرْآنُ أَن....
    ( By zuma )
  • Quran 2:89 mentions the revelation of God can be used to confirm whatever truth in the past: Al-Baqara....
    ( By zuma )
  • The refutation of the extract from 20th paragraph of the comment from Sultan Shahin above it confirms the truth....
    ( By ZUMA )
  • "It is only Muslims who can be illegal. There is no way to read the Constitution that can ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Jews and Muslims in America have found remarkable bonds of empathy that are in direct contrast....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Such a mullah-led nation cannot succeed in the modern world.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "It is about time though, that we . . . . expose the hypocritical and sinful use of religion...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off has nothing left except lies. lies and more lies! Instead of getting highly slanted information...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
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  • These shows need a villain and at this time a Muslim terrorist is a convenient villain, although most....
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  • just as islam denigrates the kuffar, he is free to denigrate all those.....
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  • For Hats Off, no judgement is just unless it is anti-Muslim! How many Buddhist structures.....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Thanks for sharing such informative and well defined scholarship. '
    ( By Malik Aadil )
  • no judgement is just until it is in favor of islam and muslims. the fact that....
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  • Newageislam.com is doing the same work
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  • Good question Neyazi Sahib. Muslims must come forward and sack these elect their good representatives in AIMPLB
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  • Owaisi brothers are BJP 2.1. How do people and organisations....
    ( By Ayaan Neyazi )
  • Alliance between Zionist entity and Saudi Arabia is well known to mainstream...
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  • Majority of Indians want there to be peace and coexistence around them....
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  • Those who are self proclaimed Muslim representatives in All India Muslim Personal....
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  • t is not good to make hue and cry over SC resolution....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi )
  • Approximately two dozen IS operatives mostly from Kerala used....
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  • It is also paramount to counter the online threat by promoting religious moderation, tolerance and coexistence....
    ( By Kaniz Fatma )
  • This is indeed a very good article.'
    ( By Kaniz Fatma )
  • GM saheb has rightly put it: "we do not ask for evidence in matters of faith". It is much in the same ....
    ( By GRD )
  • Sickular Shahi Throor is ready to write about the blunder of their own party on Shahbanoo case....
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