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Books and Documents

Books and Documents

Punjab had most of the time suffered from a deficit of popular political leadership. It had often remained under the domination of civil and military bureaucracy, feudals and mullahs. People’s movements were made ineffective or irrelevant in what is today known as West Punjab, to ensure that the source of recruitment for the armed forces was not affected.

On the other hand, Punjab was in terms of skill, enterprise, education and productive potential, far ahead of all the other provinces of Pakistan. Though East Pakistan was the majority province in terms of population, all the sources and levers of power were monopolized by Punjab – civil bureaucracy, armed forces, education, skill – all were under the command of Punjab. It was also the stronghold of feudal power. Making use of these instruments of power, the ruling elite of Punjab denied legitimate participation to others in the country’s governance. All policies and plans were drawn up by them, for them and any obstacle in their way was removed with the help of the bureaucracy and the armed forces. It has been like a cycle – some sort of toothless democratic dispensation running the country for a certain period, followed by army rule replacing it for a few years, then giving way to a civil dispensation for another few years – and so the cycle continues till today. ...

Mr. Bhutto’s four and a half years’ military action in Baluchistan gave birth to extremist tendencies among the youth. The subsequent decade of Zia-ul-Haq’s military-mullah rule further sharpened these tendencies, as Baluchistan continued to be denied its legitimate rights within the federation. Today, the political leadership of Baluchistan and in Particular the youth seem to have arrived at the conclusion that there is no future for smaller nationalists in Pakistan. I agree that this should not have been the answer to Mr. Bhutto’s and General Zia’s misrule and misdeeds. The answer, in my opinion. Should have been a redoubled commitment to waging a sustained struggle to overthrow their anti-people regimes through mass people’s movements. Given Baluchistan’s minimal clout in terms of manpower, it was not possible for the Baluch to initiate or lead such a movement. In the given situation, the immediate logical response was adventurism, taking the Baluch youth on the path of pointless sacrifice. -- Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo

Gerges argues that the U.S. “has assigned too much importance to the terrorists and has unwittingly invested bin Laden and Zawhiri with the legitimacy and stature that they desperately craved.” This propaganda victory for al-Qaeda is seen as “suspect by those unable to believe that the American government could be so naïve.” In truth, it is far from naïve: the “war on terror” is what is fed to the people at home by the corporate media, a story that inculcates into the public the idea that their very way of life is threatened by the hundred or so remaining al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan and now on into Pakistan. Without that fear factor, without the evil other, the reality of the U.S. killing civilians and destroying cultural and physical landscapes to control resources and other geopolitical forces might not be so convincing an argument to continue with the violence and atrocities against international law that the U.S. commits daily in the Middle East.-- Jim Miles

 

Muslims must realise that they are bearers of a universal message. They are not a racial or regional grouping in whose territory others cannot enter. Strictly speaking, Muslims in India are not one community; they are divided among many well-entrenched sects. You can unite them by arousing their anti-Hindu sentiment but you cannot unite them in the name of Islam. To them Islam means undiluted loyalty to their own sect. Apart from Wahhabi, Sunni and Shia there are innumerable groups who owe allegiance to different saints and divines. Small issues like raising hands during the prayer and saying Amen loudly have created disputes that defy solution. The Ulema have used the instrument of takfeer [fatwas declaring someone as infidel] liberally. Earlier, they used to take Islam to the disbelievers; now they take away Islam from the believers. Islamic history is full of instances of how good and pious Muslims were branded kafirs. Prophets alone had the capability to cope with these mindboggling situations. Even they had to pass through times of afflictions and trials. The fact is that when reason and intelligence are abandoned and attitudes become fossilised then the job of the reformer becomes very difficult.
But today the situation is worse than ever. Muslims have become firm in their communalism; they prefer politics to religion and follow their worldly ambitions as commands of religion. History bears testimony to the fact that in every age we ridiculed those who pursued the good with consistency, snuffed out the brilliant examples of sacrifice and tore the flags of selfless service. Who are we, the ordinary mortals; even high ranking Prophets were not spared by these custodians of traditions and customs. -- Maulana Abul Kalam Azad in an interview to journalist Shorish Kashmiri for a Lahore based Urdu magazine, Chattan, in April 1946.

This invaluable document has been resurrected and translated by former union minister Arif Mohammad Khan for Covert Magazine. The redoubtable Maulana’s predictions about what will happen to Pakistan, if it got created, have come so uncannily true that they almost read like newspaper headlines.

As the burgeoning and pernicious scourge of global radical Islam continues to proliferate in an unfettered manner, it is clear that within our borders the threat to our cherished democratic values and principles are all too real. The release of this book of paramount importance by authors Gaubatz and Sperry hasn't come a moment too soon. To say that the information published in these pages is a real eye opener is an understatement of monumental proportions. It is a must read for anyone, the world over, who still clings to the hope of freedom, peace and liberty that Western civilization represents. -- Fern Sidman

Chapter 20: Islam A Challenge to Religion

Islam, thus, is a code of laws revealed by God, through his Rasul, Muhammad (P), for the guidance of the whole of mankind, and which are fully preserved in the Book of God., known as the Qur'an; and they constitute what we may call the Permanent Values. Further, Islam emphatically and confidently advances the claim that if life is led in full compliance with and in complete subordination to the Permanent Values, it will be rid of all the travails and troubles in which the entire world of the present day finds itself beset condemning humanity to a hellish life despite the wonderful and awe-inspiring material and scientific advancement. The order of life according to these Permanent Values is termed as the Qur'anic Social Order, or, in other words, the Islamic State. It requires, however, to be made clear that every order of life established by the so-called Muslims., would not necessarily be the Islamic State as such, for, the Islamic State connotes only that State which is based on., and is in fullest consonance with the Permanent Values; and any other., lacking in this foundation, will be only un-Islamic, established though it may have been by the Muslims themselves. -- Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez

Once hosted, greeted and funded by the US as mujahideen and its offshoots later tolerated by Pakistan, a raft of groups is now ganging up with the Taliban or al-Qaeda. These varied groups are ensconced not only in the unruly tribal areas, but also in the most populous province: Punjab, proliferating and operating with impunity. Pakistani Taliban fighters virtually took over control of the Swat valley, northwest of Islamabad, beginning in 2007 and a push out of the valley toward Islamabad spread fear early this year. Islamabad cracked down militarily on the Pakistani Taliban only after it was clear that deal-making had failed. The army has now set its sights on South Waziristan -- 6,620 square km of area housing about 10,000 hardcore foreign and local fighters -- that has more risks than opportunities, in the hope of rooting out the most potent domestic threat to the state. Amir Mir's book Talibanization of Pakistan: From 9/11 to 26/11 covers all the significant facts about the rise and rise of Taliban in Pakistan and combines purposeful theoretical investigation with good use of history and empirical evidence. -- Waqar Mustafa

 

Chapter 19: Islam A Challenge to Religion     

If you fear that it will not be possible to find an equitable solution of the problem of widows and orphans in the society other-wise, then marry from amongst them those who seem suitable, by twos, threes or fours (as the situation demands),. But if you fear that you will not do justice, then marry only one (4: 3).

This is the only verse in the Quran that bears on t he question of polygamy. It will be observed from the concluding portion thereof that even where a State does make this relaxation, it is still not obligatory on men to take, more than one wife. They may marry only if they can do justice. It is obvious that if a man marries in such an abnormal situation, it will be as a service to the nation, both on his part and the part of his first wife. She will consider it her duty to provide shelter to one of her unfortunate sisters who has been driven to such a pitiable condition through no fault of her own. It may be argued that we will rarely find a woman who will agree to a rival being brought into her home. -- Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez

There is no doubt that Dr. Naik is great. One must acknowledge the merits of his opponent. His greatness is in his ability to twist the truth. He is dexterous with words and has an excellent memory for remembering the verses of the Quran. If he was a lawyer and I was a criminal, I would want him as my attorney. You can watch the debate by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page while following the transcript in the following pages. When it comes to my responses, you can click on pause and read what I have written. I say it with all certainty that this paper demarks the end of Dr. Naik's glory and will bring down his empire. Once his fans read this, it would be as if a balloon is punctured. They will see through his veneers of lies and chicanery and his tower of cards will crumble. The proof is overwhelming. I hope all those who have seen the debate between Dr. Campbell and Dr. Naik and were swayed by Dr. Naik's showmanship read this paper to see how he deceived everyone. Anyone who has seen or heard Dr. Naik owes it to himself to read this paper. He rehashes the same things in all his talks. Here, the tricks of a master magician are exposed. -- Ali Sina, an ex-Muslim

In the Holy Quran importance and virtues of Nikah have been described in many occasions in very clear terms. In the Hadith (hadees) of Rasool-ul-lah and in the sermons of Imams importance and virtues of Nikah have repeatedly been told. Both Quran and Sunnat have ordained better and kind behavior with wife and children. The Quran has very explicitly explained the rights of husband and wife. In case of differences, the Quran has also suggested ways and means to solve the problem. When all the efforts of unity and reconciliation are exhausted, the Quran has advised talaq but still has condemned it. The society has made marriage so difficult that today father of every daughter is perturbed. Frivolous customs and rituals, manjha, mehndi and chauthi are nothing but wastage of lot of money. Demand of big sums of money as Mehr and huge dowry have devastated families. It is necessary that we should seek remedy of our problems in the light of Quran and Hadith. Emphasizing on the importance and need of the Nikah Quran says:- (And this is one of the signs of his command that he created women for you of your own creed so that you live with them happily and developed love and compassion between you.) -- New Indian Shia Personal Board Nikahnamah

Chapter 18: Islam A Challenge to Religion   

The Quran puts man in a meaningful relationship with nature. To grasp the significance of the Quranic view, we should compare it with two other views which are stoutly defended by some modern thinkers. According to one of these, nature is definitely hostile to man and takes a fiendish delight in bringing to naught his noblest enterprises. Hardy and Schopenhauer took a gloomy view of life and felt that men could enjoy peace, the peace of insensibility, only when they ceased to exist. The other view is apparently more compatible with the findings of modern thought. According to it, nature is completely indifferent to man and his ideals. It simply does not care whether man succeeds or fails. Human history may well prove to be a brief episode in cosmic evolution. The earth may go on rolling round the sun for ages after man has disappeared from its surface. Opposing both these views the Quran presents nature as friendly to man, responsive to his intellect and sympathetic to his moral endeavour. Both nature and man have been created by a wise and benevolent God and fundamentally there is no conflict between them. -- Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez

 

Chapter 17: Islam A Challenge to Religion   

The purpose of the Quran is not to record past events in all their details but to give sufficient reference to make its own point and leave out the rest. Every action of man is recorded and the consequences inevitably follow. Good, however, prevails over bad. The consequences of a wrong action can be nullified by a right act.”Good deeds", says the Quran, annul bad deed" (11: 114). The fate of the individual or of the nation, therefore, depends on which kind of actions predominates: As for him whose scales are heavy (with good works) he will live a pleasant life. But as for him whose scales are light, the “Bereft and Hungry one" will be his mother (abode). Ah! What will convey unto thee what she is—a raging fire (101: 6-11). -- Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez

 

Moderates may not yearn for the imposition of Islamic law, as all Islamists do, they share the dualistic conviction that the Koran is the irrefutable word of God, making for a sometimes blurry and tenuous divide that has abetted extremists around the world in their pursuit of power. As [Sadanand] Dhume notes, "One couldn't escape the irony that on the whole the deepening of democracy [in Indonesia] had gone hand in hand with a darkening intolerance." The author does not hold all Muslims accountable for the mess in which Indonesia finds itself.... But he is not so naive or politically correct to give Islam a free pass. Moderation in religion can be a slippery slope; moderates are the well from which extremists draw. And, as Dhume implies, Islam, demanding total submission to God and a literal interpretation of the Koran, is arguably more susceptible to extremism than the world's other major faiths. He knows that insofar as the cliché that Islam has been "hijacked" by extremists is true, their swift advance in Indonesia could not occur without indifference, if not ambivalence, among moderates....

The same question needs to be asked in neighbouring Malaysia, where a Muslim woman was recently sentenced to caning for drinking a beer. Rather than appeal, she has requested that the caning be done in public, to instil in others the importance of being a "good" Muslim... -- Ioannis Gatsiounis

Photo: Sadanand Dhume

 

 

Chapter 16: Islam A Challenge to Religion   

The Mo’mins fight in the cause of Allah against cruelty, tyranny and injustice. Their purpose is to make justice prevail in the world. The unbelievers fight to subdue other people and exploit them for their own ends. The Quran tells us in simple and direct language when war is justified and when it is not. The principles laid down by the Quran are clear and definite. They are not couched in language which may be susceptible to different interpretations. The distinction between a just and an unjust war is clear and should not be blurred by sophistical arguments, for example, people, if they are really persecuted, have a light to rebel against the government of their country. However, they would be acting directly against the Quranic principles if they magnified any petty grievance and called it persecution. They may be said to be the victims of persecution only if the basic rights, defined by the Quran, are denied to them. The Mu’min will keep up arms only to defend these rights, and he will hasten to help the oppressed, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. -- Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez

 

Chapter 15: Islam A Challenge to Religion      

An allegation is often made to the effect that discrimination is made by an Islamic State between Muslims and non-Muslims living within its domain by requiring the latter to pay a special tax, called Jizya. This is utterly wrong and based on a grave misunderstanding of the correct position. When the first Islamic State was established by Muhammad (P), some smaller non-Muslim states were, as a result of their rebellious attitude, subjugated, but, instead of occupying their territory, they were granted full autonomy and were assured of complete protection against outside aggression. As a token of their allegiance to the Islamic State, and in return for the military protection afforded to them, they paid a nominal tribute called Jizya. This word occurs in the Quran only once (in 9: 29) and, according to Lane's Lexicon, means a compensation for the protection afforded." There, are cases on record in history in which the Islamic State returned the amount of Jizya when it was unable to afford protection to the non-Muslim state concerned. Islam endeavoured to promote mutual understanding and co-operation between Muslims and non-Muslims. -- Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez

 

 

Chapter 14: Islam A Challenge to Religion

Under all such failures there is a greater one: the failure of man, the most social of all the higher animals and by far the most intelligent, to provide himself with anything, even remotely described as good government. He has made many attempts in that direction, some of them very ingenious and others sublimely heroic, but they have always come to grief in the execution. The reason surely is not occult; it is to be found in the abysmal difference between what Government is in theory and what it is in fact. In theory it is simply a device for supplying a variable series of common needs, and the men constituting it (as all ranks of them are so fond of saying) are only public servants; but in fact, its main purpose is not service at all, but exploitations. The same is the case with other religious, both in the East and the West. It is in fact fertile to seek in religion the laws of God for standard of absolute right and wrong. Religion itself is man-made. In these, circumstances, the modern man, a frustrated, helpless pitiable soul, had perforce to seek objective standards outside the field of religion. -- Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez

 

“It’s a great irony that [Israel] was more secure as an idea than it’s ever been as a nation with an army,’’ concludes Cohen, as he ends his narrative perched on a Jerusalem hillside mulling Israel’s prospects for survival. His absorbing, clear-eyed history of the nation will likely leave readers pondering those odds as well, and knowing more deeply what’s at stake. -- Bill Beuttler

 

Prescription against Partition: injections of theocracy to immunise the country from more 1971-itis. Taking this medicine took Pakistan’s already fragile psyche into a spooky space. Namely, “the dilemma of choosing between rival interpretations of the dominant religion…and deciding which receive state support”. Through the 1970s and 1980s a succession of Pakistani leaders began making the country overtly Sunni. As Shaikh stresses, “the idea of making Pakistan an Islamic state began with the politicians not the ulama”. Another trauma, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and its consequences, brought the mullahs to the fore. Elite groups like the military who tried to use these radical clerics for their own purposes fell sway to the latter’s stronger vision. -- Farzana Shaikh

 

Chapter 13: Islam A Challenge to Religion

The blessing of Allah comprises those advantages that the individual enjoys which have not been gained through his own effort, namely his innate capacities, education and other opportunities. In gratitude for those gifts, he should use his wealth to help those who are less fortunate than himself. He should regard his wealth as the gift of God and his gratitude to God should be expressed in acts of beneficence. We should all live as member of a single family, and we are really that, being so to say, "God’s children." The father does not discriminate between his children. He loves them all alike. God, as the Quran says, is Rabbul-Alamin (1:1). He takes care of every living being in the world. The philosophy developed during the last decade was foreshadowed by the Quran a long time ago. A necessary consequence of this view is that the means of production should not be owned by any one person or group but should be held in common by all. The Quran throws valuable light on this point as will be shown in the next section. -- Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez

Through his own journey, the reader gets an account of the politics and trials and tribulations of Partition. For example, what was the ensuing situation in Delhi when the author migrated? What did his Hindu acquaintances and friends make of the developments? What difficulties he and his family faced on reaching Pakistan? How was Jinnah regarded in the different provinces of Pakistan, particularly in the NWFP where he dismissed the elected government of Khan Sahib? The first five chapters are personal memories and the description of the political developments is a historical awakening. In the remaining four chapters, the author candidly analyses the key developments during the years of Ayub, Bhutto, Zia, Benazir, Nawaz Sharif and Musharraf. Except for Musharraf, who was a Mohajir, all of them had an anti-Mohajir mindset. The author also saw how Jinnah tactfully changed his position and took resort to Islam to keep Pakistan’s various ethnicities together. However, being a supporter of Jinnah, the author stops short of directly criticising him but quotes several of his friends to indirectly criticise Jinnah. -- Arvind Gupta

 

Ahmadinejad, Iran’s Lalu Prasad?

You can even compare some of the political leaders of the two countries. President Ahmadinejad, the son of a blacksmith, comes from the underclass and still lives in a lower-middle class neighbourhood. “His style,” writes Majd, “the bad suits, the cheap Windbreaker, the shoddy shoes, and the unstylish haircut, a style he proudly maintains well into his presidency is a signal to the working class that he is still one of them.” He drives no limousine but a Peugeot, and delivers his speeches in pedestrian Persian, the kind that is spoken on the streets and is understood by all. Inasmuch, he is not a far cry from the Lalu Prasad brand of politician, who won election after election riding on his carefully cultivated rustic appeal, or even Mamata Banerjee, the railway minister who still lives in a lower middle class neighbourhood and drives to Parliament in a Maruti Zen. -- Saif Shahin

Chapter 12: Islam A Challenge to Religion

In the West, during the last decade the idea of a welfare state has appealed to many thinking men. The welfare state, like the Quranic society, is intended to provide for the basic needs of citizen. Such a state, however, still remains as an ideal, attainable perhaps but not as yet realised. Even if it is set up, will its members have sufficient incentive to work when they already have all they need? The Quranic society, like the ideal welfare state, seeks to place man above care and want but unlike the welfare state, it does not weaken but rather stimulates the incentive to work. It inculcates in man that the only ideal worthy of him is the full development of all his latent powers and that he can realise this ideal only through the disinterested service of mankind. He has to give and not to take. He must work, not for himself but for others. He is fired with the ambition to work hard for the enrichment of the life of all men, because it is only in this way that he can realise himself. This urge is so great that economic security does not impair the incentive to work. It is true that bread is the staff of life, but it is equally true that man does not live by bread alone. Both his physical needs and his higher aspirations must be satisfied if he is to enjoy real happiness. -- Ghulam Ahmad Parwez

 

9/11 still excites our imagination of jihadis and their joyless world. Journalists living and working out of Pakistan and Afghanistan paint a bleak, gloomy picture

It was Benazir versus Nawaz for two decades before Gen Musharraf added himself to the mix. Razvi’s description of the dictator-President is sympathetic, showing Gen Musharraf as a man who tried hard to change the system, change himself, even change the military-civilian equation, and utterly failed at all three. He may now face a trial for treason, certainly, the last hasn’t been heard from Pakistan’s former President just yet. With indications that Gen Musharraf may (re)turn to Pakistani politics once the moratorium on his entry expires (two years since he gave up the uniform) in November, this book has a renewed relevance. -- Suhasini Haidar

 

 

Chapter 11: Islam A Challenge to Religion

There is at least one marked distinction in the way of development of the self from that of the body. The body grows by taking and assimilating nutrient substances from the environment. The more nourishment it gets, the better is its growth. Paradoxically, the self grows not by receiving but by giving. Generosity promotes its growth and meanness checks it. The more the self gives of its riches, the richer it grows. If this basic truth is clearly perceived, men will rush to the help of those in need. Pride in possession will give place to joy in munificence. They will think more of what they can give than of what they can keep for themselves. The acquisitive instinct will be weakened and the impulse to give will gain strength. The Quran extols men who put the interests of others above their own: “They prefer others before themselves although there be indigence among them; and whosoever is preserved from the covetousness of his own soul, these shall prosper”(59: 9). -- Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez

 

 

 
SALVATION by Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez
Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez

Chapter 9: Islam A Challenge to Religion

The Buddhist, Christian and Hindu doctrines of salvation have a great deal in common. In each, the emphasis is upon liberation from sin, upon rescue from evil. In each, the objective is a return to the previous state of innocence and bliss. As sin is supposed to be inseparable from life and the phenomenal world is believed to be the abode of evil, it follows that liberation can be achieved only by renouncing the world. Moreover, in the Quran, the emphasis is on the positive content of salvation. It is not conceived as a negation of pain and liberation from evil. It consists in the sense of fulfilment, the feeling of realisation and the thrill of expansion. Man is endowed with a number of potentialities. By developing these he reaches his full stature and qualifies for still higher stages awaiting him. Man must discover in what direction his self can develop and then he must create the conditions, physical as well as social, which favour the development. His main task in this life is to develop his self by conquering the forces of nature and employing them for the development of mankind. ­­-- Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez

 

Chapter 10: Islam A Challenge to Religion

The Quran emphatically asserts that death is not the final end but a gateway to a different kind of life: We mete out death among you.... that we may transfigure you and make you what you know not. And verily you know the first creation. Why then do we not reflect? (56: 61-63)  The real self, not being a part of the body is not subject to physical laws. It is dependent on the body for functioning in the physical world, but it may continue to exist after the destruction of the body, its instrument: And they say, what! When we have become bones and dust shall we indeed be raised up a new creation. Say thou: Be ye stones or iron or a substance still more improbable in your hearts (to be restored to life). But they will say: Who shall bring us back? Say thou: He who brought you into being for the first time (17: 49-51). -- Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez

 

 
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  • Direct interpretation with merely hadith would lead to weird teaching: Narrated Abu Murra: (the freed slave of Um Hani) Um Hani, the ....
    ( By zuma )
  • امام عارف باللہ عبد الوہاب شعرانی قدس سرہ الربانی کتاب مستطاب ‘‘میزان الشریعۃ الکبری ’’ میں اس معنی کو جا بجا بتفصیل تام بیان فرمایا ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • COMMENT 1 علامہ حامد رضا خان نے کیا ہی بات لکھی ، وہ فرماتے ہیں ‘‘مسلمانوں ! میں پہلے تمہیں ایک سہل ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • ‘‘احادیث نے فساد پیدا کیا اور قرآن کے خلاف کے لوگوں کو لا کھڑا کیا ’’ اس طرح کے خیال سے انتہائی غیر منصفانہ ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Education is a bounty of Allah which is open to all regardless of gender. To deprive Muslim women of this bounty ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Never read hadith alone since it would lead to misinterpretation. Let's take a look the hadith verse below: Narrated 'Ikrima: Some Zanadiqa (atheists....
    ( By zuma )
  • @Urooj, 1. Allah Almighty is free from every defect or shortcoming. 2. Everybody and everything ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Mr Austin, You can find your answer while reading this article thoroughly. I have also mentioned those names who have ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )