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Books and Documents

Books and Documents

The Study Qur'an (SQ), a project of HarperCollins, can perhaps best be understood as an analog to its forerunner, the HarperCollins Study Bible. Originally published in 1993, the SB is an ecumenical project. Though various denominational actors and figures are cited, the SB bears no preference for one over another. Aside from its denominational accommodations, the SB is significant as an academic project – entry level courses in academic institutions teaching the Bible or Christianity routinely mandate the SB as required reading. As a result of its widespread use in academia, the SB has sold quite well, having exceeded 150,000 copies since initial publication. Therefore, although the SB may not hold much currency within devotional congregations, it retains a majority market share in academic environments.

 

Guiding Souls—Dialogues on the Purpose of Life
Yoginder Sikand, New Age Islam

Leading a truly meaningful life is about ‘finding God in the human heart’, as Kalam puts it. Realising our true selves—the purpose of life, according to various spiritual traditions—is something that requires both self-reflection as well as social engagement, Kalam suggests. The ‘voyage of inner exploration’ leads us to realize our connection with the rest of humanity, guided by compassion: ‘independence from narcissism is self-realisation’, as he beautifully puts it.

 

A Muslim-Atheist Debate: A Liberal Muslim and a Non-Believer In Search Of Common Ground
Maajid Nawaz

It's worth teasing out the implications of what Mr Nawaz is saying. Over-simplifying only a little, let us agree that of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims, some 10% are open, as of now, to his proposal for a form of Islam that fits comfortably with secularism, human rights and equality.

 

What is Indian secularism?
Sarvepalli Gopal

..As far back as in July 1948, in the wake of months of communal frenzy, Nehru looked forward with confidence to a brighter future. ‘I believe’, he wrote, ‘that India can only become great if she preserves that composite culture which she had developed through the ages … whatever might happen in the present, sometime or other, India will have to tread that path to self-realisation and greatness.’ That note of optimism can strengthen us still.

 

Exposed by Wikileaks: The US Empire According to Itself

Time and again as I read this book, I felt nauseated as US officials callously or, sometimes, almost indifferently decided on courses of action that resulted in deaths, often on a substantial or even massive scale. And some pretty ordinary people carried out elite bidding. Is what they do normal? Is it sane? Would most people do it? Of course not. The US elite, and elites generally, are seriously psychologically disordered. But so are those who lack the moral capacity and courage to refuse to obey their orders. Or, to put it another way: accepting money to exploit or kill others is the act of a coward.....

‘Islam and the Future of Tolerance’ And ‘Not in God’s Name’
Irshad Manji

How refreshing, then, to read an honest yet affectionate exchange between the Islamist-turned-liberal-Muslim Maajid Nawaz and the neuroscientist who advocates mindful atheism, Sam Harris. “Islam and the Future of Tolerance” begins on an impolitic note. Harris tells Nawaz that to reform Islamic practices one must “pretend” that “jihad is just an inner spiritual struggle, whereas it’s primarily a doctrine of holy war.”

Peace for the Sake of Peace
Belinda F. Espiritu, New Age Islam

Peace for the Sake of Peace

This de-monopolization of resources has made the violent method totally irrelevant. Opting for war does not arise out of any kind of necessity but is only the result of the ignorant misuse of freedom, which shall be rewarded, as the Quran says, with “disgrace in this world and severe punishment on the Day of Resurrection” (2:85)……

Peace Is the Core Constituent of All Kinds of Positive and Constructive Activities
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam

Some of the Prophet's companions wanted to first solve the problems that existed at that time between the Makkans and the Muslims, instead of first accepting peace. The Prophet did not agree with this approach. Instead, he unilaterally accepted the conditions of the Makkans. The Hudaibiya peace treaty thus became possible only because the Prophet accepted all the conditions of the other party and did not insist on justice. This shows the importance of peace for its own sake in Islam, not linking it to, or predicating it on, justice or human rights. This is expressed in a phrase that appears in the Quran (4:128): As-sulh Khair, which means ‘reconciliation is best'. .....


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Maulana Wahiduddin Khan on his book "The Age of Peace"

Ulema and Modernity  علما ء اور جدیدیت

اسلام کے ابتدائی دور میں جب کہ شام و عراق اور ایران فتح ہوئے تو نئے ہونے والے مسلمان اپنے ساتھ اپنی آبائی اور قدیم روایات کو ساتھ لے کر آئے، اس موقع پر بھی علماء نے اس بات کی شدت سے مخالفت کی کہ نئے ثقافتی اور سماجی قدروں کو اسلامی معاشرے میں ضم کیا جائے اور اس بات کی حمایت کی کہ عرب ثقافت کو جس کو وہ اسلامی کہتے تھے اس کی خالصیت کو برقرار رکھا جائے ۔

اس کا نتیجہ یہ ہوا کہ وہ تمام دانشور کہ جو روشن خیال اور لبرل نظریات رکھتے تھے انہیں زندیق یا مانی اور مزوک کے پیروکار کہہ کر یا تو قتل کردیا گیا یا ان کی زبان بندی کردی گئی انہیں میں سے ابن مقفع تھا جو کہ مجوسی سےمسلمان ہوا تھا اور جس کی عربی زبان پر اس قدر مہارت تھی کہ وہ اہل زبان کی غلطیاں نکالا کرتا تھا  علماء کے اس رویہ کی وجہ سے اسلام کےابتدائی دور ہی میں ذہنی طور پر مسلمان معاشرہ کو پھیلنے نہیں دیا گیا او راسے ایک دائرے میں محدود کردیا ۔

 

Muslim Cosmopolitanism In The Age Of Empire

In Muslim Cosmopolitanism in the Age of Empire, Seema Alavi makes an admirable and successful attempt to rethink some key assumptions of South Asian and global history. Specifically, the book inserts into history five important Muslim men of religion, including Sayyid Fadl, Rahmatullah Kairanwi, Haji Imdadullah Makki, Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan and Maulana Jafer Thanesri, who were hounded by the British government for their role in 1857 and fled India to seek their fortunes in different cities of the Ottoman Empire.

 

Disaster Capitalism: Outsourcing Violence and Exploitation

Loewenstein provides the evidence to demonstrate this fact in one case after another. The ones that I found most interesting are the use of mercenaries in Afghanistan which provided further evidence that US policy, and even its military strategy and tactics 'on the ground', is being progressively taken over by corporations, and the 'occupation' of Haiti, post-earthquake in 2010, by the UN and NGO 'aid' agencies which forced locals into the perpetual victimhood of corporate-skewed 'development'…..

Why Liberalism Needs Islam
Anna Provitola and Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins

Why Liberalism Needs Islam

EVERY FOUR OR FIVE YEARS, Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes a book telling the world about the horrors of Islam. In her latest installment, Heretic, Hirsi Ali rightly feels the need to justify why another such book is in order. Apparently, she now has a bit more hope for the future of Islam. ...

 

Fallacious Thesis of Atheist Evolutionists

A gravely erroneous impression has been created by atheist evolutionists that modern science has conclusively proven Darwin’s theory of evolution of species by ‘natural selection’ to be true, and, in this way, has finally debunked the ‘theory’ of God as well as the belief that life has been created by God. Many ill-informed people with little knowledge of both theology and science have fallen prey to this fallacious thesis. The fact, however, is, as this slim yet remarkably  engaging and informative book tells us, not all scientists accept Darwin’s claims, and many scientists are confirmed believers in God…..

Before ISIS, all religious denominations stand in the line of fire. Christians and Muslims know only too well the bitterness and despair of a life spent under the ominous flag of Takfirism—a heretical perversion of Islam, also known as Wahhabism, which reared its hideous head a mere two centuries ago.  Evil has a new face and it is Takfirism! Doing nothing while millions of lives are at risk is tantamount to murder. We owe it to our children to carry on this fight so as to prevent the shadow of our shameful inaction from falling on future generations.....

 

Reading Nazrul Islam after Walter Benjamin

Nazrul Islam, all the same, faced condemnation and stiff resistance from all quarters, Brits, Hindus and Muslims alike. Some wiseacres happened also to be admirers of Fascism, if not outright Fascists. One of these tooth and nail colonial fighters survived long enough to reminisce, to carry it kit and caboodle, till the 1980s…

 

The Lessons of Anwar al-Awlaki
Anwar al-Awlaki

This is the digital legacy of Awlaki, who was killed in a drone strike in Yemen in September 2011. Addressing a V.F.W. convention in Pittsburgh last month, President Obama championed the counterterrorism record of his administration. ‘‘I’ve shown,’’ he said, ‘‘I will not hesitate to use force to protect our nation, including from the threat of terrorism.’’ He listed some of the terrorists killed on his watch. ‘‘Anwar al-Awlaki, a leader of the Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen — gone,’’ Obama said to applause.

Arabs in the jihadist Woodstock

According to Mustafa Hamid, it was, however, the Qais camp run by Mawlawi Nasrullah Mansur of the Harkat-e-Inquilab-Islami, Afghanistan that was not only the training hub for Arab jihadists but also the Afghans who went on to become leaders and cadres in Mullah Omar’s Taliban.

 

Reappraising the Common Muslim Mindset about Women Rights in Islam
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

When the Qur’an accorded women such a lofty status and rights that they could not even imagine in the seventh century Arabia, then why this discrepancy between the actual Qur’anic provisions for women and their sorry state of affairs in the Muslim world today? Reappraising the common Muslim mindset, Qazi attempts to answer the above question with quite a different approach. ...

A Spiritual Magazine with a Difference
Suleiman Khan, New Age Islam

For one thing, unlike most other ‘Islamic’ magazines, it is not linked to any particular Muslim sect. Discussions about minor details of jurisprudence or Fiqh and rituals and debates about external forms of piety, such as about dress and deportment, may be a major focus of many other ‘Islamic’ magazines—but these do not find any space in Spirit of Islam, whose focus, its masthead announces, is ‘global peace and spiritual living’. Absent, too, from its pages are heated polemics seeking to prove the veracity of one Muslim sect and the falsity of the rest, hagiographical accounts of Muslim religious and political figures, past and present, uncritical laudatory accounts of Muslim history, diatribes against so-called ‘enemies of Islam’....

Feudal Democracy: The Irony of History  جاگیر دارانہ جمہوریت :المیہ تاریخ

جاگیر دارانہ جمہوریت میں عوام او رمنتخب امیدواروں میں جو فرق او ردوری ہوجاتی ہے اس کی وجہ سےاگرکبھی آمریت یا مارشل لاء کے خلاف تحریک چلائی جاتی ہے تو اس میں کامیابی کے ا مکانات اس لئے کم ہوجاتے ہیں کہ حکومت کے بدلنے کے ساتھ ہی یہ جاگیر دار نمائندےاپنی وفاداریاں بدل لیتےہیں کیونکہ ان میں سےبہت کم ہیں جو اپنی مراعات و آسائشوں کو خطرے میں ڈالنے کی ہمت رکھتے ہوں ۔ جاگیردار خاندانوں کی وفاداریاں بدلنے کی وجہ سے ہمارے سیاسی نظام میں کوئی استحکام پیدا نہیں ہوا ۔

 

Fundamentalism: Tableegh and Violence: The Irony of History  بنیاد پرستی : تبلیع اور تشدد :المیہ تاریخ

معاشرہ کوبرائیوں سے کیسے پاک کیا جائے؟ اس مقصد کو پورا کرنے کےلئے بنیاد پرست جماعتیں دو راستے اختیار کرتی ہیں ۔ تبلیغ کا اور اگر اس کے ذریعے لوگ راہ راست پر نہ آئیں ۔ تو دوسری صورت تشدد اورطاقت کے استعمال کی ہے۔ کہ جس کےذریعے لوگ راہ راست پر نہ آئیں  تو دوسری صورت تشدد اورطاقت کااستعمال کیا ہے ۔ کہ جس کے ذریعے مخالف قوتوں کا صفایا کردیا جائے ، یا انہیں طاقت کے ذریعے دبا کر رکھا جائے ۔ اس لئے مصر میں اخوان المسلمون ناصر نے عرب نیشنل ازم کی مخالفت کی ۔

 

Fundamentalism: The Irony of History   بنیاد پرستی :المیہ تاریخ

بنیاد پرستی کی تحریکوں کو مزید تقویت احیاء کی تحریکوں سے ملتی ہے ۔ احیاء کی تحریکوں کی بنیاد سنہرے ماضی کے تصور پر ہوتی ہے ۔ ان کےنظریئے کے مطابق مذہب کے ابتدائی دور میں جب کہ وہ اصلی اور حقیقی شکل میں تھا، اس وقت معاشرے میں امن و امان ، خوش حالی اور مسرت تھی،مگر جیسے جیسے زمانہ آگےبڑھتا گیا،مثالی معاشرہ تبدیلیوں کے نتیجے میں بدعنوانیوں سے آلودہ ہوتا چلا گیا ۔ یہاں تک کہ اس کی اصلی شکل مسخ ہوگئی ۔ اور اس کی پاکیزگی گناہوں اور نئی تبدیلیوں کی گندگی میں دب کر گم ہوگئی ۔

 

Muslim Identity: The Irony of History  مسلم شناخت :المیہ تاریخ

ہندوستان میں مسلمان معاشرہ تین عناصر پر مشتمل تھا ۔ فاتحین مہاجرین اور مقامی مسلمان۔ ان میں فاتحین خود کو سب سے برتر اور اعلیٰ سمجھتے تھے ۔ کیونکہ انہوں نے فتوحات کے ذریعے اقتدار قائم کیا تھا اس لئے ملک کے ذرائع میں ان کاحصہ سب سے زیادہ تھا اس لئے وہ حکمران طبقے  بن گئے تھے اس کے بعد وہ لوگ تھے کہ جو ہجرت کر کے آئے تھے چونکہ ان کا تعلق ایران وسط ایشیا سے تھا ۔ اس لئے نسلی طور پر وہ فاتحین کے گروہ سے تعلق رکھتے تھے ۔ اور انتظامیہ میں ان کی مدد کرتے تھے ۔

 

History and Pakistan Studies: The Irony of History  تاریخ اور مطالعہ پاکستان :المیہ تاریخ

مطالعہ پاکستان کا مضمون لازمی طور پر تمام بیچلرز کی ڈگری حاصل کرنے والوں کو پڑھایا جائے اور کسی طالب علم کو اس وقت تک ڈگری نہیں ملے گی جب تک کہ وہ مطالعہ پاکستان میں کامیابی حاصل نہ کرلے اس سلسلے میں یہاں تک کیا گیا کہ پروفیشنل کالجوں میں بھی مطالعہ پاکستان کو لازمی مضمون قرار دیا تاکہ انجینئرز اور ڈاکٹر اپنی پیشہ وارانہ قابلیت میں ماہر ہوں یا نہ ہوں مگر یہ کہ وہ ایک ‘‘محب وطن پاکستانی’’ ضرور ہوں ۔

 

Introduction to ‘Nothing Abides’ Perspectives on the Middle East and Islam
Daniel Pipes

The Arab-Israeli conflict is the single most enduring as well as the most intensely scrutinized topic of Middle Eastern politics in the past century. Diplomatically, it compares to the Eastern Question concerning the future of the Ottoman Empire that earlier haunted European statecraft: both endured for more than a century, engaged a large cast of regional and international players, and consumed a disproportionate amount of attention. I consider my ideas about resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict as one of my two most significant contributions to American foreign policy.....

 
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