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Books and Documents

Books and Documents

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....

Anyone writing (or reading) about Buddhism faces a critical question. What is Buddhism, really? A religion, complete with supernatural deities and reincarnation? A secular philosophy of life? A therapeutic practice? An ideology? All of the above?....

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.....

 

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

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....

 

She appreciates his “cultural scope”, that “spans continents”, and suggests that his “near-seamless transition from a village prodigy to a global scholar” is a “stunning example of Muslim cosmopolitanism”. She refers to Nadwi’s kindness, reserve, politeness and patience, and his open-mindedness and respect for differences while being deeply-rooted in his faith....

Is that too big a leap in both time and theology? Maybe not. Akyol frames it this way: “The three great Abrahamic religions of our battered world, despite all the past and present tensions between them, come together” in the story of Jesus. “Whether we are Jews, Christians or Muslims, we share either a faith followed by him, or a faith built on him, or a faith that venerates him.”....

“Vedanta views different religions as so many ways to the same goal. Vedanta does not antagonize any religion. Vedanta takes the position that the same God can be viewed by individual minds in different ways. There are sure to be various conceptions of God. The human mind can conceive of God according to its capacity. The Hindus may conceive of God in one way. Mohammedans in another way, the Christians in another way, the Jews another way. Each of these conceptions can lead the spiritual aspirant to the ultimate goal....

He stressed teachings of nonviolence and forgiveness in the Quran and the traditions from the Prophet and the Imams. Al-Shirazi argued that the “just as the soul is stronger than the body, so too is nonviolence, since it is the weapon of the soul, and so it is more powerful than the weapon of the body, which is made of matter.” He highlighted cases of early Muslims who personified nonviolent resistance to oppression....

Erdogan 'The Chief'
Mustafa Akyol
Erdogan 'The Chief'
Mustafa Akyol

Many of the other emotion-laden scenes — such as Erdogan’s brief imprisonment in 1998 by another secularist, military regime — emphasize the same basic message: The good, religious, modest people of Anatolia defeated a brutal, vicious, secular establishment in Turkey thanks to Erdogan — the bold, brave, unyielding “Chief.” Erdogan’s exceptional personality is of course highlighted: He is afraid of no threat, including death, which he sees as “coming together with God.” ....

 

The devastation that Earth faces today is, at root, a product of a spiritually-bankrupt worldview that is premised on a deeply problematic concept of ‘development’ and the related notion of the purpose of life being the maximization of sensual pleasure, including consumption and material acquisition. This being the case, overcoming it necessitates an inner transformation of us as individuals and communities, a complete change in how we perceive the purpose of our lives. In this regard, ‘environmental spirituality’ has a key role to play....

 

Few religious figures in the history of civilization have as successfully crossed borders of faith, language and geography as nimbly as Jalal al-Din Mohammad Rumi, the great 13th-century theologian and mystic poet. The son of an eccentric and ambitious Muslim preacher, Rumi, who is known in the Persianate world as Maulana, “our master,” circumnavigated the Middle East of the day, then overrun by invading Mongols and Seljuks, before eventually settling in Konya, in Anatolia....

 

While the modern method is more theoretical and merely intellectual, Sri Ramakrishna adopted the method of complete identification with the spiritual content of each religion he chose to understand and lived like a Muslim or a Christian and adored the Divine in their fashion with the fullest devotional identification. It is after this practical experiment that he declared that all these great religious traditions led to the same God. The same was his experience when he practised the Sadhanas of the different sects and cults of Hinduism....

 

He renounced all privilege, dressed and ate simply, slept on cots or on the floor, wore torn clothes, cleaned latrines and swept floors, and otherwise shared the lot of the poor. As one of the Red Shirts recalled: “He was a big Khan but he lived like a Faqir. He did not even have a cap to cover his head” (Banerjee: 126). The Bacha Khan never claimed spiritual powers for himself – he was, he said, a servant, not a Prophet. ...

 

It propagates a victim mentality that facilitates psychological manipulation, instilling fear and loathing of the host society that makes integration impossible. The notion of Islamophobia encapsulates this strategy....

 

Suddenly, the Islamic State in Iraq, led by an ambitious former graduate student who called himself Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, saw its fortunes brighten anew. Baghdadi dispatched a handful of fighters to Syria and within a few months they were running operations across much of the country. Iraq promptly returned to chaos, and in April 2013, Baghdadi, presiding over a vast fief that stretched from the Iraqi desert to the outskirts of Damascus, rechristened his group yet again — as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS — and appointed himself caliph.....

 

The most difficult subject for non-Muslims to understand is how peaceful Muslims can exist simultaneously with Muslim terrorists. This is the same problem Catholics, Protestants and Jews have had to grapple with throughout the centuries as adherents of each of those religions used violence to further some aim. Ghobash explains the differences among Muslims by describing Islam as a pyramid: “The fundamentalist, reductive, ‘authentic’ Muslims are at the top with the loudest voices and the clearest plan....

“Such institutions appear to be no longer capable of producing creative minds” or “nurturing the skills” necessary to solve the complex problems of Muslims today. Moreover, he says, the majority of the Muslim educational institutions failed to help students gain proper knowledge and understanding of Islam and did not facilitate the development of “mature faith”. ...

A Spiritual Treasure Trove
A Spiritual Treasure Trove
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam

Positive thinking is at the very root of the spirituality that he talks about.  It is based on realizing and acknowledging the existence of the Creator through reflection on the amazing universe. This connection with the Creator is to be expressed in relating positively with the creation in one’s daily life. To live in this way on an everyday basis is to lead a spiritual life....

 

Despite the memory of such horror, we see these women of Gujarat not only resurrecting their self-respect but even taking charge of their shattered communities. The voices we hear in this book are unique. Some international reports dryly relate the surprising strength African women have shown after the horrendous bloodbaths of Rwanda, but none that lets us hear their inner voices. Perhaps, this book when read could encourage African women to tell their stories.....

Rather than seeing the contradiction between wine and Islamic practice as deeply paradoxical, Ahmed regards the relationship as ‘mutually constitutive’ within the broader frame of a ‘common paradigm of Islamic life and thought’....

This is art of a beauty that takes us straight to heaven. And it reminds us of how much we don’t know — but, given a chance like this, will love to learn — about a religion and a culture lived by, and treasured by, a quarter of the world’s population....

Even though Dr. Brown is a Muslim, he is still a Western academic with some Western secular influences. Dr. Brown does an excellent job in questioning the use of a noble lie and weak Hadiths, but for some reason provides simplified responses to questions raised about the two issues. Instead, his main in-depth response is formulated around the fact that Western religious scholars did the same, almost subconsciously...

This immensely useful book is a beautiful testimony to the power of spiritual friendship in dissolving barriers and biases and in bringing people of diverse faith backgrounds to recognize their common humanity and their one Creator and to recognize their responsibilities to both....

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  • europe has submitted. islam means submission. "progressive", "liberal" muslim....
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  • you who do not even know the meaning of "kufr" and "kuffar" are.....
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  • It does not take much depth to know the lameness of Naseer sb.'s arguments.....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin Faruki )
  • Naseer sb. says, "most people will have a problem accepting Buddha....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin Faruki )
  • Naseer sb. is right. Taqwa means being conscious and cognizant of God,....
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  • Jihadism will have to be rooted out as Nazism was rooted out, by international...
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  • muslims conquered the world through sheer fear. as the prophet himself...
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  • When GM sb is out of his depth he will call what the other has said "lame argument" while he is the one without legs ...
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  • SA, Surah 31 Luqman is about Luqman. If you go by what he preached, you would think that ....
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  • A man with even a modicum of wisdom will not debate so much with such little knowledge. He would readily ....
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  • There are four stories in Surah Kahf and not three as mentioned in my previous comment. 1. The story of the people of the cave....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The word heedfulness contains all the other meanings given to the word Taqwa and its derivatives. One can be heedful ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The triliteral root khā shīn yā (خ ش ي) occurs 48 times in the Quran, and in all occurrences, the meaning is fear or its ...
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  • Thank you Naseer. The translation of Yusuf Ali is wonderful. I read it many years ago. Even if he considers....
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  • Naseer sb. continues to quote from the Quran to support his lame arguments. This trulu is an abuse of the Holy Book.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin Faruki )
  • Naseer sb. again shows his ill-bred nature calling me an apostate. Such remarks only show how unfit he is to be considered a scholar.
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  • Hats Off's comments seem to be motivated by nothing other than sheer malice!
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  • Highly destructive wars were common between non-monotheistic countries in all recorded history. Hats ....
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  • Is mere saying “we worship none but Allah” enough? 63:1 When the Hypocrites come to you, they say, "We bear witness that thou art indeed the ...
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