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Books and Documents

Books and Documents

Few people are as simultaneously despised and pitied as Muslim women. Largely relegated to both helpless victim and existential threat, their voices are muffled by a western media and public that treats their lives and bodies as blank canvases onto which others are free to paint their fears and suspicions....

 

Ahmed passed away at a young age before the book was published. But he has left behind one of the most dazzling books in recent memory, full of overpowering illumination of the kind rare in contemporary scholarship.

Shia fought Sunni. Britain, France and a reluctant America fired shots in Libya. Russia showily shored up the president of a Syria torn apart, probably forever, like the colonial borders that created the countries of the region after World War I....

 

If our hearts and minds are tuned to these traditions, he writes, we can appreciate and support for one another, despite our religious and other differences. Studying the wisdom of the world’s religions can, he says, help us develop compassion for each other and discover that the message of love and mercy is common to all our faiths....

The founder and prophet of Islam, Muhammad, was also a statesman. Consequently, his leadership intertwined politics, law, and religion, placing the lattermost at the forefront of public life. In contrast, Christianity placed Christ in opposition to the existing legal order and political system....

 

He says it not in so many words but by simply recalling that Firaq had a tendency to fish for sympathy, and that Ali Sardar Jafri, of all the people, had made a documentary which was far from an accurate representation of facts in Firaq’s life, which in the last few decades, bordered on morally bankrupt...

 

She shows how Afghanistan led to Iraq and how Iraq led to ISIS. Lamb says the West’s sense of failure in both Afghanistan and Iraq led President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron to stand by “as more than 200,000 people were killed in Syria and Vladimir Putin started to redraw the map of Europe, annexing Crimea from Ukraine.”...

 

In most Arab states, “ruling families ‘own’ the state... to all intents and purposes; they will fight to the last soldier in their praetorian guard in order to preserve their reign”....

 

In order to make this transition from plurality to pluralism, Madani would have to forgo his own notion of superiority of Islam over other religions. This he is clearly unwilling to do. Islam for him is the only true religion and it is this conviction which leads him to claim that, ‘while being aware of the truth of their (other religions’) falsehood’, Islam is ready to ‘cooperate and tolerate’ them. In other words, Madani not only disqualifies and derogates other religions as being false, he is also of the view that, ultimately, Hindustan be Islamised: that the Hindu–Muslim entente (composite nationalism) is only required till the time people of this country do not become Muslims (Jab Tak Hindustan Ke Tamam Baashinde Mussalman Nahin Ho Jate). Such a notion hardly augurs well for any kind of pluralism….

Although, Madani accepts that Muslims in India already cooperate with ‘non-Muslims’ on a number of civic and non-religious issues, his plea is that this temporal cooperation should not be confused with any kind of religious co-operation. Even the ‘compositeness’ of his nationalism is not an end in itself. In his own words, this composite nationalism is ‘temporary and special’ and is only required till the ‘light of true religion (read Islam) dispels its (India’s) darkness’. Shedding further light on his ‘special’ and ‘temporary’ concept, Madani elucidates that ‘composite nationalism is needed only till such time different communities (Aqwaam, sng. Qaum) and different religions exist in a country. When the entire nation becomes Muslim (which is the prime real aim: Jo Ki Awwaleen Maksad Hai), where is the need for it?’ It is very clear, therefore, that for Madani, even diversity, (forget pluralism) holds no merit of its own, rather its advocacy is strategically needed only for such time till Islam becomes the sole hegemonic religion of India. ….                                                                           

A Life of Poetry and Adventure
Khaled Ahmed
A Life of Poetry and Adventure
Khaled Ahmed

Then Pakistan’s first military coup was staged in1958 and he was in the wrong place, Moscow, attending the first Afro-Asian Writers’ Congress together with Hafeez Jalandhari, the poet who authored Pakistan’s national anthem. Faiz was arrested upon his return....

 

Careful studies of al-Qaeda and ISIS have shown that the United States and its allies are following their game plan with some precision. Their goal is to “draw the West as deeply and actively as possible into the quagmire” and “to perpetually engage and enervate the United States and the West in a series of prolonged overseas ventures”...

 

There are good reasons to believe that a well-constructed police action, or even serious diplomatic negotiations with the Taliban, might have placed those suspected of the 9/11 crimes in American hands for trial and sentencing. But such options were off the table. Instead, the reflexive choice was large-scale violence.....

 

The mistake the world is doing in fighting against ISIS is its sole reliance on the use of military power only. This approach of confrontation as we have seen has failed. At the same time it should also be noted that little effort to fight against the deviant ideas of ISIS is not sufficient.  We ought to affirm here that the world must fight, refute and reject the deviant thoughts and misguided ideas of ISIS, adopting the sound and true tenets and realistic features of Islam....

While Europe was still groping its way through the dark ages, Timbuktu was a beacon of intellectual enlightenment, and probably the most bibliophilic city on earth. Scientists, engineers, poets and philosophers flocked there to exchange and debate ideas and commit these to paper in hundreds of thousands of manuscripts written in Arabic and various African languages......

 
ISIS: The Knife That Slaughters Islam And Muslims
ISIS: The Knife That Slaughters Islam And Muslims
By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

The book poses a question: can ISIS outfit establish a state? It then answers that any organization that adopts the ideology of Takfeer and suicide bombing can never establish a state, as the Kharijites could not get success at establishing any state, despite having huge armies. Similarly, never can this Takfeeri outfit establish a state, because it has only the potential of bombing and destroying countries and not establishing any state. The ideology of ISIS is hostile towards all the people and legitimizes shedding their blood....

Shakespeare’s Complex Views of the Islamic World
William Shakespeare
Shakespeare’s Complex Views of the Islamic World
The Economist

Shakespeare offers a less villainous Muslim character in “The Merchant of Venice”. The Prince of Morocco is lined up among Europeans as one of Portia’s potential husbands, yet she is disgusted by his skin colour (“If he have the condition of a saint and the complexion of a devil, I had rather he should shrive me than wive me”). He implores his would-be wife to “mislike [him] not for [his] complexion | The Shadowed livery of the burnished sun” and to view him instead as a man of accomplishment “that slew…a Persian prince | That won three fields of Sultan Solyman”.

 
A Treasure-Trove of Spiritual Wisdom
A Treasure-Trove of Spiritual Wisdom
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam

Trust in God is central in moving towards a ‘life without limits’, Vujicic tells us. “Through my faith in God, I face each day with confidence and place my future in God’s hands”, he says, adding, “I talk about FAITH as an acronym: Full Assurance in the Heart. I may not be able to produce evidence for all that I believe in, but I feel fully assured in my heart that I am much closer to the truth by living with faith than I would be by living in despair.”...

OMAR Ashour succinctly poses this question in his findings in a research paper entitled “The Deradicalisation of Jihadists: Transforming Armed Islamist Movements”. Since the online jihadist indoctrination and recruitment of Muslim youth is snowballing, he opines that a well-thought-out, well-reasoned and effective ‘online de-radicalisation’ against the extremist rhetoric is imperative, particularly for the moderate Muslim scholars and thinkers. He writes:as opposed to its effects on radicalisation, the Internet can play a vital role in promoting a counter-narrative and in facilitating counter-radicalization and de-radicalization efforts”. ….

The anti-pluralism thesis and theology of the extremist Islamists such as the Salafist author of the book “Mujmal UsulI'tiqad Ahlis Sunnah wal-Jama'ah” should be condemned and refuted point by point to ensure democracy, pluralism and religious co-existence in the Muslim countries. For that, the monopoly of the priestly classes over the Islamic law and philosophy will have to be done away with. A great number of Muslim modernist thinkers, reformists and sociologists who ventured into Ijtihad or rethinking of the Islamic postulates have concluded that democracy is consistent with the progressive Islamic thought. …

The churning and displacement in the wake of recent wars are not a return to an authentic earlier version of Islam or of Muslim power. It is a period of radical change in which sectarian and religious minorities are cleansed from their ancestral lands: Muslims today make up a larger proportion of the population of the Middle East than ever before. The brief optimism and eclecticism of the postcolonial era, where cultural identity could be vague and political energy was directed to ideas like pan-Arabism, socialism and secularism, are disappearing.....

 

One issue that one could differ with the Maulana, though, is his understanding of the relationship between human beings and nature. In a chapter on Muslims and scientific education, he speaks of monotheism as having lead man to think of nature not as something to be worshipped but as ‘a thing to be exploited’, something ‘to be conquered’, an ‘object’ of ‘conquest’. ..

 
Wahhabi Terrorism or the Sufi Saints' Peace Path
Stephen Suleyman Schwartz
Wahhabi Terrorism or the Sufi Saints' Peace Path
Stephen Suleyman Schwartz

Explaining Sufism as an alternative to Wahhabi terrorism (and its South Asian variants, Deobandism, inspirer of the Taliban, and the radical Jamaat-e Islami founded by Maududi) he must needs take up many things. These include the metaphysical principles in common between Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam, the origins of Sufism and Shiism, the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, and the doctrines of the outstanding Sufis...

 

The ‘world mind’ that Laszlo calls for is based on what he calls a ‘planetary ethic’. “In a globally interacting and interdependent world,” he writes, “the dominant ethic cannot be local, regional, or ethnic. It cannot be only a Christian ethic, or Jewish Muslim, or Hindu ethic—it must bring together all the ethics that guide people’s behaviour.” This planetary ethic, Laszlo says, must be reflected in awareness of human responsibilities.....

 

Armed with her training in both Sharia and civil law, and taking on the cases of persecuted reporters, dissidents and minorities, she enters a trench war within Iran’s deteriorating and corrupt legal system. ....

(Excerpts from this Book Release speech is posted exclusively on NewAgeIslam.com)

My mind has been focused on ideological questions: especially, the ideology of jihadism – or its soft version called Islamism which survives in the social and legal mainstream of free societies such as India. India is already a Shariah-compliant state in the matters of marriage, divorce, re-marriage, inheritance, court witnesses, Waqf, gender relations, etc. I ponder over how ideas coalesce into ideologies and rule over people's minds. For example, it takes a single Islamic cleric to shut up an entire village of Muslims. So, at issue is not the vast majority of Muslims, but the single cleric and his set of ideas, or his ideology that is consequential on a mass scale. Some argue that a fatwa is merely an Islamic opinion but for the vast majority of devout Muslims, it is more effective than a court order; it impacts their lives; and as a promise to God, it is consequential in their daily lives.

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  • europe has submitted. islam means submission. "progressive", "liberal" muslim....
    ( By hats off! )
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    ( By hats off! )
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    ( 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,....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin Faruki )
  • Jihadism will have to be rooted out as Nazism was rooted out, by international...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin Faruki )
  • muslims conquered the world through sheer fear. as the prophet himself...
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    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
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  • A man with even a modicum of wisdom will not debate so much with such little knowledge. He would readily ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
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    ( 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 )
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    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
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    ( By S. A. )
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    ( 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.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin Faruki )
  • Hats Off's comments seem to be motivated by nothing other than sheer malice!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin Faruki )
  • Hats Off's analyses are shallow and driven by his blind prejudice. Why would any blog post such nihilistic messages?
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin Faruki )
  • Highly destructive wars were common between non-monotheistic countries in all recorded history. Hats ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin Faruki )
  • 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 ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
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  • @hats off, Precisely so. Conservation of resources ....
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  • hope is stubborn. but history does not give us any basis for hope. to imagine....
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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin Faruki )
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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin Faruki )
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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin Faruki )
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