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Books and Documents

Books and Documents

The State Is Right to Humanise Isis Recruits, We Need To Understand
Rachel Shabi

These questions arise not least because of the uncertainties and complexities over what happens for Syrians in real life once Isis fighters have been defeated – as is now the case in Mosul, recaptured by Iraqi forces last month, and could be in Raqqa with the current US-backed military efforts to reclaim the city. ....

 

Of Context and Semantics
Amina Wadud

The landscape of Islamic rhetoric is slowly changing, and with the emerging coverage of Queer Muslims to the liberal and feminist populace, the very foundations of traditionalist values are being questioned. It would be highly remiss of me to not recommend this book, which created the benchmark in Islamic feminist literature....

Past and Prejudice
Khaled Ahmed

Past and Prejudice
Khaled Ahmed

Turkey started late but will catch up with India where Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen is being subjected to censorship. Of course, India can’t be compared to what is happening to the Islamic world. But it can start looking worse than the British Raj for people like journalist Saeed Naqvi. He has spelt out his reasons in his recent book, Being the Other....

 

The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu: How Precious Manuscripts Were Saved
William Dalrymple

The realisation that Timbuktu’s fragile heritage was in danger set off alarm bells across the world. The city was once one of Africa’s most revered centres of learning and the arts. From the 13th century onwards, but particularly during the great days of the Songhai empire, which reached its peak during the 15th and 16th centuries, Timbuktu became the West African equivalent of Oxbridge or the Ivy League, pullulating with scholars busy copying out old Arabic manuscripts and composing new works of theology, history and science.

 

Islam, Race and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora
Craig Considine

Muhammad was then brought to a local police station where he was interrogated as someone who might have had something dangerous underneath his shirt. The veteran had reported him to the train conductor on the grounds that he was carrying a bomb. Law enforcement officials questioned Muhammad about his family background, religious beliefs and political views....

 

When Will Young Pakistani Women Find Their Own Fiery Brand Of Revolution? Or Is It Here Already?
Aneela Zeb Babar

There was, however, the sound of rumblings on the horizon; the mullahs (clergy) of Pakistan had expressed their displeasure at the institution of the women guards and their presence in the celebrations of the new state. Some of the clergy had issued religious edicts against women parading with their heads uncovered and bosoms exposed, fuming that these women would be staring into eyes of men, and be left with no shame and dignity. ...

 

Spiritual Transformation the Only Way Out Of the Ecological Crisis

It is only through awareness of the Creator—God—and of the fact that this world is God’s, not ours—can we develop a truly respectful attitude towards nature and other species. A spiritual transformation is thus the only way out of the ecological crisis and for extricating us out of the morass of soul-numbing materialism in which we are drowning. ...

The Political Education of Mahmoud Abbas

When Israeli tanks besieged Yasser Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah in 2002, the Palestinian leader famously declared, “Oh God, grant me a martyr’s death.” Two and a half years later, his wish came true, in part. In November of 2004, the “Old Man” died in Paris after suffering a brain haemorrhage. Arafat’s death left his party, Fatah, in disarray....

 

The 1,000-Year-Old Lost Arab Poetry That Lives on in Hebrew
Benjamin Ramm

A thousand years ago, as much of Europe languished in the Dark Ages; the Iberian Peninsula was a cultural oasis, the brightest beacon of civilisation. Under the Umayyad dynasty, the caliphate of Al-Andalus stretched from Lisbon to Zaragoza, and centred on the Andalusian cities of Córdoba, Granada and Seville. From the 8th Century, the caliphate oversaw a period of extraordinary cross-cultural creativity known as La Convivencia (the Coexistence)....

 

Women, Interrupted: They Have Had To Bear the Brunt of Religious Zealotry in Pakistan
Khaled Ahmed

“Before being killed, she begged the men who had dragged her out of the house not to slit her throat, which they would usually do, but shoot her instead. They fulfilled her last wish and shot her in the head. Her corpse was hung from the lamp-post like those of other such victims in the main square of the chief city of the Swat Valley, where such executions were regularly being carried on.”....

 

How Wonder Woman Turned From a Hero to A War Crimes Supporter
Susan Abulhawa

But make no mistake. Zionism cannot reconcile with feminism, and such antiquated imperial feminism belongs to another era, when feminists fought for the right to vote, but only for white women. In the words of Jaime Omar Yassin, "Feminism cannot be Zionist, just as it cannot be neo-Nazi - feminism that doesn't have an understanding of how it intersects with racial and ethnic oppression is simply a diversification of white supremacy."....

 

Sufism Remains Heart of Islam, Even Now

Yet, in a context like medieval India, Sufi saints did play major roles in shaping political culture as well as social mores. They enjoyed large followings of the kind that has continued in modern times—followings transcending communal religious boundaries. Despite some questionable appropriations and tactical compromises, Sufism remains the heart of Islam, practising and preaching in the language of love even in these times of terror and violence....

 

The fact that Manal was born to a family on the West coast and that her mother is from North Africa made it more likely for her to be circumcised than for the majority of Saudi women in the rest of the country. Unlike her, I’ve never had a fundamentalist phase. Even as a child I was immune because I was repulsed by the similarities I saw between the self-righteousness and certainty of both Kansas Christians and Riyadh Muslims....

 

Recommended Reading: Explaining Our World Today
Akbar Ahmed

These are not normal times for a Muslim professor on a Western campus. At the beginning of each term, I calculate that students coming to my class have lived just about their entire lives in a post-9/11 environment. There is an Islamophobic atmosphere of controversy and crisis around Islam and widespread outright lies and falsehoods about the religion—“fake news.” Every act of Muslim terror only makes matters worse....

 

Arab TV Series Dramatizes Life under ISIS
Ben Hubbard

A mother travels to Syria to find her son after he ran away to join the Islamic State. A Christian renounces her faith and plots to blow up a church. A black-clad matron tells teenage girls to rest up before they are raped by extremist fighters. These frighteningly familiar stories of life under the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria will this month become plotlines on prime-time television across the Arab world.....

 

Modern Politics in Pre-Modern History
Audrey Truschke

Aurangzeb is controversial not so much because of India’s past but rather because of India’s present. Twenty-first-century India is plagued by religious-based conflict, especially between Hindus and Muslims, India’s religious majority and its largest religious minority, respectively. As the minority, Indian Muslim communities are in the weaker position. They are often demonised as anti-national, less Indian than Hindus, and tend to bear the brunt of religious-based clashes in terms of the loss of human life and livelihood.....

The Myth of the Muslim World
Asma Afsaruddin

"The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the hours of the Prophet have never transgressed the measure of human virtues; and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion." Such views influenced Edward Gibbon and his largely favourable depiction of Islam in his The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Similar positive assessments of Islam continued to be found through the first quarter of the 19th century;...

 

Fleeing a Fictional World of Despots and Drones
Francine Prose

As the violence escalates, the central characters become hunted fugitives, refugees in their own city. We learn their closely guarded secrets, and we come to share their terror of the probable consequences should those secrets be revealed. We read with increasing anxiety and in the growing hope that these heroic men and women — Christian and Muslim, from a wide range of backgrounds — will somehow triumph....

 

How the Islamic State Rose
Stanly Johny

The ISIS may now be losing territories to Kurdish rebels in Syria and the Iraqi Army in Iraq, both backed by the U.S. But its ideology, like that of al-Qaeda and other jihadist organisations, is unlikely to fade away in the near future given the geopolitical and sectarian fault lines of West Asia. ...

 

Jihad and Death – The Global Appeal of Islamic State

Are the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad responsible for modern Jihadism, or does the terrorists’ ignorance of their religion show that Islam is cover for inner disquiets that make more sense to the psychologist than the imam? Last July’s lorry massacre on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice was committed by an unstable libertine who had only recently discovered Jihadism....

 

The Enemy within – A Thrilling and Satisfying Polemic
Leila Aboulela

Despite all this, she has been subjected to the insult of being perceived as “the enemy within”, and finds herself wondering whether the UK will still be a home for her grandchildren. It is this personal stake that gives her forthright and intelligent book its sense of urgency. By tackling the “Muslim problem” head on...

 

Reconciling Islam with the Modern World

She first quotes Iqbal (whose suggestion that elected Parliament should be able to complement Ulema’s work and exercise Ijtihad appears shockingly modernist).“The law revealed by the Prophet takes special notice of the habits, ways and peculiarities of the people to whom he is specifically sent. The sharia values [ahkam] are in a sense specific to that people; and since their observance is not an end in itself they cannot be strictly enforced in the case of future generations....

Religion Gone Astray—What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith

Like individuals, religions, when they become institutions, can, as the title of this book says, go ‘astray’, deviating far from their purpose. They do this, the authors say, when, for instance, they are interpreted to promote monopolistic claims to truth, when they are marshalled to foment conflict and engage in violence against people who behave and believe differently and when they are invoked to seek to justify gender injustice. Hence, the authors stress, they ‘need to be called back’—...

The Story of Piro and the Gulabdasis

The main protagonists of this fascinating piece of work are a terribly marginalised Piro—a low-caste Muslim prostitute in nineteenth-century Punjab—and her Guru Gulabdas, a cult-figure and preacher of syncretistic Bhakti variety. The main part of the story revolves around Piro’s struggles over her own life, body and thought in association with Gulabdas, for whom she abandoned her Muslim-ness, amidst violent opposition, and sought a new beginning in the devotional milieu at the Dera of the Guru....

 

Guru Nanak’s Devotion to God and His Message of Social Equality

About his mission to unite people who claimed to follow different faiths in common devotion to the One God, because of which many Hindus and Muslims came to accept him as a true man of God. About his teachings about the meaninglessness of narrowly-inscribed religious labels and identities that hinder one from realizing God.  About his critique of supremacism, bigotry, exclusivism, communalism, priest craft, caste and caste-based discrimination and superstition in the name of religion. About his insistence that mere rituals or belief in dogmas are utterly insufficient for salvation.....

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • @Jyoti Thapa Very scholarly interpretation of adaab indeed.'
    ( By Tarique Khan )
  • This is what I wrote about the custom of halala back in Jan. 2012 in my article referenced below: "Some local customs such as halala that ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Thanks Naseer Sahab for being bold and honest. You have nearly summed up all that I have said about the Ulama fraternity in my various ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • I'm curious as to what is an 'atheist Muslim'. Literally a Muslim is one who believes in and submits to the will of...
    ( By Mustafaa Carroll )
  • Never has a truer word been spoken, Naseer Saheb. Hope you elaborate these thoughts further in an article, not necessarily to do with Instant Triple ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • सलाम वालैकुम, आपका सूफी सिलसिला/परंपरा का आर्टिकल बहुत अच्छा रहा ।मुजे हिंदी में नक्शबंदी सिलसिला ने का हिंदी में बुक हो तो आप कृपया रिफरेन्स ...
    ( By Jagdish Parmar )
  • Dekho buddies.....tumlog a6e ho...smjhdar bhi ho ye faltu ki bate mt kado .....and ahmad kuch jyada bol rhe ho control your self....
    ( By Ajay )
  • This analysis of what different judges said is unnecessarily judgmental. Each one is justified in his own way in taking ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • It is a shame on our ulema that they cannot introduce proper reforms on their own. It is only a matter of time before they ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • I can see that Hats Off has been doing some reading and based on his recent reading is talking about "inferential statistics". That is impressive. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The power to grant divorce should be vested with Judiciary for all couples irrespective of religion. Nikka Halal is barbaric.The govenement of India must pass ...
    ( By DR.A.ANBURAJ )
  • A victory hard earned victory when Muslim judicial luminary like Faizan Mustafa tacitly opposed the ban and AIMPLB went to the extent of telling 'lies' ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Triple Talaq: India Court Bans Islamic Instant Divorce". . . . . Good decision! A victory for Muslim women.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • there is a clear difference between using null hypothesis and significance testing for the purposes of inferential statistics....
    ( By hats off! )
  • What is marriage but prostitution to one man instead of many"? Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus
    ( By hats off! )
  • mr. naseer ahmed should tell us which process he is using - common sense or logic, when he "proves" that "scriptures are divine...
    ( By hats off! )
  • There is a clear difference between using our sense of a situation to decide and reasoning. You have a road sense, the horses have a ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Pundit Anand Rai Mula: Tujhey mazhab mitaanaa he praygaa ru-e-hastisay,- you must for sure eradicate religion ....
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • Naseersaab says I do not use reason. He does not know that common sense means normal native intelligence and the power....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The reviewer has responded positively to Amina Wadud's book. His comment, "The Quran...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is good news!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Disgusting
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Faisal Devji's article should be a wake-up call. Islam needs to become a religion of peace...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Muslims have been very much part of the Freedom struggle in India and when....
    ( By Jyoti Thapa )
  • muslim's hate vande matram and jana gana mana is because they hate india. there submition is for only allah....
    ( By Uttam Verma )
  • It is normal in Tamilnadu a circular would be sent to all school ordering them to celebrate Independance day and submit areport with atlease ...
    ( By DR.A.ANBURAJ )
  • GM Sb, You are among those people, who have never used their reason but only their common sense. So, you have absolutely no idea of ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Does Hats Off use logic? Does he use his reason? No, he uses what may be called "common sense". But common sense can often be wrong ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • @hats off, perhaps they have been reminded that "Jawab e Jahilan Bashad Khamoshi" Thanks anyway as I come to know ....
    ( By Shadaab Saaquib )
  • i thought someone was going to make his last comment on this thread. no?'
    ( By hats off! )
  • Who translated this article in Arabic? '
    ( By Ikram Ahmed )
  • Naseersaab wants to base his discussion on the Quran only and Hats Off wants to base his discussion on logic, the two...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseersaab continues to maintain that men should not try to find answers to their problems...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • f two Muslims do not agree on something, that is hardly a reason to attack the Quran, but nothing...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • let me put it like this. the Qur'an says it is a clear book. mr. naseer ahmed reads it and concludes....
    ( By hats off! )
  • talk about the arabic word "kafir" or "kufr". does mr. ali goma understand the meaning of this word ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • People can debate endlessly about names appearing in the Quran such as Zul Qarnain and try to match them with historical characters....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • what i say is based on logic and you may discuss with me based on logic. i....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Azimullah Khan Usufzai has given the slogan" Madre watan Bharat Ki jai" during 1857 and was received well by Swami Dyanand Saraswati as Bharat Mata ...
    ( By vivek chandra )
  • Correction: When speaking of common sense with someone, my definition of common sense would ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )