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Books and Documents

Books and Documents

Atheism’s depressing worldview is in contrast to that of the theistic understanding where death is linked to the hope of being welcomed by a loving God and the possibility of a life of peace and fulfilment in the Hereafter. Unlike atheists, theists believe there’s someone to accompany them in life and death, to pray to and thank for. They also have something to hope for after death....

Recognising the Basic Oneness Can Facilitate a More Appreciative Attitude towards Other Faiths

Recognising this basic oneness can facilitate a more appreciative attitude towards other faiths while also helping us recognise that religion ought to be something that we ourselves embody, in terms of leading an ethical and God-oriented life (reflected in love for God and for all fellow-creatures), rather than just being a set of dogmas to blindly believe in and rituals to mechanically perform....

Extricating Pakistan from Islamism

Pakistan does need to self examine in order to shift the narrative from its repressive commitment to religion. India, too, has a major role to play by helping it shed the feeling of insecurity from its larger neighbour that had been responsible for many of the course shifts. There is a laundry list of political and social initiatives but Madiha also retains a realistic outlook by pointing out that the Islamists are sure to oppose legal reforms, reform in school curricula and regulation of Madrasas....

 

The Rise of Syed Qutub in Muslim Brotherhood Hierarchy: The Secret Islamist Society That Nurtured Jihadist Terrorism

If Jahiliyyah amounted to the servitude of humans to other humans, for Qutb, true Islamic life involves total submission to God. Qutb preached that Islam would ultimately prevail but its triumph would not occur simply by virtue of its revelation by God but rather through a group of people understanding the task, believing in it completely and conforming to it as closely as possible.” Qutb called for the creation of a Qur’anic generation which would act as a vanguard “to point out the road of salvation to humanity and to build the road as well.”...

 

Why Pakistan Lost Out
Khaled Ahmed

The state was more inclined to favour the narrow worldview of the madrasa than the schools it ran or private sector schools. Politicians who announce doing away with “English-medium” O-level institutions have no regard for the job market that regularly rejects the ideologically acceptable products. The book asserts: “Over the past three decades, intolerance and violent reactions to dissent and differences of opinions, particularly relating to issues that have to do with religion....

 

Why Islam's Reformers are Vitally Important

Indeed, the paucity of books on anti-Islamist Muslims symbolizes their larger predicament: they are threatened, marginalized, and dismissed as frauds. Threats come from the Islamists, the advocates of applying Islamic law in its entirety and severity as a means to regain the medieval glory of Islam. Islamists attack modernizers with words and weapons, rightly sensing that these liberal Muslims pose a profound challenge to the current Islamist hegemony. ...

 

A Powerful Rebuttal of Atheists’ Claims

Writing from the American context, but making a point that has much broader relevance, Isaacs says, “Today, the doors are open in our society to remove God from everything. Evolutionary theory now unapologetically asserts that human life had no creator or designer, and that our lives on Earth serve no designer’s purpose—we are simply accidents of nature”. Materialist evolutionists think there’s no God, no ultimate foundation for ethics, and no ultimate meaning to life.....

Recounting 557 Days of Being Held Captive By Terrorists in War-Torn Yemen

“...[A]fter  I was released and reached home safe, I realized that my mission is to be a witness to the fact that THE LORD ALIVE HEARS OUR PRAYERS AND THAT HE WOULD SURELY ANSWER THEM IN HIS OWN GOOD TIME. I realize that I am a living proof that our God still loves us and cares for us. The One who knew me before I was born, formed me in my mother’s womb and called me to follow Him closely is ever at my side, strengthening me. My whole life has been an experience of His presence walking side by side with me.”...

 

Iranian Metaphysicals: Explorations in Science, Islam, and the Uncanny

In response to the spiritual void and uncertainty of the 'new Iran' - many sought out 'uncanny' ways to deal with the new reality. The Iranian Metaphysicals tries to make sense of the complex and discursive realm of contemporary Iranian spirituality. An anthropological work; we encounter a wide range of people, from clerics, to laymen to scientists....

 

No Home for the Weary: Insightful Accounts of the Rohingya Crisis Unfolding In Myanmar and Its Deep Resonance across South Asia

Ibrahim and Wade agree that the transition to democracy failed to reverse the crisis for the Rohingya because the National League for Democracy (NLD), a party of and for Burmans, never saw this issue as crucial. During the transition and into current times, taking a stand for the Rohingya has become politically risky even for Suu Kyi. Wade observes that “[p]rior to 2012… [t]hey were never incorporated into the narrative of the wider struggle of persecuted minorities there. They had no voice, and no presence. It seemed as if they were ghosts — people who lived in Myanmar, but who didn’t quite exist.” NLD spokesman U Win Htein told Wade: “We have thousands of problems, and Muslim problems are one of a thousand. We will deal with each and every one of them according to the priority we choose”....

 

How Islam Shaped the Enlightenment

What this book shows is that the great philosophes may have been innovative thinkers, and they took Islam seriously as a religion, but they ultimately lacked the scholarly skill to excavate Islam in Europe. It was, instead, done by an often motley group of scholars who fought against remarkable odds to establish the field of Islamic studies. As we know today, this did not necessarily lead to a great understanding between religions....

 

Making Music for a Peaceful World!

Splashed with amazing colour pictures, Why I Still Carry a Guitar is a must-read book that can stir one’s conscience and make us think that though we may be born in a certain faith context, as we grow up, rather than blindly swallowing whatever has been told to us by others, we should to study deeply matters of faith independently and seek thereby to get a better understanding of God. Then religion may become sheer music to the ears! ....

 

The Ideology of ISIS: A Global Threat

One of the major debates under the rubric of security dilemma shaped the question: how to understand Islam? The American presence in the Middle East in general and its influence in Muslim majority countries first saw the birth of Al-Qaeda, a group under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden. He once was the blue-eyed boy of the White House who later turned rogue. The attack in 2001 shaped the American policies towards Muslims in general; it led to American misadventures in Iraq in 2003 under the rhetoric of ‘either with us or against us’....

 

There is always the question of the degree of religiosity observed by a family. Then there are other questions that Farooquee’s childhood stories address: What does your family think about cow slaughter? They oppose it when others around them oppose it as they do not want sentiments to be hurt. Is circumcision painful? Not at all. You can hardly feel it when it happens....

 

Why Europe Need Not Fear Muslims

“The civilization of Muslim Spain was the embodiment of the Islamic compulsion to seek Ilm, or knowledge. Andalusia produced many firsts. Through Spain, Europe received models for universities (Oxford and Cambridge are examples), philosophy and literature, and the study of medicine originating from the work of Avicenna and Abulcasis.”...

Islam Is All about God’s Immense Compassion: Islam Is Good, Muslims Should Follow It – Part 2
Sanjiv Bhatla, New Age Islam

It stands to reason that if Islamic jurists had set the example of kindness and compassion as advocated by Islam, and additionally of tolerance and open mindedness as displayed by Prophet Muhammad himself, then a common Muslim too would have cultivated these qualities in his day-to-day conduct. …As things stand, because of the Islamic jurists’ rigidity, a common Muslim walks around with a halo of intolerance hanging over his head. It surely puts him in a bad light in comparison to the peoples from other faiths.  To love a religion is one thing, to be haughty about it is another. Muslims by and large do not seem to understand the difference…..

 

Islam's Goodness Has Been Its Undoing; It Has Been a Victim of Its Followers' Excess Ardour: Islam Is Good; Muslims Should Follow It – Part 1

Islam's goodness has been its undoing -- it has been a victim of its followers' excess ardor. Long before Karl Marx was born, Islam was already preaching Dignity and Equality for the underprivileged. Not surprising, therefore, that most of its early believers belonged to the deprived classes. Its humane attitude pleased and energized them, and they set about to spread the message with an urgent zeal.

Islam lacked a centralized controlling institution like the Church in Christianity, and a battery of affable devotees like Christian missionaries to peacefully disseminate its message. The spirited Muslims let their swords do the talking. As a result, Islam acquired the image of an aggressive faith quite in contrast to its true values. Even in matters of Justice and the Veil, Islam suffered due to myopic interpretations of its self-righteous aficionados.

It is now for the present-day Muslims to make amends and restore the praise that Islam truly deserves. And the remedy is close at hand -- they only need to follow Islam!...

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children… This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron....

 

Many scholars have argued in addition that the modern Western construction of itself as the paragon of righteousness was often done at the expense of Islam. Yet even though such “orientalism” has been roundly critiqued by decades of scholarship, these earlier views persist. In fact, the attempts by contemporary scholars and museum curators to overturn such stereotypes by means of books and lavish museum exhibits highlighting Muslim tolerance and periods of Islamic exchange with Christian Europe have been unable to diminish the West’s orientalist fear. ...

 

Respected Muslim Personalities Related to the Sikh Religion

Exemplifying the universalism of the message of the Sikh Gurus, Habib explains that the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scripture which is regarded as Guru by the Sikhs, contains verses by Sikh Gurus as well as by several Muslim and Hindu men of God and in different languages. The teachings of this scripture, he tells us, are not specific to just one particular religious community but are of universal appeal and relevance, based on love for and devotion to the One God and leading an ethical life. There are strong parallels between these teachings and those of Muslim Sufis and Hindu Bhagats who advocated the path of love, Habib points out....

Understanding Boko Haram
James H. Barnett

Similarly, while Wahhabist influence from the Gulf has certainly helped shape Nigerian Islam (many prominent Salafists in Borno attended the Islamic University of Medina), those who look for the Saudi bogeyman behind every unfortunate development in the Muslim world will be disappointed by Thurston’s assessment that Boko Haram is ultimately an indigenous product of north-eastern Nigeria—a movement set apart from more conventional Nigerian Salafism by its violence and exclusivism rather than its rejection of Western culture....

 
The Twain Shall Meet
Aijaz Zaka Syed

The Twain Shall Meet
Aijaz Zaka Syed

As our world becomes more and more interconnected and the forces of globalisation make borders irrelevant, the movement of people in search of a better life and opportunities is inevitable. Instead of fighting this natural change, the West and Muslim societies should come to terms with it and find a way forward....

 

Making the World Happier One Good Deed at a Time!

Salma was on a train on a winter morning and saw a woman hug her little child close. The girl was very cold, and her mother was trying hard to keep her warm with her Dupatta. Without a second thought Salma took off her shawl and gave it to the woman and insisted they keep it and got a great way to use the YTN card!...

Growing Up with a Muslim Name, These Are Stories I Recognise
Nazia Erum

Incidents of Islamophobia are common and – for those of us who are targeted by them – easy to recognise. The biggest accomplishment of Erum’s book, therefore, has been to document these stories for those who would not as easily have noticed, or even imagined, their existence. As she puts it herself, she has begun to fill a large gap in Indian literature...

 

Gandhi’s Last Message: ‘Raze the Sacred Sites of Others and You Too Will Be Obliterated’

Gandhi…had wanted to avoid the country’s partition. Failing in that he engaged himself in preventing the division of hearts, emphasising that even as the country had been divided, the hearts must not be divided. Also knowing that if the hearts had not been divided, the country could never have been divided and contending with this paradox, because he understood that neither India nor Pakistan stood to gain in the absence of mutual friendship. Should one become hell, the other can never be heaven.....

 
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