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Interview

We have the model of the Prophet Muhammad to explain the correct meaning of the term qawwam. His first wife Khadjiah looked after him when he was in distress. He worked for her, in the business that she ran. He took the advice of another of his wives, Umm Salamah, on many issues, contrary to some Muslim scholars, who argue, without any convincing proof, that a Muslim man may take the advice of his wife but must do precisely the opposite of what she recommends. The Quran also approvingly mentions the case of the Queen of Sheeba, who was the ruler of Yemen. -- Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd is a well-known Egyptian Islamic scholar. In 1982, he joined the faculty of the Department of Arabic Language and Literature at Cairo University. In 1995, he was promoted to the rank of full professor, but controversies about his academic work led to a court decision of apostasy and the denial of the appointment. A hisbah trial started against him Islamist groups and he was declared a heretic (Murtadd) by an Egyptian court. Consequently, he was declared to be divorced from his wife, Cairo University French Literature professor Dr. Ibthal Younis. This decision, in effect, forced him out of his homeland and seek refuge in the Netherlands, where he now works. In this interview with Yoginder Sikand, he speaks about his work and reflects on his efforts to promote a humanistic reading of the Islamic tradition. -- Yoginder Sikand

Habib Ali Zain al-Abideen al-Jifri was born into a family of noble lineage extending in an unbroken chain to Imam Hussein, the Grandson of the Prophet (PBUH). Habib Ali is from the majestic city of Tarim in Southern Yemen. Nestled in the ancient valley of Hadramout, Tarim has been a center of learning and spirituality for centuries. Habib Ali received a classical Islamic education from illustrious scholars of Hadramout, embodying a methodology which crystallizes the middle way of Islam, Islamic jurisprudence, a respect for the difference between jurists and a spiritual education drawn from the Qur’an and the Sunnah. – Yemen Times

Photo: Habib Ali Zain al-Abideen al-Jifri

 

Dr. Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri is the Pakistani Islamic scholar who recently made headlines with the publication of his 600-page fatwa prohibiting suicide bombing. Ul-Qadri is one of Pakistan's most prominent clerics, and he believes that his fatwa represents a complete theological rebuttal of every argument used by Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. In his fatwa, Dr. ul-Qadri asserts that terrorists do not go to heaven but instead are bound for hell, and he utilizes Quranic references, hadith, and scholarly interpretations to reinforce his opinion. Dr. ul-Qadri told Asharq Al-Awsat that he hopes his fatwa will have an affect on the ground and prevent Muslim youth from becoming brainwashed by terrorist ideology. -- Mohammed Al Shafey

Photo: Dr. Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri

As for the repeated denunciation at our convention of the terrorism of groups such as al-Qaeda, the Taliban, the Lashkar-e Tayyeba and so on, is concerned, it is our Islamic duty to speak out against them. We Shias believe that what they call ‘Islam’ is not Islam at all. Nor are their actions that of true Muslims. They are giving Islam a bad name. They are enemies of Islam. They are also viscerally opposed to Shias — they have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of Shias in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. -- Maulana Mirza Mohammad Athar, President, All India Shia Personal Law Board

The madrasas that were newly founded through the colonial power, the so-called "Aliya" madrasas or high madrasas, served to educate Persian-speaking civil servants so that Muslims could also later be integrated into the administrative apparatus and the English would have access to their language. As a reaction, the Muslims in Bangladesh established their own so-called "Qaumi", or people's madrasas, in an effort to provide an alternative to the British educational system. The "Qaumi" madrasas are still today the dominant tradition throughout the subcontinent. They are largely insulated from any State influence. In colonial times the English already left the "Qaumi" madrasas alone to do as they pleased. They have never been subject to any controls. The government of Bangladesh still has no control mechanisms with which to register these schools. -- Shaheen Dill-Riaz

 

WHY I CRITICISE ISLAM?

I criticise Islam because I was born in it; I could observe it closer.

- Samira Makhmalbaf, Iranian film-maker

You know, the Quran talks so beautifully about marriage and about relationships. I'd to love to find the day when you know, we hear an 'Obedient Husbands Club' I've never heard that one, but yes, there are women who do believe that .. I think that's down to some conservative interpretation. I think the fact that they've set it up, to prevent their men from straying, from having affairs, really is placing the onus on women, rather than saying "Look, as a man, you should be controlling your base desires, that you need to change your attitude," when really in this day and age, both men and women have the responsibility in ensuring that a marriage is a good one. And the tranquility between the hearts of a man and a woman within a marriage. And that's what should govern a marriage, it's a very beautiful way that God talks about relationships. -- Ms Sara Khan spoke to Sen Lam

We are not talking of a Bangladesh that has emerged as a cricketing nation, one with a Nobel laureate, and ironically, as one where terror is finding roots. We are talking of the 1971 war, the Mukti Bahini and the influence of Bengali culture. Tahmima Anam's A Golden Age, which won this year's Commomwealth Writers' Prize for the Best First Book, is on the phase of the country when it was finding its free soul. Aparna Nair talks to the author of A golden age.

When Tahmima Anam went home to Dhaka to cast her vote in the now-postponed election, she found a nation in chaos, tormented by corruption and brutality. We publish her impressions.

 

She's a Canadian feminist Muslim whose book The Trouble With Islam Today has become an international bestseller, but is banned throughout the Middle East. A fierce critic of her religion, she lives behind bulletproof glass. Geraldine Bedell, The Observer, London, meets the woman being compared to Martin Luther.

BJP leader L.K. Advani tells  N. Ram, editor-in-chief of The Hindu, New Delhi : "Hinduism is not the name of a religion. It’s more of a national connotation. I was just reading an old book by that famous historian of philosophy, Will Durant… For him, Hindu and Indian are totally synonymous.

I was telling you about Deendayal Upadhyaya, who has been the greatest influence on me, in terms of conduct as well as in terms of my thinking. He said: ‘In independent India, we want India to be a secular country in which all citizens are equal. Hindutva should be equated to Bharatiyata. Bharatiyat is a Hindu. Indianness and Hindutva are synonymous. Don’t make a distinction between the two. It should mean nationalism essentially.’ Therefore it is that I grew up with cultural nationalism."

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • Hats Off's frenzied rant is very much a part of his relentless hate war against Islam. His thoughtless ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Mr Kabir has very beautifully discussed the subject of sufism and spiritualism. Sufism has been the way of God loving people across religious affiliations because ...
    ( By arshad )
  • generally it takes a lot more words when you have nothing to say. this article is a good example. typical case....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Mr. John, would you please say good bye to the idea demonstrated in your comment. Your idea is not yours but has been borrowed from ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • The stages are: 1. Realization that Islam (or any other religion) is a good religion and feeling attracted. 2. Acceptance of the new religion and practicing ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The Muslims took their law from the Romans and the Jews. Islam is Medieval and is not practicable in the modern society.
    ( By A. John )
  • Rohingyas were mercilessly slaughtered by the Myanmar army in a well planned ethnic cleansing. Does Hats Off know what he is talking about?
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Where is the need for making such thoughtless and wild allegations against the writer of a harmless piece?
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • most of the islamic nations somehow (miraculously) manage to have a very low minority burden but the populace starts screaming...
    ( By hats off! )
  • the legendary emigre word soup maker is back again with another of her mixed vegetative soup, served with some semantic mincemeat and assorted grammar....
    ( By hats off! )
  • When one can allege that the U.S. government can be complicit in attacking its own Defense Department's Pentagon building in the capital city...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "How did it fracture like brittle bone then if it wasn’t melted" - mr. naseer ahmed. that sentence is a jem...
    ( By hats off! )
  • GM Sb is a doctor but his education may not be relevant to what is being discussed. What can I say about his intelligence when ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Islam does not want its followers to go the extremes of hardship. Allah Almighty says in the Quran, "Allah intends ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Hidayat, the Arabic word, literally means guidance, instruction, righteousness or the true path. The word hidayat is comprehensively....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Mr Qazi has very correctly pointed out the message of moderation in the Quran, an aspect which the Muslims...
    ( By arshad )
  • Naseer sahib imputes that I had implied "any random destructive force or fire can cause a high rise building to collapse...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Oh really? What does GM sb comprehend? That any random destructive force or fire can cause a high rise building to collapse along the path ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Mohammad Hussain, Christianity makes it as a duty for the citizen to wage war to save one's country if war is thrust!'
    ( By Joyson Duraisingh )
  • Ak Bhat, Al( the) + Ah ( God)= The God'
    ( By Joyson Duraisingh )
  • Joyson Duraisingh the non muslims have freedom to worship in their own way . It is an estabished ....
    ( By Ghulam Ahmad Dar )
  • @Gulam Ahmad Dar No consensus on idol worship, whatever may be the consequences
    ( By Joyson Duraisingh )
  • Secularism is very important .we should not divide the Indians. All are equal.pl.dont show your gods in public..they are statues.maintain .....
    ( By John Vedhamuthu )
  • Dinabandhu Nayak you are right,sir'
    ( By Akshaya Sahu )
  • Mohammad Hussain Manusmriti has been diluted since long. No body has seen this scripture perhaps except you.Hinduism is a auto adjusting ...
    ( By Akshaya Sahu )
  • Dinabandhu Nayak sir, slavery is unknown to Hinduism - cruel joke at its zenith!'....
    ( By Joyson Duraisingh )
  • There is nothing as gazwa-hind like things in islamic scruptures.as far as the word kafir is concerned...it simply means non-beliver.this is not for non-muslims....but ....
    ( By Reshi Siftain )
  • Stop Talibani bagdaddi culture respect SUFI Ahmediays etc be respectful to others'
    ( By Rudra Kumar Varma )
  • Islam will dominate the world insha Allah'
    ( By Muzafer Sheikh )
  • @Rakesh Rawat and Rabindra Dutta Roy But the refugee Muslims are much eager to enter into U S for living. ------and calling US as terrorist. ---
    ( By Rabindra Dutta Roy )
  • Why leave the great USA.
    ( By Rabindra Dutta Roy )
  • @Rabindra Dutta Roy onslaught concept is inhetited to muslims by the very Qoran. The word "Kafir" and "Gajwa e Hind" is itself a discriminatory, inflammatory ...
    ( By Rakesh Rawat )
  • The Prophet said, "And beware of going to extremes in religious matters for those who came before you were destroyed because...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • it is very nice, India has Prime Minister that talks of Ganesh Surgical Transplant. Here we have ....
    ( By Aayina )
  • What is hidayat? When God gives hidayat, is it the same hidayat that is given by his prophets ...
    ( By Kaniz Fatma )
  • Dear Ghulam Ghaus Saheb. Before putting his opinion, Allama Ghulam Rasool Saeedi (RA) himself admits that it is my own research, He writes: ہماری تحقیق کے ...
    ( By misbahul Hoda )
  • Hats Off's criticism of this article is contrived and hollow.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Allama Saeedi has not given details of abrogation [naskh] in his Tibyanul Quran. When writing Tibyan, he himself benefitted from the usuliyeen such as Allama ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • looks like the easiest thing to become today is a two-cent islamic expert. every "researcher...
    ( By hats off! )
  • We want to end triple talaq, not just pay lip service to the cause....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )