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Books and Documents

Islam and Spiritualism

Al-Ikhlas – One Third of the Quran and a Revelation
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
Al-Ikhlas – One Third of the Quran and a Revelation
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

While glancing though the history of Muhammad (pbuh) one would come to know that when Muhammad (pbuh) was in Medina and a Christian deputation had come from Najran to meet him. They had heard that another Arab now is claiming to be in communion with God and claiming to be a Prophet. So these Christians went to meet him, question him and test him about God and religion. So they come to Medina and they are housed in the mosque of the Prophet (pbuh), they sleep in the mosque, they eat in the mosque and they have a dialogue in the mosque for three days and three nights. ...

Alas the majority believes in engaging in negatives as individuals, institutionally and in States-sponsored activities, it instils fear and grief with dastardly, heinous and dehumanising reaction on Humanity in the name of religious dogmas, agendas and strategies and names it religious crusade or jihad, contrary to the Code of positive actions!...

 
Religious Interpretation of ‘Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil’
Monthly Saut ul Haque, Karachi
Religious Interpretation of ‘Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil’
Azhar Abbas Khwaja, Tr. New Age Islam

If the Quran did not intend to establish an Islamic state and only wanted the observance of certain rituals, it would not have proposed a road map for the political, economic, social and legal laws or of the state. Making the ownership of land Haram, declaring interest based system Haram (2-275), giving away everything except what is required for personal use to others ( 2-219), taking care of others (2-110), paying government tax (23-4). Aren’t these the laws of an economic system? Similarly, there are clear injunctions relating to the political system. Voting is desirable from every Muslim. One should vote only the deserving candidates (4-55). Voting for a non-deserving candidate is Haram....

Islam Preaches Tolerance
Sheikh Abdullah Makwinja

Unfortunately, the events after the First World War to the present time have created an atmosphere in the Western world where Islam is branded as a religion of terror and where Muslims are generally labelled as terrorists. History books, especially by the Orientalists, like to present the picture of the Muslims as holding the Qur’an in one hand and the sword in another.....

Be Merciful To the Poor
Dr. Hazem Said and Maha Ezzedine

Just as the Prophet (peace be upon him) was sent as a mercy to mankind, so should we be a mercy to everyone whose lives we touch. In serving others and giving to others, we find our Lord. In His mercy, the path to Him is one of peace and improving the world around us. Only by helping others can we help ourselves. We cannot live a life of consumption and selfishness and expect to win the pleasure of Allah along the way....

 

To understand the essence of Islam is to understand the very essence of humanity. More than a religion, Islam is a complete and comprehensive way of life leading to a balanced way of living. Islam brings civilization and happiness to man. Islamic principles and teachings can provide realistic, fair and objective solutions to the prevention of individual, familial, social and international problems which are threatening the existence of human communities throughout the world……

 
The Abbreviated Letters in the Quran
Syed Manzoor Alam, New Age Islam

The Abbreviated letters are known as the Al-Muqattaat. There are 29 letters in the Arabic language (taking Hamza and Alif as two letters). Out of the 114 Surahs (Chapters) of the Quran, 29 Surahs also contain these abbreviated letters. Sometimes it occurs individually, sometimes in combination of twos, threes, fours and maximum of five.....

 
Why is the Islamic Month of Sha’ban a Prelude to Ramadan?
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam
Why is the Islamic Month of Sha’ban a Prelude to Ramadan?
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

Every year just ahead of Ramadan, we enter into the Islamic month of Sha’ban full of divine bounties, spiritual blessings and moral virtues. The sole reason behind its being prelude to Ramadan is to provide us with an abundant opportunity to spiritually prepare and mentally ready ourselves to benefit optimally from the rich harvest of Ramadan. The first step towards mental preparation and spiritual readiness for Ramadan is to explore the multi-faceted objective of fasting as enunciated in the Quranic injunctions and Prophetic traditions....

Dr Khalid Sohail: Spiritualism as Secular Humanism
Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed
Dr Khalid Sohail: Spiritualism as Secular Humanism
Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed

From a social science perspective, Dr Khalid’s thesis is path breaking and needs to be discussed widely. In the interview, he mentions Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Karl Marx, Jean Paul Sartre and a host of other thinkers and theorists and elaborates other aspects of these two types of spiritualism. He also proposed a radical new idea: the evolutionary process Charles Darwin discovered, and which was the most revolutionary, transformative theory. I warmly recommend that we listen the interview:...

 

This closeness bestows a great spiritual delight on the believer by drawing him closer to Allah’s approval, mercy and paradise. It makes the believer scrupulous when it comes to maintaining the bounds set by Allah, and bestows a great awareness and care in seeking His approval....

 
Shab-e-Meraj: A Sufiyana Night
Sadia Dehlvi
Shab-e-Meraj: A Sufiyana Night
Sadia Dehlvi

The Muslims cleared the rubble, sprinkled rose water, helped restore the place of worship and asked the Jews who had fled the city to return. Some 70 Jewish families were invited to settle in Jerusalem, living side by side with the Muslims. On this special night, I recall the spiritual relevance of the Prophet’s ascension. Also, Omar’s story demonstrates the Islamic message of justice, compassion and acceptance of the other....

Wahhabi ideologues repeatedly call those who believe in this prophetic virtue as Kafir. They have spread the misleading interpretations of the Quran on the subject among Muslims.  Consequently this has caused a serious schism in the community and it has turned into a major cause of conflict between two sections of the Muslims. Therefore, there is a need to sincerely resolve this important issue related to the prophet’s knowledge of the unseen according to the Quran and Hadith.  ...   

FEARING Allah is a positive trait that once properly settled into the heart changes one’s life considerably to be in conformity with divine injunctions. Therefore, as once said by one of the early pious predecessors, when fearing others, you flee from them, but when fearing Allah, you flee to Him....

The prophethood of Muhammad exists to make clear the recurrence of God’s message and help us to transcend the limitation and narrowness of our perspectives shaped by tribalisms, factionalisms, sectarianisms or nationalisms. The search is not merely to follow the Prophet as best as we can, but also to seek God’s pleasure as a way to realise and respond to the search for the divine in all people. Whoever they are.” The narrow outlook and the bigotry propagated by the votaries of Sharia are totally opposed to the teachings of the Quran....

Mysticism in Islam
William C. Chittick
Mysticism in Islam
William C. Chittick

It is worth noting that modern-day "Islamism"—that is, ideological posturing and political activism in the name of Islam —agrees with the early Orientalists on the origins of Islamic mysticism. Despite the fact that the Islamists are harshly critical of Western scholarship, they adopt many of its positions. They love Western technological expertise along with its guns and bombs, and they also love the various political theories that justify totalitarian control. By claiming that mysticism derives from outside sources, they embrace the Orientalist myth of a harsh and sterile Islam and ignore the spiritual and intellectual heritage of their religion. They have focused all their efforts on turning people away from the Islamic tradition and establishing authoritarian regimes.2

In my own writings, I have always avoided the word "mysticism," partly because of its strong negative connotations. I prefer instead the word "Sufism," which has the advantage of deriving from Arabic and pertaining specifically to Islam. Nowadays, this word is rather well known in the West. In the United States, Rumi has recently been the best-selling poet, and every introduction to his poems points out his affiliation to the Sufi tradition. Health clubs and New Age centres teach "Sufi Dancing" along with yoga and Zen meditation. At least the name is no longer strange in English, even if, in contrast to "mysticism," few people have any real idea as to what it might mean......

 
Islam does not Permit Suicide Bombings
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Islam does not Permit Suicide Bombings
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Religion based terrorism is perhaps the most dangerous phenomenon of Muslim history. Throughout Islamic history, that is, until very recently, action has always meant result-oriented action. But in modern times, for the first time, the Muslim mentality has become so distorted that, on occasion, fruitless action has also come to be considered desirable…..

Value of Human Dignity
Muhammad Ali Musofer

The intellectual dimension of human beings is constantly highlighted in Islamic teachings. The Holy Quran has reinforced the concept of human beings using their intellect and reflecting on the mysterious creations of God....  Therefore, in Islam seeking knowledge is viewed as abundantly good and it is obligatory for every Muslim to seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave....

 

Many of us know Imam Abu Hanifa as a teacher and a Faqih who used to narrate Hadith on behalf of the Prophet (peace be upon him). But if you wanted to buy silk in the city of Abu Hanifa, the best place to buy silk was his shop that he ran with his brother. So even though he was an Imam, he still had his business and he made this money to be sufficient. Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal once was asked: “If somebody has a 100,000 dinars can he be from the people of zuhd, can he be a pious person?....

 
Take Care of Your Heart
Sadia Dehlvi
Take Care of Your Heart
Sadia Dehlvi

An important way of counterbalancing pride in one’s heart is to lower oneself to the very people s/he feels arrogance over, and to seek out tasks which help break one’s ego and increase humbleness. Physically serving others, especially the elderly and the poor, are actions that are humbling and a sure way of connecting with God. The best way to polish the heart and keep it free from rust is constant remembrance of God...

A list of do’s and don’ts would help the general readers about the simple but effective teachings of Islam. Before listing the do’s and don’ts let me remind the readers that a “do” will count to 10 and a “don’t” will count to 1. This means that a good deed will yield ten times the reward, but a bad deed will yield only one punishment.......

As most of us have come to realize, happiness is that ethereal quality that encompasses contentment and peacefulness; it is the soft joy that causes our lips, faces and hearts to smile. It is determined by faith in God and obedience to Him. Thus happiness embodies the peace security and submission that is Islam. The injunctions and regulations of Islam reinforce the happiness that comes from knowing God...

 

There is no radicalism in Islam, which commands to be moderate, temperate and compassionate, and prohibits extremism. In one verse Allah relates thus: “Say: ‘People of the Book! Do not go to extremes in your religion, asserting other than the truth, and do not follow the whims and desires of people who were misguided previously and have misguided many others, and are far from the right way’.”...

 

Sadia Dehlvi, a writer and Sufi activist read her paper on Sufism in Delhi. She said that she was proud to be a part of Delhi which was the centre of all the Sufi orders and most importantly the Dargah of Hadhrat Nizamuddin was located here. She appreciated the inclusive approach of the Sufis in an age when the ordinary and the downtrodden people did not get love and respect from the upper caste and the ruling elite. The Sufis and particularly Hadhrat Nizamuddin’s personality had become a rallying point for all the people irrespective of caste, creed or religion. She also said that it was a wonderful aspect of the Sufis that all the Sufis of India had formed a framework which connected the people from all religions and castes. .....

But during its golden age in the 15th and 16th centuries, Timbuktu was a renowned centre of Islamic and secular learning, research and scholarship. Timbuktu has long been called the city of 333 Sufi saints, as the people follow a tolerant version of Sufi theology. The recent militants tried to force their dogmatic version of the Sharia law, showing scant respect for the city's pluralistic religious traditions or its rich literary and architectural heritage. ...

 

All the Surahs quoted are to remind the rich and powerful (and ignorant) rulers and citizens to pay heed to what the Almighty has warned of in unambiguous terms. We have the example of Qarun, whom Allah punished for his arrogance and ingratitude for all the wealth with which he had been blessed (Surah Qasas 28:76-84). When requested to be grateful and give thanks to Allah, he replied: “All this has been given to me on account of a certain knowledge that I have.”  There are more recent examples too – i.e., King Farouk, the Shah of Iran, Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak, Qaddafi, Marcos, etc...

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