A fatwa is nothing but the opinion of a qualified Islamic scholar; there could be many alternate opinions on the subject? Go tell that to Maulana Faridul Abedeen, Sharif Cookerwala, Yunus Trolleywala, a handful of other poor Muslims from Malegaon and their families all of whom have spent sleepless nights since May 8, fearful of their lives. Spearheaded by the local unit of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema (Maulana Arshad Madni’s faction), announcements have been made from local mosques ex-communicating them all. Fellow Muslims have been warned to stay far away from the condemned. Inciting mobs, maulanas are issuing a daily warning that unless the “enemies of Islam” are banished from Malegaon, the police alone will be responsible for their fate. Abedeen, Sharif and their minuscule following have been declared as Bahais and Qadiyanis. Why? Because they are preaching a dangerous message: “Ishwar and Allah are one and the same”. As of now, not one Muslim religious or political leader, not one Urdu paper has had the courage or the conviction to speak out against the Taliban in Malegaon. -- Javed Anand
The Hadith Collection by “Imam” Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ismail Bukhari is considered by Mullahs and their blind followers as the most authentic book on earth after the Quran. Let’s examine it. .... Please know that an outstanding scholar of Islam, Ubaidullah Sindhi concedes, "I cannot teach Bukhari Hadith to any youngster, or to a non-Muslim because of shame." (Preface to his Tafseer, Ilham-ur-Rahman). Let’s explore why he said this …
The Messenger (S) used to visit all nine of his wives every night. [Vol 3 Pg 52 Book of Nikah, #34]. On the other hand, Bukhari repeatedly narrates that the Prophet used to stand at prayers all night, so much so that his feet used to swell.
The Messenger (S) used to have intercourse with all of his wives in one hour of the day and night (without taking a bath) and these (wives) were eleven. The narrator tries to pre-empt an objection by stating that he had the (sexual) power of 30 men. [Vol 1 Pg 189, Book of Bath #266].
The Mullah mind has so terribly affected our masses that even derogatory statements such as this become praiseworthy. The exalted Prophet was a perfect guide to humanity. He was not a man of unbridled desire. The women who lived in his household were primarily there for shelter. Only a contemptuous mind can perceive the Mothers of Believers as objects of pleasure for the Prophet. Bukhari highlights the above Hadith by putting a special heading: “To have sex with many women with only one bath..” That stifles any apologetic defences of this Hadith by the Mullahs.
The Prophet said that the best man amongst his followers is the one who has the greatest number of wives. [Vol 3:52 Book of Nikah #62]. Many Mullahs offer an apology here that the Prophet (S) is referring to himself. Well, that only compounds the insult. There have been ‘Muslim’ kings who had harems of hundreds of women. The Quran (49:13) tells us that the best person is the one who is best in conduct. ...
Ayesha said to the Prophet, “Won’t you rather graze your camel onto a tree whose leaves have not yet been grazed?” ‘Arwa bin Zubair said that Ayesha meant she was the only virgin the Prophet had married. [Vol 3 Book of Nikah Pg 55 #71]
The Prophet disapproved of his companion Jabir’s plan to marry a widow and asked, "Why did you not marry a virgin so that you played with her and she played with you?" [Same Volume, same page]. The Prophet (S) was extremely compassionate to widows and divorced women. --- Dr. Shabbir Ahmed
This paper seeks to argue that contrary to what TJ leaders and activists insist, the movement does indeed have a political vision, and is, through the various political roles that it plays, deeply engaged in questions of power, legitimacy and authority which are the very stuff of politics. While it is true that the movement’s immediate focus has been on the reform of the individual rather than the capture of state power, this does not mean that the TJ has nothing at all to do with politics, for this is to take a very narrow and restrictive view of the political. If we shift our attention from the affairs of the state alone and see politics in more comprehensive terms, as the dynamics of power in society as a whole, the notion that anything can be apolitical in a political world strikes one as simply absurd. As Imtiaz Ahmad notes of the TJ, ‘Even staying aloof from party politics or even such personal acts as growing a beard or donning a veil are themselves powerful political acts, political statements that have their own political implications’ And, as Mumtaz Ahmad remarks, individual choices to remain aloof from direct involvement in party politics, when added together, have their own share of political consequences because, ‘For religion and for politics, whether the original choice is neutrality or activism the result is equally political’. In this sense, then, the TJ can hardly be said to be apolitical at all. As this paper argues, individuals associated with the TJ have been playing major political roles in various contexts. Further, the movement’s activities have their own share of broader political implications, which have not received the critical attention by writers on the movement which they deserve. In other words, the TJ does indeed have a long-term political vision of its own, which must be seen as distinct from its immediate objective of the reform of individual believers, exhorting them to become ‘true’ Muslims and strictly abide by the commandments of Islam in their personal lives. -- Yoginder Sikand
When it comes to mobilizing internal resources, it is necessary to point out one significant difference between Dalits and Muslims. Dalits have hardly much internal resource to mobilize. They have been underdogs right from the beginning of history. Even then Ambedkar, from pre-independence days, worked hard to establish some educational institutions to educate them so that they could benefit from reservations in government jobs. Thus Ambedkar did it single handedly for lack of other leaders.
The Muslim situation has been very different in a way. All Muslims were never underdogs. Various Muslim dynasties ruled over India for more than 800 years and created a feudal class with considerable land holdings. These dynastic rulers as well as the feudal class (Zamindars) donated from their resources and created Wakf properties which, in terms of today’s ruling prices, are huge running into thousands of crores. – Asghar Ali Engineer
It must be recognized that this political interpretation of Islam is a recent development, invented by modern-day Islamist ideologues. This is a product of their seeking to interpret Islam on their own (tafsir bi‘l ray), in reaction, in particular, to certain modern political developments, particularly Western colonialism. This political interpretation of Islam is deeply tainted by feelings of revenge and a strong streak of emotionalism. The most pathetic and extreme case in this regard is that of the founder of the Jamaat-e Islami, Maulana Maududi, as evidenced in his book Quran ki Char Buniyadi Istilahen (‘Four Basic Terms of the Quran’), wherein he provided a political twist to the notion of God’s sovereignty and where he argued that later generations of Muslims had completely forgotten the basic intention of the Quran, which, he claimed, was to establish Islamic political rule over the entire world. He went to the extent of claiming that this book of his was an attempt to revive consciousness of this supposedly long-forgotten basic intention of the Quran. -- Maulana Waris Mazhari
The Koran's Verdict: " And the messenger says of Judgment Day, "O my Lord! My own people took this Koran as a thing to be shunned (KORAN 25:30)."
The Koran says in well over 15 places that it is "explained in detail (6:114 etc)." One word used is Tafseel which means a detailed explanation. It further says that it contains a Biyan or clear exposition of everything (16:89). God says in the Koran that He neglected nothing in the Book (6:38). The Koran talks about Moses' Book being Tamam (which means complete), and that the Koran is in no way less than that. The Koran also suggests that it should be Kaafi meaning "enough" for guidance by itself (29:51).
The Koran states explicitly that the messenger's duty was only "to convey the message (29:18)," and he said nothing on his own as his own sayings (69:44). It states that the message that the messenger conveyed was the Koran only (42:52 & 14:52 & 69:44). Therefore, to follow God's words in the Koran would be to follow the messenger, (4:80), as the words of the Koran is the messenger's speech (69:40). It also claims to be the Qawl or the speech of the messenger (69:40).
The Koran claims that it contains answers to ALL relevant questions (25:33) and contains the best explanation (Tafseer) of itself (25:33 & 2:159). The Koran claims to be the Hukm or commandments of God, according to which humankind is to be judged (5:48). It also states that it is the Shariah or law/way with which God sent the messenger (45:18 & 42:13).
Who would know best on how to talk to humankind but their creator? Therefore, it makes no sense to say that outside sources better explain God's word. The Koran claims that it is explained fully in detail and lacks nothing. Therefore it must, according to its claim, contain a full explanation of everything in Islam, including Salaah (prayer). It surely does, we just need to study it. A careful reading of the Koran reveals that we are to get our Salaah from the Masjid-el Haraam [the continuous practice at Mecca since the time of Abraham], specifically the "place of Abraham (moqaam e Ibraheem)." The Koran tells us that the purpose of Hajj is to educate Muslims in Islam (Koran 22:27-28) and that the Masjid-el-Haraam is "guidance for all the worlds (3:96)." -- M. Asadi
Secularism is a concept about which confusion abounds in Islamic circles. Some Muslim scholars translate it to mean ‘irreligiousness’ (la-diniyat), which is completely wrong, and creates tremendous misunderstanding. In its practical sense, secularism, understood as the state’s neutrality vis-à-vis different religions or non-intervention by the state in religious matters, is a great blessing for Islam and Muslims in countries like India. To declare it as anti-Islamic, as some self-styled Islamists do, is entirely incorrect and, from the point of view of Islam and its adherents, counter-productive. This stance of theirs has been justifiably criticized by many non-Muslims as well as some Muslims themselves. They highlight the double-standards in the arguments of those Muslims who argue that in Muslim majority states secularism is a ‘threat’ while secularism in Muslim-minority countries as a blessing. These double-standards lead to what can be called intellectual hypocrisy. -- Maulana Waris Mazhari
The book, simply titled al-Jihad, provides an incisive critique of the arguments about the Islamic concept of jihad put forward by both hardened Islamophobes and radical Islamists alike. ‘Jihad is often seen by non-Muslims as anti-human, as akin to terrorism, and as a cover-up for imperialist conquest. I wanted to critique that impression’, Maulana Yahya explains. ‘At the same time’, he adds, ‘many Muslims are opposed to ijtihad, to reviewing some of the rules of classical fiqh that were developed in a totally different historical context, including in matters related to jihad, some of which are not in accordance with the Quran. Consequently, Muslim youth in many countries, inflamed by the oppression suffered by Muslims, have taken to indiscriminate violence, wrongly claiming it to be jihad. I wanted to counter their arguments, too’. ‘I wanted the book to appeal to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike’, he explains. -- Yoginder Sikand
The Quran disapproves of those who instead of making an effort to understand the Book, show misplaced reverence towards it: “And those who when they are reminded of the signs of their Lord, fall not deaf and blind thereat” (25.73). It is important to note that the Quran uses the same Arabic word ayat (proofs, evidences, verse, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) booth for its own sentences and for all creation in the universe, animate and inanimate: “Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which God sends down from the skies and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth; (here) indeed are signs (ayats) for a people who understand” (2.164). – Arif M Khan
Later, in order to further expand this work of promoting peace and solidarity, the Prophet entered into a treaty with the Jewish and pagan tribes of Medina, according to which these groups were to be treated as belonging to the same qaum or community as the Muslims. All those who were party to the treaty were to be given protection or peace, except, of course, those who violated this agreement. According to the treaty, the valley of Yathrib or Medina was to be a sacred place for all those who were party to it. In this way, by giving foremost importance to peace, the treaty guaranteed the parties to it safety from external attack and internal strife. The same spirit was evident in the terms of the Treaty of Hudaibiyah between the Muslims, led by the Prophet, and the Meccan pagans. The Prophet signed the treaty although some of the terms appeared to be heavily weighed against him. This he did so that a climate of peace could be created, because of which Islam would be able to spread peacefully. -- Maulana Waris Mazhari
The issue of offensive jihad has for long been a subject of heated debate among Islamic scholars. Some scholars are of the view that Islam allows for just one form of jihad, in the sense of war—defensive jihad. Others disagree, and believe that Islam permits both defensive as well as offensive jihad, in the sense of fighting. Perhaps the latter opinion enjoys the support of the majority of the ulema. In contrast to defensive jihad, which is fought in response to the aggression of an enemy, offensive jihad allows for war to be waged against a non-Islamic country in the absence of that country having taken any steps to initiate fighting against Muslims. Advocates of the doctrine of offensive jihad claim that it is a necessary means to establish the supremacy of Islam and to destroy the power of infidelity. -- Maulana Waris Mazhari
The Quran and the Hadith very clearly and explicitly warn against extremism in matters of religion. They refer to extremism by such terms as ghulu, tanattu’ and tashaddud. In the Quran God says, ‘Do not commit excess in your religion.’ According to a report in the Sahih Ibn Majah, the Prophet Muhammad is said to have remarked ‘O People! Save yourselves from excess in religion, because earlier communities were destroyed […] due to excess in religion’ A similar hadith report is contained in the Sahih Muslim. Further, the Prophet is quoted as having said, ‘Do not be harsh unto your own selves or else this harshness will be made binding on you. A certain group enforced such harshness upon itself. The remnants of this group are [now to be found] in churches and monasteries’. -- Maulana Waris Mazhari, (Translated by Yoginder Sikand)
We can call him (Prophet Mohammad pbuh) a liberator of all humanity if we follow his teachings, not so much from the tangled web of Hadith but from the Quran that he brought us. The Quran indeed was his real miracle. Firstly, he emphasised the importance of knowledge. This word occurs in the Quran more than 800 times along with its various derivatives (the word jihad, so controversial today, occurs only 41 times).
Knowledge was so important to him that he required Muslims to seek knowledge even if they had to go to China, then a very distant land from Arabia. Following this teaching, Arabs who were quite averse to knowledge — especially in the written form (there were only 17 people in Makkah during the Prophet’s lifetime who could read and write) — became great precursors of various sciences and even the West immensely benefited from their findings. The West discovered the treasures of Greek knowledge through the Arabs. -- Asghar Ali Engineer
Asra Nomani was also quoted in The Muslim Link as follows: "It's critical that we ditch the concept of the "ummah" with a capital "U" and recognize that we are an "ummah" with a small "u," meaning our religious identity doesn't have to supersede other loyalties and identities. This attempt to push an "Ummah" is the politics of ideologues of puritanical Islam who want to mollify dissent. Sadly, too many moderates have bought into it." ("Inside the Gunman's Mosque", The Daily Beast, 11/9/2009)
In response, I once again return to the 1999 essay ("Five Mistakes of U.S. Policymakers in the Muslim World"), to an observation made in the summary conclusion: "Sincere Muslims in every corner of the globe are threaded together by an ideology which is consciously or unconsciously imbedded within the very fiber of their being. No matter how uneducated, unsophisticated, or illiterate the Muslim you happen to meet - and conversely, no matter how educated, sophisticated or westernized the Muslim you happen to meet - there is always this instinctual awareness of being part of a global family, a global community with an accountability to God. This is something that the U.S., and its respective allies, would do well to consider. -- El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan
Let us remember that this wealth was generated from two sources: one, from trade and two, by way of ghanima i.e. loot in the wars of conquests and Baladhuri has given figures in hisFutuh al-Buldan i.e. Conquest of Countries. With these conquests the whole economic scenario especially of Bedouin Arabs changed and they began to lead comfortable life.
We should also remember that the then Arab economy was basically mercantile economy which depended on trade and production of date palms from few oases. Thus it cannot be compared with modern industrial economy and its problems. And with development of monarchy with Yazid the economy underwent further change and it became more feudal than mercantile.
Thus one must understand these specificities of the then Islamic society before comparing it with modern political and economic ideologies. However, one can say that the greatest contribution of Islam was the concept of welfare state and establishment of Bait al-maal in its early stages. But with establishment of monarchy and feudalization, Bait al-Maal also ceased to be as source of welfare of people. – Asghar Ali Engineer