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Islamic Ideology

It is the responsibility of all the schools of thought that they should work without ideological and cultural preoccupations to know its truth and to reveal its truth to the world, not because this book belongs to the Muslims but because it has played a very important role in shaping the world.

There is a need of a total rethinking of the Quran’s views on war and peace without any prejudice because this issue is not only very important  but also because a misconception  has spread far and wide on this issue which has been causing Muslim as well as non-Muslim world huge damage....

The phrase “Ma Malakat Aymanukum” is not used to mean only male or female slaves but all the poor and needy persons, male or female, dependent on the wealthy and well to do people. This verse also hints at the system of distribution of Zakat because the purpose of Zakat is to distribute a portion of the income or wealth of a well to do person to needy people around him. Thus all the needy people around a well to do person are ‘Ma Malakat Aymanuhum” according to this verse. The Quran envisages a society where the wealthy will always take care of the needy people around them and will strive to reduce poverty in his area by parting with a portion of their wealth with the poor and the needy. Therefore, all the needy and the destitute under a wealthy person’s purview are his “right hand possession” or “Ma Malakat Aymanuhum” or dependents in terms of financial position and it is his religious duty to take care of them. So, even a beggar, an orphan or a destitute person comes under the phrase ‘Ma Malakat Aymanukum’....

Jihadist Terrorists Can’t Justify Their Call to Migration
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
Jihadist Terrorists Can’t Justify Their Call to Migration
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

The Jihadist terrorists dominantly belong to Wahhabism and hence they call their Wahhabi followers to migrate like the early Emigrants mentioned in the Quranic verse 8:72 and fight against those who they think are Kuffar and non-Wahhabi Muslims. Concerning this verse in today’s context some questions arise. Are today’s Muslims whom they are calling to migrate identical to the early Emigrants? Is it allowed for them to migrate from a country which grants security and religious freedom to them?  Associating the condition of today’s Muslims to that of the early Emigrants mentioned in 8:72 is extremely injustice and violation of the Quran....

The Importance of Zikr
S. Arshad, New Age Islam
The Importance of Zikr
S. Arshad, New Age Islam

The remembrance and utterance of the name of the Creator of the Universe is prescribed in all the religions of the world. The Psalms, the Torah, the Bible and the oldest scriptures of the world --- the Vedas – sing hosanna to the Divine Creator. The tradition of uttering the name of God is also found in other religions like Manichaeism which was in vogue in Iran in the ancient times. The prophet of Manichaeism was Mani. Many modern folk religions like Sikhism, Nath Panth, Kabir Panth and Vaishnavism etc give importance to remembrance of God, rather remembrance and utterance of the name of God forms the basic practice of these religions....

 

“Elements of Islamic laws and codes have become inconsistent not just with the contemporary era, but also with the very principles and values of Islam that such laws and codes are supposed to uphold.” From triple Talaq to rulings on hijab and banks and to interfaith marriages to choosing diverse careers we have a range of opinions to debate and choose from without being guilty of defying Islam or what Asad calls “true Shariah.” What is wrong with legalism may be understood by taking a look at its history – Chinese, Judaic, Christian and other traditions that fought war against it. ...

This could be one more reason why Iqbal says, “free (Aazad Kar) the intellect (Khirad) from bondage (Ghulami) and make the young teachers of the old”. Could he mean that the new ideas be given space to enrich our societies through multiple ways of looking at the symbols, metaphors and allusions used in the sacred texts and complex literature to enlighten our paths in a global village?...

One aspect of this struggle for religious legitimacy among the post-righteous generations of Muslims (as-Salaf as-Salih), chronologically speaking was by linking one's theological, political or legal views to that of the As-Salaf As-Salih. This would, in turn, imbue these competing factions with the sense of normativity, credibility and authority. As a corollary, the concept of Salafism - or what I also term a Salafi worldview - can be conceptualized in terms of the idea of the "emulation-worthiness" of the first century religious and political authorities who were perceived as having remained faithful to the teachings of the Qur'an and the example of the Prophet in relation to 'Aqidah (beliefs), Manhaj (methodology) and 'Ibadah (worship) in contrast to those who are deemed( from a perspective of a particular group of Muslims) to have deviated.....

What God Is Not and Why, In The Light Of the Quran?
Hasan Aftab Saeed
What God Is Not and Why, In The Light Of the Quran?
Hasan Aftab Saeed

God is not a theorem that can be proved by starting from more basic assumptions. Any ‘logical’ argument that proposes to do so ends up proving the opposite, in the process undoing itself. That’s because He is the Absolute (the most Basic), which means he depends on nothing while everything else depends on Him (112:2). Over the centuries, philosophers have repeatedly demonstrated the errors in the ontological, cosmological, and the teleological arguments that claim to ‘prove’ the ‘existence’ of God....

 
Quran’s Stand on the People of the Book
S. Arshad, New Age Islam
Quran’s Stand on the People of the Book
S. Arshad, New Age Islam

The Quran enjoins on man to co-exist in peace and respect each other’s faith. The Quran says that God has made the universe full of variety and the mark of His creativity is manifest everywhere. The heavens, the earth, the oceans and the flora and fauna are marked with variety and difference in shape and colour.  The way of living and eating habits of people is also different. Therefore, the religions and the way of thinking of different peoples also differ. This is according to the scheme of things of God. He says that if he had willed, all the people of the world would have believed in one religion. But through difference in faith and way of worship of God, he wants to test man’s faith and wants to see how man tries to co-exist in peace with others despite difference in way of thinking....

So it is the job of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), to explain the Qur’an. And it is the job of the believers to obey him.”He who obeys the Messenger obeys Allah indeed” (Nisa 4:80). And even more emphatically it says: “And obey Allah and obey His Messenger.”(Al-Taghabun 64:12). It is to be noted that here the Qur’an did not say “Obey Allah and His Messenger.” By using the command, “obey” independently the fact has been firmly established that the status of an order given by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is the same as that given by Allah....

The Momineen and the Kafirin
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
The Momineen and the Kafirin
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

The Momineen (faithful) and the Kafirin (faithless) are therefore terms that cannot be associated based on the religion professed, but based on behaviour alone. Else, Islam is not a universal and inclusive religion. Indeed, we do find the Quran judging people by what they do. The Mushrikin in an unjust battle against the Prophet, are referred to as the Kafaru, but the same Mushrikin, after they have been vanquished and are no longer at war, are referred to simply as Mushrikin in verse 9:5 and not as Kafirin. It is therefore the act that you are engaged in, which defines you in that context.

At one extreme are the Momineen, the people of unshakeable faith, who can never do wrong because they are always mindful of God, and at the other extreme are the Kafirin or “those who will never believe”, the likes of the Pharaoh, Qarun, Haman, Abu Jahl, Abu Lahab etc., who are evil incarnate, always opposed to what is just, right and good. In between fall the rest, who can be judged based on the act they are engaged in, and not based on the faith they profess, or their religious identity. We find the Quran doing exactly this…..

Related Article:

The Broader Notion of Din Al-Islam Is Inclusive Of All Monotheistic Faiths

The Principles of War from the Quran
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
The Principles of War from the Quran
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

The major battles fought by the Prophet against the people of Mecca were against their persecution of the Prophet and followers of the new faith of Islam. After his people suffered torture, persecution and even killing for 13 years, the Prophet (pbuh) was forced to migrate to Medina. Even then, the Meccans pursued them as is evident by the three major battles fought near Medina with the last battle being the siege of Medina itself. The Muslims eventually prevailed over their enemy. Surah Taubah describes the judgment on the vanquished enemy....

The Enlightening Commentary on the War Related Quranic Verses- Part 3 on 4:89
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
The Enlightening Commentary on the War Related Quranic Verses- Part 3 on 4:89
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

In today’s context, when Muslims and non-Muslims including hypocrites are living peacefully, these verses (4:88-90) can’t be applied. It is not an individual’s duty to decide as to who are hypocrites. In the case of the early period of Islam, when the Muslims who were holy companions [Sahaba] were not all sure as to who were then hypocrites and who were not, how come today’s common Muslims categorically call others ‘hypocrites’? Even if we hear some of today’s scholars calling someone ‘hypocrite’, how can one make justification for killing him, while he is living in the state of peace or peace-treaty?...

An Enlightening Commentary on the War Related Quranic Verses- Part-1 on 2:190
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
An Enlightening Commentary on the War Related Quranic Verses- Part-1 on 2:190
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

But sadly enough, we see some people, especially the terrorist masterminds who, despite having awareness, do not adopt the entirety of what is known as the best methodological approach required for interpreting the Quran and Sunnah. Thus they fail to take out the best meaning. Since they are committing such a failure in context of war-related verses and Ahadith, it has become more a matter of worry for us, because this is increasing problems in two ways. First problem is that this is resulting into brainwashing the naive Muslim youngsters with the idea that it is incumbent upon them to wage war against their ‘enemies’. Second problem is that this is encouraging non-Muslims to believe that whatever the modern terrorists are doing is thoroughly approved by the Quran and Sunnah....

Rescuing Islamic Law from Legalism
Dr Muhammad Maroof Shah

Beyond the period of the Companions the history of Islam doesn’t furnish a single instance of a real Ijma, either in the sense of an agreement among all Muslim scholars or even among those of a particular period.’’ From 3rd or 4thcentury A.H the Law was conceived as a "combination of the Nass ordinances plus a legislation arrived at through deduction. Instead of the original Two sources or roots (Usul) of the Law – the Quran and the Sunnah, the Muslims were presented with four roots: the Quran, Sunnah, Ijma and Qiyas; and only a small minority of scholars continued to oppose this arbitrary addition.’’....

Until the early modern period of Muslim intellectual history of South Asia, Muslim rule was in existence; therefore question like the definition of a Muslim never arose. The religious culture revolved around the empire and Dargah (Sufi Shrine), the influence of which had been articulated in the social plurality. Both of these institutions allowed certain space for the co-existence of multiple socio-cultural identities. ...

Put an End to the Vilification of Islam
Tariq A. Al-Maeena
Put an End to the Vilification of Islam
Tariq A. Al-Maeena

To summarize some of the ridiculous Fatwas of the past supposedly based on the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would take many pages, but here are a few examples. In May 2007, a fatwa was issued by an Islamic cleric in Egypt, which said that a female worker should breastfeed a male colleague to establish a maternal bond between them, in order to overcome the Islamic law against the illegal private seclusion of men and women. The cleric based his fatwa on a flawed interpretation of a Hadith by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).....

He accepts traditionally widely understood and properly delimited meaning of wisdom and sage for Hikmah and Hakeem and thus requires us to take seriously illumined philosophies across cultures. He notes that the method of knowledge from the Unseen (Ghayeb) include Wahi, Tehdees, Tafheem, Zoaq, Marifat, Ilmi Ludni, Kashf etc. He reminds us of a Prophetic tradition stating that “Anyone who spares 40 days only for God springs of Hikmah will be on his tongue.”....

 

There is no room for "us versus them" mentality in Islam. All human beings are creatures of God and we therefore must show respect to each other. This implies a multi-racial, multi-religious society. Islam came as a Rahmah (Blessing) to the Universe. Qur’an shows Allah’s love for man as infinite and all-embracing: “And My Mercy embraces all things” (Surah Al-A`raf 7:156).

Not a single creature is exempted from Allah’s bountiful grace and divine mercy. The beloved Prophet said, “When Allah created the creatures, He wrote in the Book, which is with Him over His Throne: “Verily, My Mercy prevailed over My Wrath.” (Al-Bukhari) He also said, “Allah has divided mercy into 100 parts, and He retained with Him 99 parts, and sent down to earth 1 part…

The Mufassirin Who Render the Quran A Book of Foolish Nonsense
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
The Mufassirin Who Render the Quran A Book of Foolish Nonsense
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

Who are these Kafaru who are the worst of creatures? Irrespective of how they have translated the verses, every commentator has treated all of the People of the Book and all of the Mushrikin as Kafir and the worst of creatures. In their translations, some of them vary, and consider only some among the People of the Book among the Kafaru but almost all of them consider all the Mushrikin as among the Kafaru. The expression “The Kafaru among the People of the Book and among the Mushrikin” is interpreted by these Mufassirin as merely identifying the Kafaru from different faiths. By implication, for them all non-Muslims are Kafir and these verses merely exclude Kafir from other faiths such as the Buddhists, the Zoroastrians, etc....

Language is not only a tool for expression but also a tool for sharpening the mind. The more developed the language, the more developed are its speakers. That’s why the Japanese people developed scientifically in a short span of time because they have three scripts of writing and a very difficult language. Every Japanese child learns to master three scripts (Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji) to write Japanese language in comparison to one script of all the other languages in the world. People with simple language and alphabet have low mental capacity because their language does not require much mental effort for speaking or writing and therefore there is less scope of sharpening the brain. ...

The Divine Gnosis and the Words of Great Sufis - Concluding Part
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
The Divine Gnosis and the Words of Great Sufis - Concluding Part
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

The first stage is Shariat where a believer studies the Quran and Sunnah and if he takes the right message out of his study, he can then be described as one travelling on the path known as Tariqat. Similarly Tariqat takes the Salik (traveller on the path of Sufism) to the Haqiqat and then to the fourth that is Marifat (gnosis). When a believer attains perfection in all these four stages, it is said he has become a Sufi or Wali (saint) and thereby acquiring the blessing of Allah Almighty.

It is intelligible now that the relation between Shariat and Tariqat is as deeper as between the body and the spirit. The believers attain perfection by comprehending both Shariat and Haqiqat and act according to them. This is the essential education to which the Sufi saints and Friends of Allah [Auliya] guide.

Related Article:

The Interrelationship between Shariat, Tariqat and Haqiqat

Emulation doesn’t mean literally and ritualistically adopting the ways of the seventh century; rather it means living as per the requirements of the age, but with a firm moral anchor that can help one differentiate between right and wrong. Beyond words, beyond loud protestations of faith and beyond rhetoric, it is strength of character that is needed to build society and the self. And as the verses from the Quran have illustrated here, the guiding light of the spirit is the sacred personality of the Holy Prophet. ...

 

Thus the birth of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was the most significant and the most remarkable event in human history. Had there been room in Islamic teachings for the celebration of birthdays or anniversaries, the birthday of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) would have undoubtedly deserved it more than the birthday of any other person. But that is against the nature of Islamic teachings. That is why, unlike Judaism, Christianity, and Hinduism, there are very few festivals in Islam, which provides for only two Eids (Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Azha) during the whole year....

 
The Divine Gnosis (Marifa’) and the Words of Great Sufis - Part-1
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
The Divine Gnosis (Marifa’) and the Words of Great Sufis - Part-1
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

Succinctly defining ‘gnosis, the Sufi master Abul Qasim al-Qushayri said, “As per the Islamic scholars (Ulema), ‘gnosis’ (Ma’rifa) means knowledge (‘Ilm). Hence all knowledge is gnosis and all gnosis is knowledge. Every person who is cognizant of Allah (‘Arif) is a knower (‘Alim). However, according to the Sufi Masters, ‘Ma’rifa is the attribute of the person who is cognizant of Allah Almighty, His names and attributes. It is he who then puts his trust in Allah Almighty in his everyday behaviour and gets rid of his bad morals and transgressions. He then proceeds to reside at the door [of Allah’s mercy] with his heart striving constantly for the nearness of Allah, whereby he becomes beloved of Allah Almighty and trusts Him in everything he experiences in his entire life....

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