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Books and Documents

Islamic Ideology

Almost everything that has to do with celebration of beauty and regard for many art forms is suspect today in the name of Islam. Aesthetic dimension of life/Islam has not been given due consideration by Madrasas, Universities or other educational institutions and it is no wonder that our lives, our surroundings, our cities and other living spaces are largely bereft of beauty. Few know that cultivating beauty in every act is the fulfilment of Islam. The Islamicate world has been a cultured world with much emphasis on beauty, on poetry, on arts, on higher intellectual pursuits and so many applied/traditional sciences.

 
What Are We Commemorating on Baqr Eid?
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
What Are We Commemorating on Baqr Eid?
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

More importantly perhaps, the Muslim story about Bakr Eid is a continuation of the earlier Jewish and Christian covenant with God where blood plays a very significant role. Within the Semitic tradition, it is only through blood that redemption becomes possible. The Torah is filled with passages where blood becomes important to save oneself from God’s wrath and where animal sacrifice was an important aspect of pleasing the God. And certainly, the same God would sacrifice his own son called Jesus to ‘save the humanity’. It is through the blood of Christ that humanity had to be redeemed.....

Related Articles:

Don’t Let Baqr Eid Qurbani Descend Into Blood Orgy

Hajj -- Some Afterthoughts

Contribution of Islamic Media in Educating the Public on Animal Rights

Animal Sacrifice vs. Compassionate Eid: An Open Letter To Our Muslim Brothers and Sisters

Eid-ul-Adha at Bhopal 2014: A Reflection

On the Meaning of Khatm e Nabuwwat
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
On the Meaning of Khatm e Nabuwwat
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

I consider it unfortunate that the Ahmediya’s call their imam a prophet, but then I equally consider every belief different from my beliefs as unfortunate. Beyond the problem with nomenclature, there is little that you can find fault with in their beliefs. If they had called their leader Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian an Imam rather than Nabi, there would have been no problem at all. In my opinion, the Ahmediya websites provide the best Tafseer on the Quran, and the Ahmediya are good Muslims, who honour the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Allah. Their beliefs do not dishonour Islam, and they are a people we can be proud of and be friends with....

The Muslim Ummah of the present era can regain its lost honour, authority and glory only through the unconditional practice of righteousness. The honourable rank and position were attained by the Muslim community in the past through righteousness and can only be regained through practising it in future.  The Holy Qur'an and Allah's Messenger (pbuh) have repeatedly stressed on proper utilisation of ‘Taqwa' as the most powerful instrument for reshaping human nature, remoulding morality and spiritual horizon of the believers. ...

History of conflicts is written by historians who after all are humans. They have their biases, axes to grind and or the knowledge that they have of the historic events, may not be complete and so history cannot be taken as the absolute truth. There is always an element of doubt, particularly so if the history is viewed with tinted vision, religious fervour, beliefs and prejudices. With religious biases such conflicts are disguised as 'God's Will' and therefore presented with labels of just wars, holy wars, crusades and jihad. The irony being that, often the inter religious wars, are waged in the name of the same 'God' that all combatants in the conflict fight for....

It makes sense for Muhammad (pbuh) to be the last of the prophets only if through his prophetic mission, Allah has perfected His religion, and made Truth stand out clear from Error for all time to come. If there was any chance of Truth once again becoming unclear from Error, Allah would have provided for another prophet to come and complete the task of making the truth become clear from error, until which time, He would have allowed compulsion in religion, since we could not invite people to Allah’s religion based on reason alone, as long as the Truth was not clear from error. We therefore understand the mission of the last prophet Muhammad was to give us the perfect Book the Quran, which makes the Truth stand out clear from Error, and to demonstrate through his mission that no compulsion in religion is required. That his mission was not to compel people to Allah’s religion, is the message reinforced at every stage of his mission....

The principles that Islam has formulated for establishing peaceful mutual coexistence can surely help the world get rid of all sorts of oppressions, violence, riots and clashes. Islam does not like polytheism (shirk) but at the same time the Quran has taught its followers ways to deal with the Mushrikin or idol-worshippers....

Related Article:

Did War-related Madani Verses Abrogate Makki Verses in the Sense of Not Allowing Peaceful Coexistence between Muslims and Non-Muslims?

In order to carry out the command of the holy Prophet (peace be upon him), Hazrat Ali was asked to record the peace-treaty which began with “Bismilla Hir Rahman Nir Rahim” meaning “In the name of Allah the Most Merciful, the Most Gracious”. However, the stubborn pagan Suhail bin Amr objected and said that he was not aware of these words. He insisted that “Bi Ismika Allahumma” should be written instead. The Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded Hazrat Ali to write what Suhail wanted. Then Hazrat obeyed....

 
Is Islam Without Answers To Present Day Problems Or Even A Cause For Them?
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
Is Islam Without Answers To Present Day Problems Or Even A Cause For Them?
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

Other societies and cultures were at some point in their past, worse off than the Muslims today, and their worst was worse than the worst of the Muslims if that is any consolation. They progressed rapidly on every parameter, only when they moved away from the strangle-hold of their religion and became secular in their outlook. The Muslims on the other hand are more “religious” than every other community. Is that the reason then of their backwardness? The logical answer to that question is a yes. Should the Muslims therefore take a lesson from this and move away from their religion? These are questions to which the Ulema must find answers or else the Muslims will move away from religion....

We see some commands of God in the Quran and those of the Prophet in Ahadith which were meant for and applied to a war-related context. It is wrong to use them in the present context. But despite this fact, some radical “Muslims” use these commands out of context while some non-Muslims support such misinterpretation and happily get a chance to blame Islam for that misinterpretation, and in some cases, to express their inner hatred against Islam....

Islam and the Dialogue between Civilizations
Hassan Al Mustafa
Islam and the Dialogue between Civilizations
Hassan Al Mustafa

Man’s self-consciousness currently makes the duty of scholars even more difficult because they have to reflect upon the doctrinal system via a different mechanism and a new mindset to establish a modern code of provisions that provide solutions to the fiqh and legal problems faced by Muslims today – solutions which old texts do not provide despite their significance....

 
Revisiting the ‘Prophecies’
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
Revisiting the ‘Prophecies’
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

None of the Books of scriptures prophesy the second coming of Jesus Christ and all stories regarding it are contrived concoctions. The Messianic prophecy in the earlier Books is perhaps fulfilled in Muhammad (pbuh) at least potentially, and to give it complete practical effect, we need people who are rightly guided, who will take things forward and make the religion and the law of Allah prevail, uniting all humanity in a common race in all virtues, ending all kinds of injustice and oppression.....

Don’t ask others why God is doing this to you. Take the courage to fully focus, and ask Him – and take the time and words you need for emotional honesty. This will help open up your heart for incoming guidance. Your concerns and heartaches will be taken with love and understanding. Remember though, that often times the way out requires sincere courage. At that point, strengthen yourself with a compassionate reminder of His Blessings. Look around you and within you. His countless favours are not to shame your vulnerability, but to remind you that He can give abundantly. Be assured, that when He has given so much, He can surely give you more....

 

Of course there are scholars who would object to Dr. Imran Nazar Hosein’s interpretation concerning the verses of Mutashabihat especially those related to the End-time as discussed above, but it would be better for them to comment on his interpretation in the best way i.e. by producing solid and accepted arguments…..

Related Article:

The Mutashaabihat Or The Allegorical Verses Of The Quran

Quran allowed its followers to wage defensive war only in the case of protecting the weak and downtrodden people without exceeding limits and this does not make Islam a religion of violence. Hence those who have been misrepresenting the verses of the Quran related to permitting war in defence against the religious oppressors and have been applying them to kill innocent people living in peace are actually violating the real purpose of Islam, that is, establishment of peace....

This isn’t hard to do. Islam and the principles and practices of democracy are not mutually exclusive. As a religion Islam has the idea of a social contract woven into its doctrine. It’s a notion that appears in the Qur’an and was also practised by the prophet Muhammad. It’s also present in the social, political, religious, and cultural affairs of Muslims. And so, viewed through an Islamic lens, social contracts between individuals and the nation-state are a manifestation of democratic citizenship....

 

Nevertheless, the most dangerous aspect related to the issuance of Fatwas and rulings by ISIS, al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood is the latter’s establishment of Fiqh groups claiming they represent the Ummah. They attempt to break down religious institutions in each country in order to issue their disastrous Fatwas and terrorist rulings....

 
Quranic Method of Cognition of Realities
Kazi Wadud Nawaz, New Age Islam
Quranic Method of Cognition of Realities
Kazi Wadud Nawaz, New Age Islam

The basic principles of Islamic Faith, religious ethics, social and family laws and all verses related to Allah's Attributes or ‘Sifat' belong to the category of clear and comprehensible verses (Ayat-e-Muhkamat). Qur'anic verses that point to the miraculous events of the unseen occurring in the worldly life under direct divine intervention beyond the cognitive ability of mankind belong to the category of incomprehensible verses. (Ayat-e-Mutashabihaat) The visible world forms the foundation of the clear and comprehensible domain of the Holy Qur'an (Ayat-e-Muhkamaat) that finds its extension in incomprehensible and non-visible reality (al-Ghayeb) reflected by the allegorical domain of the Holy Qur'an (Ayat-e-Mutashabihaat)....

The Language of the Quran
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
The Language of the Quran
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

The word Islam and Muslim have a broad meaning in the Quran and these words do not mean that Islam is only the religion of the followers of Muhammad or that Muslim only means those who accept Muhammad as the Messenger of God. Verse 22:78 “It is Allah Who has named you Muslims, both before and in this (Revelation)”. The followers of all previous prophets are also Muslim which is why the verse 2:112 cited above, covers a broad spectrum of people.   However, the common understanding among both the followers of Muhammad and others, is that only the religion brought by Muhammad is Islam and only his followers are Muslim. This common understanding is exploited by the bigots to claim that only the religion taught by Muhammad is Islam and only this religion is the true religion and accepted by God and all others will be the losers.....

The verse 60:8, according to the accepted view of majority of scholars, is Muhkam and not abrogated. This verse encourages the Muslims not to treat all the people from among non-Muslims including Mushrikin and Kafirin as enemies. It means Allah does not forbid Muslims to be good to those non-Muslims including Mushrikin and Kafirin who really do not fight Muslims in matters of religion and live in peace and justice with Muslims.... 

'Only In the Remembrance of God Is the Solace of Hearts' (Quran13:28)
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
'Only In the Remembrance of God Is the Solace of Hearts' (Quran13:28)
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

A great Sufi Imam Abul Qasim Qushairi writes in his book, “There are two types of remembrance; the remembrance of the tongue and the remembrance of the heart. The continual remembrance of the tongue eventually brings the servant to the remembrance of the heart. The true effect, however, lies in the remembrance of the heart. If the servant is able to perform remembrance with both his tongue and his heart, he has achieved perfection in both his personal state and his wayfaring.”...

According to the canonical rule in the Islamic jurisprudence, if a Muslim has the ability to carry out Ijtihad, he needs not to comply with the Ijtihad of any other Mujtahid (one who carries out Ijtihad). Next to the Qur'an and the Sunnah, Ijtihad has the most pivotal role to play in the Islamic rulings and edicts. Unlike the first two primary sources of the Shari'ah, which discontinued at the demise of the Prophet (pbuh), Ijtihad is a continuing process of intellectual thinking, creative re-thinking and brainstorming on contemporary issues and matters of religion. But it is allowed only for those who have a scholastic aptitude for deriving meanings and extracting rulings from the texts of Qur’an and Hadith....

Muslim Zakat: Reigniting the Fire of Camaraderie
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam
Muslim Zakat: Reigniting the Fire of Camaraderie
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam

The equitable division of the wealth of society and bounty of the earth between all people, regardless of their social station, through the instrument of charity, is seen not just as an act of piety but a cardinal   obligation for Muslims .Ramadan is the focal point of philanthropy: during this month, Islam’s obligation to give to the poor intensifies. Those who miss the daily fast, for example, must feed a poor person. The idea that helping others is part of a meaningful life has been around for thousands of years.  They are taught to live as trustees of God’s blessings....

What Survives Of The Authentic Sunna (Practice) Of The Prophet (PBUH)?
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
What Survives Of The Authentic Sunna (Practice) Of The Prophet (PBUH)?
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

The Kalima Shahida by making us name only Muhammad violates the Quran as the Quran instructs us not to make any distinction between the messengers. The political compulsion was however to make a pointed distinction to keep the Christians and the Jews from qualifying as Muslims without abandoning their faith.

The political compulsions combined with the bigotry of the scholars appear to have spawned the project of compilation of the Ahadith to help implement the politicised/bigoted version of Islam. It may not therefore be a coincidence, that all the compilers of the six books of Ahadith were contemporaries as all the six books were published in the latter half of the ninth century. The great stress on following the Ahadith to the neglect of the Quran was necessary to bend Islam to the political compulsions and to what the bigots subscribed to......

You must know Allah in order to adore Him more. But this is impossible to achieve as long as the ego stands between Him and human consciousness: by "annihilating in Allah" (al-Fanā') the initiate comes to the conclusion that only He is. Indeed, doesn't the Islamic profession of faith declare that "There is no God but Allah"? For the Sufis, this means that "Only Allah is", because what is created, what is contingent must disappear before what is Absolute....

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