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Books and Documents

Islamic Ideology

The world must continue to lift up the voices of Muslim clerics and scholars who teach the true peaceful nature of Islam,” Obama wrote. “We can echo the testimonies of former extremists who know how terrorists betray Islam. We can help Muslim entrepreneurs and youths work with the private sector to develop social media tools to counter extremist narratives on the Internet....

 
An Endless Farce
Nadeem F. Paracha

An Endless Farce
Nadeem F. Paracha

Once the regime got rid of Pakistan’s ‘immoral  past,’ from the country’s big and small screens,  it then moved to rid them of material that could put wrong ideas in people’s minds about Pakistan’s glorious new path to ‘Islamisation....

 
The War between Good and Evil
Khwaja Azhar Abbas, Tr. New Age Islam

The War between Good and Evil

The Quran does not consider theoretical arguments in favour of it being a divine revelation sufficient enough but also calls men to examine its results. If its results are right according to its claims, it will be a proof that it is God’s revelation; and if the results do not corroborate its claims, then its claim of being a divine revelation will stand null and void. The Quran has presented a very nice and clear proof of its being a divine revelation. It says that I proffer a system. You can proffer a system of your own.....

 

"The fact that Saudi Arabia carefully supports the so-called non-traditional Islam, which has a lot of names in Kyrgyzstan - the Salafi Islam, the fundamentalist, the Arabic, the Wahhabi - is beyond doubt. Saudis do it wherever they can. And the problem of Islam or even Islams in Kyrgyzstan itself - the traditional and non-traditional versions – is now quite acute. And more than half of the society is concerned that non-traditional Islam will gradually replace traditional. Even more so, the young people are attracted by this unconventional Islam"…..

 
Dialogue and Dawah
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Dialogue and Dawah
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

The only thing that is required for true dialogue is getting rid of communal thinking. If you are free of communal or communally-supremacist thinking, then you are the right participant in a dialogue....

The Ethics of “Because-I-Say-So” And Its Theological Companion
Dr. Amina Wadud

….only this time they drag God in there with it.  Islam is “a way of life” (or din, pronounced “Deen”), and not just “religion” (in the western sense of separate mundane and sacred).  In the first century after the death of the Prophet, an intense intellectual period began that lasted for a few hundred years.  However, much of the Islamic classical intellectual traditions were preoccupied with the law.  Islam became a religion of do’s and don’ts. The Qur’an commands us “to order what is good and forbid what is bad”…..

The only reason the Prophet (peace be upon him) wore a turban was because it was the customary dress of his people. We cannot say that wearing the turban is something our faith enjoins upon us any more than we can suggest that it is prohibited. It is purely a matter of culture and custom. There is no authentic Hadith regarding the turban. Then I explained to him that the strongest legal verdict regarding the hair is that it is also a matter that is governed by custom. The length of the Prophet’s hair is not a Sunnah for us to follow…..

 
The Quest for Questions
Jan-e-Alam Khaki

As God’s creation is limitless, so is learning. And following the Abrahamic tradition so should be our quest for questioning. We should develop enquiring minds to create new knowledge and insights about the marvellous creation around us, thus fulfilling God’s command of reflection and contemplation....

 
Ramadan Economy
Gulmina Bilal Ahmad

Ramadan Economy
Gulmina Bilal Ahmad

First, it may be my personal view but I disagree fundamentally with fusing religion with economics. Religion is a divine contract between an individual and a divine entity; it cannot be related to the overall subject of a free market. At the individual level, it might have a part to play within the economy, but imposing it on the entire functioning is not beneficial. The literature fails to explain the aspect where people who are not subscribers to an Islamic perspective are part of the market economy.

 

Finally, my previous forecasts have turned true, once again! American President Barack Hussain Obama is very cunningly implementing his hidden desire of giving birth to few more Sharia states in the world. With this mission in mind, Obama helped ouster of secularist government of Ben Ali in Tunisia, Husni Mubarak government in Egypt and now Muammar Gaddafi government in Libya. No doubt, sensing his imminent defeat in the next Presidential election, Barack Hussain Obama has accelerated his 'mission Islamization'. Here we all need to remember one point that, Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah – all welcomed the ouster of Gaddafi in Libya. Earlier they welcomed ouster of Ben Ali and Husni Mubarak. And of course, such 'over-whelming' excitement by the radical Islamist as well as Jihadist groups, clearly show to the world that, in all the three cases, radical Islam became winner while United States and the West are losers. -- Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

What does Pakistan stand for? What are our values? Where lies our repository of truths? What is my role? What has caused this malaise and the spate of recent tragedies? Questions rather than answers and proclamations should be asked. Our notions of Islam need to be deepened; we should revisit many aspects of this great faith in all its diverse and pluralistic traditions. We should resist succumbing to the rejectionist tendencies and reductionism of denial like most Pakistanis. We should not reject that there are serious problems in Pakistan, and not reduce the problems’ causes to a single factor or to divert responsibility to ‘external forces’, nor should we suggest the solution in such a vague and crude manner by simply parroting “Islam is the solution” without even realising what we are talking about. -- Ahmad Ali Khalid

Al-Banna became a disciple of Rida and ardently adopted Rida's interpretation of what comprised an Islamic State. Although al-Banna's Islamic State near directly mimicked the Islamic State proposed by salafiya reformism, his gained more popular support and, thus, became the first mass movement for Islam. Al-Banna believed that the spread and creation of a genuine Islamic State could only occur through the banning of Western ideas and influence on Sharia doctrinal laws. Sharia is the code of law derived from the Quran. -- Assad

In the 500 Most Influential Muslims 2010, Mr Winter is below the King of Saudi Arabia – who comes in at number one – but ahead of many more chronicled figures. He is ranked in an unspecified position between 51st and 60th, considerably higher than the three other British people who make the list – the Conservative Party chairman Baroness Warsi; the UK’s first Muslim life peer, Lord Nazir Ahmed, who was briefly jailed last year for dangerous driving; and Dr Anas Al Shaikh Ali, director of the International Institute of Islamic Thought – making him, at least in the eyes of the RISSC, Britain’s most influential Muslim...

In an increasingly secular Britain, sociologists suggest with regularity that “football is the new religion”. Winter understands the comparison. “Football has everything that is important to religion,” he says. “Solidarity, skill, ritual, the outward form of what looks like a sacred congregation. Except it’s not about anything.” Just don’t tell his brother. -- Paul Williams

 

The facts are undeniable. Wherever modern Islamic movements have come to power, whether through a popular revolution (Iran), military coup (Sudan) or civil war (Taliban in Afghanistan), they have invariably sought to drastically restrict personal freedoms and civil rights in the name of upholding the rule of God.

In Turkey, members of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) party – many of whose senior figures have their roots in Islamic political activism – have sought to resolve the sovereignty of God/people issue by declaring that the notion of God’s “ontological sovereignty” was quite compatible with the political sovereignty of the people. -- Inayat Bunglawala

In order to really contribute to the economy, Islamic banks will have to expand their commercial and investment banking services, and various streams of deposits should finance these ventures. They will have to diversify their product mix, making use of their comparative advantage, and not just using the conventional modes

Should Islamic banking broaden its base? All un-serviced sectors say that it should, in case it wishes to finance small enterprises, farmers and the homeless, rather than concentrating on big business. -- Muhammad Aftab

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

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

 

Another problem is that by the time non-Muslims examine Islam, other religions have typically heightened their scepticism: If every "God-given" scripture we have ever seen is corrupt, how can the Islamic scripture be different? If charlatans have manipulated religions to suit their desires, how can we imagine the same not to have happened with Islam? Sure, previous religions have been corrupted, and that is why we have a chain of revelations. Ask yourself: why would God send another revelation if the preceding scriptures were still pure? Only if preceding scriptures were corrupted would God need to send another revelation, to keep mankind on the straight path of His design. -- Laurence B. Brown

If the idea is to cover up the body, then some of the undulating heaps , faces peeping out are more stimulating than ladies in Club Mediterranee or erotic gyrations by Bollywood prima donnas. Although the custom of covering women with head scarves is now generally associated with Islamic societies, the practice predates Islamic culture by many millennia. Veiling and seclusion were marks of prestige and status symbols in the Assyrian, Greco-Roman and Byzantine empires, as well as in Sasanian Iran. The Muslim Umayyads copied it from the Byzantines in Damascus, which they took over lock stock and barrel. According to one tradition, the Prophet Mohammad's wife Aisha did not veil her face. Generally, there was greater freedom for women among nomadic Arabs, Turks and Mongols before Islam.  -- K Gajendra Singh

 

Islam is compatible with democracy. It is rather the interests of rulers of Muslim countries which are not compatible with democracy, says Asghar Ali Engineer.

Who is the authoritative custodian of these truths? In Hinduism, this was always a tricky question. But even for traditionally more centralised religions like Islam and Christianity this question is now deeply contested. Statements like “SIMI does not represent Muslims” or “Bajrang Dal does not represent Hindus” are understandable at one level: they are claims to the effects that the beliefs and actions of these groups do not have the imprimatur of many members of the community. But the crucial question is not whether these groups are representative. The question is deeper: can we have confidence that there are resources within those communities to prevent such groups from existing, or reining in their actions? Simply denying them representative status does not answer this more important question, says academic Pratap Bhanu Mehta.

 

'Indutva', not Hindutva, need of the Hour
M D Nalapat

In 1997, this writer had written about his vision of “Indutva”. A word that encapsulates the fact that every Indian, no matter to which faith she or he belongs, exemplifies the fusion of the Vedic, the Mughal and the Western. The three civilisational strands have come together in India, and can ensure social cohesion and harmony that would be a nightmare not just for the ISI, but for those in China too that are nervous at India’s steady climb to great power status. Several policymakers in Islamabad and Beijing must have been gleeful at reports of churches being targeted in Karnataka. Analysis by well-known journalist and academic M D NALAPAT.

 

Jeddah — With leading media outlets racing to broadcast the Tarawih prayers during the fasting month of Ramadan, Saudi worshippers and scholars see the media mania is causing them to lose the spiritual atmosphere during the rite.

 

Muslims are trustees of God’s message to mankind. They fulfill their trust by presenting to the world a model society: civilized, caring, compassionate and truthful. Such are the characteristics of any society, which implements the Islamic code of living. They complement that with conveying God’s message and calling on others to accept it as a faith and implement it as a constitution. As we said earlier, Ramadan provides the perfect training for the Muslim community to discharge its duties, writes

Adil Salahi in the Arab News.

 

NEW DELHI: Two 19th century personalities find mention in the e-mail sent by Indian Mujahideen as “visionary legends” in whose memory the serial blasts which marred the Capital on Saturday evening have been carried out. Even as the group terms the two Sayeed Ahmed Shaheed and Shah Ismail Shaheed—as “Mujahids”, Islamic scholars differ to say they were “scholars” who fought the British rule and are celebrated as “freedom fighters”.

 
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