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Books and Documents

Islamic Ideology

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”.

 

The optimism that bubbled over in AC Grayling's account of an atheist getting his foot in the door of No 10 was akin to the delight of a Christian's hope for the keys of the kingdom of heaven (The rise of Miliband brings at last the prospect of an atheist prime minister August 21, posted below)….An atheist prime minister need not be one who is unaware of the good work that religious groups can do, writes Catherine Pepinster, editor of the Tablet thetablet@thetablet.co.uk, in The Guardian, London.

 

Leading academics, authors and scientists in Britain are launching a campaign to stop state-funded faith schools from discriminating against students and teachers on the grounds of religion. From Monday, such schools will be allowed to include faith as a selection criterion for teaching and non-teaching posts, reserving more places for people from the same religious background, reports Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent, The Guardian, London.

 

Children start their new schools this week for the 12th year under Labour. Who could have predicted that more pupils than ever will be going to religious schools this term, as the churches boasted gleefully? Pews empty but faith schools multiply… Labour's new rules mean that anyone who works in these institutions may have to get down on their knees to keep their jobs, writes Polly Toynbee in The Guardian, London.

 

In this climate of quarrels between religionists and secularists, there are very many reasons to hope for a non-believer at No 10. When Labour cabinet members were asked about their religious allegiances last December, following Tony Blair's official conversion to Roman Catholicism, it turned out that more than half of them are not believers. The least equivocal about their atheism were the health secretary, Alan Johnson, and foreign secretary David Miliband, writes British philosopher AC Grayling in The Guardian, London.

Also: Why can't atheists stop preaching? By Satya Pradhan, London, and other responses.

 

In Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s warped views, all Muslims must strive for and live in an Islamic state. "It's as difficult for a Muslim to live in a non-Muslim society as it is for a fish to live in a desert," writes Geelani in Rudad-e-Qaf, his prison memoir…The chant of "freedom for Islam" is actually a gross misinterpretation of a faith which unambiguously calls God "Rabbul Aalameen (lord of the universe)" and Prophet Mohammed "Rahmatulil Aalameen (blessing for universe)", writes Mohammed Wajihuddin, TNN

 

NAGPUR: A history of sorts was created when around 700 women offered the Nafeel Namaz (Shukrana or thanksgiving namaz for Allah) at the 110 years old Cutchi Memon Jamat Jama Masjid in Sadar for the first time. The women were very happy as usually they are not allowed to enter a mosque. Some non-Muslim women which included Padma Deshraj, a teacher with Saint Ursula High School and others were also invited to this masjid as a goodwill gesture during the namaz time from 3 pm to 5 pm.

 

It is a strange year for religious voters trying to decide between candidates who, on Saturday August 16th, will air their views on matters spiritual and earthly by talking in turn to Rick Warren, a megachurch pastor in California. From Economist.com.

 

Your life is a gift. However, most Christian teens have at one time or another contemplated ending their life by committing suicide. Christian or not, there are few that see suicide as anything less than a tragedy, says Kelli Mahoney, About.com

 

Are you not aware that God sends down water from the skies, with which We bring forth fruits of different colours? In the mountains there are streaks of white and red of various shades, as well as others jet-black. Similarly, human beings, beasts and cattle have various colours. It is those who are endowed with knowledge that stand truly in awe of God. Indeed God is Almighty, Much-Forgiving. (The Holy Quran, The Originator, Fatir, 35: 27-28)

 

Saudi scholars are now opening a heated debate about whether or not women can become muftis, reports Arab News.

 

Calling out Europe on its latest cherished masquerade of passing its dirty laundry as an elaborate defence of Enlightenment values is a challenge and who better to take it on than Europe’s most admired philosopher, writes US-based attorney and academic Rafia Zakaria.

 

THE decision by Turkey’s Constitutional Court not to ban the ruling AK Party is as remarkable as it is welcome, says an editorial in the Arab News.

 

The funny thing about faith-based mutual funds is, well, that there's anything called a faith-based mutual fund. For one thing, scripture is full of exhortations against accumulating wealth. The New Testament, especially, repeatedly reminds followers of Christ that earthly wealth means nothing in heaven, writes Grace Wyler in Newsweek, Jul 28, 2008.

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • Dear Naseer Sahab! Your last comment (dated 11/23/2017) begins with the statement: "Yunus sb is also mistaken on the meaning....
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Dear Naseer Sahab! You have made an absurd statement in your just posted comment for reasons God knows best :“Yunus sb was relying on the...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Yunus sb is also mistaken on the meaning of Kufr/Kafir. Kafir is a neutral term and simply means a person who: Covers up, obliterates, wipes out, removes, ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • As expected, Yunus sb evades very direct questions because he has no answers. All that he is interested in is in promoting his own book ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • PS My last detailed comment beginning with "As you will know" was addressed to Naseer Sahab.
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • As you will know we have exchanged scores of emails over the issue of the definition of kufr and kafir as used in the Qur’an ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • I am grateful to Interfaith Dialogue for uploading this great illuminating researched based essay on an aspect which is discussed more for polarization then showing ...
    ( By Shamsul Islam )
  • Thank you Maulana Sahib. The teachings of the Sikh Gurus are the answer to the many problems/challenges that we face ....
    ( By ji )
  • Kafir is a faith neutral term in etymology, but when kafir is the one who, after having been told the truth turns against Islam, it ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Very good article. The region needs to promote science as much as it needs to sink sectarian conflict.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • You are welcome my dear brother Accha. May God be pleased with you. Thanks for reading and for appreciating my article on ....
    ( By Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu )
  • GM sb says “Naseer sab now flaunts my agreeing with him that kufr is a faith neutral term, forgetting that it is not faith-neutral in ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • If this is a Turkish only as: “…it selects and explains the Hadiths from the perspective of today’s Turkey,…” then it is an ill-conceived ...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • You are welcome ji. Thanks to your comments. May God be pleased with you. I showed in this article that spiritual people like Sufi saints ...
    ( By Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu )
  • Yunus Sb, You now say “The truth is my comment 1 related to the ‘polytheists among the direct audience ‘ of the Prophet who were adamant ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer sab lies again when he says, "He would rather let the common view prevail that all the Mushrikin are Kafirin."...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • What irony! A lying troll has nothing to say to support: "If people act in good faith, and without negligence, or without rejecting what they come ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • It is sad to find that women’s bathrooms were few and far between at Afghan military bases, offices and police stations. (That’s despite ....
    ( By Royalj )
  • Dear Sultan Shahin Sahab, In case your preoccupation with other pressing issues of the day prevented your reading of my comment under the reference link,...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Naseer sab now flaunts my agreeing with him that kufr is a faith neutral term, forgetting that it is not faith-neutral in Surah....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The 'New Age Islam' has become a pulpit for an egotist who threatens all those who do not follow him with hell.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Mohammad Yunus Saheb sent me a mail regarding debate on this thread four days ago. But I was able to see that only today. Copy-pasting below: Dear ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • To say that nobody agrees with my conclusions is factually incorrect and nobody knows that better than GM sb. “You are right ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Poor Naseer sab has no points to make so all he does now is throw derogatory epithets at me, thus further lowering himself. He forgot ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The devious troll that GM sb is he twists again and lies. Can he quote me where I said Shahin sb is in agreement with ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Laden’s call is completely antithetical to Islam. But other than that what can we expect from the kharijite minded leader or its groups or likes?
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • God bless you Henry ji for this beautiful article. The Divine truths explained through and by the Sikh Gurus are the ....
    ( By ji )
  • Sultan Shahin sab said, "if there is a possibility that it (kafir) does not mean un-believer...." Naseer sab takes that to mean...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer sab says, "Did you find anything to support the view that Mushrikun.....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer sab declares, "What I said prevails." He further corroborates his prophetic assertion by calling me a troll....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "Islamophobia and racism are real. Attempts to silence Muslim women “for the sake of the community” are real. But justice...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Excellent article!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • 'Jihad' is widely understood to mean 'holy war'. As such, it ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • ". . . before western scientist goes to bed, he studies the Quran, in the morning when he wakes up he reads it again ...
    ( By Asif Merchant )
  • definition of a "logical person" taken from the encylopedia americana: any person who agrees with one mr. naseer ahmed is known as a logical person. ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Did you find anything to support the view that Mushrikun means Kafirun? Do you know the difference between context and ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The devious troll is GM Sb. What is the approach that Shahin sb is talking about except understanding of the correct meaning of kafir and ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shahin Sb, On the question of shirk, there is no doubt that considering Jesus as the son of God and believing in the concept of Trinity ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • "The Quran explains one verse with the help of another and it is therefore important to take the meaning considering all the verses." If that is ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • GM Sb, What I said prevails "Very clearly Shahin Sb endorses my approach and its significance." You are ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )