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Books and Documents

Islamic Ideology

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”.

 

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.

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • For Hats Off this is just another opportunity to say something hateful about Muslims! The guy is obsessed with anti-Muslim hatered.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • never mind taxila. or konark. The holy cow of monumentality - taj mahal.
    ( By hats off! )
  • Excellent article. Changed my ignorant mindset. May this idea spread to all the muslims of the world.
    ( By Sahil Raza )
  • Dear sister Teresa, Thanks for this meaningful review. I hope this review will encourage both serious readers and peace....
    ( By SAJID ANWAR )
  • The Crown Prince is only strengthening the monarchy and consolidating the anti-Iran front. He....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Taj Mahal's deterioration is symbolic of a paradigmatic shift in our values.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is so dumb really Turks, Arabs and Persians are not...
    ( By What? )
  • Dear Sister Teresa, You have wonderfully given the gist of the book and created curiosity among the readers ....
    ( By Rajat Malhotra )
  • An anti-reform AIMPLB gives Islam a bad name and is like a curse on the Muslim community. We need new leadership.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • ully agree with this press bulletin. Indian Muslims must reject the leadership of such regressive clerics.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Ghaus Sb says: “The way you are speaking in your comment shows you are not a Muslim.” From what I say, he can....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Ghaus Sb says: Those who say, fitna means “shirk” and opine that the early Muslims fought to end fitna” must have meant “to end that ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Good article. The is only One G-d and Muhammad was the final messenger and prophet of G-d. As I write this, G-d is known ...
    ( By Lenny SB )
  • Please read my article on subject of "there is no compulsion in Religion...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Related article...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Naseer sb, Please read my comment again and again. You did not get my comment. I did not say both...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Arbitration is of two kinds - binding and non-binding. When the parties choose binding arbitration, the decision of the arbitrator is binding on the parties ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • All right thinking Muslims must welcome such a course. Academic independence of the Universities must be protected and respected. There ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Referring to your comment: 7/18/2018 5:04:08 AM, to you both views are valid and fitna could mean “shirk or polytheism” also. The Quran clearly commands ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • What do I mean by acceptance? Read the Quran carefully. There isn’t any verse that calls for tolerance of the peaceful rejecter of Islam. There ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The title question sums up the matter of the article. The answer is the course will discuss in detail how Muslim clerics and fundamentalists misinterpret ...
    ( By arshad )
  • Site Web Israel and Myanmar give more rights to muslims, than muslims give rights to Kafirs,...
    ( By Shan Barani )
  • Good article. The is only One G-d and Muhammad was the final messenger and prophet of G-d. As I write,..
    ( By Lenny SB (Shivarsi) )
  • I fully agree with Faizur Rahman sahib. Such "courts" should be called "Arbitration centers.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A course on "Uses of religions to gain political power" would be entirely appropriate. By the way, Obama refused to use the label "Islamic....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • بہت بہت شکریہ جناب! اللہ عز و جل آپ کے مبارک کلمات کو مستجاب کرے۔ آمین بجاہ سید المرسلین صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم
    ( By misbahul Huda quadri )
  • fve questions
    ( By hats off! )
  • بہت عمدہ ۔ اللہ تعالی ہم مسلمانوں کو صوفیائے کرام کے نہج پر شریعت و طریقت کو سمجھنے اور اس پر عمل کرنے ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Mushrik and muwahhid, Muslims and non-Muslims all equally need to adopt the path of tolerance. One sided tolerance is not helpful. This point should also ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Naseer sb, Muhammad bin Ishaq said that Az-Zuhri informed him from Urwah bin Az-Zubayr and other scholars that (until there is no more fitnah) the Fitnah ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • An excellent read that contextualises many pertinent issues connected to Muslims and Islam! Your angle ....
    ( By Meera )
  • Naseer sb, Can you suggest me how many books have you read on theology? From your comments it appears you have been inspired by orientalist ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Naseer sahib, What is theology? Why do you use theology in general term? In your comment you meant that those who follow theology are following ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Before I say anything further, could you please explain your questions? What do you mean by acceptance?....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصدیقی )
  • Tolerance in Muslim society earlier was because of low level of outward piety. Intolerance grows as the level of outward piety grows. Outward piety is ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The Muslim nation (with the exception of one or two Muslim countries) as a whole has been blind and deaf to the above advice and ...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • I fully agree with Rashid sahib.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • At this rate Hats Off may soon get some insight into his unquenchable hatred of Muslims.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is the time when the anti-Muslim hate propaganda of the BJP/RSS is at full blast to cover up for the absence of any acchhe ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Excellent book review! As the reviewer says, "secularism cannot be used as a pretext to ignore discrimination on grounds....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )