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Books and Documents

Islamic Personalities

There are different legends on how Khwaja Qutub got the title of Bakhtiar Kaki. The most accepted one narrates that his wife used to take provisions on credit from a nearby grocer to feed her starving family. One day, the grocer taunted her, saying that her family would have starved had it not been for his kindness. Khwaja Qutub learnt of the remark and forbade the taking of provisions on credit. Pointing to a niche in the wall, he told his wife to recite “Bismillah” and take bread from it. The kak, bread, continued appearing miraculously till his wife revealed the secret to others. -- Sadia Dehlvi

By Farooq Argali

By Farooq Argali

 

 

The Aligarh movement launched by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan influenced the Muslims in the country, particularly in South India. The Souvenir brought out on the occasion of the Centenary Celebration of Ambur Muslim Educational Society on 4th September 2006 mentions as follows inter-alia: Sir Syed organised the Mohammedan (later Muslim) Educational Conference. Its branches were established in cities and towns to report on the educational needs of the community. This conference used to meet annually at several important cities in the country and carried the message of modern education far and wide.  The 5th session of the Conference was held at Madras in 1901 and set in a brainwave all over the South. Like their brethren in other parts of the country the Muslims of the Madras presidency were also antagonistic towards the English education and therefore they were far behind their other fellow countrymen in public service. Nawab Mohsinul Mulk Mohsinud Dowla from Aligarh inspired the Conference. -- Azhar Mohammed K

By Farooq Argali

 

 

Following the 9/11 attacks on the United States when the world turned upside down for Muslims around the world, Dr Naik stepped up his battle of hearts and minds by travelling around the world and offering lectures, talks and interviews, to distinguish the original faith of peace from the hateful death cult championed by extremists like Osama bin Laden. He has delivered at least 1200 public talks in the US, Canada, Europe, Middle East and Asia since 9/11, not to mention countless others held in India.  Over the past few years, this one individual has done more to promote Islam and its view of a just world than numerous Muslim organisations with millions of followers and countries with infinite resources at their disposal have ever managed to. -- Aijaz Zaka Syed

Imam Ja'far Al-Sadiq was a great scholar and educationist, a man of superior thinking and superb understanding of Islam and its teachings. His heritage needs in depth study, to exclude whatever is in conflict with his attitude and scholarship. In the matter of fiqh, Imam Ja'far Al-Sadiq relied on ijtihad based on the Qur'an and authentic hadith and rejected analogy as a basis of evidence to deduce rulings. Ijtihad therefore forms a distinctive part of his school of law. -- Adil Salahi

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Imam Jafer Al-Sadiq: The Father of Modern Science and Philosophy

The grace and wisdom of Muhammad (SAW) emanates from his pure household, who we are told to follow and love to then succeed in this world. It is therefore of no surprise to see that such a household comprises some of the greatest religious leaders, philosophers and scientists the world has ever seen. -- Noor Youth Committee

 

Yes we should, every moment

And every month and every week

And every hour and every moment:

 Dr. `Isa al-Mani` al-Humayri,

Department of Awqaaf, Dubai

Emulate Prophet's Character,

Says Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak

ON a cold winter evening, an explosion from hell ushered in the permanent permafrost in ordinary lives. One assassin, one macabre moment of madness, one frightening flash and the dawn of hope faded, as her spirit sailed into the sunset. On December 27, 2007, in the blink of an eye, lives had sunk into an abyss of darkness. I mourn today a woman who to me was more than a first cousin. Hers was a presence powerful and pervasive; she remained an all-embracing blanket of security and strength. She filled so many vacuums in one’s life that the thought of life without her is yet to crystallise into accepted reality. -- Tariq Islam

What is significant for us today is not that there was a war for kingship — in itself nothing unusual — but that one of the chief charges Aurangzeb brought against the rightful heir  was that in publishing the Majma-‘ul-Bahrain (The Mingling of the Two Oceans) Dara Shikoh had openly committed to the truth in Hinduism. Like his great-grandfather, Dara tried to bridge the gap between Hinduism and Islam. The Emperor Akbar had strongly believed that his Mughal nobles needed to understand their Hindu subjects and had set up a translation bureau to render the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavata into Persian. Prince Dara Shikoh went much further.

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-1898), the great pioneer of Muslim reform in the 19th century is remembered every year around this time of his birthday (October 17). His contribution is all the more important, given the Muslim clergy’s utter hostility to modern education. A Tribute by former union minister Arif Mohammed Khan

SINGAPORE: Singapore President S. R. Nathan on Tuesday conferred on the former President of India, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, an honorary degree of engineering at a solemn convocation at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) here.

 

What is jihad?  From an India-Pakistan perspective, few people can answer this question better than Pakistani-American writer and Mary Richardson professor of history at Tufts University, Ayesha Jalal. Her latest book, Partisans of Allah: Meanings of Jihad in South Asia (2008), puts this core concept of Islam in perspective for the subcontinental audience. Jalal began her India tour last week with a talk on the subject at New Delhi’s India International Centre. By Zia Haq, Hindustan Times

 

Raising his voice amidst interruptions, Omar said: “ I am a Muslim, and I am an Indian, I see no distinction between the two……. I see no reason why, I as a Muslim, have to fear a deal (nuclear) between India and the United States……….. This deal is between two countries”. He then elaborated the point, saying the enemies of Indian Muslims are not Americans, and the enemies of the Indian Muslims are not “deals” like this.

ROKKIAH MALIK’S carefree teenage days ended years ago, when she and some friends accidentally ended up watching an adults-only Malayalam movie in the local cinema hall. She was stopped from going to school and couldn’t even step outside her home. Not many people, especially a teenage girl full of zest for life, could have endured that kind of ‘punishment’, writes M. C. Rajan in Chennai.

 

Saddam Hussein's survival instincts were not dulled by prison, according to one Iraqi judge who faced the former president in a courtroom and recalls his cunning and rhetorical posturing.

 "Are you an American or a foreign judge?" Raid Juhi Hamadi al-Saedi remembered Hussein quizzing him during a pre-trial hearing in July 2004.

 The youthful judge was unfazed by the self-styled Sword of the Arabs.

Nora Boustany of the Washington Post Foreign Service profiles the Iraqi Judge.

 

That the book has won such an overwhelming mandate flies in the face of all assumptions about what people like to read. As a fully paid-up member of the Salman Rushdie fan club I am, of course, delighted at the latest triumph of Midnight’s Children which, last week, was voted as the best of all Booker prize-winning books of the past 40 years in a global readers’ poll. But I am also a little surprised that a novel which, like Ulysses, has been more talked about and discussed than actually read should have proved such a hit with the public in a day and age when nobody, we are told, has time for “serious” literature, writes Hasan Suroor in The Hindu, New Delhi.

 

BRITISH author Salman Rushdie won the Best of the Booker prize on Thursday to mark the 40th anniversary of one of the world’s most prestigious literary awards. Midnight’s Children won the Booker Prize in 1981, and the Indianborn writer was hot favourite to take the award decided by the public from ashortlist of six in an online poll. The 61- year- old, whose 1988 novel The Satanic Verses outraged many Muslims and prompted death threats against him, also won the 25th anniversary Booker prize in 1993. “Ithink it was an extraordinary shortlist and it was an honour to be on it,” Rushdie said in arecorded message from the US, where he is on a book tour.

 

Fareed Zakaria, an illustrious Indian-American and editor of the international edition of Newsweek, is one of the most intelligent commentators on the state of the world. That he is the son of the late Dr Rafeeq Zakaria, a renowned Islamic scholar with whom I interacted closely, provides me an added reason to be an avid reader of his weekly column. Newsweek recently ran a cover story featuring an extract from his latest book, The Post-American World, writes veteran columnist Sudheendra Kulkarni in the Indian Express.

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