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Books and Documents

Islamic Personalities

The words inscribed above the giant entrance sets the tone for the world inside: ‘Kaumi Ekta Dwar’. The portal of harmony bears testimony to the vision of the Haji who preached ‘Jo Rab Hai Wahi Ram Hai’. They do not ask your religion...

 

An Opportunity for Film and Documentary Makers to Capture the Life of a Renowned Freedom Fighter Allama Mashriqi
Allama Mashriqi

His journey – from Nobel Prize nominee to founder of India’s largest private army to liberating the country from foreign rule and offering prescient warnings about the dangers of partition – provides a riveting narrative...

Ali and the Illusion of Immortality
Nirmal Shekar

From the poverty-stricken villages of sub-Saharan Africa to the glitzy tree-lined avenues of Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, from the over-crowded, narrow, cobbled lanes of Kolkata to the steamy sweat-stained inner-city gyms in Chicago, Manhattan and London, Muhammad Ali is a name that is instantly recognised.....

 

Life Lessons from Muhammad Ali
Saif Shahin

What does Ali’s life mean for Muslims? This is a difficult question to answer — not least because there are so many kinds of Muslims, in the U.S. and around the world, and they may all interpret his life differently. And yet, to the extent that they do identify with Ali as a Muslim, and a Muslim by choice rather than accident of birth....

America must never forget that when a cop and an inner-city kid talk to each other, then miracles can happen. Some years ago during his long struggle with Parkinson’s in a meeting that included his closest advisers, Muhammad indicated that when the end came for him, he wanted us to use his life and his death as a teaching moment for young people, for his country and for the world..... Muhammad wants young people of every background to see his life as proof that adversity can make you stronger. It cannot rob you of the power to dream and to reach your dreams....

 

Hollywood’s Latest Victim of ‘Whitewashing’… Jalaluddin Rumi
Jalaluddin Rumi

This film would be a perfect opportunity to re-centre Rumi as the Muslim poet that he was. To the average westerner, Rumi is an abstract, the orientalist ideal of non-European poetry. For those in the West who are familiar with his work, most are probably not aware of the profound influence that Islam had on his writing and his teachings. There truly is no way to divorce the historical person of Rumi from his Islamic grounding.....

Akbar Was Truly Great, Pratap Only A Great Warrior
Manimugdha S Sharma

As Man Singh left in utter humiliation, Pratap and his courtiers deemed the ground on which the feast was spread impure. The ground was broken up and “purified” with Ganges water. Then everyone bathed and discarded their clothes as they had been “polluted by Man Singh’s presence”. The above incident shows that Pratap was a man who swore by the narrow social codes of his time, unlike Akbar who established new norms and rose above the narrow definitions of faith, caste and creed. ..

 

Allama Iqbal: Poet of the East
Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal

While a child, Iqbal was reading the Holy Qur’an, and at that time his father asked him: What are you doing? His reply was that he was reading the Holy Qur’an. His father kept asking the same question on several similar occasions for about three years. Then, Iqbal asked his father what prompted him to ask the same question? The father replied. “I wanted to explain to you about this. You should read the Holy Qur’an as if you were listening to it from Almighty Allah.” From that time, Iqbal started learning the holy book with deep understanding and reflections of its meaning and implications....  

 

Birth of a Mystic, Maula-i-Rum
Rumi, Maula-i-Rum

Rumi prescribed ‘Love’ as the panacea for social suffering and moral infirmities of his times. Love has the capacity to transcend boundaries and territories. It has no Achilles’ heel. It can cure the incurable hearts and minds. The moral diseases of self-conceit and pride can be cured by love only. Love can also heal status and power-hungry egos.....

 

Shah Farhad: The Master of Jinns
Sadia Dehlvi

“You desire that your son stands with folded hands in front of kings, but Allah desires that kings should stand with folded hands in front of your son.” The father resigned himself to God’s will and entrusted the child to the mystic. Hazrat Dost Muhammad initiated Shah Farhad in the Abul Ulai order, an offshoot of the Chishti and Naqshbandi orders....

 

Hasan al-Turabi and Contemporary Islam
Dr. Hasan al-Turabi

The starting point for Turabi’s conceptual activism is his belief in the necessity of renewal of faith and thought (Tajdeed). His early writings on the necessity of renewal, as in his Tajdid al-Fikr al-Islami (“Renewal of Islamic Thought”), argued that historic change is inevitable in human societies. As a result, humans are required constantly to renew their faith and religious institutions in order to be able to be truly Muslim in constantly changing contexts. This emphasis on renewal was part of the broad Islamic modernism that rejected insistence on following precedents (Taqlid)....

The great woman mystic, saint and Qalandar of Islam had overcome herself (Nafs) through devotion, meditation, contemplation, patience as well as trust in God (Tawakkul). Rabia was constantly absorbed in the thought of God and had reached the pinnacle of mystic path --Fina-Fillah. More interesting than her asceticism, however, is the actual concept of Divine love that Hazrat Rabia reaffirmed. She was the first to introduce the idea that God should be loved for God’s own sake, not out of fear.....

 

The Prophet Mohammed’s Military Genius
Mohamed Elmenshawy

And thus, he was able to create the first regular Arab army based on faith with an integrated ideological doctrine, namely “Islam.” He was the first to introduce and use such concepts as “holy war,” “jihad,” and “martyrdom” for religion. The Christian world borrowed the “negative” concept of holy war from Muslims and used it later to launch the Crusades against Muslims themselves.....

Of an angel were to descend from the heavens and proclaim from the heights of Qutub Minar: Discard Hindu-Muslim unity and within 24 hours Swaraj is yours, I will refuse the preferred Swaraj but shall not budge an inch from my stand. The refusal of Swaraj will affect only India while the end of our unity will be the loss of our entire human world”.,,,,

 

Prophet Joseph: A Prophet against Odds
Sadia Dehlvi

My favourite story in the Quran is the most detailed one, that of Prophet Joseph. I particularly read it when I feel low. It’s a story about love, wealth, family, betrayal, tribulations, hope, failure, strategy, success and, above all, complete trust in God.....

 

A Cricketer And A Gentleman
South African Cricketer Hashim Amla

...Hashim Amla was a thinking captain as well as a thoughtful human being, judging by the manner in which he played from his debut. He has always walked, and built a deserved reputation for integrity. But it is the long walk he took from the captaincy, in the middle of a tough series against England, which will define his memory.

 

Lataif-e-Ashrafi:  Sufi Anecdotes of Makhdoom Ashraf Jahangir Simnani On the Islamic Doctrine of Tawheed
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

Hazrat Syed Makhdoom  Ashraf Jahangir Simnani (1287–1386 CE) was a revered Indian Sufi of Persian origin and an ardent follower of Shaikh-e-Akbar Ibn al-Arabi. He was particularly imbued with Ibn al-Arabi's spiritual doctrine of wadhat-ul-wujud (Unity of Existence).

Any society divided against itself would be destroyed, because it was going against the very nature of things. ...

 

Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) integrated Arabia and transformed it into a world power of reform and liberation without assuming the reins of a dictator. His way of governance was based upon consultation. He secured loyalty and obedience by his personal charm and charisma. His power did not proceed from the sword. Today, we need to live the true spirit of Islam. If the Prophet’s teachings are implemented in the right earnest, then the world peace will cease to be an unreal idea.

Humanity Remains Indebted for the Bounties of the Spiritual Sun — The Holy Prophet
Amin Valliani

...Holy Prophet’s spiritual message increases the radiance of the heart of the believer. Before the Prophet’s appearance in Arabian society, there were some who were engaged in looting the trade caravans, killing their newborn daughters and other unethical practices. But the Holy Prophet transformed their lives and made them into exemplary individuals. In this connection, the example of his companion Hazrat Abuzar Ghaffari can be cited.

Birthday of Love: Celebrating the Birth of the Prophet Muhammad
Louay Fatoohi

Rejecting the love of the Prophet (ṣalla Allah ‘alaihi wa sallam): Celebrating birthdays is an established and well-known practice. People celebrate the birthdays of their sons, daughters, siblings, parents, friends, and indeed others they admire for one reason or another. Those who argue that they are uncompromisingly against marking any birthday still have other occasions to celebrate. …

 

Abul Kalam Azad's Legacy Provides The Counter-Narrative For Radical Pan-Islamism
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

There is none other than Abul Kalam Azad in the Indo Pak history who was par excellence in wisdom, erudition and clarity of thought. The nation aspire for such leaders and wait for centuries to have one like Abul Kalam Azad. He was an esteemed literary figure, poet, religious scholar and a unique statesman.

What We Can Learn From Saladin
Hasher Nisar

Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub (c. 1138-1193), popularly known in the West as Saladin, is a rare figure in Middle Eastern history that earned the respect of Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike. He is primarily known for defeating the Crusaders at the Battle of Hattin and recapturing Jerusalem in 1187. Like anybody, he had flaws, but history upholds him as a paragon of chivalry, compassion, and generosity. ...

Reflections of Sufism in Maulana’s life
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

Through his fiery eloquence and revolutionary writings first in Al-Hilal and later in Al-Balagh in Calcutta during 1912 and 1916, Maulana Azad roused the Indians from their stupor and political apathy. Although he started his career as an aalim (religious leader), his faith in nationalism, as Mahatama Gandhi described it, was as robust as his faith in Islam.

India is a land of contradictions and nothing typifies this so starkly as the legend of Ghazi Miyan. There is a lot of talk of magical realism in literature but the legend of Ghazi Miyan introduces it in history – past as well as present......

 
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