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Books and Documents

Islamic Personalities

Manto understood this and wrote about it much before Hitchens. He was totally above religion, like so few of us can be even in our time. This gave him the ability to put us all under a microscope and record our failings. He loved Indianness because it was the only identity he had. His record of Bombay during Partition, in two short essays, is a masterpiece that should be required reading in all our schools....

 

And so, the people of the sub-continent remain divided, despite the fact that the majority of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, and others never wanted partition in the first place. The key to peace and love in the region is to explain to people on both sides of the border the truth behind partition and the reality that it was the result of the selfish politics of a few leaders. It is time the region embraced Mashriqi’s ideology of unity, regardless of faith or colour. This is the key to bringing peace in the region and the world....

Something the Qur’an and the Masnavi both have in common is that they are not books as we normally think of books being written. Both originated as oral expressions, and oral texts are different from written ones. Whereas written texts “set things in stone”, laying words like bricks on paper, oral texts are more like jazz standards: individual performers provide their own interpretation of familiar songs. In the same way, oral texts are open and flexible....

 

He must close the door of bounty and open the door of hardships; close the door of dignity and open the door of humility; close the door of repose and open the door of striving; close the door of sleep and open the door of vigilance; close the door of wealth and open the door of poverty; and finally close the door of worldly expectations and open the door of preparation for the next world....

 

“Normal people can’t observe and think like we do and put it to pen. There has to be something twisted somewhere in our minds to produce the kinds of things we have with our pens. We do see the same things as others, but the window in a writer’s mind is different. Manto was like that too,”...

 

In the morning, Bishr asked God for forgiveness and swore to lead a life of piety and devoted to God. He resolved to become an ascetic. At the moment of making sincere repentance and turn towards God alone, Bishr was barefoot and never put on shoes again. Some say, this was to remind him of that great moment in his life that his heart opened to the knowledge of God. ....

That was an era of cultural attainment and there were many incomparable poets in the Khilji Sultanate but according to the famous historian Ziauddin Barni, “The incomparable Amir Khusrau stands unequalled for the volume of his writings and the originality of his ideals; for, while other great masters of prose and verse have excelled in one or two branches, Amir Khusrau was conspicuous in every department of letters....

 

Hazrat Nizamuddin loved Khusrau and called him, ‘My Turk’.  He is known to have said, “Khusrau is the keeper of my secrets. And I shall not set foot in paradise without him. If permissible by Islamic law, I would have willed that Khusrau be buried in the same grave as me.”...


 

Tajush Sharia says, "Attention O Islamic World, be warned against the Movement of Destruction! In these times the movement of Daesh (“ISIS”) has become a great challenge and grave danger to the countries of the Middle East, in particular Saudi Arabia. Their danger is not restricted just to the Arab world, but extends to all countries and peoples. This movement is only concerned with the destruction of historical monuments and of the Islamic landscape, as is witnessed in the lands of Iraq and Syria. They have transgressed in this matter and treat Muslims as non-believing hostile combatants, as though they are enemies-at-war and their lands hostile territories….”

Generations of Indian Muslim scholars, from Shah Wali Allah to Allama Iqbal, have offered mixed praise for Ibn Taymiyyah’s personality and works. Shaykh al-Islam Taqi ad-Din ibn Taymiyyah (d. 1327) was a truly outstanding scholar in Islamic history. He was a Mujaddid (reformer), a person who spent his entire life making an effort to clarify and emphasize the essential teachings of Islam. At the same time, he fended off political persecution and faced intellectual opposition from movements inside and outside the Muslim community. The legacy he left behind was one that has inspired Muslims in a many ways right up to our present day.....

 

Prolific Islamic scholar, Abul Ala Maududi accused Rahman of undermining established Islamic beliefs and of belittling the role of the Ulema. Ayub was livid. “It is quite clear that any form of research on Islam, which inevitably leads to new interpretations, has no chance of acceptance in this priest-ridden and ignorant society,” he had apparently thundered....

He then remembered what the saint, abu Abdallah al-Murshidi had said: “You will enter the land of India and meet there my brother Dilshad, who will deliver you from a misfortune which will befall you there.” He also remembered the man’s name, ‘joyous heart’, which when translated into Persian is Dilshad....

 

The specific contours of Thanawi’s legal philosophy, psychology and theology that limit his choices for seekers (Salik) in general and fatwa seeking masses in particular to accommodate less ideal modes of living forced by modernity call for informed analysis and critique in light of great Sufi Masters and jurists who embody other less disciplinarian streams of thinking.  What needs to be emphasized is that Thanwi had much more optimistic view of otherworldly prospects for sinning believers...

After travelling to Makkah, Madina, southern Persia, Iraq, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, Ibn Battuta reached the Indian Subcontinent, where he travelled from Sindh to the North West and then on to Delhi . At that time, Sultan Ghiasuddin Tughlaq was the king. The king’s son, Mujahid Muhammad Shah treacherously killed his father when the former returned from an expedition. He took possession of the kingdom without opposition. His real name was Jawnah, but when he became king he called himself Muhammad and took the ‘Kunyah’ name of Abul Mujahid....

The Last Prophet—the Paragon of Mercy in the Quranic Light
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
The Last Prophet—the Paragon of Mercy in the Quranic Light
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

It should be remembered that Allah Almighty has called Himself ‘Lord of the worlds’, while for the holy Prophet (peace be upon him), He has used ‘Mercy for all worlds’. This tells us that he whose Lord is Allah Almighty, the Prophet is mercy for him. Thus, his mercy is absolute, complete, and in its entirety. It includes everything and it is for everything.….

The Sufi mentor in this story was Dr Abdul Hai Arfi, himself a disciple of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi. One of the many great contributions of Maulana Thanvi was that he reintroduced Islamic teachings regarding social relations and dealings with others as a religious issue. His message: You must become a good human being before you can ever become a good Muslim. This message destroys a disastrous and tragic misconception that reduces Islam to only the performance of the ritual acts of worship...

 
Ibn Battuta and Shaikh Murshidi
Dr A Q Khan
Ibn Battuta and Shaikh Murshidi
Dr A Q Khan

That night while sleeping, Ibn Battuta dreamt he was on the wings of a huge bird that flew in the direction of the ‘Qiblah’, then made towards Yemen, then eastwards, then south, and finally made a long flight towards the east, alighting in some dark and greenish country, where it left Ibn Battuta. He was astonished at the dream and thought to himself, “If the Shaikh shows me he knows of my dream, then he is all they say that he is.” After the afternoon prayers, the Shaikh revealed that he had knowledge of the dream. He said: “You shall make the Pilgrimage to Mecca and visit the tomb of the Prophet at al-Madinah, then you shall travel through the lands of al-Yaman and al-Iraq, the land of the Turks and the land of India....

 
Why Shah Waliullah’s Thesis should be Repudiated by Indian Muslims
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
Why Shah Waliullah’s Thesis should be Repudiated by Indian Muslims
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

The Muslim must become puritan in order to relive the supposed lost glory of Islam. For this, purging itself of all accretions and all traces of syncretism was to become the sine qua non of Indian Muslims. As a political project, this tradition continues to this day through the activities of Deobandis, the Ahle Hadees and even the Barelwis. More than anything else, Shah Waliullah’s writings seem to be a fatal recipe for the political future of Muslims in India. ...

In a lecture delivered at Aligarh in 1910, he posited, “Society is much more than its existing individuals; it is in its nature infinite; it includes within its contents the innumerable unborn generations which, though they ever lie beyond the limits of immediate social vision, must be considered as the most important portion of a living community in the successful group-life it is the future which must always control the present.” He further believes that an ideal society is one that is driven by modern and reconstructed Islamic ideals....

 

Many of the issues Al-Ma’arri raises about dogma, superstition and the abuse of clerical power are just as valid today as they were a millennium ago. Despite being accused of heresy, he was never persecuted and died at the ripe age of 86. One is left to wonder whether he got away with such blasphemous writing because of the more tolerant nature of the time or if he simply got lucky possibly out of pity for being blind....

“Sufis might do more harm than good if they insisted that everything they did had clear warrant in the foundational texts, that it carried the same authority as did the well-established goals of the Shari’a.” Rather than reform Sufism as modernists and some Ulema would suggest, the task is to appreciate that Thanwi “did not have a narrow set of criteria in terms of which to “reform” Sufism or to make it compatible with Shari’a norms. Rather, it was precisely this lack of a narrowly Shari’a-minded vision, so far as Sufism is concerned, that explains his success as a Sufi.”...

 

Many Muslims believe that Muhammad physically ascended to meet Allah and returned within the same night. Muslims also believe that Adam was sent from The Garden to Earth. They also believe that Jesus was raised alive and is yet to return. Jews, Christians and Muslims also believe that God spoke with Moses. It is also believed that when the time comes, the Believers who have been forgiven will be able to leave Earth and ascend to inherit The Gardens, as an ever-lasting reward by Allah the Most-Compassionate, the Ever-Merciful, the Most-Appreciative!....

To the contrary, Islam produced one of the greatest and most enduring civilizations in history and there is nothing in Islam to suggest that Muslims cannot make advances in science, technology, economy, education, urban development or other areas. He rejected the suggestion that Muslims cannot progress in the modern world without secularizing themselves and going through the process of the Protestant Reformation....

 
Syed Maududi: A Contested Legacy
Dr Muhammad Maroof Shah

Religion is not an ideology and its addressee remains primarily an individual who is commanded to “strive for righteous rather than perfect community” and for that right order in one’s soul and the soul of the ruler is a prerequisite and in that task philosophers and mystics have a role that Maududi didn’t fully recognize. The key problem that there is a danger that human interpretation of God’s Word/Law may pose as divinely sanctioned one has been recognized by most modern thinkers....

Meditation, in fact, is the technique to contemplate within. It is but one method to unfold the universe which lies wrapped within. It awakens the advanced form of senses in man, through which he can observe the realities and phenomenon that the material eye cannot observe. He is against any form of discrimination, be it gender, religious or social....

 
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  • Nice bhai and right.
    ( By Md samir ansari )
  • Very sensible and prudent column.
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