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Books and Documents

Islamic Personalities

The Friend of Allah
Sadia Dehlvi

Prophet Muhammad entrusted his mystic heritage to Hazrat Ali famously saying, “I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate”. Hazrat Ali is universally recognised as the leader of the Wali’s, Sufis, the Friends of Allah. The Prophet also said, “Man Kunto Maula va Ali un Maula”. These words are known as Qaul, and inscribed on the walls of numerous Sufi spaces. Hazrat Amir Khusrau set this prophetic saying to a classical Raag, and most Sama Mahfils, musical assemblies traditionally begin with a rendition of the Qaul......

 

Allama Iqbal: Great Poet and Philosopher of Islam
Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi

The stranded Pakistanis have twice made great sacrifices. Firstly, when they abandoned their wealth, property, friends and relatives in India and migrated to East Pakistan during the partition of the Subcontinent, and secondly when they stood with the Pakistan army to protect the unity of Pakistan during the period of secession of East Pakistan and formation of the new state of Bangladesh. As a result of their position against secession, they were subjected to killing, looting and displacement…..

 

Allama Iqbal encouraged the younger generation for fresh interpretation of Quran and the Sunnah and discovers mutual harmonies that would enable Muslims to learn modern science and use science and technology to improve their material existence…..

 
The Shy Sufi
Sadia Dehlvi

The Shy Sufi
Sadia Dehlvi

Muslim mystics and Sikh Gurus were affectionate and respectful towards one another. Mian Mir often travelled to Amritsar to meet Guru Arjun Dev and whenever the Guru visited Lahore, he met the Sufi. The quest for God united Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs….

The Forgotten Inheritance of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
S. Irfan Habib

Muslims made India their home centuries ago, and according to Azad, they had a huge stake in the idea of India. However, Azad’s idea received a jolt in 1947 as the violence of partition ravaged India. Azad went on to live for another ten years, helping in healing and rebuilding the scarred and bruised new India. Azad lived many lives....

Rabia of Basra
Sadia Dehlvi

Rabia of Basra
Sadia Dehlvi

One of my favourite Sufis is Rabia Basri, who gave Sufism the concept of Divine love. The eighth century mystic woman remained a celibate as her overwhelming love for God left no room for any worldly relationships. Sufi manuals are filled with stories from her remarkable life that illustrate her teachings.....

 

When she brought the blessed child home, she had a daughter named Shaima and her sucking son, Abdullah. Shaima was about five years old and she used to help her mother take care of Mohammed. She would bath him and take him for walks and always embraced him with love. Shaima witnessed a change that happened in her family from poverty to comfort because of the blessing of this child. She used to sing songs about him and say: “Our Lord! Keep Muhammad (peace be upon him) alive for us so that I can see him become an adolescent, then a leader. Suppress his enemies and those who are envious of him, and give him everlasting glory!”…

 

What Studying Muhammad Taught Me about Islam
Craig Considine

Muhammad's beliefs on how to treat religious minorities make him a universal champion of human rights, particularly as it pertains to freedom of conscience, freedom of worship, and the right for minorities to have protection during times of strife. Muhammad initiated many legal covenants with Christians and Jews after establishing his Muslim community….

Messenger of Peace
Sadia Dehlvi

Messenger of Peace
Sadia Dehlvi

Over 1,400 years ago, Prophet Mohammed warned of extremism and called for moderation. He said, “My way is the middle way”, and “beware of extremism for it was extremism that destroyed the people before you”. Despite all the glories bestowed upon him as the beloved of Allah, Mohammed remained in prostration before Him, calling himself His slave….

Leadership Qualities of Prophet Muhammad
Louay Fatoohi

Another beautiful aspect of Prophet Muhammad’s leadership is combining authority and power with mercy and gentleness. This combination is difficult to achieve. Those who are merciful and gentle may fail to become leaders, lacking firmness and decision making skills. On the other hand, those who are in leadership positions find it very difficult to behave with mercy and kindness as they exercise their power and authority....

The Long Shadow of a Muslim Sufi and Charismatic Scholar Fethullah Gulen
Fethullah Gulen

As a young cleric, he served at various mosques in Turkey, but soon developed a philosophy of his own that emphasized the synthesis of faith with modernity and secular education. He is believed to have drawn inspiration from the ideas and wisdom of past Sufi scholars, especially Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273), and Bediüzzaman Said Nursi (1877-1960). The latter was a Kurdish theologian, known for his extensive commentaries on the Quran and advocacy of the teaching of modern sciences, technology and secular education in all religious institutions…..

In fact, if efforts are made to study the Prophet’s life with all prejudices set aside, sectarian and doctrinal differences may give way to consensus and a spirit of ecumenism within the world of Islam, enabling Muslims to live in harmony with themselves and with others. Conversely, not studying the Prophet’s life will only add to the differences within the world of Islam, as each group claims its own view constitutes the ‘authentic’ Sunnah....

He lived in an age marked by political and moral crisis following decline of Mughal power. The state of Muslim society was also perilous as a result of intellectual decay among Muslims. Having been educated by his father and at some religious seminaries and being sensitive to what was happening to Islam and Muslims, he started proffering his analysis of the prevailing conditions and suggesting ways and means to revitalize Muslim society and treat the malaise….

 

Attar in his library picked up his wooden soup bowl and turned it upside down on the prayer mat where he sat. The horse neighed in pain as the commander of the Mongol cavalry advance guard pulled sharply on its reins and wheeled it around. He raised his hand in the air to signal his warriors to stop. But they too had drawn rein in fright. They could not believe what had just happened. Before their eyes the entire city, whose minarets and turquoise tiled domes were beginning to shine in the first light of dawn just moments ago, had disappeared into thin air......

 

Role of Iqbal in Philosophy and Religion
Syed Kamran Hashmi

Iqbal is mostly quoted by all the people who have a grudge against the people’s mandate, equal rights, and religious freedom be it a military dictator, Islamic revolutionist or a violent extremist. He is hardly present in the discourse of research-oriented scholars who only look at the data in support of or against their argument instead of relying upon a vague concept that cannot even be defined properly in 100 years…..

 

Muhammad Iqbal: Question Islamism of the Iconic Poet
Tufail Ahmad

Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), Pakistan’s national poet whose birthday on November 9 is celebrated by Islamist organisations and Urdu litterateurs across South Asia, is known for promulgating the idea of Pakistan, engendering Islamism among Muslim youth, lauding socialism which he did not follow and ridiculing democracy under which he thought people are counted and not weighed …..

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad: ‘The Great Akbar’ Of Independence Struggle
Mushirul Hasan

Azad’s greatest gift was to postulate an equation between Islam and Indian nationalism on the one hand, and between Islam and the universal principles, on the other. He did so to enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination, and diminish dogmatism which closes the mind to Ijtehad....

Gaddafism: an African Hero’s Legacy Lives On
Late Muammar Gaddafi

His crime was Gaddafism: an ideology advocating for a strong, united Africa, which prioritized the interests of the indigenous masses over the interests of the foreign corporate bourgeoisie. Muammar Gaddafi inherited one of the poorest nations in Africa; however, by the time he was assassinated, Gaddafism had turned Libya into Africa's most prosperous nation. Libya had the highest GDP per capita and highest life expectancy in Africa. Less people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands….

 

Emīr ʿAbd al-Qādir: Jihadist Doesn't Equal Psychopath
Emir Abd el-Kader

During his life of warfare, imprisonment and exile, the emir kept at bay the demons of hatred and bitterness. His ability to understand and forgive was harnessed to his unusual capacity to empathize with his adversaries. His disciplined intellect, knowledge and sense of duty to divine law allowed him to distinguish between Christians who attacked his country as invaders and Christians in Damascus he had an obligation to protect as minorities and innocents…..

 
Defending the Prophet: An Introduction (Part IV)
Syed Manzoor Alam, New Age Islam

...the average human is not an expert in sociology, history, ethics etc. He merely thinks that his present civilization is the correct civilization or it is the correct society, with the right cultural norms and values. And these people don’t realise that cultural norms and values change from time to time and place to place. The values of post-Victorian England are radically different from the values of present century England.....

It was the result of the betrayal of the Jews, during the time of war which is high treason in any country. So the punishment given to them were not because they were Jews, it was because they committed treason. This has nothing to do with their ethnicity or religion. Another thing that must be kept in mind that this was not even the judgement of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) but it was the judgement of the Sad Ibn Muadh, who was chosen to pass a sentence on them. ….

There are multi-faceted responses to such attacks against Islam: economical, political, responding in the media etc but in these articles I wish to present the academic response. I begin by Islamically contextualizing such attacks. These attacks are called ad hominem. It means you are attacking the messenger, instead of the message; you are attacking the persona, rather than what he says.....

Every society, every country has a line that you don’t cross. It just so happens that the honour of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) does not exist beyond that line for them. They have other issues that are beyond that line.....

Abu’l-Faiz Thauban Ibn Ibrahim: Man of the Fish
Sadia Dehlvi

The controversial doctrine proclaims that all things exist within God and are not separate from Him. Such mystic ideas did not go down well with the orthodox establishments.….

 

The Wisdom of Ali (RA)
Farhan Bokhari

Hazrat Ali’s words of wisdom in the letter to Maalik bin Ashtar went on to dwell upon the criteria for successful leadership:  “Try carefully to realise that a ruler can create goodwill in the minds of his subjects and can make them faithful and sincere to him only when he is kind and considerate to them, when he reduces their troubles, when he does not oppress them and when he never asks for things which are beyond their power. These are the principles you should keep in mind and act upon”....

 
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