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Books and Documents

Islamic Personalities

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”....

 

Learning Lessons from Hazrat Khadija’s Life
Nigar Ataulla, New Age Islam

....after the Prophet married Hazrat Khadija, his family life did not come in the way of his meditations.  Often, he would sit in the cave atop Mount Hira, thinking and reflecting on life. Hazrat Khadija would send her little daughters with food and water so that he would not be hungry and thirsty. She gave the Prophet complete spiritual support, too....

Manto’s Human Psyche
Farooq Sulehria

Manto’s Human Psyche
Farooq Sulehria

However, Manto would never write under the influence. He would also avoid “drinking on national holidays like Pakistan Day on 23 March, not for any nationalistic reasons but merely to devote himself to the amusement of the children, whom he helped put up buntings and flags all over the front of the house.” While he appears as an irresponsible family head, he was indeed a loving father and husband. ...

 

His people would ridicule him. They would hurl insults upon him. They would harass Noah and his disciples. They would threaten him with a social boycott. They would abuse him and warn him of dire consequences for negating their idols. But Noah and his followers would stick to their faith. They would not budge an inch for fear of insult, abuse and boycott. Noah would consistently, patiently and peacefully persuade his people to become monotheists and abandon their polytheistic practices. Noah’s wisdom lies in the technique of persuasion when faced with falsehood....

 

Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi and Humanity
Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi

Rumi asserts that understanding each other requires openness and humility. He discourages scholastic vanity which leads to stagnation. Rather, the great sage prefers the disciple to explore commonalities among people. According to Rumi, negative thoughts that lead to hatred, violence, greed, etc hinder the human potential to actualise. Therefore, negative thoughts, considered the darkness of the human heart, need to be removed in order to understand the inner meaning of human life....

 

Shirin Ebadi - The Campaigner Who Has Become an International Figurehead for Women's Rights
Shirin Ebadi

If there is a single face identified with the defence of women’s rights in Iran it is that of Shirin Ebadi. Her influence has spread across the Muslim world, after she became the first Iranian, and the first Muslim woman, to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Since winning the prize in 2003, she has used the power of her global platform to continue to campaign in favour of human rights in Iran, at some considerable risk to herself.....

 
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  • To Naseer sahib and Sultan Shahin sahib, I do not think myself a scholar. I am a student. I read both classical and modern presentation ...
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  • As far as I know, a carpenter has to create idol based on the "mantra" and other specifications mentioned in Tantra vidhi or Agama shastra ...
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  • سیدنا سعید بن جبیر شاگرد عبد اللہ بن عباس رضی اللہ عنہم کو راستہ میں ایک بد مذہب ملا ،....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Allah the Most High says, “And O listener (followers of this Prophet) when you see those who argue in Our verses, turn away from ...
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  • Mr. Sultan Shahin, You say to me, “Then you say Muslims follow Quran and will continue to follow Quran, no matter what. You ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Shahin sb, The context of verse 3:151 is the battle of Uhud. Casting terror into the hearts is relevant only for the enemy who stands ...
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  • Sultan Shahin sahib, You say to me, “Dear Ghulam Ghaus Saheb, You quote verses from Quran 7:37, 6:157, and 39:32 in an attempt to prove ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
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  • We should be neither text-centered nor shrine-centered. Our approach to text and....
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  • Dear Naseer Saheb, let me try and understand this better. Wherefrom do you get the idea of kafir being religious persecutor in the following example. ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • हमें ही क़त्ल करते और हमें ही दहशत गर्द कहते है, बेगुनाह का क़त्ल कर क़ातिल खुद को मर्द कहते हैं...
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    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
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