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Books and Documents

Islamic Personalities

Asghar Ali Engineer’s Islam: the Reformist as Pacifist
Asghar Ali Engineer

“History is full of instances of people who challenged the mighty forces of evil and they were not only fighting a lonely battle but were left alone to die. If somebody asked me about achievement I would have to talk qualitatively because my forces have depleted. So what? People who were swearing by my values finally succumbed. I have been ex-communicated.”...

 

The Mystique of Mai Sahiba
Sadia Dehlvi

The Dargah of Mai Sahiba at Adchini near Mehrauli is one of my favourite Sufi spaces in Delhi. Her Urs, death anniversary, was celebrated last week. Along with hundreds of devotees, I sought blessings at her threshold. Each time I visit her Dargah, I am reminded of Mai Sahiba’s unwavering faith in God through all her trials and tribulations. Bibi Zulekha, popularly called Mai Sahiba, is the mother of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya....

 

(I have seen nothing but the grace – of God),” The above phrase is proof enough of the identity of the Great Lady whose birthday we mark on the 5th of Jamadi al-Awwal every year with celebrations for her nurturing Islam back to life after history’s most heartrending tragedy. She expressed this phrase not in a state of ease, comfort, joys, and amenities, but in a state where the weak of heart, mind and soul, would wish death to be a welcome relief….

 

Imam Ghazali The Renowned Islamic Scholar
Sketch of Imam Ghazali

Imam Al-Ghazali is one of the greatest Islamic Jurists, theologians, entitled as Hujjatul Islam, (Ornament of the Faith)," Sharaful A'emma (Honor of the Scholar), Zainuddin "Great Siddîq," absolute Mujtahid, a major, a debater and expert in the principles of doctrine and jurisprudence. Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the renowned scholar of our time, states that, like ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz and Imam al-Shafi‘i for their respective times, al-Ghazali is unanimously considered as the Renewer (Mujaddid) of the Fifth Islamic Century....

Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya: The Compassion Master
Sadia Dehlvi

Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya is also known as Mahboob-e-Elahi, meaning the Beloved of Allah. According to the Islamic calendar, this year the 709th Urs celebrations of this great Chishti Sufi master commence on the eve of February 28. The Dargah is representative of Delhi’s language, poetry, food, music and architecture. Just as in the life of Hazrat Nizamuddin, the Dargah continues to attract people from all sections of society, irrespective of class, creed, gender and faith.....

The Prophet Mohammed from Western Eyes
Sarwat Husain

Lamartine, in his history of Turkey published in 1854, wrote, “If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who would dare to compare any great man in modern history with Mohammad? “The most famous men create arms, law and empire only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers ... This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, people and dynasties, but millions of men in the one third of the then-inhabited world.”....

Rebranding Faiz Ahmad Faiz
Faiz Ahmad Faiz

February 13 marked the birth anniversary of one of the most prolific Urdu poets, Faiz Ahmad Faiz. Faiz sahib stands out in the rich tradition of Urdu poetry as an ideologue who never shied away from taking up the momentous task of conveying the message mainly inspired by politics of the Left. That too in such a spellbinding manner that no other poet........

But a careful examination shows that the percentage of people killed in these wars relative to the number of the people who participated in them amounted to about 1.5 percent. Since the Messenger of Mercy was victorious in most of these battles, the numbers of casualties indicate that he is not to be counted among the ruthless and barbaric warlords, conquerors, and military generals of human history – and in fact, far from it....

Prophetic Muhammad (pbuh)’s Prophetic Model and Legacy
Sadia Dehlvi

In just 23 years of his life as prophet, Muhammad united nomadic warring Arab tribes into submission to One God. The revelations of the Quran alone did not transform them for they were largely illiterate. It was essentially the Prophet’s character that appealed to the rough Arabs. After humiliating and battling the Prophet for years, they handed him the keys of their hearts after recognising his qualities of honesty, humility, justice, compassionate and generosity.....

The Prophet Muhammad (saw), A Great Humanitarian
Ghulam Ghaus, New Age Islam

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was one of the greatest humanitarians that ever walked on the earth. In fact he must be called the saviour of humanity. George Bernard Shaw insists that “if a man like Muhammad were to assume dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness.”[The Genuine Islam] Similarly, a great historian, Lamartine argues that “as regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?”[Histoire de la Turquie] According to Michael H Hart, he leads the list of the Most Influential Persons in History’ (The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History’)

As a result, at the turn of the twentieth century, Maulvi Abdullah Chakralavi floated the idea of supremacy of Quran as the only comprehensive and divine source of guidance for Muslims in their religious beliefs and practices. He denounced Hadith and the practices of the Prophet (PBUH) ritualized in the form of Sunnah - the second most important source of religious guidance according to the consensus of Muslim scholars for many centuries - as irrelevant....

 

Allama Iqubal, One Beloved, Three Wives, Four Weddings
Dr Sir Mohammad Iqubal

When we study the psychological aspect of Iqubal’s life, we find out that despite having a sensitive heart and a brilliant mind, he had to struggle against many romantic contradictions throughout his life. These contradictions appeared for the first time when Iqubal went to Europe in the pursuit of higher education. Upon reaching Europe, he discovered that his personality possessed certain charm that the opposite sex found irresistible….

Begum Rokeya: Tale of a Visionary, Bengal’s Earliest Muslim Feminist
Mohammad A. Quayum

Moreover, Rokeya was brought up in the strictest form of Purdah as practiced by elite Muslims of the time. From the age of five, she was prohibited from interacting with men or even women outside her family circle. In several episodes of her book, The Zenana Women (Aborodhbasini), Rokeya sarcastically describes how she had to go into hiding in her own home whenever an unknown woman walked into their courtyard or came to visit them....

The Centrality of Imam Hussain
Mike Ghouse

It was a conflict between Imam Hussain and Yazid the caliph of that time. Yazid usurped the leadership of Muslim community and wanted the true spiritual leader Imam Hussain to endorse him for legitimacy, which Imam Hussain rightfully declined and Yazid had him killed along with his young children. It was indeed like the Battle of Kurukshetra in Mahabharata; Good against evil, except Krishna's good forces win the battle over the evil ones....

Imam Hussain (a s): The Eternal Martyr
Sadia Dehlvi

It is believed that on this day God accepted Adam’s appeal for forgiveness, rescued Prophet Jonah from the fish’s abdomen, restored the health of Job, saved Abraham from the fire of Nimrod, granted Solomon his kingdom, anchored Noah’s ark at Mount Judi after it had been sailing for six months; parted the Red Sea for Moses to save his followers from the tyrannical rule of the Egyptian Pharaohs….

 

'Iqbal Never Demanded Separate Home for Muslims outside India'
Sir Muhammad Iqbal

The late scholar Rafiq Zakaria was shocked when Pramod Mahajan, then general secretary of the BJP, at a seminar at Nehru Centre in 1990, said that "a great Indian Muslim like Iqbal who penned Sare Jahan Se Achcha later divided India". "I reminded Mahajan of his ignorance... Iqbal fought communalism-attacking fundamentalist Hindus for questioning Muslims' loyalty to India, he wrote: Patthar ki moorton mein samjha hai tu khuda hai/khak-e-watan ka mujhko har zarra devta hai...

Sir Syed Day and Its Utility
Asghar Ali Engineer

Sir Syed Day and Its Utility
Asghar Ali Engineer

 Much more important is to assess what is the condition of Muslims today in the sub-continent and what impact Sir Syed’s contribution has on Muslim society today. It is so unfortunate that just a few days before Sir Syed Day a 14 year old girl Malala from North West Frontier Province from Pakistan was murdered by Tehrik-e-Taliban-Pakistan led by Maulana Fazlullah just because she was campaigning for education for girls....

 

Remembering Zafar, the last Mughal
Bahadur Shah Zafar

Exiled by the British to Rangoon for fighting for his land, Bahadur Shah II died lamenting the fact that he could not be buried in his own country. Today, 150 years after the last Mughal died in the country of his exile, his last wish remains unfulfilled. It is said that when Subhash Chandra Bose launched his INA campaign from Rangoon, he invoked Bahadur Shah Zafar....

 

‘Heroes’ Of My Childhood
Gaitty Ara Anis

With the rising of religious extremism that has robbed us of all sanity we should ask who we have chosen as our role models and why. I wonder why we have been taught “myths” in our text books and what philosophies have been promoted in our country since it was created? Though many would disagree, in my opinion this deliberate selection of heroes based on religion, class and creed has left us breathless, without the oxygen of fresh ideas. The result is close mindedness and conservatism....

Muhammad: The Greatest Reformer, the Most Influential Man in History
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

Allah praises Muhammad (pbuh) “Most certainly O Muhammad you are on the pinnacle of behaviour” (Ch 68 V 4) Jules Masserman, a US Psychoanalyst, picked Muhammad as his greatest leader. He chose his greatest prophet Moses at number two. He says that leaders must fulfil three functions: a. Provide for the well being of the led; b. Provide a social organization in which people feel relatively secure and; c. provide them with a set of beliefs. ...

Muhammad:  The Most Misunderstood Man in the World
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

The pre-Islamic era was full of superstition and barbarism. It was known as the Age of Ignorance. The people of that time were so corrupted in thought and morals that they would cut their idols into pieces and eat them. Their excuse was that they had seen their fathers doing it. They also used to bury their daughters alive. Humans were worse than animals. Their concept of morality was just the opposite of our concept of morality: bloodthirsty were exalted, bloodshed was considered a virtue, and adultery and fornication were more common than legal marriage. …

Reintroducing Sir Syed and His Thought
Dr Haider Shah

We are in the habit of associating rationalism with western thinkers, even though our own history is also full of shining examples of rationalist thinking. Sir Syed has been popularised as the founder of the two-nation theory alone in our national syllabus. It is high time his real message of rationalism was also shared with the young of Pakistan. This can prove an effective antidote to extremism that has gripped our society these days....

 

The Noble Persona of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) As Mirrored In the Qur’an
Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam

Delving into the Qur’an further we see it asserting that unless God willed, the Prophet would not have recited the revelation to his audience, nor God would have taught it to them - it asks his audience to reflect on this as he had lived with them for a lifetime before the revelation commenced (10:16, 12:3, 42:52) This demonstrates that the Prophet had not displayed any literary or poetic genius or any philosophical, psychological, political or theological insight all his life prior to the revelation. This in turn indicates that the Prophet neither had any aptitude, nor grooming, nor ambition to found a faith or lead a faith community, let alone becoming the virtual ruler of the whole of Arabia towards the end of his life. His greatest gifts, apart from the power of revelation, were his noble personal qualities. ...

Shaikh Abdullah: The Good Shaikh
Rakhshanda Jalil

Aligarh accepted him with open arms. It gave him the freedom to be exactly who or what he wished to be. Free of the ties and trappings of caste, culture, class, Shaikh Abdullah was like virgin clay, ready to be moulded. Yet, like clay, he retained certain distinctive qualities of his own. His peers and teachers were quick to spot these traits: earnestness, optimism, determination and an infectious never-say-die spirit....

 

‘Can’t a Muslim Who hasn’t Attended a Madrasa Speak for the Community?’ Asks Sultan Shahin
Danish Raza

It was the summer of 1995. “Papa, it is Hizbul Mujahideen,” said a panicking Juhi handing over the phone to her father Sultan Shahin. It was a death threat to Shahin, who had written in a national daily, countering Hizbul’s call that the war against India was validated by Quran.

For Shahin, it was one of the numerous encounters with extremists. “I invite such people to discuss the differences over tea. I tell them please intimate me before you kill me so that there is no collateral damage,” says Shahin, laughingly. He is serious about sorting out differences though. In 2008, Shahin launched newageislam.com— a website to prompt Muslims to ‘rethink’ Islam and challenge the petro-dollar funded Wahabi ideology. More than one lakh readers visit the site every day and the electronic newsletter reaches out to around 2.5 lakh people….

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NEW COMMENTS

  • Out of curiosity, I was just scanning through the various Tafsirs on Surah 98 Al-Bayyinah. Raza Ahmad Khan Barelvi....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The Quran permits war against only the oppressors. It also allows alliances with all likeminded people irrespective of their faith, to put up a united ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shahin sb, The following ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • As far as I know, a carpenter has to create idol based on the "mantra" and other specifications mentioned in Tantra vidhi ....
    ( By A Hindu )
  • 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 ...
    ( By A Hindu )
  • 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 ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Ghaus Sb is repeatedly quoting verses like: “So the clear proof and guidance and mercy have come to you, from your Lord; so who ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • 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 ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • 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 )
  • 1) I am surprised to see that Qunatity of the Muslims is presented as miracle. 2) A single word of Quran is not changed. Story behind this ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • We should be neither text-centered nor shrine-centered. Our approach to text and....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Dear Ghulam Ghaus Saheb, You quote verses from Quran 7:37, 6:157, and 39:32 in an attempt to prove that mushriks are kafir in Quranic terminology ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • 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...
    ( By Abidi Zafar )
  • Sultan Shahin shab thank you very much. If time permits me I shall write.
    ( By Shahnawaz Warsi )
  • Welcome Shahnawaz Warsi, to this forum and the comments section. Instead of just summarising and expressing...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • I have spent a lengthy time over Islamic scholarship. A few days ago I discovered the debate on this website. I have ....
    ( By Shahnawaz Warsi )
  • English Translation of the earlier quoted Arabic Excerpt from the Mutazilite Tafsir “Al-Kashaf” on the verse 98:1 "The kuffar had two groups, (1) the people ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • In my comment yesterday, I said that to say “The Mushrikun are Kafirun” is an oxymoron and therefore, you will not find such a verse ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Sultan Shahin sahib, If we study the Rumiya and Dabiq magazines of ISIS, we find their ideologues also use terms, “tawaghit” (plural of taghut, ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Their 'major response' will be in Arabic language spoken with forked tongue!'
    ( By Skepticles )
  • Shahin sb says : But the idea of extirpating shirk is always there. So much so that in some of the last verses to be ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Ghulam Ghaus Saheb, I do not use words like Kafir and Mushrik in a pejorative sense, if at all I ever use them. I ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Dear Sultan Shahin sahib, The terrorist kharijites of ISIS and their like-minded groups kill the mushrik, kafir, Muslims, especially .....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • A misleading article. “According to UK law, Nikah on its own is not enough, and a civil ceremony is a requirement...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • Sultan Shahin sahib, Whatever Sufis may have done I do not subscribe to the ideology of offensive Jihad for the sake of establishing Islam’s domination ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Ghaus sab, I agree with you that there should not be fighting over these terms. Moreover I believe that we should discard these terms and proclaim ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Ghulam Mohiyuddin So Arabs are planning a major response to Trump's
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Dear Ghulam Mohiyuddin Saheb, You take the line that our Sufia-e-karam did. Stress the positives of Islam and ignore or underplay the controversial. That’s why ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Dear Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi Saheb, I am intrigued at the use of some of the terms in the following sentence: "The actual debate should be ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Some Israeli Jews are killing Muslims in Palestine. Some Burmese Buddhists are Killing Muslims in Burma. Terrorists are killing Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • That Muslims say such terms are not pejorative is enough for knowing their standpoint. Literally these terms are also not pejorative. In Islamic faith, the terms ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • It is Khathija who trapped Mohammed into Marriage with a youth who is junior by 20 yrs.Khathija"s brother was a christian ....
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • The pejorative meaning is very much in the minds of people. Look at Yunus Sb’s example to illustrate the correct interpretation of 98:1 and 98:6. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Good job sir'
    ( By Siraj Rajdan shaikh )
  • There are many things about Islam and its spread that are awe inspiring without being miracles. Islam is free from all kinds of mumbo jumbo ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Ghaus sab, I do not know that we need any terms to distinguish between Muslims and non-Muslims. We should on the other hand emphasize our ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Ghulam Mohiyuddin sahib, You are closely reading all the comments. From your comments I have understood that you do not want to hold the debate on ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )