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Islamic Personalities

The Indomitable Rumi Part - II
Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi
The Indomitable Rumi Part - II
Dr A Q Khan

Maulana Rumi commented that whenever righteous people fall to the mercy of incompetent people, the latter try to convert them to their bad habits. If they refuse, they are subjected to ill treatment. And when the innocent weep, the angels collect their tears and rub them on their bodies and those tears become as valuable as the blood of a martyr.....

 
The Indomitable Rumi (Part - I)
Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi
The Indomitable Rumi (Part - I)
Dr A Q Khan

While the Masnavi contains old stories retold in a simple way, these have been illuminated with instructions and guidance. Here follows one such story: A companion of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) became seriously ill. The Prophet (pbuh) went to enquire after his health. He found him to be extremely sick and weak, almost dead. The Prophet (pbuh) showed great concern and affection, which made the patient relaxed and happy. He praised his sickness, saying that it was because of it that the Prophet (pbuh) had come to see him. ....

 
Bulleh Shah: Rumi of Punjab
Bulleh Shah, a Muslim Sufi poet
Bulleh Shah: Rumi of Punjab
Aftab Ahmad, New Age Islam

Like other Indian and Iranian Sufis, Bulleh Shah too believed in the philosophy of Wahdat ul Wujud. Notwithstanding this, due to the influence of his mentor Shah Enayat, Bulleh did not believe this universe to be a whim or fancy (Maya). He believed that the world and all the phenomenon of this universe had a real existence. Though his philosophy is influenced by Vaishno Math, Nath Panth, Sikhism and Buddhism, as all these religious philosophies believe in the existence of one, formless God, he does not leave his Islamic foundation and remains a disciplined Sufi all his life…..

"Some soldiers were in tears, some shop owners were in tears. Some people were confused," Wasfi remembers. "I was connecting everything: death, spirits, bodies, life. People were supportive. They were appreciating the fact that someone can still at least lead their emotions and spirits towards something beautiful, to rise above the intimidation of improvised death....

 

Probably, Khushhal was the first poet in the Indian subcontinent to use the word Khudi in his poetry. Wali Dakani, the first Urdu poet with his collection of poetry used the word but in the context of Wahdatul Wujud and while speaking of annihilating the ego. Khushhal Khan was his predecessor. Khushhal Khan died in 1689 while Wali was born in 1667. Therefore, it can rightly be said that Khushhal Khan used the word Khudi in the 17th century in the same context Iqbal used it in the twentieth century….

 

Islam has replaced communism in the global political paradigm — terrifying, brutal, ruthless and alien. This image has been propagated by the state and media alike to the extent that the notion of a peace-loving Muslim has become oxymoronic, while peace-loving Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Jews abound....

It’s fascinating to watch the vast, well-rewarded western army of Saudi lobbyists/stenographers singing the praises of a “traditional and conservative institution”, a.k.a. the House of Saud, now embarking on a new, “assertive foreign policy.”As this concerns the ideological matrix of all Salafi-jihadi variations in the demented galaxy of Wahhabi extremism, I’d rather call it a Mob rule update.....

 

Khadija, the mother of Islam, was the first person on earth to accept Muhammad as the final prophet of God and accept the revelations that culminated into the Holy Qur'an. She was greeted with "Salam" (peace) by God himself as well as the Angel Gabriel. She bequeathed her worldly goods and put herself in the face of danger to stand by the Prophet Muhammad as Islam became established in the land....

 

Today radical Islamists and clerics of South Asia especially in Pakistan refer to Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi’s religious thoughts in an attempt to justify their intolerant ideology. Even in this day and age, Shaikh Sirhindi’s opposition to Akbar's policies which he declared inconsistent with Islamic Shariah, is used as a stimulus for radical and extremist movements of the sub-continent. Therefore, it would be quite interesting to objectively discuss the religious thoughts and reformation works of Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi who is viewed as an ‘Islamic reformist’ as well as a ‘Sufi’ among Muslims in Indo-Pak……

Carefully consider the 12 translators who apparently think that the Prophet was fighting against “disbelief”. It includes scholars of every sect and some of them are major influencers such as Thanvi, Tahir ul Qadri and Raza Khan Barelvi. If according to them the Prophet was fighting against “disbelief”, then how can they or their followers refute the ideology of the “Jihadists”?  And how do they reconcile 2:256 “Let there be no compulsion in religion” and 109:6 “To you (peaceful Kafir) be your way and to me mine” with what they think the Prophet was fighting against? The fact is that the Prophet and Quran are far above what these people attribute to the Quran and the Prophet (pbuh)…..

In the case of Prophet Yunus (pbuh), there was stiff opposition to begin with and Prophet Yunus left in anger without the permission from Allah for which he was punished. He returned to his people and everyone (some hundred thousand) believed....

When a Prophet is given the command to leave with his band of believers, it is a sign from Allah that no more people will believe even if the Prophet spends more time with them. The Prophet leaves with his band of believers and the rest are destroyed by an act of God....

The stories of prophets oft repeated in the Quran during the first 13 years of the Meccan period are the stories of Noah, Lut, Moses, Hud, Salih, and Shoaib (pbut).  What is common in each of these oft repeated stories is that those who actively opposed the Prophets and tried to harm them and their followers or were intransigent rejecters of the Message were utterly destroyed by an act of God....

 

Muhammad (pbuh) was the last of the Prophets and the Quran is the last among the revealed scriptures. The Quran narrates the stories of several of the important Messengers individually and the story of the rest collectively in the form of parables. The last Message or the Quran is also cumulative in that it confirms what came before and is built on the previous experience of the Messengers and the People....

Perception of Women
Taha Akyol
Perception of Women
Taha Akyol

The traditional type of women who had accepted the superiority of men in the many centuries in the past, and thus had taken her place in social harmony, is changing through the modernization process: A new type of woman is developing who has recognized that she is “equal,” who is aware of this, regardless of her life style and political view. If Turkey is to reach the income per capita level of $30,000, if it is going to be a leading country, it will be this new woman who takes us to this national target; because it is not possible to go ahead as a country while at the same holding half of society back....

 
Lack of Personalities or Lack of Awareness?
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam
Lack of Personalities or Lack of Awareness?
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam

 It is common for communities to consider some of their key figures in the past to have been larger than life. They commonly project an exaggerated image of them. Sometimes, they go to the extent of according them a legendary status. This is something that present-day Muslims also do—and on a massive scale…..

Rumi’s poetry continues to touch hearts across countries and cultures more than seven centuries after his death. A Muslim theologian, who turned to mysticism, he is regarded as the finest Persian poet of all time and among the greatest in the Sufi tradition....

 

My story commences upon Creation and the call that all souls received to acknowledge Divine Unity. It continued throughout my life and the awe of Allah that I always sensed in my soul. While my Maker made me a Muslim, my parents made me a Catholic Christian, and blessed be they for doing so for I could easily have been raised as an animist, a polytheist, an agnostic, a secular-liberal relativist or even an atheist. The path was not perfect but I was indeed well advanced on the path, having been raised as a monotheist who recognized, loved, and followed Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, along with all the other prophets and messengers who came in between…..

 

The Hindus lovingly address Lal Shahbaz as “Jhule Lal”, Lord of the Indus River. Even now, at the annual Urs, one of the old caretakers, a Hindu, performs the inaugural ritual for the annual festivities. Despite the Partition of India, the environment of Sehwan Sharif is an extraordinary demonstration of Hindu-Muslim syncretism of the subcontinent….

 

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) epitomised his teachings of tolerance, forgiveness, mercy, co-existence and compassion towards the adherents of other religions. Conforming to the spirit of this glorious universal characteristic of the Prophet (pbuh), Muslims today must give up peddling hatred towards others, people of other religions or even atheists and wantonly declaring their own co-religionists Kafir (infidel) and Gumrah (misguided). ....

Abul Ala Maududi: An Existentialist History
Abul Ala Maududi(1927)
Abul Ala Maududi: An Existentialist History
Nadeem F. Paracha

In all the noise that Maududi's career as a scholar, ideologue and politician generated, what got lost was the crucial fact that unlike most of today's Islamic scholars and leaders, Maududi did not emerge from an entirely conservative background. His personal history is a rather fascinating story of a man who, after suffering from spats of existential crises, chose to interpret Islam as a political theory to address his own dilemmas. He did not come raging out of a madrasa, swinging a fist at the vulgarities of the modern world.......

An objective study of Indian Sufi literature, surprisingly enough, reveals that many early Islamic figures of India who were spiritually-inclined and inspired by Sufism, are mistakenly taken today as the ideologues of Wahhabism in India. Regrettably, our collective negligence and intellectual stagnation have concealed the pioneering contributions of great Indian mystics in the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment, human welfare and common goodwill. .....

Abul Qasim al Junayd of Baghdad
Sadia Dehlvi
Abul Qasim al Junayd of Baghdad
Sadia Dehlvi

Abul Qasim al Junayd of the ninth century is one of the most famous of early Muslim mystics. They called him “Peacock of the Poor”, “Lord of the Group” and “Master of Masters”. A central figure in many Sufi orders, Junayd is considered the greatest exponent of the sober school of Sufism. …..

 
Manto on Iqbal
Saadat Hasan Manto

For the honour of presiding over this maiden sitting of Iqbal Day which you have bestowed upon me, I should be thanking you formally, but I am not bound by the immutable laws and formalities of nature. However, I’m perplexed visualizing the presidential chair, for so long I have been abused and criticized and today….but what didn’t the Allama Iqbal himself had to contend with? In his own time, he had to face repeated curses, in addition to charges of infidelity and heresy. When I think of this, I am somewhat relieved but the next moment I am perplexed by another conundrum which is that my love of poetry is akin to Mahatma Gandhi’s love of films. Anyway, I should take advantage of this opportunity which you all have given me.....

 
Allama Iqbal: The Man, and the Existential Quest
Sir Muhammad Iqbal
Allama Iqbal: The Man, and the Existential Quest
Murtaza Razvi

Iqbal’s identification with and his concern over the fate of all colonised nations of the East—not India alone—by mighty powers of the West called for a wider shift in the entire power paradigm that was in place in his time. This he sought by transcending the relatively smaller canvas of India, which had historically shown itself to have been intellectually and militarily docile in the face of foreign aggression century after century. With the entire Muslim world under virtual colonisation of the West after the debacle of the Turkish caliphate, and considerable weakening of the Persian Empire that struggled between Russian pressure exerted from the north and British protectorates to the south, it was the Muslim East—once a formidable power and a civilization—with a history and idiom of its own, that Iqbal invoked as a counterweight to western hegemony.....

 
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