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Islamic Society

The Quran is teaching balance and equity — to enjoy the bounties and share them with others. Do good and seek to benefit others. Those others are not necessarily always Muslims, for the Quran teaches that respect is owed to every human being regardless of religion. Dignity and freedom are guaranteed to each person regardless of origin or whether they are a part of a majority or a minority....

All the same, tribes men created various genealogical links to the Prophet (S.A.W), reinforcing their relationship to him and enhancing their own prestige. The notion of lineage affiliation with the Prophet (S.A.W) makes Muslim tribal peoples intensely loyal to him…

 

The propaganda machine presents this common core of Islamic culture as a great burden, but one only needs to look at the unfortunate millions who are left on their own in the name of freedom, to ascertain the truth. Is it not true that if one were to draw a family-and-home-life-disaster map of the world, it will coincide with a map of the Western world? The distinctly safe area will be the Muslim world, with a gray area within it coinciding with the areas of Westernisation…

 

The deep adherence to Islam is the second unique feature of this class of Muslims. The conventional binary between practicing Mulla-type Muslims and the self-declared secular Muslims does not function in this case, the new Muslim elite practices religion as a ‘private affair’ by creating a thin line between professional commitments and religious obligations. This privatisation fits well with the emerging form of Islamic religiosities, which advocate a highly apolitical engagement with worldly affairs....

In the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent, self-flagellation is not just beating chests in wild unison; it extends to whipping oneself with razor-sharp blades, cracking skulls, and bleeding baby boys with cuts on their heads. This year, the self-flagellation ritual reached a point when last Sunday hundreds of young men took off their shirts on University Avenue facing the U.S. Consulate and started beating themselves in frightening unison....

 

 Masjid is very important and both religiously and culturally an integral part of Islam. There are clear texts in Hadith where it is emphatically instructed that Muslim men must offer 5 daily prayers in Masjid with congregations. This has been in practice ever since Islam existed in this world. If some individuals are not doing so then this is their personal default which does not change rules. Hadith, Fiqh and all Islamic sources are unequivocally stating that Masjid is an integral part of Islam and Muslim society....

Islamic Philosophical Legacy needed to End Present Day Tension
Fahad Suleiman Shoqiran
Islamic Philosophical Legacy needed to End Present Day Tension
Fahad Suleiman Shoqiran

Curiosity to learn from adjoining civilizations was the features of the times. There are immortal names in our Islamic history such as Al-Kindi, Al-Farabi, Ibn Arabi, Al-Razi, Ghazali, Avicenna, Averroes, Brethren of Purity and hundreds others. Decadence hit the Muslim world, as if the universe called on the world to stop thinking and the world responded, as was lamented by Ibn Khaldun.....

 

Sufism, once the heart and soul of Islamic civilization, has been pushed to the margins, reduced to a mere intellectual preference or curiosity in Europe and America, associated with cultism and backwardness in South Asia, considered a dangerous heresy in Saudi Arabia and Iran, and a merely tolerated minority in other Muslim majority nations. But Sufism, as a comprehensive system focused on body, mind, heart, and soul, offers a unique path forward for humanity at a time when our very humanness is challenged.,,,

“The Arab world is at a turning point. We have gone through the phases of oil, money and early technological development. The new generation is looking forward to joining the rest of the world by obtaining the most important things in that turnaround: Opportunity and education. They are the keys that open the door for our future.”...

 

There has been a perpetual conflict between the forces of virtue and evil since the creation of this world. The Battle of Karbala is indeed an iconic symbol of this sort of conflict. This battle was not merely a conflict between two individuals- Hussain ibn Ali (AS) and Yazid ibn Mu’awiya. But it was essentially a clash between two conflicting ideologies i.e. Hussainism and Yazidism. This clash of ideologies lies at the very root of what has been dubbed a “Resurrection of Islam”. Yazidism posed an existential threat to Islam. It tried to suppress and subjugate the Muslim polity. So Hussainism instantly appeared to confront and counter Yazidism....

 

“I learned from Hussain how to be wronged and be a winner, I learned from Hussain how to attain victory while being oppressed.”? Mahatma Gandhi

The story of Hussain (as) is a time that invokes abundant grief and sadness among the Ummah (nation) who remember the Battle of Karbala and heinous acts of Yazid’s army. Today, tens of millions continue to visit the shrines of the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) beloved family....

 

The Sharia emerged as a legal corpus at the same time as the Fiqh, or Islamic jurisprudence, at the end of the 8th century. And it is unsurprising that the few rules established to govern life in society in the small community of Medina were no longer sufficient by the time of the conquests. This was not just as a result of the breadth and complexity of the questions posed by the administration of far-reaching territories as the Islamic world expanded. It was also necessary to respect personal status as dictated by the main religions, and to take into account a whole host of local customs....

It is amazing to note how he drew one’s attention to verses or their other possible meanings one ordinarily hastily passes by. For instance he often asked whether the verse stating that the Christ’s true believers would prevail over the unbelievers till the Day of Resurrection (3:55) implied God’s endorsement of certain dominance of the Christian West and if not why not. It is true that Muslims truly follow the Christ but are they alone in thus following him? Is it possible to deny the share claimed by Christians? ...

 

All the authentic jurists are unanimous on the point that the mourning of this type is impermissible. Even Sayyidna Husain (RA), shortly before his Shahadat, had advised his beloved sister Sayyidah Zainab (RA), at not to mourn over his Shahadat in this manner. He said, “My dear sister! I swear upon you that in case I die you shall not tear your clothes, nor scratch your face, nor curse anyone for me or pray for your death.”...

 

Haj, it has been said, is a powerful experience, and a catalyst for change like no other. And it is. There was much I learnt being part of a global community of more than two million people. We trekked under the scorching heat of the desert sun, and waded through the crush of people together, sharing not just succulent Ajwa dates and refreshment, but tears and laughter....

 

And so, underneath the world of appearances, shapes, dogma and law, there exist an inward reality (Haqiqa) which is its true foundation and gives it meaning. This reality is what the Sufi tends to perceive, starting from the outward and peripheral norm, the Sharia, for a journey across the road of initiation (Tariqa) which connects appearance to essence - the shell to the core. This introspective process is outlined in the Quran (51:20)...

 

I find it easy to immerse myself in outer planning and needs, but this can sometimes be a distraction from my internal work. All practices on the Sufi path are connected to developing the soul, so serving outwardly affects us inwardly. It is difficult to look at how I serve myself, what aspects of my inner world need clearing, what burdens I happily shoulder, and which bitter thoughts I shrink from....

 

But if Saudi Arabia withstood the storms that the Arab Spring caused in its neighbourhood, credit must also to the House of Saud which enjoys awe and respect among the civilians. Or are the citizens too afraid to raise a voice against the House of Saud? The same House of Saud concluded a pact in 1733 with Ibn Abdul Wahhab, the preacher whose dangerous ideology would be known as Saudi-funded Wahhabism. The good thing is that bin Salman acknowledges the mistakes the kingdom made in the past....

 

Islamic fundamentalists are not anti-imperialists because they are not anti-capitalists. Whereas anti-imperialism symbolises liberation, Islamic fundamentalism is oppressive. In fact, it theologises oppression of women, religious minorities, ‘heretical sects’, sub-nationalisms and every kind of opposition. But it is also not Islamic fascism – as fashionable academics or Islamophobic politicians in the West lazily label it....

 

There are Sufists with different identities. Someone can be peaceful Sufi in a mosque and violent Jihadi with the feeling of the Ummah being oppressed outside it. Someone can give Fatwas of war using Hanbali School of jurisprudence in the circle of his students and be devout Sufi when in isolation. But most of the Sufists are peaceful with the thinking that lesser Jihad (taking arms) is not for everyone. The greatest Jihad is personal struggle, for everyone....

 

The blood money demanded by a victim’s family recently reached 55 million riyals, which is really shocking. It is a huge amount and there is no way a murderer’s family could raise this. It is like blackmailing for some. Some people have turned blood money into something like public auctions. Such thing is unacceptable in our Muslim society....

 

The Prophet, whom Muslims are trying to protect, was — in his lifetime — cursed, abused and ridiculed. However, there is no historical tradition of him ever subjecting to death the people who abused him. On personal attacks, he just looked the other way and, in fact, forgave his persecutors. Ironically the so-called “protectors of the faith” will kill in the name of the very faith they call the religion of peace...

This is where Muslim leadership comes in. Unfortunately, that leadership is nested within often sensationalist activists who scream the loudest, or with imams who are not scholars or experts in field. To be very clear, activists who represent a Muslim identity are often not informed sufficiently on the faith they’re advocating for. Similarly, imams are also not well-studied theologians; yet they are expected to serve as scholars.....

Three years ago was when Aceh implemented stricter Shariah laws, including on adultery, homosexuality, gambling and public display of affection outside marriage. Even non-Muslims can be punished. So far, at least five of them have been caned in the province for violating Islamic criminal laws. Now, almost 20 years after Indonesia granted Aceh the right to apply Shariah law, questions are being asked about how far the country’s most conservative province will go in its efforts, and whether more harm than good has been done.....

 

The major character of the Medina state was that it despite all resistance and odds of tribal, religious and ethnic differences defined the existing population as one community (Ummah). Medina was a ethnically, tribally and religiously divided with Muslims, Jews and Pagans living in it. Jewish and Pagan tribes were always at neck to neck with one another. By being defined as one Ummah it restored not only law and order situation but enhanced its protection against outside intruders in years to come. The notion of Ummah centuries later on assumed the concept of national integration. It was designed to promote pluralism....

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