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My Most Moving Ramadan Was In Makkah and Madinah
Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan
My Most Moving Ramadan Was In Makkah and Madinah
Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan

My most moving Ramadan, however, was in Makkah and Madinah. Being in the holy mosque in Makkah and Madinah is always overwhelming – with people of all backgrounds, dressed simply, praying together. It humbles you to be in the holy places as a part of the human family. I feel most at ease in Makkah and Madinah....

 

Sufi masters Bulleh Shah and Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya were vegetarians. So was poet Kabir. Yet many Muslims genuinely believe that vegetarianism goes against the tenets of the religion. But there are others who passionately disagree. They say the Prophet was against overindulging in food — whether meat-based or not — on any occasion. He always recommended moderation. Though he was not a vegetarian, his favourite foods were said to be yoghurt, butter, nuts, cucumbers, dates, pomegranates and figs.....

 

When this does not happen, we are left with men such as Khadim Rizvi, who recently demanded that members of the Ahmadi community be either forced to convert or beheaded. This does not appear to be a sensible notion. Yet, while other social media content has been deleted or blocked, speeches by Rizvi and others like him continue to be accessible to millions....

 

For example, recently, there is an online discussion about how do Muslims, living in the vicinity of the North Pole, who are living without nights or with very short nights enjoy Ramadan? Therefore, knowledge concerning religion and society is constantly enriched and improved, keeping up with the times as well. Most Muslims are feeling uncomfortable for this year’s Ramadan which is held in summer. Only those who live in the southern hemisphere may feel better. Ramazan is full of deep religious meaning and cultural connotation, increasingly embodying the global nature, which should be worth studying seriously....

 

Primarily there are two religions on the planet Monotheism and Polytheism. These are poles that attract ‘for harmony’ or ‘disrupt’ social order respectively. It is also evidenced amply over time that Monotheism is a divine recipe whilst Polytheism is a man made craft however intended....

 

“Muslims of India” is now expanding its operations and will go out to NGOs and night shelters as well to distribute Iftar packets to people in need, irrespective of their religious identity. “It is a must for Muslims to do charity and in the month of Ramzan, almost all Muslim households give more away in alms etc. than other months of the year. But to see people from different faiths join us in our activities or help less better-off Muslims is heart warming,”...

 

Closing shop when you’re supposed to work like any other day, only to come out of hibernation at sunset to feast, does not exactly jive well with the spiritual endeavour to be closer to God. If fasting is supposed to remind Muslims, even remotely, of what it is like for the poor to have to fast by force and be hungry most of their lives, I dare say that working during the day is but a small start....

 

Ramazan offers an alternative to living life on auto-pilot. Ramazan is the gift of intentional living. If we can go hungry all day without making excuses, what else can we do in life, if we put our heart and mind into it? No matter how your year went, Ramazan is the chance for a new beginning. It shows us what we’re capable of doing. It shows us what the best version of ourselves could look like....

 

The classic “profile” (21-year old single male) was shattered again, as entire families in Indonesia and dozens of Palestinians carried out attacks that required their deaths. The inspiration for such disparate populations to sacrifice themselves and their children was their desire to become holy “martyrs.”...

 

Moderation has not only much to say about the personal conduct of individuals and the community’s collective ethos, but also on the use of the earth’s resources and care for its natural environment. The substance of this teaching is elsewhere endorsed in the Quran where the text speaks of balance (al-Mizan) in the creation of this earth and the terrestrial universe, all of which have been created in a state of grand natural equilibrium, “so weigh all things fairly and do not disturb the (God-ordained) balance.” (al-Rahman, 55:7)....

Fasting from dawn to sundown during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with: Tauheed, a Muslim’s declaration of faith in one Allah; Salah, the saying of prayers five times a day; Zakat, a religious obligation for all Muslims who meet the necessary criteria of wealth, which is considered a sort of tax or obligatory alms; and the Hajj pilgrimage....

 

Secularists are behaving as if anything that we touch even distantly related to religion will defile the constitution. They forget what the Father of the Nation said: “I am ready, I am a Bengali, I am a human being, I am a Muslim.”  He was secular and he was a Muslim. We never fought, as many would say, to get rid of religion, but to get rid of exploitation in the name of religion.....

 

Rules and laws cannot ensure a permanent solution as the attitudes of the minds of the people must be changed from centuries of the narrow educational construct of ‘me and the other’ in social and political relationships. Knowledge of science and technology are not the real keys to a proper civilisational success. Those who wield the tools and knowledge of science and technology must be imbued with the quality of human and humane constructs...

How Pakistan Weaponised ‘Love for Prophet Muhammad’
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid
How Pakistan Weaponised ‘Love for Prophet Muhammad’
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

That this gauntlet of radical Islam continues to be inherited and used by Pakistani leaders underscores the cause behind the shambles the state continues to find itself in. That this self-mutilation is carried out as manifestation of “love” for the Prophet of Islam is emblematic of the fatal inertia against reform of Islamic theology in the Muslim world...

 

While Pakistani officials claim to have eradicated Islamist extremism and terrorism from their country after years of conflict, a new threat to public order and religious peace has risen in their place. The Movement in Service to the Prophet, which professes the benign agenda of defending Muhammad as the final prophet of Islam, also exhorts followers to violence in that cause and targets members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect, called Ahmadis, as dangerous heretics because they believe in a later prophet....

 

“These are not reforms and this is no reformation of Islam. This is restoration of Islam to the religion it was meant to be which until now was distorted by the Saudis. Changes like banning polygamy or making divorce formal could have been considered as reforms. But as much as we welcome the end of the ban on women driving, we cannot call these reforms.”...

The problem lies with religious authorities, who need to accept the idea of replacing night-of-doubt sighting of the crescent with advance calculations. We need to move on from the old injunctions (“sight the crescent”) — and their literal applications — to a more objectivist (Maqasidi) interpretation of the intention (i.e., “use your best tools, including telescopes and computers, to ascertain the start of the month”) on the part of the Muslim authorities....

 

A convoy from Babil province travelled nearly 250 miles in early April to visit Adam’s Holy Tree, also known as the “Tree of Knowledge.” For the thousands of Muslims who come each year, praying at the tree brings blessings, forgiveness and realization of their dreams. It also draws Christian tourists who believe it is the tree Eve ate from in the Garden of Eden....

 

Women seemed suddenly visible, working in shops and dressed with splashes of colour. They have identities. They are not afraid to be seen. I thought of that girl waiting outside a video store. She is now part of the government’s efforts to bring arts to a society starved for culture. It is surreal and overwhelming. But soon, like all great changes after normalcy returns, it could seem like the most basic right in the world. That will be when the real work begins, when we push ourselves to move beyond normal to create something extraordinary....

 

Being the vicegerents of God, it is time we all took this responsibility seriously through initiating a daily routine of Muraqaba (Meditation), Zikr (Remembrance of God), Tafakkur (contemplation) on the signs God has left for us in this universe through His marvellous creations.” The simplicity of his message was profound. The smiles of exuberant joy began to play on the faces of the participants realizing what they seek is not far away but within their own selves....

 

With the Arab world arguably more unstable and indeed violent than during the pre-colonial era that the orientalists depicted, there is a case for encouraging artistic exchanges to broaden the artistic record and thereby opinions of the Arab world. Archaeological surveys and curation of artwork both from and about the region require development and the skills gap that remains in this regard is especially pertinent...

 
Why Saudi Reforms are a Sham
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
Why Saudi Reforms are a Sham
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

If he is really serious about bringing reforms, then it must start with a deep introspection rather than blaming someone else. And one of the first questions that he needs to ask is how the pernicious ideology of Wahhabism has very nearly destroyed the soul of his country. From the looks of it, one can only say that he is not ready to question anything related to the Wahhabi superstructure. Till the time that happens, MBS and his reforms should only be understood as a mere sham. There comes a time in any nation’s present when it is confronted with its own history. Very often, the present offers two possible ways to deal with the situation: either

The simultaneous sense of wonder and grief still radiates from the Moorish arches of the mosque of Cordoba today. While Iqbal’s sense of loss was particularly poignant, he grew up in a united India still languishing under the yoke of British colonialism. Muslims ruled Spain for nearly 700 years; the British had been in India for nearly 200. The Muslims of South Asia did throw off their colonial yoke, but the Mosque of Cordoba evokes a moment in Islamic history that goes far beyond mere independence or the control of the borders of this or that nation state....

 
The Islamisation of Turkey
Rauf Baker
The Islamisation of Turkey
Rauf Baker

The Turkish regime is gradually transforming into a developed, complicated, and more dangerous version of the al-Qaeda organization. The rhetoric and approach seem convergent or even identical. The difference is that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is leading a country of significant geopolitical importance, not a militant group scattered across Afghanistan’s mountains....

 
A Perspective of Pak-Saudi Relationship
Dr Muhammad Khan
A Perspective of Pak-Saudi Relationship
Dr Muhammad Khan

King Fahd, took over the Kingdom at a decisive stage in 1982, once there was Arab world was facing a new challenge; the Islamic revolution in Iran and Iran-Iraq war which lasted from 1980 to 1988. It was the most decisive period and the Kingdom played a very crucial role in the regional stability of the Arabian Gulf. Pakistan supported the Saudi role and provided all out assistance to the Kingdom at political, military and diplomatic level....

 
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