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Islamic Society

Faiz, being a fellow traveller of Communist party treaded on every path beginning from imprisonment to exile and even suffered the scare of gallows. A threat of death is worse than the real death. With superb qualification, exquisite poetry and a western wife he could have lived a comfortable life. Instead, for a greater cause he and Ellis preferred to choose a life of suffering and pain....

 
That Which Is, Cannot Be True — II
Dr Saulat Nagi
That Which Is, Cannot Be True — II
Dr Saulat Nagi

On the other hand, the imperialism and religious Mafia are both in hand and glove to create an all-omnipotent and invisible enemy. Spinoza was quick to realise it in the 16th century when he stated, “ignorance and superstitious beliefs spread like wildfires, and I believe that religious leaders feed that fire to secure their position. Religious authorities of all hue seek to impede the development of our rational facilities”....

 
Muslims Need To Challenge Fundamentalists in Their Fold
Yasser Latif Hamdani
Muslims Need To Challenge Fundamentalists in Their Fold
Yasser Latif Hamdani

The truth is that the Muslim World in its current state is hardly in any state to be proud of. In most Muslim majority countries things such as human rights and women’s rights are optional at best. Saudi Arabia, claimant to the leadership of the Muslim World, is a woeful example be it women’s rights or human rights in general. It is the responsibility of every Muslim to point out the flaws so that these self-proclaimed leaders of the Ummah are held accountable for their actions...

 

Terror groups abusing the name of Islam want to attack and destroy Sufi establishments, which still stand for love and tolerance. Sufis dedicated themselves to the love of God, which in turn meant love for all His creations—translating into charitable endeavours, notions of equality, egalitarianism, brotherhood and broad humanism. Service to humanity through feeding (Langar), healing (Jhar-Phuk, blowing and touching, charms and amulets), etc., was considered a better form of worship than ritualistic prayers...

 

Scholars have the primary role of teaching the creed and sciences of the religion, which includes enjoining the good and forbidding the evil in society. Just because scholars or Shuyookh are not all out “in the streets” protesting or practicing civil disobedience by getting arrested, does not make them illegitimate nor should take away from the deference given to them. Abu Hanifah (may Allah have mercy upon him) and Malik bin Anas (may Allah have mercy upon him) were not out “in the streets” but gave moral support to those “in the streets.”...

 
That Which Is, Cannot Be True — I
Dr Saulat Nagi
That Which Is, Cannot Be True — I
Dr Saulat Nagi

In the subcontinent where faith of puritanical origin has overtaken the sanity, the old traditional beliefs of mysticism or tolerance are reeling. In the presence of market economy, time for mysticism was already receding fast. Mysticism and the associated art was the product of feudal era when life was not very hectic. After a period of sowing, cultivating and/or harvesting people had sufficient time at their hands to enjoy the festivities of those moments. The technology has altered all previous relations. ...

 

In economic terms, the visit to Indonesia did not do much to boost the relationship, which has never been fast and furious in any case. Since 1980, Saudi Arabia’s investment in Indonesia has been into Indonesian culture and religion, devoting millions of dollars to exporting Salafism, a strict and dogmatic brand of Islam. It has built hundreds of mosques, a huge free university, provided teachers, scholarships and much, much more. Will this now change? Whatever the case, the investments have made an impact....

 

Over the millennium Satan’s companions certainly have successfully accomplished the task allotted to them. They have gone even further and in practical sense. In the name of their concocted religions for political strategies, the young ones are recruited to join the army of Mujahideen with religious fervour to revive what was their past glory, not of knowledge-based nation, but warmongering marauders. Some of their leaders strangely also hold professional doctorates from various religious and non-religious universities....

What is the secret of Faiz’s phenomenal appeal? Is he the greatest poet after Ghalib? No, certainly not. What makes him immensely popular is his revolutionary romanticism, his successful transformation of the traditional symbology of the Urdu poetry to convey myriad new meanings of love and protest. Noorjahan, Begum Akhtar, Mehdi Hasan, Iqbal Bano and Nayyara Noor were among those singers who made a significant contribution by taking Faiz’s poetry to the people.....

 
I Took the Risk to Visit Pakistan and Paid a Price
Firoz Bakht Ahmed
I Took the Risk to Visit Pakistan and Paid a Price
Firoz Bakht Ahmed

 “My dear brothers, today you are leaving our country; did you ever think what will be the outcome of this? If you go away, Muslims in India will become weak. You will be divided into two sects of liberals and fundamentals. Listen to me carefully, a Hindu can differ with your religion but they can’t differ within your Qaumiyat (clan), but in Pakistan you will face the difference of the clan as they’ll treat you as chattel.”

 Pakistan is a hell for Indian Muslims! I took the risk to visit that country despite these prophetic words and paid a price....

 
The Madrasa Myth
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam
The Madrasa Myth
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam

Madrasas across the world have suffered great loss of reputation in recent decades, thanks to a wave of extremism. They have been malicious projected as incubators of holy warriors or what has been derisorily called as ‘jihad machines’.  However, the negative stereotypes that we get to read in sections of the media do not present the true picture. The majority of madrasas actually present an opportunity, not a threat. For young village kids, they may be their only path to literacy. For parents mired in poverty, madrasas serve a vital role in ensuring their children are supervised, fed and taught. Madrasas fulfil a vital function by helping   develop a core of   leaders capable of leading the Muslim community in religious matters ...

To ensure that the supposed requirements of chastity are met, women are threatened with cultural notions such as Izzat or are spoon-fed with religious verses that have been taken out of context and skewed by misogyny. It’s almost like leaping right into 18th-century drama with all the talk of chastity and female conduct. But this is here and now. Hence, relationships, mixed interactions, sexual relationships all happen behind closed doors....

Upon the insistence of the ruling caliph, Junaid was amongst those signed the death warrant of the Sufi martyr Mansur Hallaj for saying, “Ana’l Haq”, or “I am the Truth”. Junaid wrote, “We judge according to the external law, as for the inward truth, God alone knows!” Hallaj, the most controversial of all Sufis had been his student. Junaid had counselled Hallaj to act with restraint or else his goblet would be stained with blood....

In a Facebook post on March 13, Farook had said: “I am an enemy of god, enemy of religion and enemy of caste. But I am not an enemy of humans who believe in humanity.” On her sixth birthday on December 6, Farook had asked his daughter, Anafa to hold up a placard which said Kadavul illai – there is no god. He posted the photo on Facebook....

We need to create Sir Syed Ahmad Khans, Chiragh Alis and Muhammad Iqbals of the future and this cannot be done if we handicap ourselves through an emotional and ill thought out decision. Instead of swimming against the tide, we should ride it. Where are the cyber wings of our think tanks and institutes? These cyber think tanks, when suitably armed with knowledge — both modern and traditional — can do a much better service to Islam than those who feel that the glory of Islam can only be served by banning and blocking. Let us fight this war pragmatically and rationally instead of emotionally. We need Hosh not Josh.....

And who’s going to stop this endless dance of death? From mosques to madrasas and from mourning Shias to Ahmadi shrines, no one is safe. And this is not a problem exclusive to Pakistan. For whatever reason, the cancer of extremism is fast eating into the vitals of the whole of Muslim world. In their long and eventful history, Muslims have never faced a greater challenge to their identity and existence....

On Wresting Control over Religious Discourse
Abdulrahman al-Rashed
On Wresting Control over Religious Discourse
Abdulrahman al-Rashed

They also use the injustice being done to some Muslims and use it to plant the seeds of extremism, which stays for a long time and eventually becomes a local culture. If you can imagine this, you can understand how extremism spreads and how terrorism emerged. You will also realize that fighting extremism is more important than fighting terrorism....

Islam and Family Planning In Pakistan
Samreen Shahbaz
Islam and Family Planning In Pakistan
Samreen Shahbaz

Under Zia’s era, the establishment took it upon itself to “Islamise” state institutions and introduced a series of “regulative” and “puritanical” legal measures including restricting women to the “Char-Diwari” (four walls) of their homes and controlling women’s sexuality through introduction of Zina and Hudood Laws....

 

However, after less than a century of leading the Muslim community from the front, the Mujahid movement, the Salafi sect in Kerala, seems to have reached a dead end — some of them, who claim they too are following Salafi Manhaj (methodology), have declared that democracy and secularism are un-Islamic; others are unable to decide whether seeking help from the ethereal being jinn is allowed in Islam or whether Sehr (black magic) will have any effect on human beings.....

Festivals and traditions, like the Dhamal at Sufi shrines, bind us together as a nation. Basant unites people across class, gender, language and social backgrounds. It is also very important from the province’s economic point of view. For these very reasons, we should be making every possible effort to save this custom. Basant had entered the list of global festivities at the time when it was removed from our lives. We must reclaim what has been lost....

Sufis — Men of Feelings
Sadia Dehlvi
Sufis — Men of Feelings
Sadia Dehlvi

He wrote how Allah’s attributes must be known by tasting the experience, and not just the word. So to know mercy we must be merciful, to know God’s justice we must be just. Just like if you tell someone what it is like to swim they will never truly know swimming until they have swam. Similarly, we will never know God until we have experienced what it is to be merciful, just and compassionate.....

 

Basant marked the arrival of spring, and filled up Lahore’s skies with countless kites of varying colours and sizes. Yet, Basant has always been more than just kite flying. It served as a social gathering where all classes participated in the celebration. It involved music, food that Lahoris are known for and frequent cries of “Bo Kata”. My generation has been deprived of this history....

 
Is An 'Arab NATO' In The Works?
Ahmed Fouad
Is An 'Arab NATO' In The Works?
Ahmed Fouad

The protocol entrusted six essential tasks to the force, namely: intervene militarily to counter terrorist threats; participate in peacekeeping and security operations in the member states; help Arab countries restore, construct and equip their military and security capabilities; participate in securing relief and humanitarian aid operations in conflict zones; protect civilians against emergencies resulting from these conflicts or natural disasters; and protect maritime, land and air transport roads and fight piracy....

 

The glory of the Sufi past is something to be proud of. But it would not help much in dealing with nihilistic ideologies that drive terrorist groups like IS. Sufis were practitioners of love, who won over people with their selfless service to humanity, aversion to materialism and distance from the corrupting influence of power. They were exceptional scholars of Islam too....

 
Are Sufis Essentially Non-Violent?
Naveed Hussain
Are Sufis Essentially Non-Violent?
Naveed Hussain

Having said that, I think Qadri’s act shouldn’t be a surprise. Qadri, in his own words, was motivated by a sermon of a local imam. The government should, at least, monitor Friday sermons at all mosques. This is essential to check hate-preaching and extremism which has become an existential threat for Pakistan.....



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