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Books and Documents

Islamic Society

It Is a Dangerous Tendency to Describe Islamic Fundamentalists as Anti-Imperialist or ‘Islamic Fascists’
Farooq Sulehria

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....

 

Blasphemy Law Practiced In Pakistan Is Evil, Obsolete and A Way of Victimizing Its Minority Communities
Raheel Raza

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...

Imams Are Not Scholars: Discourse on Islam Suffers From a Limited Supply of Muslim Scholars

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.....

 

Major Character of the Prophet (PBUH)’s Medina State Was That It Defined the Existing Population as One Community (Ummah)
Mansoor Akbar Kundi

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....

Qurbani Has Become More Like a Craze, a Fashionable Thing, Rather Than a Religious Ritual
Rahad Abir

Why isn’t it possible, I wonder, to spend less money on Qurbani and do something to alleviate poverty? It is said that the regular prayer is the command of Allah, which is the first pillar of Islam. Those who passionately sacrifice animals to the name of Allah, what fraction of them actually prays five times?...

 

Haj: Mixing With Millions Is an Incredible Experience
Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi

You just never know what to expect when you get eye-to-eye and shoulder-to-shoulder with people from all over the world. All follow the same call and move towards the same goal — at the same time. It is an amazing feel of unity of purpose and strength of attachment. I admired the way most security men treated us. They were helpful, kind and understanding. An Egyptian elderly person was distributing cups of cold water. When done, his smile was shining like the sunny day of Arafat....

 

How Long It Would Take To Get Every Muslim To Hajj? At Least 581 Years

Other critics say Mecca is already at capacity during the hajj, and expansion efforts have come at the cost of Islam’s cultural heritage and the spirituality of the pilgrimage. Several historic Islamic sites were destroyed in recent years to make way for luxury high-rise hotels and malls that cater only to wealthy pilgrims. These developments dominate the Kaaba, the cube like structure at the centre of the Grand Mosque that is circled by pilgrims and that is considered to be the House of God....

The fact that millions of Muslims, transcending geographical, linguistic, level of practice, cultural, ethnic, colour, economic, and social barriers, converge in unison on Mecca attests to the universality of the Hajj. In this regard, a lot is expected from Ethiopian pilgrims, who are take part in the rituals, to make efforts in getting a proper place in the world for the noble contribution the country has made for Islam....

 

To Shake or Not To Shake Hands Has Become a Crucial Question for Muslims in Europe
Rafia Zakaria

But while Muslims in Sweden may be rejoicing over the decision, the prospects for no-handshake Muslims are not looking quite so good in Switzerland. So it is in the small city of Lausanne, where a Muslim couple case came up for consideration. In the interview the couple refused to shake hands with the opposite sex. The canton voted to reject their application for citizenship because they felt that their views revealed an inability to integrate into Swiss society. They would never become Swiss citizens because they did not want to shake hands with the opposite gender....

Mr. Alam’s work over the decades has captured some of the most important political and ecological questions in Bangladesh and the region around it. A friend remembers waking up to the tragedy of the Rohingya people from Myanmar after seeing an exhibition of Mr. Alam’s photographs in New York. I first encountered his work after a cyclone in Bangladesh in 1991. I was involved in the relief effort and visited the affected area after the storm. Mr. Alam’s photographs captured the reality of my experience...

 

He wrote in Urdu which I am translating into English, “No religion can be greater than fellow-feeling and empathy. You were our esteemed guest and we knew that you never touched meat in your life. It would have been terribly uncomfortable for you, had we sacrificed a goat during your stay at our place. Allah understands the intentions and makes concessions. Moreover, we sacrificed our ardent wish to sacrifice on Eid-al-Adah because Allah says in the Quran, ‘Sacrifice what is closest to your heart and dearest to you.’”...

 

Makkah is constantly going through changes. The biggest is the expansion of the Holy Mosque itself, but many advancements have been made in the form of logistics, hospitality, security, and medical care. Some traditions and methods, however, have remained the same. A balance of tradition and progression that has the Saudi government recognizing Islamic customs while taking into consideration pilgrims’ primary needs of safety and security....

 

Prince Muhammad, A Reformer, But Reckless

Few Saudis are brave enough to tell Prince Muhammad when he is making mistakes. His allies ought to speak up, but they are silent too. This is a grave mistake. Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab economy and home to Islam’s holiest sites. Successful reform there would help stabilise the whole Middle East. Foreign leaders should advise Prince Muhammad to calm down and stop damaging his country and his reputation. ...

 

Syllabus of Islamic Studies, In Its Current Form Needs Dynamic Changes: Response to Maroof Shah''s Column on Seyyed Hossein Nasr
Dr Tauseef Ahmad Parray

Here what becomes evident is that Dr Maroof is either misinformed about the subject or has not seen the complete syllabus of Islamic Studies, taught at various Colleges and Universities, globally. His claim that “Islamic Studies as a discipline and Islam as a Tradition” which includes “proper engagement with the whole legacy of Islam” is “absent in much of the Muslim world and its institutions” is not genuine....

Related Article:

Exploring Contributions of Seyyed Hossein Nasr to Islamic Studies

 

The Tribal and the Modern Fashion the Unique Identity and Power of Today’s Gulf Arabs
Miriam Cooke

Barzakh is a Qur’anic term that designates the metaphysical space between life and the hereafter that contains both even as both are absent. Similarly, suspension, meeting and separation between tribal and modern characterize Arab Gulf culture today. Retaining independence and specificities, each shapes the other in a dynamic, cultural-political field that allows neither compromise nor erasure....

 

The Journey of Faith to Perform Haj in Yesteryears
Khalid Bashir Ahmad

At one point in time, women in Kashmir were reluctant to submit their photographs for travel documents as taking a lady’s picture did not carry social approval. In 1937, Amir Gul Khan from Anantnag Tehsil submitted an application to the Governor of Kashmir seeking passport for his mother, Gul Bibi, wife of Sarwar Khan Pathan to go on Haj pilgrimage with two other women who had already obtained travel documents and were now "anxiously waiting" for her. Khan was asked to produce a photograph of his mother to complete the formalities. In response, he informed the Governor that her mother was a "Pardah Nasheen Aurat"...

 

The Idea of ‘Me and the Other’ Is Emphasised Too Much In the Islamic Education
Mohamad Tajuddin Mohamad Rasdi

Islamic education at the primary, secondary and tertiary level is still trapped in a parochial framework that does not take into account the idea of the global society and multi-cultural and multi-faith co-existence. The result is the production of graduates who feel Islam is not part of the bigger society of mankind....

Exploring Contributions of Seyyed Hossein Nasr to Islamic Studies
Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Islamic Studies as a discipline and Islam as a Tradition in the integral sense of the term that includes proper engagement with the whole legacy of Islam – aesthetics, metaphysics, ontology, art and architecture, esoterism, a host of traditional sciences and much more – are absent in much of the Muslim world and its institutions. There are very few students formally trained by Islamic Studies/Comparative Religion Departments/Madrasas who are interested in or have resources for proper comprehension of works written by Muslim scholars in most of the disciplines, religious or “secular.”...

 

The Proponents of Liberal Islam and Islamism Are Strange Bedfellows
Aziz Ali Dad

What is peddled today as moderate Islam by scholars, popular writers, public speakers and liberal intellectuals is a product necessitated by the needs of will to power not will to knowledge. Now the proponents of liberal and Islamist narratives are trapped in the straight jacket of binary logic. Both see the world in black and white, and thereby close the possibilities for emergence of critical reason and creative imagination....

The rise of sectarianism and sectarian organisations was one of the corollaries of the Afghan war. The Sipahs and Lashkars came into being and in areas which had been epicentres of dogmatic movements, sectarian outfits became stronger, sidelining conventional religious parties. These new entries exploited sectarian divide to gain popular support....

A Mediation Centre or Darul Qaza Counsels Muslims When They Need Help To Understand Islamic Law to Settle Civil Disputes, It is Not A Shariat Court
Areeba Falak

I am a Qazi who studied the Quran and Islamic law, but I cannot implement it. The only thing I can do in the capacity of a Qazi is counsel Muslims when they need help to understand Islamic law to settle civil disputes. This I am allowed to do under India’s democratic judicial system because it allows us to preserve our personal laws.” Though the junior Qazi seems to be clear about a Qazi’s powers in contemporary India, the insistence to continue to call a Darul Qaza by a name that does not justify its current nature anymore exists.

Related Articles:

The Politics of Darul Qaza

Darul Qazas or Sharia Courts: Why both must be Opposed?

 

In the banality of our daily routines, we often get the sense that we have control over the events of our days; that we can do and have anything we want. But the reality is we can never know what the future holds for us. All of our plans, ambitions and goals, indeed every step we take, are at God’s will. Even the Quran has prompted us to never say ‘I shall certainly do this tomorrow’, without adding, ‘if God so wills’. If we put our trust in God, He will most definitely guide you the right path, the path best for you....

 
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  • “If Islam is disturbed, if the [Malay] race is disturbed, if our rights are disturbed, then we will rise to defend our rights,”what a ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • "Muslim Intellectuals Reach Out To Akhada Parishad with Wish to Join Kumbh"a welcome move and hindus need to respond positively.this is a golden opprtunity.
    ( By hats off! )
  • Naseer sb.,Let me put it this way: let us redouble our efforts to respect the dignity of others irrespective of their faith or gender, ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • It is silly of Hats Off to say that Scandinavians do not celebrate Christmas because it offends Muslims! Muting Christmas celebrations is usually attributed ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • While the percentage  of atheists may be rising, the number of atheists who go to religious websites to insult the religions of others remains ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • hatred of the "decadent" west, contempt for the trinitarian christian gone astray and anti-semitism are very common among the muslims in europe. much more ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • What GM sb is saying in effect is that irrespective of what I have said, he believes that the Quran: 1. Uses undignified terms such as Kafir ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • What GM sb is saying in effect is that irrespective of what I have said, he believes that the Quran: 1. Uses undignified terms such as Kafir ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer sb.,The position of progressive Muslims on the questions you ask is, as far as I understand it,  as follows:(1) Words like kafir are ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off's is stuck with jizya and sex slavery, things that progressive Muslims like Prof. Moosa and I have never supported. We do support ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Only a very malicious liar would call me a " trecherous stealth jihadi who wants to underming the value systems of the very country ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • There is more Ganga-Jamuna spirit in India than Hats Off thinks. There are several Muslims performing priestly functions in Hindu temples. The taboo against ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Islam was not born blaming other religions. It started blaming other religions when it found itself in deadly conflict with them. Hats Off has ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • All religions are to begin with the result of pure divine revelations/inspiration which over a period get contaminated. The Quran is a culmination of ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • So, what are you and prof Moosa trying to prove with your "interpretations"?1. That Kafir means non-Muslim?2. A woman's testimony is worth half that ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • there is a barely concealed denigration of zoroastrian concepts, its validity and its truth.the author is an implicit supremacist islamist trying to bail out ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • if human dignity were at the core of islam then why jizya and sex slavery and polygamy?
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  • better to be a smart aleck than be a trecherous stealth jihadi who wants to underming the value systems of the very country that ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • "...Pilgrims of the Sabarimala Temple Visit a Mosque and Church as Part of the Annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku Pilgrimage"you will rarely see this attitude among muslims.hindus ...
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  • islam is a religion that defines itself by blaming other religions, traditions, cultures, languages, the past and people.blaming the jews is the central theme ...
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  • Zoroastianism is not being degraded in this article. Misuse of Zoroastrian concepts is blamed, and correctly so. does Hats Off understand anything at all ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The "clear meaning" is only in Naseer sb.'s mind and it has been refuted often enough already in these discussions.Naseer sb. has already been ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Questions of smart-aleck teenagers elicit laughter, not answers.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Avery and Krieger are too sane for our insane world.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • if you cannot answer "teenager" questions, you better stick to the kindergarten ones.you will stand first in the class.
    ( By hats off! )
  • it is a pity if any religion has to justify itself (every time) by denigrating some other thing, place, event, period, language, tradition, culture ...
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  • "Emotions aren’t meant to rule over you – we have to learn the best way to manage them. But at the same time, emotions ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • DK: "I believe that a nuclear war, no matter how it would start, poses the greatest danger confronting humankind, and can only be prevented ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • “Human dignity is at the core of all Islam's messages. And if knowledge does not deliver on human dignity, then that knowledge really is questionable. So ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Religion is not plasticine that can be shaped any which way as one pleases. It is what it is and made clear by Allah. It ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • If Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) came back today, he would find  that his religion is completely taken over by the hypocrites and transformed beyond recognition.Among ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer sb. insists that his interpretation is the only correct interpretation but claim that it is not interpretation at all but the exact meaning ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • It is better for women to study teachings of Hazrat Nizamuddin (aka Mahboobe Ilahi) and then fight for entering the shrines.
    ( By Kaniz Fatma )
  • If Zoroastrian concepts were used to mis-translate the Quran, that was not the fault of Zoroastrians but of Muslim translators. Hats Off's comment is ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "The War is actually between Religionists and Atheists"Is this true?
    ( By Ali Murtuza )
  • Our purpose is to eliminate hate. Hate can’t be eliminated but by way of love, tolerance and friendly manner.Sometimes it is seen that people ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • What a dumb and hateful remark from Hats Off! Most people are convinced that Trump is a racist. Nobody that I know of has ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • It is so easy to vilify people, even those who are bedrocks of world morality. Perhaps Hats Off thinks doing so makes him look ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • For Hats Off, all occasions are just opportunities to "rub it in"! Does he think things will be less bloody with non-religious people? For ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Prayer, fasting, Hajj, zakat, belief in Allah and the Day Of Judgment are the hygiene factors.The pillars of Islam or what sustains Islam are ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )