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Islamic Society

Imran Khan now wants to fight fire with fire. His current talking points are fulfilling ‘Allama Iqbal’s dream’, and remaking Pakistan as the seventh-century state of Medina. His information minister has just announced unprecedented celebrations of the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) birthday next week, and a grand Khatm-e-Nabuwwat conference in Islamabad. Invitees will include the imam of the Holy Ka’aba, the mufti of Syria, and various high clerics...

Friday Sermons and Their Importance
Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi
Friday Sermons and Their Importance
Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi

Last Friday, the imam, in his first sermon, addressed the issue of sponsors, who hire workers without having any job for them to do. Hence, these sponsors ask the workers to find a job by themselves. In return, they charge the workers monthly amounts, and those who refuse to comply with the sponsor’s orders are sent back to their country. The imam emphasized that this is wrong on religious, legal and moral grounds. He further said that those who do this should seek forgiveness and stop doing it, because they will be held accountable for it on the Day of Judgment....

 

Everyone who affirms faith in life, hope, love and compassion has implicitly affirmed Muhammad (SAW). The Muhammad (SAW) of history is unknown or little known or little appreciated by vast majority of mankind but the metahistorical Muhammad celebrated in great Na’t poetry in general and Sufi poets in particular is implicitly known by everyone who cares to live and beautify it or pursue perfections of human state.....

 

In Islamic law, burying the dead is a collective obligation – an obligation that falls on the entire community of Muslims. If they fail in that duty, they are collectively sinful. Moreover, as jurists have taught, any Muslim who fails to bury the deceased and perform the funeral prayer over him despite being in a position to do so, is not only a sinner, but is also guilty of a crime and subject to appropriate punishment...

 

As with most Muslims, my desire to complete the hajj carries an intense emotional and spiritual weight. It isn’t just a ritual—it’s a foundational and indispensable pillar of my religion. I can’t say I’ll never go. I must. But I do know I can’t focus on my hajj while Saudis make a mockery of the journey and corrupt Islam without consequences....

Most Muslims will always prefer a tolerant and ethically conscientious Islam to the variant championed by the crown prince and the acquiescent Saudi clergy. By using the Grand Mosque to whitewash acts of despotism and oppression, Prince Mohammed has placed the very legitimacy of the Saudi control and guardianship of the holy places of Mecca and Medina in question....

In other words, the real question for the 21st century has not been whether blasphemy counts as a crime. Instead it’s been about who, or what — God or the state, religion or pluralism — is the injured party. Instead of preventing injury to God, these laws now seek to prevent injury to the social fabric of avowedly secular states. That’s true not only of the West’s centuries-old blasphemy laws but also of more recent ones....

They did not need to have a day or a month devoted to the Prophet because they had devoted their entire lives to him. Today our lives and our outlooks bear little resemblance to theirs. We praise but do not listen to him; we claim to love, but refuse to follow; we claim to believe but lead lives like those who don’t. We emphasise what the Companions ignored and ignore what they emphasized. They loved the Prophet, Sall-Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam, and had their lives to show for it....

 

Statistically speaking, at present, assets of Islamic Banks witnessed a whooping growth of 12.9 percent by the end of fiscal year 2017. The industry’s asset base has reached to Rs 2.5 trillion with a growth of 22 percent YoY June — 2018, which accounts for almost 13 percent of the overall banking system while its deposits surged at Rs2.03 trillion reporting a growth of 18.2 percent for the same period. Five full-fledged Islamic banks and 16 Islamic banking branches of conventional banks are providing Shariah-compliant products and services...

Holy men (and sometimes women) through their decisively large pockets of disciples, largely controlling and commanding the day to day discourse and narrative building in poverty-stricken South Asia. As time goes by, ecclesiastic’s intervention has become ubiquitous in every segment and most dangerously the power to control the narrative than any other institute enjoys. Over the years, the role of religious institution overstretched akin to Roman Church...

But for everyone, the Deobandis, the troublesome children, were the focus of attention. The Barelvis, on the other hand, were the peaceniks no one worried about. In fact, in the post 9/11 world, the latter were even given donor support in order to nurture the more ‘peaceful Islam’ as if the problem were of interpretation rather than politics....

 
On Becoming an Authentic Human Person from the Perspective of Islamic Sufism
Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu, New Age Islam
On Becoming an Authentic Human Person from the Perspective of Islamic Sufism
Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu, New Age Islam

More than submission to the demands of a legalistic God, the “authentic human” as “Insan al Kamil” loves God by becoming an embodiment of love himself/herself; and loving to save all sentient beings and not loving God to be simply saved. To be an “authentic human” entails an immeasurable loving kindness that enables one to realize the common bond of existence that ties together all real existents in this ongoing universe. It is this common bond of existence that allowed St. Francis of Assisi and Hazrat Rabi’ah Basri Adawiyyah to claim brotherhood with the sun, sisterhood with the moon, and kinship with every being that exists in the cosmos....

 

According to Feray Aytekin Aydoğan, president of the Education Union:

"That children -- from the age of nine -- are handed over to people who are affiliated with the Diyanet and who are not educators is a violation of children's rights... This hafiz education is unlawful... The students who go to mosques for this training will be away from schools and this is a crime and a violation of their rights."...

 

Most ulema in Pakistan and even in India extend the applicability of blasphemy laws to non-Muslims living in Muslim countries. Not to speak of the self-avowed clerics like Maulvi Khadim Razvi of the ‘Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’ (TLP) or the recently killed Maulvi Samiul Haque of 'Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan' (TTP), even the well-known Barelvi and Deobandi theologians,  Muftis (Islamic jurists) and more scandalously, even the so-called Sufi-Sunni clerics are unanimously agreed upon this. They aver that it is incumbent upon the Islamic government to execute all blasphemers, be they Muslim or non-Muslim. This actually emanates from their reference to this Hadith report as recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari: "Slay whoever has desecrated the Prophet" (من سب نبيا فاقتلوه). (Al-Bukhari. 1997, vol. 9, 46)

Interestingly, Imam An-Nasai, another authoritative Hadith compiler like Imam Bukhari, has reportedly accused one of the narrators of this Hadith of lying....

The pluralistic world created by the diffusion of understanding of world’s major faith-traditions has made religion a vital resource in the task of building a good society, a world where all can live freely and pursue visions of the highest values.

Broadly speaking, Qur’an teaches Tauheed (Unitarianism) and stresses on the rights and privileges of people linking them with God and achievable through noble deeds. Following these principles, the power is entrusted in God rather than just in people. Moreover, Islamic Democracy does not propagate nationalism as nationalism is contrary to Islamic teachings. Thus, without propagating for one global Islamic state, it propagates fraternity between the Muslims living in different Muslim countries. ...

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.”...

 
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