Books and Documents

Islamic Society

Elusive Definition of an Islamic State
Owen Bennett-Jones

There is one point Ayatollah Khomeini, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Mullah Omar could surely agree on. For an Islamic state to exist, the clerics have to be in charge. And by that standard, for all its constitutional provisions, Saudi Arabia remains a monarchy, not an Islamic state. And the Islamic Republic of Pakistan doesn’t come close. Not yet....


Turkey Rejects ‘Moderate Islam’
Uzay Bulut

"The word Kafir is the worst word in the human language. It is far worse than the n-word, because the n-word is a personal opinion, whereas, Kafir is Allah's decree. Nearly two thirds of the Quran is devoted to the Kafir. Islam is fixated on the Kafir and the moderate Muslim thinks that you are a Kafir. How moderate is that?" It is ironic that Warner's assessment of a lack of "moderate" Islam is closer to Erdoğan's than to that of the Saudi crown prince. Whether Islam can be moderated or reformed, or whether Islamic societies can be secularized, is debatable....

Barelvis and the Pakistan Movement
Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed

Slowly but surely the theological, ideological and political initiative in defining what is Pakistan has moved into the hands of the Barelvi clerics. The heyday of Deobandis and Ahl-e-Hadith militancy which emerged as a great factor in Pakistani politics in the wake of Afghan jihad now seems to be over....

Why So Many Turks Took Black Friday as Insult to Islam
Mustafa Akyol

Hamza Yerlikaya, an official adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, joined the choir. “What is this Black Friday? Why Friday? Friday is light, peace and blessing,” he tweeted, asking, “What operation is this? What perception is being built on this special day?” The bewildering part is that none of these Turks who condemned Black Friday bothered to learn what the term really means — that it has nothing to do with Islam’s holy day, let alone “insulting” it or carrying out an “operation” on Turkey and its Muslimness....

Does Religion Make People Moral?
Mustafa Akyol

The religious conservatives have morally failed because they ended up doing everything that they once condemned as unjust and cruel. For decades, they criticized the secular elite for nepotism and corruption, for weaponising the judiciary and for using the news media to demonize and intimidate their opponents. Yet after their initial years in power, they began repeating all of the same behaviour they used to condemn, often even more blatantly than their predecessors....

Unity, Faith And Discipline Required!
Palwasha Khan

I was reading Allama Iqbal’s poetry, where he felt gloomy that Iqbal’s doubts being expressed in his poetry are proven correct. Today’s Muslim is not a true Muslim. They lost their values, traditions and customs. Young generation has no respect and love for their elders. Every Muslim is suffering at the hands of other Muslim. Love, respect, hard work is no more valued in life.....


Erdogan’s 'Pious Generation' Curriculum Gets Failing Grade
Pinar Tremblay

Erdogan’s dream of raising a pious generation has backfired. The highest percentage of political opposition came from voters aged 18-24 during the April 16 referendum that granted the president unprecedented powers.

Erdogan now understands he cannot ride on the votes of the "pious generation" he has invested in and tried to cultivate for more than a decade. This may well explain his unexpected turnabout and sudden love for the founder of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who is a symbol of secularism….


Thought Control In Malaysia Stifles Islamic Intellectual Development
Mustafa K Anuar

As things stand now, Chin Huat said Malaysia would only catch up in freedom of thought with Saudi Arabia. He longed for the day “when Islam shines as ‘Rahmat Al Lil Alamin’ (blessings to the universe), whose rays shower on even non-Muslims, instead of being appropriated by Pan-Muslim nationalists as merely an identity marker to police the believers and to discriminate against the non-believers.”...


Sufism — A Cure for Present Crises
Dr Syed Areeb Uddin

Spirituality in Islam holds its fourth Caliph, Hazrat Imam Ali as its central figure and leading personality, one can simply derive out of what the reason for this would be. There has been no such towering personality ever recorded in human history. His trust and reliance on Allah is the most appreciate able as that makes him a king of the heart person though having negligible lively possessions. It was that trust which brought in him qualities of paramount courage, leadership, justice and simplicity....

Division of Knowledge between Religious and Secular in the Madrasas Must Be Abolished to Stem the Tide of Islam’s Continued Decline
Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam

As Europe was availing the fruits of its advancement and transforming its cold, dark and ramshackle villages into shining imageries of paradise (in the words of poet Laureate Muhammad Iqbal) and dotting its towns and cities with splendid museums, libraries, hospitals, universities, and rows upon rows of picturesque residential houses complete with all amenities – gardens, parks, shopping arcades, pharmacies, community centers – among other things, the orthodox Ulema remained in a state of denial and declared all scientific and civilisational advancement of Europe as the handiwork of Shaytan….

Related Articles:

“Madrasa Education is a Clear Violation of the Human Rights of Children”: Sultan Shahin asks UNHRC to make Muslim Countries Stick to their Pious Declarations

Evolution of Hadith Sciences and Need for Major Paradigm Shift in Role of Hadith Corpus and Scope of Madrasa Education

RESTRUCTURING MADRASA EDUCATION: Muslim Opponents of India’s 'Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act' are Enemies of Indian Muslims

An Open Reminder To Ulama- Rejecting Universal Knowledge As Un-Islamic Is Brazenly Un-Islamic And Kufr (Denial Of Truth).



Huge Crowds Descend On Egyptian City to Celebrate Sufi Mystic
Ayah Aman

“The Milad of Sheikh Badawi is a chance for followers of different Sufi orders to gather together, as it rehabilitates souls to coexist peacefully.” Every Sufi order performs its Hadra in pavilions in the mosque’s courtyard. In the praising of God, believers dance, twirl and sway barefoot to the rhythms of the daf (a Mesopotamian instrument that resembles the Western tambour) and ney (a woodwind instrument similar to a flute), rehabs (an instrument that resembles a lute) and violins....


Islam and Peace: Some Reflections from the Quran and the Life of the Prophet
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, New Age Islam

So, it is quite clear that war and violence are irrelevant to the scheme of Islam. The scheme of Islam requires peace in the complete sense of the term. War, violence and intolerance are completely unwanted in Islam. Because of this, the Quran gives great emphasis to Sabr or patience. Sabr is one of the most important teachings of Islam. The Quran says: “Truly, those who persevere patiently will be requited without measure.” (39:10)...

Faithless Face behind the Religious Mask
Dr Saulat Nagi

In the land of the pure, the law relating to blasphemy is yet again in the limelight. The hysterical expression of the rulers, the sardonic behaviour of theocracy and the bizarre yet pernicious attitude of the lumpen simply reflect that redeeming the state from the quagmire of religious fanaticism has become an impossible task....

Meet Pakistan’s Modern Middle Class
Ammara Maqsood

The visible religiosity of the new middle class is often identified as the Wahhabi Islam of Saudi Arabia. However, it is not Wahhabi Islam but the globalized Islam practiced by Muslims in the West that better explains contemporary religious trends. Made familiar with Muslim practices abroad through relatives living abroad and returning migrants, many members of the new middle class have started incorporating them in their own lives....

Pakistan, Let’s Talk About Sex
Mohammed Hanif

Two kids or 20, for parents they are all precious. For some, even divine. There are men who believe that by bringing more children into the world they are helping build up the Muslim Ummah. Every few years, a silly news story is published about a man with 30 or more children who claims to be having fun doing God’s work. But nobody ever asks the three or four mothers involved in producing all those children if sitting around a stove making food for more than 30 people makes them happy.....


Ka’bah – The Iconic Nucleus of the Hajj
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam

"There it stood, almost a perfect cube ... entirely covered with black brocade, a quiet island in the middle of the vast quadrangle of the mosque: much quieter than any other work of architecture anywhere in the world. ….. The builder knew that no beauty of architectural rhythm and no perfection of line, however great, could ever do justice to the idea of God: and so he confined himself to the simplest three-dimensional form imaginable—a cube of stone." It is a symbol, as Asad wrote, "of God's oneness; and the pilgrim's bodily movement around it is a symbolic expression of human activity, implying that not only our thoughts and feelings—all that is comprised in the term 'inner life'—but also our outward, active life, our doings and practical endeavours must have God as their centre."….


Salafis and Sufis Can Strike a Meeting Ground
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam

Incidentally, Sufism has become a kind of New-Age amalgam of spiritual practices, even though its roots reach back to the earliest days of Islam. As the early Muslim conquerors took their faith to different lands, Sufism began to borrow from different traditions, including Greek and Hindu philosophy and Christian theology. Hence, many of the early Sufis believed that all faiths were equal. This is where Sufism went astray.The way forward that can provide a unifier effect to the Muslims would be that the Salafis soften their stance and the Sufis to  discipline their loose practices.

Is our fate in the otherworld linked to following particular juristic school in a given case? Is animal sacrifice (Qurbani) mandatory for every individual who can afford it (Sahibi Istita'at)? Is the popular understanding of Qurbani (especially Hanafi one) based on certain reading of prophetic traditions uncontested in Islamic tradition?  No is the answer to all these questions....

Eid-ul-Adha at Bhopal 2014:  A Reflection
Syed Rizvi, New Age Islam

It is not a surprise that no Muslim leader or clergy condemned this action of the Muslims but it is deplorable that no lefts, liberals, or secularist said a word against this despicable behaviour of the main stream India’s Muslims....


The way out of ignorance lies in the middle, in a synthesis of these poles. Is it possible Islam, the religion of 1.3 billion people, does contain its share of ultra-conservatives and militants? But could it also be many Muslims seek progressive, moderate leadership? I’ve had the privilege to know Muslims in Canada and around the world. In my personal life, and in work with the International Association of Religion Journalists, I’ve become colleagues and friends with Muslims in North America, Europe, Malaysia, Lebanon, South Africa, Algeria, Pakistan and elsewhere.....

Islamic Republic Of Iran: When Justice Is Regressive
Rafia Zakaria

The slander heaped on them, then, is its own metaphorical death, a kind of destruction just as tragic as the actual robbing of life. Pakistani society is a champion at this practice; there are many Asieh Aminis here, silenced, sometimes killed, all for the crime of raising a voice, demanding a more equal life....


The Greatest Sacrifice: How Does The Tradition Of Eid-Ul-Azha Define Us?
SN Rasul

When Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son, his faith was so strong that he actually went ahead with it. Fortunately, a messenger of God interrupted him and Abraham ended up sacrificing a ram instead and, in the subsequent centuries, God was kind enough to continue the tradition of sacrificing animals instead of children. The second Eid brings with it perhaps the most contentious of 21st century practices, and one of the most misconstrued of religious traditions.....

An Old Woman’s Courage
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

An Old Woman’s Courage
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

“Who is it who has maltreated you in this way?” the Caliph asked. The old woman pointed to the person sitting next to the caliph. Mamun Rashid saw that it was his own son, Abbas that she was pointing at. He ordered his Vazir, i.e. his chief advisor, to take Abbas and stand him up next to the old woman. This order was carried out. Now the Caliph asked them both to state their cases....

Haj: Pilgrimage of Heart
Kashif Shahzada

The Haj is indeed a life-changing experience when it is done as the Quran says “Lillah” or for Allah and no one else (3:97). Its motivation is the love of Allah; and it is a hardship undertaken only for His sake. The transformation takes place by self-imposed regulations for a fixed number of days and by experiencing some events which will all leave their mark on the pilgrim....


Haj —To Set Out For a Higher Destination
Sadia Dehlvi

The two unstitched pieces of white cloth that men wear during the Hajj, strips them of clothes that could reveal worldly status. This Ihram that male pilgrims wear resembles the shroud used to wrap a body before it is lowered into a grave. This serves as reminder of death and the afterlife.....

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