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Islamic Society

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....

 
How Teaching Philosophy in Tunisia Protected the State
Fahad Suleiman Shoqiran
How Teaching Philosophy in Tunisia Protected the State
Fahad Suleiman Shoqiran

He states: “For a purely individual characteristic of Kant’s mind is a remarkable love of symmetry, which delights in a varied multiplicity, so that it may reduce it to order, and repeat this order in subordinate orders, and so on indefinitely, just as happens in Gothic churches.” Thus, choosing this text in the secondary curriculum of philosophy is a boost to sharpen and awaken the mind....

 

Even in the most revolutionary thinkers, you will find the uncannily familiar. Sigmund Freud was no exception. Arabs recognised in Freud’s body of thought ideas from classical Islamic thinkers. In the 1940s and ’50s, when intellectuals translated Freud’s work into Arabic, they reached out to Ibn Arabi, the great 12th-13th-century Sufi mystic philosopher. The Egyptian playwright and novelist Tawfiq al-Hakim dates the impulse to blend traditions as far back as Alexander’s conquest of Syria and the eventual translation of philosophical works from Greek to Syriac....

Shariah experts say Adhan is neither a basic condition for Salah nor one of its principles or pillars. Adhan is Fard Kifaya or a legal obligation discharged by the Muslim community. Unfortunately, some people who do not know the difference between Fard Kifaya and Fard Ain and the difference between condition and pillar give strange opinion creating confusion among the faithful....

In the same year, the Lord in His infinite wisdom revealed to Prophet Muhammad what is now commemorated as the Night Journey, when on the 27th of Rajab, in the seventh month of the lunar calendar; the Archangel Jibrael visited him at night and took him on Al Burraq (the name of an angel). They travelled from Makkah to Jerusalem, to the furthest mosque today called Al Aqsa. There, he met with all previous Prophets who had struggled with their peoples to deliver the same message of submission. He led them in prayer:...

 

Already, in the middle-class-dominated markets of Lahore, many shops say “Ahmadis not allowed”. The community is under siege and is trying to flee the country before being subjected to collective violence. The judge is a fundamentalist Muslim dreaming of winning paradise by making Pakistan a “Muslim first” state. Malaysia-based Islamic scholar Javed Ghamidi — who thinks Pakistan is a nation-state and not a Khilafat and is therefore committed to treating all its citizens equally — can no longer live in Pakistan after being attacked in Lahore....

Is Saudi Arabia Turning Against Wahhabism?
Eleanor Beever
Is Saudi Arabia Turning Against Wahhabism?
Eleanor Beever

Some resistance to religious reform is inevitable. But the best friend of liberalization, however gradual, is its own practice. Whilst the House of Saud is unlikely to be brought down by jihadist attacks in the near future, it should learn the lessons of history if it wants to avoid empowering the very force it claims to be fighting....

Countdown to the Opening of Cinemas in Saudi Arabia
Mohammed Al Shaikh
Countdown to the Opening of Cinemas in Saudi Arabia
Mohammed Al Shaikh

When we call for openness and for dealing with the issue of what is allowed and what is forbidden with free minds without accusing people of infidelity or heresy, i.e. when we accept pluralism, we’d be setting our foot on the first path of reform and civilization. We must also admit that our country has several components with different orientations, some of which have contradicting jurisprudential orientations....

 

The focus needs to shift to the Islamic mandate of the creation of an egalitarian society based on forgiveness. The focus should go back to the bigger jihad, the struggle against evil within and to dissuasion from fighting (Qital or Harb) that features in the Quran 70 times against the reference to jihad (41 times). This spirit underlined by the Quranic verse calling the killing of an innocent akin to slaying all of humanity has to prevail to rid the world of destabilising scourge of terrorism and Islamophobia....

 

Admittedly, there’s no way to verify all of ex-Muslims’ accounts or the real scale of the phenomenon, but even allowing for exaggeration, it doesn’t make a pretty picture. Attracting extremists while losing educated and liberal followers, threatens to exacerbate Islam’s already serious existential crisis in the absence of any serious effort to halt the slide.

Moderation means to adopt a middle path between two extremes in all walks of life. Islam stresses moderation and balance in all aspects of life; in beliefs, worship, conduct, relationships, ideas, customs, transactions, daily activities and human desires. Principled moderation has been reiterated in the Quran whether explicitly or implicitly as a good character in Islam.

Allah Almighty said: “Thus, We have made you a justly balanced community” (2:143)....

Humility is one of the requirements of being an Islamic scholar. It is absolutely essential to be able to express doubt or lack of one’s own clarity about a particular issue, and not appear to know everything there is to know about religion or even the Quran. There are innumerable Mufassirs (exegetes) who have written interpretations of the Quran, but rare is the one who may have referred to an interpretation differing from his or who may have suggested that a particular verse could possess more than the meaning s/he is inclined to see....

Removing Hate from Sermons
Rafia Zakaria
Removing Hate from Sermons
Rafia Zakaria

The involvement of Nacta illustrates this — in hundreds, possibly even thousands, of mosques, clerics urge support for extremist thought, even violence, whilst ignoring the reality that thousands of Pakistanis have died as a result of violent tactics. For too long, hate-filled clerics have remained above the law, able to operate with impunity.....

Delhi’s Jama Masjid is the pulsating heart of the city. It is always full of devotees who come to pray and tourists who come to admire Shah Jahan’s architectural perfection. Outside its lofty gateways are markets teeming with people shopping for clothes, utensils and books, or digging into delicious street food and drinking cool sherbets to beat the heat. To the right of the eastern gateway is an often-missed Dargah. This belongs to a man who long ago came to buy goods in India but instead got ‘sold’ in the bazaar of love....

 
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