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Islamic Society

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.”...

 

There has been a perpetual conflict between the forces of virtue and evil since the creation of this world. The Battle of Karbala is indeed an iconic symbol of this sort of conflict. This battle was not merely a conflict between two individuals- Hussain ibn Ali (AS) and Yazid ibn Mu’awiya. But it was essentially a clash between two conflicting ideologies i.e. Hussainism and Yazidism. This clash of ideologies lies at the very root of what has been dubbed a “Resurrection of Islam”. Yazidism posed an existential threat to Islam. It tried to suppress and subjugate the Muslim polity. So Hussainism instantly appeared to confront and counter Yazidism....

 

“I learned from Hussain how to be wronged and be a winner, I learned from Hussain how to attain victory while being oppressed.”? Mahatma Gandhi

The story of Hussain (as) is a time that invokes abundant grief and sadness among the Ummah (nation) who remember the Battle of Karbala and heinous acts of Yazid’s army. Today, tens of millions continue to visit the shrines of the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) beloved family....

 

The Sharia emerged as a legal corpus at the same time as the Fiqh, or Islamic jurisprudence, at the end of the 8th century. And it is unsurprising that the few rules established to govern life in society in the small community of Medina were no longer sufficient by the time of the conquests. This was not just as a result of the breadth and complexity of the questions posed by the administration of far-reaching territories as the Islamic world expanded. It was also necessary to respect personal status as dictated by the main religions, and to take into account a whole host of local customs....

It is amazing to note how he drew one’s attention to verses or their other possible meanings one ordinarily hastily passes by. For instance he often asked whether the verse stating that the Christ’s true believers would prevail over the unbelievers till the Day of Resurrection (3:55) implied God’s endorsement of certain dominance of the Christian West and if not why not. It is true that Muslims truly follow the Christ but are they alone in thus following him? Is it possible to deny the share claimed by Christians? ...

 

All the authentic jurists are unanimous on the point that the mourning of this type is impermissible. Even Sayyidna Husain (RA), shortly before his Shahadat, had advised his beloved sister Sayyidah Zainab (RA), at not to mourn over his Shahadat in this manner. He said, “My dear sister! I swear upon you that in case I die you shall not tear your clothes, nor scratch your face, nor curse anyone for me or pray for your death.”...

 

Haj, it has been said, is a powerful experience, and a catalyst for change like no other. And it is. There was much I learnt being part of a global community of more than two million people. We trekked under the scorching heat of the desert sun, and waded through the crush of people together, sharing not just succulent Ajwa dates and refreshment, but tears and laughter....

 

And so, underneath the world of appearances, shapes, dogma and law, there exist an inward reality (Haqiqa) which is its true foundation and gives it meaning. This reality is what the Sufi tends to perceive, starting from the outward and peripheral norm, the Sharia, for a journey across the road of initiation (Tariqa) which connects appearance to essence - the shell to the core. This introspective process is outlined in the Quran (51:20)...

 

I find it easy to immerse myself in outer planning and needs, but this can sometimes be a distraction from my internal work. All practices on the Sufi path are connected to developing the soul, so serving outwardly affects us inwardly. It is difficult to look at how I serve myself, what aspects of my inner world need clearing, what burdens I happily shoulder, and which bitter thoughts I shrink from....

 

But if Saudi Arabia withstood the storms that the Arab Spring caused in its neighbourhood, credit must also to the House of Saud which enjoys awe and respect among the civilians. Or are the citizens too afraid to raise a voice against the House of Saud? The same House of Saud concluded a pact in 1733 with Ibn Abdul Wahhab, the preacher whose dangerous ideology would be known as Saudi-funded Wahhabism. The good thing is that bin Salman acknowledges the mistakes the kingdom made in the past....

 

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....

 
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