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Islamic Society

The most agonising and shameful was to learn that some Maleducated lads aggressively approaching people on the streets, following everyone irrespective of their sex, age and state. Not only this, woman were not only approached but asked very vulgar questions. “If they enjoy dressing, “sexy” for boys or because they do so for themselves”? If they know anyone who was had been raped? These are the few question rather vulgar remarks which self-proclaimed Daee posed to women on streets. This is not only wrong but a major sin according to version of Islam which I have been taught and learned since my childhood....

“All the curricula of Islamic education systems are designed with an aim to help madrasa graduates get employed in the Islamic job sector. That is a problem, since this particular job sector is not that big.”...

 

As of this year, Gazans have been able to go online before heading to the mosque and find out where their favourite Islamic preacher will be leading Friday prayers. The Ministry of Religious Affairs enabled them to do so when it launched the platform Khotaba, which in Arabic means “preachers,” on Jan. 2. The website also allows users to assess the performance of every preacher in the Gaza Strip and post feedback on his sermons....

 

At the science department, they are taught Islamic studies and physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology and ICT. The Mujabbid section teaches Tajbid along with other general subjects. The science and social science students have to learn four courses on the Quran, Hadith, Islamic laws and Arabic along with the sciences and social science subjects. The science department have students all the way up to higher secondary level, and at Dakhil and Alim levels, it does not have business studies....

 
Opportunity – from Kasur to Kabul
Mosharraf Zaidi
Opportunity – from Kasur to Kabul
Mosharraf Zaidi

Child vulnerability is rampant across Pakistan, not just in Kasur. But a window for reform was opened in 2015 with the revelations of a child rape and pornography ring. The Punjab government failed to use it, and many accuse it of having deliberately shut it. Zainab’s dead body has re-opened this window.

The Afghanistan wound has been bleeding Pakistan for four decades. Once again, warlords, mercenaries and terrorists are tearing Kabul apart. This wanton violence also opens a window, a window that has been open for Pakistan since at least 2001....

 
The Kasur Case: Addressing Abuse
Hajrah Mumtaz
The Kasur Case: Addressing Abuse
Hajrah Mumtaz

The Kasur case jolted our otherwise moribund consciences. More importantly, the countrywide outrage and the resultant hectic efforts made by law enforcement will hopefully have given other families the strength to approach the justice system. Some years ago, this pattern emerged in ‘honour’ crimes as well; it was not that the incidence of the killings had increased...

 

However, political science, philosophy and history are taught from a religious angle. On some levels, science education is absent and other non-religion subjects are vastly neglected. As an example, the syllabus, formulated by the Befaqul Madarisil Arabia Bangladesh from preschool to Class VIII, does not have science studies. Almost all of the books taught in these classes, which are formulated by the board, are based on the Quran and the Arabic language....

 

Among those detained were Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the world's richest men, Saleh Abdullah Kamal and Waleed al-Ibrahim. In addition to their extensive business portfolios, the three men all had one thing in common: They head or rather headed large entertainment and media businesses....

 

Only through a reasoned and empathetic debate can we arrive at a solution to this problem of honour killings. But all such discussion will have to keep the individual’s choice at the forefront. Muslims themselves should take the lead to initiate such a discussion within their community. Democracy and secularism are not for others to practice but rather it is the minorities who should be at the forefront of all such struggles. Sadly, it is us, the Muslim minority, which has very acute deficit of democracy and choice within our own community....

When asked why he chose madrasa education for his son, Moshiur said: “I sent him there so that he is rewarded by the grace of Allah. Moreover, traditional education will be useless in the afterlife. That is why I chose madrasa-based education.” Many people associated with madrasas and mosques hold the same perception as Moshiur, particularly in the rural areas....

 

Students may earn a livelihood by providing home tuition to students of general stream, or adults who lack fundamental knowledge in Islam like the five-time prayers, reading Quran etc, he said. “They want to serve Islam and live Islam. After finishing a number of stages, they start teaching at the madrasas, preaching Islam or conducting prayers at the mosques,”...

 

Students, teachers, staff members also collect donations from the houses, sometimes railway and bus stations and give receipts to the donors. In the past, people also used to donate paddy to these madrasa and their orphanage, who now donate money generally....

 

Gold jewellery glinting, robes changing from blue to green under the lights, the diva of Timbuktu sang of Allah, salt mines and camels. Her audience sat silently around a courtyard, watching, listening, giving nothing away. Then, as she began Sourgou, her haunting Tuareg song, two men who could no longer contain their joy leapt on stage with her. They began to dance, crowns of charms around their heads, streaming turbans following their swooping movements.....

 
Urs of Sufi Saints Points to Their Relevance
Raziuddin Aquil
Urs of Sufi Saints Points to Their Relevance
Raziuddin Aquil

The Langar for the poor and dervishes at Nizamuddin’s hospice included Qorma and Roti, with occasional Tahiri (veg/chicken/meat Pulao), and sometimes Paratha, Samosa and Halwa. The idea was to feed the people to their satisfaction, which was a meritorious act. Control over physical demands meant that the Sufi master would himself maintain moderation in eating, sleeping and speaking. Less eating or fasting took care of many diseases, careful speaking was also recommended, and satisfaction of sacrificing sleep for meditation was lauded....

 

Therefore, it must be appreciated at the very outset that there has been a struggle going on within Islam for a long time on the question of reforming it. The same is true of Pakistan where both before and after its creation in 1947 an unresolved debate continues between the modernist reformers and Islamists/revivalists who want to recreate a pure Islamic utopia of the 7th century CE.....

Beyond Babri Mosque: Truce Can Only Come Through a Localised Genuine Dialogue
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
Beyond Babri Mosque: Truce Can Only Come Through a Localised Genuine Dialogue
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

Moreover some of his views will surely offend the Muslims. After a debate with the now infamous Zakir Naik, Sri Sri made a statement to his followers in which he underlined why he went for that debate. But in the same vein, he also said that the Kaaba is actually a Shiva temple and that Zakir Naik should be thankful that he did not raise this issue in the debate. Now, this contention about the Kaaba at Mecca is something which right wing Hindus have been saying for decades now. It tells us that Sri Sri, who claims to be above sectarian affiliations is himself deeply influenced by Hindu right wing ideology when it comes to thinking about Muslims....

Modernizing Madrasa Education: An Evaluation
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
Modernizing Madrasa Education: An Evaluation
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

Broadly, there are two categories of madrasas: those supported by the state and those supported primarily through community donations. It is possible that some community funded madrasas also take grants from the government. Within the community funded madrasas, there are number of ideological orientations possible: depending on the curriculum, madrasas in this category can be classified as Deobandi, Barelwi, Ahle Hadis, etc. Their curriculum is primarily theological which means that they hardly teach any ‘modern’ subjects like science and mathematics. Due to immense sectarian difference, these madrasas are not organised under one umbrella....

The Qur'anic term “Balagh” means "to convey the message”, and” not to convert”. It involves wisdom and prudence on the part of the preacher.   The missionaries are expected to approach their audience with respect and treat them with love. Before they start on Qur’anic matters, they must connect with people as humans. They should enquire about their families, their lives, their troubles. They must avoid being pedantic .These two Qur’anic verses are loaded with great wisdom for the missionaries…

•          “You cannot guide whoever you please: it is God who guides whom He will” (Q28:56)

•          “It is not up to you to guide them, but Allah guides whom He wills.” (Q2:72)

 

Imam al-Kadhum said: “The one who does not perform self-assessment every day is not one of us. When he finds that he did good, he is to pray God to help him do more good, and if he finds himself having done wrong, he is to seek God’s forgiveness and never return to it.”...

 
Time Muslims Themselves Did Away With Polygamy and Halala
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
Time Muslims Themselves Did Away With Polygamy and Halala
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

If one follows the spirit of the Quran, then perhaps monogamy becomes the ideal form of Muslim marriage as the Quran clearly says that all wives must be treated equally which is an impossible condition. Slowly and gradually, the Quran exhorts its believers to change the normative framework according to the prevailing circumstances in society. Since the current norm is monogamy, therefore Muslims also must adopt the principle of monogamy. Also the Quranic injunction is that Muslims must follow the law of the land. Since India is a constitutional democracy, Muslims here should have no objection in case there is a law which proclaims monogamy for everyone....

Misuse of Blasphemy Law in Pakistan
I.A. Rehman
Misuse of Blasphemy Law in Pakistan
I.A. Rehman

“The majority of blasphemy cases are based on false accusations stemming from property issues or other personal or family vendettas rather than genuine instances of blasphemy, and they inevitably lead to mob violence against the entire community.” In the same case, the court ruled that criticism of the blasphemy law did not amount to committing blasphemy as had been asserted by a counsel who, incidentally, had been a judge of the high court....

Much of the Fasaad around us is a result of political manipulation and desire for power. This arises from the feigned or deliberate distortion of God’s word. Equally, there are many who follow their leaders blindly and believe in the oft irrational, misguided and distorted versions of what love of religion really means. They have not read what the Quran says: “Hold to forgiveness; command what is right; But turn away from the ignorant” (7:199). ...

 
The Saudi Art Charade
Mark LeVine
The Saudi Art Charade
Mark LeVine

Indeed, while the Salvator Mundi was being purchased and senior Saudi royals were being detained in one of history's greatest shakedowns, blogger Raif Badawi, and his lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair and numerous other activists continued to languish in jail. Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh is still serving an eight-year jail sentence in a Saudi prison, accused of blasphemy and apostasy. Saudis and poor foreign workers continue to be beheaded, their bodies crucified in parking lots, with nary a word of criticism from the global arts community....

 
Why are Indian Mullahs Condemning a Song and Wink?
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
Why are Indian Mullahs Condemning a Song and Wink?
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

That a wink can be a religious problem for some Muslims tells a lot about what is fundamentally wrong with the religious leadership of the Indian Muslim community. But then it is not just the wink but also the background song which seems to be a problem. Mullahs on television have been crying hoarse on how a particular song, in an upcoming Malayalam movie, has hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims as it talks about the love between Prophet Muhammad and his wife Khadija. It doesn’t matter that the same song has been sung in Kerala for decades and that it is part of the Muslim folk tradition there...

The science of fundamentalism and fanaticism is enigmatic. The driving force behind the local and international terrorist organisations to execute nefarious activities is the same i.e. ideology. Yet, they diverge in their interests. The attack on Quetta’s Church was claimed by militant Islamic State (ISIS) though it is no different when it comes to the thinking paradigms of home grown fundamentalists....

 
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