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Books and Documents

Islamic Ideology

The Importance of Zikr
S. Arshad, New Age Islam

The Importance of Zikr
S. Arshad, New Age Islam

The remembrance and utterance of the name of the Creator of the Universe is prescribed in all the religions of the world. The Psalms, the Torah, the Bible and the oldest scriptures of the world --- the Vedas – sing hosanna to the Divine Creator. The tradition of uttering the name of God is also found in other religions like Manichaeism which was in vogue in Iran in the ancient times. The prophet of Manichaeism was Mani. Many modern folk religions like Sikhism, Nath Panth, Kabir Panth and Vaishnavism etc give importance to remembrance of God, rather remembrance and utterance of the name of God forms the basic practice of these religions....

 

Humility (Khusu) and Modesty (Tawadu) in Islam- A Source of Attaining Divine Pleasure and Maintaining Peace
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

It is reported that the beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “No one who has the weight of a seed of arrogance in his heart will enter Paradise.” Someone asked if that person was proud who likes that his clothes and shoes to be neat and smart. The Prophet said, “Verily, Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty (This statement means that good clothing and shoes do not denote pride”. Thereafter the beloved Prophet added saying, “pride means rejecting the truth and looking down on people.”...

 

'Only In the Remembrance of God Is the Solace of Hearts' (Quran13:28)
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

A great Sufi Imam Abul Qasim Qushairi writes in his book, “There are two types of remembrance; the remembrance of the tongue and the remembrance of the heart. The continual remembrance of the tongue eventually brings the servant to the remembrance of the heart. The true effect, however, lies in the remembrance of the heart. If the servant is able to perform remembrance with both his tongue and his heart, he has achieved perfection in both his personal state and his wayfaring.”...

 

Islamic Postulates of Ijtihad (Rethinking) And ‘Ismah’ (Infallibility) And Intellectual Disagreements of the Prophet’s Companions In Light Of the Battle of Camel - Part 1
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

According to the canonical rule in the Islamic jurisprudence, if a Muslim has the ability to carry out Ijtihad, he needs not to comply with the Ijtihad of any other Mujtahid (one who carries out Ijtihad). Next to the Qur'an and the Sunnah, Ijtihad has the most pivotal role to play in the Islamic rulings and edicts. Unlike the first two primary sources of the Shari'ah, which discontinued at the demise of the Prophet (pbuh), Ijtihad is a continuing process of intellectual thinking, creative re-thinking and brainstorming on contemporary issues and matters of religion. But it is allowed only for those who have a scholastic aptitude for deriving meanings and extracting rulings from the texts of Qur’an and Hadith....

Muslim Zakat: Reigniting the Fire of Camaraderie
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam

The equitable division of the wealth of society and bounty of the earth between all people, regardless of their social station, through the instrument of charity, is seen not just as an act of piety but a cardinal   obligation for Muslims .Ramadan is the focal point of philanthropy: during this month, Islam’s obligation to give to the poor intensifies. Those who miss the daily fast, for example, must feed a poor person. The idea that helping others is part of a meaningful life has been around for thousands of years.  They are taught to live as trustees of God’s blessings....

From The Mystical to the Political: What Is Sufism?
Eric Geoffroy

You must know Allah in order to adore Him more. But this is impossible to achieve as long as the ego stands between Him and human consciousness: by "annihilating in Allah" (al-Fanā') the initiate comes to the conclusion that only He is. Indeed, doesn't the Islamic profession of faith declare that "There is no God but Allah"? For the Sufis, this means that "Only Allah is", because what is created, what is contingent must disappear before what is Absolute....

In Both Religion and Law, Polygamy Has No Place
Tahir Mahmood

The plurality of wives was a pre-Islamic custom which Islam tried to reform. The Quran spoke of it in the context (and interest) of war orphans, emphatically counselling monogamy if multiple wives could not be maintained with absolute equality. Deserting one’s wife without divorcing her, and bringing home a second wife, which in India happens in the name of religious right was not Islam’s idea of polygamy. In any case, it was an exceptional permission to meet exigencies....

Contrary To Popular Perception, the Quran Prescribes an Elaborate Procedure for Divorce
Audrey D’Mello

After the third pronouncement of Talaq, the divorced wife would not have to wait indefinitely for her husband to take her back. Since the marriage tie is broken permanently, she would be free to remarry. This was deemed as a punishment for the husband as she would no longer be available to him. The option of remarrying her was available only if her second marriage breaks down too, and the wife consents to reuniting with her former husband. The presumption for this was that a couple which goes through the cumbersome long-drawn procedure of marriage-divorce-remarriage-divorce-reremarriage-divorce would not be wish to reunite again as their decision to dissolve the marriage would be a well-thought one....

Many religions claim to be the best or assert their finality or primordiality. How do we understand such claims and appreciate Mulla Sadra’s point, endorsed by Muslim theologians and sages in their own ways, regarding Islam as superior and more complete than any other religion because it incorporates the teachings of all religions? If we closely attend to the ground of the claim of finality – access to the Absolute – for which prophets are the means, we can, across religions, identify the ground of superiority and resolve conflicting claims. Today we note Schuon’s (Shaykh Isa Nuruddin’s) clarification of the logic underlying finality....

Abrogation of Verses: Declaring Verses of the Quran Abrogated Does Not Have Any Justification in Quran or Hadith
S. Arshad, New Age Islam

...those verses that are included in the Quran cannot be said to have been abrogated because the abrogated verses have already been removed by another verses according to the principle of the Quran. The verses should be considered in their right contexts. The abrogated verses were left out when the Quran was compiled in the book form. Declaring some specific verses only on the basis of interpretation of particular school of thought or on the basis of extremist point of view is illogical and unacceptable....

Israel Contemplates a Future without Netanyahu
Ruth Margalit

The “news from Israel” that the reporter asked Netanyahu about as he met with the Trump were reports that the Prime Minister’s former spokesman, Nir Hefetz, had agreed to become the third former aide to coöperate with investigators and turn over recordings of Netanyahu and his wife in exchange for not standing trial. Hefetz’s coöperation could be the most significant development yet in the corruption cases surrounding Netanyahu....

 

Misinterpretations of Quran: Is There Any Ground For Abrogation Of Verses Of Quran That Teach Peace, Pluralism And Brotherhood Of All Groups?
Basil Hijazi, New Age Islam

It is the responsibility of all the schools of thought that they should work without ideological and cultural preoccupations to know its truth and to reveal its truth to the world, not because this book belongs to the Muslims but because it has played a very important role in shaping the world.

There is a need of a total rethinking of the Quran’s views on war and peace without any prejudice because this issue is not only very important  but also because a misconception  has spread far and wide on this issue which has been causing Muslim as well as non-Muslim world huge damage....

True Meaning of the Phrase ‘Ma Malakat Aymanukum’: Does It Mean Only Male Or Female Slaves?
S. Arshad, New Age Islam

The phrase “Ma Malakat Aymanukum” is not used to mean only male or female slaves but all the poor and needy persons, male or female, dependent on the wealthy and well to do people. This verse also hints at the system of distribution of Zakat because the purpose of Zakat is to distribute a portion of the income or wealth of a well to do person to needy people around him. Thus all the needy people around a well to do person are ‘Ma Malakat Aymanuhum” according to this verse. The Quran envisages a society where the wealthy will always take care of the needy people around them and will strive to reduce poverty in his area by parting with a portion of their wealth with the poor and the needy. Therefore, all the needy and the destitute under a wealthy person’s purview are his “right hand possession” or “Ma Malakat Aymanuhum” or dependents in terms of financial position and it is his religious duty to take care of them. So, even a beggar, an orphan or a destitute person comes under the phrase ‘Ma Malakat Aymanukum’....

“Elements of Islamic laws and codes have become inconsistent not just with the contemporary era, but also with the very principles and values of Islam that such laws and codes are supposed to uphold.” From triple Talaq to rulings on hijab and banks and to interfaith marriages to choosing diverse careers we have a range of opinions to debate and choose from without being guilty of defying Islam or what Asad calls “true Shariah.” What is wrong with legalism may be understood by taking a look at its history – Chinese, Judaic, Christian and other traditions that fought war against it. ...

God in the Quran Speaks To the People through ‘Symbols’
Jan-e-Alam Khaki

This could be one more reason why Iqbal says, “free (Aazad Kar) the intellect (Khirad) from bondage (Ghulami) and make the young teachers of the old”. Could he mean that the new ideas be given space to enrich our societies through multiple ways of looking at the symbols, metaphors and allusions used in the sacred texts and complex literature to enlighten our paths in a global village?...

The Regress of Knowledge: Understanding the Concept of Salafism in Traditional Sunnism
Adis Duderija

One aspect of this struggle for religious legitimacy among the post-righteous generations of Muslims (as-Salaf as-Salih), chronologically speaking was by linking one's theological, political or legal views to that of the As-Salaf As-Salih. This would, in turn, imbue these competing factions with the sense of normativity, credibility and authority. As a corollary, the concept of Salafism - or what I also term a Salafi worldview - can be conceptualized in terms of the idea of the "emulation-worthiness" of the first century religious and political authorities who were perceived as having remained faithful to the teachings of the Qur'an and the example of the Prophet in relation to 'Aqidah (beliefs), Manhaj (methodology) and 'Ibadah (worship) in contrast to those who are deemed( from a perspective of a particular group of Muslims) to have deviated.....

What God Is Not and Why, In The Light Of the Quran?
Hasan Aftab Saeed

God is not a theorem that can be proved by starting from more basic assumptions. Any ‘logical’ argument that proposes to do so ends up proving the opposite, in the process undoing itself. That’s because He is the Absolute (the most Basic), which means he depends on nothing while everything else depends on Him (112:2). Over the centuries, philosophers have repeatedly demonstrated the errors in the ontological, cosmological, and the teleological arguments that claim to ‘prove’ the ‘existence’ of God....

 

So it is the job of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), to explain the Qur’an. And it is the job of the believers to obey him.”He who obeys the Messenger obeys Allah indeed” (Nisa 4:80). And even more emphatically it says: “And obey Allah and obey His Messenger.”(Al-Taghabun 64:12). It is to be noted that here the Qur’an did not say “Obey Allah and His Messenger.” By using the command, “obey” independently the fact has been firmly established that the status of an order given by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is the same as that given by Allah....

Rescuing Islamic Law from Legalism
Dr Muhammad Maroof Shah

Beyond the period of the Companions the history of Islam doesn’t furnish a single instance of a real Ijma, either in the sense of an agreement among all Muslim scholars or even among those of a particular period.’’ From 3rd or 4thcentury A.H the Law was conceived as a "combination of the Nass ordinances plus a legislation arrived at through deduction. Instead of the original Two sources or roots (Usul) of the Law – the Quran and the Sunnah, the Muslims were presented with four roots: the Quran, Sunnah, Ijma and Qiyas; and only a small minority of scholars continued to oppose this arbitrary addition.’’....

Khatam-e-Nabuwwat and Its Significance - Part One: How a Muslim Came To Be Defined
Tahir Kamran

Until the early modern period of Muslim intellectual history of South Asia, Muslim rule was in existence; therefore question like the definition of a Muslim never arose. The religious culture revolved around the empire and Dargah (Sufi Shrine), the influence of which had been articulated in the social plurality. Both of these institutions allowed certain space for the co-existence of multiple socio-cultural identities. ...

Put an End to the Vilification of Islam
Tariq A. Al-Maeena

To summarize some of the ridiculous Fatwas of the past supposedly based on the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would take many pages, but here are a few examples. In May 2007, a fatwa was issued by an Islamic cleric in Egypt, which said that a female worker should breastfeed a male colleague to establish a maternal bond between them, in order to overcome the Islamic law against the illegal private seclusion of men and women. The cleric based his fatwa on a flawed interpretation of a Hadith by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).....

He accepts traditionally widely understood and properly delimited meaning of wisdom and sage for Hikmah and Hakeem and thus requires us to take seriously illumined philosophies across cultures. He notes that the method of knowledge from the Unseen (Ghayeb) include Wahi, Tehdees, Tafheem, Zoaq, Marifat, Ilmi Ludni, Kashf etc. He reminds us of a Prophetic tradition stating that “Anyone who spares 40 days only for God springs of Hikmah will be on his tongue.”....

 

The Mufassirin Who Render the Quran A Book of Foolish Nonsense
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

Who are these Kafaru who are the worst of creatures? Irrespective of how they have translated the verses, every commentator has treated all of the People of the Book and all of the Mushrikin as Kafir and the worst of creatures. In their translations, some of them vary, and consider only some among the People of the Book among the Kafaru but almost all of them consider all the Mushrikin as among the Kafaru. The expression “The Kafaru among the People of the Book and among the Mushrikin” is interpreted by these Mufassirin as merely identifying the Kafaru from different faiths. By implication, for them all non-Muslims are Kafir and these verses merely exclude Kafir from other faiths such as the Buddhists, the Zoroastrians, etc....

Mercy to the Worlds: Just As a Lamp Dispels Darkness, Through His Prophet, Allah Seeks To Illuminate the Souls of Mankind
Qasim A. Moini

Emulation doesn’t mean literally and ritualistically adopting the ways of the seventh century; rather it means living as per the requirements of the age, but with a firm moral anchor that can help one differentiate between right and wrong. Beyond words, beyond loud protestations of faith and beyond rhetoric, it is strength of character that is needed to build society and the self. And as the verses from the Quran have illustrated here, the guiding light of the spirit is the sacred personality of the Holy Prophet. ...

 

Thus the birth of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was the most significant and the most remarkable event in human history. Had there been room in Islamic teachings for the celebration of birthdays or anniversaries, the birthday of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) would have undoubtedly deserved it more than the birthday of any other person. But that is against the nature of Islamic teachings. That is why, unlike Judaism, Christianity, and Hinduism, there are very few festivals in Islam, which provides for only two Eids (Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Azha) during the whole year....

 
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