Books and Documents

The War Within Islam

Mr Allawi calmly and methodically deconstructs an Islamic revival which has failed to live up to its promise. Islamist movements and secular governments anxious to pay lip-service to Islam have, between them, failed spectacularly to anchor themselves in genuinely Islamic principles: principles which, for Mr Allawi, are as much about inner spirituality as outward religiosity. The results are everywhere to be seen. Autocratic governments abuse human rights, whether in Islamic Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan or in secular Egypt and Syria. Economies are corrupt and mal-administered, and their supposed ethical principles, such as Islamic banking, are a sham. There has been a profound loss of cultural creativity, apparent, for example, in the decay of the Islamic city and its time-honoured traditions of craftsmanship, piety and community. -- The Economist

T HE War within Islam: Niyaz Fatehpuri’s struggle against Islamic Fundamentalism by Juhi Shahin is a collection of writings by one Niyaz Fatehpuri (1884-1966). Fatehpuri was the publisher of a monthly magazine called Nigar, which became a hot pot of literary and religious discussion in its time. The book is an attempt to bring to light the unique and forward thinking views of Fatehpuri to a generation far removed from its own intellectual heritage and its own language, Urdu. The book walks the reader through the life of Niyaz Fatehpuri, but dwells much more so on his religious views. …


The book recalls a time when there was such a thing as debate in Islam; not just restricted to what the most appropriate punishment for an adulterer was, but the fundamental nature of belief, the very metaphysics at the heart of any religion. And with time, as Muslims have been reduced to the very scourge of humanity, it is the death of this very debate that stands at the core of our downfall. It must be noted that though Fatehpuri reasoned very radical ideals, at no time were fatwas pronounced against him, nor were the recipients of his harshest criticism, the ulema, able to dent his reputation in any major way. However, in recent times people like Fatehpuri have all but disappeared and the ulema have grown in ranks, such that no one can criticise them without fear of a backlash any more.


Of the readers of this review, only a handful might have read the works of Niyaz Fatehpuri, and likely none of them would be under age 30. This is primarily because in our culture of romanticism, the rational intellectual is rarely applauded. Even those who have honed both romantic and rational aspects of their intellect are seen mostly in the paradigm of their romantic pursuits. Such is the fate of our intellectuals, dead or alive.  -- HAIDER WARRAICH in The Dawn, Karachi.

Do you believe in One God?

Do you believe in all the Prophets as the prophets sent by the One and the same God?

Do you believe in all the revelations as revelations from the same God?

Do you believe in all mankind being the creation of the same God?

Do you believe in a peaceful world, coexistence and a common humanity?


Why do they want to force their interpretation on others?

Why do they want to be so intolerant and show arrogance by not submitting themselves to the will of Allah and trying to portray Islam into an exclusivist faith by using the term ‘Muslim’ for themselves and ‘kafir’ for others.--Shoaib Wadiwalla

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has appointed the first female minister in the kingdom's history

By David Blair in Cairo

Saudi king ousts hard-line cleric

Monarch shakes up establishment - Donna Abu-Nasr ASSOCIATED PRESS

A Small Step

An editorial in The Times of India

Backgrounders: SAUDI SUFFRAGE CAMPAIGN: In a nation where women are not allowed to drive, nor travel without permission from a male guardian, Hatoon al-Fassi is part of an effort to ensure Saudi Arabia's women can vote in February's municipal elections - the first the country in 42 years. Ms. Fass is a newspaper columnist and an associate professor of history at King Saud University in Riyadh.


Justice Minister says “the girl from Qatif” provoked her rapists

In a lengthy declaration the official states that the young woman was married and therefore is an adulteress, she was in a car with a non-relative male – which is forbidden – and according to those who attacked her she was “indecently dressed”.

A number of Fatawahs have been issued against Dr. Zakir Naik. The Muftees of Deoband had said that he should not be trusted but the Barailwees have crossed all limits. They have asserted that he should be dealt like an infidel "Kafir" and should be excluded from the Muslim community. This was stated by a Barailwee Mufti of Lucknow and it has not been opposed by any of the learned persons of Barailwee thought. The concerned Mufti has demanded from the government to put a ban on the PEACE channel of Dr. Zakir Naik and the fund he is raising should be examined but there is no mention of the wrong beliefs on which basis this Fatwah is issued. Of course it said that he is provoking the young Muslims for terrorism and he favours Osama bin Laden. The question is not whether he is doing this or not. The question is: even if the two charges are authentic or even if any of the two allegations is correct, should he be excluded or banished from Islam or not? If it is correct that Dr. Zakir Naik supports terrorism, the law should take its course but it is not for the Muftiyan to deliver judgments….Such deviated people should try to ponder over their thinking and the ways of dealing with such critical matters. The difference of opinion in the interpretation of spiritual Islamic matters is quite possible but such differences should be sorted out by perfect spiritual and factual reasons and Islamic knowledge in the light of the Quran Kareem and Hadees Shareef, not by denouncing and giving decrees of infidelity (Kufr, Shirk and Fajoor).

NewAgeIslam.com presents Maulana Nadeem-ul-Wajidi’s impassioned plea for Muslims to behave with sense.  Translated from Urdu by Raihan Nezami, NewAgeIslam.com

Unity among Muslims and Dr. Zakir Naik’s Evil: A Point of View
Dr. Zakir Naik
Unity among Muslims and Dr. Zakir Naik’s Evil: A Point of View
Dr. Maulana Abbas Ali Naqvi, Tr. New Age Islam

Unity among Muslims has been and will remain an imperative in every age. Unfortunately, it never really came to pass; one major reason being more involvement of politics and less that of truth. That’s why the cord of unity is broken at the behest of the selfish vested interests even though unity is a natural phenomenon among Muslims and differences remain more of a perversion…

These attempts [at unity] could never succeed fully due to the conspiracy of anti-Islamic forces. An influential group of Zionists is spending a lot of money and working on this project using some fake Islamic scholars such as Dr. Zakir Naik who is on an anti-Islamic mission.

As far as the blame for “Tabarrah” is concerned, it is absolutely unsubstantiated. People like Dr. Zakir Naik have been making such allegations for long to destroy the Muslim unity. The Shias also respect the Sahabees as much as Ahl-e-Sunnat do but they don’t consider them as “innocents” like the Ahl-e-Sunnat. They believe that those people, who are not innocents, can be criticized. Late Maulana Maudoodi [the founder ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami] was also of the same opinion; indeed he took a scientific approach. He thought that the differences of opinion among the Sahabees must be discussed and criticized so that the followers of the Prophet (PBUH), the Ummat-e-Rasool, are saved from such mistakes in future. 

-- Dr. Maulana Abbas Ali Naqvi

Translation from Urdu by: New Age Islam

The conflict between Iran and Sunni countries - especially Saudi and Arabia Egypt - has escalated the tension between Sunnis and Shi'ites in the Muslim world. This escalation has had several manifestations. Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, head of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, made harsh anti-Shi'ite and anti-Iran statements in the Egyptian and Saudi press. He warned against the danger posed by the spread of the Shi'a in Sunni countries, characterizing it as part of Iran's campaign for regional hegemony. He added that there was no possibility of rapprochement between Sunnis and Shi'ites, since there were fundamental principles of the Shi'ite faith that the Sunna could not accept.

The sectarian tension is also mirrored on the Internet. Hundreds of websites associated with either the Sunna or the Shi'a - including sites of clerics, papers and government ministries - have been hacked, and defaced with offensive messages and images.

The Arab press reports that the Saudi authorities have been discriminating against Shi'ites in the country, e.g., by preventing Shi'ite representatives from participating in the June 2008 Interfaith Dialogue Conference in Mecca, closing Shi'ite mosques, arresting senior Shi'ite clerics, and persecuting Shi'ite pilgrims from Iran. -- L. Azouri, a research fellow at the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)

Dr Simon Valentine, a teacher and writer based in Bradford, in a recently published book Islam & the Ahmadiyya Jama´at, [Hurst & Co, 2008, pp. 270, £25] describes the history, beliefs and practice of this Muslim reform group. Having lived amongst the Ahmadi in the Leeds Road area of Bradford for two years, regularly attending meetings at the Ahmadi mosque and enjoying hospitality in Ahmadi homes, and having spent time at their headquarters at Qadian in India and Rabwah in Pakistan Dr Valentine provides unique insights into Muslim culture, practice and faith.

Following an account of the life, claims and teaching of Ghulam Mirza Ahmad (1835-1908) the founder of the Ahmadiyya jama´at, the book considers the history of the Ahmadi movement world-wide and in the city of Bradford; the structure and hierarchy of the Ahmadi community; the role of women in Islam; the problems faced by Muslims integrating into British society, and life in the Ahmadi mosque.

From: Raja Choudhary

To: Editor@NewAgeIslam.com., ........

Listen to the cries of all Pakistanis. We are tired of seeing dead bodies of innocent women and children of Sindhi, Balochi, Mohajir and Paktoon Muslims. First stop killing Sindhi, Balochi, Paktoon and Mahajir Muslims, and then help all Pakistani to dissolve existing war criminals SECULAR ARMY, and replace it by NEW MUSLIM ARMY.

I think you are NOT listening--we all including Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi, Mohajir and Paktoon Muslims are saying that existing Secular Army has to go. We want ARMY that is built on Islamic principles; also that NEW MUSLIM ARMY should represent all ethnic groups including Sindhi, Balochi, Paktoon, Mohajir and Punjabi Muslims. Right now the existing SECULAR ARMY is 90% Punjabis, and do not represent all ethnic groups. Therefore, it is easy for this Secular ARMY to commit war crimes against every ethnic group.

Please show all of us that you are Muslim, then Pakistani and then Punjabi, and not other way around. Punjabis are part of Pakistan citizens, but they have to allow other ethnic groups to get appointed in government jobs.

Although they claimed that Pakistan was for Muslims and to protect their interests, but in practise it divided Muslims of South Asia and united Hindus by giving them a country. Pakistan was created to serve and look after interests of the Jageedaars and Wadairas. Later on it was collusion of Army, Jageerdaars and bureaucracy - both military and civil - looked after interests of their political masters, and they continue to do so very sincerely. In doing so, of course, this elite group have looked after their own interest, and looted Pakistan and exploited people in order to stay in position where their personal interests (interest of this elite group) are not jeopardised. This of course is a very controversial issue. Many still believe it was to serve Pakistan, whereas name of Islam was used as a slogan to muster support from Muslims, majority of whom were illiterate. Educated Muslims, in majority opposed partition of India, says Dr Shabir Choudhry in this fascinating glimpse of what common Pakistanis think of their country and their destiny at this point in time.


Secular Muslims are welcoming the decision of the Constitutional Court of Turkey to disallow the lifting of the ban on hijabs as a significant triumph for secularism over repressive Islamist practices. The court recently ruled that amendments to the constitution by the ruling AKP to permit hijabs in universities, would amount to rendering "non-functional the basic features of the republic." At the core of this decision is the realization that the hijab continues to be a tool of oppression for Muslim women, severely restricting their right to express their faith in their own unique and personal way, writes Farzana Hassan, a Canadian Muslim woman activist and writer. At the same time a website Islamic Insights reflects on the "Hijab Revolution" in the Liberal West, asking if the hijab in the west is really hijab. “How many of you have seen a Hijabi smoking in public and thought, "Great, now people will label all Hijabis as smokers"?


The Wahhabi-Salafis believe that Sunnis have been vehemently wrong for the past 1,000+ years and aim to bring the Muslims out of a state of ignorance (jahilliyya) that has existed, in their minds, since the time of the pious adherents of the Salaf.  Even if the majority of orthodox Sunni Muslims were strong today, indeed if they ruled an empire that stretched far to every corner of the globe, it would still be a failure to Salafis because to them the foundations of such a political system would have been based on reprehensible innovation (bid’a) and blasphemy (kufr). To the Salafi, the presence and power of Sunni orthodoxy, in all of its manifestations as illustrated throughout Islamic history, is just as impure as the rising European hegemony in all of its manifestations since the demise of the Muslim Ottoman Empire. To the Salafis, a minority in this world, the world is an abode of blasphemy, ruled and occupied by infidels that demands reformation through both non-violent and violent means to bring about a supposedly pure Islamic world system. A Study by Zubair Qamar.

Wrongly reviled today as the ‘epicentre’ of ‘Islamic terrorism’, the Dar ul-‘Ulum in Deoband, one of the largest madrasas in the world, played a leading role in spearheading India’s freedom movement. The active involvement of many Deobandi ‘ulema in the struggle against the British is today a little-remembered story. Indian school textbooks refuse to mention it, probably deliberately in order to reinforce the stereotypical, yet misplaced, image of Muslims as congenitally ‘anti-national’. At the same time, however, they extol the alleged exploits of Hindutva activists in the fight against the British, while records have proven beyond doubt that leading Hindutva spokesmen, in the Congress, the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha, actually collaborated with the British and worked against the freedom movement. In this they played a similar role as that of the Muslim League, says leading Indian academic Yoginder Sikand.


Maulana Ehtishaam al-Hasan Khandelvi was a very close friend of Maulana Muhammad Ilyaas (the founder of Jamaat ut-Tableegh) from childhood to old age.  Maulana Ehtishaam al-Hasan wrote a book called, "Zindagee Kee Siraat-e-Mustaqeem" (The straight Path of Life) at the end of which he included a very small treatise entitled, "An Important Note", in this he wrote, "The tableegh of the present Nizaam ud deen (Delhi- the headquarters of the Tableeghi Jamaat) according to my knowledge and understanding it is neither according to the Qur'aan nor to the method of Hazrat Mujaddid Alf Thanee, Hazreat Shaah Waleeullaah Muhaddith Dehlawee or according to the scholars of the truth. So the scholars who participate in this tableegh, their first responsibility should be to conform this effort according to the Qur'aan, Hadeeth, to the way of the Scholars of the Salaf (Predecessors) and the scholars of the truth."


The narrator states that probably at the third request the Holy Prophet replied: "Najd is a place of earthquakes, and sedition (fitna) and from there the horns of the Shaitaan will emerge." (BUKHARI)


Maulvi Husain Ahmad Sahib, the Founder Patron of the ‘Tableeghi Jamaat’ describes the appearance of Mohammed bin Abdul Wahab as follows: "Mohammed bin Abdul Wahab Najdi appeared from Najd, Arabia at the beginning of the thirteenth century (A.H.) [20th century A. D.]. Because he adhered to false ideas and untrue beliefs he therefore waged a bloody war with the Muslims of the Ahle Sunnat Wa Jamaat. He tried to impose his ideas and false beliefs by force. He considered the wealth of the Ahle Sunnat Wa Jamaat his legitimate booty. He regarded their massacre as blessings for himself." (ASH SHAHAAB AS SAAQIB - Page 42) By Maulana Arshadul Qadri


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