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  • I agree with Arshad ji's observations. We need to nurture tolerance and harmony. Education can go a long way in this journey. '
    ( By Meera )
  • To Abdullah. Rather than condemning what Muslim did in Ghodhra you are trying to creat Consperisay theory....
    ( By Aayina )
  • Pakistani authorities need to take a comprehensive approach to shutting down all Islamist militant groups that operate from Pakistani territory, not just those that ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Neither Dhamal nor religious syncretism mean anything to fanatics who would kill worshippers at a shrine......
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off, Wild and unsupported speculations cannot be called analysis. Accusing me of supporting the felicitation....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Arshad Sb: The Muslims are not the problems, these extremists whose ideology is against the spirit of Islam, are the problems. All the Muslims in ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • There are some learned souls, refuting the radical narrative. Please view this clip....
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • many facebook posts and twitter feeds also condemn dhamal. not just the ISIS. to keep a balance, they also condemned the blast with "yes-but" syllogism. ....
    ( By hats off! )
  • there is much wisdom in what arshad says'
    ( By ok )
  • If  mere ' BEEF"  is such a sensitive issue, perhaps the beef-eating citizens  could be persuaded to stop the practice in the interest of HARMONY. ....
    ( By ahmed41 )
  • if  >100 have been killed { as a reprisal } without any process of the law ,   will this not trigger further  acts of inter-muslim ...
    ( By ahmed41 )
  • Oh i forgot you have just started reading state of muslims. '
    ( By A. Thakur )
  • Indee the Prophet is mercy personified but radical groups from among wahhabis are in a bid to remove what you Muslims think about your beloved ...
    ( By A. Thakur )
  • You are a Muslim. then according to you, you are also a problem, but to me you are more than a problem. you are against ...
    ( By A. Thakur )
  • the source of information about mahmud ghaznawi is wrong. Radical Hindu groups are presenting wrong information ...
    ( By A. Thakur )
  • obviously you have to grow up quite a lot. every event is generally analysed on the basis of tracing its beneficiaries...
    ( By hats off! )
  • False and fanciful claims of scientific advances make people look foolish. Two years ago, when the Indian Science Congress.....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off, I would expect such wild and unsupported speculations only from someone with an axe to grind.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Aayina: I do not read the comments of Hats off type fake people as replying to them is promoting them, silence will frustrate them or ...
    ( By Abdullah )
  • Aayina: You should take some lessons from Ghazni, Ghori, of today The Sanghis and Bhajpayees...
    ( By Abdullah )
  • Reply to Royal: First what happened wasn't Libyan people revolt it was invasion by European power NATO & USA Libyan people's were deluded, the end result ...
    ( By Anwar El soussi )
  • Petty Muslim never acknlowelge others contribution with it origin of  names just put it on their names, look at now westerners what they are doing ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • A true commentators like Abdulla should than explain why Mouhmmad Gazani was looting, what muslimism this Kings were showing when they were keeping Harem, he ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Aayina,  The world today is governed by International Law to which all countries are signatories. Territorial acquisitions through war and conquests are no longer legal. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • it looks like the blasts in last couple of days in pakistan are coming at a very convenient time as far as MNS is concerned.....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Alternate Link:..
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The fake commentators like Hats off and Aayina are intentionally just diluting the historical facts as a theological plan of RSS and SHANGHIS to conceal the real ...
    ( By Abdullah )
  • No reputable scholar or historian has accused any civilization of plagiarism. A child learns from its environment and a child of today is very much different ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Muhammad's Sword by Uri Avnery, a Jewish atheist....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • It is a very sad state of affairs. Sharif is not honest when he said “The past few days have been very hard and my ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • Can Nasser Ahmed explain when Muslim gains by sword it political, reason of those kings or badshah in history, and when Muslim get oppressed   ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • EarlynMuslim showed remarkable plagrisim and every bit of knowledge became either Muslim scientist knowledge or Islamic Sceince.....
    ( By Aayina )
  • Hats Off, Muslim historians exaggerated the exploits of their masters to curry favor with...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • What a beautiful faith of peace.'
    ( By U.p. Ojha )
  • All Muslim bros pl see and we will work peace for all. Be indian muslim and all are requested to follow ....
    ( By Kolipaka Sudeep Kumar )
  • Good to know about Musawah and its excellent work. Thanks!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Savage animals are far better than ISIS and the Talibanis.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The concept of balance or mezan is beyond those who lack balance and veer to the extreme. The phenomena behind physical events are either understood in ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The early Muslims showed remarkable open-mindedness to every source of knowledge and were quick learners who assimilated the existing knowledge and expanded on it.....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • As far as the scriptures are concerned, kafir does not mean non-Muslim. The consequences in this world and the Hereafter are only for the kafaru ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Your Favourite Author's Page

      

    Sultan Shahin, Founder-Editor, NewAgeIslam.com

    Sultan Shahin, Founder-Editor of this progressive Islamic website NewAgeIslam.com and President of non-profit NGO New Age Islam Foundation and its subsidiary Education for Peace, a center for preventing radicalization, established in April 2008. He has over four decades of experience in journalism, mostly writing op-eds for major Indian and international publications, specializing in Islamic theology and Muslim politics. As a human rights defender, he has been representing major international NGOs and participating in debates at the UN Human Rights Council at Geneva for over a decade. He considers Islam as a spiritual path to salvation, one of the many, not a totalitarian political philosophy to dominate the world. He founded this website, seeking to rethink Islam, in all its aspects, to adjust to the demands of changing times, and thus to encourage Ijtihad in earnest.


    Please read below the articles written by him for NewAgeIslam.com

     
    Islamic Ideology
    How Islamic Are ‘Islamic’ Blasphemy Laws?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    How Islamic Are ‘Islamic’ Blasphemy Laws?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Regardless of any justification for Blasphemy laws in Muslim countries, common sense suggests that they can only be applied to Muslims. Otherwise, the term blasphemy can be stretched to mean anyone who doesn’t believe Islam to be a true religion. But anti-Blasphemy laws are applied to non-Muslims in every Muslim country that has such laws. So ultimately the question is related to whether Muslims believe in freedom of religion. Clearly many don’t, except when they live in non-Muslim-majority countries.

    Although Quran, Islam’s foundational text, contains hundreds of verses asserting the legitimacy of other religions, a consensus in Islamic theology and jurisprudence has somehow emerged that other religions cannot be allowed to exist. Theologians cannot directly contradict the Quran by saying so, but this is the obvious implication of their doctrines of Jihad. Mainstream Islamic Theology and jurisprudence is completely based on a dichotomy between Muslim and Kafir. Kafirs have to be eventually eliminated from the world, either by persuasion or use of force. The only other option is they accept Muslim domination and accept the status of dhimmis (jizya-paying second class citizens).

    Islam and Politics
    Deoband- Bareilly Unity: Cosmetic and Dangerous
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Deoband- Bareilly Unity: Cosmetic and Dangerous
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    As long as this Muslim-Kafir binary informs the consensus theology of ulema, it will be difficult for Muslims to live amicably with others. Temporary sectarian unity which could threaten permanent communal harmony is not the way forward. As Muslims, we need to not only bridge our internal divides, but also stop thinking in terms of Kafir and Momin. We cannot survive as Muslims in the 21st century multicultural world with our antiquated notions of supremacy and separatism....

    Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam
    Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Denying freedom of religion to Muslims and ex-Muslims, not to speak of non-Muslims, indeed has a long and gory history. The Quranic dictum (2: 256) la ikraha fid Deen [Let there be no compulsion in religion] did not leave an impact beyond the life of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). Forcible conversions started with the first Caliph Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) fighting Ridda (apostasy) wars against the tribes who had left Islam after the demise of the Prophet. They were all brought back to the fold of Islam or killed. Similar is the case of Khwarij in the time of the fourth caliph Hazrat Ali (RA) and beyond to neo-Khwarij today, also known as Wahhabi or Salafi.  These groups mostly kill Muslims whom they consider “heretics” including Shias and Ahmadis....

    Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam

    If Islam Means Peace, Why Is Much Of Its Theology Soaked In Hatred, Humiliation, Offensive War?
    Sultan Shahin, New Age Islam

    Among many factors, social, economic, political, psychological, the one common feature is a brainwashing of vulnerable people on the basis of a supremacist, xenophobic, intolerant, exclusivist and totalitarian Jihadi theology. This is a blatant misuse of Islam, a spiritual path to salvation, that 1.6 billion Muslims believe, teaches peace, pluralism, co-existence and good neighbourliness.

     But there has to be a reason why jihadi ideology has gained acceptance so quickly; why fatwas issued by reputed moderate scholars prove so ineffective? How are Jihadis able to create a 100 percent certainty in the minds of some Muslims that violence against innocent people, including Muslims, whom they consider infidel, will please God and lead them to heaven?

     Clearly we Muslims need to rethink some basic features of our theology. Success of jihadism lies in the fact that, at its core, the jihadi theology is not very different from the consensus theology of all other schools of Islamic thought. For instance, jihadists are able to misuse the intolerant, xenophobic, war-time verses of the holy Quran, as Muslims believe that all verses, regardless of the context, are of universal applicability. Indeed, the Islamic theology of consensus, taught in all madrasas, says that Quran is uncreated, meaning that it is just an aspect of God; and so, divine like God Himself.....

    Islam, Women and Feminism

    Sultan Shahin Raises Triple Talaq Issue at UNHRC, Asks Muslims to Engage In Serious Rethinking Of Islamic Theology and Bring It In Line With the Needs of 21st Century
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Mr. President,

    While the world’s attention is focused on violent extremism practised by a section of Muslims, gross violations of human rights are taking place in various Muslim societies in the name of religion. In a South East Asian country, the Arabic name of God is monopolised by Muslims. Non-Muslims using the traditional term Allah for God are punished. In a South Asian Muslim country thousands of Hindu and Christian girls, many under the age of 18, are abducted, forcibly converted to Islam, and then “married” to their abductors. In a Middle Eastern country, courts allow marriages of as small as 9-year-old girls and force them to consummate their “marriage” and live with their husbands. In my own country, India, Muslim husbands can utter the word talaq, meaning divorce, thrice in a row, and legally throw their wives out of their homes in less than a minute.

    While these are gross violations of human rights, they also amount to denigrating the religion of Islam. All these and many other similar social evils and criminal acts including terrorism are practiced as if they have been ordained by Islamic scriptures. This calls for deep introspection in the Muslim community. We Muslims should not allow our religion to be hijacked in this fashion.

    Mr. President, I would like to make a request, through you, to the representatives of Muslim countries in the Council. Dear Sirs, Madams, Please start a serious dialogue with theologians in your countries and ask them to open the gates of Ijtihad, the creative re-thinking. This was not only permitted, but ordained by God, in Islam’s primary scripture, the holy Quran, as no other Prophet was to come after Mohmmad (saw). We Muslims must revisit our theology in the light of the needs of the 21st century. We are not living in the 7th century and can neither fight those early battles nor organise our societies in that medieval fashion....


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    Related Articles:

    1.  Xenophobia and Religious Intolerance in Islamic Societies Is a Result of Deliberate Misinterpretation of Islamic Scriptures, Sultan Shahin Tells UNHRC

    2.  Coping With Critics of Moderate Islam

    3.  Muslims Need To Reflect Why So Many Millions of Us Are Leaving Islam for Christianity or Simply Calling Ourselves Ex-Muslim

    4.  Islam Fully Protects Human Rights of Religious Minorities: Sultan Shahin tells UNHRC at Geneva

    5.  Islamo-Fascism and Islam-Supremacism Feeding Islamophobia Worldwide: Sultan Shahin Tells UNHRC

    6.  Open Letter to Maulana Firangimahali: Why Do Moderate Ulema Stay Silent When Terrorists Claim - 'Islam Has Never Been A Religion Of Peace, Not Even For A Day'?

    7.  Terrorists Have Failed So Far and Should Not Be Allowed To Affect Global Multiculturalism, Sultan Shahin Tells Parallel Meeting at UNHRC in Geneva

    Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam

    Addressing the UNHRC at Geneva Sultan Shahin Questions Contemporary Applicability of Contextual Verses of Quran Meant For 7th Century Wars and the Divinity of Hadith and Sharia
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Fifteen years after 9/11, the scourge of violent Islamist extremism has become even more complex and deadly. The alacrity with which 30,000 Muslims from around the world joined the so-called Islamic State’s war against humanity has puzzled many. How could a peaceful, pluralistic religion be subverted so easily to create inhuman monsters? Among many factors, social, economic, political, psychological, the one common factor is a brainwashing of vulnerable people on the basis of a supremacist, xenophobic, intolerant, exclusivist, totalitarian, Jihadi theology. 

    This is a blatant misuse of Islam, a spiritual path to salvation that teaches peace, pluralism, co-existence and good neighbourliness. But there has to be a reason why Jihadi ideology has gained acceptance; why fatwas issued by reputed moderate scholars are proving so ineffective? How are Jihadis able to create a 100 percent certainty in the minds of some Muslims that violence against innocent people, whom they consider infidel, will please God and lead them to Heaven?

    Clearly we Muslims need to rethink some basic features of our theology. Success of Jihadism lies in the fact that, at its core, the Jihadi theology is not very different from the consensus theology of all other schools of Islamic thought. Jihadists misuse the war-time verses of the holy Quran, as Muslims believe that all verses, regardless of the context, are of universal applicability. But most damaging for Islam and useful for Jihadism is the Doctrine of Abrogation whereby all peaceful Meccan verses are considered abrogated by the confrontational, war-time Medinan verses. Similarly the divinity attached to Hadith and Sharia and their universal applicability will have to be reconsidered by mainstream Islam, and not just to defeat Jihadism, but also to deal with many other issues including Human Rights of women, children and homosexuals....


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    Related Articles:

    1.  Open Letter to Maulana Firangimahali: Why Do Moderate Ulema Stay Silent  When Terrorists Claim - 'Islam Has Never Been A Religion Of Peace, Not Even For A Day'?

    2.  Do Not Entertain Any Defamation of Islam Resolution Until Islam Is Protected From Defamation by Jihadi Literature in the Islamic World First, Sultan Shahin Asks UN Human Rights Council

    3.  Islam Is Based On the Prophet's Mysticism, Honesty and Social Activism, Says Sultan Shahin in Pune: Muslims Should Strengthen These Spiritual Foundations of Islam and Not Fall Prey to Fascism

    4.  Do Muslims need to disassociate themselves from Salafi, Wahhabi ideologies of permanent war with non-Muslims and moderate Muslims? A New Age Islam debate

    5.  Terrorists Have Failed So Far and Should Not Be Allowed To Affect Global Multiculturalism, Sultan Shahin Tells Parallel Meeting at UNHRC in Geneva

    Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam

    If Sharia Is Divine, Why Don’t Ulema Demand Medieval Punishments Of Flogging, Amputation And Beheading For Muslims?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    The Muslim reaction to Javed Akhtar’s tweet can be summed up by what Khalid Yunus Ansari wrote in Pratap of 11 September: “There has never been any dearth of opportunists and traitors among Muslims. These people may appear intelligent and educated but are ignorant of Muslim mores. … A real Muslim is one who consciously and even sub-consciously believes in and follows Islamic Laws, someone who cannot even imagine finding fault with or challenging or violating any of them. Even imagining any fault with Muslim Laws is absolute kufr (disbelief), not to speak of expressing such thoughts.”

    I have been reading Urdu newspapers for 45 years. While Muslims have been constantly fighting for the so-called Muslim Personal Law which allows them to treat women as inferior beings, never have I come across any Muslim demand for being governed by Islamic criminal laws. If Sharia is so important, if it is such a vital part of our faith, then why this dichotomy? Except for drinking alcohol, punishments for all other hudud crimes (mentioned in the Quran, considered crimes against God) are to be amputation, flogging and beheading. One would have thought that at least those Muslims who are so particular about following Sharia, and, of course, all ulema who consider Sharia divine would demand the implementation of the entire Sharia. Why follow only the part that helps keep women subjugated and avoid those that may lead to severe medieval punishments specified by Quran and Hadees....

    Islamic Society
    Don’t Let Baqr Eid Qurbani Descend Into Blood Orgy
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Don’t Let Baqr Eid Qurbani Descend Into Blood Orgy
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Prophet Mohammad was very emphatic in his views on animal sacrifice: “if you MUST kill, kill without torture.” Unfortunately, this admonition is also ignored. The two million animals that were sacrificed in Saudi Arabia at the end of Hajj yesterday had been brought to the country in most horrible conditions, many of them dying en route.

     I personally witnessed the torture animals go through when I was in Karachi on Baqr Eid, a few years ago. The whole city appeared to have turned into a slaughter house. One could hear the cries of goats and sheep for days before Eid, while they were still being traded in city squares and even in roundabouts on major arterial roads. The animals apparently knew what fate was awaiting them. It was the obscenity of the whole scene that I cannot forget. Baqr Eid, the holiest of days, had descended into an orgy of blood-letting, with the “devotion” that God requires completely missing.

    The callousness we Muslims display towards animals would give the impression that the religion of Islam is indifferent to the fate of animals. In fact, Islam requires Muslims to protect, not just Human Rights, but HuqooqulIbaad or the rights of all creations of God.

    HuqooqulIbaad is considered so important that it is given primacy even over Huqooq Allah or our duties towards God. While God may forgive us for our transgressions, given his Benevolent and Merciful nature, His creations will not even recognise us on the Day of Judgement. So we must fulfil our duties towards creations of God in this very world, since we cannot hope for forgiveness from them on the Day of Judgement.

    Muslims should also remember the conduct of the Prophet in treating animals with kindness. On many occasions, during his journeys, he delayed prayers for the sake of first relieving the animals of their burden, and giving them food and water. He would refuse to lead prayers until animals were looked after first. He told several stories of people being forgiven all their sins for having shown consideration for a dog or a cat. According to Imam Abu Dawud, the Prophet forbade the hitting of animals on their faces and branding them. He also forbade sports based on animal fights.

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Open Letter to Maulana Firangimahali: Why Do Moderate Ulema Stay Silent When Terrorists Claim - 'Islam Has Never Been A Religion Of Peace, Not Even For A Day'?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    I didn’t see you questioning the notorious tele-evangelist Dr. Zakir Naik when he said: “all Muslims should be terrorists” or when he said: “Quran allows Muslims to have sex with female slaves.” Indeed, you all kept quiet when Naik made hateful remarks like the following: “People in the west eat pork and hence behave like pigs. Pigs are the only animals in the world that invite their friends to have sex with their partners. Westerners also do the same.” Naik has made insulting other religions in the guise of comparative study or interfaith dialogue his speciality. But I find almost the entire fraternity of Muslim ulema coming out in his defence when it was discovered that his discourse inevitably inspired several people around the world who took to the path of terrorism.

    Worst of all, you and all other ulema kept quiet when Maulana Abdul Aleem Islahi of Hyderabad asked Muslims to pray for the Islamic State. In a press release available online he said: “Condemnation of their (Islamic State’s) action may not be called sagacity and will be considered against the spirit of Islam. … they have tried to fulfil the dream of a large section of Muslims and their determination has infused a new life into the concept of Caliphate. Their announcement (of caliphate) has surpassed Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Maulana Abul Ala Maududi’s powerful writings and speeches about Caliphate and has realized the concept practically. …..

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Why Muslim Ulema Should Confront Zakir Naik? How Does He Encourage Islamist Terrorism?
    Sultan Shahin, Founder Editor, New Age Islam

    Our focus should not be so much on Zakir Naik as on the question: why and how has he so easily succeeded in radicalising millions. Only a few of these millions may go on to join terrorism, but radicalisation of the millions is the real problem. … In my view the reason he has succeeded is that he is not saying anything new, or vastly different from what other clerics say. He is using the theology of consensus, the same theology that is taught in universities and madrasas. … That is why ulema cannot oppose him in a meaningful way. …

    You cannot say in the same breath that instructions in all verses of Quran and narrations of Hadees are applicable to us Muslims even today in the 21st century and that those who are following these 7th century war-time contextual instructions in Quran and Hadees to fight and kill the combatants as well as civilians are wrong. If ulema indeed want to save the community from further radicalisation, they just have to introspect on their own hypocrisy and help evolve a new and coherent theology of peace and pluralism based on the foundational, universal verses of Quran. We will have to come out and say clearly and repeatedly that contextual verses meant for war in the seventh century are no longer applicable to us today. They have merely historical value and tell us the story of what nearly insurmountable difficulties our prophet (pbuh) had to face to safeguard the nascent religion of Islam then. Islam is no longer an infant today. It ahs grown up and found space in 1.6 billion hearts. It can very well take care of itself. Muslims n longer need to fight and kill and put terror in the hearts of so-called kuffar and mushrikeen for Islam to survive as was the case in the 7th century (C.E).

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Dhaka Attack: Facing The Challenge Of Zakir Naik, Will Ulema Rise To The Occasion?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Our focus should not be so much on Zakir Naik as on the question: why and how he has so easily succeeded in radicalising millions. Saudis and ahl-e-hadithis have only provided him logistical support. In my view the reason he has succeeded is that he is not saying anything new. He is using the theology of consensus, the same theology that is taught in universities and madrasas of all schools of thought.

    His distinction is in the presentation, using modern means of communication. He is reaching those who did not have access to this theology before.

    That is why ulema cannot oppose him or other militant Islamic preachers. Sufi-Barailvis and even Deobandis have tried. They are angry because he has exposed their hypocrisy. ...

    The War Within Islam

    Why Are Indian Ulema Silent Over Islamic State’s Challenge:  Unwillingness Or Inability?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Ulema wield considerable influence. Their silences matter as much as their statements. Those who expect help from them in fighting Islamist terrorism are mistaken. The contempt with which neo-Salafists treat our ulema is well-deserved. Nor can one expect much from secular, liberal moderates. While they are implacably opposed to terrorism, and wary of living as a suspect as every Muslim is today, they are not willing to engage with the Islamist theology. This requires them to overcome the inevitable fear of violent death. Ask liberals of neighbouring Bangladesh. Not many have this level of motivation in spite of the chaos all around. As for political leaders, Muslim and non-Muslim, the less said the better. Politicians are called leaders but they actually follow the herd. Hardly any ‘leader’ is in sight.

    However, one must take hope from history. Extremism has always been a part of Islamic history. But Muslims have managed to defeat it. At the moment, extremism is particularly influential, radicalising almost the entire society, largely as a result of tens of billions of petrodollars having been invested in this project over the last four decades. But the essence of Islamic spirituality, peace and pluralism, will find a way of bouncing back. To help this process, concerned Muslims will have to evolve a new theology, a theology of peace and pluralism and reach the Muslim ummah directly, over the heads of the ulema. This pluralistic theology must be based on Islam as a spiritual path to salvation, rather than a totalitarian ideology of world domination, as the current consensus dictates. Merely focusing on positive features of Islam, as some suggest, will not help. This is the age of internet. Nothing can be hidden. We will have to engage with the Islamist and neo-Salafist theology, taking, as it were, the bull by its horns. There are no soft options.

    The War Within Islam

    'Recruit Sunnis for a Powerful Global Islamic Army to Fight Shias and Help Muslims in Need; Five Lakh Brave Indian Youth Will Be Provided': Maulana Salman Nadvi to Saudi Government
    Maulana Salman Hussaini Nadvi

    Note:  New Age Islam is presenting below full text of a charter of demands presented some time ago to the Saudi government by Maulana Salman Hussaini Nadvi, the first Indian Muslim to embrace the self-styled khilafat of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (in translation from Arabic). It gives us an idea of how this member of al-Baghdadi Khilafat, also apparently still a holder of Indian nationality, looks at terrorism, sectarian war, the role of Saudi government and Muslim umma in general. His world view is here in full view. The worrying thing for me is that this is not just his view. There are many takers for this view. If he is promising to put together an army of five lakh (5,00,000) Muslim youth from the Indian sub-continent, essentially India, as he has no influence anywhere else, is he just making a tall claim? Only proper investigation can reveal.

    The silence with which Indian Muslims have greeted the call of Baghdadi's so-called Khilafat is also quite confusing. One doesn't know if it is meaningful and revealing. One would have thought that Muslim ulema here would come out all guns blazing against this absurdity of a medieval khilafat in the 21st century. Instead, there is no protest even when an influential Maulana joins the Khilafat. The Sufi ulema and mashaikh that New Age Islam correspondents interviewed are quite categorical in their condemnation but they have got little influence now. Most Muslims have already developed a radical Wahhabi mindset, even though some of them continue to go to Sufi shrines and do not even realise it yet. Power of the petrodollar-funded Islamic mass media, you can say.

    Let me just give you a rough and very brief idea of Nadvi's world view here. In this charter of demands, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadvi, he is asking Saudi Arabia to organise a Khilafat for the Muslim umma, the global Muslim community, which would have a world Islamic Army in which he would contribute five lakh Muslim youth from India. He says there is no need for recruiting youth from among the messed up youth of the Gulf, when you can find them right here. This army would stand behind Muslims wherever they are in trouble. He wishes that terrorists should not be called terrorists and thus antagonised. They are sincere Muslim youth fighting for a noble cause. There should be a confederation of Jihadi organisations active across the Islamic world midwifed by Ulema who should help them hold a dialogue among themselves so they come together and iron out their differences and emerge as one powerful global force.

    Let me quote to you his exact words, though in translation from Arabic. (A picture of the original letter in Arabic is given below) Syed Salman Hussaini Nadvi says: "as for the issue of Qadiyanis particularly Safvids and those who abuse the Sahaba (companions of the Prophet - meaning Shias), we should not be afraid of them and we do not need to go to the US or Israel to ward off threats from them. Just recruit the Ahl-e-Sunnah youth from the Indian sub-continent and form a powerful Muslim army of the Islamic world. After that there will be no need of the so-called army of the sick youth of the Gulf States. If you are sincere towards the True faith, True path, Sunnah and for the protection of the true path of Islam, then simply make an appeal, a call. Five lakh brave youth from the Indian sub-continent will be provided."

    Maulana Nadvi says: "Since the land of Kaabah is the beating heart of the entire Muslim community and is the centre of the Islamic world, the holy Prophet (pbuh) had said about it, 'Drive out the Christians and the Jews' (from Arabia) and had decided that this land is a sacred land for the entire Muslim Ummah and so there is no room here for the Christians and the Jews in the same way there is no room for Muslims in Vatican.

    "Therefore this is the responsibility of the government of the Aal-e-Saud (to drive out the Christians and the Jews from Arabia and establish such a nation which will have no non-Muslims)."

    He also says: "Military training among the Muslim youth should be stressed. Every effort should be made to save them from Freedom and social ills."

    We Indians have a peculiar problem to deal with. The father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi had vociferously supported Muslims having double loyalties, extra-territorial loyalties to an Islamic Khilafat, the Ottoman Empire, then based in Turkey. Now that Gandhiji's party is not in power, maybe the government will put its foot down and say that those who are loyal to al-Baghdadi's Khilafat will no longer be Indian citizens. They will not be allowed to recruit here for the proposed global Islamic Army. --- Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    The War Within Islam

    Indian Maulana Salman Nadwi Congratulates Abu Bakr Baghdadi, Accepts Him As Caliph Of Muslims, Writes Him A Letter Expressing His Excitement At The Establishment Of Islamic Caliphate
    By Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    In our previous editorial, we had expressed our sense of relief that Abu Bakr Baghdadi’s caliphate has been accepted by only terrorist organisations in Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria and the religious scholars of the world, especially the Egyptian Islamic scholar and mufti Yousuf Al Qaradhawi had rejected Abu Bakr’s claim to be the caliph of the Muslims of the world as null and void and un-Islamic. But to our utter shock, we have come to know through a news report published in the front page of Urdu daily Aag of Lucknow that one of the renowned Islamic scholar and great grandson of Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi has congratulated Abu Bakr Baghdadi on being appointed as the caliph of Muslims and has prayed for his well being and safety. In a letter written to Baghdadi which is available on What’s App, he has showered praises on his valour and religious zeal with which he has taught a lesson to the tyrant ruler Nuri Al Maliki. In his two page letter, Maulana Salman Nadvi has addressed Abu Bakr Baghdadi as Ameerul Momineen and has praised Abu Bakr Baghdadi for establishing the much desired Islamic Caliphate......

    The War Within Islam

    Imran Khan, Tahirul Qadri and Maulana Fazl ur Rahman Out To Scuttle Zarb-e-Azb
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Taking into account the behaviour of Imran Khan, Tahirul Qadri and of Maulana Fazl ur Rahman, it can be said that they do not want the operation to continue because it has broken the back of the Taliban and if the ground and aerial offensive continues, they might be annihilated. This has prompted the Taliban to press their agents in the government like Chaudhary Nisar Ali, Maulana Fazl ur Rahman and Imran Khan to disturb the process and possibly stall the operation to give Taliban time to reorganise themselves and regain strength....

    The War Within Islam

    Indian Urdu Media's Dilemma: To Support Or Not To Support The Islamic State Of Iraq And Greater Syria and the Islamic Khilafat of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Urdu Press is by and large sympathetic to the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham. This can be seen in its acts of omission and commission. It completely ignored the news that the ISIS had asked the residents of Mosul to offer their daughters in Jiahd al Nikah to the fighters. It also mostly ignored two workers returned from Iraq on July 3, Safdar Kunhi and Mohammad Abbas, who  narrated their harried experience of escape from Najaf.  Mohammad Abbas had called ISIS militants "barbarians" and added that he had never heard of or seen anything like this before. He had said: "The violence is unparalleled, the brutality unbearable.” But when one of Keralite nurses released from captivity praised the good behaviour of ISIS militants towards them, a section of Urdu media went overboard, blowing the news out of all proportions. ...

    The Urdu media is by and large secular and balanced in their approach towards sectarian and extremist ideologies and presents the two sides of an issue as Akhbar-e-Mashriq has also done. But when it comes to religion or dealing with someone supposedly religious, it gets confused. Urdu media should take a more mature approach while presenting and dealing with issues like the ISIS. Clearly a section of the Urdu Press has sympathies for ISIS. This requires a rethink. The earlier Muslims make up their mind about them the better. While Nuri al-Maliki is to blame for alienating Sunnis and behaving like a Shia dictator, the answer is not a Sunni band of terrorists loyal to the the Islamic Khilafat of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ruling parts of Iraq.

    The War Within Islam

    Any Harm to Indian Nurses Will Negate the Assertion of Islamic State and Will Have Huge Ideological Ramifications, Mr Caliph: It Will Show You as A Mere Terrorist
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    The abduction of 46 or some of the nurses by his ‘Islamic army’ is not in consonance with Islamic diplomatic principles or principles of war. The nurses are not a part of the Iraqi government which Mr Baghdadi is at loggerheads with. They are guests or ambassadors of India doing a noble service to the nation to which he belongs. Their abduction from their place of work and confining them against their will is against the principles of an Islamic caliphate and against the tenets of Islam. They are not the citizens of the country. They are citizens of India with which the ISIS does not have any disputes and which is not a party to the war. Therefore, any harm to the nurses or any other Indian worker in their captivity will not be in the interests of the ISIS itself, not to speak of the damage it will cause to the image of Islam and Muslims the world over. It will become an international issue and will aggravate the international political situation.

    Islam and Spiritualism

    Islam Is Based On the Prophet's Mysticism, Honesty and Social Activism, Says Sultan Shahin in Pune: Muslims Should Strengthen These Spiritual Foundations of Islam and Not Fall Prey to Fascism
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Islam is based on the foundation of mysticism, total trustworthiness of the Prophet and his social activism, fight against oppression and exploitation, said Sultan Shahin, founder and editor of the multilingual Islamic website NewAgeIslam.com, addressing a mixed gathering of intellectuals, activists and youths in Pune, Maharashtra. The session was chaired by Syed Bhai, president of Muslim Satyashodhak Samaj, Pune. The founder of the Society Mr. Dnyaneshwar Mulay is at present Consul General of India, New York and was earlier India's High Commissioner in Maldives.

    People who peddle hate and intolerance, exclusivisim and fascism, in the name of Islam, should study the character of the Prophet (saw), his early life as much as his career as a prophet, said Mr. Shahin. He went on: " It is very important for us to study what did the Prophet do before he was chosen by God to be his messenger. We don't know much but what we do tells us that he spent hours and days in mediation, in the way of our Sufis and Rishis, was considered a man of impeccable honesty by the people of Mecca including later his enemies and ran what today would be called a human rights NGO, called The Alliance of the Virtuous, fighting oppression, protecting the weak."

    Mr. Shahin continued: "The mystic meditations of the prophet in the cave of Hira (Ghar-e-Hira) for weeks at a stretch are well known, and so are his personality traits like honesty and total trustworthiness, for which the Meccans had named him al-Ameen (The Trustworthy). But perhaps not many know about his social activism and his fond memories and moving descriptions of these activities during his days as prophet. The Prophet and his allies in the organisation were active in search of justice for all, particularly the wayfarers, traders from foreign soil who had been wronged by Meccans and other oppressed and exploited. "  

    "This group of Meccan activists The Alliance of the Virtuous," explained Mr. Shahin, "had been formed by the prophet's uncles Zubair and Abu Talib, in his presence, in a meeting at the house of Abd Allah ibn Judan. The circumstances in which this Alliance  was formed and the purpose behind it are quite instructive. South African author  Farid Esack quotes a narration by Ibn S'ad (1967,1, p., 144) to tell this fascinating story of pre-Islamic Mecca. ....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Wahhabi Impact: Influence of Wahhabi Islam on the Indian Muslim community is growing
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    The influence of Wahhabi Islam in the Indian Muslim community started growing around this period. Indian Muslims have a long tradition of Sufi Islam or what is called the Barelvi tradition. A milder form of Wahhabism exists in the subcontinent in the form of the Deoband theological school, which commands a large following but has always coexisted with other forms of Islamic traditions. This has made Islamic practices in India dynamic and syncretic. No wonder then that many sections of the Muslim community have resisted the strict code of conduct and practice of a “puritanical” religion advocated by the Wahhabis……

    Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

    Hefazat-e-Islam’s Threat of Civil War in Bangladesh: Political Islam Is On the March, But Where Is The Moderate Islamic Narrative?
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Regardless of the merits of the case one gets a sense from Hefazat-e Islam threatening civil war in which "lakhs of people will be killed" as well as the events surrounding the "sudden" emergence of Hefazat that Political Islam is on the march in Bangladesh. A creeping radicalisation of the society is going on. Unimpeded. No organised effort seems is being made to check its growth in the only way it can be checked – with a counter-narrative of moderate, mainstream Islam.  Bangladesh has the reputation of a moderate Islamic country which said NO to Two-Nation Theory and put its ethnic, linguistic identity above its religious one.  

    Spiritual, mystical side of Islam is not much in evidence, however, today, in Bangladesh as also in many other parts of the Muslim world.

    One gets to read an occasional plea in the Bangla media: “O God, or O Politicians, don’t let Bangladesh become another Pakistan or Afghanistan.” But neither politicians nor the media are using Islam’s peaceful, moderate, spiritual side to counter the radical, supremacist, totalitarian, misogynist, narrative of political Islam that means to destabilise the region and the wider world. ...

    Based on the author's contribution as a panellist in the release of Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies Frances Harrison’s Report "Political Islam and the Elections in Bangladesh" released at Senate Hall, University of London, on 30 September, 2013

    Multimedia

    How Pakistanis Are Being Brainwashed Into Engaging In War against India: Virulent Anti-Islam Propaganda in Pakistan In The Name Of So-Called Ghazwa-e-Hind
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Top Pakistani cleric Maulana Irfan ul Haq quotes an obviously concocted Hadees against idol-worshippers of India and appeals to all Pakistanis to take arms to destroy all infidels from the Indian sub-continent.  The term infidel and idol-worshipper obviously includes in his dictionary the overwhelming majority of Muslims who show veneration to the great Sufi saints who brought Islam to South Asia.

     The Maulana claims that Prophet Muhammad has predicted that one day India will be conquered by Mujahideen and all idol-worshippers will be destroyed. Those who will participate in this bloody war will go straight to Heaven. This is called Ghazwa-e-Hind. This is one of the many examples of how fanatic Mullahs brainwash Pakistani people and promote terrorism against India. Read below the full script of the speech rendered into English.

    Will Indian Muslim leaders and Ulema please stand up and say that this Hadees is an obvious concoction of the Pakistani Mullahs. If not now, when? How long will we silently watch our religion being hijacked by fanatics, and to our detriment?

    These petrodollar funded fanatics are already destroying Sufi shrines in Pakistan and in several African countries. Nearly all religious, architectural heritage of Islam has been already destroyed from Hejaz now called Saudi Arabia. The few remaining around Masjid-e-Nabwi in Madina are on the verge of destruction.

    Now they are bent on attacking India too. When will we speak out, confront them, at least say that this is not Islam.


    <

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Do Not Entertain Any Defamation of Islam Resolution Until Islam Is Protected From Defamation by Jihadi Literature in the Islamic World First, Sultan Shahin Asks UN Human Rights Council
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    We Muslims of the world, at least our governments, have been bludgeoning the United Nations since 1999 in our bid to protect Islam from defamation. But aren’t the states that claim to speak for Muslims the worst defamers of Islam themselves?

    Linking Islam with terrorism is considered defaming Islam. One would assume that Muslim countries would first prohibit defamation of Islam by ideologies of terror in their own countries. However, the case is quite the opposite. It is media outlets refuting the Islamist terrorist ideologies that are banned, as was a website called New Age Islam a couple of months ago in Pakistan.

    The terrorist mouthpiece Nawa-e-Afghan Jihad whose extremist ideas New Age Islam refuted continues to flourish. The Taliban fatwa that New Age Islam refuted was titled: ‘Circumstances in which the killing of innocent people among infidels is justified.’ Anyone would consider such an essay defamatory to Islam. But not the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It was the web-magazine that sought to refute this that was blocked.

     It's time we Muslims made up our minds, Mr. President. What is Islam: a totalitarian, fascist, supremacist and exclusivist political ideology out to conquer the world or a spiritual path to salvation?

    The international community is supposed to protect Islam from Islamophobes. But the Islamophobes portray Islam exactly in the way the Jihadists do. Jihadists do it approvingly and Islamophobes disapprove and condemn. If Islamophobes’ narratives of Islam are defamatory, as they indeed are, then so are the narratives of Jihadi groups whose ideology thrives in the Muslim world. Both are violent, patriarchal, regressive, misogynist and based on sexual fantasies of sick men. It is this narrative that is taught in most of our madrasas, in schools and colleges.

    I hope the UN Human Rights Council will not entertain any defamation of Islam resolution until Islam is protected from defamation by Jihadi literature in the Islamic world first.

    ISLAM IS INDEED NOT AND SHOULD NOT BE PORTRAYED AS A RELIGION OF TERROR.

     

    Related Articles:

    ‘Bidding the Good and Forbidding the Evil’ (Amr Bil Ma‘Ruf Wa Nahi ‘Anil Munkar) By The Traditional Institution Of Religious Police Stands Un-Islamic Today

    The Beautiful Islamic Doctrine of Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil: How Wahhabi Ideologues Misused It to Turn Islam from a Spiritual Path to a Supremacist Political Ideology

     

    From the Desk of Editor

    Do knowledgeable Indian Muslims tacitly support Jamaat-e-Islami's bid for reprieve to Bangladesh's war criminals? Does this amount to treason or is it merely inhuman and un-Islamic?
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Reacting to my statement in the recent brainstorming session New Age Islam Foundation had organised among some Sufi-minded Indian scholars, Muhammad Yunus Saheb shared the following thoughts with me in a personal letter but he allowed me to choose whether to share it with readers. So I am putting it below in this column for wider dissemination.

    My comment: As far as I am concerned I continue to believe that by supporting the war criminals of Bangladesh who were involved in the killings of tens of thousands of innocent fellow Bengali Muslims Indian wing of Jamaat-e-Islam is revealing its anti-national, inhuman and un-Islamic character. Also, that by keeping quiet at Jamaat-e-Islami's public demonstration of its demonic face, the larger Indian Muslim community, certainly the knowledgeable among them, are participating in this treasonous, inhuman and un-Islamic act. Let us not forget that we are talking here about mass murder, genocide of Muslims by a fellow Muslim Army that should have been there to protect them and their religious leaders whose job it was to protect them rather than point them out to the marauders so they get killed. I know these are strong words, possibly revealing my own intolerance. But, be that as it may, I do have very strong feelings about what happened in Bangladesh. I will try briefly to explain why. Perhaps one should not tolerate everything.....

    Jamaat-e-Islami has its own ideology. It believes that Islam is a totalitarian political philosophy out to conquer the world. As Maulana Maududi, its founder-ideologue said: "Islam wishes to do away with all states and governments which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam. ... Islam requires the earth - not just a portion, but the entire planet."

     I consider Islam a spiritual path to salvation and am grateful for God having created such a beautiful multicultural, multi-religious, multi-colour, plural world.  I want to co-exist with people of all hues in this world.

     I repeat, I do not see any reasonable possibility of Muslims like me having any rational dialogue with such fanatical people who are prepared to kill any number of innocent people including fellow citizens and fellow Muslims and interpret Islam whichever way suits their politics in their crazy bid to conquer the world for establishing their rule in the name of restoring God's sovereignty.

    The War Within Islam

    Destruction Of Islamic Cultural Heritage: Muslims Must Reclaim The Spiritual Values Of Islam, Sultan Shahin tells a public dialogue during UN Human Rights Council’s 22nd session at Geneva
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    In modern world, human right to preserving and maintaining cultural heritage is considered universal and inalienable. But there are some forces of darkness, unfortunately professing my own faith, Islam, who are enemies of cultural heritage. Schooled and trained in Saudi-Wahhabi-Salafi version of Islam, the Taliban in Afghan-Pakistan region and Boko Haram in Africa have wreaked devastation of precious Islamic heritage in parts of Africa and Buddhist heritage in Afghanistan. The fabled city of Timbuktu in the present-day Republic of Mali in West Africa, also called, the Jewel of the Desert, was known as the City of 333 Sufi Saints.  I don’t have to remind the knowledgeable audience in this hall of the state of ruins to which it has been reduced recently by the same forces of darkness that destroyed the Bamiyan Budhas, though they may go by different names in different parts of the world.

     Their inspiration comes from Saudi Arabia which is engaged right now in the destruction of oldest Muslim heritage buildings in Medina in the name of expansion of the Prophet's Mosque (Al-Masjid al-Nabawi) to facilitate the building of luxurious seven star hotels. The tomb of the Prophet is once again the prime target of the Saudi regime as it has been ever since the illiterate Najdi Bedouins captured what used to be a more cosmopolitan society that had developed over the centuries in Hejaz.

    Debating Islam

    Can We Ignore Questions Like: Is Islam A Political, Fascist, Totalitarian Ideology That Prohibits New Ideas Or A Spiritual Path To Salvation That Accepts Myriad Interpretations Of Islam?
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    In the course of a discussion on the subject of Jihadism, on another thread, I had asked a regular contributor: "Do you consider Islam a political, fascist, totalitarian ideology or a spiritual faith that accepts not only myriad interpretations of Islam but also other faiths and calls them all Islam?”

    The person concerned did not reply despite repeated reminders. But Mr. Ghulam Mohiyuddin responded, thus helping our discussion go forward, though in a different though related and important direction.

    I am bringing it on a new thread now to facilitate further discussion in a more pointed manner....

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    TOP ARTICLE

    Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam
    If Islam Means Peace, Why Is Much Of Its Theology Soaked In Hatred, Humiliation, Offensive War?
    Sultan Shahin, New Age Islam

    Among many factors, social, economic, political, psychological, the one common feature is a brainwashing of vulnerable people on the basis of a supremacist, xenophobic, intolerant, exclusivist and totalitarian Jihadi theology. This is a blatant misuse of Islam, a spiritual path to salvation, that 1.6 billion Muslims believe, teaches peace, pluralism, co-existence and good neighbourliness.

     But there has to be a reason why jihadi ideology has gained acceptance so quickly; why fatwas issued by reputed moderate scholars prove so ineffective? How are Jihadis able to create a 100 percent certainty in the minds of some Muslims that violence against innocent people, including Muslims, whom they consider infidel, will please God and lead them to heaven?

     Clearly we Muslims need to rethink some basic features of our theology. Success of jihadism lies in the fact that, at its core, the jihadi theology is not very different from the consensus theology of all other schools of Islamic thought. For instance, jihadists are able to misuse the intolerant, xenophobic, war-time verses of the holy Quran, as Muslims believe that all verses, regardless of the context, are of universal applicability. Indeed, the Islamic theology of consensus, taught in all madrasas, says that Quran is uncreated, meaning that it is just an aspect of God; and so, divine like God Himself.....

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