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Books and Documents

Books and Documents

Islam Is All about God’s Immense Compassion: Islam Is Good, Muslims Should Follow It – Part 2
Sanjiv Bhatla, New Age Islam

It stands to reason that if Islamic jurists had set the example of kindness and compassion as advocated by Islam, and additionally of tolerance and open mindedness as displayed by Prophet Muhammad himself, then a common Muslim too would have cultivated these qualities in his day-to-day conduct. …As things stand, because of the Islamic jurists’ rigidity, a common Muslim walks around with a halo of intolerance hanging over his head. It surely puts him in a bad light in comparison to the peoples from other faiths.  To love a religion is one thing, to be haughty about it is another. Muslims by and large do not seem to understand the difference…..

 

Islam's Goodness Has Been Its Undoing; It Has Been a Victim of Its Followers' Excess Ardour: Islam Is Good; Muslims Should Follow It – Part 1

Islam's goodness has been its undoing -- it has been a victim of its followers' excess ardor. Long before Karl Marx was born, Islam was already preaching Dignity and Equality for the underprivileged. Not surprising, therefore, that most of its early believers belonged to the deprived classes. Its humane attitude pleased and energized them, and they set about to spread the message with an urgent zeal.

Islam lacked a centralized controlling institution like the Church in Christianity, and a battery of affable devotees like Christian missionaries to peacefully disseminate its message. The spirited Muslims let their swords do the talking. As a result, Islam acquired the image of an aggressive faith quite in contrast to its true values. Even in matters of Justice and the Veil, Islam suffered due to myopic interpretations of its self-righteous aficionados.

It is now for the present-day Muslims to make amends and restore the praise that Islam truly deserves. And the remedy is close at hand -- they only need to follow Islam!...

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children… This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron....

 

Many scholars have argued in addition that the modern Western construction of itself as the paragon of righteousness was often done at the expense of Islam. Yet even though such “orientalism” has been roundly critiqued by decades of scholarship, these earlier views persist. In fact, the attempts by contemporary scholars and museum curators to overturn such stereotypes by means of books and lavish museum exhibits highlighting Muslim tolerance and periods of Islamic exchange with Christian Europe have been unable to diminish the West’s orientalist fear. ...

 

Respected Muslim Personalities Related to the Sikh Religion

Exemplifying the universalism of the message of the Sikh Gurus, Habib explains that the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scripture which is regarded as Guru by the Sikhs, contains verses by Sikh Gurus as well as by several Muslim and Hindu men of God and in different languages. The teachings of this scripture, he tells us, are not specific to just one particular religious community but are of universal appeal and relevance, based on love for and devotion to the One God and leading an ethical life. There are strong parallels between these teachings and those of Muslim Sufis and Hindu Bhagats who advocated the path of love, Habib points out....

Understanding Boko Haram
James H. Barnett

Similarly, while Wahhabist influence from the Gulf has certainly helped shape Nigerian Islam (many prominent Salafists in Borno attended the Islamic University of Medina), those who look for the Saudi bogeyman behind every unfortunate development in the Muslim world will be disappointed by Thurston’s assessment that Boko Haram is ultimately an indigenous product of north-eastern Nigeria—a movement set apart from more conventional Nigerian Salafism by its violence and exclusivism rather than its rejection of Western culture....

 
The Twain Shall Meet
Aijaz Zaka Syed

The Twain Shall Meet
Aijaz Zaka Syed

As our world becomes more and more interconnected and the forces of globalisation make borders irrelevant, the movement of people in search of a better life and opportunities is inevitable. Instead of fighting this natural change, the West and Muslim societies should come to terms with it and find a way forward....

 

Making the World Happier One Good Deed at a Time!

Salma was on a train on a winter morning and saw a woman hug her little child close. The girl was very cold, and her mother was trying hard to keep her warm with her Dupatta. Without a second thought Salma took off her shawl and gave it to the woman and insisted they keep it and got a great way to use the YTN card!...

Growing Up with a Muslim Name, These Are Stories I Recognise
Nazia Erum

Incidents of Islamophobia are common and – for those of us who are targeted by them – easy to recognise. The biggest accomplishment of Erum’s book, therefore, has been to document these stories for those who would not as easily have noticed, or even imagined, their existence. As she puts it herself, she has begun to fill a large gap in Indian literature...

 

Gandhi’s Last Message: ‘Raze the Sacred Sites of Others and You Too Will Be Obliterated’

Gandhi…had wanted to avoid the country’s partition. Failing in that he engaged himself in preventing the division of hearts, emphasising that even as the country had been divided, the hearts must not be divided. Also knowing that if the hearts had not been divided, the country could never have been divided and contending with this paradox, because he understood that neither India nor Pakistan stood to gain in the absence of mutual friendship. Should one become hell, the other can never be heaven.....

 

When Rape Becomes a Weapon of War

“I want to be the last girl in the world with a story like mine,” Murad concludes. Despite recent gains against ISIS in Iraq, many Yazidis still remain in captivity. As a story that hasn’t yet ended, “The Last Girl” is difficult to process. It is a call to action, but as it places Murad’s tragedy in the larger narrative of Iraqi history and American intervention, it leaves the reader with urgent, incendiary questions: What have we done, and what can we do?...

 

Changing the Lens through Which We View Islam
Zakia Soman

The crucial chapter about the Quran records all the important principles enshrined and underlines their relevance in modern times. Fair play, decency, trust, honesty in daily transactions are emphasised in the Quran. Peaceful co-existence, non-violence, non-dynastic rule, freedom of religion, impartiality, compassion, kindness, justice, decorum and good behaviour are some of the values explained at length using quotes from various verses and anecdotes from the life of the Prophet....

 

‘I Hate Muslims’: A Book Uncovers the Bullying Faced By Muslim Children in Many Indian Schools
Nazia Erum

“If they think we are terrorists then we will show them what we can do. How can they say that to us? Every time there is a terror attack in the news, my classmates ask me the next day, “Arre Yeh Kya Karwa Diya Tumne? [What have you done now?]” “As if I am responsible!” When I asked Raffat why he gets into physical fights instead of complaining to the school authorities, he says that there is no point in trying to reason away the unreasonable. “If they want to fight, we cannot shy away!” said the visibly upset young man....

Remembering Dina, Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s daughter
Akbar Ahmed

Neither Indians nor Pakistanis quite forgave Dina Wadia for being Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s daughter; the former made her life miserable through a protracted, mean-spirited grab for her father’s house in Bombay and the latter ignored her as an embarrassment who dared to marry a non-Muslim in defiance of her father’s wishes. ...

The Catholic Writer Garry Wills Explores the Quran

The main point of the Quran’s discussion of violence is to establish limitations on its use, and to “abstain from violence to the degree that that is possible.” While a few endlessly cited verses have to do with violence, “the overall tenor is one of mercy and forgiveness, which are evoked everywhere, almost obsessively.” This is what is striven for in the Quran, not war....

The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World

Over time, then, while earlier generations in the West had regarded the existence of God as a natural and fundamental belief, as something that was self-evidently true, many now took a diametrically opposed view. They began claiming that atheism was the natural philosophy of humanity and that it was the beliefs of religious people that required rational explanation. They insisted that belief in God was a form of wishful thinking for consoling weaker and foolish people and for exploiting the poor, or an illusion created by fearful minds to console themselves in the face of what they regarded as the universe’s meaninglessness....

 

The Secrets about Fatehpur Sikri
Rana Safvi

The Mughal association with it began with the Battle of Khanwa between Babur and Rana Sanga in 1527. After his victory, Babur constructed a garden there, which he named Bagh-e-Fatah (victory garden). The village was renamed Shukri (place of thanksgiving). Babur’s grandson Akbar ordered the construction of a royal city, which then served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571, on an isolated elevated, rocky ridge. Thus was built a majestic imperial city....

 

Everybody Lies: How Google Search Reveals Our Darkest Secrets
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

The final – and, I think, most powerful – value in this data is its ability to lead us from problems to solutions. With more understanding, we might find ways to reduce the world’s supply of nasty attitudes. Let’s return to Obama’s speech about Islamophobia. Recall that every time he argued that people should respect Muslims more, the people he was trying to reach became more enraged. Google searches, however, reveal that there was one line that did trigger the type of response Obama might have wanted. He said: “Muslim Americans are our friends and our neighbours, our co-workers, our sports heroes and, yes, they are our men and women in uniform, who are willing to die in defence of our country.” After this line, for the first time in more than a year, the top Googled noun after “Muslim” was not “terrorists”, “extremists”, or “refugees”. It was “athletes”, followed by “soldiers”.” And, in fact, “athletes” kept the top spot for a full day afterwards. When we lecture angry people, the search data implies that their fury can grow. But subtly provoking people’s curiosity, giving new information, and offering new images of the group that is stoking their rage may turn their thoughts in different, more positive directions.....

 

Chip in the Madrasa: An Insightful Tale That Unravels How the Wahhabis Play Their Vicious Games and Continue To Maintain Their Vice-Like Grip on Muslim Minds across the Globe
Vivek Sinha

“…it’s only to cement our ideology in the Muslim minds. The billions of dollars continue to pour in only to erase all other competing versions and interpretations of Islam for Muslims, and for the rest of the world. These funds are put into the laps of shady businessmen like you so that you expunge all other interpretations and establish that Wahhabism is the only version of Islam....

 

Probe Dispassionately Islam’s Spread in India
Raziuddin Aquil

The Turks, Afghans and Mughals, amongst other sets of Muslim immigrants from Central Asia, Iran and the Middle East, were essentially urban people and wherever they settled down in the subcontinent, new cities and towns emerged. In some cases, following the change in political regimes as well as a dominant Muslim presence, a pre-existing city was renamed and transformed into a Muslim stronghold. Also, the prolonged interaction between Muslim urban centres and a predominantly Hindu rural hinterland led to the gradual diffusion of Islam in this region….

Reflections: Personal as Well As Social Aspects of Islam

Eaton stresses that life is to be lived not according to our self-will, but, rather, according to God’s guidance. This is something that not just Muslims but all other people who believe in God would readily agree with. Another theme common to all religions that Eaton touches on is life after death (for which this life is a preparation). He reminds us: ‘Religion assures us—all the authentic religions say this, whether openly or by implication—that what lies beyond our brief life or, to put it another way, what lies outside the little world we know, is more real than anything that we experience here.’?....

 

Karo Kari or honour killing in upper Sindh is popularly perceived as a phenomenon according to which a male relative can kill a woman and her lover, if he thinks that his ‘honour’ has been violated due to sexual relations between the two, relations that are not sanctified by society via marriage.

The ultimate vindication of honour lies in physical violence, as ‘to kill or die for honour’ is a regular phrase that resounds in discourse on honour in this area. However, it is also important to note that the static binaries of honour violence, as a relationship between men and women...

 

When we met Katie, she had very strong views about Muslims: that she wouldn’t want to sit next to a Muslim on a bus; how she was fearful of women wearing the Niqab. But she also wanted to try to understand the Muslim community and had a genuine desire to have her preconceptions challenged. We hoped that people who shared some of Katie’s views would go on the journey with her. I think the disguise element was an absolutely crucial part of this....

 

A Night at the Museum
Sumaira Samad

A primary theme characterising the various eras is that of degeneration and decay. The Mohenjo-Daro of 2084 BCE is a city in decline. The spirit that inspired its great civic planning, egalitarianism and vast trading networks has given way to narrow self-interest, hollow rituals, and intrigue. The Takshasila of 455 CE is also about to change forever; the reforming spirit of Buddhism is dwindling and both secular and religious authorities follow a myopic, self-serving path. Mughal India, meanwhile, is at the height of its splendour, a rich blend of various cultures and religions....

 

The Story of the Jews: The Long Fight to Survive
Andrew Anthony

The hatred that manifests in the euphemism “anti-Zionist” serves today to normalise the ever-embattled condition of Jews who, by dint of being Jewish, are viewed as part of an international conspiracy to deny Palestinian rights. If that seems hyperbolic, why is it a typical sight in Britain and Europe to see Jewish schools, community centres and synagogues under guard – armed guard in France?....

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NEW COMMENTS

  • Naseer Saheb, Yunus Saheb has asked me to post the following response to your latest comment: Once again Naseer sahib reads my comment according to his ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • The writer deserves congratulations for his fine piece of work.'
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Cite any verse of any poet that does justice to the Quran if you can." You are talking rubbish Naseer Sb as Mohiyuddin sb said. Why...
    ( By arshad )
  • pointing out that no benign meaning can be derived from murderous texts is an hostile act?...
    ( By hats off! )
  • I have cited two very famous and popular verses of Iqbal and shown that these do injustice to what the Quran teaches us....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The two faces of Muhammad Yunus If the Qur’an is interpreted by applying his methodology of logical derivation...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shahin Sb, Keeping in mind Yunus sb’s definition of ‘Kafir’ in the Qur’an as “Wilful rejection ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shahin sb, There is no cure for a person who is deaf, dumb and blind like Yunus sb who persists in misunderstanding what should be clear ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Religions are not written in stone. They are evolving entities. Trying to prevent people from getting the best and the most updated meaning from their ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • So, this is a curious thought and I have spoken of this. In the Christian plane which I am not of anymore and I ...
    ( By Amy Evans )
  • Abrogation verse is there in Koran - read : 2:106 : Whatever of Our revelations We repeal or cause to be forgotten, We will replace ...
    ( By Raman )
  • There is no scope of mis-interpretation of Koran - for the reason it is mentioned 13 times that this book is a clear message revealed ...
    ( By Raman )
  • Naseer Saheb, Yunus Saheb has also asked me to post the following response to your latest comment: "In his latest comment Naseer Saheb says: he ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Naseer Saheb, Yunus Saheb has asked me to post the following response to your latest comment: As usual Naseer Saheb has ducked the crux of the ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Thank you for all your hard work and for this wonderful essay. I will share widely, aw ...
    ( By Dr. amina wadud )
  • some kitab, some mubeen and some allah. the text is so clear that two IIT trained ulemas cannot stand the sight of each other's....
    ( By hats off! )
  • being honest and truthful will destroy the basis of most religions including islam...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Naseer sab's relentless and abusive assaults on Yunus sab are an example of mullahish arrogance. Such brazen....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • “The most prominent thing which distinguishes the religious mind, which infuses sanctity and...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The confusion about the concept of shahadah is just one of many that have left non-Muslims....
    ( By GRD )
  • Naseer sb, you again misunderstood what I wrote. I said poetry and something written in poetic style are two different things. One may not be ...
    ( By arshad )
  • Arshad sb, I agree with what you say about the Quran. It has its own charm, style, diction and power to awe, amaze and convince. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Different folks show their intolerance in different ways. People can have good inter-community relations in spite of these petty scruples. Making ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Yunus Sb can neither explain his flip-flops nor has the honesty to admit that he has revised his earlier categorical opinion that all the Mushrikin ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Yunus sb says :"Flaw in Argument: A Muslim girl can fall in love with and marry a polytheist in breach of Qur’anic decree (2:221) retaining ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer sb, poetry is the art of use of language for conveying one's thought in an effective style. Quran is not vain poetry but it ...
    ( By arshad )
  • What have you read on Islam. Islam is 5% good, 35% bad and rest neutral. So let us not pick and choose 5% and ignore ...
    ( By Raman )
  • The rubbish that emanates from Naseer sab's pen is mind boggling.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Both the courts and the NIA are guilty of violating Hadiya's fundamental۔۔۔۔
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • no amount of rage is going to help your hollow claims. muslims are forbiddeen from eating offerings offered to another deity. they cannot....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Naseer Saheb, Yunus Saheb has asked me to post the following response to your latest comment: ""A close scrutiny of the opening ....
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • allah hates poets and poetry. what else is new? allah hates most of the things he thoughtlessly creates - kufr, shirk and so...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Arshad sb, The Quran says that it is those who stray in evil who follow the poets. The Prophet was neither instructed in poetry nor ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Yunus sb's understanding of the Quran is extremely weak. There is no reversal of the meaning of verse 2:221 which is meant for all good/clean ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Simplistic half truths in Hats Offs hate war against Muslims!'
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The perennial enemy of Islam should know that the same question was not asked of other communities.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Will Shahin sb and Yunus sb answer the questions please? Yunus sb cannot explain his flip-flops and will not answer and is therefore in hiding. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • that there was not a single answer from the oh-so tolerant extremists on this site proves once and for all that islam and muslims are ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • just goes to prove how egalitarian and accommodating the polytheists are and how exclusive and discriminatory....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Both Hindus and Muslims indulge in honor killings. The RSS has raised it to a war of hate and lies with their "Love Jihad" scam!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )