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Books and Documents

Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam

Forcing New Meanings onto the Quran: Divine Inspiration, Authorship and Infallibility Does Not Preclude One Important Factor – Interpretation
Farouk A. Peru

...Quran has some rather difficult verses. But rather than throwing them out, I was fortunate enough to discover that the arguments Islamofascists used to justify their interpretations were non-existent. They did not even quote the verses in full, let alone pay attention to context or even connect this to the theme of the entire text. Why anyone would give them default authority and deem other interpretations as “forced” is beyond me. The answer lies in reading the Quran as a whole. When one does this, one can clearly see that there are rules for conflict, and these rules are very fair....

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The Quran Is the Perfect, Infallible Word of God, Even If All the Muslims Misunderstand It

Some Muslim Intellectuals of This Era Cry Lies or Half-Truths against Islam Creating Doubts and Suspicions against It – Ignorantly or Fraudulently - God Knows Best

The powerful Indonesian conservative and nationalist group that operates madrassahs or religious seminaries across the archipelago has taken on the ambitious task of reintroducing ijtihad or legal interpretation to Islam as it stands to enhance its political clout with its spiritual leader, Ma’ruf Amin, slated to become vice president as the running mate of incumbent President Joko Widodo in elections scheduled for next April.

 

From Islamic point of view men and women are a single entity as a woman was created out of a man’s rib and then, humanity was created with combination of a man and woman. They are two equal parts of a single unit, which is differentiated into nations and tribes only for the sake of recognition and nothing else. In the sight of Allah, honour is not related to color creed or gender; it is the righteousness of a person which elevates a person in hereafter......

 

Byzantine Emperor, Heraclius, Came Close To Embracing Islam
Amal Al-Sibai

At the time when Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had migrated to Madinah and many people were entering the folds of Islam, Heraclius was the Emperor of the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire. Heraclius heard of the Prophet from Arabia, and he wanted to collect more information about this Prophet. At the time, Aby Sufyan was still not Muslim. Abu Sufyan’s name was Sakhr bin Harb and he was a prominent leader of Quraish in Makkah. Abu Sufyan was powerful, influential, and wealthy. He led business caravans for trade between Makkah and the area of Syria and Palestine. ...

The Historical Marginalisation of Muslims Is Significant and It Explicitly Works against them
Shiv Visvanathan

It is the third finding which is devastating to swallow. Intergenerational mobility has been negligible for Muslims. It is as if democracy in an electoral sense has worked more for OBCs and SC/STs but not for Muslims. Neither liberalisation nor democracy has offered much to Muslims in terms of opportunity....

More You Conceal Constructive Criticism of Islam, Easier You Are Making It for Muslim Radicals to Prevail
Majid Rafizadeh

There are currently, around the world, atrocities being committed every moment of every day in the name of Islam; your goal should not be to be politically correct or fiercely protect this religion, but to heal its wounded and offer support to those that want to eliminate the abuses. Glossing over the often unspeakable acts to which sharia can lead will only empower those individuals who have malevolent intentions, while subjugating the most vulnerable to their cruelty....

The Quran doesn’t settle issues; it unsettles our complacency and asks us to think over issues, have a consultation or dialogue on the same and always consider the best amongst knowledgeable. In fact the Quran as discourse invites us to have a sort of Socratic dialogue with ourselves/others so that what is to be truly honoured or is just or beautiful comes to focus. We usually fail to notice why the Word or Revelation necessarily means renouncing the very desire to interpret on our part. A look at the theory of Revelation across religions clarifies the key question so that we don’t hanker after meanings but prepare for receiving all meanings that there are or become receptive to that which is – pre-linguistic suchness – and one transcends all interpretative framing.....

 

Quran Consistently Invites Human Beings to Apply Sama (Ears) and Basr (Eyes) To Acquire Knowledge
Ahmad Raza

Qawwali/Sama is yet more proof of the power of cultural transmission of spirituality and ethical life by means of organised listening. Rauscher and colleagues have reported in Neuroscience Letters that listening to Mozart’s music enhances spatial-temporal reasoning by the brain. Voisin, for example has discovered in his research that listening in silence activates auditory areas in brain. According to French psychologist Jean Piaget, active listening plays a basic role in the construction of our mental models of reality and knowledge....

 

As a matter of fact, Islamic dogmatism, orthodoxy and fundamentalism as subscribed to by many Muslim scholars, politicians, preachers and disciples of today are a fallacy bringing about a fixated culture in society. The absence of reasoning and inquiry has stagnated their minds and this has become an anathema to their progress. Preachers delving into this dogmatic approach to Islam should not be allowed to spread their influence, as this will muddle Muslim minds more and cause them to return to the obscure ages of the past....

For too long, Muslims have been imprisoned by the idea that their Present is simply the West’s Past, and that their Future can only lead to the West’s Present. To actually fulfil Tahtawi’s real vision, we must tap into the deep, rich bodies of knowledge produced by Muslims over the centuries, and unchain ourselves from Western hegemonising categories of understanding. This is how we can produce a fresh and liberating engagement with Western traditions of knowledge....

 

Islam Has the Progressive Spirit Within, It is Religious Orthodoxy Which Creates Gender Imbalance
Raza Habib Raja

I believe that Islam has that progressive spirit within. We just need to emphasise on it, so that we can come out of the current situation we are time-trapped in. I hope that this debate, which has been kicked off by this act of bravery on Beevi’s part, sets a good precedent and continues to take place. Only by debating these issues can we move forward in the right direction. For now, good luck to Jamida Beevi, and all the other valiant women who are supporting her!...

God Would Want Something Different From Us Today Than What Was Applicable In the 7th Century
Pamela K. Taylor

While this may seem like a huge departure from traditional theology and jurisprudence, the companions of the Prophet clearly saw the Qur’an and its teachings in this manner. For instance, Omar suspended punishments for theft mentioned in the Qur’an during a famine. Obviously, he understood that as circumstances change, so too should our understanding of the Qur’an. I am suggesting nothing more and nothing less....

Islam We Have Today Is Not What God Intended For Us in the 21st Century, Rather It Is a Frozen Version from More Than 1,000 Years Ago
Aidha Saleh Albreiki

The Islam we have today, he says, is not what God intended for us in the 21st century but rather a frozen version from more than 1,000 years ago. This heritage is often backward, irrational and certainly not sacred, according to his views. He contends that even the Hadiths of Prophet Mohammed are not revelations nor sacred, and that we should follow the Quran alone. This view of Hadiths is the same as that of the Quraniyoon who, as the name suggests, limit themselves to following the Quran only. But he is not considered part of this group because he has his own wide-ranging and unconventional interpretation of the Quran....

It Is a Challenging Thing In This World To Be A Muslim Reformer
Nesrine Malik

But how does one stay on the right side of the fight—rightly denouncing abuses committed in the name of Islam, such as honour killings, female genital mutilation, or the death sentence for blasphemy and apostasy—without giving ground to those who want to make those abuses about a religion or a people in a defining, essentialist way? And how does one manage this without falling into the traps of apologia or cowardice? ...

 

These include the doctrine of Al-Wala’ Wal Bara’, blasphemy laws, Hudood laws and hate rhetoric. This will be a tall order as the task is further compounded by the ongoing issue of sectarianism and inter- and intra-religious conflict. While some of these challenges are unsettling due to geo-political reasons, some are not insurmountable and can be moderated through creative and contextual interpretations – as seen from the other efforts discussed in trying to develop moderate Islam....

Recontextualising, or Reforming the Problematic Tenets within Islamic Orthodoxy Needed to Save Indonesia from Islamism
Yahya Cholil Staquf

The recontextualisation and reform of Islamic orthodoxy is thus crucial to the welfare of Muslims and non-Muslims alike, for it constitutes the one indispensible prerequisite of any rational and humane solution to the multi-dimensional crisis that has plagued the Muslim world for over a century — which not only shows no sign of abating despite an ever-growing toll of human lives and misery, but rather, increasingly threatens to spill over and engulf humanity as a whole....

Many terrorists who typically graduated from secular institutions instead of Islamic seminaries formulated discourses entirely foreign to Islamic tradition. In other words, their discourses have no intellectual precedent in Islamic traditions. For instance, the idea that killing innocent people can be justified or that the aims of a state should include establishing an Islamic caliphate -- neither have any grounding in Islamic classical intellectual legacy....

One could well say that the sacred texts don’t mean; they are. They are us. Since our own being remains rather dimly available for scansion, how come sacred texts could become available? No wonder most of the Quran is Mutashabihat that resists meaning closure. In fact the very quest to interpret has to be ultimately given up. One finds salvation by consenting to becoming a Question that our being is....

 

Malaysia: Reclaim a Narrative of Islam That Is More Humanist, Egalitarian and Inclusive
Aizat Shamsuddin

Religious leaders from all faiths, Shariah judges and community leaders – also referred to as social influencers – must be exposed to democracy, political science, law and human rights to understand the state policies from multiple angels and not just from the religious perspective. And that the state's operations are complex and reformative according to our progression in the 21st century....

How Much of Islamic Tradition, As It Was At Its Genesis, Is Meant To Be Preserved
Mustafa Akyol

These are the Muslims who live in the high latitudes, where “dawn till dusk” can equal almost the entire 24-hour day. In Reykjavik, Iceland, for example, which is now home to nearly 1,000 Muslims, the sun will set at midnight, only to come back in about two hours. That means the fasting time will be as long as 22 hours, allowing for only one meal a day. No wonder this challenge has become a major point of discussion among Muslim scholars in the past few decades...

Muslim clerics at mosques from across France were quick to respond to the “manifesto,” warning that it could inflame relations between religious communities in the European nation.  Head of the Great Mosque of Bordeaux, Tareq Obrou, expressed outrage at the divisive letter, pointing out that “attributing anti-Semitism to Islam almost constitutes blasphemy, as two-thirds of the Qur'an’s prophets are Jewish". ...

 

Does Erdogan Intend To Open The Doors Of Ijtihad?
Seda Demiralp

While “reform” has been a taboo in traditional Sunni Islam, there used to be some room for change within the traditional school, through the concept of “Ijtihad” (reasoning). This mechanism allowed the uncertainty and confusion that emerged during the adaptation of Islamic teaching to law in the four centuries after the emergence of Islam to be addressed. But around the 10th century the majority of Islamic scholars concluded that no issues were left that needed further clarification and the doors of Ijtihad were essentially closed....

 

Redefining Islam for the 21st Century
Tehmina Kazi

This brings me to another unique feature of the critical Muslim movement: we are taking control of our own destiny, without allowing external forces to dictate the terms. For example, the recent "Happy Christmas 4ALL" Facebook campaign was an organic response to the frustration of seeing "Muslims ban Christmas" fabrications in the press. It turned into a celebration of the diverse ways in which people of all faiths and none mark the season. ....

 

Why Erdogan Called For Updating Islam
Mustafa Akyol

Here is the key point: These terrible views were shocking to Turkey’s secularists, almost all of whom are against Erdogan. But they were also shocking to most moderate religious conservatives, many of whom vote for Erdogan. This is the case, because as polls show, hard-core Islamists who would like to see a Sharia-based Turkey — one like Saudi Arabia, where sexes are segregated and adulterers are stoned — makes up a small minority in Turkey....

Al-Azhar Stands For Moderation of Thought
Mohammad Hashim Kamali

Many purist leaders called for changing “general principles” to the “rulings (Ahkam) of Islamic Shariah,” as they argued that general principles can refer to general values such as equality and justice in a way to avoid instituting Islamic substantive law. The Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) ruled that the state should only uphold rules that are considered apodictic with respect to both authenticity and meaning.....

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  • Words never end.
    ( By Rumish )
  • why is it that every "perfect" human being happens to be a muslim?is something wrong with people?
    ( By hats off! )
  • kaniz fatma is either absolutely innocent or totally uninformed.let this person find out what is happening with the ahmadiyas in pakistan. or in any ...
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  • Undoubtedly Maulana Rumi is a Perfect Source of Inspiration In Terms Of Social Development and Solution to Universal Problems. 
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Let us say bye to every conspiracy theory and make a healthy environment for peaceful coexistence. Love can win the hearts but hate wins nothing ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Indonesian women blaming the government for sexual harassment are right in their initiative.With the legal protection becoming weak, the incidents of sexual harassment will ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • "the renewal of religious discourse should consider the requirements of the current age and place as well, saying that the “early scientists succeeded to ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Bilal A. Sultan writes, "I am pakistani live in 28 chak Bangla Colony, Tehsil Malakwal, District Mandi Bahauddin." Here we have more Hindu Population than ...
    ( By Kaniz Fatma )
  • @Miss Kaniz Fatmaاگر کسی نے یہ عقیدہ رکھا کہ اللہ تعالی کسی چیز کا محتاج نہیں مگر وہ یہ کہتا ہے کہ اللہ تعالی نے ...
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  • Non-Muslims have no place in the heart of Muslims and in the land where Muslims are in a majority.
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  • Hello Madam, Hindus in Pakistan and Bangaladesh are  suffering Genocide at the hands of Islamic Governments and "Kill  Khafir"Public. Have you any word for ...
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  • the decimal system was appropriated by the marauding bedouins from the idol-worshiping hindu polytheists.lying is the main vocation of the soft islamists aka "moderate" muslims.
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  • Please excuse me there is no science in Quran. Arab imperialism ,  social living and spirituality is what Quran is made for. We need ...
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  • historical evidence shows that the prophet (pubh) banned the polytheists and jews from the hejaz.so the buddhists in myanmar are just emulating the prophet.
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  • there is also reference to SNP and quantum entanglement. but it does not have any reference to bird's eye chili or garbanzo beans.maybe allah ...
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  • an ISIS terrorist describes himself as a true muslim. you are the supreme mis-leader.or is it the case that ISIS are rastafarians? you should ...
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  • صحیح بخاری و صحیح مسلم میں  ابوہریرہ و ابو سعید رضی اﷲ تعالیٰ عنہما سے مروی، حضور اقدس صلی اﷲ تعالیٰ علیہ وسلم فرماتے ہیں : ’’مسلمان کو ...
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  • Feeling compassion for the most persecuted minorities of Burma - the Rohingyas is really an act of humanity.They that are oppressing these minorities are ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • If some have done wrong, it does not mean all are responsible for that. Wrongdoers have become king of this age and innocent civilians are ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • I do not have any fixed strategy. The end result of hat Prof. Moosa says and what I say would be the same. Can you ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer Ahmad Sahab, Assalam alaikum, Please answer this question. I need it. "Did Akbar become so secular because it was best for expansion of his kingdom?"
    ( By Kaniz Fatma )
  • Mr. Uvais Cassim, from Sri Lanka, writes, “Real education began when the world’s first degree awarding University was founded by an Arab Muslim woman named Fathima al ...
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  • An ISIS terrorist on the rampage in Strasbourg, France  does not make your case for muted Christmas celebrations. A better explanation would be the ...
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  • Why is it not fine to make division between religious and secular education?
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  • @TalhaThe founding editor of newageislam.com Mr. Sultan Shahin deals with this subject at some length.  You can find your answer here; If Not the UN Charter, Muslim Countries Should At ...
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  • Good to hear that Malaysia would ratify all remaining core UN instruments related to the protection of human rights, including the International Convention on the ...
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  • A person asked me: Should Muslims follow Islam or UN charter in this time when this religion is being distorted by a group of ...
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  • Right to privilege? Right to oppress? Shameful! 
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  • The situation can only change if the Muslims establish a good reputation for themselves as tenants and neighbours. The situation described is shameful for ...
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  • Why do you quote Prof Moosa when your strategy is different from his? You want to leave the Quran aside and even insist and maintain that:   1.     The ...
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  • It is silly of Hats Off to say that Scandinavians do not celebrate Christmas because it offends Muslims! Muting Christmas celebrations is usually attributed ...
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  • While the percentage  of atheists may be rising, the number of atheists who go to religious websites to insult the religions of others remains ...
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  • hatred of the "decadent" west, contempt for the trinitarian christian gone astray and anti-semitism are very common among the muslims in europe. much more ...
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  • What GM sb is saying in effect is that irrespective of what I have said, he believes that the Quran: 1. Uses undignified terms such as Kafir ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • What GM sb is saying in effect is that irrespective of what I have said, he believes that the Quran: 1. Uses undignified terms such as Kafir ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )