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Books and Documents

Islamic Culture

The Price of Love: Valentine’s Day in Egypt and Its Enemies – Concluding Part
Aymon Kreil

The women and men celebrating Valentine’s Day tend to blur its origins, insisting on the universality and beauty of love. None of my interviewees evoked religion as linked to the holiday, either positively or negatively. “If a holiday is beautiful, it doesn’t matter to me if it is of Indian, Chinese, or Western origin,” stated a woman wearing a headscarf in her forties from a rich southern Cairo family....

 

The Price of Love: Valentine’s Day in Egypt and Its Enemies – Part One
Aymon Kreil

Today, what I call “love modernism,” the linking of love marriage with imaginations of progress,[iii] is still a living ideal in Egypt. Egalitarian ideals, however, are no longer part of state ideology. Two wars and four decades of economic reform dislocated the remains of Nasserite socialism. Consequently, economic constraints often jeopardize marriage plans.

In the mid-2000s, for instance, Muslim Brotherhood students tried to organize a holiday of love of God (‘id al-Hubb fi Allah) and later a Muhammad Day [xxvi] on 14 February....

 

Obama’s Stellar Effort to Preserve Our Cultural Heritage in Syria
Franklin Lamb

But there is one major, if not widely heralded, Obama Administration achievement which relates to Syria and the Middle East that has not gained much public recognition but for which the Obama Administration deserves great credit. That subject is Obama’s leadership and achievements, working with a divided Congress, in taking new and concrete measures with respect to Protecting and Preserving Syria’s Endangered Heritage which we all share as our common cradle of Civilization....

 

What’s Missing in the Teaching of Islam
Kishwar Rizvi

Such narrow focus misses out on the cultural exchanges during this period. For example, in medieval Spain, the Troubadour poets borrowed their lyrical beauty from Arabic. Arabic was the courtly language of southern Spain until the 15th century. Similarly, the 12th-century Palatine Chapel in Sicily was painted and gilded in the imperial style of the Fatimids, the rulers of Egypt between the 10th and 12th centuries....

It’s Harder than Ever to Teach Islamic Art — but Never More Important
Kishwar Rizvi

In my first class, on Islam’s holiest site, the Kaaba in Mecca, I couldn’t avoid showing images of the sacred monument overshadowed by towering hotels. Old photographs and verbal descriptions have to stand in for the hundreds of Ottoman and early Islamic sites destroyed by the Saudi government to make way for ambitious commercial ventures....

 

When Muslims Ruled the Civilised World
Hamid Dabashi

Generations and centuries have passed since the time Khaqani visited Taq-e Kisra and composed his unforgettable poem. Today those ruins are either viciously destroyed as the ISIL did in Palmyra or else carefully or competently curated in museums like this one....

 

Najaf, Karbala and Baghdad: The Exalted Cities
Sadia Dehlvi

Yazid had declared himself the head of the Islamic caliphate and ordered Imam Hussain to give allegiance to him. Imam Hussain fought with just 72 companions against a huge well-equipped army. After they were martyred, the Prophet’s beloved grandson stood alone, suffering a volley of arrows but fighting bravely till his head was severed from his body, while he prostrated in prayer. Imam Hussain preferred to die, rather than legitimise oppression and injustice in the name of Islam. His sacrifice and courage against the face of evil, is what continues to inspire the Iraqis to fight the ISIS.....

 

Pakistan’s Mughal Heritage: Chinese-Style Modernisation Draws Perilously Close To Brilliant 17th-Century Landmarks

For centuries Lahore was the heart of Mughal Hindustan, known to visitors as the City of Gardens. Today it has a greater profusion of treasures from the Mughal period (the peak of which was in the 17th century) than India’s Delhi or Agra, even if Lahore’s are less photographed. The walled old city is anchored at one end by the red sandstone and white marble bulbs of the huge Badshahi mosque, and fixed at the centre by the polychrome mosque....

 

The Ottoman Legacy in Palestine
Aziza Nofal

According to Riwaq, 50,320 historical buildings were identified in 1994 in Palestine. Bechara said that only a few of those were built before the Ottoman era. This is because Palestine was rebuilt in the last 500 years according to Ottoman architecture based on the existing infrastructure from previous eras. For instance, the architecture in the Old City of Nablus was mostly Byzantine, but the buildings were destroyed due to the 1927 earthquake and rebuilt with an Ottoman character....

 

Drawing the human form from live models was long considered a rite of passage — and an academic requirement — for aspiring artists in the West, but Turkish artists under Ottoman rule had to do so clandestinely, Ms. Antmen said, under threat from the authorities or conservative groups.

 

A Cultural Revolution in Malaysia
Tash Aw

In a country wary of Islam — the Chinese government has a fractious relationship with its ethnic Uighur minority in the western province of Xinjiang — Ms. Amzah’s popularity, which verges on superstardom, is remarkable. ...

 

Preserving Manuscripts: Faith’s Archivists

The vast majority of the Mali manuscripts are Korans, Hadiths, and studies on grammar and rhetoric. But the scanners capture everything, including those dealing with human rights, health and law. Paper was precious, so rare glimpses of daily life were jotted in the margins, before Europeans ever set eyes on Saharan cities. There they remained for centuries, preserved by the desert’s dryness.

 

Using Laser Scanners to Preserve Antiquities in ISIS’ Cross Hairs
Stephen Farrell

“The idea is to have a virtual reunification of the archaeological objects extant in Babylon and Berlin,” Dr. Hilgert said. “This is what is so important about the time we are experiencing. We have to learn again that cultural objects, elements of culture, have very much to do with who we are, what we identify with, how we orient ourselves in this world.”

 

Muhammad Iqbal on the Spirit of Islamic Culture
Muhammad Iqbal

The fourth dimension of “freedom”, in the eyes of Iqbal, is emphasis of the spirit of Islamic culture on man to be “creative” in possibly all aspects of his life. Obviously in this sphere poets, writers, artists, scientists etc. are all included. Since Iqbal believes that God has breathed His spirit in man, He expects man to be creative like Himself.

 

Germany's Muslim community is bracing for a culture shock when masses of Arab migrants join millions of residents of Turkish origin. But experts suggest the change could be positive for it could broaden outlook, and say fears of religious radicalism may be overblown. For a Syrian refugee family, attending Friday prayers in a German mosque can be a headache.

 

Sarfarosh to Phantom – Educating Indians About Pakistani Jihad

On 28 August, Bollywood released Phantom, a reality check on this hopeful human emotion,in which an Indian Muslim goes underground to avenge the 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai. Acted by Saif Ali Khan, the daredevil blows up a Pakistani terrorist’s house in London, gets himself arrested to get into Chicago’s jail where he poisons David Headley for his involvement in the 26/11 attack.....

 
Joyful ‘Islamic’ Wall Art!
Nigar Ataulla, New Age Islam

Joyful ‘Islamic’ Wall Art!

Working quietly from their home, Adeela and Junaid have created Sawab, an online store featuring contemporary framed art prints, stretched canvas prints and wall stickers. These products, with styles, themes and motifs derived from the rich Muslim cultural heritage, add aesthetic appeal to your home or office and make elegant gifts.....

Is Music Prohibited In Islam?
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

Is Music Prohibited In Islam?
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

We see or hear only what our brains are capable of comprehending and the keenness or sharpness with which we see, hear, smell, feel or taste is what gives us the different talents. Our ability for focusing or paying attention is also determined by our cognitive abilities or what our brain is able to make of the stimuli. Now if God or nature has given some people musical ability and great natural talent for it, then God or nature has meant it to be used. The Quran clearly frowns on people who prohibit to themselves what God has not prohibited. ….

Come Eid And ISIS Fighters Will Get Slave Girls As Prize For Memorizing Surahs Of The Holy Quran: What Do Our Ulema Say To This?

There cannot be a greater contempt of the holy Quran that guaranteed respect, honour and equal rights to women. During the month of Ramzan, the ISIS held Quran memorization contest for its fighters. The winners of the contest will get slave girls as prize and as encouragement for memorizing the Quran. The verses chosen for the contest are the Makkan verses that speak of Qital and fighting with the ‘Kafirs’. The verses are Surah Muhammad, Surat al-Tawba, Surah Fath and Surah Anfal. The ISIS is doing this to revive the Arab tribal tradition of ‘Sibya’ in which human beings are given away as prize.....

The Islamist War on History
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

The Islamist War on History
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

Historical sites associated with important personalities in early Islamic history have made way for public lavatories and luxury hotels. Mecca today is all set to become a consumer’s paradise; in this consumer city, Muslims will be able to consume the Hajj the same way they consume burger with coke. In short, there is no room for reflection, an interior dialogue with one self which was the sole point of this pilgrimage, rather it is being replaced by an air conditioned Hajj where you could look down at the Kaaba from your suite in one of the many hotels which would eventually dominate the skyline and eventually engulf (and perhaps eclipse) the House of God.. .....

 

Yet as the film progresses from Sharma’s personal essay on the inner struggles of a gay Muslim to a political examination of Wahhabism’s hardline manipulation of contemporary Islam, audiences witness firsthand his intimate struggles of uncertainty and self-doubt against the backdrops of religious extremism, commercialisation and sectarian battles – all of which continue to poison modern understanding of Islam for Muslims and non-Muslims alike....

Happily Ever After
Amin Valliani

Happily Ever After
Amin Valliani

Allah says in the Holy Quran that it is “He who has created man from water, then He established relationships of lineage and marriage. …” (25:54). Relationships in human societies are formed mainly by way of marriage. Therefore, individuals celebrate weddings in all societies. They consider marriage an event of special significance in their lives....

 

The U.S. Muslim Honor Brigade Strikes Again
Asra Q. Nomani

The most puritanical interpretations of Islam require veils. The Deobandi school of thought, the driving ideology of the Taliban, militant groups and strict orthodoxy in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, requires full-face veils for women, as does the Wahhabi and Salafi schools of thought exported to the world from Saudi Arabia. My mother’s family required she wear the face veil as a woman....

Angst over Armenia
Aijaz Zaka Syed

Angst over Armenia
Aijaz Zaka Syed

Muslims in the Subcontinent share strong cultural and historical ties with Turkey thanks to the long Muslim and Mughal rule in India. The founder of the Mughal dynasty, Babar, was of Turkish stock and wrote his fine memoirs, Tuzk-e-Babri, in the language that came naturally to him – Turkish....

 

Pakistan Culture: Evolution, Transformation and Mutation
Nadeem F. Paracha

It described Pakistan Ideology to mean a country that was inspired and driven by the ‘Islamic character’ of the Pakistan society and an idea that eschews secular and ‘Westernised’ influences in the country and replaces them with an ‘Islamic culture’ and an ‘Islamised polity….

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • 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 )