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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
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.....
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....
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
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.
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. ...
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.
“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.”
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.
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
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
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
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
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
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
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....
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....
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....
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....
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….