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Books and Documents

Islamic History

The Destruction of Mecca: the Middle East’s Largest Building Project Has Effaced 1,400 Years of Islamic History

Critics call this Islamic Maoism. Out went the city’s heterogeneous mix of Maliki, Shafii and Zaydi rites; in came homogenisation under the Wahhabi creed. Alongside the black and white dress they forced on women and men respectively, the new tribal rulers reshaped the urban environment, stripping away the past. They replaced the four pulpits at the foot of the Kaaba, one for each of Sunni Islam’s schools, with a single one, exclusively for Wahhabi preachers. ....

 

Reflections on the History and Memory of Andalusian and Ottoman Religious Belonging
Jeremy F. Walton

In Spain especially, Islam and al-Andalus have maintained an ambivalent relationship to national identity as a simultaneous source of disdain and pride. Spanish historians and politicians of a variety of ideological stripes have faced a vexing question: How to incorporate, and even celebrate, the accomplishments of a long era of Iberian history against which “Spain” itself has achieved definition? How to honour the Battle of Covadonga while also admiring the Alhambra?...

 

Marvelling At Egypt's Historic Civilization, Man-Made Structures
Anand and Madhura Katti

Egyptian Museum with repositories of more than 120,000 artefacts seemed like an essential prerequisite to learn about the country’s historic civilization before heading to its popular monuments. Precious exhibits like the Mummies, Sarcophagi, the famous Tutankhamun’s treasure and the boy king’s golden death mask, ancient JEWELERY and pottery made it easier to connect to the land. ...

Revealing the Muslim World’s ‘Forgotten’ Role in European History
Nabila Pathan

"A common story has developed throughout history that Muslims have not played a pivotal role in shaping European culture. The exhibition strives to re-orientate that misconception. It's not about a triumph of one religion over another. Instead, it's about seeking parity - that Islam like its Jewish and Christian counterparts, has contributed to European culture."...

 

From Bulleh Shah and Shah Hussain to Amir Khusro, same-sex references abound in Islamic poetry
Haroon Khalid

Bulleh Shah of course had pre-modern notions of sexuality and religion. For him the rigid categories between religion, gender and sexuality did not exist. For example in the following verses he has no scruples in incorporating a Hindu deity into his Muslim ethos, blurring the distinction between Muslim and Hindu concept of God.

 

It is High Time to Discard the Pernicious Myth of India’s Medieval Muslim ‘Villains’
Audrey Truschke

It is high time we discarded the pernicious myth of India’s medieval Muslim villains. This poisonous notion imperils the tolerant foundations of modern India by erroneously positing religious-based conflict and Islamic extremism as constant features of life on the subcontinent. Moreover, it is simply bad history. India has a complicated and messy past,...

The ‘crown jewels’ have been handed to a country with one of the worst human rights records in the world. Saudi Arabia will head a Consultative Group of five Ambassadors empowered to select applicants globally for more than seventy-seven positions to deal with human rights violations and mandates.

 

The Future of Ancient Sites in the Middle East
George Richards

As a necessarily speculative case-study, ISIL's stated policy not to destroy Palmyra - the spectacularly preserved Roman oasis-town in eastern Syria that it captured in May - may be driven by a reluctance to alienate the local population in one of the most strategically important Syrian cities under ­­ISIL control. ...

 

From Defeat to Disintegration: Reflections on 1967 and Afterwards
Hisham Melhem

Not only the Arab secularists and leftists saw the 1967 as more than a military debacle, but something that reflects deeper cultural and even moral maladies, this was also the view of some of the Islamist critics, who agreed with the leftists that the defeat was an indictment of Arab nationalism in both of its incarnations, Ba’athisim in Syria and Nasserism in Egypt. It was in the aftermath of 1967, that the Islamists, who were suppressed in Egypt and Syria during the heydays of Arab nationalism....

 

The Empire Must Not Strike Back
Khaled Diab

When it comes to the Middle East, nostalgia politics is in vogue. While ISIL is busy "restoring" an a-historical caliphate, others are pining for the apparently lost innocence of empire. The Tanzimat of the mid-19th century, among other things, created a common citizenship, erased ethnic and religious inequality and even decriminalised homosexuality, though they marked the beginning of more direct rule....

 

Art, History and Artefact
Rafia Zakaria

Over half a century after its culmination, however, its ideas are being replicated in equally grotesque ways. Whether it is the Taliban in Bamiyan or Daesh in Palmyra, the wilful destruction of history has become a stunted and self-destructive form of anti-colonial resistance....

 

Islamist terror groups in West Asia have not only destablised entire nations but have also threatened to snap mankind's civilisational linkages with its ancient past. Not satisfied with having laid waste to modern-day Iraq and Syria, the savages of the Islamic State are steadily obliterating the historical remnants of the ancient empires of Mesopotamia, Rome and Greece — one museum, statue, temple and tomb at a time.

 

The big question, of course, is why the antipathy between Sufis and Salafis is becoming a civil war in Islam. Indeed, the war itself is fairly one-sided, as the other side is the victim of the attack and has no strategy for a concerted counter-attack. But without romanticising either Sufism — any ‘ism’ is problematic — or the “good Muslim”, we only have to peruse early Sufi medieval texts to see how Sufi philosophies provide major sources of resistance to Salafist and other exclusionary ideologies....

 

Any Destruction of Humanity’s Shared History is ‘Not Just a War Crime But ... An Enormous Loss to Humanity’
Hajrah Mumtaz

Palmyra is a Unesco World Heritage site, dating back to the 1st and 2nd centuries. Considered one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world, it is also called the Venice of the Sands. Unesco’s director-general Irina Bokova says that any destruction in Palmyra would be “not just a war crime but ... an enormous loss to humanity”....

 

Why the Ancient City of Palmyra, Seized by the Islamic State, Matters
Ishaan Tharoor

Palmyra, which is located in the center of Syria, was an old oasis town that turned into an influential desert crossroads for around the first century A.D., at a time of significant Roman influence in the Near East. Its architecture and artifacts reflect its place as a meeting point between civilizations and cultures….

 
Sir Syed’s legacy
Muhammad Ali Musofer

Sir Syed’s legacy

To highlight the importance of rational thinking, Syed Ahmad Khan wrote extensively in Urdu and his exegesis of the Holy Quran is viewed as one of the prominent examples of rational interpretation of scripture in the modern age. To align Muslim religious thought and scientific knowledge, Sir Syed asserted that scientific knowledge did not contradict religion….

How Damascus Can Learn From the ‘Conquest of Kabul’
Jamal Khashoggi

The Mujahidin leaders gathered in Rawalpindi surrounded by hundreds of Afghans, from judges and politicians to field commanders, to merchants and immigrants in the biggest “loya Jirga” seen in the history of Afghanistan, all of them dreaming of building a new Afghanistan founded on Islam and freedom....

 

The Quran narrates the story of the meeting between King Solomon and Queen of Sheba, a sun-worshipper and the latter embracing Islam after some observations she made in the palace and gave her own succinct explanation for leaving sun-worship and embracing Islam. The story has a deeper meaning which till now has generally been ignored. ... It drives home the message that belief in non-gods or false gods is due to a lack of understanding of the reality of universe and nature and science only helps lift the curtain from this illusion of falsehood and enlightens the mind….

The Crisis of National and Religious Identity in Afghanistan Today
Amanullah, King of Afghanistan,1919 - 1929

Arabic Muslims completed the campaign they began in 642 to dominate the lands that make up present day Afghanistan. During the next five centuries, most Afghanis converted to Islam. Afghani Muslims have made major contributions to Shariah, theology, Sufism, philosophy, physical sciences, literature, and art with local features....

Freedom at Risk
Irfan Husain

Freedom at Risk
Irfan Husain

One of the abiding myths of the last half of the 20th century was that democracy, combined with free trade, would lead to liberal societies and peace between nations. Welcome, then, to the bloody new world of resurgent nationalism and religious extremism. Once suppressed by autocratic rulers allied to either of the two superpowers, these forces are now threatening to tear the world apart....

 

Challenges for the Muslim Ummah
S M Hali

The parliamentary leaders of Pakistan for once have seen through the stratagem of involving the military might of the Muslim Ummah in a protracted war, which would weaken them and cause substantive damage….

 

Out of the ‘Kingdom of Sands' came to life Frankenstein breeding monsters that behead, crucify and even eat human organs. Four years ago, extremists of the so-called "Islamic State" that are well-nursed with Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi thought started to sweep across the region beginning their blowout in Syria, with Saudi Arabia being its major source of financing and backing....

 

Yarmouk Cries for Help
Harun Yahya

In an unexpected twist of events, and to make matters even worse, the self-ascribed Islamic State (IS) seized 90 percent of this area and started its own campaign of violence as a manifestation of their skewed interpretation of Islam. The UN has urged immediate evacuation and according to the latest news, some 2,000 had already been evacuated....

 

Islamic State Descends from Wahhabism
H.D.S. Greenway

The Wahhabis profess a life of exceeding austerity, and what they practice themselves they rigorously enforce on others,” he said. “They hold it as an article of duty, as well as faith, to kill all who do not share their opinion and to make slaves of their wives and children. Women have been put to death in Wahhabi villages for simply appearing in the streets....

One of the most notable (and successful) of these rebellions was the Bahia Revolt, which took place in 1835 in Brazil. This revolt, unlike some others, was planned and led entirely by Muslims. The story of how they were able to plan a revolt in such horrid conditions and have such a large impact is remarkable. The most interesting and defining factor of the revolt was its Islamic character....

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • this is an excellent article a must read for the ignorant ulemas. this article is also for those non muswlims who think Islam is about ...
    ( By Khwaja Saadat Noor )
  • Dear Zuma, You can add the following verses to those quoted in your last comment to demonstrate the defensive character of the Prophet's mission: "God ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Dear Zuma! I fully agree with your comments and your concluding statement that instruction to "fight, in Quran could not be applicable to modern days ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • I have shown that the road for reform through the Ulema is blocked and the reasons for it. I have also shown the alternate path to ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer Ahmed says: "No one actually supports Triple Talaak, or considers it desirable. The traditionalist ulema and sects which believe in taqlid are bound by ...
    ( By Asif Merchant )
  • Dear Zaheer Hussain Khan, Hazrat Umar (r/a)'s era was different. It overlapped with the pre-Islamic era, when the sexual relations were lose and women were free ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • The following are the extracted quranic verses to support non-Muslims were violence when Muhammad was on earth:...
    ( By zuma )
  • Dear Muhammd Yunus, You have quoted the past history on how Muslims were surrounded by hostile Muslims due to their hatred upon Muslims. ...
    ( By zuma )
  • ALL AHLE SUNNAH WAL JAMA'A AND ALL WAHABIS HAVE FAITH IN TRIPLE TALAQ & HALALA FOR THESE ....
    ( By Zaheer Husain Khan )
  • Secular parties should stop giving legitimacy to these mullahs. By legitimizing them...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • These jihadists do not just take Islam backwards. They actually negate Islam. They...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Dear Zuma! I appreciate your explanation of verses 9:5 and 9:29 by cross referencing other...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Since the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (and many other ex-colonies) follows to the letter...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • ok... so lets say that a muslim saudi guy married a christian girl , which is halal , then they had sex , then he ...
    ( By Ahmad Nicolae Khalaf )
  • Muslims must be wise enough to handle the interpretation of the word, fight, in Quran. No doubt Quran was the inspiration from Allah, one has ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Vishnu Prasad, let’s me explain why Quran 9:5 as well as Quran 9:29 should not be misinterpreted as aggressive violence against non-Muslims. Before ....
    ( By zuma )
  • Free speech seems to be fatal throughout the subcontinent. What can be worse than killing a man for his views or beliefs? Just reciting the ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Vishnu Prasad, You have quoted Quran 9:5 as well as Quran 9:29 to draw attention on Islamic teaching to direct Muslims to fight against those ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Whither we are headed”? A quote from Abraham Lincoln says, “If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • @gulam mohiyuddin K ban triple talaq.But when u r talking about gender equality.U should also raise the issue of banning the saints sadhus who roam ...
    ( By Bristol King )
  • @Ghulam Mohiyudin Itz Not what Muslim personal Law board says.. Itx what Quran anD Hadees is saying..
    ( By R'aina F'ayaz )
  • Translation of Azaan:
    ( By Jayaraman Subri )
  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali:
    ( By Jayaraman Subri )
  • Do u know that Hindu of polygamy cannot get a govt job.meraj do u know'
    ( By ଜ୍ୟୋତିର୍ମୟ ପଣ୍ଡା )
  • @Meraj Siddiqui Why should you compare to Hindu in all aspects? Shows inferiority complex in you.You ....
    ( By Samir Padhi )
  • No Hindu divorces by saying 3 words.They ho through the legal procedure.So why are you people not ready for that? Har baat ....
    ( By Samir Padhi )
  • @Dushyant Chauhan Do you need proof? Read Telegraph, Hindustan Times and Times of India.'
    ( By Meraj Siddiqui )
  • @Meraj Siddiqui From where you get this fudged data?'
    ( By Dushyant Chauhan )
  • So ur sheikh ul islam or what'
    ( By Sheik Aftar Ali )
  • Sultan Shaheen why are you not writing about? According to survey divorces and polygamy are more we can say not double but triple and four ...
    ( By Meraj Siddiqui )
  • Triple Talaq, the tool of politicans how to grab vote , womens undermines'
    ( By Irshad Lone )
  • @Deepak Sunder Correct 100%'
    ( By Meraj Siddiqui )
  • Mr Siddiqui as per the observation I made about the religions and found that all religions are based on truth but ....
    ( By Deepak Sundar )
  • Sultan shahin, correct yourself first and tell. Is Quran written or revealed? Are you brother of Tarek Fatah? I think so. If one ....
    ( By Meraj Siddiqui )
  • Crime and Criminals. --------------------------- Sh.L K Advani,Murli Monohar Joshi,Uma Bharati and others are again summoned by Court for destruction of Babri Masjid and ....
    ( By Mrinal Dey )
  • Study Ahadith and Qur'an yourself.. everything and articles on internet are too not authentic....
    ( By Mohammad Imran Ansari )
  • U Ulema's are the most valuable people for Muslims community... Political parties and some over illetrate Muslims who wants Haram are trying to tharnish thr ...
    ( By Mohammed Shakeeb )
  • @ﺭﺍﻓﻊ ﺷﻤﺴﯽ Bhai log, kyon ye jhanjat me padte ho.. Jo kharab he usko hatao aur Jo achha he usko aapnao. Baat itne me ...
    ( By Swapnasis Nanda )
  • For all those who are capable of thinking beyond hindutva
    ( By ﺭﺍﻓﻊ ﺷﻤﺴﯽ )
  • Bahut khub #Riyaz bhai, ye #sanghio ka page he.
    ( By ﺭﺍﻓﻊ ﺷﻤﺴﯽ )