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Books and Documents

Islamic Personalities

During the European Enlightenment, a number of authors presented Muhammad in a similar vein, as an anticlerical hero; some saw Islam as a pure form of monotheism close to philosophic Deism and the Quran as a rational paean to the Creator....

Ghalib “answers” all our complaints we might conceive or imagine against Fate or providence or people or God. Since God created Ghalib, He has been largely relieved of entertaining many a question on wonder, love, beauty, betrayal, poverty, faith and infidelity....

 

The Muslims were divided into different Sects and Islam within itself was also lacking unity, with the conflict between Sunni and Shi’a, the Ulema and Sufis. The interior differences of Muslims destroyed the unity of Muslims at that time....

 

Khayyam's family were Muslims, but his father was perceived as non-strict, he soon employed mathematician Bahmanyar bin Marzban, a devotee of the ancient Persian religion or Zoroastrianism, to tutor Omar. Khayyam's received a thorough education in science, philosophy and mathematics....

 

Zargar is, probably, after Shams Faqeer, the most radical Wujoodi Sufi of twentieth century Kashmir who recalls Mansoor’s rebellious style. To quote a verse that states his radical formulation of Tawhid-eI-Wujoodi:

I am the hidden secret of the exterior as well as the interior

To whom shall I bow, and for whom shall I perform “Nemaz?”...

During his time India was going through economic, social and moral crises. The Mughal court, particularly during the rule of Mughal Shah Rangila, had become a centre of song and dance. The Muslim community was largely illiterate and unaware of their religious legacy. Many un-Islamic practices had crept into it. Since the system of religious education was not organised, Muslims were largely unaware of the teachings of Quran and Hadith....

To Abbas, ‘Art for Art’s Sake’ was a meaningless proposition. Through his writings, he wanted to enlighten his readers guiding them on the road to freedom--- freedom from the yoke of slavery, exploitative feudalism, communalism, illiteracy, superstition and all that was negative and retrograde....

He picked up the pot and smashed it to the ground. “Shaikh Farid has bestowed spiritual blessings on Shaikh Nizamuddin. I break the vessel of his material poverty,” the dervish said as he left. From that day on, Futuh or unasked for gifts, flooded Nizamuddin’s Khanqah....

 

Often in the Sharīʿah, momentous acts of worship, such as Ṣalāh, the prohibition of alcohol, and fasting, have undergone stages in their legislation. This has enabled the Companions (Radiy Allāhu ʿAnhum) to fully come to terms with these great acts of worship, step by step....

 

The Quranic words for the Prophet’s kindness, Ra’ufun Rahirn (Quran 9:128) are very intensive and comprehensive in meaning and convey the true nature and extent of the Prophet’s kindness to people. The Prophet said: “One of the finest acts of kindness is for a man to treat his fathers’ friends in a kindly way after he has departed”...

The father of Dr Sir Muhammad Iqbal Sheikh Noor Muhammad had seen a dream before Iqbal’s birth which he used to narrate to his friends in the later part of his life. In that dream, he saw a big crowd gathering in a very large field. A beautiful coloured bird was flying over our heads, and every one tried to catch it, but no one succeeded....

Apart from its historical value, it helps us “in understanding Iqbal’s mind and in tracing the development of those socio-economic ideas which were later to become important elements in his philosophy”....

 

One must contrast that with the beautiful and delicate balance presented by Islam. Here the Prophet is the perfect human being, but he is not Divine. He speaks for God but he is not God. He is the object of our gratitude, ardent love and devotion, unswerving allegiance, and deference. But he is not the object of our worship....

The actions of Tariq and his army also showed that the noble maxim of jihad is used not just to repel oppression against Muslims, but non-Muslims also. With justice as their armour, and mercy as their shield, they cleansed the Iberian Peninsula of tyranny and laid the foundations for an amazing period of history...

The Allama (RA) was never short of all such resources. Besides, Islamic mysticism uses the phrase Insaan e Kamil as an amalgamation of the divine and the human. Nietzsche on the other hand was bereft of this concept as his approach was purely materialistic....

Kitab ul Hind deals with religion, philosophy, festivals, alchemy, social life, laws, weights and measures and so on. Indians remembered him as Vidyasagar, ocean of knowledge. Apart from this, one of his major works includes his collection, analysis, compilation, description of properties of various minerals and gems and their occurrence....

 
Feral Child of Philosophy: Ibn Tufayl
Marwa Elshakry and Murad Idris

This is Ibn Tufayl’s first utopia: an uninhabited island where a feral philosopher retreats to a cave to reach ecstasy through contemplation and withdrawal from the world. Friedrich Nietzsche’s Zarathustra would be impressed: ‘Flee, my friend, into your solitude!’...

 

Qazi Nazrul Islam was also worried over social evils, superstition, growing communalism and exploitation of gullible masses by the mullahs and pundits and fought against them through his speech and writing. He strived to bring awareness among the masses about their rights and their strength....

But it seems Mian Mir openly called Jehangir greedy, saying he had a large kingdom but was wanting more! Mian Mir’s funeral oration was read by Dara Shikoh, who won Hindu hearts with his respect and understanding....

 

It reminds me of the saint Moinuddin Hasan Chishti, who was generous like the sea and hospitable like the earth. Today, his dargah, with its saintly white dome and golden crown, hosts millions of devotees who soak in the generosity of his blessings. ...

A great great grandson of Tipu Sultan, Inayat grew up in the Gaekwad court of Baroda, where his maternal grandfather, Maula Bakhsh Khan, had founded a music school called ‘Gyanshala’, under the patronage of Sayajirao Gaekwad....

 

Thought, ideology and consciousness never die, so I will live. Though, the body will mix in mud but I will live among all,” and that is what has happened, Bulleh Shah is still alive today. ...

He would have hated this situation because he had said once that he loathed a civilised society, which laundered everyone into becoming a saint after death....

 

Muhammad, who meditated in the cave on Mount Hira, knew this silence well. ....

 

“The concentration and fusion into a whole being can never be accomplished by me, can never be accomplished without me. I require a You to become; becoming I, I say You.”...

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