BEST OF BEFORE ARTICLES
The validity of personal laws rooted in religious beliefs – and the
judiciary’s right to intervene – has long been a contentious issue in India. In
the landmark Shah Bano case in 1985, the Supreme Court ordered the husband of
62-year-old Shah Bano Begum to give his divorced wife continual alimony when
Sharia, or Islamic religious law, allowed the discontinuation of alimony three
months after their split.....
Books and Documents
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi
“A Hizmet Approach to Rooting out Violent Extremism” by
Ozcan Keles and Ismail Mesut Sezgin produces a case study
in this context. It provides a critical and detailed analysis of the Hizmet’s
refutations of the ideological, theological and text-based rhetoric of the
violent extremism, which could be aptly termed ‘radical jihadism’….
Radical Islamism and Jihad
The consequence of such selectivity has been that non-Muslim elements in societies everywhere believe that it is individuals of the persuasion of Asaduddin Owaisi rather than Sultan Shahin, of Imam Bukhari rather than the Diwan Saheb of Ajmer Dargah, who most accurately represents the Muslim community. ...
If Muslim society is undergoing the trauma of some within it getting seduced by Wahhabism, part of the fault rests in the manner in which non-Muslims have dealt with the fringe in the Muslim community as being the only genuine representatives of a community that is as moderate and as modern as are Christians, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs in India. The next time there is a debate on national television or a delegation gets invited for a dialogue with a policymaker, hopefully it will be the Sultan Shahins and the Diwan Sahebs who are given priority over fringe co-religionists, the way it is with all other communities in India.
The War Within Islam
I Fight Petrodollar Islam: Sultan Shahin
Mohammad Wajihuddin talks to Sultan Shahin
Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam
In a tiny room in East Delhi’s Patparganj, a man spends most of his waking hours at his computer. This passion may be something he shares with millions, but Sultan Shahin is no ordinary web addict. Behind his constant surfing, writing and posting pieces on his website called newageislam.com is a steadfast purpose: to reclaim Islam from the clutches of jihadists and petrodollar-funded Salafist-Wahhabis. Shahin, who ideologically fights the religious right — the tyrannical Taliban and its sympathisers as well as the many Islamic supremacists who claim that Islam alone is Allah’s chosen path to paradise — is a spirited web warrior. “My fight is against petrodollar Islam,” he declares.
“I am creating a forum that will lead us to the understanding of a pluralistic, inclusive, tolerant Islam.” And Islam, he adds, is not a new religion. “The Quran says this. It is a reiteration and revalidation of earlier religions,” he avers, seated at his study stacked with scholarly tomes, including several copies of the commentaries on the Quran. Anathema as this may be to fundamentalists, it’s won Shahin many followers. In the mere two years since the inception of newageislam.com, the website has 117,000 registered subscribers (subscription is free), claims its 60-year-old editor. Its daily newsletter, brought out by a skeletal staff of five, has carried debates on issues and personalities seldom talked about among mosque-going, visibly pious Muslims. So the Mumbai-based Muslim televangelist Dr Zakir Naik is slammed, not because he is allegedly funded by the petro-rich Saudi Sheikhs, but because he tries to establish the supremacy of Islam over all other religions. Niyaz Fatehpuri, a 20th-century Indian scholar and editor of Urdu periodical Nigaar, has become a much admired man on the website because of his rational, ingenious interpretation of Islamic principles. The website even follows the Urdu press, including Urdu dailies in Pakistan, and uploads the rational views in it, both in their original Urdu and English translations. ... Shahin later landed up in London as an editor of Asia Times, a weekly owned by one Arif Ali of Indian origin.
A decade or so in England, he says, gave him great experience “as it exposed me to different strains of Islam and Muslims”. Like, once at a friend’s house in Nottingham, he heard a 20-year-old Muslim extolling the virtues of Ahle Hadees, a sect which propagates puritanical Islam. Shahin asked the boy the treatment he would prescribe for those Muslims who didn’t follow the Ahle Hadees sect. “Kill them,” said the young fanatic in a cold-blooded tone. “It really disturbed me.
The boy had apparently been influenced by radical organisations like Al Muhajiroon and Hizb-ut-Tehrir. Thousands of young Muslims had been brainwashed by incendiary preacher Omar Bakri who commanded the following that saints do,” recalls Shahin. “I knew it would not take long before the fires of fanatic Islam reached the Indian subcontinent and consumed our youth."
Maulana Shibli Nomani
Ilm ul Kalam (rational and creative interpretation of Islamic
precepts) has been practically outlawed by Wahhabi/Salafi Islam on the pain of
death. But it was inspired by Ilm ul Kalam that one of India’s greatest
rationalist, progressive Islamic thinkers Maulana Shibli Nomani pointed out
that blind faith or unchecked servitude should never be the criterion to
profess and practice Islamic postulates. …
As in most
religions, Muslims mostly understand and practice religious teachings they take
for granted. If they do not depend on clerical authorities they usually obtain
religious teachings from available written sources, tradition or even use their
common sense and because a religion tends to easily enable absolutism — that
one perceives everything related to his religion as sacred and undisputable —
the seeds of terrorism can straightforwardly be sowed.....
Islam and Pluralism
Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam
This exposition of the dichotomy between the popular theology and ‘din’ of Islam reinforces Sultan Shahin Saheb’s call to create “a coherent theology of peace and pluralism, consistent in all respects with the teachings of Islam, and suitable for contemporary and future societies.”...
The bitter and shameful truth is, the traditional Ulema preach practically the same thing and cite practically the same illustrative examples, tales and episodes as their counterparts of the medieval era – dating back to more than a millennium from this day. Recurring exposure to antiquated materials purports to retard the mental development of their 21st century listeners, and renders the traditional Ulema of Islam as agents of retrogression, unfit to take any part in the numerous fields, activities and arenas of modern life. As a result of this deep disconnect between the antiquated and divergent Islamic theological scholarship and the needs, issues and priorities of this era, the former fails to offer a cohesive era-compatible code to the global Muslim community of the era. ...
In sum, Muslims must evolve “a new theology, a coherent theology of peace and pluralism, consistent in all respects with the teachings of Islam, and suitable for contemporary and future societies."
Preventing Further Radicalisation Is the Challenge Muslims Must Undertake: Some Concrete Suggestions
The twin growing menace: Petrifaction and Radicalization in Islam and Islamophobia – Are they interconnected? How best they can be diffused? An SOS to the Muslim Intelligentsia, Leadership and Ulema!
Pope Francis Touches The Soul Of The Qur’an By Seeking An “Adequate Interpretation” And Muslims And Their Ulema And Scholars Across The World Must Follow His Suggestion To Avoid Growing Confusion In Religion
Pope Francis and Muslims
There are a lot of things which need to be changed about the madrasa system today. Their syllabus is outmoded and in need of major revision; what they teach millions of Muslim children can only be termed as violence as it does not prepare them to negotiate with the structures of modernity. Their sectarian outlook must change in a way that there is no teaching of treating Muslims of other sects as potential unbelievers. ...
Similarly, freedom of religion clearly includes freedom not to follow
any religion or personal law. No Muslim can either be forced to follow Muslim
Personal Law or compelled not to follow it. Muslim Personal Law is based on
opinions and everyone is free to adopt any opinion.....
Islam and Politics
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
Otherwise, there wouldn’t have been so many different interpretations of
the Sharia which have spawned different interpretive communities like the
Deobandis, the Barelvis, the Ahle Hadis, etc. Despite his positioning as the
sole Muslim leader in India, Owaisi must contend with the fact that there will
always be a Jawed Akhtar who to call his bluff. If not then there will be
thousands others, just as in the ongoing Sufi conference, who would chant Bharat
Mata ki Jai, with so much passion that it will drown the reluctance of
Owaisi to chant that slogan.....
Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam
In many quarters it is believed that God’s Messengers were exempt from the universal rules ordained for mankind to obey. Therefore Messengers as Pontifex Maximus could practice a few things contrary to the messages of change they preached. This assumption is illogical and propagated in self-interest. … The glaring example of this exemption bestowed on Muhammad via Apocrypha is in terms of the multiple wives that he is alleged to have married and had concubines, in contradiction to the ordinance of the Book….
Messengers come to change the behaviour and the degeneration of character in the society’s prevailing customs and modes. Therefore to give exception for them to practice the same faults as what the people had practiced is to say the least illogical. It can only be concluded therefore that such allegations made by ancient scholars and translators and heaped on the messengers can only be to legitimize their immoral practices for themselves and give them holy sanctions.
Books and Documents
As Ms Ispahani stresses, with her carefully chosen
extracts from the report, Justice Munir and Justice Kayani were astutely and
firmly establishing the absurdity of the arguments made before them. “No two
Ulema,” they wrote, “have agreed before us as to the definition of a Muslim. If
the constituents of each of the definitions given by the Ulema are given effect
to, and subjected to the rule of ‘combination and permutation’ and the form of
charge in the inquisition’s sentence on Galileo is adopted mutatis mutandis as
a model, the grounds on which a person may be indicted for apostasy will be too
numerous to count.” In conclusion, the Muslim Commission made a pithy remark:
“If we adopt the definition given by any one of the Ulema, we remain Muslims
according to the view of that Alim (scholar) but Kafirs according to the
definition of everyone else.” In reproducing that line, Ms Ispahani has said it
Islam, Women and Feminism
Inas Younis, New Age Islam
Extremism is a
largely secular phenomenon, because extremism is actually a necessary condition
to the application of natural law. The laws of physics do not change and one
must be extreme and precise in applying them. A mathematical equation has only
one answer, and an approximation no matter how close is not close enough. One cannot be moderately dead, or moderately
pregnant. And when a tree falls in the forest it does make a sound, even if no
one is there to hear it.....
Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander, New Age Islam
Ghamidi is one of the few sane scholars of Islam who calls for moderation,
tolerance, pluralism and core values of Islam. He enjoys mass appeal among
youth, as he can communicate to them unlike the traditional sectarian scholars
and mullahs. He needs to be listened and appreciated for articulating a
moderate, tolerant and inclusive interpretation of Islam. The attempts of low
rung mullahs and sectarian scholars who enjoy little appeal among masses will
in no way hamper the mission of Ghamidi, but it certainly points out a
disturbing trend in Valley where pluralism of interpretation of religion is
being curtailed through Unitarian efforts of sectarian censorship. This needs
to be discouraged at every level because Muslims are not a monolith and in our
tradition of Islam and Rishism, dissenting, alternative voices have never been
curtailed by demeaning, labelling and branding them as conspiracy against
Islamic World News
Civil Society Seeks Registration of Case against Lal Masjid Cleric
Armed Struggle Not Right Path to Get Power: Jamaat-i-Islami Chief
Donald Trump Is Mocked By Saudi Prince After He Tried To Prove Ties between Fox News and Saudi Arabia
2nd Suicide Blast in 2 Days Kills 7 in Yemen
Two Senior Militant Commanders Killed in Syria's Idlib
Senior Taliban Leaders among 28 Killed In Latest Operations Led By Afghan Army
Taliban Control More Territory than Ever before after the fall of Their Regime
NZ Muslims Reach Out With 'True Teachings' To Distance Itself from Islamic State
At Least 18 Killed As Suicide Attacker Hits Market in NE Nigeria – Reports
Obama Calls for Plan to Hit Islamic State in Libya
3 Indians with Islamic State links deported from a Gulf country, arrested
One Militant Killed In Jammu and Kashmir Encounter
10 Migrants, Including 5 Children, Die As Boat Sinks Off Western Turkey
Turkish PM, Ministers Visit Saudi Arabia amid Geneva Deadlock
Seven Hamas Gunmen Killed In Gaza Tunnel Collapse
Berlin-Rome Discord over Deal with Ankara on Migrants Persists
Russia's 'Rustbucket' Military Gives Hi-Tech Shock to West and Israel
Michigan Muslim Community Organizations Join Forces to Help Flint Water Crisis
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
For Details and More Headlines from All Regions, Please click, ‘More’