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NEW COMMENTS

  • Qalandars seem to be hippies with a spiritual emphasis. Islam does not need to have a position on everything under the sun (including hashish....
    ( By Ghulam Faruki )
  • Quran should be approached with clear prior conception of what kinds of things God would say and what kinds of things God would not say. ...
    ( By Ghulam Faruki )
  • what an interesting article! such a good read.'
    ( By hats off! )
  • Islam rejects discrimination against any race, nationality or religion. Verse 49:13 of the Quran says that God made us people and tribes so that we....
    ( By Ghulam Faruki )
  • Gender injustice is a universal problem. It becomes a special problem for Muslims because of the supposed....
    ( By Ghulam Faruki )
  • what are the current consequences for a muslim woman who wants to marry a non-muslim? what are the current ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • With respect Madam your own people are more extremist than the majority will ever be. Please read the article AMU: It Is The Protector Of ...
    ( By indiewater )
  • This is the first time I have seen rational comment from Gulam Moyuddin telling truth that Muslims are Prophet worshippers....
    ( By Aayina )
  • Perceptive and well-balanced article.
    ( By Ghulam Faruki )
  • "Dr.Shahrour emphasises the use of reason and logic in reaching the true meaning of the Quranic message instead of the blind acceptance of centuries-old ...
    ( By Ghulam Faruki )
  • The present day Muslims without knowing it but what about their revered imams who played their tricks?'
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Muslims the world over demand a reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran. This Britisher wants....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Muslims have become Prophet worshippers without even knowing it!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The article is aimed at providing symptomatic relief for the problem of intolerance rooted in the bigoted Islamic theology without addressing the root causes. The ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • I fully agree with Prof.Sajjad. Coercive intrusion into the behaviors of others is....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • I fully agree with Prof.Sajjad. Coercive intrusion into the behaviors of others is...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The Quran does not speak about tolerating what is different. The existence of diversity in languages, colour, beliefs is described as facts....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • I have been reading this website long before the BJP came to power in the center. And I really was awed.....
    ( By indiewater )
  • The examples in the article are hopefully common place as nothing less is expected of all right-thinking people. The examples that stand out are:....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Typical of Hats Off to pick on the negatives in order to trash a remarkable life! All he does at this site is indiscriminate ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • mother theresa said a lot of silly stupid things in her lonely, ambiguous and ambitious life. a....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Hats Off's despicable attempts to classify me as an extremist seem to rely on his mischaracterization of CAIR, as if I can....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off's efforts to find dated and dubious material on CAIR makes me laugh! Since it is an organization to protect....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Good article! Humanitarian acts make us better human beings. If we are better human beings we shall be a better society....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Aaj kal itna intellectual level hi nahi bacha ke sarmad aur mansoor ko samajh sake... Seeing is believeving waley kaafir jamaa....
    ( By Waseem Qadri )
  • wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_on_American%E2%80%93Islamic_Relations when you run out of honesty, you have...
    ( By hats off! )
  • exactly. you are a moderate. to you whose position is just an arithmatic average, you find the wolves as reasonable...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Syed N Asad, New Age Islam has not studied Arab/Islam history. Arab imperialism was successful because the Muslims were very good at waging war....
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • When Hats Off runs out of arguments he pulls out CAIR! I have told him umpteen times that CAIR members represent....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off says, "an interfaith that extols the worst of each other." What a figment of an....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Reform means recognizing that the universal empowering teachings of Islam can be expressed successfully according to the maxims of every age." Fully agree. Excellent article....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • you ignore mine and i'll forgive yours. an interfaith that extols the worst of each other is the dream of liars, moderates...
    ( By hats off! )
  • card carrying members of CAIR are suddenly laying claims to oh-so-liberal tender views. the sudden innocence syndrome.
    ( By hats off! )
  • Aspersing this Pope for the past sins of the church is dumb and small-minded and shows a perverse penchant for besmirching as if such....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Pope At Mass: Exploiting Women Is A Sin Against God" apparently buggering children is on par...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Hats Off's attempt to be sarcastic when so many Yemeni children are starving or dying is despicable and beneath contempt.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off is either just ignorant or a born liar. Show me a single post of mine in which I have expressed any hatred of....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Gulam Mohyuddin how much you will lie yourself. Your Muslims arrogance unessacary, your relgious books have sex slavery of Yazdi womens, we not followers of Islam ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • yemenis en masse are getting to be very very exalted. most of them are starving....
    ( By hats off! )
  • moderates are inherent liars. mr. ghulam mohiyuddin thinks nothing of spitting into the very plate he is eating from....
    ( By hats off! )
  • LATEST ARTICLES

    Interfaith Dialogue

    Quran Affirms The Righteousness Of Both Jews And Christians: A Proper Reading Of The Quran – One That Considers All The Verses On The Subject – Shows That The Quran Is Not Anti-Semitic
    Alper Bilgili

    According to the Quran, no race and no peoples are ontologically superior to others. Indeed, the Quran (49:11) warns believers against belittling other people groups: “O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them.” So, when Jews are criticized or praised in the Quran it is based entirely on their actions, not their race or religion − as is the case with Muslims....

    Islam and Pluralism

    The Qur’an Holds the Torah and Gospel in High Esteem
    Ejaz Naqvi

    The Qur’an has a clear view of the prior Abrahamic Scriptures: The Scriptures, as set down to Moses and Jesus and other prophets, are sacred and to be respected. Muslims are commanded to “believe” in all Scriptures. The Qur’an is considered a continuation of the revelations from the same God....

     
    Islamic World News

    JuD to Field Hafiz’s Son in July Polls, Vows to Make Pakistan ‘Citadel of Islam’

    Taliban Neither Good nor Bad, Will Be Hunted Down, Pakistan Reaffirms

    Muslim Bodies Question Procedural Anomalies in Citizens’ List in Assam; NRC Secretariat Rubbishes Allegations

    As Bangladesh Killings Intensify, Why Is The World Keeping Quiet?

    Malaysia's Conservative Islamic Party Will Not Oppress Other Faiths

    New York City's Muslims, Sikhs Experience High Levels of Harassment: Study

     

    Pakistan

    U.S Reputs Pakistan on Notice for ‘Inaction’ Against Taliban Sanctuaries

    India

    Home Ministry Invokes UAPA, Bans New Offshoots of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State

    South Asia

    Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Demands Extension of Ceasefire in Afghanistan

    Southeast Asia

    Indonesia Court Sentences Islamic State-Linked Cleric to Death

    North America

    How Trump’s Muslim Bans Have Impacted US Immigration

    Mideast

    Education and Islam Become Hot-Button Issues in Turkey

    Erdogan Doesn't Rule Out Coalition If No Majority

    Arab World

    UAE ‘A Living Example for the Peaceful Coexistence of All Faiths’

    Popular Uprising against Ankara-Backed Militants in Afrin

    Africa

    Nigeria Returns Boko Haram Victims to Own Communities

    Nigerian Army Officer Fighting Boko Haram Commits Suicide

    Europe

    UK ‘Complicit’ In Israeli Crimes against Palestinians: London-Based Charity

    Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

    For Details and More Headlines from All Regions, Please click, ‘More'

     
    Islam, Women and Feminism

    Malaysia Has a Child Marriage Problem – It’s Time to Act

    Shattered Dreams: Women Workers Continue To Leave KSA

    Jharkhand: Fatwa Fails To Deter Muslim Girl from Yoga Routine

    Presence of Arab Women in Israel Police Increasing

    Boko Haram’s Sick Ploy to Turn Girls into Suicide Bombers

    Ministerial Portfolios Boost Egyptian Women's Gains

    Saudi Woman Instructor to Lead Yoga Day Activities In Dubai

    Nigeria: Hijab OK’d For Muslim Barred From Call To Bar

    First Batch of 40 Saudi Female Traffic Investigators Graduate

    PIA Appoints All-Women Crew for ‘Difficult’ Flight to Gilgit

    Saudi Arabia Gears Up To End Women Driving Ban

    Is Malaysia Ready For 30 Percent Female Representation?

    Saudi Cities Launch Community Driving Events for Women

    Iran Women’s Activist Says Blocked from Protesting at Russia World Cup

    Saudi Launches Awareness Campaign before Female Motorists Drive

    Arab World’s First Female Politician Receives DCU’s Highest Honour

    Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

     
    Books and Documents

    Need For Science and Religion to Join Hands In the Study of Nature

    The first of these is Para Vidya (higher knowledge). The other is Apara Vidya (lower or ordinary knowledge)—in other words, spiritual and material knowledge respectively. God is the source of these two forms of knowledge and man should acquire both. This paradigm can be of considerable benefit in the study of nature. It recognizes that nature has two aspects: material and spiritual (composed of conscious entities or living beings). In this paradigm, God or the Supreme Being is the Cause of all causes....

     
    The War Within Islam

    Change Islam in Its Saudi Nucleus and You Change the World
    Roger Cohen

    In other words, change Islam in its Saudi nucleus and you change the world. It was not, of course, Saudi moderation that put 15 Saudis on the 9/11 planes. It was the well-funded metastasis of extreme Saudi religious intolerance — its Wahhabi orthodoxy — into forms of murderous Islamist hatred of the apostate West. It was the House of Saud’s unseemly deal with fundamentalist clerical firebrands: Spare us here at home, and we’ll grant you license abroad....

     
    Islam, Women and Feminism

    Pakistan’s Human Sex Trafficking Racket Is Thriving in a Culture of Impunity
    Zubeida Mustafa

    Of all the crimes committed against children — especially the daughters of the poor in Pakistan — the most horrendous is the trafficking of girls. It is more agonising than rape. The sex trade amounts to torture. The girls who are snatched and taken away to be sold into forced prostitution have to live with this hideous evil night after night. Only a few lucky ones manage to escape or are rescued....

     
    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    The lull in Bangladesh has been direly deceptive. The murder of the writer, blogger and publisher, Shahjahan Bachchu, in Munshiganj district lengthens the loop of such killings, almost invariably by Islamist fundamentalists. But whereas the manner of the serial killings in recent years ~ by machete-wielding fundamentalists ~ had pointed to the culpability of ISIS, this time no group has as yet claimed responsibility....

     
    Islam and Spiritualism

    If the Book is studied and its meanings are pondered upon in an authentic quest for truth, all the veils of darkness shall be lifted from our heart, and the inner self – the soul – will get illuminated by the light of true faith.  Note that faith is not something that can be planted in us from the outside. It is an embodiment of fundamental truths that already exist inside us; the practice of pondering over the ayahs of the Qur’an serves to bring them to the surface of our consciousness....

     
    Islam and the West

    It Is Important To End the Human Suffering That Is Causing Refugee Crisis, with Solidarity and Compassion
    Maha Akeel

    Of the world’s 25.4 million refugees, just over a fifth are Palestinians under the care of the UN Relief and Works Agency. Of the remainder, for whom the UNHCR is responsible, two-thirds come from just five countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia. An end to conflict in any one of these has the potential to significantly influence the wider global displacement picture, according to the report....

     
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    BEST OF BEFORE ARTICLES

    Islam and Politics

    That Hindutva groups which were on the rampage on the pretext of beef, targeting and lynching Muslims with beards, skull caps, etc, and in the midst of intermittent communal violence across Bihar from January to March this year, have, at the same time, been allowing Muslim women to come out on the streets in district towns -- had begun to create suspicions if it was a fixed match between the Ulema and the saffron establishment...

    Related Article

    ‘Deen Bachao, Desh Bachao’ (Protect Religion, Save Nation) Rally Organised By Imarat-E-Shariah Patna: Is the Shariah in Danger Or In Need Of Constant Renewal (Tajdeed)?

    Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

    Facing The Jihadist Challenge: Muslims Need To Refute Jihadis’ Xenophobic, Supremacist, Millenarian Thesis And Focus On Islamic Pluralism, Says Sultan Shahin At UNHRC In Geneva
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Facing the brutalities of Islamist terror, while President Obama will not go beyond calling it violent extremism, the head of Sunni Islam's oldest seat of learning, Jamia al-Azhar admitted in a counter-terrorism conference in Mecca that extremism was caused by “corrupt interpretations of Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad”, and Islamic curriculums needed to change.

    This call for reform, coming from Jamia Al-Azhar, is gratifying. But a half-hearted approach to reform will not work. The problems Muslims face are very basic and cannot be solved with mere tinkering with text-books. The global Muslim community will have to introspect. One question repeatedly asked, for instance, is about the contextual verses of the holy Quran that are utilised by Jihadists to brainwash our youth. Jihadists present these contextual verses as an eternal guide for Muslims.

    One would imagine that the followers of Islam who believe, and many certainly do, that Islam is a religion of spirituality, peace, coexistence and tolerance, would be up in arms against the Islamic State. But while routine denunciations from some sections do come occasionally, there is no outrage visible in the Muslim society. The world cannot help noticing that while tens of thousands of Muslims come out on streets to demonstrate the moment there is an allegation of so-called blasphemy against any one, hardly any Muslim would protest at the myriad brutalities perpetrated by Islamist terrorists.

    Clearly there is something wrong, some disconnect, some deeper and more complex phenomenon at work than what can be understood from a superficial look at the issue. Instead of expressing outrage, we find thousands of Muslim young men and women running from their comfortable homes, private schools and cushy jobs to fight and join in the brutalities of the so-called Islamic State. Some 12,000 Muslim young men and women are said to have joined so far from 80 countries……

    Islam, Women and Feminism

    The Kathua Rape-And-Murder Case: Why See It Through The Prism Of Religion?
    Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

    In fact, the brutal rape and murder of the 8-year-old Asifa Bano in Kathua was a premeditated crime to particularly target and terrorize the Bakarwal ethnic group. It was different from most rape cases in India, but quite identical to what the ISIS did with the young Yazdi girls in Iraq and Syria to terrorize the entire Yazdi community in their previously occupied territories. Thus, India witnessed first of its kind rape which was viciously planned as a tool of war to subjugate an ethnic group in Kashmir....

    Islamic Ideology

    Humility (Khusu) and Modesty (Tawadu) in Islam- A Source of Attaining Divine Pleasure and Maintaining Peace
    Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

    It is reported that the beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “No one who has the weight of a seed of arrogance in his heart will enter Paradise.” Someone asked if that person was proud who likes that his clothes and shoes to be neat and smart. The Prophet said, “Verily, Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty (This statement means that good clothing and shoes do not denote pride”. Thereafter the beloved Prophet added saying, “pride means rejecting the truth and looking down on people.”...

     
    Islam and Human Rights

    Religious Persecution of the Bahá’i Practitioners in Yemen: Let’s Call for Protection of the Human Rights for all Religious Minorities, Not for Only Muslims
    Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

    If we Muslims desire the full protection of the human rights for the world’s Muslim minorities as an ‘Ummah’, we must ensure that the non-Muslim citizens living in the Muslim majority countries are accorded the same rights and privileges that we Muslims seek to achieve in the non-Muslim nations. In order to achieve this, I would like to offer concrete solutions and final recommendations derived from the Madina Charter of Human Rights (Misaq-e-Madina)—the first ever written constitution of the world formulated by the Muhammad (peace be upon him)……

    Islamic Sharia Laws
    How Islamic Is Instant Triple Talaq?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    How Islamic Is Instant Triple Talaq?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    As an average Muslim understands, in Islam intention is all-important. So much so, that when a Muslim stands up for prayer, it’s not considered enough that he is doing everything that is done in prayer. He has to specifically state that he intends to pray. Now read what AIMPLB’s law book says in the matter of triple talaq:

    “Talaq-e-Sareeh i.e. Talaq by using clear and plain words effect divorce whether one intends divorce by them or not.”

    It must have been based on this that the Deobandi fatwa told a young Muslim husband that even if you wrote the word talaq thrice in jest while chatting playfully with your newly wedded wife online, your divorce is final and you cannot remarry her unless your wife performs halala, that is, marries someone else, consummates her marriage, sleeps with the new spurious husband for a few nights, and gets a divorce from him later.  Halala is the most obscene social practice among Indian Muslims which has the blessings of all sections of ulema....

    Islam and Pluralism

    Indian Muslim orthodoxy's response to demands of modernity: Can Muslims co-exist with other religious communities in plural societies?
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    While the evolution of this comprehensive and coherent theology of peace and pluralism will remain a continuing process, the already available essential elements of this theology should be brought to the Muslim masses. Since support for such a venture cannot be expected from clerics, of any hue,  popular acceptance of this theology should be gained through the use of media as well as genuine grassroots movements.

    Essentially, Jihadism is a Muslim problem and Muslims must tackle it. But the societies in non-Muslim majority countries can help kick-start the debate.  It must be understood that a madrasa graduate who has been brainwashed into believing, as most are, that "life begins in the grave," is a ticking time bomb that should be defused with the same urgency as other bombs are. A secular government should not allow anyone to spread the poison of intolerance and xenophobia either in mosques or in madrasas. A study of what is taught in Indian madrasas, and the content of sermons delivered in mosques, is urgently required. If found intolerant, supremacist, exclusivist and xenophobic, the ulema, madrasas and imams should be confronted with them and asked to change.

    Also, the least the government of India can do to ameliorate the plight of Muslim women today is to promulgate a law similar to Pakistan's  Muslim Family Laws Ordinance of 1961, with just one difference, fixing the age of marriage of girls at 18, instead of 14, as in the Ordinance. This should have been done along with reforms in Hindu personal laws in the 1950s, or at least immediately after reforms in Muslim laws in Pakistan. But better half a century late than never. Male chauvinist Indian Muslim ulema will still howl in protest. But they will not have much to say as these reforms have been acceptable to their counterparts in Pakistan and Bangladesh for over half a century. ...  Muslims have to start reclaiming the Islam that the Prophet had brought and rethinking how it can be lived and practised in the vastly changed circumstances of the 21st century.

    Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam
    Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Denying freedom of religion to Muslims and ex-Muslims, not to speak of non-Muslims, indeed has a long and gory history. The Quranic dictum (2: 256) la ikraha fid Deen [Let there be no compulsion in religion] did not leave an impact beyond the life of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). Forcible conversions started with the first Caliph Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) fighting Ridda (apostasy) wars against the tribes who had left Islam after the demise of the Prophet. They were all brought back to the fold of Islam or killed. Similar is the case of Khwarij in the time of the fourth caliph Hazrat Ali (RA) and beyond to neo-Khwarij today, also known as Wahhabi or Salafi.  These groups mostly kill Muslims whom they consider “heretics” including Shias and Ahmadis....

    Islamic Ideology
    Is This the Islam of Prophet Mohammad, a Blessing to Mankind?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Is This the Islam of Prophet Mohammad, a Blessing to Mankind?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    So it is good that Sufi ulema, under attack from Wahhabi militants, are coming out to denounce the Salafi understanding of Islam. But is this enough? Do they not need to ask why it’s Salafis who are winning this ideological war? Have Sufi ulema been able to bring back to the Sufi fold even a single Islamist terrorist? After all, all the terrorists of today, at least from the South Asian and African Sahel region were part of a Sufism-oriented Islam until recently. Wahhabism existed mainly in the Arab regions. There were very few Salafis anywhere else. Easy availability of petrodollars for the propagation of Salafism has certainly played an important role. But can money alone bring about this kind of transformation? Why is the Sufi counter-narrative not effective enough to make a difference?

    Writing in this space, almost exactly a year ago, I had made an earnest appeal to the Sufi Ulema and Mashaikh gathering in Delhi for an international conference. I had asked them to go beyond the usual shibboleths and utilse this great opportunity to consider this most urgent question: why is the Sufi focus on positives of Islam not working? The more Sufis and other moderate Muslims denounce terrorism, the more followers this Satanic ideology finds. I had pointed out the basic reason behind this conundrum: the radical theology of violence and exclusion and the current theology of consensus of all ulema, including Sufi ulema, are by and large one and the same. Any differences are cosmetic...

    Islam and Spiritualism

    Quranic Verses of Prostration: Proclamation of Universal Allegiance towards a Supreme Ideal
    Kazi Wadud Nawaz, New Age Islam

    The Very Existence and Evolution of the Universe, life and consciousness, pre-suppose an absolute obedience to a Divine System manifested in Scientific Logic inherent in the Laws of Nature. Each and every particle of the cosmic dust, each and every organ of a living system, each and every cell of our body , each and every drop of our blood, each and  every beat of our heart, all  are harmoniously tuned to a divine system of universal allegiance, from the Quranic point of view termed as Sajdah....

    Islamic Ideology

    If Not the UN Charter, Muslim Countries Should At Least Follow Their Own Primary Scripture, the Holy Quran, Sultan Shahin Tells UNHRC at Geneva
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Blasphemy laws continue to be on the statute books, for instance, in Pakistan. Salman Taseer, the liberal Governor of Punjab was murdered merely because he showed compassion for a Christian lady wrongly accused of blasphemy and asked for the repeal of the blasphemy law. On the basis of this law, religious minorities can be arbitrarily accused of blasphemy and killed, either by a lynch mob or by the judiciary. No evidence is required, as that would allegedly amount to accusers being asked to blaspheme the Prophet again. Similarly, attacks on minority Hindu, Christian, Shias and Ahmadis continue under different legislations. Pakistani laws prohibit the Ahmadis from identifying themselves as Muslims.

    It’s time the Council found some way to see that the countries that agree to its covenants also practice it.

    Such anti-minority legislations not only violate the UN Resolution, but also Islam’s primary scripture. The Holy Quran does not prescribe any punishment for blasphemy. Nor does it permit any one to declare others kafir. It clearly says: La Ikraha fid Deen, (There can be no compulsion in religion). (Chapter 2: verse 256).

    If not the UN Charter, Muslim countries should at least follow their own primary scripture, the Holy Quran.....

    Debating Islam

    Reform Muslim Personal Law, Use Debate on Triple Talaq as an opportunity to Breach the Stagnation in Muslim Religious Thought
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Reform of Muslim personal law is the need of the hour. A demand for this has been made for decades in conferences, seminars and marches, organised by several progressive Islamic organisations including New Age Islam Foundation. These demands need to be intensified and peaceful demonstrations organised on a large scale, demanding that the government reform these laws. It will inevitably be opposed and equally inevitably expose the two-facedness of Islamic fundamentalists in the country. This would lead to a much needed debate on the hypocrisy of our ulema.

    Faced with a barrage of questions, the ulema have now decided to challenge the progressive Muslims on their theological knowledge and more importantly, the courage, to stand up to their beliefs. At the same time, they are blaming them for encouraging courts to intervene, while taking their regular subversive position that courts and government should not intervene in matters of Muslim Personal Law as it is a matter of faith.

    Rather than being cowed into silence or even dismiss this challenge as an effort to obfuscate matters, progressive Muslims should pick up the gauntlet and battle it out. This should be used as a great opportunity to breach the total stagnation that has prevailed in Islamic theological debates in the country. This will not only help the victims of our Anglo-Mohammedan Personal Law but also help open up issues related to violent extremism that is attracting our youth more and more in the absence of debate. For instance, accepting that triple talaq is not a part of Quranic teachings or even Hadith (sayings of the Prophet). A classical Muslim scholar, Hafeez Nomani, has asked if Quran alone is legitimate Islamic scripture and whether a bid’at (innovation) like triple talaq ordered by the second Caliph Hazrat Umar cannot be considered legitimate. He then goes on to ask that if triple talaq cannot be accepted, as it is a bid’at, then what about Quran, which in its present form is itself an innovation ordered by the same caliph and completed by the third Caliph Hazrat Usman.

    These are among the issues that Muslims need to debate urgently for the wider good of the community as well as the nation and the world. We must never forget the solemn warning issued by Canadian scholar Winfred Cantwell Smith in mid-20th century that a healthy, functioning Islam is crucial for world peace. Clearly, the Islam today is not healthy and functioning. So it is not only the Muslims but the nation at large that should welcome an opportunity to debate and understand Islamic theological issues.

    Islam, Women and Feminism

    Sultan Shahin Raises Triple Talaq Issue at UNHRC, Asks Muslims to Engage In Serious Rethinking Of Islamic Theology and Bring It In Line With the Needs of 21st Century
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Mr. President,

    While the world’s attention is focused on violent extremism practised by a section of Muslims, gross violations of human rights are taking place in various Muslim societies in the name of religion. In a South East Asian country, the Arabic name of God is monopolised by Muslims. Non-Muslims using the traditional term Allah for God are punished. In a South Asian Muslim country thousands of Hindu and Christian girls, many under the age of 18, are abducted, forcibly converted to Islam, and then “married” to their abductors. In a Middle Eastern country, courts allow marriages of as small as 9-year-old girls and force them to consummate their “marriage” and live with their husbands. In my own country, India, Muslim husbands can utter the word talaq, meaning divorce, thrice in a row, and legally throw their wives out of their homes in less than a minute.

    While these are gross violations of human rights, they also amount to denigrating the religion of Islam. All these and many other similar social evils and criminal acts including terrorism are practiced as if they have been ordained by Islamic scriptures. This calls for deep introspection in the Muslim community. We Muslims should not allow our religion to be hijacked in this fashion.

    Mr. President, I would like to make a request, through you, to the representatives of Muslim countries in the Council. Dear Sirs, Madams, Please start a serious dialogue with theologians in your countries and ask them to open the gates of Ijtihad, the creative re-thinking. This was not only permitted, but ordained by God, in Islam’s primary scripture, the holy Quran, as no other Prophet was to come after Mohmmad (saw). We Muslims must revisit our theology in the light of the needs of the 21st century. We are not living in the 7th century and can neither fight those early battles nor organise our societies in that medieval fashion....


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    Related Articles:

    1.  Xenophobia and Religious Intolerance in Islamic Societies Is a Result of Deliberate Misinterpretation of Islamic Scriptures, Sultan Shahin Tells UNHRC

    2.  Coping With Critics of Moderate Islam

    3.  Muslims Need To Reflect Why So Many Millions of Us Are Leaving Islam for Christianity or Simply Calling Ourselves Ex-Muslim

    4.  Islam Fully Protects Human Rights of Religious Minorities: Sultan Shahin tells UNHRC at Geneva

    5.  Islamo-Fascism and Islam-Supremacism Feeding Islamophobia Worldwide: Sultan Shahin Tells UNHRC

    6.  Open Letter to Maulana Firangimahali: Why Do Moderate Ulema Stay Silent When Terrorists Claim - 'Islam Has Never Been A Religion Of Peace, Not Even For A Day'?

    7.  Terrorists Have Failed So Far and Should Not Be Allowed To Affect Global Multiculturalism, Sultan Shahin Tells Parallel Meeting at UNHRC in Geneva

    Islam, Women and Feminism

    Triple Talaq Controversy: Male Chauvinist Indian Ulema Are Subverting Islam to Mislead the Supreme Court
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    ... Now Islam is a religion being practiced only by some Indian Mullahs, so it would seem. This even amounts to declaring Shias as well as Sunni Wahhabi sects like Ahl-e-Hadith apostate because they consider triple talaq in one session as equal to only one reversible talaq.

    Even stranger is the fact that AIMPLB consists of Ulema from Shia, Ahl-e-Hadith and other Salafi-Wahhabi sects as well.  Why are they not protesting at being virtually called apostate groups which have “re-written Quran and forced Muslims to commit sin, altering the very essence of the religion of Islam” by a group of which they are members?

    The most astounding fact in the AIMPLB affidavit is the justification it seeks for instant triple talaq from the Holy Quran. This has never been done before. Everyone knows there is no justification for instant triple talaq in the holy Quran. All protagonists of the triple talaq in one sitting have so far only quoted Ahadith (so-called sayings of the Prophet, many of them clearly weak and inauthentic, collected hundreds of years after the demise of the Prophet) and juristic rulings of companions of the prophet, or later jurists and theologians.....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    An Appeal to Sufi Divines: Please Go Beyond Clichés Like Islam Is a Religion of Peace,Refute the Generally Accepted Core Theology Which Is Helping Jihadis Lure Our Youths to Terrorism
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Respected Sufi divines, I would, therefore, earnestly appeal to you to use the opportunity provided by the Delhi conclave to go beyond the usual shibboleths. Sufi approach of focussing on the positive features of Islam worked well at one time. There was no internet then. In the internet age everyone is a scholar. In this age of instant scholarship, nothing can be hidden or bypassed.

    It must be understood, that the radical Islamist theology and the current Islamic theology of consensus are by and large one and the same. Any differences are cosmetic. ISIS may vanish tomorrow. But the problem of radicalisation will remain. Islam supremacism, xenophobia, intolerance and exclusivism are inherent in the current Islamic, and not just Islamist theology.

    Focusing on positive features of Islam is an essential part of De-radicalisation or, more realistically, Preventing Radicalisation. But it is not bearing fruit in full measure as the core theology agreed to by nearly all Muslims militates against these positives. As briefly outlined above, this core and consensual theology nullifies the impact of all arguments made against violent extremism. It is this core theology that needs to be refuted and changed.  Let us all try and bring the core Islamic theology in line with the actual teachings of Quran and Sunnah. Let us move away from the current theology of violence and xenophobia. Let us move towards a coherent, comprehensive theology of peace and pluralism, co-existence and gender justice.

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    Radical Islamism and Jihad
    'Make Revolutionary Changes in the Islamic Theology of Consensus to Fight Jihadism': Sultan Shahin Asks Muslim Nations at UNHRC in Geneva
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Sixteen years after 9/11, the issue of Jihadi terrorism has become even more complex and widespread.

    First, though Jihadism is a violent offshoot of Wahhabism and Salafism, the international community has allowed the fountainhead of Wahhabi/Salafi ideology to continue to spend tens of billions of dollars to Wahhabise the world Muslim community.

    Second, we recently saw with horror, but without any protest from the international community, the sight of a UN-designated terrorist, with a ten-million-dollar bounty on his head, launch a political party and nominate another US-designated terrorist to contest democratic elections in Pakistan. Apparently, some countries can ignore UN directives with impunity.

    Third, the Muslim community has failed to grasp that Jihadism spread so rapidly around the world because at its core it is not very different from the theology of consensus that informs the religious beliefs and practices of all Muslim sects. That is why Jihadis are not impressed when we Muslims either proclaim that Islam is a religion of peace and pluralism or when we try to wash our hands off Jihadism by claiming that it has nothing to do with Islam. If we Muslims want to live as honourable citizens in the 21st century’s globalised world, we must rethink our consensus theology in all its dimensions and make revolutionary changes to bring it in line with the needs of present times....

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