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NEW COMMENTS

  • Naseer Saheb, I don’t think any amount of explanation, interpretation and contextualisation – and I have read many from Islamic scholars who want to present ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Histories are written by the victors. If we discard even Ibn Ishaq and Waqidi then there is no way to discover what the Meccans thought ...
    ( By C M Naim )
  • Our theology has codified the five pillars and the six articles of faith. Why has it failed to derive the principles of War from ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The source of Yunus sb's confusion is his misunderstanding of verse 91:8. He understands it as God inspiring both good and evil when it actually ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The hadith quoted by Arshad sb says that a person is not a momin when he is committing a sin which means that he is ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Steve, Thanks for entering this site and posting your comment which only represents the popular opinion based on 'Islamic sources'. Unfortunately the 'Islamic sources' ....
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • "Al-Bukhaari narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “No adulterer ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • From the Qur'anic perspective all believing humans stand equal before God and will be judged on the basis of their deeds and taqwa. Thus, even ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The following is by Yunus sb. There are two grievously flawed statements reviewed below in Naseer Sb article re The ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • We started with an assumption that the marriage is invalid which makes the person zani, and ended up with the conclusion that such an assumption ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Not even asingle war by the prophet was defensive. Behind every war there was a ...
    ( By Steve )
  • Also learn from Israel on how to de-islamise sensitive pockets - such as settlements in West Bank - This methodology....
    ( By ShanBarani )
  • The BJP can learn from Israel on the subject of respecting Muslim cultural sensitivities but it would.. .
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • While our Prophet fought valiantly for the defense of Islam and for the defense of his followers against some ruthless....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • But one is called a zani only after the adultery not before it.
    ( By arshad )
  • Shahin sb, Please ask the two faced Islamic scholar to comment on the following: From the Qur'anic perspective all believing humans stand equal ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Royalj Read your comment again. Shia over sunny as prime-ministers. RoyalJ Whatever God you belive I don't care, for me ....
    ( By Aayina )
  • Shahin Sb, Can you please direct me to the laws or principles of literalism that force you to ignore verses 9:1 to 9:29 to understand the ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer Saheb, "We do not talk about literalism or interpretation when we talk about the law books or the text books or the books of ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Naseer Saheb, you know I want your thesis to become acceptable to the scholars as well as Muslim masses. It would be great if people ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Hi Aayina, Did I speak about religion? I have given maximum praise to the great soul Abraham Lincoln, so that Madrasa teachers may take ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • Shahin sb, We do not talk about literalism or interpretation when we talk about the law books or the text books or the books of science. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Servent leadears do not take media attention. Best servent leadears and their Bhakts will quote goodness from others scriptures ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Shahin Sb. This is for you An example of logically derived conclusion An adulterer can marry only another adulterer or a polytheist. (24:3)...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • @Naseer Ahmad and Arshad Well said. The involvement of Clergy is unwarranted today. God is in no need...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • Polygamy cannot exist in civilized societies which uphold gender equality.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The only message we can get out of the Quran is: "Do the right thing". God has given us...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Dear Royalji, Thanks for the compliments. I hope I come to deserve some of these qualities at least in timers to come...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Shahin Sb, Read my comment By Naseer Ahmed - 1/16/2018 5:25:57 AM Show me where have I departed from the literal meanings and...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer Saheb, I am told we are living in a dystopian world, though we have not quite reached the frightening level of George Orwell’s novel ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Arshad sb, Marriage in Islam is a social contract. A court marriage is also valid. All that is required is...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shahin Sb, Ask Yunus sb to post his comment under my article if he wants a response. I can...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer sb says, if say a Muslim girl falls in love with a Mushrik boy, and elopes? Is the marriage valid? Yes, it is. There...
    ( By arshad )
  • Arshad sb, Your article is a classic case of the pitfalls of not taking the simple straight forward literal meaning and trying to interpret. If ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The scholar who wants to maintain his anonymity has sent me the following comment: There are two grievously flawed statements reviewed below in Naseer Sb ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَأُولَٰئِكَ مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ (3:114) They believe in Allah and the Last Day; they enjoin....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Royalj, You have been all along trying to project Christianity and undermine Islam on this website. I can therefore ....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Lincoln talk of Master and Slave, not relgion. All Relgion has tendency to see the humans that do not follow its ....
    ( By Aayina )
  • Ghulam Mohiyuddin, if you want accept Mutazilla than you have to accept their position that "Quran is man made" would you like to agree ....
    ( By Aayina )
  • God of Quran may have said Kafir to Muslim in Quran, but God of quran also forget the called Mushrikin Momin. This is pure hypocracy ....
    ( By Aayina )
  • LATEST ARTICLES

    Arabic Section

    The Concept of Islamic Fighting and Jihad in Countering Terrorism مفهوم الجهاد والقتال الإسلامي في مواجهة الإرهاب
    Basil Hijazi, New Age Islam

    إن كلمة "الجهاد" ليست رديفاً لـ "الحرب" أو "القتال" كما يتصور جهابذة العالم الغربي فهو خطأ فادح إن فُهم على هذا النحو ولا يعني إلا جزءاً بسيطاً من مفاهيم الجهاد حيث أن الإسلام وتحت راية الجهاد يدعو لحماية المجتمعات من  التسلط والظلم والنظم الدكتاتورية التي تصادر الحريات والحقوق بإلغاء نظام العدل مانعة الناس من سماع الحقيقة وإعتناقها بل وحتى تضطهدهم في دينهم.

     
    The War Within Islam

    A Secret Middle East Alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia
    Herbert London

    It is instructive that neither Saudi Arabia nor Egypt was actively hostile to the address change for the American Embassy in Jerusalem. They voted to repudiate the decision in the U.N. vote on the matter, but that was the end of it. The tide of alliance building is moving in a new and unpredictable direction in the Middle East. An Israel with its advanced technology has become an ally of necessity, not necessarily an ally of long-term common interests, albeit history has a way of uniting unlikely bedfellows....

     
    Islam, Women and Feminism

    Debate on Polygamy Heats up in Egypt
    Shahira Amin

    The current circumstances have emboldened polygamy proponents, whose voices have grown louder in recent months. They justify the controversial practice on grounds that it gives women a “better chance of avoiding spinsterhood” and makes it easier for them to “exercise their right to have a husband.” They also argue that having more than one wife allows men a “sensible way to assuage male sexual frustration, a common cause of divorce.”...

    The War Within Islam

    The ‘Impossible State’ and Challenges of Modernity
    Fahad Suleiman Shoqiran

    With the wave of changes taking place in Iran, the decline of the ISIS, and the prospects of al-Qaeda’s return, questions about the religious state and its relations to ethics and modernity have returned the fore. The state cannot survive under the theocratic system unless it has effective modern institutions. Therefore, it is claimed that Iran is a modern state and not an Islamic state because of the existence of constitutional arbitration councils that safeguard the interests of the regime....

     
    Islam and the West

    When America and Pakistan Fight, It’s Afghanistan That Suffers
    Mohammed Hanif

    These banal analogies hide the basic facts. A monstrous pact between these two countries has destroyed another country called Afghanistan, twice over. The destruction of Afghanistan didn’t start, as most experts tell us, just after 9/11. It first happened nearly 40 years ago, in 1979, when an American president and Pakistani generals walked hand in hand into Afghanistan, with their Saudi friends carrying suitcases full of dollars,...

     
    Islam,Terrorism and Jihad
    FATA: Troubled Territory
    Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

    FATA: Troubled Territory
    Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

    While civilians faced the increased brunt of terror through 2017, the terrorists also increased their attacks against SFs. Fatalities among SFs increased from 39 in 2016 to 54 in 2017. Here also, as in case of civilians, the trend of declining fatalities, established since 2013, was reversed....

     
    Pakistan Press

    Illusion of Democracy In Balochistan By Asghar Soomro: New Age Islam's Selection, 17 January 2018

    Pity the Nation

    By Muhammad Hamid Zaman

    Asking For A Favour

    By Rafia Zakaria

    American Radical

    By Mahir Ali

    If Wishes Were Horses

    By Mirza Shahnawaz Agha

    Marriages of Conveniences Fail

    By Mansoor Akbar Kundi

    Life After Bumpy Trumpy Tweet

    By Iqbal Khan

    Compiled By New Age Islam Edit Bureau

     
    Middle East Press

    Who Will Save Pakistan's Kids From Abuse? By Waqar Mustafa: New Age Islam's Selection, 17 January 2018

    Only Palestinian Unity Can Thwart US-Israeli Onslaught

    By Osama Al Sharif

    Honesty Is the Best Policy

    By Tariq A. Al-Maeena

    Has Latin America Abandoned Palestine?

    By Massimo Di Ricco

    US Should Use Foreign Aid Leverage Wisely

    By Kerry Boyd Anderson

    Dirty Money and the Coming Wave in Lebanon

    By Hussein Shobokshi

    American Entry in the Syrian Crisis

    By Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

    The Gulf Region’s Evolving Military Balance Since 1991

    By Shehab Al-Makahleh

    Arabs Need Greater Access to Books

    By Nidhal Guessoum

    Pragmatic Macron Wants to Reform Not Lead the EU

    By Nabila Ramdani

    The United States: Addicted To Special Forces

    By Belen Fernandez

    Compiled By New Age Islam Edit Bureau

     
    Urdu Section

    Citing History Does Not Legitimize Israel تاریخ کے حوالے سے اسرائیل کا جواز نہیں پیدا ہوتا
    S. Mubashir Noor, New Age Islam

    اسرائیل کی خودمختاری کی بطن سے پیدا ہونے والے یہودی بمقابلہ عرب موت کا کھیل دوسری عالمی جنگ میں نازی قتل عام کے بعد بے جا غم و غصے کی ایک شاندار نمونہ معلوم ہوتا ہے جو کہ ٹرمپ کے ذریعہ یکطرفہ طور پر یروشلیم کو اسرائیلی دارالحکومت کے طور پر تسلیم کئے جانے کے بعد مزید مہلک شکل اختیار کر چکا ہے۔ جیسا کہ سعودی شاہ عبدالعزیز نے 1945 میں امریکہ کے صدر ایف ڈی روزویلٹ سے کہا تھا کہ "یہودیوں کو اپنا وطن جرمنی کی سب سے بہتر سر زمین پر قائم کرنے دیا جائے نہ کہ عرب کے علاقے پر کہ جن کا اس سے کچھ بھی علاقہ نہیں ہے جو ان کے ساتھ پیش آ چکا ہے۔"

     
    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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    BEST OF BEFORE ARTICLES

    Islamic Ideology

    Deoband’s Fresh Fatwa: Why Do the Islamic Theologians (Muftis) In India Lack the Logical Progression in Their Socio-Religious Thoughts?
    Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

    Ironically, there is no dearth of “online fatwa” services and websites today that transmit the Saudi Fatwas to the non-Arab Muslim societies, particularly in the Indian subcontinent, regardless of their local contexts, customs, cultures and national ethos. Such pronouncements can be stumbled upon the online fatwa portals such as IslamQA.info, fatwa-online.com, and AskImam.org and many more. Scores of Indian Maulvis are treading the path of the Saudi-Wahhabi muftis in running the online fatwa factories. This is a daunting challenge that Indian Muslims face in the wake of every fatwa of this nature……

    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

    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...

    Islamic Ideology

    Khatam-e-Nabuwwat and Its Significance — Concluding Part: How Theo-Politics Or Ulema Became So Mainstream
    Tahir Kamran

    Objectively speaking, the definition of any concept pertaining to socio-cultural beliefs and practices is, in most cases, problematic and may have unsettling fallout for many. It will be like stating the obvious to say that Khatam-i-Nabuwwat acquired the centrality among rest of the postulates because of Ahmadi viewpoint which was not consistent with the mainstream Muslim belief. It will be pertinent to see it in juxtaposition to the Ahmadi belief regarding Khatam-i-Nabuwwat....

    Books and Documents

    Essential Message of Islam: A Pioneering Work by Quran Exegetes Muhammad Yunus & Ashfaque Ullah Syed (Full Text exclusively available on NewAgeIslam.com)

    Barren sandy desert, extremely hot climate, and scarcity of water resources made the heartland of the Arabian Peninsula an inhospitable abode for man since ancient times. Its original people were pagans, except for some Unitarians (ahnaf) who contemplated on the Oneness of God. In the post Judeo-Christian era, pockets of wet fertile land attracted Jewish and Christian settlers from the adjoining regions, and became isolated centres of trade and commerce. However, the vast stretches of the desert heartland that only sustained a nomadic life, remained in a primitive state until the advent of Islam. The nomadic tribes had preserved their ancestral paganism, with each tribe having its own idol; and the Ka‘ba, a cubical shrine at the heart of an ancient sanctuary (Haram) in Mecca, was the centre of idol worship. The nomadic Arabs were largely unlettered, had no notion of central state or kingdom, and their social and moral norms were based on traditions (Sunnah) and dictated by the struggle for survival. .....

    Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam

    Is Islamic Reform Possible? 'Should We Just Accept That Quran Is Not Perfect, Infallible Word of God, If Nearly All Muslims Misundetstand It?'
    Hassan Radwan, New Age Islam

    Yet it has to be asked if Islam is perfect and has absolutely nothing to do with the actions of extremists like ISIS or regimes like Saudi Arabia - then why is it that these Muslims have so grossly misunderstood their religion? When one points out actions such as execution of apostates and gays they tell us this is completely against Islam and Islam is very clear about it. But then why don’t these groups and regimes realise they are going completely against Islam. Don’t they realise the terrible mistake they are making when it is all so clear and obvious? The truth is that it is not as clear and obvious as they claim....

    Related Articles:

    Is Islamic Reform Possible? 'Should We Just Accept That Quran Is Not Perfect, Infallible Word of God, If Nearly All Muslims Misundetstand It?'

    The Quran Is the Perfect, Infallible Word of God, Even If All the Muslims Misunderstand It

    Some Muslim Intellectuals of This Era Cry Lies or Half-Truths against Islam Creating Doubts and Suspicions against It – Ignorantly or Fraudulently - God Knows Best

    Quran is Not the Source of All Problems but It Must Be Brought within the Ambit of History

    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.

    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....

    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 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.

    Interfaith Dialogue

    The Islamic Jesus: This Christmas, Let Us Reflect On the Message of Prophet Jesus, Cherished and Venerated By both Muslims and Christians Alike
    Moin Qazi, New Age Islam

    Islam embraces the moral and ethical teachings of Moses and Jesus. Honesty, decency equality and dignity are central to even Prophet Muhammad's message. The basic principles of tolerance and treating others the way we wish to be treated are the foundations of both faiths, repeatedly emphasized in their sacred texts. Like all prophets, Jesus provided lessons to be learnt from his life and teachings. In fact his tradition of peace, compassion, love, gentleness and need to be revived more than ever….

    Islamic Ideology

    The Importance of Getting the Story Right on the Divine Plan Allah
    Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

    Javed Ghamidi gives the same reasons for extremism as I do but differently worded. According to Javed Ghamidi, the following are the reasons for extremism the belief that it is the rightful duty of all Muslims to mete out the punishment of death to all the Kafir – polytheists, disbelievers and the apostates.

    The belief that no one except the Muslims have a right to rule the world and the Muslims are therefore religiously bound to wage war to bring all non-Muslim countries under their rule. There should be only one government in the entire world and that should be the Islamic caliphate. The modern states are an embodiment of Kufr (disbelief), and therefore can have no place in Islam.....

    Islamic Ideology

    Islam's Relationship With The Rest Of The Word - The Current Problem Of Extremism In A False Ideology And The Antidote From An Authentic Understanding Of The Truly Humanistic Message Of The Quran
    Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

    The Muslim of the Quran, is therefore simply anyone who submits to God (by whatever name), and is a doer of good deeds. There are therefore only two kinds of people - those who stand for justice and against oppression are the friends and helpers of God and the oppressors are the enemies of humanity and of God.  The finding of this paper needs to be leveraged to transform young minds to think in terms of objective attributes of people, rather than in terms of the narrow stereo types based on a person’s religious identity. Since our theology says otherwise, we need to work to change it according to the clear message of the Quran brought out in this paper to remove the ideological basis for extremism among the Muslims and to promote greater co-operation with all good people of other faiths….

    Islam, Women and Feminism

    Child Marriage among Indian Muslims: The Mullahs Have Brought Shame to the Muslim Community, Yet Again
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Even if we come to the conclusion that Prophet did in fact marry a minor, then a historical and contextual reading of this decision can always be done. What was right during the Prophet’s time is no longer valid. What was Sharia (the path) at the time of the Prophet is no longer the Sharia of the present. Contextualising the actions of the Prophet in its time is perhaps the only way out of the morass which we find ourselves in today. Rather than shying away from the problem, we must first have the courage to recognise it and then throw it open for debate. Pretending that everything is fine with Islam only obfuscates the problem and has already done irreparable harm to the community and the religion....

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