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NEW COMMENTS

  • the terrorist attack is actually a great help to the victims. it put them out of the miserable meaningless...
    ( By hats off! )
  • dear mr. raihan nezami first: i think the word "invincible" is probably not what you had in mind (i hope i am not mistaken...
    ( By hats off! )
  • thought provoking article which loses the crux of artificially created binary of a homogeneous inclusive minority community ....
    ( By Ayushman )
  • شکریہ! ایک اور خوبصورت تحریر کے لیے: یہ خود ہمارے لیے ایک لمحہ فکریہ ہے کہ‘‘جب یوروپ گی گلیاں کیچڑ آلود تھیں اس وقت ....
    ( By Mufti Arshad Jamaal )
  • درست فرمایا آپ نے (دیر آید درست آید) ۔ بے انتہاء مسرت ہوئی۔ پوری آزادی کے ساتھ اس ....
    ( By misbahul Hoda )
  • What has Hats Off's fulminations got to do with the meaning of Kafir? He is simply consumed by impotent rage at not being able to cite ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • marvellous egyptiannculture,destroyed arab pagans in the guaise of Islam.The Pre-Islamic History of Egpty is great
    ( By C.Sruguma )
  • Dear Hats off: First, you promise to accept the meaning of the word "Kafir" given by me, only then ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • mr. raihan nezami must verify the meaning of the word "kafir" before he lets loose.'
    ( By hats off! )
  • defending slave raids, ghazwas, right-hand possessions, jizya and denigration of the religion and scriptures of others produces a sickness of mind that cannot.....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Dear Hats off: I respect your penchant desire for learning, but alas! it is not for positive intentions as you are always indulged in negative ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • Hats Off is once again indulging in psychological projection. It is he who is logic proof and impervious to all evidence of.....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The concept of psychological projection is well grounded in classical psychology and continues to be as relevant today.....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • @Suhel Khan who is funding wahabism n salafism which say even music dancing even some say mobile is Haram but AK 47 is halal.....
    ( By Atul Shukla )
  • @Suhel Khan all well established norms r not always correct. Well established ' Manubaad' is discarded now...
    ( By Ajoy Dutta )
  • Sultan Shahin has been for long, pursuing his single agenda of criticising each and every aspect of Islam ....
    ( By Suhel Khan )
  • @Kartikaswara Gouda you talked about shivaji. do you know that during his coronation manuvadies persecuted him and after much difficulty ....
    ( By Iqbal Husain )
  • Goutier record Islamic have hatred roots'
    ( By Sant Singh )
  • Western writer- ISLAM AND THE BHAGAVAD-GITA In the last 30 years, I have spoken against Islam and Islamic fundamentalism numerous ....
    ( By Kartikaswara Gouda )
  • Ignorance is Bliss.---English proverb.
    ( By Polumetla Kumar )
  • Islam started with human race. Prophet Muhammad is the last one in reforming ISLAMIC PRINCIPLES. He preached.....
    ( By Saidu Pallipparambil )
  • If they do not talk of peace, why refugees from Syria, Jordan and Iraq beg and crawl to go to Europe ....
    ( By Polumetla Kumar )
  • “…leaders capable of leading the Muslim community in religious matters” And,...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • some good news from morocco." Death penalty for apostates is really an Old Testament subject which was stolen....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Poor Hats Off! As if calling it 'pop psychaitry' would hide the fact that he is in denial.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Killing of Hindu atheists as well as Muslim atheists must stop. Any scriptural verses ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Very pertinent and rightful plaint!'
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A bold truthful article!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • wow. Worth reading . These beautiful lines from Maulana sahab is a great treat for secular and ...
    ( By Nikrun )
  • CORRECTION: In my last post I meant, "Martin Luther did say those things and yet Protestants....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A ban on triple talaq would be the appropriate step to take at this time. Our laws must....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Dear friends, I suggest all to read JIHAD- A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism۔۔۔
    ( By Surya Prakash Samidala )
  • Don't compare Beef Ban with blasphemy Mr Shamim Siddiqui....There is also meat....
    ( By Arnab Pal )
  • 3/22/2017 7:46:27 AM hats off! the fact of the matter is that the Holy Qur'an (not the koran) refers to non-muslims as kuffar. as...
    ( By hats off! )
  • l ماشاء اللہ! آپ کی حالیہ اشاعت ‘‘مصباح ادب’’ موصول ہوئی۔ اللہ زیادہ سے زیادہ خدمت دین کی توفیق بخشے(آمین)۔ چونکہ آپ سے میرے تعلقات بہت ...
    ( By Mufti Arshad Jamaal )
  • @Polumetla Kumar, Sir are you talking about today America and Europe countries who are talking about PEACE.' ...
    ( By Naeem Ahmed )
  • @Dolly How does it excuse barbarians who committed atrocities on Indians which included SCs and STs?'
    ( By Polumetla Kumar )
  • Polumetla Kumar i suggest you to read Dr ambedkar book 'riidles of Hinduism " , books by periyar the great wendy doniger in order to ...
    ( By Dolly Passey )
  • @Saidu Pallipparambil why they could not built such buildings,minars,forts in Arabian countries before? Didn't ...
    ( By Ajoy Dutta )
  • you talk about sufism but not act according to sufism  what a great difference! a man says what he does not do ...
    ( By Shahnawaz )
  • LATEST ARTICLES

    Islamic Ideology

    Blasphemous Blasphemers: It Is Allah, the All-Knowing, All-Powerful, Who Protects His People; Not the People Who Protect Him
    Brig Shaukat Qadir

    For fear of your new-found stature, like that of the killer of blasphemers, Mumtaz Qadri, no one will dare try you. And if tried and convicted, your judge will have to flee the country for fear of reprisal. Shame on us, the educated citizens of this benighted country, for falling so low....

    Books and Documents
    A Call for Spiritual Renewal
    K. Suhela, New Age Islam

    A Call for Spiritual Renewal

    It’s hard for us even to be civilized in the parking lot of a Masjid, for God’s sake. The only time we are organized is when we have to be organized in Sufuf (rows), when Salah is called, but outside of that—forget about it! Just basic human decency, basic human decency, we don’t possess. We don’t possess it. What have we done? What have we produced as a people? How have we contributed to the world? The only time we make it to the news is when we blow something up or we are in some chaos or another....

    Islamic World News

    Indian Supreme Court for Amicable Settlement to Ayodhya Dispute, CJI Offers To Mediate

    Boko Haram Vows To Impose Sharia Law in Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger And Mali

    How Much Is An Afghan Life Worth? That Depends

    Turkey President Wants To Perform Islamic Prayer Service in Hagia Sophia of Istanbul

    ISIS Force Young Men to Fight in Defence of Mosul, Say Refugees

    India

    Jihadis Entering India, Warns Bangladesh

    Africa

    Justice Binta Nyako Introduces Sharia Law into Trial of Nnamdi Kanu

    South Asia

    Myanmar Investigators Question Rohingya in Bangladesh Camps

    Mideast

    Three Suspects Linked To Perpetrator of ISIL Attack on Berlin Market Caught In Istanbul Airport

    Arab World

    Syrian Gov't Grants Amnesty to 150 Militants in Homs Province

    Pakistan

    Pakistani Bank Establishes Branch in Xinjiang

    Southeast Asia

    China Warmly Welcomes Israel's Prime Minister after Saudi King's Visit

    Europe

    Pope’s Egypt Visit Offers Chance to Improve Catholic-Muslim Ties

    North America

    US To Ban Electronic Devices on Flights from Eight Muslim Countries

    We Should Not Have Left Iraq: Donald Trump on Fight with ISIS

    Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

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

     
    Islam, Women and Feminism

    Muslim Personal Law Conflicts with POCSO, Says Delhi Court, Allows Marriage of Minor Girl

    Turkish Reporter Proposes at Mecca’s Ka’aba

    Israeli Arab Woman Sentenced To 50 Months for Joining IS

    California:  Muslim College Women Find Acceptance and 'Love' With Hijab Celebrations

    Actress Mayim Bialik Blasts Feminists for ‘Disgusting’ Silence on Muslim Countries’ Treatment

    Of Women

    Islamic Singer, Ruqoyaah Gawat Sings For Women

    Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

     
    Islam, Women and Feminism

    A Theology of Patriarchy: Patriarchal Structures Are Not The Immutable ‘Will Of God’
    Ammar Rashid

    Such narratives over the centuries have successfully managed to disguise patriarchal structures as the immutable ‘Will of God’. It is this historical deception — the cynical veiling of patriarchy’s material interests as divine commandments — that needs to be relentlessly exposed for the sham that it is.....

    Islamic Society

    Islam Is, At Its Heart, a Progressive and Humane Doctrine: We Must Show By Our Actions and By Our Arguments That It Is So
    Yasser Latif Hamdani

    We need to create Sir Syed Ahmad Khans, Chiragh Alis and Muhammad Iqbals of the future and this cannot be done if we handicap ourselves through an emotional and ill thought out decision. Instead of swimming against the tide, we should ride it. Where are the cyber wings of our think tanks and institutes? These cyber think tanks, when suitably armed with knowledge — both modern and traditional — can do a much better service to Islam than those who feel that the glory of Islam can only be served by banning and blocking. Let us fight this war pragmatically and rationally instead of emotionally. We need Hosh not Josh.....

    Islam, Women and Feminism

    Why I Disagree With the Censorship of Social Media and the Imposition of Hijab
    Reem Wasay

    For this motley crew of autocrats and aggressors, the culture that is the domain of every free man and woman becomes a primitive penitentiary for the practice of piety used by politicians and the clergy since time immemorial. That culture gave us wars, bombs and destruction....

     
    Current Affairs

    Secular Manifesto for Change
    Saba Naqvi

    It’s all rather pathetic. There is actually precious little that the Indian secular state has given the Muslim community except to ensure that they live for eternity in the museum of stereotypes, most notably that of the clerics who mostly talk rubbish when they showcase their views on television. The imagery of these men as “sole spokespersons” only works to counter mobilise. The community has slipped on all human development indices yet an entire mobilisation has thrived on the argument that they are appeased. It’s true; the clerics have indeed been appeased in a manner of speaking.....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad
    Balochistan: Violent Status Quo
    Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

    Balochistan: Violent Status Quo
    Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

    Nearly 1,000 bodies of political activists and suspected separatists have been found in the restive Balochistan province over the past six years, according to the Pakistan Government's official figures. A media report noted, "According to the Federal Ministry of Human Rights, at least 936 dead bodies have been found in Balochistan since 2011." Most of the bodies were dumped in the regions of Quetta, Kalat, Khuzdar and Mekran - areas where Balochistan's separatist insurgency has its roots. ...

     
    Current Affairs

    Five Centuries On, Martin Luther Should Be Feted As Hero of Liberty and Free Speech
    Peter Stanford

    We live today in secular, sceptical, scientific times, when religion itself is regularly branded irrelevant. So Luther, if considered at all, tends to be dismissed as dour, distant and two-dimensional, better suited to the dusty pages of history books than the 21st century. So much so that he is often confused with Martin Luther King, whose continuing importance is much more readily understood....

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ... 13 14 15 ....


    BEST OF BEFORE ARTICLES

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Dhaka Attack: Facing The Challenge Of Zakir Naik, Will Ulema Rise To The Occasion?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Our focus should not be so much on Zakir Naik as on the question: why and how he has so easily succeeded in radicalising millions. Saudis and ahl-e-hadithis have only provided him logistical support. In my view the reason he has succeeded is that he is not saying anything new. He is using the theology of consensus, the same theology that is taught in universities and madrasas of all schools of thought.

    His distinction is in the presentation, using modern means of communication. He is reaching those who did not have access to this theology before.

    That is why ulema cannot oppose him or other militant Islamic preachers. Sufi-Barailvis and even Deobandis have tried. They are angry because he has exposed their hypocrisy. ...

    Interfaith Dialogue

    Comparative Religion Scholars Examine ‘End-Time’ Prophecies in World Religious Scriptures

    “In most scriptures, the prophecies about the end of the age are well-written. If you’ve studied different scriptures, you would have found many common teachings in the prophecy”. For example, Prophets in many religions taught people that the law of the truth will be powerless and wickedness will increase at the end of the age. It also includes the corruption of the religious world. When this will happen, heaven will send a person to save the righteous, for example: Maitreya in Buddhism, Kalkin in Hinduism and Jesus in Christianity”. …

    Islam and Politics

    Exceptional Sanction of Polygamy in Quran Is a Concept of Islamic Law Most Abused By Muslim Men over the Centuries
    A. Faizur Rahman

    Polygyny, which finds mention just once (4:3) in the Quran, is one of the most misunderstood concepts of Islamic law. It has been abused over the centuries by Muslim men without appreciating the spirit behind its exceptional sanction, which is clearly contextualised in the historical conditions of the time when a large number of women were widowed and children orphaned as Muslims suffered heavy casualties in defending the nascent Islamic community in Medina.....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    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'?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    I didn’t see you questioning the notorious tele-evangelist Dr. Zakir Naik when he said: “all Muslims should be terrorists” or when he said: “Quran allows Muslims to have sex with female slaves.” Indeed, you all kept quiet when Naik made hateful remarks like the following: “People in the west eat pork and hence behave like pigs. Pigs are the only animals in the world that invite their friends to have sex with their partners. Westerners also do the same.” Naik has made insulting other religions in the guise of comparative study or interfaith dialogue his speciality. But I find almost the entire fraternity of Muslim ulema coming out in his defence when it was discovered that his discourse inevitably inspired several people around the world who took to the path of terrorism.

    Worst of all, you and all other ulema kept quiet when Maulana Abdul Aleem Islahi of Hyderabad asked Muslims to pray for the Islamic State. In a press release available online he said: “Condemnation of their (Islamic State’s) action may not be called sagacity and will be considered against the spirit of Islam. … they have tried to fulfil the dream of a large section of Muslims and their determination has infused a new life into the concept of Caliphate. Their announcement (of caliphate) has surpassed Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Maulana Abul Ala Maududi’s powerful writings and speeches about Caliphate and has realized the concept practically. …..

    Islam and Sectarianism

    Sectarian War in Pakistan and Urdu Media's Narrative of Denial
    Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

    Some of them even make a mockery of the Sufi denomination, blatantly emboldening the sectarian war-mongers in the country. A fatwa-factory declaring the Sufi practices as 'Haram' (forbidden in Islam), 'Bid’at' (un-Islamic innovation) and 'Mushrikana Rasm' (heretical practice) can be seen in the mainstream Urdu media in Pakistan, let alone the social networking sites. This is how the country's Urdu media is radicalising the common Muslim viewers and readers who are already influenced by the sectarian tendencies....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad
    Will Turkey Become another Pakistan?
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Will Turkey Become another Pakistan?
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    The regularity with which terrorists are able to attack key cities in Turkey is alarming. The previous year saw more than 25 terror attacks in different parts of the country including Ankara and Istanbul. Most of these attacks have been attributed to Islamist terrorism but then even the erstwhile secular formation like the Kurdistan Workers’ Party is not unknown to have used terror tactics. The latest attack yesterday on a nightclub in Istanbul is just one more in a series of such attacks. It is not clear whether there were multiple attackers involved but surely the analysis is veering around the consensus that it seems to be the handiwork of the ISIS. ...

    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. .....

    Islamic Society

    How to Construct a Liberal Islam - Concluding Part
    Akbar Ganji

    The Prophet is a model for the Muslims by ratifying the reasonable customs of his own era. He is not a model for terrifying people and spreading Islamophobia, which brings nothing for Muslims but losses and harms. As discussed, there are many verses in the Quran that, subject to new and modern interpretations, are completely compatible with John Rawls’ liberalism. This means that there are secular and liberal interpretations of the Islamic teachings that are more compatible with the true spirit of the, as compared to the Islam of fundamentalists....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Religious and Theological Underpinning of Global Islamist Terror: Full Text of Speech at International Counter Terrorism Conference 2016 in Jaipur
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    ISIS may be militarily defeated tomorrow and even go out of existence. But this will not solve the problem of Muslim radicalisation. If our madrasas and educational institutions continue to prepare the ground for self-segregation and militancy, expounding the current theology, mixed with narratives of victimhood and marginalisation, Islam will continue to be hobbled, Muslims will continue to struggle to fit in the way of life in contemporary world.

    Moderate, progressive Muslims must urgently evolve and propagate an alternative theology of peace and pluralism, consistent in all respects with the teachings of Islam, and suitable for contemporary and future societies, while refuting the current theology of violence and supremacism.

    Unfortunately, as we have seen above, the task is not so easy. Radicalisation has not just happened overnight. Jihadi theology has evolved over hundreds of years. Major theologians who have studied Islam independently have brought to us a political version of Islam, stripping the religion of all its spirituality.

    While it is primarily the duty of Muslims to fight this ideological war within slam, this is no longer just a Muslim concern. The world too must confront Muslim scholars with the supremacism and extremism present in their theology and ask them to rethink Islam.  ProgressiveMuslims should join the rest of the world to defeat extremism in Islamic theology.

    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.

    Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam

    Addressing the UNHRC at Geneva Sultan Shahin Questions Contemporary Applicability of Contextual Verses of Quran Meant For 7th Century Wars and the Divinity of Hadith and Sharia
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Fifteen years after 9/11, the scourge of violent Islamist extremism has become even more complex and deadly. The alacrity with which 30,000 Muslims from around the world joined the so-called Islamic State’s war against humanity has puzzled many. How could a peaceful, pluralistic religion be subverted so easily to create inhuman monsters? Among many factors, social, economic, political, psychological, the one common factor is a brainwashing of vulnerable people on the basis of a supremacist, xenophobic, intolerant, exclusivist, totalitarian, Jihadi theology. 

    This is a blatant misuse of Islam, a spiritual path to salvation that teaches peace, pluralism, co-existence and good neighbourliness. But there has to be a reason why Jihadi ideology has gained acceptance; why fatwas issued by reputed moderate scholars are proving so ineffective? How are Jihadis able to create a 100 percent certainty in the minds of some Muslims that violence against innocent people, whom they consider infidel, will please God and lead them to Heaven?

    Clearly we Muslims need to rethink some basic features of our theology. Success of Jihadism lies in the fact that, at its core, the Jihadi theology is not very different from the consensus theology of all other schools of Islamic thought. Jihadists misuse the war-time verses of the holy Quran, as Muslims believe that all verses, regardless of the context, are of universal applicability. But most damaging for Islam and useful for Jihadism is the Doctrine of Abrogation whereby all peaceful Meccan verses are considered abrogated by the confrontational, war-time Medinan verses. Similarly the divinity attached to Hadith and Sharia and their universal applicability will have to be reconsidered by mainstream Islam, and not just to defeat Jihadism, but also to deal with many other issues including Human Rights of women, children and homosexuals....


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    Related Articles:

    1.  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'?

    2.  Do Not Entertain Any Defamation of Islam Resolution Until Islam Is Protected From Defamation by Jihadi Literature in the Islamic World First, Sultan Shahin Asks UN Human Rights Council

    3.  Islam Is Based On the Prophet's Mysticism, Honesty and Social Activism, Says Sultan Shahin in Pune: Muslims Should Strengthen These Spiritual Foundations of Islam and Not Fall Prey to Fascism

    4.  Do Muslims need to disassociate themselves from Salafi, Wahhabi ideologies of permanent war with non-Muslims and moderate Muslims? A New Age Islam debate

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

    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.

    Islamic Society

    Jamiat Conference and the Mirage of Deobandi Barelvi Truce
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Both these sects are also an institutional organization which means that they run an organized system of mosques and madrasas. If they are really serious about doing something about their differences, then perhaps the first site to start doing this should be the madrasas. After all, it is through the network of madrasas that these differences are forged onto the minds of students and the common Muslims. Why not start by repudiating those texts which denounce the other sect as deviant Muslims....

    Debating Islam

    There are thousands of debates on the internet regarding jihad. If on the one hand Muslim moderates are putting their utmost efforts to prove that Islam is a religion of peace, opponents are presenting some Quranic verses pertaining to Jihad and our own Hadith literature to prove the opposite. Ulema Islamic scholars) are maintaining a studied silence on this subject except giving general statements. … Clearly, Ulema need to go beyond making pious declarations of Islam having nothing to do with the offensive Jihad going on in several parts of the world today. They must take a stand and clarify why Islamic theologians over the centuries including reputed Indian ulema have interpreted war-time Quranic verses as calling for offensive jihad. These verses are being used both by Jihadis and Islamophobes to justify their respective viewpoints. It’s the religious duty of Ulema to come clean and clear the air, both for the sake of Muslim youth who are joining the Islamic State in growing numbers and non-Muslims who have come to fear Islam for obvious reasons

    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.

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    TOP ARTICLE

    Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam
    If Islam Means Peace, Why Is Much Of Its Theology Soaked In Hatred, Humiliation, Offensive War?
    Sultan Shahin, New Age Islam

    Among many factors, social, economic, political, psychological, the one common feature is a brainwashing of vulnerable people on the basis of a supremacist, xenophobic, intolerant, exclusivist and totalitarian Jihadi theology. This is a blatant misuse of Islam, a spiritual path to salvation, that 1.6 billion Muslims believe, teaches peace, pluralism, co-existence and good neighbourliness.

     But there has to be a reason why jihadi ideology has gained acceptance so quickly; why fatwas issued by reputed moderate scholars prove so ineffective? How are Jihadis able to create a 100 percent certainty in the minds of some Muslims that violence against innocent people, including Muslims, whom they consider infidel, will please God and lead them to heaven?

     Clearly we Muslims need to rethink some basic features of our theology. Success of jihadism lies in the fact that, at its core, the jihadi theology is not very different from the consensus theology of all other schools of Islamic thought. For instance, jihadists are able to misuse the intolerant, xenophobic, war-time verses of the holy Quran, as Muslims believe that all verses, regardless of the context, are of universal applicability. Indeed, the Islamic theology of consensus, taught in all madrasas, says that Quran is uncreated, meaning that it is just an aspect of God; and so, divine like God Himself.....

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