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Islamic Sharia Laws (15 Aug 2015 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Reform India's Muslim Personal Law, Breach the Stagnation in Muslim Religious Thought, Use the Opportunity to Work out A New Islamic Theology of Peace, Pluralism and Gender Equality

By Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

15 August 2015

According to media reports a new study indicates that 92.1 percent of Muslim women in India want a total ban on instant oral divorce. The report was released by Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), an organization led by Muslim women fighting for the rights of Indian Muslims.

The report gives the following details: "Women are being informed of their divorce via telephone, text message, and even social media with reasons ranging from poor cooking skills to wardrobe and accessories choices under the current system. As female Muslims don't have the same right under religious law, women are left vulnerable and insecure. With the widespread support of Muslim women, organizations like BMMA are pushing for the so-called 'triple talaq rule' to be banned in India."

However, the issue is not justof triple or instant divorce, but that of reform of Muslim Personal law itself. Consequently the demand should not be made only to ban the widespread practice of 'triple talaq'. This is one of the evils emanating from the Personal laws instituted for Muslims by the British. Hardly any Muslim in India follows the Quran-based practice of divorce in three stages encompassing three menstrual cycles.

In a comment on New Age Islam, Naseer Ahmed, a researcher devoted to Qur'anic Studies describes the process of a Muslim divorce in the following way:

" The divorce process starts with a verbal divorce followed by a period of 4 months or three menstrual cycles during which the woman stays in her husband's home. If during this period or before the actual physical divorce, if they cohabit the divorce is off. The actual physical divorce means living separately as a divorced couple after the final pronouncement of the divorce at the end of the 4 month period.  The number of times "Talaq" is said is immaterial. It must be said at least twice with a gap of 4 months as described above. The final pronouncement should preferably be in the presence of arbitrators if the arbitration has failed to make them change their minds. They can reunite and call the divorce off anytime before the final separation takes place and they start living separately as a divorced couple. Once the physical divorce has taken place and they start living separately, they cannot reunite except through a fresh  marriage which has conditions attached. Any other process is not in accordance with the shariat of the Quran."

Renowned Islamic Scholar Javed Ahmad Ghamdi interprets the Qur'anic concept of divorce, explained in several verses, in the following words:

 "If a husband has decided to divorce his wife, he should first wait until she has completed her menstrual cycle and then desisting from any further carnal relationship, he should utter the divorce sentence just once. The wife, after she has been divorced in this way, must stay in her husband's house for a period of three menstrual cycles..... If after this period of Iddat, a man is still firm in his stance, his wife shall be considered as separated permanently. She is now a free woman and if she wishes to marry some other person, she has all the right to do so and must not be inhibited in any way." (Full Text of this concept given below)

 A united Pakistan had reformed its personal law in 1961 and  these reforms have passed the test of time. Pakistan has since gone through much upheaval including an era of Nizam-e-Mustafa under President Ziaul Haq, in which even traditional Arab form of punishments like whips and lashes and  public flogging were used. So what progressive Muslims in India should be and indeed have been demanding for long is reforms in Muslim Personal law itself.

Reform of Muslim personal law is the need of the hour. A demand for Reform of Muslim Personal Law 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 the Islamic fundamentalists in India. This would lead to a much needed debate on the hypocrisy of our ulema.

It is for the government of India to take a call in the matter. Why should Indian Muslim women not deserve the protection of Islam provided to their counterparts in Pakistan, Bangladesh and elsewhere, practically in the entire Islamic world, except Saudi Arabia. Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Morocco, even Yemen and Sudan have more modern Muslim Personal Laws than India. Why should Indian Muslims suffer the indignities imposed by the British in our land under an Anglo-Mohammedan law? Particularly so, as the Muslim-majority countries formed as a result of the unfortunate parturition of the country have already thrown away the yoke of the British imposed personal laws. Indeed Pakistan reformed Muslim Personal more than half a century ago. After its independence from Pakistan, Bangladesh has instituted further reforms, making it a more modern country. India is the only one in the region lagging behind.

The government should forthwith promulgate a reformed Muslim Personal Law on the basis of President General Ayyub Khan's reforms in Pakistan in early 1960s, though this too will require slight changes, particularly in the ages of marriage for boys and girls fixed at that time. For the moment, I am not suggesting Moroccan or Tunisian reforms, though they are latest and more modern, as this might give our ulema an excuse to claim fiqhi differences, Hanfi- Maliki- Shafei differences, etc., but with Pakistan and Bangladesh we have no such theological differences.

A debate kick-started by Personal Law reforms may then provide us an opportunity to take the issue of theological reforms to other areas too, which are far more important to the community and our religion. Personal Law debate would bring out the obscurantism of our ulema to the fore. It would bring out their lack of concern for Islam or Muslims. 

We have to virtually create, find acceptance for and popularise a new Islamic theology of peace, coexistence, inclusiveness, pluralism and gender equality. 

The stagnation, total lack of any theological debate, in the Muslim community, just has to be breached and broken. The stagnation suits the Islamist extremists who have a very coherent, well-designed, well-thought-out theology of violence and exclusivism, hatred and intolerance, as well as gender inequality and discrimination. This theology is also being taught in our universities and madrasas. Even Sufi madrasas today teach Syed Qutb on the pretext of teaching Arabic literature. They have abandoned Gulistan, Bostan of Sheikh Saadi, as they say Persian no longer brings jobs. 

I am giving below a summary of the Ayyub Khan-amended personal laws. You will notice that even in these amended laws the marriage age is fixed at 14 for female and 16 for male. This must have been progressive for the time, perhaps even today in Pakistan. I hope that is not the case in India. But when Saudi Arabia allows girls to be married at one and marriages consummated at 9, this certainly was progressive. But India should not accept that and the age of marriage should be fixed according to contemporary standards.

The following are some excerpts from an essay: Forced Modernization and Public Policy: A Case Study of Ayub Khan Era (1958-69) by Sarfraz Husain Ansari∗ available at:

"The Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 provided that marriages and divorces be registered; permission be sought from the court for second and subsequent marriage(s); divorce be effective only after it had been approved by the court; minimum age for marriage be fixed at 14 for female and sixteen for male; and a grandson of a predeceased son be allowed to inherit property of his grandfather.

"The Ordinance is regarded as ‘the first step toward modernization of family life’ (Jr.,1975) and “the most progressive interpretation of Muslims family law to be implemented in the subcontinent” (Rosenbloom, 1995).

"In addition to the Ordinance, the Child Marriage Restraint Act and Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act were also enacted in 1961. It was only after outmanoeuvring the ulama that Ayub Khan had got passed the bill from the National Assembly. These Acts and Ordinance discouraged polygamy, protected the rights of wives and granted the rights of inheritance to grand children (Wriggins, 1975)."

As the practice of instant triple Talaq is still followed in India, the most pertinent example to give from Pakistan’s Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961, will be this section dealing with divorce:

Section 7, Talaq:

(1) Any man who wishes to divorce his wife shall, as soon as may be after the pronouncement of talaq in any form whatsoever, give the chairman a notice in writing of his having done so, and shall supply a copy thereof to the wife.

 (2) Whoever, contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be punishable with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both.

 (3) Save as provided in sub-section (5) talaq, unless revoked earlier, expressly or otherwise, shall not be effective until the expiration of ninety days from day on which notice under subsection (1) is delivered to the Chairman.

(4) Within thirty days of the receipt of notice under Sub-section (1), the Chairman shall constitute an Arbitration Council for the purpose of bringing about a reconciliation between the parties, and the Arbitration Council shall take all steps necessary to bring about such reconciliation.

(5) If the wife be pregnant at the time talaq is pronounced, talaq shall not be effective until the period mentioned in Sub-section (3) or the pregnancy, whichever later, ends.

 (6) Nothing shall debar a wife whose marriage has been terminated by talaq effective under his section from remarrying the same husband, without an intervening marriage with a third person, unless such termination is for the third time so effective.

Source: (http://lgkp.gov.pk/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Muslim-Family-Laws-Ordinance-1961.pdf)

Clearly some changes will have to be made even in the Ayyub Khan-amended personal laws for Muslims. But India should not tolerate these archaic and un-Islamic Personal laws for Muslims.

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-sharia-laws/sultan-shahin,-editor,-new-age-islam/reform-india-s-muslim-personal-law,-breach-the-stagnation-in-muslim-religious-thought,-use-the-opportunity-to-work-out-a-new-islamic-theology-of-peace,-pluralism-and-gender-equality/d/104278



"The Qur'anic Concept of Divorce"

 Author: Shehzad Saleem based on Javed Ahmad Ghamidi's interpretation

When a man and a woman marry each other, it is their utmost wish to remain in this relation of wedlock forever. They are desirous of the fact that the change in times not change their commitment to each other and only death separate them in this world. But then, sometimes there does arise a situation when part they must. Differences become so pronounced that it becomes necessary to sever this relationship. If such circumstances do befall that a husband and wife must separate permanently, Islam lays down a specific procedure for this separation. In Islamic terminology this dissolution of marriage is called Talaq (divorce). It says that both a man and a woman have an equal right to it. The only difference is that a man divorces a woman while a woman demands a divorce from her husband. In the following paragraphs, we shall attempt to explain the Qur'anic concept of divorce.

If a husband has decided to divorce his wife, he should first wait until she has completed her menstrual cycle and then desisting from any further carnal relationship, he should utter the divorce sentence just once. The wife, after she has been divorced in this way, must stay in her husband's house for a period of three menstrual cycles. This period is called Iddat. If a woman does not have menstrual cycles owing to age, disease or any other reason, and still there is a chance of pregnancy, then she must wait for three months. For a pregnant woman this period is up to the birth of the child, while for a newly married couple who have had no contact, divorce does not entail any period of Iddat for the wife. According to the Qur'an, there are two basic reasons for this waiting period:  i) to ascertain whether a wife is pregnant or not so that the lineage of the child does not remain a matter of doubt, and ii) to give the husband and other family members a chance to rectify the situation, for matters in which emotions and feelings run high, sometimes only time is needed for recovery.

During this Iddat period:

(a) The husband cannot turn his wife out from the house except if she is guilty of adultery, nor should she leave the house herself.

(b) The wife, if she is pregnant, must not hide her pregnancy.

(c)    The husband should continue to provide for her.

(d) A husband, if he changes his mind, can revoke his decision. The only thing required, according to the Qur'an, is that he should call in two persons to testify to his decision1.

If after this period of Iddat, a man is still firm in his stance, his wife shall be considered as separated permanently. She is now a free woman and if she wishes to marry some other person, she has all the right to do so and must not be inhibited in any way. If circumstances change, she can even remarry her former husband. Furthermore, the Qur'an stresses that on this occasion of parting it is not at all lawful for a husband to take back any property or asset gifted to her(2). This, it must be kept in consideration, does not pertain to mehr (dower) only, but to every type of gift given to the wife. Not only should a husband not take back these gifts, he should, in fact, give her something on this occasion of separation. Even if her mehr has not been fixed, it is better for him to give her something. If the mehr has been fixed but the divorce occurs before the husband and wife have had contact, he must return half the money, unless the wife even forgoes this. In this case also, though it is better that he should give her the whole money.

However, in case the husband revokes his decision during the Iddat period, there is no need for re-marriage. The two shall be considered as husband and wife once again. If after annulment of this divorce, due to some reason, the untoward situation arises a second time that the husband intends to divorce his wife, the Qur'an says that the husband can exercise his right of divorce for the second time as well. He should pronounce just one talaaq sentence to repudiate his wife. Again, the post-divorce period shall be observed in the manner just described. Once again, if the husband wishes, he has the chance to revise his decision during this period, in which case the divorce shall be considered null and void and the two shall once again become husband and wife. If, unfortunately, for the third time, the situation arises that divorce becomes inevitable, the Qur'an says that a husband can exercise his right for the third time as well and pronounce the divorce sentence. However, this time the wife she shall be permanently separated from him. After divorcing his wife for the third time, he cannot re-marry her now, unless and until, the wife marries some other person and owing to some reason gets divorced from him -- not under a planned strategy, but on account of naturally arisen circumstances. This last measure, actually, is meant to prevent this affair from becoming mere childplay.

In the words of the Qur'an:

This divorce [in which the husband can revoke his decision in the Iddat period] is permitted twice only. (2:229)

It is evident from these details that the Qur'an only prescribes one divorce sentence and stresses that a husband has the right to divorce her wife three times in his life. It does not at all approve the utterance of three divorce sentences in one go. Consequently, it is clear from these details that the two prevailing procedures of talaq ie (1) pronouncing three consecutive talaq sentences in one instance, and (2) pronouncing each of the three sentences in three months are not at all prescribed by the Qur'an. When the Prophet (sws) came to know that a certain person had divorced his wife by pronouncing three divorce sentences one after the other, he stood up in anger and said:

In my presence, such playful attitude has been adopted with the Book of Allah. (Nisai, Kitab-ut-Talaq)

A woman, as mentioned earlier, has an equal right to divorce. The only difference is that in such a situation she will demand a divorce from her husband. If the husband refuses, she has all the right to take the matter to the court. The matter will then be decided by the ruling of the court. A common misconception in this regard is that she must give some wealth to her husband on this occasion of separation. This, we are afraid, has no basis in the Qur'an; on the contrary, the Qur'an says that it is not at all permissible for the husband to demand anything from his wife on this occasion. However, if a husband has gifted a lot of wealth and property to her wife and is afraid that in divorcing her he would lose all his riches, the Qur'an says that she can forgo some or all of her share and return it to her husband to end the whole affair. It is clear that this is only an exception and not a general principle as is generally held and practiced. It is allowed when only wealth is the husband's reason for not divorcing his wife.

 This is the shariah as far as the concept of divorce is concerned. However, as does happen with prescribed laws and procedures, situations arise in which a person is guilty of breaching the law and deviating from the right course. Human nature is prone to extreme emotional conditions in which it deviates from the path set forth by the Almighty. These deviations, it is extremely evident, are not part of the shariah; they fall into breach of law category and it is up to the legislature of a country to enact laws about such departures. At times, such cases are even left to the discretion of the judge and at other times the judge himself is bound by the legislation done in this regard by the parliament.

In case of divorce, keeping in view various precedents, this deviation is generally of two types:

i) A husband divorces his wife during her menstrual period, or divorces her after he has had contact with her in her period of purity.

ii) A husband divorces his wife by pronouncing the divorce sentence thrice.

As far as the first deviation is concerned, an Islamic government can ask the husband to revoke his decision and carry it out in the proper manner at the proper time. The Prophet (sws) in his own times dealt with the case of Abdullah bin Umar (rta) in a similar manner.

In case of the second deviation, a deliberation on the injunctions of divorce, particularly on their linguistic aspects, reveals that there are three possible solutions:

(a) The husband can be called to court and asked to testify to the nature of these pronouncements: if he testifies that he had pronounced the three sentences in anger to only strongly assert his decision or that he had thought that pronouncing three sentences was the correct procedure of divorce, the court, if satisfied by his statement, can re-unite the husband and wife. In this case, it shall be clearly spelt out to the husband that he now has exercised one of his three chances to repudiate his wife. If on the other hand, a person testifies that he had consciously uttered the three sentences knowing that he was exercising his three rights in one time, the wife, of course, shall be divorced from him. The case of Rukaana Bin Abdi Yazeed (rta) was decided in a similar manner by the Prophet (sws).

(b) A second possible solution in this regard is that a state, while observing that people have adopted a carefree attitude in following this procedure, legislates that three divorce sentences shall be considered as three whether pronounced in anger or in a normal emotional state. A precedent of this solution can be found in the times of the Caliph 'Umar (rta). He himself, in the capacity of a ruler in consultation with the members of the shura, upon seeing that people had adopted a very careless attitude in this regard, as a punishment, promulgated three divorce sentences as final.

(c) A third possible solution in this regard is that the state while observing the fact that people are mostly ignorant of the correct procedure and in their ignorance think that the correct way of divorce is to pronounce the sentence three times, legislates that the three pronouncements shall be considered as one.

Any of these three ways can be adopted keeping in view the welfare of the Muslims. However, in adopting the second or third solutions, it is necessary that a legislation has been done in their favour, but as far as adopting the first solution is concerned, no prior legislation is needed and the matter can be left to the discretion of the judge.

After explaining the Qur'anic concept of divorce and various aspects of legislation in case of any deviation from it, an important issue which must be elaborated upon before we end this article is the fate of the children after divorce. In this regard, it should remain clear that this is basically a matter which has been left to the discretion of the court. The basic consideration in this matter is the welfare of the children. The court can decide in favour of the father or mother, depending upon who among them is more beneficial to the children.

1. This testimony, as is evident from the Qur'an, is not a legal requirement. It is only a sound piece of advice for the welfare of the spouses.

2. The only exception to this rule is when the wife is guilty of committing adultery, in which case a husband can take back all the wealth and property gifted to her.

Author: Shehzad Saleem based on Javed Ahmad Ghamidi's interpretation

Topic URL: studying-islam.org/articletext.aspx?id=611

Source: irfi.org/articles/articles_251_300/quranic_concept_of_divorce.htm

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-sharia-laws/sultan-shahin,-editor,-new-age-islam/reform-india-s-muslim-personal-law,-breach-the-stagnation-in-muslim-religious-thought,-use-the-opportunity-to-work-out-a-new-islamic-theology-of-peace,-pluralism-and-gender-equality/d/104278


Indian Muslims stonewalling reform of instant divorce law


A new study indicates that 92.1 percent of Muslim women in India want a total ban on instant oral divorce. The report was released by Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), an organization led by Muslim women fighting for the rights of Indian Muslims, on Tuesday.

Women are being informed of their divorce via telephone, text message, and even social media with reasons ranging from poor cooking skills to wardrobe and accessories choices under the current system. As female Muslims don't have the same right under religious law, women are left vulnerable and insecure.

With the widespread support of Muslim women, organizations like BMMA are pushing for the so-called 'triple talaq rule' to be banned in India.

The triple talaq tradition

The Koran permits men to divorce their wives by repeating the Arabic word 'talaq' - meaning 'I divorce you' - three times in a row. Many religious scholars believe that talaq must be spoken once every month over a three-month period before the divorce is finalized.

Most Muslim countries, including Pakistan, have outlawed the triple instant divorce practice to avoid impulsive divorce, a practice discouraged in Islam. However, the rule is applied differently from country to country. This situation leaves India, a majority Hindu nation, with one of the strictest interpretations of the triple talaq tradition in the world.

The practice has been criticized on Twitter from people around the world.

Fighting to outlaw instant divorce

Women's rights organizations argue that instant divorce should be outlawed, pushing for religious courts to adopt a more moderate interpretation. This proposal is opposed by clerics and conservative Muslim bodies such as the All India Muslim Personal Law Board. While they acknowledge the serious consequences of the law on women, their efforts have been focused on applying a mandatory reconciliation law.

"Any attempt at reforming the law is stonewalled in the name of not interfering with [Muslims'] religious matters," Zakia Somani, a co-founder of BMMA, told DW. "They say that law is divine. We all know that law is manmade."

For Somani, such legislation is literally 'man'-made. She critiques the lack of female representation on important boards controlled exclusively by men.

"All these aspects are governed by the common sense and understanding of the religious people who deal with these matters and they are 100 percent male," she said. "Their understanding is also very limited and very patriarchal. As a result, we have incidents of triple talaq and polygamy."

Women's rights organizations are receiving support on social media for their campaign.

Reforming Shariah law in secular India

 As a secular country, Indians enjoy freedom of religion and the government gives space for minorities to practice their religion openly. There has been a push for a uniform civil court that would cover civil matters in a national system, instead of laws determined by religion.

However, minorities fear that such a change would force laws passed for the Hindu majority onto their communities. The rights of the Muslim minority are protected under the Muslim Personal Law, which allows clerics to apply Islamic laws on civil issues such as divorce.

Karuna Nundy, an advocate at India's Supreme Court, believes it is possible to reform the triple talaq rule that would protect women's rights and religious freedom, both guaranteed under India's constitution. She stresses that women must be included in the process.

"In terms of reforms, female Muslim leaders like Zakia Somani and eminent Muslim jurists and theologians need to be brought to the table to reform the interpretation that is consistent with the Koran as well as the constitution and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)," she said to DW.

A status of women report released last month by a government committee also condemned the custom and recommended it be banned.

Source: dw.com/en/indian-muslims-stonewalling-reform-of-instant-divorce-law/a-18647863

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-sharia-laws/sultan-shahin,-editor,-new-age-islam/reform-india-s-muslim-personal-law,-breach-the-stagnation-in-muslim-religious-thought,-use-the-opportunity-to-work-out-a-new-islamic-theology-of-peace,-pluralism-and-gender-equality/d/104278


  • Reform of Muslim personal law is and will remain a pipe dream as long as the community is under fear of the Ulema and AIMPLB and progressive muslims have no say in the community or in politics but are considered equal to kafirs...Only secular education...can solve the problem ...and reform of religious education + secular education..they way christians run their institutions....and madrsasa on sidelines...Then only the community can progress
    By indiewater - 1/8/2018 12:50:29 AM

  • I fully agree with you, Moin Qazi sahib. We have a huge big task ahead of us. Rational thinking and independent thinking must be our two main guides, but we must never forget that Islam came to us as a mercy.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/10/2015 12:59:20 AM

  • Thank you, Mr Ghulam Mohiyuddin, Your participation, apart from Mr. Sultan Shahin’s visionary mentorship, is in fact, the driving force for many of the contributors.  I consider it a privilege to be associated with Mr. Sultan Shahin’s work. It is a one man crusade against obscurantism and the best away to strengthen this initiative is to supplement his discourses with diverse viewpoints so as to enrich contemporary Islamic thought. This website provides us with new intellectual tools to navigate the world which has two distinct spaces inhabited by the classical school and the modernist school. As has been the approach of Mr. Sultan Shahin we need to bridge the hiatus and converge the two streams of thought so that the focus shifts from internal squabbles and dissensions to some of the more pressing issues.

    The degeneration of the Muslim Ummah is mainly caused by reductionist attitude (the practice of simplifying a complex idea, issue, condition, or the like, especially to the point of minimizing, obscuring, or distorting it) in understanding the core and essence of the Islamic teachings. This narrow- and rigid minded thinking has prevented the Muslim Ummah from perceiving the principal and contextual values in the vast Islamic corpus of knowledge and history. Hence, it has limited Islam to a set of ritual practice and eventually lost its significant and magnificent contributions which have produced the most excellent thoughts and civilizations in human history.  The phenomenon of reductionist thinking, narrow-mindedness and blind acceptance (Taqlid) has finally resulted in rigidity and stagnation in ideas and actions. The best course for the Muslim Ummah is to choose the middle way and learn from the past to live in the present and without fail to prepare themselves to face the upcoming future and to shrink neither in the past nor in the future stream   for both attitudes do not bring any benefit to them as Islam advocates the notion of equilibrium in all aspects of human endeavour. 

    Despite the zealous appeal of Islamic resurgence especially among the younger Muslim generations, the development of new intellectual discourse as an alternative approach to resolve Muslims’ problems in a more directive way within the postmodern context must be taken seriously by the Muslim scholars and intellectuals. Apparently, the Muslim scholars have a huge and challenging responsibility for this means that they have to work based on the foundation and paradigm guided by the early Muslim generations through the renewal process of the `Aql (thought) through Ijtihad(independent reasoning) and the human action (jihad)and action (jihad).

    By Moin Qazi - 9/9/2015 10:09:44 PM

  •  Thank you Ghulam Mohiyuddin Saheb. I must thank Mr Sultan Shahin for providing me an opportunity to participate in the deliberations of this forum. His initiative is a single minded crusade  which, I am sure, will bear fruits. Never forget that huge changes can be achieved through surprisingly small steps. What is important is the sincerity of intentions. I am always guided by the luminescent words of first Indian Chief Justice, Justice Chagla:
    "Satisfaction ultimately lies in work well done. Whatever work we are called upon to do, it is the quality and the devotion that we give to it that makes life worthwhile. Success and failure are merely incidental – they do not contribute to the satisfaction. But work done for its own sake, with complete indifference to its personal aspect, is like a note of music, the beauty and cadence of which endures even in the din and bustle of everyday struggle.”
     Your life is God's gift to you
     What you do with it is your offering to Him.
    By Moin Qazi - 9/9/2015 9:11:54 AM

  • It is good to have someone like Moin Qazi sahib as a regular contributor to NAI. His progressive and reformist views are very welcome.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/9/2015 1:21:33 AM

  •  Hats off to you Sutan Shahin for your bold and revolutionary approach. It is out of box thinking such as this that will lead us from darkness to light.

    Several reformatory steps have been introduced in different countries to enhance the status of the women as a result of the reappraisal of several misconceived cultural practices. Women and men now have the right to contract their own marriage without the legal approval of a guardian. Women have the right to divorce; and a man’s right to unilateral divorce has been curtailed. Verbal divorce has been outlawed. Men now require prior authorization from a court before they can obtain a divorce. Husbands are required to pay all monies owed to the wife and children in full before a divorce can be registered. Men can take second wives only with the full consent of the first wife and only if they can prove, in a court of law, that they can treat them both with absolute justice—an impossible condition.

    India should take a cue from countries where progressive reforms have restored the dignity of women not through any extra-Qur’anic legislation but through resurrection of the pristine Qur’an from the shroud of acculturations. It is not Qura’n but it is our worn out and antiquated customs that have denied women their rightful place in society.

     It is time the guardians of shar’ah in India respond to the growing impulses of reform the world over. Seeking shelter of the shar’ah is like digging, ostrich like, our heads into the sands. We keep harping that Qur’an is progressive but that the shar’ah keeps waving the red flag. If the sunnah on which the the edifice of shar’ah is built is not in sync with the Qur’an, it only means that we need to go back to the drawing board and start questioning our assumptions, trace the wedge and fix it fast. The winds of reform are blowing hard and unless we gird our loins we will be swept away. Let us wake up and heed the call. The writing is on the wall; only our lenses have become opaque. It is time we get a new pair so that the reality glares in our eyes and propels us to act. Better late than neve.

    “To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.” 
    Thomas Paine, The American Crisis

    By Moin Qazi - 9/8/2015 10:13:14 PM

  • Shahin mian  your effort is good and would like to believe that it is sincere. Without truth, you can neither convince Muslims nor kafirs.


    Even V.P. Ansari talks of better facilities to Muslims. With largest property as Wakf, Zakat etc why Muslims do not come forward. Mr Ansari from time to time you prove that you do not deserve the position you hold. If you have slightest self respect then you should resign forthwith.


    Will you ask Muslim personal law board to fold which incite Muslims from time to time.


    Shahin sahib, if you really believe that Muslims in India are better off than anywhere else then people like you should come forward. Most important children should go to govt schools with kafirs if they wish to move ahead. They can have their dini taleem in the evening.


    Bring out all jihadis and their protectors. please stop giving washed/amended version of holy Quran etc.

    By bhagwat goel - 9/2/2015 10:26:44 AM

  • Timely suggestion, may be implemented following quaran and hadith for the betterment of the Muslims. May be implemented like Pakistan & Bangladesh. Thanks for proceeding with realistic suggestion.

    By Mortooz Ali Laskar - 8/31/2015 4:40:25 PM

  • No need for any change in the basic legal framework (Shariath) as embodied in the Quran and Sunnath. But the mindset of the followers of Islam must imbibe the true vision and mission of Quran and its unique practical the spirit of tolerance and coexistence in a multi-religious society like India.
    By T K Abdul Razack - 8/31/2015 1:06:40 PM

  •  Lala Thiek, I think ISIS and others of its ilk are in your mind when you ask why Christians are hated and persecuted by Muslims. Please note that the Quran forbids killing of innocents. ISIS has been killing not only Christians but Muslims also who do not support their unIslamic deeds. The Quran says, "....whosoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he has saved all of mankind (5:32). Hundreds of thousands of coptic Christians are living peacefully in Middle East countries. Where is the persecution? If a few wayward so called Muslims go against the teachings of his faith, it is not the faith's fault. Similarly, can we blame all Christians for the mistakes of Adolph Hitler who persecuted and killed thousands of Jews? The answer is no. George Bush, the President of the United States, a Christian, bombed and devastated Iraq on the wrong pretext that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction ( which was never found). Would it be wise to blame all Christians for this?
    By Serajuddin Khurram - 8/30/2015 6:45:07 PM

  • Would you please tell me the reason why Christians are being hated and persecuted by most Muslims people (?).Is it really written in Muslim Books to persecute or kill the Christians? Is it Quran force every Muslims to behead or kill Every Christians? Please, May i know the Answer from you (?) I am waiting.................
    By Lala Thiek - 8/30/2015 5:52:52 PM

  • May I say something in this debate between New Age Islam and conventional Islam?---
    1. Any civilisation progresses over a period of time accepting new thought and discarding practises which have become irrelevant, otherwise it itself becomes irrelevant and decay sets in, such as stored old water and fresh water. Do the people favouring the old way of Islam follow Islam as their forefathers did during the Honourable Prophet's time? Have you not adapted to changing times? Do you graze goats to earn your living as He did? Do you travel as He did? Their were His own uncles who did not believe in Him or His teachings, did He punish them for not following Him or did He tolerate them and try to bring them to the faith until His dying day?
    2.Weren't their people of different faiths practising their faiths before the Prophet's revelation, during his time, and after His time? Did He stop them? Did all the people of different faiths including Islam not follow the Law of the land from then to now or did they seek special treatment? Then why should Muslims of India seek preferred status vis a vis other people of different faiths?
    3.When Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his Muslim League demanded a separate nation for Muslims of India, Pakistan was carved out of our country. Then, by the simplest of logics, all Muslims should have shifted to Pakistan. Why did some Muslims stay back in this non -Muslim country?
     4.Still, since you stayed back, it was with the full understanding that by inference, India was to be a non -Muslim country, and whatever would be the Law in force would have to be followed by each and every citizen irrespective of whichever faith he followed. Now where does the claim for a separate Law for Muslims arise? All the rest of the citizens follow the Law, why can't you all?
     5.Still, our founder fathers formulated and put into force our Constitution enshrining the basic principles of Equality, fraternity and justice. They did not, I reemphasise, they did not grant preferred status to the majority community i. e.the Hindus. They even enforced Laws binding on the Hindus, in contravention of the relevant provision of the Constitution, because they didn't make any such binding Law for the Muslims. Still you are not satisfied?
    6.If, as you say, Islam is the only thing to be followed by you, that it is complete, that it will continue as such till the day of judgement, and that you all will only follow that and imposing any other Law is anti -Islamic and not acceptable to Muslims, let me have some clarification from you. Muslims follow Islam in many countries. Do they not follow the Laws of those countries? Do you all follow Islam as propounded by the Prophet and by the same methodology, haven't you all changed it to suit you, what percentage observes Namaaz five times a day and all other laid down conditions? Are those not able to do so non -Muslims in action? What are you doing about that, have you kicked them out of your faith or will you? Stop living in a fools paradise, face the realities of life and transform to maintain your relevance. Stop being rigid, your religion has given you many an escape route so become tolerant and glorify your wonderful Islam. Don't give a bad name.

    By Vilas Khandare - 8/26/2015 11:49:28 AM

  • Quota depraved monsters who rule India will not listen to sane suggestions like reforming Muslim religious thought. The quota scums only want votes which can come only if darkness prevails.
    By VN Balakrishna - 8/26/2015 8:21:12 AM

  • What Serajuddin Khuram wants is status quo of rape / pedophilia, killing all non adherents to a barbaric ignorant Arbastani's theology / ideology; bomb &
    destroy all world heritage, Bamiyan Buddha, ongoing in Syria & Iraq ???

    By Parvez Jamasji, - 8/26/2015 7:43:49 AM

  • Islam is not a thought, Islam is the way of life with all rules related to ancient and current problems. Islam is the religon of peace. No need to work on a new Islamic Theology as the original Islamic teachings (taught by Quran & Prophet Mohamed PBUH) are still relevant and badly needed by today's world to solve all their problems. The laws and teachings which were taught originally in Quran and by Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) should be studied and followed by all muslims, not the character of current muslim world leaders (who are totally currupt, unislamic and toys in the hand of US & Israel). these people hijacked the real Islamic teachings and damaged the face of Islam.
    By Husain Akbar - 8/26/2015 1:54:37 AM

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