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Books and Documents

Books and Documents

What happened to us? The question haunts us in the Arab and Muslim world. We repeat it like a mantra. You will hear it from Iran to Syria, from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, and in my own country, Lebanon....

Long after the death of Gibran, it seems that his often-rebellious body of work is timely, tackling universal themes such as one’s relationship with one’s homeland, women’s rights, and challenging societal norms....

 

Separated from the rest of mankind, the Arabs took the stranger for an enemy. The poverty of his country had added to the growth of that spirit. These two factors went into the making of the codes of law and morality of the Arabs....

 

Vulgar interpreters of the Islamic history lay stress upon its military achievements either to praise or to deprecate its far-reaching revolutionary significance. If the undoubtedly brilliant military con quests of the Saracens were the only measure of the historic role of Islam, then it would not be a unique historical phenomenon...

This deliberate exclusion of women from the mosques does not happen in the Arab world. Women enjoy complete right to go to Al-Masjid al-Nabawi, Al-Haram or any other mosque in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, etc. It is the same with women in the Muslim countries of South-East Asia, for example, Indonesia or Malaysia.....

 

Yet, a Hindu, who prides in the prosperity of the reign of an Akbar, or boasts of the architectural accomplishments of a Shahjehan, is even to-day separated most curiously by an unbridgeable gulf from his next door neighbor belonging to the race, or professing the faith, of those illustrious monarchs who are believed to have glorified the history of India….

 
Search for the True Meaning of Life
Search for the True Meaning of Life
Qalamdar, New Age Islam

Possibly the most basic existential question that we could ask is, “What is the purpose of human life?” Since we are all destined to die one day or the other and leave this earthly realm, what is the ultimate meaning of our temporary stay on this planet?...

 

Many mosques in medieval India can be said to have been graced by royal women, and even those from the families of nobles. There is no single piece of historical evidence to show that women were prohibited from going to the mosques, and there is no record of Ulema issuing a fatwa against the entry of women into mosques....

 

In reality, no two individuals, regardless of their creed or conviction, can ever perceive God in the same way. Yet, the infinite diversity is contained within a realm that spans across the divine-human divide....

Reflecting on this quote, Sehgal explains that “The most important thing in life is the realization that there is only one Supreme Power which is responsible for the well-being of every living being, that He is the reason for us to receive a human life and be on this earth....

It was a truth universally acknowledged that all young women traveling from Britain to the Islamic State needed to go shopping first, and in that strange winter when girls started to go missing, Westfield Stratford City, a sprawling mall in east London, emerged as a favourite final destination before the journey....

 

A fruit of such study across religious boundaries is that one is often able to discover gems of goodness in other religions and communities. Such a process can lead to a marked inner change for the good. And that’s perhaps what happened with Jackson through his studying a fourteenth century Sufi from Bihar....

 

Salam was the first Pakistani to win a Nobel, and his victory should have been a historic moment for the country. But instead, 40 years on, his story has largely been forgotten by the country in which he was born – in part because of the religious identity he held so dear...

PM ignored rumours about Bajwa’s Ahmadi link. Significantly, Nawaz cites a former chief acknowledging that the screening of top promotions in the army was not sufficient insurance against growing radicalisation within its ranks….

 

Pakistan has been the victim of the covert war which was supposed to be directed at the infidels. This should be instructive, given the aimless bloodshed, unless Pakistan doesn’t care about it....

 

This is a human story written by a person who knows how to listen and to observe. And because the subject is about a group of ordinary Afghans and their mentor doing their best in the struggle to end one of the longest wars in human history, it is a story that is well worth reading….

 

A tendency towards revisionism and to make the past look good by not allowing facts to come in the way of a good story, is not unique to Muslims the temptation becomes the greater when a culture or community feels it is being “targeted”....

His mother, a ‘very devout, very conservative, very Wahhabi’ woman, was acting strangely—furtively taking phone calls when she thought he was out of earshot....

Mentored in politics by moderate visionaries like Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Dadabhai Naoroji, Jinnah in the formative days of his political career in the early 1900s', enjoyed a unique position even as he was struggling to firm up his Law practice in Bombay....

 

The most conspicuous of these is Wahhabi-Salafist Islamic fundamentalism, with its medieval social, cultural and political agenda, which has spawned organisations like the Taliban and the Islamic State and unleashed savage violence in many parts of the world....

 

 Serious discourse about apportioning blame for present conditions upon liberalism is widely reported. Nearer home, a particular version of liberalism we know as secularism has been pushed into retreat by an aggressive version of nationalism....

To 'reappropriate' Muslim women's destinies, Lamrabet attempts to debunk beliefs and myths surrounding what is considered the 'weaker sex' by discussing and reinterpreting Quranic verses that either tell stories of female Quranic figures, or that directly address believing women....

In the Sub-Continent, this debate started with British imperialism (‘British Raj’, 1857-1947). Muslims responded to the imperialism through different means, scholars like Chirag Ali (d.1895), Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (d.1898), Allama Iqbal (d.1938), Abul Kalam Azad (d.1958), Shibli Numani (d.1914), Mumtaz Ali (d. 1974), Syed Mawdudi (d.1979), Amin Ihsan Islahi (d.1997), Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi (d.1999), and others gave them critical response by their scholarly works….

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. .....

 “Understanding Salafi Movement in the Context of Pakistan”, presents a nuanced analysis of the Salafi Movement and its presence in Pakistan. It explains how the use of modern communication technology helped the creation of a Salafi network across Pakistan....

 
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