Is a wind
of change blowing in the Arab world and bringing Muslims and Jews closer
together? Ed Husain made the case for this in an article in our Christmas
special issue: a younger generation is tiring of the hardliners, he said,
asking what all the angst has achieved and wondering if Israel might be a
decent ally for the Arab world. His article explored what he described as new
maps of the Muslim mind, with ‘old hatreds on the run’. It drew predictable
criticism from some quarters: surely this is wishful thinking, and his
narrative of reconciliation has no real support in the Middle East? But that
critique was blown apart a few days ago when the article was tweeted by the
Emirati foreign minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, to his four million
followers. His tweet was striking because it repeated the headline: ‘Islam’s
reformation: an Arab-Israeli alliance is taking shape in the Middle East’.
Netanyahu was delighted and not only tweeted it himself but also started his
cabinet meeting the next day by referring to it (minutes here). It was big news
over there: here was one of the most influential leaders in the Muslim world
promoting an article about Muslim-Jewish relations improving. The yuletide
outbreak of Muslim-Jewish peace and goodwill horrified Hamas, who denounced it
as ‘treason’. Al-Jazeera debated Husain’s article on their shows. It made
newspaper headlines in Israel.
historic times, but we risk missing the real story by becoming fixated on the
idea of a ‘clash of civilisations’ – which is exactly how the jihadis like to
frame things. Their jihad is not just one of violence, but of narrative – and
the narrative they preach is conflict. They present themselves as the voice of
real Muslims, whose values they portray as being utterly inimical to those of
the West. They are delighted when the Western press takes the bait by writing
up their recently-invented lunacies as the face of traditional Islam. As the
Syrian scholar Bassam Tibi has documented, political Islamism is a concoction
springing from modern European fascism rather than anything found in Islamic
history. For example, the idea of Muslims being at war with Jews isn’t ancient
or fundamentally Islamic: it was ‘adopted more or less in its German form by secular
Arab nationalists,’ Tibi writes. ‘Islam, as a faith, is free of such hatred.
But anti-Semitism is a basic feature of contemporary [political] Islamism.’
don’t we hear more Muslims making this case – that there is no religious,
cultural or doctrinal reasons why Jews should not be the allies of Muslims – as
is now being advocated in Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi? Let’s go back to Hamas and
its accusation of ‘treachery’: it says people who contradict the hardliners are
guilty of betrayal or blasphemy.
explains, when a totalitarian political project is dressed up as faith,
opponents can be condemned as blasphemers (in the Islamic world) or bigots (in
the West). ‘The accusation of “Islamophobia” now serves as a weapon against all
those who do not embrace Islamist propaganda’ Tibi writes, ‘including liberal
We can see
this trend at work in Britain. One of our Muslim writers, Qanta Ahmed, has
argued against moves to make ‘Islamophobia’ a criminal offence in the UK
pointing out how this would hand a legal weapon to the wrong people. Earlier
this year, she ended up named in a dossier of supposed Islamophobes drawn up by
the Muslim Council of Britain. She wrote about the experience and said it helps
explain why normal, integrated Muslims just steer clear of this madness, rather
than enter the debate and end up in someone’s crosshairs.
becoming anti-extremism commissioner, Sara Khan wrote a book asking how groups
who have very little support amongst ordinary British Muslims get away with claiming
to speak for them. Her book, perhaps the best written on the subject, is called
The Battle for British Islam: Reclaiming Muslim Identity from Extremism. She
asks ‘how Salafi-Islamism has become such a major influence within British
Islam, crowding out voices that advocate a more reconciled British Muslim
jihadis and their apologists is a big part of this battle, and something we
certainly do at The Spectator. But another part is giving space to the Muslim
voices that others seek to drown out, voices of people who know they’ll be
attacked by hardliners for challenging their narrative. We’ve been doing this
for some time. Four years ago, we ran a cover story by Qanta Ahmed about saving
Islam from the Islamists (she later wrote about the beauty of her faith).
Ed Husain wrote about the harmony of Islam’s place in British society. (‘The
raison d’être of Islamic civilisations and the Shariah for a thousand years was
to provide five things: security, worship, preservation of the family,
nourishment of the intellect and protection of property. Britain provides these
in multitudes for every Muslim today.’)
we interviewed the Mufti of Rwanda, who has made the country an oasis of
liberal Islam – and has used a fatwa to ban the Niqab. ‘We saw that niqab
abroad, but in Rwanda we have stopped it,’ he said – something to bear in mind
for anyone who thinks those who have a problem with the Niqab (as the Mufti of
Rwanda does) have a problem with Muslims.
doing plenty more of this in the new year – in part, to give our readers a
fuller view of a hugely important story. But also because this could well be
where the momentum is: focus on the jihadis too much, and you’ll miss it.
one of the least religious countries on Earth, with fewer than a quarter of us
going so far as to say we believe in God. This can make it harder to understand
developments in a world which, as Adrian Wooldridge and John Micklethwait
argued some time ago, is pretty religious and becoming more so. There is a rich
variety of thought in the Muslim world, and huge changes afoot. In several
places, hardliners have the power. But this could well be on the wane. The
forces of moderation, fraternity and reform are a lot stronger than is commonly
believed – and may well come to shape the next decade.
Headline: Islam, reform and the battle
Source: The Spectator, UK
The question what is immoral or unethical is also
based on different human perceptions. The humans of the past considered several
things to be ethical but now after changing circumstances most of them have
unethical for common humans. To cooperate with many such things, classical Islamic
concepts of ‘Maaruf’ “umume balwa” and “welfare of societies” etc are employed
in order to benefit all humans.
Death for “apostasy” is not only referred to
Islamic state but also to Bible of both Christians and Jews etc. Though in
general Hinduism is more tolerant to apostasy, than other religions, and though
Islamic verse ‘there is no compulsion in Religion’ is meant only for non-Muslims
and not for “traitor apostates”, it should be noted that we are living in
democratic countries under certain laws, hence death punishment is not allowed.
So I think it is not better for me to quote all the relevant texts of religions;
Islam, Christanity, Judaism and Hinduism. People who reveal such texts in
unsystematic or un-academic manner willingly or unwillingly give a chance to
common readers to get confused or fall prey to it.
Apostasy plus treason was the reason of death
punishment in the state governed by Islamic law. Those who were apostates were actually
the traitors therefore they were punished to death. Now this law is not
applicable in the democratic countries. Hence there is no use repeatedly crying
over death punishment for apostates. Islamophobic extremists and Islamist
extremists use such texts for their vested interests. Hence we should not pay
attention to it nor should we give space to their ideology in our forum.
Ignorance is playing into the hands of groups like
ISIS or Islamophobes who are keen on burying the truth of the Quran and pushing
down their own agendas instead.
Slavery was never promoted or endorsed by Islamic texts.
Slavery was inherited from pre-Islamic cultures that required to be voluntarily
and gradually weeded out of society through manumission, which was highly
encouraged (Quran: 24:32-33 and 16:71). In Islamic texts we find a plethora of
evidences which encourage to free slaves as it was seen as a highly virtuous
We do not find any evidence in Islamic texts on how
to make slaves. What we find is always on eradicating slavery system.
As for capturing
women in war or otherwise to rape as sex slaves, this is not Islamic and hence it
is immoral. The Quran says, “And successful are the believers who guard their
chastity … except from their wives or those that their right hands possess.”
(23:1-6). This reference is interpreted about sexual relations which are
extremely forbidden with any woman unless she is a spouse or ‘those their right
hands possess’. Clearly speaking this means a concubine, bondmaid or a slave,
but intercourse has to be consensual. Rape is forbidden as it is violent and
Islamic texts demanded for the proper and respectable treatment of slaves. Even
the consensual sexual relations with a slave were not permissible if it caused
harm and abuse elsewhere (e.g. to a wife) as all parties involved would be
to note is that now after the slavery system has been completely eliminated; no
man is allowed to make any free man or woman slave.
One should also
be clear that the sexual relationship made during live-in relationships is also
forbidden as per Islam, be it consensual or abusive.
Why are we stuck with jizya which does not exist in
our era? Historically speaking, jizya was not an instituation created by Islam.
Jizya as an institution was imposed even before Islam in different nations of
different prophets, which protected minorities in exchange for a tributary tax.
After the advent of Islam, Jizya was demanded from permanent non-Muslim
citizens of a state governed by Islamic law in order to fund the public
expenditures of the state including welfare of the poor and needy, whereas the
Muslims were and are obliged to pay zakat, khums and ‘ushr. Jizya, a per capita
yearly taxation, was demaned only from those non-Muslim citizens who could
afford to pay. Non-Muslim women, children, elders, handicapped, the ill, the
insane, monks, hermits, slaves, mustamins and those non Muslims who could not
afford to pay jizay tax were exempted from payment. We do not accept that jizya
was a state of humiliation of non-Muslims in a Muslim state for not accepting
Islam, because if it were true, the monks, the clergy, and those non-Muslims
who could not afford to pay, would not have been exempted.
Today taxation system has completely turned into
several forms and we are obliged now to pay tax in every purchase. So such
debates are not healthy but for those who want to spread notion of humiliation
and state of hatred between two communities.
Yes we observe some of the people who claim to use
their rational faculty but fail to accept what should be acceptable to truly
rational faculty. The accepted method of attaining the Cognitive Affirmation
(Tasdeeq-e-Nazari) is that one should arrange the Simple Affirmations
(Tasdeeq-e-Badeehi) in such a way that they take the one to attain the
Cognitive Affirmation. But this method is not arranged and in some cases if arranged, then
done with irrational methods. Anyway here two masters opposing each other can fight over and their skills
of reasoning will never stop working.
We forget to reason that Affirmation (tasdeeq) is
of two types; (1) Simple Affirmation which is clearly known, such as, the fire
is hot and ice is cold and similar concepts (2) Cognitive Affirmation which is
not clearly known and requires contemplation and thinking, such as the earth is
created or the Creator of man is God Almighty.
Here come some ‘rationalists’ who even succeed to
attain the Cognitive Affirmation that God has created the creation but few of
them again take a step ahead and ask that if God has created everything then "who has
created ‘God’?". Here ends the light of one's mind to attain the fact and then a person with that has to take the support of light of heart and he can
lighten up his heart so perfectly that he attains perfection in his faith and says God is uncreated. His light of heart here has worked in so much more
convincing and affirmative way that none can darken his highest form of faith by using so-called 'rationality' This light takes one to attain the highest form
of Cognitive Affirmation. Several Ahadith also support one to solve the
irrational thought which attacks a person when he starts thinking “who has created
God”. Ahadith say, such thoughts strike minds of the people which are captured
and overcome by the devils. It is the place where the believers achieve so mcuh affirmation that they stop thinking
and instead remain being satisfied with the highest form of affirmation, saying “we believe that
God is uncreated and it is He Alone Who has created everything”. This is the
place where the heart and mind both have worked well. (This is what i once referred to in one of my comments). Let me also make it clear
that the scholars of the past who prevented one from taking one’s thought to
such extreme of irrationaliy was because they had realized the facts with the highest form of
affirmation and it was, in accordance with them, good for the common people who
lack ability of using rational faculty not to take such thoughts which urge one
to think “who has created God”. They taught that one should not use ‘reason’
which creates doubt about God. This teaching was actually the result of good
rationality supported by heart’s faculty but when we do not understand such
people, we blame them not to use reason.
But the question is what about those in this age, who want to
resolve such questions based on their sole faculty of ‘reasoning’ or ‘rationality’?
Shall we help them solve such questions or will it be forcible nature on our part to ask
them to realize the facts on truly factual grounds, in the ways employed by the
scholars of the past. The questions and doubts mostly created today were already answered in the past. except for few, most of doubts are old. Before the people could solve such questions and reach
the higher culmination of rational and mental development, the world has
trapped them including us into debates over “Jihadism and Extremism”. So finally we should first resolve problems of all
round extremism, not just one type confined to ‘Jihadists’.