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Books and Documents
Books and Documents

Aisha bint Abu Bakr:  the Fascinating Woman
Amanda Quraishi

Her place in the history of Islam is vital particularly with regard to the way Islam addressed the issue of women in the society. The Prophet showed through Aisha how Islam raised woman and made her equal partner to the message of God. During her life with the Prophet, Aisha was like the representative, or the deputy, of women before the Prophet. In other words, she was directly instrumental to the embodiment of the message of the Qur’an the Prophet in the real life.” Indeed, Aisha is often held up as evidence of Islam’s progressive stance on women’s rights by today’s Muslim feminists. …

Only Allah Knows Who Dilip Kumar Is And What All He Can Do
Dilip Kumar

‘Yousuf Khan is scared of Dilip Kumar. Only Allah knows who Dilip Kumar is and what all he can do. ’Dilip Kumar will always be the touchstone by which Indian actors will be judged. His recently published book – The Substance and the Shadow – An Autobiography – gives much insight into his life and career. Known as the tragic hero of Indian cinema, Dilip ruled the hearts of millions. His expression and screen persona inspired dozens of actors in the subcontinent. Pakistan too has a claim on him.....

 

A Song for Sindh: When a Hindu Woman Meets a Muslim Man
Rafia Zakaria

What history has torn apart let fiction bring together and so it is in the tale of Ali and Sunita, inhabitants of Sindh’s tumultuous present, man and woman, Muslim and Hindu. In Shah’s telling, theirs is a love that is much like Sindh’s lore, threatened, delicate and secret. Ali is a journalist, harbouring like so many millions of Karachi’s children; dreams of escape to a foreign land. Sunita is by virtue of indigenous connection, a child of the land; rendered less by the arithmetic of Pakistan’s new nationalism, its awkwardness with the hyphenation of a Hindu-Pakistani…..

 

Province of Men: 'The Underground Girls of Kabul'
Rafia Zakaria

Sympathy and the moral righteousness borne of the project of liberating girls like Aisha from the Taliban were then, and are today, dominant frames in how Westerners view Afghan women. The details of Afghan lives that do not fit easily into the plot of pity or the fantasy of freedom are almost always ignored. It is in this realm of overlooked narratives and hidden details that…..

 

Is Religion Inherently Violent? In Her New Book, Fields of Blood, Karen Armstrong Argues Against the Idea That Faith Fuels Wars
Emma Green

But maybe that's the point: Humans talk in frameworks. People see the world through cultural associations and narratives of history, even if they're not apparent; that's why the attendees of Armstrong's book talks can intellectually understand that religion hasn't caused all the major wars in history while still almost subconsciously believing religion to be inherently violent. ....

Saints and Shrines in Pakistan
Hartmut Elsenhans

By their virtuous behaviour and meditating reflection on the Holy Qur’an, the saints liberated believers from a mechanistic interpretation of Islamic faith reduced to formal rules of behaviour which the believer had to mindlessly follow. The saint draws his understanding from a meditative vision of God; he experiences a deep mysticism and follows the path of understanding until he experiences the unity of the created world as an emanation of the unique and single God.....

 
Notes of a Jihadi
Praveen Swami

Notes of a Jihadi
Praveen Swami

Coca-Cola’s bright red logo, splashed across half a page. That’s the image that screams out from the dense exegesis on global jihad that is Maulana Asim Umar’s book Blackwater: The Army of Antichrist. Just below is the logo again, this time as its mirror image. “Look,” writes the cleric who heads al-Qaeda’s branch in the Indian subcontinent, “it reads, ‘Without Muhammad’, and ‘Without Mecca’.” Maulana Umar’s writing, arguably the largest body of intellectual work by a South Asian jihadist, does not contain exhortations to become suicide bombers, or to behead unbelievers. Instead, it calls for the dismemberment of the modern world itself…..

 

‘North America is a Crime Scene’: The Wild West with Its Irreverence for Death
Aijaz Zaka Syed

The militarism dictating the US foreign policy did not begin as fallout of the World War I and II but has been the continuation of the same policy that had driven the white colonial nation to subjugate the ‘Injun Country.’ The continuous US and allied military campaigns and wars that followed the two Great Wars, from Korea to Cambodia and from the Philippines to Vietnam and more recently in the greater Middle East in the last century or in this century, are all part of the same worldview and conscious design……

 

North America Is a Crime Scene: The Untold History of America This Columbus Day
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Bodies—tortured bodies, sexually violated bodies, imprisoned bodies, dead bodies—arose as a primary topic in the first years of the George W. Bush administration following the September 2001 attacks with a war of revenge against Afghanistan and the overthrow of the government of Iraq. Afghans resisting U.S. forces and others who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time were taken into custody, and most of them were sent to a hastily constructed prison facility on the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on land the United States appropriated in its 1898 war against Cuba. Rather than bestowing the status of prisoner of war on the detainees, which would have given them certain rights under the Geneva Conventions, they were designated as “unlawful combatants,” a status previously unknown in the annals of Western warfare. As such, the detainees were subjected to torture by U.S. interrogators and shamelessly monitored by civilian psychologists and medical personnel…..

 

Rethinking Muslim Women and the Veil
Arzu Kaya Uranli

Bullock also shows us a systematic and honest analysis beyond the 'veil' with great sophistication. She draws a thin line between so called religious duty and faithful action for the sake of God as well as sincere, pious Muslims and the flawed followers of faith…..

 

It is not permissible to constantly speak of ‘simplifying matters’, or to cherry-pick an extract from the Qur’an without understanding it within its full context. It is also not permissible to say: ‘Islam is simple, and the Prophet and his noble Companions were simple, why complicate Islam?’ This is precisely what Abu Al-Baraa’ Al-Hindi did in his online video in July 2014. In it he says: ‘Open the Qur’an and read the verses on jihad and everything will become clear ... all the scholars tell me: “This is a legal obligation (Fard), or that isn’t a legal obligation, and this is not the time for jihad” ... forget everyone and read the Qur’an and you will know what jihad is.”’ People need to understand that the Prophet and his noble Companions made do with as little material means as possible, without complicated technology, but they were greater than all of us in understanding, jurisprudence and intellect, and yet only a small number of Companions were qualified to issue fatwas. God says in the Qur’an: ‘...Say: “Are those who know equal with those who do not know?”...’ (Al-Zumar, 39: 9). God also says: ‘... Ask the People of the Remembrance if you do not know.’(Al-Anbiya’, 21: 7); and: ‘... If they had referred it to the Messenger and to those in authority among them; those among them who are able to think it out, would have known it from them ...’ (Al-Nisa’, 4: 83). Thus, jurisprudence is no simple matter, and not just anyone can speak authoritatively on it or issue fatwas (religious edicts). God says in the Qur’an: ‘... But only people of cores remember.’ (Al-Ra’d, 13:19). And the Prophet Muhammad said: ‘Whoever speaks about the Qur’an without knowledge should await his seat in the Fire……..

Noam Chomsky-Infuriating and Necessary
David Masciotra

The immensity of Chomsky’s mind is matched only by its dexterity. In his first triumph as a public intellectual, he reinvented the field of linguistics by developing the now widely accepted theory that the ability to learn language is an innate capacity common to all humans……

 

The Sufi Message Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: 71- On Attitudes
Hazrat Inayat Khan

There are three gifts of God given to some in this world, and these gifts are greater than jewels, gems, wealth, or anything else in the world, and nothing can buy them. One may be born with them, yet not know it. One gift is the influence to progress, another gift is the influence to attract, and the third gift is the influence to make difficult situations easy…..

 
Come All Ye Faithful
Seema Chishti

Come All Ye Faithful

From a book titled Mecca, by a formidable British writer born in Pakistan, you expect the world of Islam to unfold between the covers. Ziauddin Sardar does not disappoint. Through a biography of Mecca, the holiest of holy cities for Muslims and the centre of the Kaa’ba (the ‘Cube’ in Arabic), he takes you on a fascinating journey of Islam. Muslims are supposed to have two kinds of conversations while discussing their faith. One that they have with “others” and another they have amongst themselves, but Sardar’s book allows both to take place simultaneously…..

The Life of a Kashmiri Woman: Dialectic of Resistance and Accommodation
Nyla Ali Khan

Even today, when the share of women in the Indian political space is negligible, with just 2 out of 87 members elected in the 2008 elections, Akbar Jehan appearing on the scene in the male dominated society of those times speaks volumes about her grit and competence. From breaking the myth about her having been married to Lawrence of Arabia to detailing how she virtually replaced Sheikh Abdullah in leading people during his incarceration, the book brings out some important aspects of Kashmiri history……

 

Sawtul Haque, an Islamic Magazine with A Difference; It Believes In Introspection!

Sawtul Haque is an Islamic monthly magazine published from Karachi, Pakistan. It’s been in circulation for the last nineteen years. Its editor Hussain Ameer Farhad is a scholar of Islam with a deep understanding of the Quran. Each issue has a couple of articles by him on various subjects ranging from Quran, Hadiths, Islamic jurisprudence etc to his commentary on the contemporary social, political and cultural affairs of Pakistan in a no-holds-barred style. One characteristic feature of the magazine is that it is introspective in nature, unlike other Islamic magazines that always thrive on a supremacist outlook. The magazine also promotes religious tolerance and often picks up incidents of religious violence involving intolerant section of Muslim masses in Pakistan and condemns them fearlessly which other Islamic magazines and even the Urdu newspapers choose to suppress…..

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: 70 - The Development of Personality
Hazrat Inayat Khan

This does not mean that in order to become a real Sufi one should give up one's own ideas in order to agree with someone else. And there is no advantage in always being lenient towards every thought that comes from another, nor in erasing one's own ideas from one's heart. That is not conciliation. The one who is able to listen to another is the one who will make another listen to him. The one who finds it easy to agree with another will have the power of making another agree easily with him. Therefore, in doing so one really gains in spite of the apparent loss which might sometimes occur. When a man is able to see both from his own point of view and from that of another, he has complete vision and a clear insight. He so to speak sees with both eyes…….

 

In this regard, inter-religious dialogue has an important role to play, Gulen stresses. Given that ‘scientific materialism’ emanated from, and has almost wholly overwhelmed, the West, interfaith dialogue, especially between Muslims and Western Christians, can help highlight the necessity of religion for the very existence of humanity. Through such dialogue, Gulen seems to believe, the virtual hegemony of ‘scientific materialism’ and the destructive, dehumanizing materialist worldview might be effectively undermined. But this is not the only purpose of interfaith dialogue, Gulen explains. Such dialogue is also necessary because the very nature of religion—all religions, including Islam—demands it.....

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: 69 - The Art of Personality
Hazrat Inayat Khan

Some believe that art is inferior to nature. But that is not so. Art completes nature. In art there is something divine, for it is God Himself who through man completes the beauty of nature, and this is called art. In other words, art is not only an imitation of nature, art is an improvement upon nature, be it painting, drawing, poetry, or music. But the best of all arts is the art of personality. This must be learned, in order to use it in every walk of life……

 

Tariq Ramadan’s ‘Quest for Meaning’
Tariq Ramadan

This is a prophetic, passionate and insightful book. Ramadan’s message is urgent: our very survival depends upon our ability to build a harmonious, respectful global community. We have now entered the realm of emotional politics dominated by instantaneous public reactions. In this age of global communications, we are possessed by tidal waves of global emotions that inspired the mindless violence in the Muslim world....

Illusion of Justice: Human Rights Abuses in US Terrorism Prosecutions - Concluding Part

End prolonged solitary confinement: Prohibit all prolonged solitary confinement and indefinite solitary confinement. Where solitary confinement is used, ensure its duration is as short as possible and for a definite term, with notice to prisoners. Ensure periodic, individualized review of prisoners’ placement in solitary confinement and provide prisoners a meaningful opportunity to challenge the specific justifications and evidence underlying their placement.....

 

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: 68 - The Purpose of Life (2)
Hazrat Inayat Khan

Every intelligent person comes to a stage in his life sooner or later when he begins to question himself as to what purpose there is in life, in being on earth. 'Why am I here? What am I to accomplish in life?' he asks. No doubt the moment this question has arisen in a person he has taken his first step in the path of wisdom. Before, whatever he did, not being conscious of his life's purpose, he remained discontented. Whatever be his occupation, his condition in life, whether he is wise or foolish, learned or illiterate, there is always discontent. He may have success or failure, but the desire that his life's purpose should be accomplished remains, and unless it is accomplished a person cannot be satisfied……

 
The Holy Vedas: Part - 8
Pandit Satyakam Vidyalankar

The Holy Vedas: Part - 8

 May the divine speech that

Perfect our understanding and divine knowledge,

 And all-satisfying divine culture

Be with us at our faultless Yajna and worship

And protect us for our welfare. (Rig.3.4.8).....

 

Illusion of Justice: Human Rights Abuses in US Terrorism Prosecutions - Part 11

Since the 9/11 attacks, successive US administrations have said that they are seeking to build relationships with American Muslim community leaders and groups, as they are critical sources of information to prevent terrorist plots. They have also said that they seek to help build American Muslim communities’ sense of cohesion and trust in law enforcement, to counter violent extremism. Many of the policies and practices we have described in this report, however, run counter to these purported goals: in some communities, they have generated fear of interacting with law enforcement......

 

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: 67 - The Purpose of Life (1)
Hazrat Inayat Khan

Every living being has a purpose in life and it is the knowing of that purpose which enables every soul to fulfill it. As it is said, 'Blessed is he who knoweth his life's purpose.' Be not surprised if you find many groping in darkness all through life, doing one thing or another, going from one thing to the other, always dissatisfied, always discontented. And everything they undertake remains without result. The reason is the absence of that knowledge, the knowledge of the purpose of life…..

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • Secular Logic,If you focus exclusively on what is righteous alone, everything else will fall in place. You will start seeing things differently from the ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Why no discussion on Maulana's 'wrong' ideas.
    ( By ahmad )
  • Mr Ahmed ,When righteousness is defined as being/becoming a follower of Islam, righteousness becomes a very inefficient differentiator. If the quoted verse had been the ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • I agree with Naseer Ahmed Sahib that there is no reincarnation and no future births.  However, I go one step further and say that ...
    ( By Satbir Singh Bedi )
  • Clearly, the author who has written a brilliant article, is in favour of Uniform Civil Code and I  cannot but endorse his stand that ...
    ( By Satbir Singh Bedi )
  • Sure Shahin Sb. I will do that someday.
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Nasser Saheb, could you please elaborate this a little with some specific evidence. Islam's early history is so full of wars among Muslims themselves ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Listen to her speak since she comes on BBC programmes very often and you will realize she is both sharp, smart as well as ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Rational,You are missing the subtle nuances. Verse 5:118 holds out a very strong hope that those Christians who were guilty of the kufr/shirk mentioned ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Rational,What is wrong with judging the previous generations purely by the norms of their own society and for sins and trespasses against truth or reason ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • This is a verse addressed to all mankind:(45:13) O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Mr Ahmad,What you personally think about reincarnation, offensive as it is, is of no consequence to anybody.It is the attitude of Islam - to ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • My take on reincarnation. This is copy paste from a mail I had written to Shahin Sb in Oct 2012.The Hindus have a strong ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Yunus Sb,Since I have a far more refined and evolved definition of Kufr and Kafir depending upon whether the verse deals with the spiritual ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Mr Traveller, shooting for common ground would not be necessary if easy co-existence with diverse beliefs was possible. Islam cannot abide diverse beliefs. Finding common ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Abrahamic faiths are naturally exclusivist in their beliefs. Jesus said MY way (John 14:6). Moses said MY way (Exodus 20:3), and Allah said MY ...
    ( By Curious Traveler )
  • Rational is right. He speaks common sense,which is not so common on this site.Death is a mystery mankind has tried to solve throughout evolution. ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Naseer SahebYou have said nothing about reincarnation. but as a Muslim you will never acknowledge the reincarnation as another tool to keep the people ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Mohammad Ishaque Foujdar saheb - 4/26/2015 10:04:09 AMwas there no jehad before USSR invaded Afganistan and USA backed him citing the Quran?The ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  •  "It is this great quality that drives people of other religions to bring about religious reformation and get as close to the common terms ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Naseer ahmed Saheb"The last prophet's momentous mission required an "Ummi" people."So God delayed his guidance. He didn't bother so many people will die as ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Naseer Ahmed SahebLet us hear what other scholars say about your article.Christians pray to God, true, but they believe that Jesus is son of ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Thanks for the article.If anyone has free time, I recommend the "Bible in Arabic" for more analysis of the "People of the Book": http://www.amazon.com/The-Bible-Arabic-Scriptures-Christians/dp/0691150826It ...
    ( By Curious Traveler )
  • Stupid woman! Ask her if she agrees that Christians and Jews are pigs and apes. And that women are tilth who can be approached ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Dear Naseer Sahab,1. In your last comment to me you state the following while referring to one of my article referenced below:"you have taken ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Heart wrenching despair!!!!!
    ( By rsamnakay )
  • Excellent article!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Yunus Sb,  For a beginning, you can respond to my 3 comments on chapter 3 of your book.   You have two comments on part 1 of my article:Who Is ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Secular Logic says:"Even worse than what is written in the Quran is the way people are trying to defend the obnoxious verses in it. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Aiman Reyaz        your your right, a Quranic term had been used in wrong context to incite the Muslims against Russia by ...
    ( By Mohammad Ishaque Foujdar )
  • How offensive it is that 'reincarnation' should be considered to be incorrect, while saying things like "Mohammad was the last prophet" should be considered ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Dear Naseer Sahab,You state: Yunus Sb, you don't have to defend and support the mistakes you made in your book "the essential message of Islam"Would ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Rational,Regarding Bani Ismail and why there were no prophets until Muhammad (pbuh) and why there were so many among Bani Yaqub or Israel there ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Rational,Surely People and mankind in general have benefited from the Quran all through. The better you understand, the more benefit you can get out ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Shahin Sb,In case any Maulana disputes the meaning of 98:6 like Yunus Sb did, here is the counter:The construction of 98:6 is exactly as ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Nasser ahmed sahebSince the Quran has reached to major population of the globe, so they will be judged by the standard of the Quran ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Then what about those who could never understand the truth of the Quran for whole lives? The Quran was revealed for human beings. Allah knew ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Rational,The fault is not with the Quran. Talk about human weaknesses. Bigotry is a universal trait. Hazrat Umar (RA) understood the meaning of "fitna" ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Rational,By tribals, I mean the adivasi kind of tribals. What is partiality?  ·         Kufr is relative to what a person knows and believes to be “the truth” ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The weakest part of the Quran is that in more than thousand years only Nasser saheb understood the Quran correctly.Millions of scholars in thousand ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )