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Books and Documents

Books and Documents

Religion and Science in Harmony
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam

Religion and Science in Harmony

Religion and science need not be seen as enemies of each other, the authors contend, unlike what hardened atheists as well as some extreme literalist religionists imagine. The changing understandings of the natural world that scientific investigations engender may necessitate, the authors say, continuous reconsideration of some of the ways in which we understand religious texts, particularly sections that relate to the natural world. On the other hand, they point out, the discovery by scientists that the laws of nature are finely tuned for life clearly indicates that people who deny God in the name of science should reassess their understandings of science and the world…..

Timbuktu: A Biting, Haunting Critique of Sharia
Rohit Vats

Timbuktu is a well-known name in India. Even those who are illiterate and don't know much about the geography of the world use this name in phrases. Basically, this name tickles their funny bone and, thus, they believe that sending somebody to Timbuktu would be a funny thing. Not anymore…..

 

Whilst at Damascus, the Shaikh devoted his time in writing his intricate work It is said that the Shaikh used to write at the rate of Three Karats {which we now call Quires} a day!  His works in Arabic were freely translated into Persian and circulated.  In Damascus, he enrolled many disciples. Even reputed scholars from far and near sought his audience to seek his blessings and to learn from him “”the truths of the upper world and the realities of the lower one.”….

 

Debating the Thistle and the Drone: A Response to the Distortions of Christine Fair
Harrison Akins

After 9/11, the United States, backing the military and intelligence services of central governments, looked to these peripheral regions—which were already in a state of turmoil—in their hunt for terrorists. The involvement of the US has exacerbated and expanded the violence between centre and periphery but is not the cause of it. Unfortunately, the US has not demonstrated that it has any understanding of this history and dynamic between centre and periphery in the conduct of the war on terror over the past decade. Rather, the US continues to implement the same failed policies in new conflict areas. I would challenge anyone, including Professor Fair, to take one glance at the current state of Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, FATA, or other regions of the Muslim world where America is engaged and argue that its policies to halt the violence have been anything but a failure…..

 

Shaikh al Akbar Ibn al Arabi spent a couple of years in Egypt.  Fresh from studies and immature in worldly wisdom, he was brutally frank and reckless in his public announcements, which appeared heretical to orthodox Ulema like Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibrahim Al Biqai and others. The opposition was so stiff that there was, it is said, a concrete attempt to assassinate him.  The Shaikh, obviously, instigated by the Ulema, was arrested. On being released, he wisely preferred to leave Egypt in search of calmer atmosphere in a safer haven.....

 

Revolutions never work from the point of view of humanist values and human rights. Now that young Pakistanis are talking of revolution, it is imperative to remind them that they should talk of strengthening institutions and not a leader however promising….

 

'Islamic Humanism' By Lenn E. Goodman Is A Valuable Contribution To The Study Of Islamic Humanism, Offering Abundant Examples From Islamic Philosophy, Ethics, History, And Literature

Romantic love, too, constitutes a home for the secular par excellence. Islam has preserved some aspects of pre-Islamic poetry and has not erased the continuing fascination with the secular themes of love and conquest or fight and flight. Among the celebrants of secular love is Ibn Hazm of Córdoba (994–1064), whose “anticipations of Descartes’ and Kant’s criticisms of the faith of naïve rationalism rest on a limpid yet rambunctious religious faith” (p. 61). Ibn Hazm offers secular love in place of the sublimated and unsublimated eroticism of the mystics; to those who find a spiritual meaning in erotic longings, he offers a naturalistic alternative. The secularization of human love is prominent in the work of Ibn Taymiyya (1263–1328) as well, according to Goodman. And he sees Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya’s (1272–1350) Rawdat al-muhibbin (Lovers’ garden) as “a thoroughgoing exposition of secular love.”….

 

Was Ibn al Arabi a “Zindiq (a hypocrite) or a “Siddique” (a man of truth)?  Scholars were and are divided in their opinions about this prolific writer, talented poet and erudite philosopher, to say the least.  The material for a detailed biographical sketch, a thorough enquiry into and dispassionate assessment of his doctrine are too inadequate, abstruse and unyielding to make any conclusive remarks about him.  I content myself with presenting – objectively, as far as possible, a brief account of his life along with , what may be taken to be an apology of an interpretation of his views and the views of others on his doctrine…..

 

The Prophet said, ‘The Hour will come when leaders are oppressors, when people believe in the stars and reject al-Qadar (the Divine Decree of destiny) when a trust becomes a way of making a profit, when people give to charity (Sadaqah) reluctantly, when adultery becomes widespread – when this happens, then your people will perish.’ ”….

Karachi has been a city of migrants. It was developed in the early 18th century by Hindu merchants (Baniya) from the Sindhi hinterland, before attracting large numbers of traders, entrepreneurs and workers from Kutch, Gujarat, Bombay and Balochistan, so much so that by 1921, the number of residents born outside of Karachi amounted to almost half of the total population of the city.” The city had self-destruct genes at its birth: it grew 369 per cent between 1941 and 1961, the “fastest rate of growth ever registered for a city of that size in world history”.....

 

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……

 


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NEW COMMENTS

  • Dear Ayesha, As-Salaam Alay-Kum First of all, I am impressed with your right to the point remark, “I know my Islam and my scriptures better than ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • Dear Ayesha, As-Salaam Alay-Kum First of all, I am impressed with your right to the point remark, “I know my Islam and my scriptures better than ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • I understand your concern Mr Listener, but I don't need your sympathy! Mr Naseer, instead of blaming Noor or any woman who writes on ...
    ( By Ayesha Hareem )
  • "A poll conducted by Al-Jazeera’s Arabic News Desk revealed that a staggering 81% of Al Jazeera Arabic viewers support Islamic State victories in Syria ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Universl brotherhood based on a passion to do the right thing and to promote what is good and just is the true message of Islam.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Yes dear Listener you are very right. But unless the women realize that the Quran and Sunna is in their favour, they will ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Mohtrama, There is an article today in response to your statement: "The holy book also decrees that the testimony of a woman in a court of ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Gender issues are very real. It is really sad that Muslim males (not all for sure) generally don't think it is important. Ignoring the ...
    ( By Listener )
  • Gender issues are very real. It is really sad that Muslim males (not all for sure) generally don't think it is important. Ignoring the ...
    ( By Listener )
  • It's not about disagreeing with Noor Zaheer janab!It's about the categorical usage of the word 'heresy'. I do have problems with Zaheer's s book ...
    ( By Ayesha Hareem )
  • ما شا ء الله مقالة جيدة يستحق القراءة والنشر في الأوساط الإرهابية التي تنفذ الهجمات الانتحارية تحت شعار الدين
    ( By Abu Muhaiman )
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    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Waah Naseer sahab! If you agree that you acknowledge these problems are there so please let me know where lies the problem as well ...
    ( By Ayesha Hareem )
  • Ayesha Hareem says: “While Mr Naseer seems to be ignorant or don't want to acknowledge the inequalities present in the Muslim community.” And goes ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • We must listen to the views of women writers such as Noor Zaheer. We must take them seriously. Zia's criticism of her book is ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Giving up 'Ijtihad' is like giving up on Islam.
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  • Mr Ghulam Rasool has made an important point. While Mr Naseer seems to be ignorant or don't want to acknowledge the inequalities present in ...
    ( By Ayesha Hareem )
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  • Obviously not, Mr Shahin. It is just that Muslims only outrage when they are the targets, not the perpetrators. I would like this author ...
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    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Would the author like to comment on the genocide of the Yazidis in Sham, Hindus in Bangladesh, persecution of Christians in Egypt and Pakistan.....
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    ( By C M Naim )
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  • Waheeduddin Khan KI Gumrahiyan By Shaikh Muadh Omeri https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=CNI72 twdqy4
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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Nice study of the situation in Bangladesh
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