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Books and Documents

Books and Documents

An Intrepid Woman Triumphing Over Immense Odds and Coming Out Much Stronger

While her dread of her father drove her to don the robes of a Buddhist nun, her spiritual master gradually helped Ani Choying overcome the wounds of her battered childhood. Slowly, she began to learn to derive joy from so-called ‘little’ things—saving an injured mouse, for instance, or crying over a Bollywood film or coming up with a new idea for a song. Being a nun didn’t make her oblivious to the beauty of life.....

 

Everywhere, pluralism was replaced with a ferocious polarisation. Almost all the former Ottoman lands suffered bouts of savage bloodletting, and some of these – Turkey 1919-21, Palestine 1948, Cyprus 1963-4, Lebanon 1975-90, Bosnia 1991-2, Iraq from 2002 and most recently in Syria from 2011 – grew into civil wars of startling violence and fought along religious fault lines......

 

Minority Religions in the Middle East: Not Just the Faiths of Abraham

The thrust of this wonderfully intriguing book is that virtually all the religions of the Middle East, not just the Abrahamic ones (Judaism, Islam and Christianity) but also a clutch of mysteriously esoteric ones, are marvellously entwined. This should draw people together, encouraging mutual respect for their common spirituality and lovingly shared heritage, not tear them lethally apart. If only….

 

Critical Issues in the Philosophy of Science and Religion

The fact, however, is that science has definitely not, and certainly cannot, disprove God. Little do proponents of the thesis that science has shown God to be a myth know that scores of leading scientists across the world, overwhelmed by the remarkable intricacy and complexity of the cosmos, have had to conclude that the universe must definitely have a creator, and that without God life would not have been possible and the cosmos itself would have been inconceivable......

Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab: The Man behind 'Deviant Innovation' That Would Become Wahhabi Islam
Ziauddin Sardar

He was against all forms of pluralism, and loathed the traditional "elasticity of doctrine, ritual and practice" that made Islam dynamic and vibrant. His theological position, writes Michael Crawford, "made him condemn much of the Islam of his own time". It was thus natural for ibn Abd al-Wahhab to declare that following any school of Islamic jurisprudence, except his own Hanbali School, was indistinguishable from shirk, or polytheism…..

Hinduism in America, a Brief History
Mike Ghouse

2003- For the first time, a program was organized by the Foundation for Pluralism to bring all the Hindus communities of Dallas together. Shanti-Shanti is an American girls duos chanting songs in Sanskrit, and they were introduced to the Hindu Audience for the first time. Indeed, that is the first time; Dr. Mihir Meghani of Hindu America Foundation was invited to be a part of the event, as he was set to bring all the Hindu Sampadrayas together. ....

 

Ibn al Arabi asserted that the identity of “Huq” {the Creator} and the “Khalqh” {the created} is One.  According to him, ‘God is the Unity behind all Plurality and the Reality behind all phenomenal existence. In his ‘Futhhath’ he says: “there is nothing but Allah; nothing in existence other than He; there is not even “there” where the essence of all things is one.” The Shaikh ul Akbar’s “Wahdat ul Wujud” {“The Unity of Being” or “Ostological” or “Pantheistic “Monoism” is but an extension of the Doctrine of Tauheed {“Unity of God”} The Shaikh professed that “there is nothing in existence except Allah”   and that “to realize this, what is required is Not “Reason” but “Zauqh” {institutive experience of an individual}……

 

Identify Patterns of Islamist Radicalization and Terrorism in Europe

Could it be that those who are radicalized—and as explained by the authors, they tend to be reasonably well educated—also recognize the double standards, hypocrisy, and contradictions within that system? Ideology is recognized by the authors as being “the centre of gravity of jihadists and radical Islamist movements,” followed by a clear basic explanation of Islamist ideological points. However, that is followed by a discussion of that touches on the “theatres of global jihad.” The ideas expressed: recognizing the Sykes-Picot secret deal of 1916; the “foreign support for…apostate regimes;” and the “insurgency” in Iraq and “invading Afghanistan and Iraq;….

 

Whilst Ibn al Arabi was of the opinion that ‘Unit Of Being” is an “ Objective Experience’ , the Mujaddid  professed that it is an “Subjective Experience”  because , though a mystic  might feel as if he is identified with God almighty, in fact it is NOT so. What actually happens, according to him, is that in his or her ‘” Sukr” {Rapturous Ecstasy} the mystic loses himself or herself in the object of his or her love and therefore feels as if he or she has reached the stage of “’Fana {total annihilation}   and thus attained “Baqa {Eternal Life}.  This experience, Shaikh Sirhindi declares, is both  illusive and transient  because the mystic reverts  from “Hal: { ecstatic  intoxication}   to his or her original  state of “Sahu” { sobriety}  which is  the stage  of  “Abdiyath’….

A Season for Martyrs
Madeline Amelia Clements

A Season for Martyrs
Bina Shah

Disenchanted with his media job, uninspiring studies, the privileged lifestyle of his Karachiite friends, even the prospect of a coveted US visa, and additionally depressed by his cameraman’s killing in the first assault on the Dubai-returned Bhutto, Ali starts to find some solace by “dissolving”, “annihilating” or “losing himself” in ecstatic “union” with the protesting crowds whose activities he is sent to monitor.......

 

Sahab-e-Alam, Dilip Kumar, Speaks!
Farooq Sulehria

The book offers many things for many people. While his fans may find out more about him, cultural critics and artists can draw many lessons in film-making. In fact, this book should constitute an essential reading at film schools….

 
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…..

 


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NEW COMMENTS

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  • To Naseer Ahmed I already said that your may be right. Let me clear First thing I am not interested any analysis done by outsiders in case ...
    ( By Aayina )
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    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
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    ( By Aayina )
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