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Books and Documents

New Book Sheds Light on Prophet Muhammad’s Interfaith Views
Craig Considine

No other leader in world history has been more scrutinised and ridiculed than Prophet Muhammad. Since the founding of Islam in 632 AD, Christians and Jews have described the Prophet of Allah as a blasphemer, bigot, terrorist, and pedophile, among other slurs. However, according to a new book The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World (published by Angelico Press, 2013), these accusations are found to be dishonest, prejudiced, and not based on sound scholarship……

Blogging the Qur'an by Ziauddin Sardar- Part 52: Evolution
Ziauddin Sardar

The entire debate about faith and evolution has been constructed using the history and concepts of Christian thought. The creationists' arguments, including the idea of intelligent design, are shaped by a literalist reading of the Bible. We should be careful not to import attitudes and ideas from this debate into the very different context of the Qur'an. The Qur'an refers, as we have already seen, to narratives familiar from the Bible - including creation and Prophet Nuh (Noah) and the flood - but it does so in its own distinctive ways. But these are not meant to be "creation myths" but allegories…..

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: On the Law of Beneficence – 52
Hazrat Inayat Khan

Friendship as the average person understands it is perhaps little more than acquaintance; but in reality it is more sacred than any other connection in the world. To a sincere person, entering into friendship is like entering the gates of heaven; and a visit to his friend is a pilgrimage to a true loving friend……

 

Blogging the Qur'an by Ziauddin Sardar- Part 51: Sharia
Ziauddin Sardar

The word itself occurs, in variations, twice in the Qur'an. In 45:45, we read: "We have sent you, O Muhammad, on a clear religious path". The path referred to here is clearly the path of the Qur'an and the guidance that it provides. In 5:48 we are told: "We have assigned a law and a path to each of you". The reference here is to guidance that God has provided to all nations and communities through his prophets, according to the time and condition of each community.....

 

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals:  On Silence and Subtlety - 51
Hazrat Inayat Khan

Then where is that truth which is peace-giving, which is healing, which is comforting to every heart and soul, that truth which uplifts the soul, which is creative of harmony and beauty, where is that truth born? That truth is born in subtlety of intelligence in thought, speech, and action, of fineness which brings pleasure, comfort, beauty, harmony, and peace…….

‘Waziristan’: Done in by Fatima Bhutto
Faiza Rahman

No, Miss Bhutto, the Pakistani woman is not always a helpless, sobbing victim. Unlike what you think, women here can easily wade through the Karachi streets, sit in the legislatures and fight battles. A million voices have been raised in your country against the very ordinance you have been generously citing to smear your country’s already-tainted image with. All of which you are doing “out of love”, we understand......

Muslim Superhero Kamala Khan Is No Match for Real-Life Islamophobia
Faiza Patel

Nor should courageous Muslim characters — both real and imagined — be a reason to let ourselves and our leaders off the hook for the pervasive discrimination ordinary Muslims face. It is ironic that Khan’s superpower is that she is a “shape shifter” who can transform her body into any size or shape. Islamophobia, too, takes different shapes…….

 

Blogging the Qur'an by Ziauddin Sardar- Part 50: Pause for Thought
Ziauddin Sardar

Reading the Qur'an thematically has enabled us to connect various verses in different parts of the Qur'an and see the text in much more holistic terms as interconnected. I would not suggest the connections to each theme were exhaustive, but most certainly they allowed us to draw more general conclusions when compared with verse-by-verse analysis. Moreover, a thematic reading also allowed us to use tools of critical analysis ranging from semantics, hermeneutics, and cultural theory to contextual analysis and old fashioned intellectual questioning.....

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: On Refining the Personality – 50
Hazrat Inayat Khan

There is one thing: to be a man; and there is another thing: to be a person, a man, by completing the individuality in which is hidden the purpose of man's coming to earth. Angels were made to sing the praise of the Lord, jinns to imagine, to dream, to meditate; but man is created to show humanity in character. It is this which makes him a person. There are many difficult things in life, but the most difficult of all is to learn and know and to practice the art of personality…..

 

A Teenager As Tall As the Sky

At home, Ziauddin taught his daughter: “You must speak the truth. The truth will abolish fear”. Malala liked what she heard. “If one Fazlullah can destroy everything, why can’t a girl change it?” she asked herself and prayed to Allah for strength…..

 

The Literary Renegade: Ayesha Jalal’s New Book About Her Granduncle Saadat Hasan Manto Attempts To Explain His Revolt Against The Narrative That Divided India
Khaled Ahmed

Saadat Hasan Manto was arguably the best Urdu short story writer and the best writer of “realistic prose” in South Asia. He was also a maverick in a society prickly about “obscenity” in literature, a problem that an ideological Pakistan is still struggling with. But today, his cardinal sin is the implied non-acceptance in his works of the 1947 Partition of India, which passed muster in his day, but in 2013 would have attracted the mischief of Section 123-A of the Penal Code of Pakistan, landing him in prison for 10 years….

One of the disheartening features of our modern, or for some our postmodern condition, is that it encourages us to live lives of isolation, oftentimes divorced from even the crowds that might surround us in our bustling cities. We have friends and acquaintances, but many times these relationships do little more than disguise our fundamental state of alienation. One of the disastrous consequences of our state is that sometimes we become isolated from even our true selves and from our Lord…..

 

A Book Helps Us Navigate the Syria Mess
Rami G. Khouri

This soon was overwhelmed by the many other antagonisms of the modern Middle East, such as Arab vs. Iranian, Arab vs. Israeli, Kurdish vs. Arab, Sunni vs. Shiite, Islamist vs. secularist, Arab conservative monarchies vs. Arab nationalist republics, Arab and Iranian revolutionary Islamists vs. conservative Arab monarchies, pro-American vs. pro-Russian and, most recently, Al-Qaeda-like Arab and foreign Salafist militants vs. virtually everyone else…..

 

Blogging the Qur'an by Ziauddin Sardar- Part 49: Reading and Writing
Ziauddin Sardar

When so many Muslims around the world are not native Arabic speakers, being able to recite the Qur'an is no qualification for fulfilling the Qur'an's emphasis on reading and writing in one's own language. Then there is the veneration for rote learning and memorisation which began with the Qur'an and has remained the basis of religious education up to and including today. These techniques may have been valid once upon a time, but today they block the entire realm of critical consciousness, which the Qur'an itself insists is what reading is for……

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: On Reciprocity and Relating with Others – 49
Hazrat Inayat Khan

In dealing with another we ought first to consider in what relation we stand to him, and then to consider what manner of dealing would please us on the part of another who is related to us in the same way as we are to him. In all favorable actions we ought to do more than we should expect another to do for us; and in unfavorable actions we ought to do less than what we should expect on the part of another…..

 

Blogging the Qur'an by Ziauddin Sardar- Part 48: Ethics and Morality: Part 2
Ziauddin Sardar

Moderation has two elements. First, moderation requires restraint in all that we do. In all the good things we do, from service to others to charity, we need to follow the middle path: "Do not be tight-fisted, nor so open-handed that you end up blamed and overwhelmed with regret" (17:29)….

 

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: On Mira Bai – 48
Hazrat Inayat Khan

The beauty of her hymns of praise, the music of the poetry that she composed and sang in her worship of the Divine became gradually famed throughout the kingdom of Udaipur. And on account of her great piety and learning many were drawn to the temple where she dwelt. At length her fame reached the court of the Emperor Akbar. And he, entirely won by the thoughts and the sweet verses of her songs that were repeated to him, decided that he himself would make a pilgrimage to see her….

 

A Mad Journey (Safar) with a Mad Woman
Nighat M. Gandhi

And since her marriage to a Raj Gandhi from Ahmedabad, India has been her home. “I am a Muslim and a Buddhist, married to a Hindu, and wavering in the shadowy no-religion land called agnosticism since I was 15,” she writes. If all this is a bit confusing, so is her proclaimed allegiance to a plural tradition — Gandhi insists she is a “South Asian”, and not a Bangladeshi, Pakistani or Indian…..

Blogging the Qur'an by Ziauddin Sardar- Part 47: Ethics and Morality: Part 1
Ziauddin Sardar

But scriptural moral guidance has meaning for only those who believe; or are perceptive enough to understand the "signs" of the grace of God and appreciate that the universe has a moral purpose. It is of little consequence to those who see without insight, who do not follow "the ways of peace" and "what pleases him" (5:16). Hence, the Qur'an's moral exhortations are couched, in the words of Bishop Kenneth Cragg, in "the perpetual perhaps"…..

 

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: On Inter-Personal Relations – 47
Hazrat Inayat Khan

A very important thing in character-building is to become conscious of one's relationship, obligation, and duty to each person in the world […] One must consider that everything that is entrusted to one by any person in life is one's trust, and one must know that to prove true to the confidence of any person in the world is one's sacred obligation. In this manner a harmonious connection is established with everyone; and it is this harmony which attunes the soul to the infinite…..

 

Perpetual War: How Does the Global War on Terror Ever End?
Jeremy Scahill

Obama employed the rhetoric of internationalism. “We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully -- not because we are naive about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear,” the president declared. “America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation.”…….

Blogging the Qur'an by Ziauddin Sardar- Part 46: Nature and Environment: Part 2
Ziauddin Sardar

What the Qur'an teaches is that in the face of risk the right action is to ensure the danger is shared as equitably as possible and that we must accept the responsibility and duty of care for those overtaken by disaster and the troubles it brings. This is not a counsel of "just sit back and take it", nor the uncaring vengeance of a wilful, cruel God. It is the corollary, not always easy to accept, of being created with free will and given the liberty to exist and make our own way in an ordered universe of awesome power...

 

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: On Cheerfulness and Spirituality – 46
Hazrat Inayat Khan

Do not imagine that this is a character rarely to be found in the world. It is a character you frequently meet with, and certainly the one who has this attitude is his own worst enemy. The person with a right attitude of mind tries to make even wrong right, but the one with a wrong attitude of mind will turn even right into wrong. Besides, magnetism is the need of every soul; the lack of it makes life burdensome. The tendency of seeing wrong in everything robs one to a great extent of that magnetism which is needed very much in life……

 

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals:  On the Annihilation of the False Self – 45
Hazrat Inayat Khan

So, what a person knows of himself, as the first thing, is his body. He calls himself his body, he identifies himself with his body. For instance, if one asks a child, 'Where is the boy?' he will point to his body. That is what he can see or can imagine of himself. This forms a conception in the soul. The soul conceives this deeply, so that after this conception, all other objects, persons or beings, color or line, are called by different names….

 

Blogging the Qur'an by Ziauddin Sardar- Part 45: Nature and Environment: Part 1
Ziauddin Sardar

Brian raises two questions. The first is in reference to 6:165, where we are told that God "has exalted some of you in rank above others". This, as those who have been following this blog will recognise immediately, is not about, to use the words in Brian's Christian hymn, the hierarchy of "the rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate"…..

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • If the PDP-BJP government in J&K is successful, it would be good for all of India.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "The conflict inside the Muslim world might ultimately be characterized as one between tyranny and freedom, even if that tyranny is packaged in God's ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A MOSQUE AND A TEMPLE EXIST IN HARMONY   Perhaps serious revision of text books that portray minorities as the other could be the first step in this direction. ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • It seems Maulana Wahiduddin Khan is expert in practising Taqayyah (deception) which is now evident in his different books and articles. For example here he says ...
    ( By Khalid Suhail )
  • Shahin Sb, Part 1 and 2 of the article were written quite some time ago. What Pickthall said about the sense in which the Quran uses the ...
    ( By Observer )
  • Observer Saheb, I was trying this morning to look into possibilities of our ulema accepting your definition of kufr and kafir which is of great interest ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • A WITCH-HUNT ON CAMPUSES   Hardliners have long been waiting for an excuse to pounce. In November members of the Chinese Red Culture Institute, a group of scholars ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • OPEN MINDS WILL MAKE A LASTING CHANGE   There are those in Afghanistan who do not want women and girls to be educated. If we are to make ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • A SETTING FOR A MORALLY INSTRUCTIVE YARN   The American conversation about Islam may be noisy and confusing, but it isn’t new. And these forgotten images remind us to ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • Mr Yunus,Dont you think your services are more required in Iraq where Quran is being implemented  in the literal sense by ISIS
    ( By tim )
  • Majid Nawaz I have seen you many times on show you always talk rational, but one point you miss always that Muslim always present ...
    ( By Aaiyna )
  • Very good article debunking some of the things that Graeme Wood's article in The Atlantic had averred.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The more women we have as imams and ulemas, the better. They will bring moderation. common sense and compassion to our discourse.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is a very sensible summation of what a reformed madrasa curriculum should be. A graduating student must be fully knowledgeable about Quran's abhorrence ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "Essential Message of Islam" has been a very valuable companion as well as a resource book for me for the past several years. It is ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "I created......they have been promised". this first paragraph raise question that our parents on the earth never demand anything on the other hand they ...
    ( By Aaiyna )
  • stop calling non-muslim, call them other faiths people, either call yourself non-christian, non-hindus, non-buddist. stop adressing other faith people with negativity, as if muslims ...
    ( By Aaiyna )
  • Carry on Observer Sb, this seems doable, although I don't see ulema responding. But I am willing to try. Please prepare the paper, I ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • "The starting point for convincing should be the Aalims on your staff. "You are right. It's a very depressing scenario. Ulema are mostly Juhala. ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Shahin Sb,I suggest the following:I will send a version in the form of a paper which can be translated into Urdu.I myself have no ...
    ( By Observer )
  • Shahin Sb,The starting point for convincing should be the Aalims on your staff. You have in the past conducted discussions with great vigor but ...
    ( By Observer )
  • Mr Shahin,You can use my name and organize it in Delhi. I can come down there.
    ( By Observer )
  • Observer Saheb, if you are not even willing to put your name to this thesis, how can a discussion be organise. I am willing ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Mr Shahin has given a call for an Islamic reformation but when a clear path is shown for the same, I find that he has ...
    ( By Observer )
  • Arabs are great They don't send their army to destroy you nation.They convert your citizen to islam and use them to destroy your own nation.
    ( By sahani )
  • Dear Am Malik sahib,At a time when even the head of the Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam’s most prestigious seat of learning, has called for ...
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • Mr. Dehlvi,I do not know which Wahabi or Maulana Maudoodi text have you read to so vehemently misquote them?   I have in details ...
    ( By Am Malik )
  • Roshan ji, you write amazingly well. Your writings do wonders to the seekers of the path of enlightenment and peace. Keep up the good ...
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • Dear Ghulam Muhiyuddin Saheb,I take your points and would like to add to your valuable inputs. As a pressing need of the time, all ...
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • Mr Yunus,You can afford to say all these things because you are staying in India or in some western country. If you say the ...
    ( By TIM )
  • Muhammad Yunus and Shahin  saheban,Awaiting your response to my comment:By Observer - 2/26/2015 7:39:50 PM
    ( By Observer )
  • Thank you so much Ghulam Ghaus Sahab for your grasping the essence of my article: ideological destruction of ISIS, a barbaric cult that despite ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Nice article. May Allah Almighty bless you, Mr. Ghulam Rasool.
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
  • I spent many days reading on www.mukto-mona, where i came across many articles of  Avijit Roy and other Bengali writers Muslims and non-Muslims.Avijit Roy ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • " This is a fight inside of Islam where everybody comes together against these outlaws.” . . . .This is very true. But can ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • This is a real shame! Advocates of religious freedom seem to be a favorite target in many countries.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • गुरु जी बहुत बहुत धन्यवाद इतनी उमदः जानकारी देने के लिए।कुदरत आपके क़लम को और ताक़त बख़्शे।और हमे आपके क़लम से और सीखने का ...
    ( By खालिद हुसैन )
  • “The discussion that we need to have is about how to eradicate the Islamic State group militants who are at the root of the problem and ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
  • Mr. Muhammad Yunus truly said, “Since he (Mr. Graeme Wood in his essay) writes authoritatively based on his misconceptions, he reaches wrong conclusions and can misguide his ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
  • Mr. Abdul Khaliq,You have exactly said. 
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )