Books and Documents

Books and Documents

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…..

The Holy Vedas: Part - 7
Pandit Satyakam Vidyalankar

The Holy Vedas: Part - 7

Work and live as an act of offering to achieve immortal fame and complete satisfaction of having lived a successful life. Remember you are the child of immortality and that all life is but an offering, Never forget that the nectar-honey of the flower of mercy is for those who sacrifice, and the life offered is the life accepted. Let the sacred flame of divine fire shine brightly in your soul......


The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: 66 - The Aim of Life
Hazrat Inayat Khan

The main object of life can only be one object, though there may be as many external objects as there are things and beings. There is one object of life for the reason that there is only one life and this in spite of the fact that it appears outwardly to be many lives. It is in this thought that we can unite and it is from this thought that true wisdom is learned. No doubt that main object of life cannot be understood at once, and therefore the best thing for every person is first to pursue his object in life. For in the accomplishment of his personal object he will arrive some day at the accomplishment of that inner object…..


Illusion of Justice: Human Rights Abuses in US Terrorism Prosecutions - Part 10

Unlike other similarly situated Bureau of Prisons inmates,[700] prisoners are designated for a CMU and transferred there without prior notice or pre-transfer opportunity to contest their placement. Instead, within five days of transfer to a CMU, an inmate receives a “Notice of Transfer to Communications Management Unit.” Our review of these notices from several cases suggests they do not describe specific acts or evidence underlying a designation that would permit a prisoner to challenge them....


Bloodthirsty Islamic State Militants Threaten Iraqi Civilians with Genocide But Could Also Have Effects on West
Patrick Cockburn

The resurgence of al-Qaida-type groups is not a threat confined to Syria, Iraq and their near neighbours. What is happening in these countries, combined with the increasing dominance of intolerant and exclusive Wahhabite beliefs within the worldwide Sunni community, means that all 1.6 billion Muslims – almost a quarter of the world's people – will be increasingly affected. Furthermore, it seems unlikely that non-Muslim populations, including many in the West, will be untouched by the conflict.....


Illusion of Justice: Human Rights Abuses in US Terrorism Prosecutions - Part 9

As Human Rights Watch has previously documented,[592] jails and prisons across the United States often respond to prison or inmate management challenges by segregating individuals from the general population, often through prolonged physical and social isolation, for hours, days, weeks, or even years. Isolation for 22 hours per day or more, and for one or more days, fits the generally accepted definition of solitary confinement.[593] When it is prolonged, solitary confinement can constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment prohibited by human rights treaties to which the US is party....


Express Investigation Report of Riots in Uttar Pradesh
Appu Esthose Suresh

A third of all “communal” incidents recorded by police in Uttar Pradesh in the 10 weeks following the Lok Sabha election results have occurred in — or on the fringes of — 12 assembly constituencies that are scheduled to go to polls over the next few months. If a larger circle is imagined — covering broadly the region around these constituencies — this proportion rises to two-thirds, police records scrutinised by The Indian Express show. The records show a running strand of attempts made by an aggressive BJP, a desperate SP, and a flagging BSP to turn every clash involving individuals from the two largest religious communities into a communal issue. There is also clear evidence of provocation in areas where Dalits and Muslims live together, leading to communal polarisation……

All Parts of the Investigation:

Express Investigation Part-I: Over 600 ‘Communal Incidents’ In UP Since LS Results, 60% near By-poll Seats

Express Investigation Part-II: My Loudspeaker versus Your Loudspeaker

Express Investigation Part-III: Dalit-Muslim Divide Deepens, Goes Rural

Fighting Kids to Dhaba Bill: Takes Little To Keep Communal Pot Simmering

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: 65 - The Alchemy of Happiness
Hazrat Inayat Khan

The soul in Sanskrit, in the terms of the Vedanta, is called Atman which means happiness or bliss itself. It is not that happiness belongs to the soul; it is that the soul itself is happiness. Today we often confuse happiness with pleasure; but pleasure is only an illusion, a shadow of happiness; and in this delusion man may pass his whole life, seeking after pleasure and never finding satisfaction. There is a Hindu saying that man looks for pleasure and finds pain.…..

The Sufi Message: Excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Discourses on the Unity of Religious Ideals: 64 - More on the Soul
Hazrat Inayat Khan

The word 'soul' is used by different people in different senses. But the manner of its connection with the body proves it to be divine. Therefore, the Sufi conception of the soul is that it is the divine part in man. The fire that comes from coal or wood is in reality the part of the sun that is in them. When the soul qualities arise in the heart of a man and show themselves, this proves that it is the divine part in him that rises, like the flame in the fire. Soul is in all objects, both things and beings.....


Illusion of Justice: Human Rights Abuses in US Terrorism Prosecutions - Part 8
Human Rights Watch

Sentences in terrorism and terrorism-related cases vary considerably. In the 494 terrorism and terrorism-related prosecutions we reviewed based on Department of Justice data, defendants who went to trial received a median sentence of 11.3 years, while those who took plea agreements received a median sentence of 3.2 years. More than one-third of those who took a plea deal received either no prison sentence or a sentence of time served. [546] However, 91 defendants received sentences of 15 years or more, including 19 life sentences...


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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A comment on my article sent through mail: Aaj jiss daur se hum muslman guzar rahe hain in halat mien hamare muslman hone ki jo zimmedari ...
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
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  • Dear Joginder Singh, Your piece on the fallout of Paris Attacks on common Muslims is well written and a clear reminder to the Muslim community to ...
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  • Dear Rashaad Shabab, Good and timely article and find your following concluding sentence axiomatic: "If we can address the spiritual vacuum and sense of disenfranchisement ...
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    ( By zumamusa )
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    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
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    ( By zumamusa )
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    ( By zumamusa )
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    ( By zumamusa )
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    ( By zumamusa )
    ( By Amy )
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    ( By Amy )
  • Or perhaps, I can get you to take a look...well, Google it...all the people buying bunkers, while those same people are creating all the wars. ...
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