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Books and Documents

Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam

Islam Is In Need Of a Renaissance: It Is Not Enough for Muslims to Say That Terrorists Misinterpret Islam
Saif Mahmood

Islam is in need of a Renaissance. Like every other religion that has grown by proselytisation, Islam too has had a violent history which, in those times, was defensible. However, much as the advent of Islam was all about progressivism, unlike their proselytising predecessors, Muslim theologists have failed to inform their beliefs and attitudes with contemporary standards and demands of inclusivity. There is a pressing need to present Islamic texts unambiguously and in consonance with present-day realities, leaving no room for misconstruction by anyone. ...

It Is True That ‘Terrorism Has No Religion’ but Islam Has To Embrace the Modern, Examine Its Theology Afresh
Rakesh Sinha

Two Islamic concepts, Jehad and kafir, are interpreted from an extre­mely moderate to a highly extremist manner. This is an issue Indian Muslim seminaries need to ponder on. Secular education is another solution. Common schooling creates mutual sympathy and goodwill. Many madrasa teachings lead to radicalisation....

Ijtihad, the Cornerstone of Islamic Tradition, Has Been Put in the Cold Storage, What Went Wrong
M Zeb Khan

Ijtihad, which was the cornerstone in Islamic tradition, aimed at connecting the immutable principles of Islam with changing conditions of the world, has been put in the cold storage for the last five hundred years. Instead of defending their sectarian turfs, the Ulema should have worked for unity of the Ummah and its repositioning as a global power....

Muslims Can Reinterpret Their Faith: It’s the Best Answer to ISIS
Hassan Radwan

Realising the Qur’an is fallible will not destroy Islam. It will destroy the literalists. For the rest of us it will free us and free our reason so we can take what is useful and helpful from religion and ignore what is not. Islam did not come to replace the mind God gave us and turn us into heartless robots. ..

Contradictions of Religion

However, the most conservative and radical elements of Islam are being used to rationalise, legitimise and excuse the most violent acts against states, people and societal institutions. And, regarding the role of women, so-called honour killings and the embrace of Salafist and Wahhabi ideologies, Islam is in conflict with modernity....

Muhammad Ali Delivered A Powerful Punch for A Non-Doctrinaire and Egalitarian Islam
Saba Naqvi

Contrast this with how the guardians of Islam in our country often present the religion as a series of fixed dos and don’ts. The Indian clerical class has largely been bereft of any ideas that could have a universal appeal, in the manner in which the Sufi path did at one time in our history. Their mission statement seems limited to teaching children by rote and hanging on to their turfs by energetically defending personal laws that are anything but egalitarian....

 

The Right Way to Observe Ramadan: Fast According To the Dictates of Your Conscience
Mustafa Akyol

Fasting during Ramadan is an act of worship intended for God. It is meaningful only when it is driven by a genuine will to obey God’s commandments — not the laws of the state or the vigilantism of society. The latter does not nurture true piety; it only nurtures fakeness and hypocrisy. That is why the Quran says there should be “no compulsion in religion” — and no compulsion in fasting, either....

 

Fasting Ramadan When the Day Is Extremely Long or Short and the Moderation of Islam
Louay Fatoohi

Islam is a religion of reason and calls for reasonable rulings. This has underlined the work of jurists and scholars over the centuries. Reading the Qur’an and Sunna in a completely rigid and literal way, as in the case of the view of Ibn Baz and Ibn al-Uthaymeen, fails to understand the spirit of the text and objectives of Islamic law (Maqāṣid al-Shari’a). ....

And

Calculating the Ramadan Timetable in High Latitude Cities Using Mecca’s Length of the Fast

 

The New Religious Revolution
Yassin El-Ayouty

Sharia law, when coupled with Ijtihad (reason applied to religious texts), has a lethal power. Against jihadism, that is, whether of the Islamic State (IS) group, the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Nusra Front, the friends of Beit Al-Maqdis or Boko Haram....

A Complete Agenda for Reform in Islamic Theology
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

My articles seek to establish the truth and knock out the falsehood on which the terror mongers thrive. The problem however is that their ideology is not very different from the corrupted Islamic theology supported by the Ulema of all sects. In the past, Allah has punished entire nations for corrupting His message and scriptures and spreading mischief. If we fail to see the truth and take corrective steps, the history of other nations on which the wrath of Allah descended, will repeat for the Muslim Ummah….

Ijtihad And Pakistan: Iqbal’s Greatest Contribution To Muslim Thought Is The Idea That Ijtihad Could Only Be Done Through A National Parliament, Not By Clerics
Yasser Latif Hamdani

None of the Imams of any of the established schools of jurisprudence ever claimed to be recipients of divine wisdom. They did their job admirably as expounders of Islamic law for their time. They never claimed their works to be the final word. If that were the case, there would be only one single Fiqh but that is not the case. If, as we believe, Islam is not time bound, it should not be hidebound either....

Islam in the West, Muslims in the East
Prashanth MP

In the Sunni narrative, the Mujahid movement that swept through Kerala in the first decades of the 20th century was inspired by the ‘Westernised Islam’ of Muhammad Abduh, the Islamic scholar in Egypt, who said “I went to the West and saw Islam, but no Muslims; I got back to the East and saw Muslims, but not Islam.”...

 

The problem does not originate from IS any more than it does from Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Wahhabism, the MB or the Salafists or any other group. Neither, does the problem originate in the so-called USA-created groups and, the USA cannot be held accountable for such a belief system. Neither is the problem lying in a handful of radicals tainting the image of Islam. The problem lies in the fact that these foundational concepts of Fatah, Jihad and Shahada have not been addressed and properly explained to Muslims by Muslim clergy.....

World affairs and global problems of scarcity are secular issues. In crescent of Islam and Afghanistan particularly, a great proportion of populace are more worried about the afterlife than this life. When heavens are to be cared more than this earthly abode you end up making this 'dwelling' of ours hell. That is what Afghanistan has regrettably become with Taliban in ascendancy. Every voice of reason and rationale is nipped in the bud.

 

Muslims Need A New Definition Of Islam In Order To Survive
Haroon Moghul

The majority of Muslims are Sunni, usually following one of four “schools.” Nowadays Wahhabis are counted as Sunnis, although (a) Wahhabism emerged in rebellion against Sunni Islam, and (b) for a long time a lot of Sunnis did not see Wahhabis as part of their tradition. A significant minority of Muslims are Shia, further distinguished by various branches within.....

Why Should A Fatwa Affect Non-Muslims?
Robin Augustin

With the  Malacca government declaring that they are following a national fatwa in imposing a blanket ban on vaping and the sale of vape products, non-Muslims in the two states must be wondering why an Islamic edict should apply to them.

 

Islam need not be attuned to the normative demands of modernity for there will always interpretations from the epistemological pluralism of Islam which will contest this view. Rather the normative present should become the standard against which Islam should be judged. ...

It Is Time For Muslims To Begin A Deep Self-Examination
Yasmine Bahrani

In the wake of the Paris bloodbath, the attacks in San Bernardino, Calif., and Bamako, Mali, and murders elsewhere before and since, people desperately want to understand the root cause of all this violence. That’s true not only in the West, where many blame Islam itself. It’s true in the Middle East, too, where we are struggling to come to grips with the carnage and the region’s role in it.

For A New Understanding of Islam

Our responsibility as Muslim citizens is to be part of the solution despite our grievances. If we want to defend the life and civil liberties of Muslims around the world and the peace and tranquility of every human regardless of their faith, we must act now to tackle the violent ex- tremism problem in all its dimensions: political, economic, social and religious.

Islamic Thought Must Be Constantly Regenerated
Anas Alam Faizli

Islam is a religion that inculcates thinking. If we encourage thinking, and if we allow continuous discussions and debates, we will nurture intellectualism and progress. We need to question in order to understand the purpose of certain systems, rulings or judicial decisions.

Who Needs Reformation - Islam or The Muslims?
Bashy Quraishy, New Age Islam

Simply put, any faith that does not accept its follower’s quest for exploratory questioning or fulfilling the ordinary human desire for spiritual and moral advancement, would in the longer run have difficulty in appealing or contain ability to fill the inner void resulting in the lack of peace. That is why, it is alarming that some groups within Islam wish to enforce a puritanical form of faith that was prevalent 1500 years back. The practices of 7th century are gaining ground in 21st century, among Muslims communities at large and even some of the educated and aware Muslim youth are attracted to it, both in the Islamic world as well as in the western part of the planet.

Muslims, We Have To Critically Review Our Understanding Of Islam
Fethullah Gulen

Our responsibility as Muslim citizens is to be part of the solution despite our grievances. If we want to defend the life and civil liberties of Muslims around the world, and the peace and tranquility of every human regardless of their faith, we must act now to tackle the violent extremism problem in all its dimensions: political, economic, social and religious. ...

 

Indonesia’s Islam Nusantara: A challenge to Islamic State?
Azis Anwar Fachrudin

The 90-minute film Rahmat Islam Nusantara (promoted in English as The Divine Grace of East Indies Islam) has attracted international attention, along with the idea of Islam Nusantara, after a piece about it appeared in The New York Times. Sharing the theme of Nahdlatul Ulama’s (NU) national congress several months ago, the film always intended to share the idea of Islam Nusantara, Indonesia’s unique style of Islam, with a global audience.

 

How Well Do You Know Religion?
Nicholas Kristof

It’s true that terrorism in the 21st century is disproportionately rooted in the Islamic world. And it’s legitimate to criticize the violence, mistreatment of women or oppression of religious minorities that some Muslims justify by citing passages in the Quran. But let’s not stereotype 1.6 billion Muslims because of their faith. What counts most is not the content of holy books, but the content of our hearts.

 

The New Center: Between the Right's Bigotry and the Left's Apologism
Ali A. Rizvi

...I wanted to be able to criticize Islam as one should be able to criticize any set of ideas, but I didn't want to be seen to demonize an entire people -- the people I was raised by and grew up with. Neither narrative made this distinction between ideas and people. It is crucial to emphasize the difference between the criticism of Islam and anti-Muslim bigotry: the first targets an ideology, and the second targets human beings. This is obviously a very significant difference, yet both are frequently lumped under the unfortunate umbrella term, "Islamophobia."

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NEW COMMENTS

  • @Venugopal Bhat When u talk about violence,compare all the scriptures of judaism,christianity,hinduism with ...
    ( By ﻣﺤﻤﺪ مخدوم اعزم )
  • No doubt 95% of terrorist in the world are followers of Islam... This definitely means there is something in the preaching of Islam which inspire or ...
    ( By Venugopal Bhat )
  • Tarek fateh is worse then a street level urchin . his language and style of expression which is typical MANUVADI language.,...
    ( By Dolly Passey )
  • Whats ur prblm'
    ( By Syed Omer Hussaini )
  • FACE 2 FACE IN 7 th Century MUSLIMS KILLED Kafirs USING Swords
    ( By Preet Prasad : )
  • For everyone his religion is superior,but zakir says 8slam is superior and above all. Ever he met allah?those who are spiritual can not talk like ...
    ( By Ranjit Singh )
  • Well said...real kafirs are those who believe in violence....real Muslims are those who believe in peace
    ( By V Krish Naturalist )
  • All are misunderstood Islam. Dear brothers read Quraan and the sayings and doings of Prophet Muhammad SA. Islam is not a killing machine but ...
    ( By Saidu Pallipparambil )
  • Anyone from any religion says only his god is mighty and condemn others religions is bad thing. Why it is happening in whole world whether ...
    ( By Ranjit Singh )
  • Mr Saidu Pallipparambil If we read Qran And Hadit will you please read Greta with its Explanation or "The Life Of Swami ...
    ( By Piyali Kanjilal )
  • Absolutely there is no any ground, reason or any need to confront with Zakir Naik, Any one may have difference of opinion with any intelllectual, ...
    ( By Aamir Rizvi )
  • Blasphemy laws are repugnant to modern world ethos. Pakistan must repeal all of its blasphemy laws.'
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • I am quite shocked to read the comments by Royalj. Probably he has very little knowledge of history. First about Bangladesh. I never heard that ...
    ( By Dr. M.A. Haque )
  • I am shocked by Maulana's strange answer. He blamed the Muslim leaders for the rise of ISIS and not US or UK. Anyhow he is ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • The peace-makers are happy people. They love, and desire, and delight in peace. It is no surprise Maulana is living beyond 91 years. Son ....
    ( By Royalj )
  • Yes, there are Israeli atrocities against Palestinian Muslims,yet one's brutality is not a justification to so-called Islamists to kill innocent human ....
    ( By Mohammad Ghitreef )
  • @Madan Mohan Prasad Shah Please read my post carefully.. What I said was ' These aspiring writers ..
    ( By Jayaraman Subri )
  • fact is in democracy we should ban all those so called preachers, reachers, reasearchers and instead give weitage to democracy....
    ( By Indrajit Sinh )
  • Sultan shaheen sahab kya aap ko dua kanoot yaad hai phir islam ki baat kijiye'
    ( By Rather Tahir )
  • Kafir like you cant teach our muslims and ulemas'
    ( By Shafeeq Mohammad )
  • I will write tomorrow again about this chosen way of life for all human beings, _ _ _ _ _ _ _'
    ( By Rukhsana Lari )
  • When we call water in different language doesn't change its composition yes coexistence matters all religion have war peace cheat fair etc..'
    ( By Venkataraman Sharma )
  • #Jayaraman ..Calling others as infedals describes your mindset of hatrade ..'
    ( By Madan Mohan Prasad Shah )
  • Regardless of religion, conversion in mass numbers have been recorded in cultures wherein the disparities between the majorities and minorities were gross. The Umayyad rule ...
    ( By Deepa Natarajan )
  • Regardless of religion, conversion in mass numbers have been recorded in cultures wherein the disparities between the majorities and minorities were gross. The Umayyad rule ...
    ( By Deepa Natarajan )
  • Maulana Wahiduddin Khan knows how to get the right message from the Quran. Equally eligible for the title of Aalim of the Subcontinent is the ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Jb Ghulam Mohiyuddin Sb is absolutely right in his estimation of Urdu journalism and Mr Tufail Ahmed as well. He very well knows that ...
    ( By Abdullah )
  • गैर मुस्लिमो को बेबकुफ़ बनाकर इस्लाम स्वीकार कराओ नही मने तो बच्चों को जिन्दा दीवार में चिनवा दो। मार डालो काट डालो काफ़िर कह कर ...
    ( By Navin Chandra Jain )
  • Each to our views. All is respected as long as it honors the others. I didn't mention British. I mentioned Europeans. This is a minor point. Two ...
    ( By Deepa Natarajan )
  • what you said is mostly correct. on two points i disagree. india experienced invasion and plunder not only from muslims and Britishers but from others. ...
    ( By Dolly Passey )
  • It needs a lot of courage to initiate a page as this ... and to have a q&a as this ... while I do empathize ...
    ( By Deepa Natarajan )
  • @Arun I agree with your statement..'
    ( By Jayaraman Subri )
  • What he saying us fine but the innate backwardness of this community comes from the fact that questioning the book or its tenets are not ...
    ( By Arun Kumar )
  • ' Islamophobia ' ...this word was recently coined by aspiring writers ( mainly English speaking , Oriental writers or should I say Asian origin writers ...
    ( By Jayaraman Subri )
  • @Arun Kumar You have a name: troll.'
    ( By Deepa Natarajan )
  • @Arun Kumar yes there is fundamentalism among all religions. cancerous system VARNA system still being glorified in many state school books. many saints GOD ...
    ( By Dolly Passey )
  • @Deepa I know. I am now convinced you are ignorant of the texts and philosophy. Only the ignorant talk like that. Good luck.'
    ( By Arun Kumar )
  • Find out yourself.'
    ( By Deepa Natarajan )
  • @Deepa Where is the fundamentalism in Vedic philosophy? I mean the texts.'
    ( By Arun Kumar )
  • And I am a contemplative ... I only hear one language in all religions. And do know a fundamentalist in one religion is not any ...
    ( By Deepa Natarajan )