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Books and Documents

Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam

The respected one hundred thousand Ulama & Mashayekh, Imams and Muftis of Bangladesh were asked the following questions:

1.         Does Islam, as a great religion of peace, support terrorism and extremist activities?

2.         Did our prophets, especially our beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pubh), preach Islam by applying this type of brutal and ferocious method?

3.         Is Jihad and terrorism the same thing in Islam?

4.         Is terrorism a path to Heaven or Hell?

5.         Can suicidal deaths be termed as a death of a martyr?

6.         Is genocide legal in Islam?

7.         Does Islam support killing children, women and old people?

8.         Isn’t killing people while they are praying a crime?

9.         Is attacking churches, temples, pagodas etc. legal in Islam?

10.       Is it or is it not our duty to form social resistance against terrorists and extremists in the eyes of Islam?

Read the Full Text of their over 6,000-word fatwa below:

Translated from original in Bangla by NewAgeIslam.com

 

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.

 
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  • Do the writer believes that ISIS is a muslim organization. No, its a sham organization...
    ( By M D Younus )
  • There are two parts to this article and in saying that readers focus only on one part, I was doing injustice to the article. The ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • I guess people have difficulty understanding the article although it is short and in simple English. Otherwise...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • @Venugopal Bhat islam doesnt own any explation or clarifiation to people like you seems to like hindu fanatic
    ( By Shafeeq Mohammad )
  • asking people to read quran & judge islam by that only & refuse to take into account the actions of the muslims starting with the ...
    ( By Shahev Sen )
  • it's religion of peace. who accept "live in peace" and who deny "rest in peace". that is only fact.'
    ( By Sharma Shruti )
  • Hasan Faraz I am still waiting for your out right condemnation of the evil...
    ( By Venugopal Bhat )
  • @Hasan Faraz This is called selective Amnesia... The same scientist are saying Islam is a threat to world peace. The same scientist say Islam is the inspiration and ...
    ( By Venugopal Bhat )
  • What a mentality of Islam's followers... Hates others religion but they have barbaric laws of their own'
    ( By Narayan Sarmah )
  • Ha haaa Mr Venugopal Bhat u r suffering from islamfobia....the religion which came into ...
    ( By Hasan Faraz )
  • The French police has recently insulted a pious middle-aged Muslim women wearing a Burkini at ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • @ Hasan Faraz I challenge you Do you condem the evil Islamic preaching of ARMED JIHAD ...
    ( By Venugopal Bhat )
  • @V Krish Naturalist u r talking about the stupidities....u r the follower of that religion where animals r called mother and real mothers are snt ...
    ( By Hasan Faraz )
  • Asking people to read quran & judge islam by that only & refuse to take into account the actions of the muslims starting with the ...
    ( By Shahev Sen )
  • GM Sb, You Say "Psychologists say babies know right from wrong even at six months. Scientists studying animal behavior believe they have growing evidence that ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Actually Qur'an study without meaning : Quranic meaning without internel understanding are really bannable.'
    ( By Hanif Uz Jaman )
  • Prisha. You are trying to understand history by taking a snapshot of society today. Many men including me, want to see a fair deal to ...
    ( By Manzurul Haque )
  • I am really saddened by this article as a woman. No religion, no scripture, no time can ever ...
    ( By Prisha )
  • We digress. The overall point is a simple one. You can believe anything you want. You can interpret scriptures any way you want. You are ...
    ( By Inas )
  • Rather generous of Dan Pipes. But his institute is concerned with the Middle East and not France, perhaps he should concentrate on the former and ...
    ( By C M Naim )
  • Naseersaab, How Christian or Muslim victors in wars treat the captured is a matter for historians and news papers to record. The business of religions is ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A refutation of takfiri ideology is long over-due. Islam does not permit coercion, wanton violence or fassad. Anything that is not rational, compassionate and inclusive ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Royalj sb, what is 'picking the brain'?'
    ( By Manzurul Haque )
  • @V Krish Naturalist Ur idea about islam is not new.... U brihmin.. because u r born to insult others.'
    ( By Hassamul Haq )
  • @Barnard Shah said that lslam is the best but muslims may be worst.Mr. Chodhary u should study sincerely about Islam then i hope your thinkjng ...
    ( By Shamsul Arfeen )
  • @Shafeeq Mohammad lol..u failed..am a humanist..I don't believe in any wwf religion Islam or Hinduism or anything else...better luck next time.'
    ( By V Krish Naturalist )
  • @Ashish Choudhury islam has more superior solution then this modren bullisht (some democracies ) Onky the need is to follow in right way
    ( By Shafeeq Mohammad )
  • @Damodar Kansara Jodhpur who ask youvto interfer in our matters When you cannot see the wrong done by others When the world dont havecgutts to ...
    ( By Shafeeq Mohammad )
  • @Debasis Chatterjee what is ill concept unscientific practies can you pkease give us examole we know what modern world mean allowing gay sex when you ...
    ( By Shafeeq Mohammad )
  • Dear Naseer Ahmed sb, I fully believe in the verse 4:34, which gives an edge to the man over his wife, if he maintains his ...
    ( By Manzurul Haque )
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    ( By Shafeeq Mohammad )
  • @Kulsoom Aayat we humiliate stupidities in any religion that claims superiority...but we don't do torture and killing coz we are peaceful humanists..not religious blind zombies. '
    ( By V Krish Naturalist )
  • Since I am a truth seeking Christian I find that there is no uniform interpretation about Qur’anic verses. The total Shia community in the world ...
    ( By Dr Thomas Mathai, India )
  • Royalj, You are indulging in straw man arguments and outright lies. This is what I said:...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • You all may humiliate us, torture us and even kill us but certainly can not deviate us ...
    ( By Kulsoom Aayat )
  • Instead being ashamed, one bloody, tried to bark like a mad pig! They can take all modern ...
    ( By Debasis Chatterjee )
  • The following are three articles on the subject of women:..
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
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    ( By Damodar Kansara Jodhpur )
  • @Ashish Choudhury, Apurva Kumar Dutt,Venugopal Bhat ,Hiten Yadaf if you dnt any thing about islam shut your mouth if want to learn about islam then ...
    ( By Shafeeq Mohammad )
  • It is the Muslim Countries and Islamic scholars should find a way out.This can not continue ...
    ( By Ashish Choudhury )