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Books and Documents

Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam

Muslim Discourse: There Is a Need to Reverse the Narrative Used By Extremists
Nikhat Sattar

Scholars need to come together and discuss exactly what they are bickering about and whether their stances are aligned with Islamic teachings. Muslims should be free to discuss what the Sharia means to their individual and collective lives and which form of it may or may not be relevant. The thousands of ‘Alims’ churned out by madrasas must be monitored for what they learn and subsequently do. Khutbas in mosques need to be carefully assessed and any vitriolic content removed...

Islam emerged as a vitally open society, while remaining aware of its own authentic tradition on which the Islamic identity was passed. It never simply ‘borrowed’ but accepted ideas from other cultures in building upon and shaping already existing elements.

However, it is to be appreciated that the spiritual content of modernism lies in moderation. If this definition of modernism is accepted, then we find that there is no conflict between Islam and modernism. In fact, moderation forms a major theme in the Quran. “Allah has raised the Muslim as the middle-most or a justly-balanced nation and has made it to stand as witness over other nations”....

The Muslim Reform Movement: Even More Necessary A Year In
M. Zuhdi Jasser

Islamism both violent and non-violent – has continued to advance across the globe. Islamist terror in Florida and Ohio, attacks in France, Iraq, Pakistan, India and beyond continue to take innocent lives and create an understandable culture of fear. Meanwhile, many Muslims still find themselves marginalized within their own community spaces: women, Black Muslims, sexual minorities and scores of other vulnerable communities continue to feel ostracized and even persecuted for who they are and what they believe....

The Mantle of Religious Interpretation Needs To Be Taken Away From the Clergy
Raza Habib Raja

A common tactic used by religious rights is to discourage any critical debate, and to give a belittling reference to inadequate qualifications of those who are trying to adopt a reformist approach. What really amazes me that this reference is never made when you are supporting ultraconservative view of Islam?...

Emphasis  On  Arab  Or  Persian  Culture  Prevents  Islam’s  Acceptance As  A  World  Religion
Asif Merchant, New Age Islam

To qualify as a world religion, Islam has to be acceptable in any part of the world, with anyone being accepted as a Muslim, purely on belief, and no other criterion. This can never happen as long as we have people in authority who are not willing to consider that the Holy Prophet had something more in mind for Islam than merely the Namaaz and the Hijab which the clerics are so fond of emphasizing. Consider the so-called Islamic calendar. It only records the lunar cycle, but is useless for agriculture or travel. ...

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.

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  • ﻣﻮﻟﻮﯼ ....... ﮔﻮﺷﺖ ﭘﻮﺳﺖ ﮐﮯ ﺑﺠﺎﺋﮯ ﭘﻼﺳﭩﮏ ﺍﻭﺭﻟﻮﮬﮯ ﺳﮯ ﺑﻨﯽ ﺍﺱ ﭼﯿﺰ ﮐﺎ ﻧﺎﻡ ﮬﮯ ﺟﺲ ﮐﯽ ﮐﻮﺋﯽ ﺿﺮﻭﺭﺕ ....
    ( By Hisham Qidwai )
  • آئینہ جھوٹ نہیں بولتا ۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔م ابن عبد الوہاب نجدی کے لاڈلوں پر زمین تنگ ۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ پرفیسر طالب الر حمان ...
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  • हदीस से प्रभावित होकर मुस्लिम लड़की ने शुरू की कम्पनी, बनायीं न्यूट्रिशन बारटोलेडो ऑहियो।...
    ( By Abdul Gani )
  • *غیبت اور اس کی تباہ کاریاں قرآن وحدیث کی روشنی میں* *غیبت کی تعریف بہارِ شریعت میں*
    ( By Abdul Gani )
  • The way SULTAN SHAHIN is defaming islam, if i start just qouting Vedas, what can i expect from Hindus. They would abuse me and label ...
    ( By Truth )
  • Has writer tried his hand in the field of satire, or was he really serious about this article? I am very confused.
    ( By Pankaj Verma )
  • There is no reason to “wonder”. The Ulema ARE the clergy, clever operatives and traders (2-79) of the CHURCHES....
    ( By No Wonder )
  • those that are engaged in the study of unicorns can never find common ground.'
    ( By hats off! )
  • Asking Trump to not recognize Jerusalem as Israeli capital is not Jew hatred. Both Israel and Palestinians have claims on Jerusalem and its status  is to ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The Ulema have always been bigots. Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi, the king of all bigots, was a contemporary of Akbar who was the most secular of ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The advice to keep away from people who are at war with you is good advice for all times but who these people are will ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • You do not need but the world need every one to support pluralism. Without the overall support at humane level we think it is not ...
    ( By Zubair Ansari )
  • Dear Hats off! I am lost with your comment. You don't seem to appreciate the historical underpinnings of the warning and are giving it an anti-Semitic ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • France Warns Trump Against Recognising Jerusalem As Israeli Capital" jew hatred and anti-semitism are the european gifts to the jews.
    ( By hats off! )
  • But for the refined people like Sultan Shahin, Islam might have been banned in all secular countries. Every post of Mr. Shahin makes me believe ...
    ( By Ajoy Chakra )
  • Although every religion comes with its share of flaws and Hinduism is no exception ....But Hinduism has enough space for every sect and we are ...
    ( By Kartikaey Pulkit Mishra )
  • This post is not from a muslim. Although his name looks like a muslim. Actually he is an agent and his only mission is to ...
    ( By Pervez Ahmed )
  • Beautiful, I entirely agree with Ghulam Mohiyuddin. It does not mean that " Nauozibilla" we want changes in Holy Quran.
    ( By Nizam Elahi )
  • #सच्ची_घटना एक गांव में राजपूत, ब्राह्मण, बनिये, तेली, हरिजन आदि जातिके लोग रहते थे, सभी मिलजुल कर शान्ति से रहते थे। एक दिन गांव के ...
    ( By Kartikaswara Gouda )
  • (Abusive word deleted..... Editor) moron... Rss ka chmacha'
    ( By Nayeem Lone )
  • This man is paid agent of Jews and defame, muslims and Islam. It is his carear goal, and he has nothing to do with any ...
    ( By Manzar Khan )
  • Mollah All though the issue s are very surprising ly controversial issues,but needs a proximity of its aspirants annalicies,,to finds outs the deviattion,,&it's deterrent ...
    ( By M A Ohab )
  • Now today...islam is same word to terrorism..'
    ( By Arkajyoti Batabyal )
  • The main cause of hate mongering is the quranic division of Muslim vs kafir !!  It creates a superiority complex among the muslims and they consider ...
    ( By Deep Krishna Sharma )
  • Like every religion, reforms in Islam is met with resistance. I don't get the countless justifications that many Muslim columnists offer against the abolition ...
    ( By Deepa Natarajan )
  • eeing some of the comments from diff experiences. Knowledge and the truth is a process to refine. every body got ideas...
    ( By Kolipaka Sudeep Kumar )
  • Very good article. keep on intellectual brain storming. As all we need to love - peace - respect each other along with human development. Education ...
    ( By Kolipaka Sudeep Kumar )
  • Another new age funding from Zionist . Why not remove hajj subsidies....
    ( By Syed Qamar Anwar )
  • “Primarily because it is showing signs of allowing gender justice-based reforms in Muslim Personal ....
    ( By Royalj )
  • We do not need either Raza Ahmad Khan or Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi to assert our support of....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Agama or religious schools are probably no better than the RSS shakhas and shalas. Such...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A prohibition on evolution of religious dogma will, with the passage of time, have....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "I for one embrace the Quranic call to be a witness for God, uphold justice, manifest perfection of goodness, attend to the bounds of lineage ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • sideways is the best way forwards
    ( By hats off! )
  • @Abdeen Mukhtar Ahmad That is why there are more kafirs in this world....
    ( By Rohin Dhar )
  • Idol worship and idol thought always create schism. No need reformation in Islam. Such a pure religion. Hindus have many idols they must reform their ...
    ( By Abdeen Mukhtar Ahmad )
  • @Ghulam Mohiyuddin Consensus is necessary but there are 2 forms of consensus - Among various different....
    ( By Deep Bhatnagar )
  • In real sense Islam has been captured by silly Moulanas who are using...
    ( By U.p. Ojha )
  • This is a well argued and well written article. It is time for Muslim intellectuals to look inside their hearts and decide what...
    ( By mohammad imran )
  • This is the best explanation of Al wala and Albara.
    ( By Aslam JMI )