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Books and Documents

Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam

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.

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.

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • a kuffar is a "unbeliever" according to most of the online arabic dictionaries. anyone who tells us otherwise has provide the proof....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Example of the most modern and liberal Muslim majority country : As defined by the Constitution of Malaysia, Malays must be Muslim, regardless of their ...
    ( By Ashok Sharma )
  • There is no point in digging the medieval history. All religious societies had their share of persecution of other religions. The only difference is that ...
    ( By Ashok Sharma )
  • yes. pakistan has a drinking problem. they are drunk on islam....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Secularlogic, When the verses tell you clearly that only the kafaru will be punished and explicitly mention the kufr of the kafaru which was religious persecution ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • "The separation of religion from politics forms the foundation of any pluralistic post-Enlightenment liberal society. The ..
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The writer, maybe inadvertantly, purports to depict a wrong picture of the real Sufis like Khwaja Baqi...
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • It is you who is ignoring the truth and making insupportable claims about Islam, Mr Ahmed...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • western imperialism was brutal for islam. right. how good was the islamic invasion of india?....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Secularlogic, I have walked you through the verses of Surah 9 (Taubah) and showed you that the Quran makes clear the meaning of kafir which ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Ref. Comment by Mr. Imran: Please do not paint believers all over the world in the same way. There are so many Muslim dominated nations where ...
    ( By Dr. M.A. Haque )
  • Being heartless about the tragedy of the Rohingyas is probably the worst way of empathizing with the Yazidis or the Ahmadis. It may however be ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • It would be a sad day for America if liberal and secular democracy becomes passe. All other 'asabiyyas' are frightful.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • We lost the art of dialogue and reconciliation a long time ago. Now all we have is mindless takfir
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • And when was this happy time, Mr Mohiyuddin?'
    ( By secularlogic )
  • no tears for the yazidis in syria either. or the copts in egypt. or the ahmedis in pakistan. or the kuffar mayor in indonesia. or the ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Maulana Sahab it is behavior of the believers that counts not the writings in the scriptures...
    ( By mohammad imran )
  • It is no wonder Americans have elected Donald Trump. Anyhow I appreciate this Muslimah for her brave statement; while other Muslims in the West demand ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • beautiful article! thanks a lot!' ...
    ( By thanks! )
  • Ibn kathir narrates:”Abdullah ibn Wahb ibn Zamah (RA) related on the authority of Umm Salamah (RAA) who narrated that the Messenger of Allah(Sal) ...
    ( By SHOUKATH )
  • Sad to see the rise of regressive Islamism in Indonesia.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Islam was once diverse, flexible, wise, essentially kind and unthreatening." True! Hence Salafism/Wahhabism, contrary to what its followers think, is not true Islam.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • If zakir naik says any religion as wrong he him self decide it with out reading of full sloks and pick and Chose of his ...
    ( By Vivekananda Kumar D )
  • Dear Moderate muslim bros let us all work human values which need balanced - integrated livelyhood. can any one religion...
    ( By Kolipaka Sudeep Kumar )
  • Allah is with Dr. Zakir Naick. He will not be afraid of this RSS govt. in India.'
    ( By Basheer Ahmed )
  • One must go on jihad at least once a year. One may use a catapult against them when they are in a fortress, even if ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Chapter 9: Repentance 3 Give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom to those who disbelieve,...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • It does. Read: The Quran'
    ( By secularlogic )
  • It does not. Read: The Misrepresentation of the Quran through Mistranslation
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Thank you Ms. Aly! Wish you a very merry Christmas.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • As the Iraqi security forces retake territory from the Islamic State, more mass graves are being uncovered...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • We don't need end-time prophesies. We need present-time wisdom.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Why are so much killing in Islam ? Among muslims.??/?'
    ( By skai )
  • bowing low and kissing the lady's feet .... thank you madam, for your graciousness in allowing christians to celebrate the birth of....
    ( By secularlogic )
  • it is a pity and a sign of the times, when a hooded muslimah saya to christians in london "nothing wrong with celebrating christmas".....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Ok, but the Quran also says do Jihad till all across the world all prayer is for Allah only. It partitions the world into the ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • I hope the people who are in charge of making decisions read this and makes peace reign.'
    ( By Abdu )
  • This is what the Quran says: Let there be no compulsion in religion. To the peaceful rejecter of faith be his own way....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Is that so Secularlogic? Read the story of Dr Jerald F Dirks' conversion to Islam. Dr. Dirks is a former minister (deacon) of ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • the real victims of isis are the yazidis and other non-muslims of the middle east. ISIS is the crystallization of the fate of the kuffar in ...
    ( By hats off! )