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Books and Documents

Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam

Muslim world is yet to liberate itself from the stranglehold of outdated dogmas, which have nothing to do with the real teachings and the true spirit of Islam. Muslim scholars and intellectuals must develop the spirit of free enquiry in finding the answers to challenges of modernity while remaining faithful to Islam’s eternal principles enunciated in the Holy Quran. Religious extremism and sectarianism which are tearing apart the Muslim world must be abandoned. This is unlikely to happen unless the Muslim governments give the pride of place to education and encourage freedom of expression and moderation in their programmes, which is not the case at present.....

One of the most pressing issues in the eyes of the early Muslims was the protection of Qur’an’s sanctity. Numerous times throughout the Qur’an and sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Muslims are reminded that the Jews and Christians corrupted their texts over time, which now cannot be taken as authentic. As a result, early Muslims developed an isnad system for ensuring that the Qur’an and Hadith would not be subject to change by human error, either intentional or unintentional....

Islamic law is supposed to be dynamic, so as to retain its relevance to the needs of changing circumstances. In this regard, Ijtihad (independent reasoning) assumes primary significance, absent when traditional views hold sway. For the exercise of Ijtihad, it is imperative to face issues head-on by initiating the process of wider debate by scholars. To sweep them under the carpet with an ostrich-like attitude will get us nowhere....

Islamic Reformation: Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Her Heretic Are Murdering the Cause of Seculars
Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Hirsi Ali’s proposed reformation of Islam, on the other hand, is completely the opposite: it demands a gleaning of the Islamic scripture, itself. Not only that, it asks Muslims to abandon the very core of their faith: the Prophet Hood of Muhammad (PBUH) and the divinity of the Quran. That is like asking Christians to denounce their claim that Jesus Christ was the son of God....

The Fundamentals of Islam and Islamic Fundamentalism
M N Buch

Unfortunately the extreme Sunni sect of the Wahabis has steadfastly opposed Ijtehad, which is why under Wahabi’s influence the fundamentals of Islam have been converted into Islamic fundamentalism.  Today it is this form of bigotry which has given Islam an extremely cruel face and set it in opposition to the rest of the world. One can only appeal to Muslim savants, religious leaders and those who are true believers to come out in the open and restore the fundamentals of Islam so that fundamentalism disappears....

Islam stands for love and affection, peace and amity, moderation and enlightenment. However, the shenanigans of the fraternity’s extremist strands have given handle to the compulsive detractors of our religion to depict it as a creed of violence and bloodletting....

 

Takfirism: Declaring Others as Infidels, or Conveying the Message of Truth?
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam

A thousand years have passed following this unanimous decision of the Ulema but yet the practice of Takfeer or declaring others Kafirs has still not stopped. This un-Islamic practice of Takfeer still continues among Muslims....

The Madressa Mix: Beneath the Surface
Syed Ali Shah, Manzoor Chandio and Ali Arqam

Mosques have always been described as community organisations, designed and built to involve the neighbourhood in the management of its affairs. Many Madressahs in Karachi arrived as mosques too, run and administered by mosque committees. Mosques located in commercial and business localities have a great advantage: traders and businessmen readily contribute to the income of the mosques and its Peshimam. Rent received from shops constructed along their boundary walls and other space leased out makes the mosque financially stable, and thereby, makes it easier to turn the mosque into a Madressah....

 

Other Related Stories

Lords of the land

Shikarpur’s Sardar-Madressa Nexus

Balochistan: Seminaries Instead Of Schools

 

The 21st Century Call For Islamic Reformation (Part I)
Preciosa S. Soliven

Ijtihad is the application of reason and reinterpretation to the message of the Quran. It allows every Muslim to reconsider the message of the Quran for the changed circumstances of the 21st century.“What was true for the 9th century Mecca and Medina may not be the best interpretation of Allah’s message today....

Shah Waliullah’s Islamic Reformation in 18th Century India: Sufi or Wahhabi?
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

Shah Waliullah tried to strike a balance between the orthodoxy in Islam introduced by Ibn Taimiya and the Islamic heterodoxy championed by Sufis. He believed that Islam had two vital aspects. Its exoteric side was concerned with the protection of the public good but its esoteric aspect involved the purification of the heart through virtuous deeds......

The call for an "Islamic reformation" is ringing out across the world in response to the rise of Jihadi militant groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram, asking "Where is the Muslim Luther"? In the many opinion pieces and outright prescriptions gracing the pages of magazines, newspapers and blogs, one hears a clear message of "reform or die!" Given the menace posed by Muslim militant groups, this is neither surprising nor unreasonable....

These animals are not Muslims' valuable possessions or part of their wealth. So sacrificing animals does not mean sacrificing their valuable possession. So it turns into a mechanical rite rather than a spiritual practice. One wants to sacrifice Rs 20, 000 this year, so he goes to the cattle market and buys an animal worth that amount and then slays him on Eidul Adha. So what he sacrifices is his money and not an animal he loved.

 
The Quran, the Prophet’s Practice and Ijtihad
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam

The Quran, the Prophet’s Practice and Ijtihad
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam

Islam is based on three foundations: the Quran, the Prophet’s practice or Sunnah, and Ijtihad. These three sources can be explained in other words as ideology, application and reapplication respectively....

 

Imams: From Passive Preachers to Active Reformers
Suhail Ahmad

Maulana points to the neglected issues like caste-based discrimination among the Indian Muslims as a consequence of “erroneous interpretations of the concept and rules of kufu or social parity that relate to marriage”. This, he notes, has made a complete mockery of Islam’s preaching on social equality and brotherhood. He refers to the sectarian rivalry “that has completely destroyed the unity of Muslim society”....

 

According to Holy Quran, any kind of deviation from the right of humanness is injustice. It includes all acts of injustice to others as well as all acts of impropriety (indecency and immodesty) corruption, perversion, and immorality....

 

Egypt Strikes Islamic Texts from Schools; Lesson on Saladin and Gen. Uqba Ibn Nafi, and Some Ahadees Deleted, Angering Salafists
Ayah Aman

Lessons on Saladin and chapters of the story of Gen. Uqba Ibn Nafi were among the first to be removed from Arabic-language classes, for addressing historical Islamic figures, causing much controversy. Some Quranic and religious provisions were also removed from the Islamic curriculum....

 

Reflecting On The Actual Thoughts Of Allama Iqbal About The Reconstruction Of Islamic Theology, relevance of Democracy, Khilafat, Sufism, Spiritualism, Secularism, etc.
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

In his thesis, Allama propounded that since the world is constantly changing, Muslims need constant evolution of Islamic theology to keep pace with the world. It can be inferred from his religious thoughts that modern democracy can go a long way in achieving this goal and the inconsistent concept of “caliphate” should be replaced by the coherent concept of “republic”. With a view to fostering this thought, he courageously challenged the status quo in the Muslim world. It is not difficult to see why Allama’s book “The Reconstruction of Religious Thought”, is banned in Saudi Arabia….

Related Article:

Related Articles:

Preface: The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam By Dr. Muhammad Iqbal

Lecture 1: Knowledge and Religious Experience

Lecture 2: The Philosophical Test of the Revelations of Religious Experience

Lecture 3: The Conception of God and the Meaning of Prayer

Lecture 4: The Human Ego – His Freedom and Immortality

Lecture 5: The Spirit of Muslim Culture

Lecture 6: The Principle of Movement in the Structure of Islam

On The Reconstruction Of Religious Thought (Part 2),  The Power Of Conceptual Frameworks
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

If the framework fully captures the divine plan, it will prove to be robust and will always provide the right answers to questions and prevent misinterpretations. If it imperfectly matches the divine plan, it will throw up anomaliesor contradictions which can be used to refine the framework or discard it as unreliable. The framework provides a hitherto unmatched power to further explore the Quran and mine for answers to complex questions faced and can be used by anyone. The framework replaces the defective frameworks and axioms of the past which considered every non-Mulsim as “Kafir”….

Related Articles:

Action Points for Defeating the Extremist Ideology

Is Islam Secular

What Does It Mean To Be A Literalist And AFundamentalist?

Who Is A Kafir In The Quran? (Part 3): Why Kufr Is A Relative Concept While Shirk, Idol Worship Etc. Have Fixed Meanings

Preface: The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam By Dr. Muhammad Iqbal

Lecture 1: Knowledge and Religious Experience

Lecture 2: The Philosophical Test of the Revelations of Religious Experience

Lecture 3: The Conception of God and the Meaning of Prayer

Lecture 4: The Human Ego – His Freedom and Immortality

Lecture 5: The Spirit of Muslim Culture

Lecture 6: The Principle of Movement in the Structure of Islam

On the Reconstruction of Religious Thought (Part 1)
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

I believe, using the framework of the spiritual and temporal dimensions to understand the verses of the Quran, greatly changes the way we perceive and receive the Message. Using this device, we see a completely different Universe from what we are accustomed to seeing. I am convinced this is how our Maker wanted us to understand His Word…..

Related Article:

Reconstruction of Religious Thoughts in Islam Has Been a Perennial Message of Muslim Scholars

Preface: The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam By Dr. Muhammad Iqbal

Lecture 1: Knowledge and Religious Experience

Lecture 2: The Philosophical Test of the Revelations of Religious Experience

Lecture 3: The Conception of God and the Meaning of Prayer

Lecture 4: The Human Ego – His Freedom and Immortality

Lecture 5: The Spirit of Muslim Culture

Lecture 6: The Principle of Movement in the Structure of Islam

To counter anti-Islam activities there never was, never has been and never is a shortage of genuine, selfless, bold and truly scholarly reformers in Muslim History. But the self-interested trinity of Pharaohs, Prelates and Korahs drown their voices! Al Hallaj-- the anti-establishment, egoistic Sufi of ninth century was tortured and murdered by the coalition of State and Church of the time for opposing them in manipulating Islam for their own State and Religious interests. Today many young brave scholars are actively participating in similar activities in all sorts of forums all over the world and pronouncing boldly that: “Re-examination of Quran would be a momentous event not only for Muslim’s but for the history of mankind…”

Related Articles:

Preface: The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam By Dr. Muhammad Iqbal

Lecture 1: Knowledge and Religious Experience

Lecture 2: The Philosophical Test of the Revelations of Religious Experience

Lecture 3: The Conception of God and the Meaning of Prayer

Lecture 4: The Human Ego – His Freedom and Immortality

Lecture 5: The Spirit of Muslim Culture

Lecture 6: The Principle of Movement in the Structure of Islam

The Much discussed and debated Medinian Verses Relating to Fighting
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

The Quran is a message for all mankind (12:104, 38:87, 68:52,81:27etc) and not just for the followers of Muhammad (pbuh), from the Lord of all the worlds (1:2, 2:131, 6:45, 7:61, 7:67, 7:104, 10:37, 32:2, 56:80, 69:43)and not simply the Lord of the Muslims alone. ...

Unfortunately however, both the Muslims and the non-Muslims treat the Quran as a book meant only for the followers of Muhammad (pbuh) and Allah as the Lord of only the Muslims.

Islam Needs a Renaissance
Ram Jethmalani

This division of jihad came to be interpreted in Islam as meaning that the outer and less important physical struggle for Islam was over and had given way to the more important inner, moral struggle. The tragedy is that all terrorist organisations are dishonestly concealing this very significant Hadith from their followers....

The Prospects for Reform in Islam
Raza Rumi

Islamists view Sharia as the sole legitimate source of politics and government; consequently, they believe that Sharia must be enforced around the world by a powerful and expansive Islamic State….

In seven years, 2022, Islam will mark the 1,400-year anniversary of Muhammad’s flight from Medina to Mecca. Before we reach that seminal date, let Muslim voices from around the globe band together to remove radical Islam and its practitioners from our faith....

Muslim Democrats Of The World, Unite!
Felix Marquardt, Tariq Ramadan and Ghaleb Bencheik

Muslim Democrats Of The World, Unite!
Tariq Ramadan

Muslim opinion leaders must be aware of their crucial responsibility in this area. If we do not want Islam to be permanently hijacked, it is our duty to constantly advocate moderation and a reformist approach to issues of religious education, governance, the rule of law, freedom of expression and the protection of fundamental liberties while taking a clear stand on the interpretation of scriptural sources (ijtihâd)....



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NEW COMMENTS

  • Tunisia plans to close 80 Wahabi mosques, newspapers, Radio stations to prevent terrorism. Wahabism is terrorism http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/07/tunisia-launches-crackdown-mosques-201472002116194675.htmlhttp://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/07/tunisia-launches-crackdown-mosques-201472002116194675.htmlhttp://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-33297245Tunisia closes 80 mosques used by Najdi Fitna ...
    ( By GRD )
  • Good article! Worth reading.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Any words of condemnation of such intolerant behavior from Deoband or Mobarakpur? Of course not!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Naseer Ahmad sb,I have clearly stated time and again that Maulana Ahmad Raza Khan is neither the idealouge of Sufis in India nor outside. ...
    ( By GRD )
  • It had to happen. And more will follow. We reamined silent when Rushdie, and Taslima, and Ahmadis were abused and targeted. Tehn we let ...
    ( By C M Naim )
  • A comment on Indian situation by Mohammed Jawadon another forum in a similar debate:  "It is happening in India. I have come across several instances of ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Egypt to remove books of Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Baz and Ibn Uthaymeen from all mosquesThe Egyptian Ministry of Religious Endowments have ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • GRD,Clarify your position on the Barelvis or on the followers of Raza Ahmad Khan Barelvi and on Shah Waliullah and Shakih Ahmad Sirhindi.And how ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Naseer Ahmad sb, What Sufism has got to do with Barelvism? Was Sufism originated in  Bareilly, a district in the northern Indian state of ...
    ( By GRD )
  • The Hindu belief system, e.g., justified the Caste discrimination   on the authority of the Vedas. It is said in the Rigveda that “The Dalits were ...
    ( By Dr.A.Anburaj )
  • Dear Aftab sahebhere is whole verse. Please make a ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • this story of haroot and maroot to teach magic because people wanted to learn evil and God listened to their prayers must be a ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Sultan Shahin Sahebyou are the chief of those who are looking petro-dollars in India.why don't have you come up with proofs? why govt. has ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • GRDwhy don't you follow a simple procedure. have a delegation with proofs go to Govt security and finance controlling agencies. Bring them under justice.Instead ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Black Flags of Khorasan and Gazwa-e-Hind are not only pipe dreams, they are mischievous and dangerous ideologies. 'No compulsion' and good neighborliness are the ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Sensible article!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • We have the books but we do not have permission to think for ourselves! Instead of being obsessed with fears of bidat, shirk and God's ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Did anyone say that a person has to be a believer to receive inspiration? Read the Quran. It promises the seeker whatever she seeks ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • GRD,What has all this got to do with Indian Muslims? As far as Wahabism is concerned, its influence is greater on the Barelvis.   It is ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Interestingly, the man who was the most hurt by Ram Jeth Mallani's statement was none other than Maulana Arshad Madni, President Jamiatul Ulama Hind ...
    ( By GRD )
  • Dear Naseer Ahmad saheb,  you accuse those calling a spade a spade of being sectarians. Was the former Union Law Minister of our country, India ...
    ( By GRD )
  • Saudi pumping millions to promote Wahhabism in IndiaIn The Storeshttp://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/saudi-pumping-millions-to-promote-wahhabism-in-india-52171.html
    ( By GRD )
  • United StatesBrasilCanadaAlbertaBritish ColumbiaQuébec (En Francais)DeutschlandEspañaFranceΕλλάδα (Greece)IndiaItalia日本 (Japan)한국 (Korea)MaghrebUnited KingdomTHE BLOGYou Can't Understand ISIS If You Don't Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia Aug ...
    ( By GRD )
  • Naseer Ahmad sb,Would you please give up distressing from the point? What is your say on the quotations I have repriduced above?And if you ...
    ( By GRD )
  • Sorry. i didn't include the link. here is the link:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._V._Raman
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Aftab SahebHere is information about Sir C V Raman, tthe noble prize winner in physics and bharat Ratna.He discovered light scattering and it was ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • GRD,Will you also talk about the works of Sufis who have equally if not more problematics views?We can choose what we teach to school ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Believers will keep always revealed knowledge above everything. They will always give credit to God for any effort of man and resultant achievements.Those scientist ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • The author mentions the tyranny Muslims are inflicting on each other. He also mentions the 'tyr and his gestureannical rulers' India now has. But ...
    ( By C M Naim )
  • GRDwhy are you totally blind to ugly truth of Sufis? are Sufis Gods? Are not they human beings? they were rang e siyars.
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Hujjat ul islams, hakeem ul islams, tabeeb ul islams and mujaddids only added confusion to confusion.where this confusion is originating from?
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • another problem is that in islamic books, scientists are rarely mentioned as seeker of truth. they have not found any space in Muslim books ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Aayana - 6/30/2015 7:27:08 AMgood comment. Muslims check everything whether it is conforming to the Quran and Sunna or not. so any voice ...
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Aftab saheb Good article. for sure so far there is no clarity on any issue. Muslims are confused on everything
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Since Scientist have declared themselves their finding are base on rational thinking, even those who talk dead or predict by talking to non- seeing ...
    ( By Aayana )
  • I agree with Sahibzada. He could read my mind. In fact, I could have given more references from the Quran in this context and ...
    ( By Aftab Ahmad )
  • A wonderful article, Aftab. Congratulations. Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts.
    ( By Asif Merchant )
  • why Sonia Faleiro has to decide what children should eat? Their guardian will be best to decide, eggs are not cheaper they are made ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • "Problematic books and views must be discussed and people must develop discretion to choose what is good and to criticise and discard what is ...
    ( By GRD )
  • Aftab, These are from my earlier comments which you may find interesting as it covers similar ground.    …..for example, the ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )