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Books and Documents

Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam

Reshape Islamic Thought
Saadun Suayeh

The problem, however, does not lie in Islam, which, if properly interpreted, can be a tremendous force for good, compassion, tolerance and progress. It lies rather in those few people who have held this great monotheistic faith captive to their pathological minds. It is, therefore, incumbent upon Muslims, in the first place, to salvage their beautiful religion from the claws of extremists. A new renaissance, such as the one that we witnessed in the 19th century at the hands of the brave pioneers mentioned above, is needed…..

Using 'al-Salaf al-Salih (the Righteous Predecessors)' to Misunderstand and Misrepresent Islam
Louay Fatoohi

Ignoring the inauthenticity of the Hadith, there is another problem with the way Salafi movements have understood it. The Hadith claims that the first three generations of Muslims were the best ever Muslims, which might mean that there were the most pious, but it does not state that they have discussed and covered all aspects of Islam or that their understanding of certain Islamic practices were supposed to be eternal. None of this is even hinted at in the Hadith, yet this is how Salafi groups use the concept of Salaf. They take what the first generations have said and done as the first and last word on everything. While they accept that Islam is a religion for all times, they fail to realize that this must mean that while its principles do not change, the way those principles are applied are bound to change with time, place, and circumstance.....

Muslim world is yet to liberate itself from the stranglehold of outdated dogmas, which have nothing to do with the real teachings and the true spirit of Islam.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….



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    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • सत्ता में आने के बाद सरकारी सदनों में सरकारी खजाने का बड़ी रकम का इस्तेमाल पानी में बहा देते हैं. हर दिन पार्टी और ज़शन ...
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    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
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  • It should read deglamorizing
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    ( By hamid quraishi )
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    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • काफी समय से जिंदा रहने वाले आतंकवाद कभी ख़त्म होने का नाम नहीं ले रहा है. कुल मिलाकर हर जगहों पे फैल रहा है. आतंकवादियों ...
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    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
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  • Great article! We need to understand what the Quran tells us. As for hadith, we may only accept what is possibly true that matches the ...
    ( By Mubashir )
  • I agree with the divorce procedure described. There are only two pronouncements of Talaq that are material. The first one is to start the divorce ...
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  • While I agree in general with the article, I would like to invite the attention of Maulana Waheeduddin Sb on the following verse: (49:14) The desert ...
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  • (4:15) If any of your women are guilty of lewdness (وَاللَّاتِي يَأْتِينَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مِن نِّسَائِكُمْ), Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you ...
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    ( By Yusuf, TX )
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