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Books and Documents

Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam

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)....

Mr Ismail argues that many of the doctrines in Islam are based on the out-dated Arab socio-economic situation of the sixth century, and that much of the Islamic Jurisprudence now used by Islamists is no more than tribal reading of key religious sources. He advocates the separation of Mosque and State, so to speak, which is contrary to the rallying call by Islamist jihadists and their ideologues for Sharia as the supreme law in Muslim countries. This call is equivalent to the Bible being declared the law in Christian countries, an unthinkable preposition in this day and age…….

Why Qital (Warfare) In The Name Of Jihad Will Never Stop? Even Sufi Scholars Call Quran Uncreated, Eternal Like God, Hence Even Its Contextual Verses Are Of Universal Significance and Applicable To Muslims For Ever
Misbahul Huda

Editorial Note:  The following is an article by a Sufi scholar, a product of Indian Sufi madrasas who seeks to prove using age-old arguments that Quran is uncreated, divine like God, eternal, and so all its verses, including the contextual and militant, are of universal significance.

Why do we need to discuss and even take a stand on this hoary controversy today while many wise men of the past have tried to brush these under the carpet? Let me explain this as I have done before in different threads.

Why is Quran being created or uncreated relevant for us today? If Quran is created, that is, if it  is a compilation of verses that came from time to time to guide the prophet as the need arose, the context of the verses become important. In this situation only verses that do not require a context assume universal significance. This is as it should be. This is the commonsensical position.  If it is uncreated, however, as all the madrasas apparently teach, just a copy of the eternal book lying safe in "lauh-e-mahfooz" in the divine vaults, from eternity, then each and every verse assumes eternal significance and has to be followed without reference to the context.

That is why all our madrasas that teach this are creating radical literalists who see no reason why they should apply their mind. If Quran says somewhere, “kill the kafir," they can go out and kill the kafir. No reference to context is needed. Every word is of eternal significance. It is just a copy of the  book safe in lauh-e-mahfooz in heaven. ---- Sultan Shahin



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  • The fact of the matter is that the Quran was understood as it was meant to be understood in the Prophet's times and for ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Surely dear Listener, when “Caliph Umar used to entrust a lady, Shaffa bint ‘Abdullah as an inspector over the market in Medina” he was ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Siraj Sahib, It is inconceivable that after 1400 years anyone can say anything about Islam which has not be said before. During this time ...
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  • Nasser Sb, I was wondering how could you come up with this article on the fly as it were while debating in another thread and ...
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  • Yunus Sb, I was hoping that you would respond to my previous two comments so that we could close the discussion on the subject. I say ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • When ISIS claimed to have established a caliphate, you brought out a special issue on Islamic caliphate in historical background but it gave the ...
    ( By ahmad )
  • what does your own newspaper preach Mr Siddiquee?
    ( By ahmad )
  • No, they are like the Jews who said only we are God's chosen ones.
    ( By hashmat )
  • Excellent article. Good tribute to Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Does the Jamaat recognize Jesus as our prophet? He said, "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
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    ( By Akmal Misbahi )
  • Has Ayaan stopped telling lies now and has she acquired the knowledge that her Maccan Muslims even from Somalia are not the followers of ...
    ( By rs )
  • For Hirsi Ali, the only good Muslim is an ex-Muslim! As such her value as an interlocutor is zero.
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  • I fully agree. If we cannot bury the hatchet 1400 years after Karbala, there is something wrong with us!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Afzali this is Nothing new, this phase is normal for every human being, and their first choice is to learn the religion In ...
    ( By Aaiyana )
  • I am hindu and vegetarian I have faced similar problem at all levels from renting house to share dining table because I live among ...
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  • Medam Ghazala Why don't you go to india and see what Muslims do in the India with there freedom religion, abuse all majority of ...
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  • Dear All, Please stop this non-productive discussions. you so called mature and leaned people engaging this kind of blame-game is really very disgusting. the ...
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  • Sultan Shahin Sahib : your statement:"I have violent disagreements with him, but he is an expert in Quran. He has spent far more time ...
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  • Sultan Shahin Saheb, You probably do not know that one point in time, it was Mike Ghouse who was unable to answer my questions. ...
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  • Lodhia Saheb, Thanks very much indeed for your concern for my vilification and defamation at the hands of Naseer Saheb. Anyway, don't worry. I ...
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  • Sultan Shahin Saheb, I can understand the hideous nature of our learned Muslim men. Little wonder that ordinary Muslims are doomed because of the ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
  • Naseer Saheb, the ideology of terrorism is indeed an offshoot of Salafi/ Wahhabi/Ahl-eHadeesi/ Deobandi ideology. This is so well-known and well-established now that it ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Mr Shahin, Regarding Political Islam of Maududi: Khalid Suhail, Did you miss the following from my comment? 2. Political Islam is not rooted in Islam or its ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Mr Shahin, this is what you said to Noor Alam: 2/24/2015 2:04:13 AM Mr. Noor Alam, please don't put words into my mouth. When ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Mr Shahin, You are nothing but a cheap liar with little integrity and a deliberate one at that. Show me if I have attacked Sufism ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Lodhia Saheb, Naseer Saheb and his identities and names and pseudonyms are not the chief problem facing the global Muslim community. Please focus on ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Respected Readers, As-Salaam Alay-Kum - New Age Islam forum has maintained an open and liberal policy of allowing any Tom, Dick and Harry to ...
    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
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    ( By Raza Ashrafi )
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  • Mr Shahin, I am neither a Wahabi nor a Deobandi. By birth I am a Quadri and therefore Sufi. As should be clear to any ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer SahebI have not given up my project, never do. But I am travelling now and will be back in India late June. Will ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Mr Shahin, You did not respond to my comment: Shahin Sb, Let us go ahead with your program. This should be our Jihad fi sabilillah. By Naseer ...
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  • Unfortunately for you Lodhia, you once again prove to be a complete idiot because Mr Shahin is on the same page as I am ...
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