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Books and Documents

Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam

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Muslim world is yet to liberate itself from the stranglehold of outdated dogmas, which have nothing to do with the real teachings and the true spirit of Islam.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

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....



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NEW COMMENTS

  • Dear Naseer Saheb, you have quoted Natana J. DeLong-Bas to say in her book “Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad: “Although a person ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Rational says, "those who are unaware of the Quran and hadith have raised their voices against the death of blasphemers." . . . .You ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "Another problem that must be seen in the light of progressive Islam is how Muslims should deal with what many call “Salafism”. As an ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The comprehension of past jurists and past ulemas should not be our guide. We should derive our wisdom from our reading of the original ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • " Reform, to my mind, is possible only through a call to a return to the Islam of the Quran." . . .I agree! ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Those who depict reality as travesty they are helpless people,frustrated people, an finally worthless people.those show are killing and dying are doing some ...
    ( By afaqsiddiqi )
  • Mr naseer says modern Islam is a travestyof.islam.may. I ask who is making it a travesty? Do the Jews and the Christians are making ...
    ( By afaqsiddiqi )
  • Insha'Allahu my dear Jenab Yogi Bhai Sahib, Insha'Allahu. I am presently reading Hazrat-ji Mawlana Wahiduddin Khan's books and I will write on the purpose ...
    ( By Henry Francis B. Espiritu )
  • He has said right in this para:Inspired by the right understanding of Islam, Muslims need to proactively reach out to people of other faiths, ...
    ( By Mohammad Imran )
  • आतंकवाद का कोई धर्म नही होता है ! अगर आप आतंकवाद को आप धर्म से जोड़ कर देखते है तो आप अपनी नजरिया बदल ...
    ( By Bushra )
  • To further disappoint you Rational, not one of the verses in the Quran, that speak of apostates and apostasy, talk of punishment in this ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Rational,What I hear you saying is that:1. You are of sound mind and body.2. That you are an apostate of Islam3. That you are ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • rational has neglected nothing. these verses are used by Muslims to punish the apostates.do you want an apostate should live in fear so that ...
    ( By rational )
  • rational has neglected nothing. these verses are used by Muslims to punish the apostates.do you want an apostate should live in fear so that ...
    ( By rational )
  • it only means that if one fights for his beliefs against Muslims must be killed.To Muslims the Quran is truth. To unbeliever it is ...
    ( By rational )
  • The punishment for one who turns a renegade in times of war is death in all countries/societies. And yet the Quran takes great care to ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • so coming back to Islamophobia only Islam and Muslims are responsible. I would say that fear is real as it is instilled by islam ...
    ( By rational )
  • GMyou have one statement(doubtful) to your favor" there is no punishment for apostasy in the Qur'an"your believer brothers have more arguments than you to ...
    ( By rational )
  • Rational neglected to quote the next two verses:(4:89) They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Islam either demands heads of apostates or silence of apostates.if apostates want to share their unhappiness with Islam it is treated like treason against ...
    ( By rational )
  • Al Quran:They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they). But take not ...
    ( By rational )
  • GMI am not stopping you from spreading the message you want to spread. However i don't agree with the Quran has nothing to do ...
    ( By rational )
  • Rational, it is better to spread the word that there is no punishment for apostasy in the Quran rather than fight a silly war ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • thank you very much henry ji for your good wishes.do please consider writing a LONG article on thhe purpose of life.....
    ( By yogi )
  • A glaring contrast observed by a long distant observer.   How two dissimilar Nations treated their benefactors who made exactly similar contributions to their respective countries’ ...
    ( By Distant Observer )
  • you are free to express your opinion about my strategy.<br>we are talking about the Quran and Hadith not on common sense. on common sense ...
    ( By rational )
  • Rational says, "i will keep beat you with the Quranic and Hadith verses." . . .That is poor strategy on your part. Your attacks ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Thanks likewise, my brother Yogi Sahib for your comment. May our Beloved All-Merciful Allah bless you and your family ba-shafaat-e Rasul Pak Hazrat Muhammad ...
    ( By Henry Francis B. Espiritu )
  • Wasim's article is superb! Agree 100 per cent with what he says. Muslims need to reform themselves internally and externally. Focus on purifying their ...
    ( By Noorie )
  • I would buy this author's well meaning piece, if I had not read the Quran and the HadithThe Quran has imperialist, exclusivist, anti-nonMuslim, misogyinistic ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • thanks very much henry for this! good to see you back on NAI --after quite a while, i think!
    ( By yogi )
  • http://indianmuslimpost.blogspot.com/2013/01/ghazwa-e-hind-what-should-indian.html
    ( By rational )
  • "Naimatullah Shah WaliThe Sufi Saint, Seer who lived in the Indian subcontinent (Kashmir Valley) around 900 years ago. He has made a lot of ...
    ( By rational )
  • GMyour trick of putting question mark on me neither has proved fruitful in past nor in future.you will keep slinging psychological jargon on me ...
    ( By rational )
  • Islam says "kill the gays by throwing them from the roof"Is not Islam simple enough?
    ( By rational )
  • GMyes. i am mentally healthy.why are you asking such foolish question?i have killed none. i ahve abused none.i have raped none. i have killed ...
    ( By rational )
  • Rational, you have been carrying on your sick hate war on the faith of over a billion peaceful Muslims for so many years. You ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • When I saw Richard Miniter's name I decided to take this article with a grain of salt.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Seeking Hadiths for further guidance is not only a manifestation of Muhammed-worship but also an expression of our unwillingness to think for ourselves and formulate our ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Very good article even if it makes no mention of how Hindus feel about 700 years of Muslim rule and how organizations such as ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )