At a café in central Delhi on a Sunday afternoon, I met Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, a journalist and Islamic scholar, clad in a black Kurta and white pyjama. Dehlvi is also an advisor to a madrasa in the Okhla neighbourhood. “The linguistic skills of madrasa students are empowering them,” Dehlvi said. “There is a perceptible boom in the job options … be it translation, interpretation or as facilitators for patients from the Middle East.” Dehlvi has done such work himself. “I got a chance to work as an HR person some time back only because of my expertise in Arabic,” he said in an extremely soft but clear voice......
...why are you sitting silently and allowing such atrocities to take place? Is this silence not tacit approval? If we are not fighting it, have we not accepted it? And if we have accepted it, we have permitted it. And that is exactly why all of Pakistan is responsible for the act of the few that indulge in this atrocious crime…..
Though the way polygamy is practiced might have changed over the years, the mindset of men has not. Many men view polygamy as an act of virtue, an endeavour to follow in the footsteps of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Polygamous marriages nowadays happen in secrecy as men feel this is the best way to keep out of trouble. However, secrets do not last long.....
Quran obligates all Muslims to seek knowledge regardless of their gender. Many Kenyans, he said, still marry off their girls for a few thousand shillings “because 20,000 Kenya shillings, will give you how many cattle or cows?” Rather, he said, that the goal should be to educate girls, as it is in the Muslim tradition, “... if that girl becomes an advocate, an engineer, she will buy you cows every month until you die.” …..
The world will be surprised to know that the constitution of Pakistan has a provision for piety; the one thing that the nation-state in the 18th century had begun thinking was not measurable. Today, crime is described in penal codes, and then punished. Religion too punishes crime, albeit at times too harshly, like cutting off the hand for pilferage. But how can you punish lack of piety, like not knowing a certain Arabic verse of the Quran by heart?....
Madrasas with Indian teachers are not nurseries of jihad but those with staff from other countries are a potential hunting ground for terror groups. This has been the finding of a secret report that has been put together over the last one year and submitted to the Union home ministry. It is at such madrasas that young Muslims are indoctrinated in jihad…..
The state has to be secular and truly democratic for prosperity and solidarity, enabling Pakistan to enter the fold of modern states. At the same time Pakistan, like Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia, should retain its Islamic identity. In a nutshell, Islam, secularism, and democracy should go hand in hand in Pakistan…..
It was the scientific miracles in the Qur'an that caught his attention. What stood out for him were the facts and figures mentioned in the Qur'an. It was simply amazing to read the details mentioned in the Qur'an about the formation of the baby in the mother's womb, the stars, the oceans and how science today acknowledges all these facts. He was blown away by this; he didn't know that there were people long ago who accurately talked about the stars and so on…..
Such horrendous acts are symptomatic of the kind of brutal society we are becoming. The context is much larger than we perceive in our anecdotal understanding of our social pathology. The reason I stepped in was to correct some of the misreported facts. We are already surrounded by so much of horror and suffering that we cannot afford as a society compounding of the same by unverified twist of a tale. It is one of the functions of investigation to sift facts from fiction: the poor child was neither slaughtered [I mean, literally] nor subjected to limb-breaking torture. And this was precisely one of my concerns when I was getting into the nitty gritty of it. I could not keep mum over mis-painting of an already painful incident. Any human being in possession of facts shall feel a similar call of duty. I know my clarifications do not make it any less gruesome a murder, nor do they minimize the blackness of the soul that committed it, but they do paint a factual picture. But, having said that let me once again reiterate that literally no stone is being left unturned in this case.
Shahzada SULTAN (PSP)
Assistant Inspector General of Police (Operations),
Balochistan Police Department, Quetta
From debauched Gulf rulers to utterly corrupt Malik Riaz Hussains, the faithful philanthropists lavishly spend on mosques and madrasa networks. Saudi-sponsored, Kuwaiti-funded, Iranian-financed mosques and madrasas dot the entire landscape of Pakistan, perhaps the entire Muslim world. Even Western towns, housing sizable Muslim diaspora, have become sites of Saudi-funded Islamic Centres. Meanwhile it seems that Malik Riaz has a new hobby. Always fond of buying generals and journalists, of late he is lavishly spending money on mullahs.….
Ghulam Ghaus, New Age Islam
Three consecutive attempts to spark communal riots in Delhi have largely hurt the peaceful citizens among both Muslim and Hindu communities. After the rioting in Trilokpuri, the peaceful environment of Delhi as a whole was in danger. But thanks to the Delhi police, Aman (peace) committees were set up to thwart further conspiracies of the rioters. The attempts made by a 20-member Aman committee with 10 Muslims and 10 Hindus to rebuild broken ties in Trilokpuri coincided with simmering tension in another area of Delhi in Bawana. This was followed by a heart-wrenching incident in a mosque of Okhla in which a dead pig was surreptitiously put to stir communal violence. But Muslims acted with restraint, behaving as tolerant devotees of Islam and maintaining the ideal of retaining a peaceful environment of co-existence.....
Zafar Zulqurnain Sahi
Sadly, in several cases of alleged blasphemy, the practice has been nothing but un-Islamic, unlawful and unjust. The space – ought to be occupied by justice – between allegation and execution is filled by a mob and exploited, misconstrued beliefs. There is no due process, no court and no opportunity to defend oneself. The threat looms over all our heads, not just the non-Muslims. All you need to have me killed by an “angry mob” is an accusation of blasphemy. There is no need for any proof, a fair trial or even an actual occurrence to constitute someone as blasphemous……
The subject can help students discover divinity in their hearts. It can make them aware of the divine presence behind the whole universe to which we belong. The Islamic messages are all-encompassing, and always open for multiple interpretations; it is like a garden with a variety of trees, plants and herbs etc, adding to the beauty of the garden.....
Consuming pork is sinful and forbidden in Islam. However, Islamic law does not prescribe whipping or incarceration to those who consume pork. The religious doctrine may prohibit certain behaviours and consider them sins. This does not make those acts a crime......
The council persistently avoids looking into the essence of the Muslim concept of marriage. All that is required is a declaration by each partner of his or her decision to accept the other as the legally adopted spouse and some witnesses to vouch for the event. That the parties to this contract should be mature enough to decide about their lives is a principle embedded in the concept. The question of anyone giving away anyone in marriage is at best of tertiary relevance.....
Many are of the opinion that this absolute devotion to the Sufi saint is not entirely unfounded. As per stories passed down by generations of his disciples, soon after the shrine was built, there was only brackish water found in the area. Ghazi’s followers were concerned about not having access to clean drinking water, when out of nowhere, a spring of fresh drinking water started trickling behind the shrine. His devotees claim the water, which flows to this day, to have healing properties.....
Yasser Latif Hamdani
A Muslim who
commits blasphemy also technically commits apostasy. The religious cure for
apostasy is to renounce apostasy and re-enter the fold of Islam. Should then
the offence of blasphemy not be subject to similar renunciation and reversion?
Meanwhile, non-Muslims in any event being out of the faith of Islam are allowed
to practice their faiths. Therefore, technically, could non-Muslims even commit
recommended practices in Islam actually keep the body moving: praying 5 times a
day with a preference given for prayer in the mosque, walking to and from the
mosque, and participating in many social activities. Fasting, in addition to
the fasting in Ramadan, is highly valued in Islam, and fasting in itself is an
exercise of all the organs in our bodies……
day-long drudgery of cooking, cleaning, caring for children and other such
chores are woeful tales of passports confiscated upon arrival, wages unpaid for
months, sexual and physical abuse, confinement, and denial of adequate food and
examination of their ideology smacks of hypocrisy. Is not the worship and
religious reverence of the Stone building Kaa’ba, the black stone, Muhammad’s
tomb and many other objects by the large majority of Muslims the same thing? If
taken in historic context, to gain knowledge, the visit there would make good
sense though. Yet the very thought of destroying these ancient religious relics
which are revered if not worshiped, is unthinkable to the whole Muslim nation.
To the religious Moghuls and custodians of two Harams – the Khadim ul
Haramain and followers of an “ideology” that would be an anathema too, for
it will cause economic disaster when the oil eventually runs out. It seems that Religious Spirituality cannot
survive without the man-material-tangible idols……..
Islamicisation of the curriculum in any school is a complex phenomenon. I did
not come across a single understanding of what “Islamising” or “Islamicising” a
curriculum meant, with opinion varying across schools and even between parents,
pupils and teachers within the same schools…..
behind boys in school attendance, making up 54% of the out-of-school child
population in the Arab states, a figure that has not changed since 2000. Of the
ten countries that fare the worst for child school attendance rates, seven are
Muslim. These are Nigeria, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso,
Niger and Yemen: countries that are often considered hotspots for acts of
violence against women and school girls……
Wahhabi destruction of cultural and historical sites and spiritual heritage of
Muslim countries, a number of Sufi-minded Indian Muslim clerics gathered at the
Sufi shrine of Mehrauli Sharif, Delhi and held a meeting to discuss their
concerns. They aim at preserving the Sufi heritage in India. Regrettably, the
Wahhabi-controlled Waqf board in India is making every possible effort to
strengthen the Wahhabi/Salafi grip over the Sufi shrines and heritage sites.
Obviously, it is being done at the behest of influential Wahhabi/Salafi
individuals and institutions in all the Waqf properties, mosques and monuments
with the ulterior motive of destroying harmonious Sufi culture that has been
the main source of composite culture for Indian Muslims…..
If your mind is
not used to inductive logic — a scrutiny of events without a “categorical”,
prejudging, initial statement — you cannot join the dots of probability as a
normal person would. As an instrument of demystification, conspiracy enables
the primitive man to survive a life he can’t understand. Muslims suffer from
life-explaining conspiracies collectively and have become dangerous for the
At this time of
great disorder and confusion in the world, "The Sufis" reminds us
that there is in fact a way forward towards clarity, coherence and sanity, and
even more - a connection to a larger purpose. The beginning lies in an openness
to this very possibility……