As in many other Muslim societies, the educated elites in Bangladesh who grew up under Western colonial rule or in its immediate aftermath believed in Western-style secularism with mosque-state separation. The further they travel from the colonial era, the more they feel the pull of their native Islamic culture……
The Quran and Art
Ambreen Shehzad Hussaini
THE Holy Quran has been approached from many perspectives: linguistic, liturgical, historical, exegetical, sociological, psychological, anthropological, aesthetic etc. People approach sacred texts from their own perspectives, their reading fed by their needs, interests and experiences. This article aims to highlight the artistic approach towards appreciating the Quran. This may enable the readers to see how Muslims have explored and experienced the Quran through art…..
Eman Imran of class VIII said the course helped her not to judge and stereotype unfairly those who believe differently. It also made her understand that faith is embedded deeply in the hearts of mankind and religions express this faith in many ways, but most importantly, it taught her why Islam is actually a universal faith and why we have chosen to be Muslims….
In the interest of Muslims, there is an urgent need to reform or shut down Darul Uloom Deoband, the internationally known Islamic seminary engendering obscurantism, sectarianism and religious orthodoxies harmful to Muslims. In a recent fatwa, it ruled that Shias, mainly Bohra Muslims, are non-Muslims, violating the egalitarian tenets of the Indian republic. Fatwas are Islamic legal opinions given in response to a query and, while not many Muslims follow them, they do influence the devout ones. The accepted view that no clergy exists in Islam is untrue, as a large number of clerics in Indian villages act as doorkeepers to Muslim minds…….
Madrasa- a Great Experience
Muhammad Ezaz-ul-Haq Sahibzada
It revealed on of tragedies of our beloved land. A nation which believes in great religion of Islam has left it to those who turn to Islamic education only when they cannot afford any other education which could give them a better earning. So the product of such religious institutes is, with all due respect, hopelessly substandard. Understanding of modern world of an average graduate of such institutes is miserable resulting basically from quality of education of such institutes and the social class the student represents....
As a matter of fact, radical Islamist movements were never able to find their grassroots at imam-hatip schools and theology departments. These schools have not been home to violence and fanaticism. Moreover, several students, after gaining religious knowledge in these schools, have continued on with their education in totally secular departments of universities that educate and prepare them for secular professions. …..
One: In 1947, when Hari Singh, the ruler of Kashmir, opted to stay independent, Pakistani armed intruders from Pakistan attacked Kashmir. Hari Singh then signed an agreement to join India, and the Indian army was sent in to defend Kashmir.
Two: Hari Singh started a brutal campaign to drive out Muslims from Kashmir. Over 200,000 people in the princely State, supported by the tribesmen of the Northwest Frontier Province, were successful in liberating a large area of Kashmir from the Maharaja’s control. So Hari Singh was forced to turn to India for help and in return acceded to India…..
Imagine the muddy feet, the dirty smelly clothes, no surety of food for the day, no money in the pocket, let alone banks, no transport. Recall their mistakes and shortcomings; recall our anger, lack of forgiveness, zero tolerance, and humiliation they face every day. And now, switch sides. Imagine they were us and we were them. Scary thought, isn’t it? They didn’t choose their fate neither did we. So why not fear the Creator who put us in a MORE difficult test than them by giving us authority over them....
According to Google, Pakistan remained No. 1 nation for searching websites for "rape pictures" between 2004 and 2009, "rape sex" since 2004, "child sex" between 2004 and 2007. Google recently ranked Pakistan as No. 1 in the world in searches for pornographic terms, outranking every other country in the world in searches per person for sex-related content….
You often hear about how Egypt educated the Arab world. But somehow we have since forgotten to educate our own citizens. What’s worse, we spend a lot of money doing a pretty lousy job at it. Educational outcomes in Egypt are reasonable for Egypt’s level of economic development, on average, but much less impressive given the high level of both public and private investment….
Chaotic as it may seem, Karachi is home. Karachi is a place to learn. Karachi is passionate. Falling in love with this city and its people is unavoidable. And like most love stories, your heart will be broken but that doesn’t stop you from loving….
In its golden centuries, Islam's scholars were not afraid of entering into philosophical, jurisprudential and even theological dialogue and interaction with non-Islamic scholars and texts. Unless our Islamic scholars are well-versed with the sciences of this age, memorising and citing old texts, however sacred or precious they are, will not help Muslims to save themselves from their current unfortunate situation in the world….
Professor Dawkins observed that “all the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.” This time round, the old provocateur managed to get a rise out of folks. Almost every London paper ran at least one story on the “controversy.” The Independent‘s Owen Jones fumed, “How dare you dress your bigotry up as atheism. You are now beyond an embarrassment.” The best-selling author Caitlin Moran sneered, “It’s time someone turned Richard Dawkins off and then on again….
And what does one make of Abraham’s own cry of anguish: 3-67, 6-76 &79, 6-162 where he eventually turns his attention towards none but the “primal creator of the Heavens and earth”, and rejecting all the other pagan and physical symbols and objects “the idols”, including those carved by his father, that he had thought were powerful and worthy of worship as gods? The above then begs the question- did the previous Messengers, with the confusing exception of Abraham, disobey God’s commands? Did Abraham and his family visit Makkah? Is there something amiss here, intentionally and/or lost in translation? Another poet echoes Abrahams anguish:-
“Nah Rab Tirath nah Rab Makkay” – The Lord is neither in Tirath nor in Makkah
“jis paa tis noor anwaar” – In all direction is Your brightness and glory.....
Let’s Redeem the “Benefits” of Hajj!
Muslim clerics are usually well versed in the field of Islamic scholarship. These Ulema are generally expected to have solid background knowledge of Muslim jurisprudence known as Fiqh, which constitutes the sum of principles and stipulations expounded in the Quran and those revealed or enhanced by the prophet’s tradition, the Sunna….
One of the names is hard to forget, ‘B-Virgin’, the package displaying a youthful girl smiling at white flowers. I admit there is the potential for dark humour given the name; instead it just makes me very sad. This is the message we are giving our girls, our women. “Don’t be true to yourself; instead invest, medicate and fake it so your partner can be satisfied with how pure you are.”....
The imbalance of male/female ratio that was caused by WWI and WWII where the men soldiers perished in large numbers; the sociologist say gave rise to myriads of social, moral, economic and labour problems. Some of the solutions to these problems though helped liberate the female in many ways. To some extent a few of these problems still exist in the West. Yet it had not taken any steps to redress it nor adopted Polygyny as a solution to legally redress the situation....
Every year during Ramzan, Baba would unfailingly send a fat sum of money to a certain madrasa. That was where all our Zakat went. We had no idea at all of how the madrasa folks handled the money, though. We had done our duty, and that was all that mattered. What the Maulvis of the madrasa did with our Zakat money was their business, not ours. They, not us, would be answerable for this before God on the Day of Judgment if they misused it—which, I suspected, might well be the case....
Nadeem F. Paracha
There is a history of conflict between Sufism and the more orthodox strands of Islam in which Sufi saints and orders rejected the strict ritual and doctrinal regimentation of orthodoxy, accusing it of divorcing Islam from its spiritual content and soul....
M Bilal Lakhani
In the absence of critical thinking on this subject, the abstract notion of faith being a ‘complete way of life’ has entrenched itself in a significant proportion of the Pakistani populace. Extremists take advantage of this notion to build common ground with the Pakistani people by arguing that they share a similar objective, i.e., adopting Islam as a way of life. ...
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam
Ramadan is supposed to enliven Taqwa (righteousness and God-consciousness, the holy Qur'an, 2:183) deep down in our hearts, but where does our Taqwa live during the rest of the year until next Ramadan? Is it not astonishing to see the mosques, which were jam-packed by devotional Namazis during Ramadan, stand empty and deserted after the prayer of Eid-ul-Fitr? ....
Ghulam Ghaus, New Age Islam
Eid is all about enjoying life to its fullest as well as spreading intimate love, unity and charity. It is an occasion filled with moments of sheer joy embedded in the life of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Muslims should also take this opportunity to invite their non-Muslim neighbours, co-workers, classmates and business acquaintances to expose them to Islam and Muslim culture....
The Real Kabul
Now synonymous with puritan terror and imperialist machinations, we would do well to remember that it was Afghanistan that saw a ‘revolution’ which brought to power a government that brashly declared allegiance to Marxism. While Kabul’s Café Che or a handful of Afghan radicals gathered on its lawns to receive Laal may sound odd to most, radicalism is not alien to Kabul….
The sharp political reactions to Shakeel Ahmed’s tweet are yet another proof of our incapacity to have a soul-searching debate on the subject of religious extremism and its offshoot, terrorism. What is it that is so deeply rotten in our social fabric that is driving so many of our youth onto the path of wanton violence?....