Books and Documents
Islamic Society

We Need To Talk About Indian Mujahedeen: Time Indian Muslims Came Out of Denial
Ashish Khetan

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?....

Drugged Infants on the Streets of Pakistan
Manahyl Khan

I have vowed not to spare change to beggars with amputations and small children. We know the tale behind their missing limbs and we know how heavily sedated these children are, but we continue to feed their inhumanity. It strengthens their belief that such torture to children is justified — for it wins sympathy and crisp currency....


Ms. Amina Wadud, We Are Ashamed
Javed Anand

“I am no longer willing to give to India,” you have now announced. You of course have the option of returning to your own country and the freedoms it guarantees. For us, India means country, country means India; going away is no option. We painfully acknowledge that if we do not give whatever it takes to “redeem ourselves,” there will soon be nothing worthwhile left for our country to give back to us....


The Link between Croissants and Tragic Silencing Of Scholar Amina Wadud
Praveen Swami

Gujarat fashion designers Gayatri Mantra and Navkar Mantra were prosecuted for using Hindu scripture on their dresses; a Hyderabad trader for having Quranic inscription on clothing—both art forms, parenthetically, with venerable roots in antiquity. Indian law is being used against bloggers who happened not to think Bal Thackeray was wonderful; to end broadcasts of television programmes offensive to some Sikhs. There are loons who want a law permitting heretics to be prosecuted for murder….

A Very Special Iftar
Humra Quraishi

A Very Special Iftar
Humra Quraishi

This Iftar evening, sitting right next to me was a little girl from one of the riot-affected areas of Assam. Obviously, she was too young to fast, but was participating in the rituals with full enthusiasm as she looked about innocently, chatting away, informing me that her village was far away. When I asked her about her siblings or parents, her eyes looked around as though trying to relive memories of her village home but another little girl from Gujarat...

The most popular consensus among scholars who support their claims with sound Hadiths i.e. sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) argue that the Quadr night falls on the last 10 days of Ramadan, specifically on the odd-numbered nights. In a report by Al-Bukhari, the Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said; "Seek it (the Quadr Night) on the odd nights of the last 10 days of Ramadan."...


Whatever Belief system one follows, call it the Universal Code or Religion, including Atheism; Service to mankind on the basis of equality, is not only considered worship to Nature’s God but also a duty to serve mankind.  And the Belief, that all actions have proportionate reaction in the fixed Laws of Nature that reaps its own reward, irrespective of Status.....


Ladies, Go Home Please:  Mullahs Have Fallen Prey to Male Chauvinism
Naeem Tahir

It is the educated women of the country and the conscientious men who should make every effort to educate the mullah. Most mullahs are not given decent and comprehensive education. Even the school syllabus is most disappointing. We must work on improving that. If Imran Khan is in fact not the ‘mullah’ that some people accuse him of being, he must take the initiative in KP and develop a comprehensive curriculum of studies for anyone who wants to peruse religion as a career....

This Heroine Wears a Burqa to Fight Evil
Salman Masood and Deccan Walsh

This Heroine Wears a Burqa to Fight Evil
Deccan Walsh

With slick computer animation, fast-paced action and flashes of humour that even adults can appreciate, the character could offer Pakistanis a new cultural icon akin to Wonder Woman in the United States. The Burqa debate centres on whether her use of the all-covering cloak — albeit a more streamlined version of the one usually seen in Pakistani villages — is subverting a traditional symbol of segregation and oppression or reinforcing it.....

Ramadan is a time when Muslims focus on little else outside of their commitment to Islam. Some Christians I know impart this level of commitment far longer than one month per year, while others constitute a monthly Sunday morning service to be enough of an infringement. However austere or insincere we may be, we could all learn from, and apply, the unwavering devotion Muslims demonstrate in fulfilling Ramadan to our own Christian walk....


Music ‘Un-Islamic’ But J&K’s Grand Mufti Can Enjoy It
Grand Mufti of Kashmir Mufti Bashir- ud- din

For the Grand Mufti of Kashmir, music is “un- Islamic” and a “vice” that should be forbidden for everyone. Everyone except him, of course! Mufti Bashir- ud- din, who issued a fatwa against an all- girls rock band in Kashmir, has no qualms enjoying music himself....


Higher prices, morality raids and bribery fears are part of the Islamic holy month in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, in the run-up to the big fast-breaking Eid al-Fitr celebrations in early August. It triggers an outpouring of festivity, when people work less, see family more and welcome members of all faiths at sunset to end a long day’s fast. Batik dress comes out in force, adding visual splendour to the streets….


I went to the West and saw Islam, but no Muslims; I got back to the East and saw Muslims, but not Islam.” That was what Muhammad Abduh, the Egyptian scholar and jurist, had to say about Islam in the early 19th Century. The essence of the statement is that while we claim to be Muslims we hardly reflect the religion in our actions or talks or behaviour....

The Mosque Where ALL Muslims Are Welcome
Syed Ali Hassan

“This mosque does not discriminate between any sects and welcomes all Muslims.” However, that is not where the deviation from the norm ends. The mosque also hosts a separate, segregated section for females and contains a library filled with religious books that cater to and contain information on all the different sects.....

Clerical Power in Islam Despite Evidence That It Has Done Great Damage To The Liberal And Progressive Character Of Islam
Saad Hafiz

Clerics also tend to monopolise the truth of religious interpretation. They tend to have an authoritarian outlook claiming to be the sole holders of ‘truth’, and maintain that their readings of religious texts are final and unchallengeable. Clerics interpret the Quran to revive patriarchy and its restrictive control of women to ensure male support. Some clerics have influenced fundamentalist movements correlated with fanaticism, exclusiveness, intolerance, radicalism, and militarism....

Muslim Societies at a Crossroads
Aasim Sajjad Akhtar

For the disciples of Maulana Maudoodi and Syed Qutb — the globally acknowledged fathers of modern Islamist thought — Muslim societies have been struggling against ‘Jahiliya’ for decades. ‘Secular’ Muslims, on the other hand, have become conscious much more recently of the decisive battle unfolding in Muslim societies between those like themselves and anti-civilisation ‘extremists’....


Pakistanis Suffering from High Self-Esteem
Shazia Mirza

What I noticed most about this group of people was that although they had money, and their bank balances had grown, their minds had not expanded at the same rate. There wasn’t much intelligence beyond what they had learnt in physiology books, their lives hadn’t been manifested in much creativity and spontaneity. This is why they remain judgmental and narrow minded; and very unattractive...

Mankind Naturally Has a Lune-Tic
Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam

It is then a subject of heated debate among the young ones today as to why it has to be ‘sighted with human eyes’ to establish something that is a fixed natural phenomenon that occurs at least twelve times a year. It is argued that modern science has advanced enough to calculate it precisely even centuries in advance?  And why does the community has to accept the divisions which Quran condemns, it is asked? Divisions that are caused by celebrating Eids on different days in the same town and city sometimes spread over two or three days, making the community a laughing stock...


Ramzan or Ramadan: Should Arabic origin words in Urdu be pronounced in the Arabic way?
Syed Mansoor Hussain

Will Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto become Dhulfiqar Ali Bhutto (DAB instead of ZAB)? Will his son Murtaza become Murtada? Will Bhutto’s president, Fazal Ilahi become Fadal Ilahi? And yes all those named Raza will become Radas. And all the Rizvis will perforce become Ridvis. This could lead to utter chaos with different English language publications using the either/or transliteration....

The Start of Ramadan
Adel Heine

The first Ramadan I experienced fell in the middle of winter, and in the weeks leading up to it everyone around me was remarking on its imminent arrival with excitement and anticipation. I thought they had all lost their minds…..


Comedy in Pakistan: Who’d have Thought?
Shazia Mirza

“What? They didn't believe that Pakistani’s laugh? Do they think we are inhuman? Is this what they think of us?” I had to tell them, that the Immigration Officer had actually laughed all the way through my time at passport control. So he must at least have found something about me funny. I was quite surprised at his reaction, because it had never happened to me before in all the years I have been coming to the US.....


Month of Ramazan to Get Closer To God
Sadia Dehlvi

The month of Ramzan is like an honourable guest in the homes of Muslims, a gift from Allah. Ramzan is a wonderful opportunity to turn back towards God, turn away the trivia of the world and say, “Allah hu Akbar,” or “God is great”. Ramzan is a month of reflection and contemplation, a time when God generously opens...


Saudi Media Rejects Lies Spread by Pakistan’s Ulema-e-Deoband Terrorists – by Sidq Maqaal

In asking people to shun Shias, the message in question uses the familiar extremist meme that “we have the truth and the enemy can’t be trusted.” The undercurrent in a lot of such messages is that THIS source is the truth that the mass media is hiding information from you. The common thread I see in all of this is creating fear. Fear of a world that does not conform to a narrow vision and must not be trusted....


Marriage in the Guise of a Wedding
Shagufta Naaz

In Urdu we have the same word for yesterday and tomorrow and though it might be a factor behind our laid back attitude towards time, we usually know which one we’re talking about. Similarly we have the same word for marriage and wedding. And we all know what we mean when say Shaadi....


For those contemplating the acceptance of Islam and the surrendering of oneself to God, glorified and exalted is He, there may well be sacrifices along the way. Many of these sacrifices are easily predicted, while others may be rather surprising and unexpected. There is no denying the existence of these sacrifices, and I don’t intend to sugar-coat that pill for you….

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