Books and Documents
Islamic Society

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….


The Rishta-Rat Race That Destroyed My Friend’s Life
Rakshinda Mujeeb

Puzzled and depressed, S was slowly losing her self-worth. She began to forget all the personality traits she held dear – she stood at a point where she couldn’t list a single attribute that she admired in herself. Whenever she would go to a wedding, she watched with envy the lucky couple walk down flower covered path and come out hand in hand; they seemed to have no problems, no complicated concerns. S, however, was trapped in the same sorrow...

Narcissistic Delusions
Farooq Sulehria

Narcissistic Delusions
Farooq Sulehria

When conspiracy theories fail, our middle classes latch on to a few tenuous but fantastic clichés. In both conspiracy theories and clichés, claims do not need to be substantiated.  ‘The west has learnt it all from us’, is one such cliché. In recent months, Imran Khan popularised this farce by giving it specificity in an attempt to justify it....


Channel 4's decision this Ramadan to broadcast the Adhan, the Muslim call to prayer, is important because it is an authentic representation of something practiced during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and by over a billion Muslims all over the world. It is the act not of a lone wolf in Woolwich, not something invented by "Islamists"

Channel 4's decision to broadcast the call to prayer during the holy month of Ramadan is irresponsible and patronising......


'Despite Our Belief In Islam And Its Teachings Of Complete Equality, The ‘Superiority Of The Arabs, Indeed Gulf Arabs Is The Dominant Rule'

Malak is over 30, now. She has lost much of her beauty and optimism as a result of multiple physical and psychological illnesses. When she was younger, slimmer, healthier and happier, many suitors asked for her hand. The kind, but arrogant, father regarded his tribe as a super race. After he passed away, his sons showed even more arrogance....

The former military regime wiped out civil society organisations in Libya, leading many to doubt whether Libyans even had the capacity to develop a culture of civic involvement. But young Libyans, men and women, have proved to the world that they are indeed capable of building peace, that they can fulfill the demands for social justice and that they can make a better life for themselves and their communities....

Of Bombs and Biryani
Najmul Hasan Rizvi

What is the connection between food and destruction in Pakistan? The Pakistanis are a jolly-at-heart people who know how to retain their sense of humour in the worst of times. “The continuing duel between life and death has failed to dampen their spirits. Bombs and blasts cannot deprive them of their taste for spicy chicken Biryani,” Mr Right smiled....


War in Islam: Ethics and Rules
Sheikh Ali Gomaa

Islam as a complete system encompasses all aspects of life and places principles and methodologies which help people to face the challenges which they encounter on a daily basis. Islam managed to connect between worldly affairs and human behaviour without turning a blind eye on the hereafter and the next world. ….


Politics and Pink Lipstick: The New-Age Pakistani Funeral
Rakshinda Mujeeb

I tried to block out their incessant banter and concentrate on reciting the Holy Quran, but they were so loud that I could hear their shallow dialogue in the other corner of the room. Their conversation revolved around trendy brands and the season’s fashion updates. They went on about how hard it was for them to squeeze in time out of their oh-so-busy schedules to drop in at the Portia sale and how frozen yoghurt was only about 99% fat free and not a 100% fat free....


For over 250 years, Wahhabism has posed a great threat to Islamic society. The ultra-conservative movement is allegedly based on the teachings of the Sunni jurist Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and the ideology was later revised by the Salafists. After the eighteenth century, Wahhabism spread to various parts of the Islamic world as a highly politicized school of thought....


Some religious tenets such as Islam allow a man to have more than one wife provided that he is capable of loving and taking care of all of them equitably. Islamic religion allows a man to marry four wives for several reasons: fulfillment in terms of infertility, sexual prowess, the number of female births in comparison to male child and the belief as stated by the Prophet Muhammad that the more the people, the larger his community....


Maqasid Al Shari ‘ah, Gender Non-patriarchal Qur’ānic Hermeneutics and the Reformation of Muslim Family Law
Dr. Adis Duderija, New Age Islam

As you are I am sure keenly aware over the last two decades in particular there has been a growing academic interest in Maqāsid oriented interpretations of Islamic law, gender non-patriarchal Qur’ānic hermeneutics and the calls for the reformation of Muslim  family laws.[1] While many noteworthy works have been written on these individual issues,[2] to my mind there is still a need for a study which systematically employs the insights from Maqāsid based approaches to Islamic law and gender non-patriarchal Qur’ān hermeneutics in providing a gender symmetrical ( i.e. in terms of rights and duties)  interpretation of Muslim family law. In this presentation I would like to present a hermeneutical model of the Qur’an and Sunna that attempts to do exactly that. .....

The Stasis of the Muslim Mind
Maryam Sakeenah

So much of Muslim scholarship is incognizant of the psychology of modernity. The need today is for Muslim scholars to negotiate between entrenched extreme positions, address issues of the here and now in a language that appeals to the common man, and to appeal to modern sensibility in a manner that is faithful to the ethos of the Islamic tradition. Such voices need to collate, organise and rise to a crescendo that can drown out the clamour of extremisms....


Muslims are extremely backward economically, socially and politically in the world. But no collective problem of the Muslims could be solved through hajj. Hajj has, therefore, failed to establish unity among the Muslims. Presently, 3 to 4 million people perform hajj every year on which billions of rupees are spent. The Saudi government has formed its national laws in such a way that most of the hard earned money of the Muslims that is spent on hajj reaches the coffers of the Saudi rulers. Where and how all this money is spent is no secret....

Urdu and I: A Love Affair
Nabeel Jafri

Much as I loved English, the lack of adjectives and even pronouns was bothersome. There is a well known cliché about how everyone is addressed as ‘you’ in English but Urdu does the job better for different relationships; ‘aap’, ‘tum‘ and ‘tu‘ all convey the same meaning, but cannot be used interchangeably....

Parenting Courses for Muslims Aim To Untangle Culture from Religion
Saba Salman

"It's a manmade concept to suppress people," Naeem explains, "it's not Islam … from childhood there are feelings we're told to suppress. So if boy's crying we say 'don't cry – you're not a girl, you need to be brave and strong'. A lot of people think they must suppress anger, this is what we teach our children, so in youth today there's a lot of anger." The course encourages people to recognise their frustration and deal with it in a positive way, through negotiation, for example.

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