Ottoman Empire had an extensive literature of homosexual romance, and an
accepted social category of transvestites. The Ottoman sultans, arguably, were
social liberals compared with the contemporary Islamists of Turkey, let alone
the Arab World......
In one story, the Prophet Muhammad was leading his army into a battle when he came upon a female dog with a litter of puppies. He posted a companion to protect them. Umar, the second caliph, stated that he would be personally responsible if even a stray dog went to sleep hungry under his administration......
People throng Kakak Sahib’s shrine everyday in a large number for seeking solace and spiritual delight. Pilgrims from far and wide visit the shrine to pay their respects to the Sufi saint. Kakakhel tribe produced a number of religious scholars, poets, writers, economists, academicians, researchers, historians and experts in many other fields. Till date, Kakakhels are known to be experts in more than one field of knowledge and scholarship. ....
Another sign of disrespect of the mosque is people bringing their children to the Prophet’s Mosque and leaving them free to run and play and disturb other worshippers. This is a very common problem at the women’s section of the Prophet’s Mosque. People are distracted as children run between the lines of worshippers, shouting and making a gaggle of noise. They sometimes engage in little feuds with other children and throw shoes and water at each other. This happens with their parents standing in line with other worshippers and praying. Why can't they control their children? If they cannot then they should not bring them to the Prophet’s Mosque......
Saudi teachers are by and large frustrated and underpaid. Unless teachers are encouraged to invent, innovate and given a free hand to impart knowledge within the parameters of the curricula, education would be in the same rut led by teachers devoid of motivation.....
The supporters of madrasa modernisation, including some religious leaders, point out advantages such as access to education in modern subjects, improvement in teachers’ salaries and, presumably, quality of teaching, and the opening of opportunities for higher education, employment which would enhance the relevance of madrasas......
If I can focus
on making others happy by participating in their joys and pains, I know I will
have successfully ‘assimilated’. And for this already confused ‘Westernised’
desi, that will be a huge achievement......
Iftar And After
There are Pakistanis who have never been compelled to switch from their sweet-sounding and chiselled ‘Allah dey Hawalay’ (and not ‘Khuda dey Hawalay) or the more known ‘Rab Rakha’. They have been unconvinced to lend their presence to the umbrella provided by the Persian-Urdu ‘Khuda Hafiz’ and can be — routinely are — found protesting a more locally managed colonisation. Ultimately, there is the original debate on how the period meant for self-coaching in austerity has been used to flaunt whatever in the name of religion....
For decades, the Qasim Ali mosque in Peshawar has been synonymous with the moon sighting dissent. Managed by the Popalzai family, the mosque stirs up controversy aplenty when the time comes to sight the moon for Ramazan and Eid ul Fitr.....
At a time when the self-proclaimed Islamic caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is hell-bent on disassociating Islam with the spirituality of Eid, it’s really important to know what significance this festival assumes. Clearly, Eid is abhorred by al-Baghdadi because it is an open reminder to the Muslim world of the universal values of Islam: love in place of hatred, patience in place of anger, forbearance in place of warfare, coexistence and inclusiveness in place of exclusivism and intolerance and pluralism in place of supremacism. It comes every year to remind us that if Muslims really cherish to exist in the modern world, they have to rejuvenate the essential messages of Eid…
Related: Baghdadi’s Islam Clashes with the Holy Prophet’s Islam over Eid
today through the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and all the Muslim and Islamic
countries on the way to Europe, and you are taking your life in your own hands
even in Ramadhan. Ironically it is safe only when one crosses into the
unbeliever’s land of where the Iblees and his associates are not locked up for
shopping hysteria crept into our cultural conscience, its roots were concealed
in the religious messages of Eid; to signal new beginnings, to celebrate
accomplishing all the good deeds in Ramadan, and to share happiness with those
least fortunate. Around 30 years ago, buying one or two new dresses for each
one in the family was all what it took to celebrate Eid....
“Now, more than
ever, it is imperative that students receive an education that prepares them to
be “servant-leaders”: Leaders who
understand that working with others to solve problems and that what one gives
back is more important than what one accomplishes individually.” The
educational entrepreneurialism he advocates is the need of the day - producing
a significant number of students who can create jobs and continue to build on
this wonderful structure of prosperity –AMU. ....
choose to fight with ISIS or live where it rules are driven by various forms of
misunderstanding and ignorance, some of which involve the concept of “Islamic
state” or “caliphate.” They think an Islamic state, not only Islamic spiritual
practice, is necessary to draw near to Allah. They also believe that Islam
needs an Islamic state. This misunderstanding is facilitated by a distorted
history of past Islamic states. Those Muslims are in need of better education
of Islam and history, but it is equally critical that ISIS is not allowed to
look like a state/caliphate and have that appeal to Muslims who do not
understand their religion enough.....
Zeenat Shaukat Ali
syllabi of madrasas can be transformed by widening its scope to a broad
spectrum of disciplines. A study of the natural sciences, mathematics,
sociology or history can be studied with religion and Tasawwuf (spiritual
dimension). In this way the product of a madrasa has several career choices
from becoming an imam to an IAS officer, an engineer or a doctor of medicine or
a legal practitioner.....
In a Partisan Manner By Zafar Jung
Islam is a
religion of many sects and exposing children to only a narrow mind-set
strengthens the breeding ground for future intolerance and an endless cycle of
sectarian violence. This problem runs deeper than sectarian violence; it
impacts all minority religious and ethnic groups as well as the majority of
Pakistan. Militant madrasas have educated Umar Mansour, the mastermind behind
the Peshawar school massacre, as well as Taliban apologist and hate speech
aficionado Abdul Aziz.....
Islam is a
religion of the heart and mind. Yet misunderstanding it has turned this great
religion in the eyes of many of its believers, consciously or not, into a rigid
legal system that consists of a set of laws that deal exclusively with external
aspects of the life of the Muslim. This is why for some Muslims building an
Islamic society has come to mean bringing back the caliphate .....
the days of abstinence are long. However, the nights are festive-like with
people visiting, socializing and drinking lots of tea and coffee. One of my
favourite quotes about dining is by Geoffrey Neighbour, and it goes like this:
“Good food ends with good talk.” If you are invited to an Iftar (fast-breaking
meal), be sure to accept. It is a great cultural experience. For some, it may
even be a spiritual experience…
Is it “Muslim
trash” we see in the states Muslims created as nation-states, getting the word
“nation” all wrong? Somehow women get a raw deal in this process of removing
minorities from the “nation”. Is Malaysia moving to where Pakistan, and
possibly Bangladesh, have already got? What appears to be Islamic reform in
Malaysia now will ultimately get the Chinese and Indians expelled like “trash”.
Pakistan under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto too did this in 1974, on the pretext of
purifying the Muslim identity. Today, it is increasingly a state without a
I felt safer and more peaceful in Karbala and Najaf than I do in Karachi. The
locals were warm, nice, and helpful. Regardless of the language barrier, they
would make an effort to comprehend what we were trying to say. I say this
because this wasn’t how the Arabs in Saudi Arabia were like. They were least
bothered about what happened to pilgrims from outside the Arabian
Fakir was the greatest Sufi and spiritual leader of the Baul sect that emerged
from Bengal in the 18th century. He rebelled against caste system
among Hindus and the discrimination among Muslims on the basis of Ashraf and
Ajlaf, poor and rich and on the basis of
untouchability and founded a sect that had no room for exploitation, religious
communalism, social inequality, superstition , injustice and narrow-mindedness.
Lalan declared that the service to the humanity and seeking the union with the
Supreme Being was the means to salvation…..
commendable that a Muslim prince as per his own statements; should attempt to
emulate the world famous ‘Gates philanthropic’ institutions. It may turn out to
be a catalyst for hundreds of princes from that region to express their love of
humanity on large scale. That is assuming that such generosity; even on smaller
scale is not being practiced already....
comprehensive rule book like Quran and jurisprudential canons that we Muslims
boast of, we are confused on every issue concerning modern life and society,
not just Yoga. We are even divided on the definition of terrorism and
caliphate. We have not been able to decide what can be brought under terrorism
and who can be accepted as the Khalifa for all Muslims. Many Muslim Ulema
overtly or covertly support ISIS as the fulfilment of the aspirations of
Muslims to establish a caliphate. ... We should undergo a total overhaul of our
religious mentality, orienting ourselves according to the requirements of the
fast changing world while keeping our basic faith intact. This cannot be
achieved until we form a unanimous definition of most basic issues like who is
a Muslim, who is a kafir, should we Islamically co-exist and interact with
non-Muslims or should we not as Saudi-supplied madrasa text books tell us. And
Faisal J. Abbas
As simple as
this truth is, many people refuse to see it and this is probably the reason why
I remain extremely pessimistic about our region. Perhaps one positive thought
remains. It is said that the night is darkest just before the dawn – I don’t
think our night can get any darker!....
have failed as spiritual leaders and have not been able to offer guidance or
the proper Islamic principles to address the current deviant terrorist ideology
that is preying on the vulnerable minds of innocent youth from around the
world. May Allah protect them and have
mercy on them. “Our Lord! Make not our hearts to deviate after Thou hast guided
us aright and grant us mercy from Thee; surely Thou art the most liberal