Muslims make up almost 14 percent of India's vast population; yet remain the country's most disadvantaged minority and religious group. They rank lowest in literacy, more live in slums than any other group and less than 1 percent hold public sector and government jobs. "The separatism of Muslims gives them a lack of choice that makes them stay together in concentrated ghettos where there are not many state-sponsored schools…
Why do these persons believe that scaring others into repenting is the only way to receive the mercy of Allah? Why is reminding others of the fire and torture awaiting them if they do not return to Allah the only method Dawah activists seem employ? I do not understand why they think that people should be frightened rather than encouraged into returning to Allah. What has happened to the language of love?.....
Most people seemed to agree with this idea, that Muslims should not impose their religion, but merely propose it. But I encountered a few exceptions as well. In one of the instances when I had a chance to speak to Muslim graduate students, I even encountered a well-thought rebuttal. A particular Ph. D candidate from Turkey said that he does not agree with my emphasis on non-coercion, because coercion can be very helpful “to protect Islam from cultural decay.”….
Generalisations play a key role in fundamentalism and dogmatism – all Muslims are terrorists; all atheists are proud and arrogant; every black person is a thug; every white person a racist. Fundamentalists perceive everything in a black and white manner, refusing, or simply uninterested, to observe the many shades of grey within.....
Aijaz Zaka Syed
Leaders with a vision build nations and countries. Travelling across Malaysia a while ago, I was constantly reminded of the conversation with the Pathan cabbie. Malaysia is another shining and inspiring example how individuals can indeed change the destiny of nations…..
Quran and Sufism
Aftab Ahmad, New Age Islam
There are groups among Muslims who are of the firm opinion that Sufism is not compatible with Islam. They believe that Sufism is akin to monasticism as practiced by the Christians. But the study of the various verses of the Quran leads us to the conclusion that Sufism based on the basic principles of the Quran is a part of Islam......
....the Arabs who were the most intense in “Jahiliya” and plagued with moral and intellectual backwardness. But history is witness to the fact that the same ignorant and backward people took a giant leap into a brighter world of virtues, humanity, morality, education and wisdom, when the Prophet (pbuh) advanced his educational and humanitarian mission. They came out of their “Jahiliya zone” and moved forward to the fountain of Ilm and knowledge.....
Up to 40 percent of the Indian army were Muslim, even though they only made up about 25 percent of the Indian population. Winston Churchill summed up the Muslim contribution in his letter to U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. He wrote, "We must not on any account break with the Moslems, who represent a hundred million people, and the main army elements on which we must rely for the immediate fighting". How sad that our close heritage has been neglected in recent times……
Mr Mobarak Haider, Intellectual, Thinker and write
Welcoming Dr. Mobarak Haider, Mr. Sultan
Shahin, Chairman, New Age Islam Foundation, told the audience of his great admiration
for the bravery of Pakistani Muslim intellectuals who are literally putting
their necks on the chopping block in order to speak the truth about Islam and
take on the hardliners. "This is all the more praiseworthy, in my view,"
he said, "as Indian Muslim intellectuals are not in the least visible in
this battle, though the Islamist hardliners here in India are not yet in a
position to go violent."
In the course of his talk, Dr. Haider
also shed light on the hate literature and the religious texts books
radicalised by Sayyid Qutub, Maulana Maududi Dr. Israr and their ilk, which are
being taught in madrasas in Pakistan”. He explained that elements of religious
extremism, supremacism and narcissism have been inserted by hardcore Muslim
clerics and the likes of Maulana Maudoodi and Qutub, who encouraged Muslims never
to question their ideology and disregard any kind of introspection. “This is
the worst kind of narcissism”, said Dr. Haider.
...there are more than a dozen verses in the Quran that show that the followers of all the Abrahamic religion are considered Muslims as they have faith in one supreme God and do not believe in false gods and goddesses or do not worship the Sun, the Moon, the mountains or the rains. Even the followers of prophets prior to Abraham were called Muslims. Therefore, all the prophets were Muslims, according to verses of the Quran. The Quran announces that God has christened His believers as Muslims…..
So it can be concluded that to God, knowledge is knowledge. It is not religious or scientific. Muslims have categorized knowledge as religious and scientific. They have declared scientific knowledge as un-Islamic and therefore barred scientific knowledge from their school curriculum while the truth is that God asks Muslims in the Quran to acquire scientific knowledge by doing research into his creations in the universe......
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam
“Observe what is in the heavens and in the earth. Do you not see? Do you not think? Do you not contemplate? Will they not regard the camels, how they are created? And the heavens, how it is raised? And the hills, how they are set up? And the earth, how it is spread?” (The Holy Quran 88:17-20).
By giving paramount importance to all creations and inventions of the universe and exhorting people to reflect on their shapes and structures, this Qur’anic injunction clearly aims at imbibing a creative intellect and inventive scientific temperament in the human minds....While the early Muslims pioneered highly valuable scientific works and inventions, the modern Muslims have regrettably been declining in this field over the last 300 years. Today, news of scientific achievements from Muslim world is hard to come by. ... I am deeply inspired by the New Age Islam’s exclusive report from Geneva on the outstanding achievements of Muslim inventors in the recent International Exhibition of Inventions....
Outstanding Achievements of Young Muslim Inventors Recognised In the International Exhibition of Inventions Held At Geneva
Arzu Kaya Uranli
Governments, NGOs, local authorities, teachers, school directors, doctors, nurses and religious leaders have to work together to make it happen. At the local level, mutual efforts should be performed with some prominent members of community. Child marriages are a form of modern day slavery, and they have to end. Justice should prevail and Islam is a religion for peace not for violations of human rights......
Ziad J. Asali, M.D
How could a 10-year-old girl raise a child? What would her future be like beyond the home? Any set of attitudes that produces such laws, even in theory, is an enemy to its own society -- its men and women, its sons and daughters. And they are unlikely to change until men raise their voices alongside those women in this all-important struggle…..
What does this all come down to? Muslims have no sense of humour, or so little of it that they respond to satire with bullets instead of self-deprecating merriment. One problem with this analysis is that Abela is not a comedian (except in the sense that ruffians are called "comedians" when they give smartarse answers to the police). Abela's "jokes" consisted of harassing young Hijabi women, photographing them without their consent and then posting the photos on social media under hateful sleazy comments….
Faith, Fanaticism and Jihad
Kazi Wadud Nawaz, New Age Islam
Allama Iqbal in his book “Reconstruction of Religious Thoughts in Islam” said that, the search for rational foundation in Islam may be regarded to have begun with the Prophet himself. His constant prayer was: “God! Grant me knowledge of the ultimate nature of things!” All these clearly manifest the role of knowledge in the domain of faith.
God’s infinite attributes are manifested in diversity of nature that includes our complex intertwined life. The sense of awe, and helplessness of human mind in the face of complexities of life and its interrelation with the nature and universe, inspires emotion and introspection — essential components of Faith of a believer.....
Islam and Old Age Ethics
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
There is only one thing that is common in here- wish for death. The old person thinks that he or she has become too much of a burden and since nobody seems to care, it is better to die; and his or her children too think and wish for the same, though they will never acknowledge. Abu Huraira reported Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) as saying: Let him be humbled into dust; let him be humbled into dust. It was said: Allah's Messenger, who is he? He said: He who sees either of his parents during their old age or he sees both of them, but he does not enter Paradise.....
If the Afghans were to see the Malangs as serious religious scholars or people who could bring a change and influence people, then they would probably be considered a threat and this would most certainly not be beneficial for their survival....
A number of Muslim inventors from around the Muslim nations turned up to showcase their creations in the International Exhibition of Inventions held at Geneva, Switzerland. This was one of the world's largest exhibitions devoted to innovation with some 60,000 visitors. It was gratifying to see so many Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia, Oman and Iran participate and send their mostly young inventors, some of them women. The most notable in this grand event of scientific inventions was that even Saudi women scientists showcased their creativity. It was heartening to see a Saudi woman scientist Ghaida Al-Sulami win three gold medals at the Geneva International Exhibition for Inventors.
Talking to New Age Islam, she explained she had no problems living and working as a woman in Saudi Arabia. Asked if she felt women in Saudi Arabia lived under constraints, as they could not even drive cars, she said she did not want to talk politics. However, when explained by this correspondent that she was only being asked to share her thoughts about the Saudi society and not politics, she opened up. Even when she was studying in one of the topmost universities in the United States, she lived her life in an Islamic way, donning Hijab and having no boyfriend, etc. and she does the same in Saudi Arabia. So she has no reason to feel constrained. She had several offers to work in the US, she said, but her family wanted her to come back and so she chose to go back. She knew driving herself, which she learned as a student in the US and naturally misses not able to drive now but she said it did not matter. Small price to pay to live with her family and in her own country.....
Chaos and violence in the name of Islam across the Muslim world should make us pause and evaluate the root cause of the problems. Is it not true that some Muslims (i) believe in violent Jihad against non-Muslims, (ii) believe in applying Takfir against fellow Muslims who disagree in interpretation of religion, and (iii) believe that punishment for apostasy or blasphemy is death? We must admit that these very beliefs are the root cause of so many conflicts. We must not deny that these so-called “Islamic” beliefs…..
“Send a bouquet of your face with the morning breeze,” wrote Persian poet Hafez (1320-1389), who caught the fleeting glimpse of a beautiful girl on a terrace when he was 21. That one glimpse captured his heart, and he fell madly in love. This love ultimately led him to God…..
A number of academics and experts have underlined the need for serious efforts to contain atheism in the Kingdom. Claiming that there is a link between the spread of atheism and extreme religious views, the experts said a moderate image of Islam must be promoted and any doubts youths may have about religion must be addressed in a convincing manner….
Aijaz Zaka Syed
After all, what has the Arab and Muslim world done to present their side of the story before the world? Very little indeed - notwithstanding the enormous economic, human and natural resources at their disposal. While their precious resources are splurged on mammoth monuments to vanity, shopping malls and other myriad, splendid avenues of leisure and pleasure, they have invested next to nothing in initiatives that could have helped them fight this critical battle of hearts and minds.....
As Syria convulsed in conflict, the thought that the shrine could be destroyed alarmed the faithful. Zainab, who lost her brothers and sons in battle and came to Damascus as a prisoner, has long been honoured, particularly by Shiites, as a symbol of sacrifice and steadfastness. Religious fervour helped galvanize tens of thousands of Shiite fighters to flock from Iraq, Lebanon and across Syria, in theory to defend the shrine....
True, of course, there are exceptions; but the education of Islamic clerics is a one-book-and-its-friends curriculum. It is a one-language course of study that is unfriendly to philosophy, secularism, the West, the liberal arts– especially serious historical study–most science, and worst of all the two hundred year period–sometimes called the “Islamic Enlightenment”–when Islam actually forged ahead of the West ……