The biggest recipient of Saudi and Gulf funds are religious seminaries
or madrasas in Pakistan.... They also have their curriculum which is largely
sectarian and orthodox, preaching hatred against other religious communities
and sects and schools of thought in Islam. These madrasas stress more on jihad
than on scholarship and research. In these madrasas, concept of jihad assumed a
narrow meaning as fighting Shias, Qadianis, Christianity and other schools of
thought in Islam. This change came about under the influence of Wahhabism,
official version of Islam of the Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states....
By remaining faithful to our Orientalist narrative of Islam, we only
hamstring our ability to see clearly. But if we support those Muslim voices on
the frontline against fundamentalism, our wisdom would multiply and it would
accelerate us beyond the trite hypocrisy of so much western media….
Imam Ghazali in Ihya-ul-Uloom (the revival of sciences) and Shah Waliullah in Hujjatullah-e-Baligha (the conclusive proof) have elucidated the inner meaning and purpose of various rituals that Muslims are supposed to perform. Any form of worship (prayer, pilgrimage, and charity etc) without understanding its spiritual and practical utility leads to lacklustre conformity and dogmatism.....
Innovate or Stagnate
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum
They empower citizens to cultivate their collective energy and develop their potential, and thus become drivers for their countries’ growth and advancement in the world arena. Above all, they value human minds and help people become better guardians and builders of our planet….
Perhaps in an attempt to show his views towards sticking on to Islamic Sharia law the new king Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud has gone ahead five executions in the forms of beheading since Friday, 23 January 2015. With this, the new king is establishing that his Islamic orthodox nation will not be ending the controversial tradition of beheading criminals. Since January 2014, 59 people have been beheaded in Saudi Arabia …..
The essence of the current Arab predicament is that the West cannot save the Arabs from themselves, and the Arabs are unable or unwilling to exorcize their demons on their own.’ We have to start with certain self-evident truths. …..
While Sufis who belonged to the Chishtiah and Qadriah orders always kept a distance from emperors in Delhi and kept voicing for the people, the Suharwardiah order has always been close to the power centres. Bahauddin Zikria of the Suharwardiah order enjoyed close relations with the Darbar and after that leaders of this order have always sided with the ruler (either Mughals or British) against the will of the people. Sufism in the subcontinent in general and Sindh in particular, emerged and evolved as a formidable opposition to the King and Mullah/Pundit nexus. Not only did it give voice to the voiceless victims of religious fanaticism, but also challenged the established political order…..
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
The Prophet was victorious over Makkah in the year 8 A.H. Thereafter, the Arabian tribes began entering the fold of Islam in multitudes (Quran 110: 1-2). This was a phenomenon of what is called ‘mass conversion’. According to Jabir bin Abdullah, after this incident the Prophet is reported to have said these words of historical significance: “People have entered God’s religion in multitudes, and they will soon, in the future, turn away from it in multitudes.”(Musnad Ahmad)…..
Together, Hasan al-Banna, Maududi, and Syed Qutb had fashioned political Islam as a closed system, in opposition to all other competing ideologies confronting Muslims. It was at once simple, rigidly based on the Quran and the Sunnah (traditions) of the Prophet, and provided Muslims with an armed doctrine of jihad to quell their doubts, overcome their fears, and direct them towards the objective of establishing an Islamic state or gaining martyrdom in the pursuit of it.....
Does condemning the attack on Charlie Hebdo make me less Muslim? No, supporting the freedom of speech of the dead cartoonists, or the Saudi blogger being flogged for “insulting Islam” doesn't make me a westernized secular who doesn’t care about Islam, my religion or the Prophet Muhammad. Instead it is those so-called Muslims hostile to critical thinking that lack basic understanding of what Islam is all about…..
Mehr F. Husain
Broadly speaking, there are the Islamists who are pro-religion and anti-West with regards to a secular system and liberals in general. There is also the anti-West, anti-religion/pro-secular mindset perfectly captured by those who protest against Western intervention but campaign for a secular, democratic Pakistan. The pro-religion and pro-West tend to be those who supported the war on terror but also defended religion as the factor behind terrorism. And finally the pro-West, anti-religion/ pro-secular, who are mostly among the urban residents……
An unelected ruler of a country that publicly decapitates and lashes its citizens – often hastily and for archaic, moralistic reasons – and exports fanatical ideas to many politically volatile corners of the world, may be safely described with a word less lenient than “King”.
What some call the “New Preachers” might finally edge out the clerics best known for their zany fatwas, which Alotaibi and others say have served a purpose not immediately evident to the West. While quietly exporting strict Wahhabi Islam to other Muslim countries around the world by reportedly funnelling billions of dollars to them, the Saudi government pretends it is hamstrung at home when it comes to serious reform because of the notorious clerics…..
Have you ever asked yourself how and on the basis of which values has Islam established the greatest scientific and intellectual civilization of the world and raised the most distinguished scientists and intellectuals throughout several centuries? I would like you not to allow the derogatory and offensive image-buildings to create an emotional gulf between you and the reality…
Dr. Mohammad Ghitreef, New Age Islam
Recently a well known Urdu columnist wrote an article on Muslim World's malaise in today's world. He did not delve into the real problems facing the Ummah i.e. crisis in Muslim mind, stereotypes and dogmas, lagging behind in education and lacking in scientific thinking and approach which has resulted in economic, political and all-round backwardness of Muslims. Rather strangely, he discussed the situation in a bizarre manner, concentrating mainly on conspiracies being hatched and spun everywhere in the world against Islam and Muslims. He cited this as the major cause of the decline of the Ummah….
Aijaz Zaka Syed
We seem to have lost ourselves in the literal world of dogma, leaving somewhere behind the soul and spirit of a generous, powerful faith. We see technology and innovation that the rest of the world hungrily laps up as a challenge. We fear change. We are afraid of women who drive and work. We even fear harmless schoolgirls. I know there is no concept of clergy or a global religious leader in Islam. But the faithful can certainly do with some leadership and much-needed guidance right now. It is time to rediscover the spirit of the faith……
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid
As long as harsh punishments for blasphemy, and its offshoots for apostasy, atheism and bizarrely ‘liberalism’, exist, prisoners of conscious will continue growing in number. The rise of irreligion all over the Muslim world, and the rising demands for secularism will force the Muslim world to finally overcome the Islamist inertia. What the Muslim states need to decide is whether this transformation will be carried out peacefully, through owning up to problems in religious scriptures which form antediluvian laws that suffocate basic human rights, or if there will be even more unnecessary suppression and bloodshed. The transformation, however, is inevitable.....
Islamic law does not allow Muslims to take up arms and go shoot people who have insulted their religion. Who has appointed these gunmen as the avengers of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)? And does Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) need anyone to avenge him? The Prophet (peace be upon him) explained that when the man was insulting Abu Bakr and he remained silent, the angels were defending and protecting him, but when Abu Bakr spoke to defend himself, the angels left…..
It is perhaps time to define the role of madrasas. During the colonial period the madrasa offered Muslim children the facility of instruction in religious matters that was not available at public schools. The madrasa thus supplemented the scheme of educating the young ones. For that purpose the madrasa is no longer needed, for study of religion is compulsory in all state and private institutions. If the madrasas constitute a parallel system of education then the rationale for their existence and unchecked proliferation needs to be scrutinised….
Although Salafists have great political power in the Islamic world, given the financial support they have been receiving for years from religious institutions in Saudi Arabia, Sufism is still seen as a widespread way of life in the Islamic street, from Morocco to India. This will play a great role in religious reform, which is much needed by the Islamic world to confront extremism…..
Talking to New Age Islam, some of the protestors including madrasa students, university graduates, Sufi shrine patrons and mainstream Muslims said they got alarmed learning that Dr. Zakir Naik, propagandist of the exclusivist and exclusionary Wahhabi ideology had been invited by India Islamic Cultural Centre (IICC) to address a religious gathering. They held that Dr. Naik’s address to the Muslims of Delhi should be a matter of great worry for anybody who has even a superficial understanding of the Wahhabi ideology and activities of his ahl-e-Hadeesi organisation. “That Zakir Naik is a strident exponent of the radical Wahhabi ideology is common knowledge. Therefore, his arrival and address in Delhi will further exacerbate the delicate social situation in the capital. This is precisely why several state governments and other some foreign countries have disallowed his entry. Obliviously, they are afraid of promotion of communal feelings posing threat to India's multiculturalism”, they said… ..
We curse him while trying to cram verses from Deewan-e-Ghalib into our heads for our Urdu literature exams. We study him because we have been told to but if – by some miraculous, unfortunate realignment of the stars – Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan, or Ghalib, was alive in 2014 rather than the 19th century, I am sure he would have been found hiding under the deck of a boat trying to escape to Australia. The first charge levied against him would have been of being an Indian agent…
I couldn’t get a straight answer from anyone, so I did my own research. I couldn’t find anything in the Qur’an or the Hadith on comedy. In fact, there are stories of the Prophet Muhammad laughing at practical jokes played by his companions and joking himself with his family. And a lot of verses in the Qur’an advise reasonable judgment when going about life. So I employed mine. As a practicing Muslim, I was uncomfortable making fun of the prophets or the divine. But I did want to make fun of Muslims. Narrow-minded, patriarchal men….