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Books and Documents

Islamic Society

What Does Islam Say About Being Gay?
Mustafa Akyol

Indeed, the 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......

Of Dogs, Faith and Imams
Mohammed Hanif

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. ....

 

Disrespecting the Prophet’s Mosque
Mahmoud Ahmad

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......

Creative Thinking to Build Moral Fibres
Khaled Almaeena

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.....

 

Excessive Emphasis in Policy on Madrasa Reform Tends To Bracket Madrasa Education
Hem Borker

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......

Why I Felt More Pakistani Outside Of Pakistan During Eid?
Sarah Fazli

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
Asha'ar Rehman

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

Travel west 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 the month!....

Somehow this 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....

 

Future Is Not an Accident but It Is Built On Planning
Mike Ghouse

“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. ....

 

Mistaking Islam for a State: Misunderstanding Religion and Revering False History
Louay Fatoohi

Muslims who 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.....

Madrasas Need to Evolve: Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Sociology or History Can Be Studied With Religion and Tasawwuf
Zeenat Shaukat Ali

Presently, the 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.....

And:

State Acting In a Partisan Manner By Zafar Jung

Can Fundamentalism In Pakistan Be Traced Back To Madrasas?
Dania Ahmed

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.....

Mind Your Feet, Forget Your Heart: An Illustration of the Predicament of Muslims
Louay Fatoohi

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 .....

Ramadan: Good Food Ends With Good Talk
Charlotte Mcpherson

For Muslims, 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?
Khaled Ahmed

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 nation.

 

I Felt Safer In Iraq Than I Do In Pakistan
Ali Abbas

And strangely, 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 Peninsula.....

Lalan 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…..

It is 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....

 

Despite a 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 so on....

Are We Living Islam’s Darkest Hour?
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!....

True Fasting Is Self-Purification
Samar Fatany

Muslim scholars 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 Giver.”....

 


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    ( By Abdul Gani )
  • The way SULTAN SHAHIN is defaming islam, if i start just qouting Vedas, what can i expect from Hindus. They would abuse me and label ...
    ( By Truth )
  • Has writer tried his hand in the field of satire, or was he really serious about this article? I am very confused.
    ( By Pankaj Verma )
  • There is no reason to “wonder”. The Ulema ARE the clergy, clever operatives and traders (2-79) of the CHURCHES....
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  • those that are engaged in the study of unicorns can never find common ground.'
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  • Asking Trump to not recognize Jerusalem as Israeli capital is not Jew hatred. Both Israel and Palestinians have claims on Jerusalem and its status  is to ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The Ulema have always been bigots. Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi, the king of all bigots, was a contemporary of Akbar who was the most secular of ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The advice to keep away from people who are at war with you is good advice for all times but who these people are will ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • You do not need but the world need every one to support pluralism. Without the overall support at humane level we think it is not ...
    ( By Zubair Ansari )
  • Dear Hats off! I am lost with your comment. You don't seem to appreciate the historical underpinnings of the warning and are giving it an anti-Semitic ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • France Warns Trump Against Recognising Jerusalem As Israeli Capital" jew hatred and anti-semitism are the european gifts to the jews.
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  • But for the refined people like Sultan Shahin, Islam might have been banned in all secular countries. Every post of Mr. Shahin makes me believe ...
    ( By Ajoy Chakra )
  • Although every religion comes with its share of flaws and Hinduism is no exception ....But Hinduism has enough space for every sect and we are ...
    ( By Kartikaey Pulkit Mishra )
  • This post is not from a muslim. Although his name looks like a muslim. Actually he is an agent and his only mission is to ...
    ( By Pervez Ahmed )
  • Beautiful, I entirely agree with Ghulam Mohiyuddin. It does not mean that " Nauozibilla" we want changes in Holy Quran.
    ( By Nizam Elahi )
  • #सच्ची_घटना एक गांव में राजपूत, ब्राह्मण, बनिये, तेली, हरिजन आदि जातिके लोग रहते थे, सभी मिलजुल कर शान्ति से रहते थे। एक दिन गांव के ...
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  • Mollah All though the issue s are very surprising ly controversial issues,but needs a proximity of its aspirants annalicies,,to finds outs the deviattion,,&it's deterrent ...
    ( By M A Ohab )
  • Now today...islam is same word to terrorism..'
    ( By Arkajyoti Batabyal )
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    ( By Deep Krishna Sharma )
  • Like every religion, reforms in Islam is met with resistance. I don't get the countless justifications that many Muslim columnists offer against the abolition ...
    ( By Deepa Natarajan )
  • eeing some of the comments from diff experiences. Knowledge and the truth is a process to refine. every body got ideas...
    ( By Kolipaka Sudeep Kumar )
  • Very good article. keep on intellectual brain storming. As all we need to love - peace - respect each other along with human development. Education ...
    ( By Kolipaka Sudeep Kumar )
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    ( By Syed Qamar Anwar )
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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
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  • @Abdeen Mukhtar Ahmad That is why there are more kafirs in this world....
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  • Idol worship and idol thought always create schism. No need reformation in Islam. Such a pure religion. Hindus have many idols they must reform their ...
    ( By Abdeen Mukhtar Ahmad )
  • @Ghulam Mohiyuddin Consensus is necessary but there are 2 forms of consensus - Among various different....
    ( By Deep Bhatnagar )
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    ( By U.p. Ojha )
  • This is a well argued and well written article. It is time for Muslim intellectuals to look inside their hearts and decide what...
    ( By mohammad imran )
  • This is the best explanation of Al wala and Albara.
    ( By Aslam JMI )