Books and Documents

Debating Islam

The Nuances of Quranic Diction
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

The Nuances of Quranic Diction
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

If people act in good faith, and without negligence, or without rejecting what they come to know as the truth, the door of Allah’s forgiveness is open to them whether they are “believers” or “disbelievers”. As to the question whether all the Mushrikin are Kafirin or not, the simple test is to substitute Mushrikin for Kafirin in any verse of the Quran, and discover the contradictions that this leads to. There cannot be a better proof than this, that not all the Mushrikin are Kafirin in any verse of the Quran. Why are people then reluctant to accept it? It is because of our Fuqaha who have made shirk such a dreaded word in their anxiety to ensure that the believers remain well with the limits that our minds refuse to accept that if the same strict rules are applied to other people, it would be unjust. Let us not continue to blaspheme God by refusing to recognize and accept the differences as divinely ordained. Let us not judge everyone by the yardstick that applies only to us....

Insha Allah (God-So-Willing): The Metaphysics of the Future
T.O. Shanavas, New Age Islam

Sufi poet Jalaluddin Rumi describes this universe as a battlefield where atom struggles with atom like faith against infidelity. In this struggle some benefit and others suffer. Islamic metaphysics of the future blends chance, unpredictability, and limited levels of free will to form our universe, within the providence of a Most Compassionate, Most Just, and Omnipotent God. Based on the Islamic metaphysics of the future, God proposes and humankind as well as other creatures together transcribe divine proposals, arriving with the future, into monuments of divine creation in the material world....

Islamic Televangelism: The Salafi Window to Their Paradise
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

Dr. Ibrahim Saleh has explained that The Window to Paradise is a very popular programme in the Salafi Islamic televangelism. It has also greatly helped the Salafist preachers in propagating an anti-pluralist theology and exclusivist religious ideas.

Abolish Personal Laws: Patriarchy Remains Deaf to The Quran’s Call For Justice, Equality And Compassion
Sadia Dehlvi

Debates over the validity of pronouncing Talaq, divorce, three times in one go or over three months offer no solutions. Both methods find permissibility in schools of Islamic Fiqh, jurisprudence. Unilateral divorce allows men to commit grave injustices by stripping women of honour and dignity, inalienable rights both in Islam and the Indian Constitution. It is unwise to expect reform from the community whose religious leaders have historically treated women as subjects and not equals.....

Why It’s No Conspiracy If Courts Intervene in Muslim Personal Law
Tahir Mahmood

This is what the Quran says about divorce: “al-Talaqu Marratan” (divorce twice) – and after that “either cohabitation as per the law or parting of ways in kindness.” In pre-Islamic society, men used to torment their wives by pronouncing and revoking Talaq again and again. The Quran abolished the mean practice by proclaiming that a Talaq can be revoked only twice, and that it should be pronounced the third time only if the marriage has irretrievably broken down and must be dissolved in the interest of both parties....

Related Article:

Reform Muslim Personal Law, Use Debate on Triple Talaq as an opportunity to Breach the Stagnation in Muslim Religious Thought

Chanting 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' Is Against Islam, Says Darul-Uloom Deoband, But Other Islamic Scholars Disagree
Mohammad Ali, The Hindu

Amid an ongoing debate in the country over “Bharat Mata ki jai”, Darul-Uloom Deoband, the leading Islamic seminary of the Indian subcontinent, on Friday said that chanting of the slogan was against Islam. …

But scholars like Sultan Shahin, editor of NewAgeIslam.com, a website which talks about advocating reforms in Islam, slightly disagreed with the way the seminary interpreted the slogan 'bharat mata ki jai'. While the Darul-Uloom Deoband said chanting the slogan means “hailing and worshipping” the goddess “bharat mata', Mr. Shahin said, the slogan did not amount to worshipping 'bharat mata' and hence did not go against the idea of 'tauheed' (the belief in oneness of God).

“Primarily the idea of tauheed is believing into one God. However, there is a variety of interpretation of god and tauheed in Islam. The idea of tauheed (oneness of god) is vast enough to accommodate the idea of praising the motherland and showing love for her. I would not like to go into literal translation of Vandana or saying 'bharat mata ki jai' because I find the controversy unnecessary and irrelevant as there are enough controversies around the idea plaguing us,” said Mr. Shahin.

Talking about a variety of interpretations of 'tauheed', Mr. Shahin presented the instance of Sufis traditions in Islam and said that “a section of Islamic scholars, find even Sufi practices like going to Sufi Dargahs and praying to Sufi saints as against the idea of tauheed. Does that make Sufism un-Islamic? I do not think so. All versions of oneness of God are right but none should be forced on anybody”.

But Mr. Shahin also said that the slogan 'bharat mata ki Jai' should not be forced on anyone as the Constitution did not require anyone chant the slogan.

A Net Assessment of the Middle East
George Friedman

The collapse of the Soviet Union energized Islam, both because the Mujahideen defeated the Soviets in Afghanistan and because the alternative to Islam was left in tatters. Moreover, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait took place in parallel with the last days of the Soviet Union. Both countries are remnants of British diplomacy. The United States, having inherited the British role in the region, intervened to protect another British invention — Saudi Arabia — and to liberate Kuwait from Iraq....


To Beat ISIS, Kick Out US-led Coalition
Sharmine Narwani

With the removal of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the US inadvertently extended Iran’s arc of influence in a direct geographic line to Palestine, leaving the Israeli colonial project vulnerable. Former President George W. Bush immediately took on the task of destroying this Resistance Axis by attempting to neuter Iranian allies Hezbollah, Syria and Hamas – and failed....


Overcoming a Resilient Islamic State
Vijay Prashad

Da’esh will not be defeated on the battlefield alone. It will have to be suffocated by lack of resources. Grievances of the sect were set in motion by the bloody Lebanese Civil War, which lasted 15 years and left the country exhausted into peace. A police officer of the time told me that the Lebanese Civil War has not ended but is “at half time”. Even an intermission would be a relief for the people of Syria....


In addition to airstrikes, Saudi efforts to build a Yemen military force to defeat the Houthi insurgents is lagging and, Riedel notes, “even if this approach gains momentum, it will only lead to a brutal civil war in Yemen much like Libya, Syria and Iraq in which al-Qaeda and its offshoots will be the main beneficiaries....


Brutal Truths about ISIL Victories
Afzal Ashraf

The fight against ISIL is in many ways a fight between the idea of a nation state and the idea of a revolutionary ideological empire. Lessons learned about the intrinsic strengths of revolutionary insurgencies in comparison with the strengths of conventional armies are not being applied....


ISIS’ capture of Ramadi: Setback or Turning Point?
Chris Doyle

ISIS will be counting on the militias doing just that. Its currency is fear and panic. It trades off an Iraqi Sunni Arab population who believes that they are the only force capable of protecting them. Its brutality is designed to polarize and divide. Any Shiite militia crimes will likewise serve their immediate ambitions of securing permanent control over Anbar….


In this kingdom, where it is common for royalty to study in foreign universities, this son has not. Little is known about this favourite son—even his age is a matter of debate. In the debate, his age varies between 27 and 35. Even the higher figure is about half the average age of the office-bearers of the king’s ministry. This son quickly prosecutes a war in a neighbouring country, to the south, a war that soon leaves thousands dead in aerial strikes alone....


Is ISIS Really on the Run?
Patrick Cockburn

Many news outlets across the world republished the map as evidence of the success of air strikes by the United States and its allies in support of the Iraqi army and Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria. The capture of Tikrit after a month-long siege is cited as a further sign that a re-energised Iraqi state is winning and one day in the not too distant future will be able to recapture Mosul in the north and Anbar province in the west....


It seems that in secular India, religious beliefs cannot be overstretched.  Are people afraid that permitting young Muslim boys to grow a beard is a step towards “Talibanisation” of the country and hence this practice should be nipped in the bud....


Three Reasons to Read Classical Muslim Philosophers
Ibrahim Kalin

The Muslim philosophers, who read Aristotle mostly through the eyes of Plato, were already familiar with the term "wisdom" (Hikmah) from the Quran and the sayings of the prophet of Islam....


IS — A Baathist Brainchild?
Linda Heard

A recent report by the German magazine Der Spiegal, drawn from documents smuggled from Syria to Turkey, is eye-opening. Separating fact from fiction is an almost impossible task but if young Muslim men and women were being indoctrinated and manipulated by people with a very different agenda, it wouldn’t be the first time....


The question is what “Islamic economy” refers to. One thing to note is that the Islamic economy is not just another name for Islamic finance. From a commercial perspective, it naturally encompasses all the sectors driven by the Muslim population’s adherence to some form of faith-based activity that has a market impact....


A fatal conceit exists on the left in its use of Islam.  It’s this: leftists are in every way superior to Muslims.  Islam, violent and useful, though dangerous, is primitive and no match for the great minds and godless certitudes of “progressivism.”  Islam can be used and then dispensed with.  But the left underestimates the power of an ancient faith -- and its faithful -- at its own peril....


The religious dimension at its core is obvious. However much we may point to absent permits and municipal laws, these were not the concerns of the 50 protesters. They were reacting, maybe irrationally, to the possibility that their faith and that of Muslim youths’ might somehow be challenged or compromised by the inanimate cross symbol....


Defending the Right to Offend
Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Those who want to silence the debate on Islam -- on what is explicitly done in the name of Muhammad, and according to the instructions of the Quran -- are not only threatened with physical assassination, but must also endure systematic attempts at character assassination. But I will not be silenced by threats. How can I be silent? Has the threat from radical Islam diminished since 2005? Am I to say nothing when Ethiopian Christians are brutally beheaded by supporters of the so-called Islamic State in Libya? Am I to be silent as the mayhem caused by the Jihadists drives thousands to risk their lives....

What India Can Teach Us about Islam and Assimilation
Shikha Dalmia

The late Mohammad Rafi, a Muslim singer who is a household name in India, sang bhajans so poignant and soul stirring that they bring tears to the eyes even of a Hindu-turned-atheist like me. Iqbal, a Muslim poet, wrote the lyrics of arguably the most patriotic song in India that celebrates “Hindustan” as the best nation in the world. More recently, A.R. Rahman, an observant Muslim composer who won an Oscar for his score in Slumdog Millionaire, has recorded the most goose-bump-inducing rendition of Vande Mataram — an ode to the Hindu Motherland....


Faux moderate Muslims like the Muslim Council of Britain (which is the UK's CAIR) keep on telling us that Islam and politics are utterly separate. It often says, for example, that "Islam isn't the same as Islamism". Yet Islam itself has always been political in that Sharia law is at the heart of Islam and Sharia law covers all aspects of life....


Islam and Tribalism
Irfan Husain

Wahabi influence and money has thus transformed the social and religious landscape across much of the Muslim world. This vision has fuelled extremism by excluding other, less-rigid interpretations of Islam, deeming followers of different sects non-believers....


Why are People Flocking to the Islamic State?
Shakir Mumtaz

A majority of Muslims are sceptical of IS’s coming into existence and then gaining tactical and financial strength. On the other hand, there are many who would love to join hands with it blindly and sacrifice their lives for its cause – which, in their eyes, is an utmost sacred cause. Ahadith (sayings) of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) regarding Jihad and the establishment of Caliphate usually obviate any counter/critical-narrative for those in favour....

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  • Naseer sahib, Perhaps while writing comments, you did not put in your mind overall areas of my presentation of the commentary on the verse 4:89. ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • 3/16/2018 8:34:58 PM Ghulam Mohiyuddin “The independent reasoning derived from the Quran” — in other words many clauses in classic jurisprudence ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • It is sad but radicalization of some Muslim youth in Kashmir should not come as a surprise.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Your insights on Kashmir issue are invaluable! Truly conflict resolution is a double- edged sword!! Any...
    ( By Meera )
  • Before the battle of Badr, what was the position of the Muslims? They were persecuted for thirteen years in Mecca, lost their businesses, faced sanctions...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Gulam Moyuddin it same like your Arabic Allah choose all male messenger.'
    ( By Aayina )
  • In the case of early hypocrites, the verses were revealed to guide the Muslims and save them from destructive plan of hypocrisy and oppression but ...
    ( By Kaniz Fatma )
  • The Salafist anti-terror fatwa deserves appreciation. The Sufi-oriented fatwas against terrorism deserve appreciation. As regards the ideological dispute between these two groups claiming ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Why are all "BEST OF BEFORE" articles written by males?
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Is there no one to table a Fresh Plea in Supreme Court to Declare relation between a boy and....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • "The verses are clear by themselves." Yes, Naseer sir, these verses are clear but some people cunningly present...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • This is a good commentary series.
    ( By Kaniz Fatma )
  • Thank you, Sahil Shadab But you can also read the same connotations in my previous articles as well. Please ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
  • Nice work Mr. Siddiqi You are doing a great thing but it should have come much earlier.
    ( By Sahil Shadab )
  • Islam means only peace peace and peaceful. Some one can differentiate own benefits'
    ( By Mohammad Akhtar )
  • Prophet pbuh & his companions are the role model of real Sufis.they follow the command of Quran & Sunnah.jihad in its right ...
    ( By Arshad Andrabi )
  • @Md Mosaib Do not please hide your massacre by quoting thousand year old stories. What is happening in Afghanistan,syriya,iraq,maldeves...
    ( By U.p. Ojha )
  • @UP Ojha What about asaram or you want to hear more and please don't talk about bloodshed I don't want it to hear ...
    ( By Md Mosaib )
  • Worthless is your preachings to rectify a religion of bloodshed and idiocy,till they accept to honour other faiths. Remove....
    ( By U.p. Ojha )
  • Sufi-ism is an amalgamation of vedanta n some superficial(modfied) rituals of lslam, it has nothng to .,...
    ( By Manzoor Hussain )
  • @U P Ojha Yahoodi wants to wipe out the spiritual power which is been gifted by Almighty to the followers of Sufi Saints the ....
    ( By Abulhasan Dasankop )
  • @Mansoor Hakkim Ahamed Can you name a single islamic country where peace and tranquility prevails. Wherever their ....
    ( By U.p. Ojha )
  • Where is Islam u r talking about,y r u preaching Muslims,better to preach tyrants,whome Rob Iraq,afghanistan etc etc,y don't u preach Burmies hiered army ....
    ( By Mansoor Hakkim Ahamed )
  • About Muslim and non Muslim from Pakistan to Morocco'
    ( By Rakesh Singh )
  • @Iqbal Husain Can you produce proof of any war between caste in India? I will provide 100 times from book of history.... start' ....
    ( By Rakesh Singh )
  • @Rakesh Singh heavy price is paid by bahujans of india they werepersecuted by manuvadies down the ages.
    ( By Iqbal Husain )
  • But why they would do it? They never paid high price.
    ( By Rakesh Singh )
  • The verses are clear by themselves. It is the contextual (mis)information imported from outside of the Quran that creates confusion. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Both communalist Muslims and communalist Hindus dislike the idea of interfaith...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • It is better to ignore such verses rather than be obsessed by them.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Yes dear Ghulam Mohiyuddin sb, Even this Salafist anti-terror fatwa states that there is no place for violence or discord in the religion of peace. ...
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • The word medieval is the period between the fall of the Roman empire and Renaissance and these events are significant to European/Christian history. This ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • “It also tells us that it is Abraham who coined the term "Muslim" and Allah named all his followers Muslims. (Qur'an 22:78)” (Dr Duderija)...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • @Nizam Elahi yes off course for chriatians bible is right for hindus geeta is right for muslims quran is right. ex muslims or ex hindus ...
    ( By Iqbal Husain )
  • The conclusion out of this post n reactions/ comments leads to merely one point that whatever Holy Quran says is absolutely right....
    ( By Nizam Elahi )
  • श्रीस्वामीसमर्थाय नमस्कार Namaskar Sir. 1. Terrorism is the Soul of Islam. Koran Commands its followers to Convert ....
    ( By Vasant Narayan Deshmukh )
  • There is no supremacism or political Islam in Sufism but to purify the heart and soul in total submission to ALLAH and THE PROPHETpbuh'
    ( By Peer Nizam U Din )
  • Excellent Sultan Shahin Bhai'
    ( By Rakesh Ralli )
  • See videos of ulemas, molvis and Muftis, read your own books, post them without reference, you will say they defame Islam.'
    ( By Anand Kumar )
  • श्रीस्वामीसमर्थाय नमः Namaskar Sir. 1. Since you are talking about " New Age Islam ", loudly denounce the most Inhuman Commands given in Koran to Muslims "To ...
    ( By Vasant Narayan Deshmukh )