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Books and Documents

Islamic History

The Destruction of Mecca: the Middle East’s Largest Building Project Has Effaced 1,400 Years of Islamic History

Critics call this Islamic Maoism. Out went the city’s heterogeneous mix of Maliki, Shafii and Zaydi rites; in came homogenisation under the Wahhabi creed. Alongside the black and white dress they forced on women and men respectively, the new tribal rulers reshaped the urban environment, stripping away the past. They replaced the four pulpits at the foot of the Kaaba, one for each of Sunni Islam’s schools, with a single one, exclusively for Wahhabi preachers. ....

 

Reflections on the History and Memory of Andalusian and Ottoman Religious Belonging
Jeremy F. Walton

In Spain especially, Islam and al-Andalus have maintained an ambivalent relationship to national identity as a simultaneous source of disdain and pride. Spanish historians and politicians of a variety of ideological stripes have faced a vexing question: How to incorporate, and even celebrate, the accomplishments of a long era of Iberian history against which “Spain” itself has achieved definition? How to honour the Battle of Covadonga while also admiring the Alhambra?...

 

Marvelling At Egypt's Historic Civilization, Man-Made Structures
Anand and Madhura Katti

Egyptian Museum with repositories of more than 120,000 artefacts seemed like an essential prerequisite to learn about the country’s historic civilization before heading to its popular monuments. Precious exhibits like the Mummies, Sarcophagi, the famous Tutankhamun’s treasure and the boy king’s golden death mask, ancient JEWELERY and pottery made it easier to connect to the land. ...

Revealing the Muslim World’s ‘Forgotten’ Role in European History
Nabila Pathan

"A common story has developed throughout history that Muslims have not played a pivotal role in shaping European culture. The exhibition strives to re-orientate that misconception. It's not about a triumph of one religion over another. Instead, it's about seeking parity - that Islam like its Jewish and Christian counterparts, has contributed to European culture."...

 

From Bulleh Shah and Shah Hussain to Amir Khusro, same-sex references abound in Islamic poetry
Haroon Khalid

Bulleh Shah of course had pre-modern notions of sexuality and religion. For him the rigid categories between religion, gender and sexuality did not exist. For example in the following verses he has no scruples in incorporating a Hindu deity into his Muslim ethos, blurring the distinction between Muslim and Hindu concept of God.

 

It is High Time to Discard the Pernicious Myth of India’s Medieval Muslim ‘Villains’
Audrey Truschke

It is high time we discarded the pernicious myth of India’s medieval Muslim villains. This poisonous notion imperils the tolerant foundations of modern India by erroneously positing religious-based conflict and Islamic extremism as constant features of life on the subcontinent. Moreover, it is simply bad history. India has a complicated and messy past,...

The ‘crown jewels’ have been handed to a country with one of the worst human rights records in the world. Saudi Arabia will head a Consultative Group of five Ambassadors empowered to select applicants globally for more than seventy-seven positions to deal with human rights violations and mandates.

 

The Future of Ancient Sites in the Middle East
George Richards

As a necessarily speculative case-study, ISIL's stated policy not to destroy Palmyra - the spectacularly preserved Roman oasis-town in eastern Syria that it captured in May - may be driven by a reluctance to alienate the local population in one of the most strategically important Syrian cities under ­­ISIL control. ...

 

From Defeat to Disintegration: Reflections on 1967 and Afterwards
Hisham Melhem

Not only the Arab secularists and leftists saw the 1967 as more than a military debacle, but something that reflects deeper cultural and even moral maladies, this was also the view of some of the Islamist critics, who agreed with the leftists that the defeat was an indictment of Arab nationalism in both of its incarnations, Ba’athisim in Syria and Nasserism in Egypt. It was in the aftermath of 1967, that the Islamists, who were suppressed in Egypt and Syria during the heydays of Arab nationalism....

 

The Empire Must Not Strike Back
Khaled Diab

When it comes to the Middle East, nostalgia politics is in vogue. While ISIL is busy "restoring" an a-historical caliphate, others are pining for the apparently lost innocence of empire. The Tanzimat of the mid-19th century, among other things, created a common citizenship, erased ethnic and religious inequality and even decriminalised homosexuality, though they marked the beginning of more direct rule....

 

Art, History and Artefact
Rafia Zakaria

Over half a century after its culmination, however, its ideas are being replicated in equally grotesque ways. Whether it is the Taliban in Bamiyan or Daesh in Palmyra, the wilful destruction of history has become a stunted and self-destructive form of anti-colonial resistance....

 

Islamist terror groups in West Asia have not only destablised entire nations but have also threatened to snap mankind's civilisational linkages with its ancient past. Not satisfied with having laid waste to modern-day Iraq and Syria, the savages of the Islamic State are steadily obliterating the historical remnants of the ancient empires of Mesopotamia, Rome and Greece — one museum, statue, temple and tomb at a time.

 

The big question, of course, is why the antipathy between Sufis and Salafis is becoming a civil war in Islam. Indeed, the war itself is fairly one-sided, as the other side is the victim of the attack and has no strategy for a concerted counter-attack. But without romanticising either Sufism — any ‘ism’ is problematic — or the “good Muslim”, we only have to peruse early Sufi medieval texts to see how Sufi philosophies provide major sources of resistance to Salafist and other exclusionary ideologies....

 

Any Destruction of Humanity’s Shared History is ‘Not Just a War Crime But ... An Enormous Loss to Humanity’
Hajrah Mumtaz

Palmyra is a Unesco World Heritage site, dating back to the 1st and 2nd centuries. Considered one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world, it is also called the Venice of the Sands. Unesco’s director-general Irina Bokova says that any destruction in Palmyra would be “not just a war crime but ... an enormous loss to humanity”....

 

Why the Ancient City of Palmyra, Seized by the Islamic State, Matters
Ishaan Tharoor

Palmyra, which is located in the center of Syria, was an old oasis town that turned into an influential desert crossroads for around the first century A.D., at a time of significant Roman influence in the Near East. Its architecture and artifacts reflect its place as a meeting point between civilizations and cultures….

 
Sir Syed’s legacy
Muhammad Ali Musofer

Sir Syed’s legacy

To highlight the importance of rational thinking, Syed Ahmad Khan wrote extensively in Urdu and his exegesis of the Holy Quran is viewed as one of the prominent examples of rational interpretation of scripture in the modern age. To align Muslim religious thought and scientific knowledge, Sir Syed asserted that scientific knowledge did not contradict religion….

How Damascus Can Learn From the ‘Conquest of Kabul’
Jamal Khashoggi

The Mujahidin leaders gathered in Rawalpindi surrounded by hundreds of Afghans, from judges and politicians to field commanders, to merchants and immigrants in the biggest “loya Jirga” seen in the history of Afghanistan, all of them dreaming of building a new Afghanistan founded on Islam and freedom....

 

The Quran narrates the story of the meeting between King Solomon and Queen of Sheba, a sun-worshipper and the latter embracing Islam after some observations she made in the palace and gave her own succinct explanation for leaving sun-worship and embracing Islam. The story has a deeper meaning which till now has generally been ignored. ... It drives home the message that belief in non-gods or false gods is due to a lack of understanding of the reality of universe and nature and science only helps lift the curtain from this illusion of falsehood and enlightens the mind….

The Crisis of National and Religious Identity in Afghanistan Today
Amanullah, King of Afghanistan,1919 - 1929

Arabic Muslims completed the campaign they began in 642 to dominate the lands that make up present day Afghanistan. During the next five centuries, most Afghanis converted to Islam. Afghani Muslims have made major contributions to Shariah, theology, Sufism, philosophy, physical sciences, literature, and art with local features....

Freedom at Risk
Irfan Husain

Freedom at Risk
Irfan Husain

One of the abiding myths of the last half of the 20th century was that democracy, combined with free trade, would lead to liberal societies and peace between nations. Welcome, then, to the bloody new world of resurgent nationalism and religious extremism. Once suppressed by autocratic rulers allied to either of the two superpowers, these forces are now threatening to tear the world apart....

 

Challenges for the Muslim Ummah
S M Hali

The parliamentary leaders of Pakistan for once have seen through the stratagem of involving the military might of the Muslim Ummah in a protracted war, which would weaken them and cause substantive damage….

 

Out of the ‘Kingdom of Sands' came to life Frankenstein breeding monsters that behead, crucify and even eat human organs. Four years ago, extremists of the so-called "Islamic State" that are well-nursed with Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi thought started to sweep across the region beginning their blowout in Syria, with Saudi Arabia being its major source of financing and backing....

 

Yarmouk Cries for Help
Harun Yahya

In an unexpected twist of events, and to make matters even worse, the self-ascribed Islamic State (IS) seized 90 percent of this area and started its own campaign of violence as a manifestation of their skewed interpretation of Islam. The UN has urged immediate evacuation and according to the latest news, some 2,000 had already been evacuated....

 

Islamic State Descends from Wahhabism
H.D.S. Greenway

The Wahhabis profess a life of exceeding austerity, and what they practice themselves they rigorously enforce on others,” he said. “They hold it as an article of duty, as well as faith, to kill all who do not share their opinion and to make slaves of their wives and children. Women have been put to death in Wahhabi villages for simply appearing in the streets....

One of the most notable (and successful) of these rebellions was the Bahia Revolt, which took place in 1835 in Brazil. This revolt, unlike some others, was planned and led entirely by Muslims. The story of how they were able to plan a revolt in such horrid conditions and have such a large impact is remarkable. The most interesting and defining factor of the revolt was its Islamic character....

 
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  • Dear Ghulam Muhiuddin Sahab, What you say is so patently obvious that any person who believes Qur'an to be divine speech ....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • A very well written article "it is compassion towards others and good deeds " that are the markers of the strength of faith..but who will ...
    ( By awaya )
  • Dear Zuma, You did not answer the question: ‘And how much pluralism does islam offer to atheists, agnostics, kafirs and Mushrikeen and pagans ....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Dear Zuma, I endorse your statement that from the Qur’anic perspective, “Allah accepts non-Muslims whether they are Jews or Christians ....
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  • Quran calls Muslims to believe in Allah. Who is Allah? Allah is the creator of all human beings. The following are the supporting quranic ...
    ( By zuma )
  • As Allah accepts non-Muslims whether they are Jews or Christians or other religions as long as they ...
    ( By zuma )
  • I do not question Sharmaji's wisdom but we must be aware that he has a clearly atheistic agenda.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • While the basic Quranic ethics remain eternally valid, the legal or quasi-legal commands derived....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • I fully agree.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Our goal for frequency of triple talaq must be an emphatic 0%.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Kafir most certainly does not mean either disbeliever or infidel in the sense in which the Quran uses the word....
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Qazi Saheb, the term "Kafir" can also be translated as "Oppressor" or "Religious Oppressor", in view of Naseer Saheb's comprehensive delving into its ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Dear Mr. Ashok Sharma, you seem to have a much better understanding than most Muslims of what Islam's role should be in contemporary times. I ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • recent duly approved exegetic publication, Essential Message of Islam, demonstrates as below that the Qur'an recommends monogamy as the social norm:...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Polygamy negates the Constitutional principle of gender equality. It is an unfair assault on the rights ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • And how much pluralism does islam offer to atheists, agnostics, kafirs and Mushrikeen and pagans and ....
    ( By shan94 )
  • It is not surprising that the letter allegedly published some 15 years ago is not answered for it has a long list of sensitive questions. ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Quran only promises those Muslims who do good deeds to paradise even of those who do evil deeds. The following is the extract: (سورة البقرة, ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Quran 2:62 mentions that Jews, Christians, and Sabians, who believes in Allah and the Last Day and does righteous deeds will have their reward with ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Inequality in what has come to be known as personal laws exists across all religious...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • "Will you then compel mankind, against their will, to believe?” (Q10:99). Words that are so clear and yet so forgotten!....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • New idea is a "bidyat," and they r kafir only No matter from where he is. This world...
    ( By Syed Javed Jafar )
  • Such atrocities only tell us how far we are from what we call 'civilisation
    ( By Meera )
  • Chapar ganju...hindu hindu karta firta hai. Khud ka dharm to pata nahi Aur Islam pe unlngli uthata hai.ek baat kah dun jispe tum ungli uthare ho ...
    ( By Tarik Ahmad )
  • Appeal Ka Asar hooga'
    ( By ASLAM QURAISHI )
  • Dear Sheik Aftar Ali, It appears to me that you have not read the article closely. I have not talked about ....
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • It is true “An examination of the foundations of the Islamic faith shows respect for Christianity” Koran 5:82 states as follows “And you will find the nearest ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • This is to express ones disgust at this sordid affair generated by blasphemy law anywhere in Muslim world! Historically Muhammad the Messenger of God during his ...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • Quran 2:11 is applicable to Muslims as well as non-Muslims since it mentions that Muslims should not make mischief on ....
    ( By zuma )
  • I had meant the following comment to be posted in "Islamic World News" section. Sorry!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Quran 2:220 demands Muslims to deal justly and instead of deceitfully. The following is the extract: (سورة البقرة, Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #220)-Mohsin ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Ok then u accept the salafi or shia ideology
    ( By Sheik Aftar Ali )
  • Respected - dear AIMPLB see how our indian muslims will think differently and identify indian muslim and how integrate all indians. any language - dress ...
    ( By Kolipaka Sudeep Kumar )
  • Proofs please. Some anonymous old man (no name), some anonymous young men (no names), police complaints withdrawn (no FIR records). The name of the....
    ( By Unmai Virumbi )
  • Quran 2:204-205 support the same that Allah dislikes Muslims to make mischief on the earth. The following are the extracts: (سورة البقرة, Al-Baqara....
    ( By zuma )
  • I completely disagree with this statement"The so called fringe is perhaps not the fringe at all; it actually tells us how the majority within this ...
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  • Does Allah loves the just? Allah certainly loves the just. Or else, Allah would not mention the phrase, Make not mischief ....
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  • Dear Muhammd Yunus, You have mentioned in your comment about Allah does not forbid Muslims to be virtuous and just to those Muslims who ...
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  • Blasphemy laws must be abolished. They are in-Islamic.
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  • The New York Times has published one editorial, three op-eds and two news stories on Farooq Ahmed Dar's photo already!​ I am sure this does ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )