Books and Documents

Islamic History

How a Rising Canada Shaped the Fall of The Last Muslim Empire
Hassam Munir

Many of the earliest Muslims in Canada were immigrants from the Ottoman Empire, but the two states are not known have any significant diplomatic relations between them. The Ottoman dynasty had already ruled for more than 500 years before Canada was created in 1867, and they preferred to deal directly with Britain, Canada’s “mother country”. This continued through the First World War—but with an interesting plot twist at the end....


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....

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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 )