Books and Documents

Islamic Ideology

Aasia Bibi: Why Pakistan Needs to Confront Its Ideological Origins
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

The roots of intolerance towards other religious traditions go very deep in its history and we must start at the time when this ‘nation of the pure’ was supposedly constructed as the new Medina. It was Jinnah and Muslim League’s articulation that they could no longer live with the Hindus which started a seemingly new narrative for the Muslims of the subcontinent. Jinnah’s obstinacy flew in the face of history: India being one of the few places where religious pluralism was a fact of everyday life rather than just a mere academic construct. In making Islam as an exclusivist religion, Jinnah wrenched the Muslims of this country of centuries pluralism and coexistence....

Quran Does Not Praise Worldly Asceticism
Alper Bilgili

Besides, in the Quran (13:11; 30:41) Muslims are also reminded that the solution to social problems is to change those conditions instead of merely asking and waiting for divine help. And, the Quran does not praise this-worldly asceticism. On the contrary, Muslims are asked to seek happiness in both this world and the next (2:201). So, while the Quran asks Muslims to submit to God and be grateful to him no matter what the conditions are, it does not glorify suffering as some eastern religions do....

Advocacy of Ibn Arabi is not an advocacy of his unique unprecedented opinions (Tafarudat) or belittling the tradition of internal criticism of some of his views. From his disciples like Qaysari and other contemporaries who approached him with caution and had some reservations on certain points, down to Sirhindi to Allama Kashmiri one finds great tradition of internal criticism of some of his individual opinions and exegetical moves. Ibn Arabi is not to be identified with this or that view but should be seen as an attempt to unearth the view of no-view or view from nowhere and everywhere or truth in all the partial or limiting views and thus liberating graces of what is considered the deepest –...

Related Article

Why do we need to Read Ibn Arabi?

Why do we need to Read Ibn Arabi?
Dr Muhammad Maroof Shah

Ibn Arabi matters because he is amongst the thinkers or sages whose meditations on key questions, we all face, are arguably amongst the most comprehensive and profound. In physical, moral, spiritual and intellectual distress one seeks relevant healers and one doesn’t ask about the colour or race of the doctor. I find everyone, regardless of creed or IQ in some distress crying for help that Ibn Arabi can offer.

Religion Not The Cause of Violence But Violent Ideologues Must Be Offered Peaceful Alternatives
Walid Jawad

Although religion is not the cause of violence, the people who chose to advance its narrative for violent ends must be convinced or offered other more effective and peaceful alternatives. This goes for political discourse even when that person is well-meaning or is the president of the United States.                                                                            


The Quran Gives Instructions to Men First To Be Modest
Nikhat Sattar

An interview of young Middle Eastern men was uploaded on Facebook some months ago, with the aim to assess their views on their wives and sisters. It was tragic but not surprising to hear that they were willing to kill them if they ever ventured out of their homes to earn a living. A girl who posted her traumatic experience of being harassed on the road in front of her brother was trolled: Why was she out anyway?...


Repel Evil with What Is Better and Your Enemy Will Become As Close As an Old and Valued Friend, Says the Holy Quran
Pamela K. Taylor

Despite all our prejudices against one another, I think most of us would agree we would be better off if we were less divided and jumped to fewer negative conclusions about others. Our country – our world! – would be a happier, more friendly, more enjoyable place if we could only we were more empathetic, kind, and compassionate with one another....


Islam is the perfect way of life that ensures every member of society — Muslim or non- Muslin, the rich or the poor, male or female —gets equal treatment and justice since it promotes peace and pluralism. When a person goes astray, he is given the rare opportunity putting himself back on the right track. Repentance is the easiest step Allah has given to the believers. The doors of Allah are open for every one for repentance with three main conditions....


Rishiyat is in no way a philosophy or ideology but a mode of conduct: Sheikh ul-Alam (RA)
Binish Qadri

Therefore, there should be a paradigm shift from logical based approach to nature-based approach for understanding Sufism and their philosophy which has its roots in religion. We need to reexamine the religious texts of Sufis and Rishis. And, we need to make our faith very strong enough by understanding the metaphysical outlook of different religions which Sufism and Rishiyat had to come across in its path of growth and development...

Students of the Qur’an Never Cease To Be Amazed By the Wonders Found In It
Amal Al-Sibai

Another finding in the Qur’an I marvelled over is the reference to the land and sea. The word ‘land’ appears 13 times in the Qur’an and the word ‘sea’ 32 times, giving a total of 45 references. The number of total references to land and sea, 45, divided by the number of references to the sea in the Qur’an, 32, and multiplied by 100 is 71.1%. Extraordinarily, these figures represent the exact proportions of land and sea on the Earth....

Islam Is Simple but We Have Made It Hard: Understanding the Beauty of Islam
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam

The Prophet himself was very practical and realistic in his approach. Once the Prophet saw a wretched, ugly man with torn clothes, he asked the man the reason for his pitiable state. The man replied: “O Messenger of God, I prefer giving all in charity, contenting myself with this shabby dress.” The Prophet exclaimed in disapproval: “Not like that; God likes to see the traces of his benefit on his slave!”

It is known in fact that the Prophet always resisted any tendency toward religious excessiveness. He emphasized, “And beware of going to extremes in religious matters for those who came before you were destroyed because of going to extremes in religious matters." (Sunan an-Nasa'i Vol. 3, Book 24, Hadith 3059)...

Islam Is a Pro- Market Religion with a Pro-Capitalism Ideology
Inas Younis

For Islam is an ideology that stands apart from its adherents in the same way that capitalism is a social system which stands apart from those who commit crimes it its name. Islam is a pro- market religion with a pro-capitalism ideology. The principles and spirit of capitalism took root in Islamic civilization long before the seeds were even planted in Europe. Long before there was Adam Smith there was the father of modern economics, Ibn Khaldun. And long before there was John Locke there was Ibn Tufyl, who is said to have heralded in the scientific revolution....

The Quran Is a Book of Ethical Principles, the Specific Rules Provided By the Quran Need to Be Studied In Terms Of Their Relevance
Nikhat Sattar

In Muslim societies, Sharia has come to be equated with rules and procedures while guidance in ethics and morality has been lost somewhere. Many Muslim scholars justify economic misdeeds, greed, exploitation, marrying many women, slavery, depriving women of their inheritance, beating wives based upon verses that were never meant to do any of these. They spend their efforts in resisting any movements that advocate educating women and laws against domestic violence and supporting feudal systems that uphold economic exploitation of the poor....

The Quran seeks to establish peace that results from transcending ideological noise and opinions of all kinds. Truth is not an opinion or a view but what is self attesting, what remains after we have seen limitations of all views. The Quran states God’s (not human exegete’s) omniscience and that implies God’s viewpoint which is not a human viewpoint and that in turn embraces all legitimate viewpoints or (partial) truth in all viewpoints. The Quran announces itself as making all things clear because all things higher leave their reflections on the purified non-judgmental heart that Tazkiyah brings out and express in wisdom that itself is a great bounty that translates itself in terms of felicity....


The Holy Quran Discusses the Modus Operandi of Time (Ad-Dahr) and Its Functional Strategy in Divine Governance
Kazi Wadud Nawaz

The Holy Qur’an in the above mentioned Verses has disclosed a historical truth in connection with the evolutionary process of mankind. A pretty long time must have passed before appearance of the man on the stage of history which confirms that man is the product of historical evolution not in the sense of Darwinian Theory of evolution based on the process of natural selection and doctrine of Survival of the fittest with forward movement of time but in the sense of Qur’anic concept of development that upholds infinite possibility of development....

It is often asked which Tafsir one must read, what the Quran really means, or its viewpoint on a host of issues, and who has the authority to legislate/exclude in the name of the Quran. Sects and schools remain bitterly divided on certain issues. Theologians, jurists and philosophers differ although they all invoke the same text. Salafis and Hanafis-Sufis, Deobandis and Barelvis, Islamists and their Muslim critics, Islamic and Muslim Feminists are all claiming respective positions in the name of certain standard reading of the Quran.....


The Glorious Qur’an:  The Inimitable Symphony, the Very Sounds of Which Move Men to Tears and Ecstasy Cannot Be Translated
Akbar Ahmed

When I asked him what he hoped the translation of the Quran will accomplish, he replied, “I wish Muslims become serious readers of the Quran and go beyond just parrot-fashioned reading. Our age is the age of materialism and consumerism… the Quran constantly challenges, rejects and argues against that worldview… our society is in dire need of an antidote.”....

Organ Donation Is What Is Called Sadqa Jariyah, Continuous Charity, in Islam
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Some Muslims may argue that organ donation is like ‘Muthla’ or disfigurement, and Muthla is unlawful in Islam. But drawing this parallel is completely wrong. Muthla, or disfigurement, always involves extremely bad intentions, in terms of humiliation. Anything, including disfigurement, is unlawful only when it is done with bad intentions, otherwise it is lawful. Organ donation is entirely an act of good intention. It is done with the best of wishes for fellow human beings. So, there is no similarity between disfigurement and organ donation....

Almost everything that has to do with celebration of beauty and regard for many art forms is suspect today in the name of Islam. Aesthetic dimension of life/Islam has not been given due consideration by Madrasas, Universities or other educational institutions and it is no wonder that our lives, our surroundings, our cities and other living spaces are largely bereft of beauty. Few know that cultivating beauty in every act is the fulfilment of Islam. The Islamicate world has been a cultured world with much emphasis on beauty, on poetry, on arts, on higher intellectual pursuits and so many applied/traditional sciences.


Islam and the Dialogue between Civilizations
Hassan Al Mustafa

Man’s self-consciousness currently makes the duty of scholars even more difficult because they have to reflect upon the doctrinal system via a different mechanism and a new mindset to establish a modern code of provisions that provide solutions to the fiqh and legal problems faced by Muslims today – solutions which old texts do not provide despite their significance....


Don’t ask others why God is doing this to you. Take the courage to fully focus, and ask Him – and take the time and words you need for emotional honesty. This will help open up your heart for incoming guidance. Your concerns and heartaches will be taken with love and understanding. Remember though, that often times the way out requires sincere courage. At that point, strengthen yourself with a compassionate reminder of His Blessings. Look around you and within you. His countless favours are not to shame your vulnerability, but to remind you that He can give abundantly. Be assured, that when He has given so much, He can surely give you more....


Islam and the Principles of Democracy: As a Religion Islam Has the Idea of a Social Contract Woven Into Its Doctrine
Nuraan Davids

This isn’t hard to do. Islam and the principles and practices of democracy are not mutually exclusive. As a religion Islam has the idea of a social contract woven into its doctrine. It’s a notion that appears in the Qur’an and was also practised by the prophet Muhammad. It’s also present in the social, political, religious, and cultural affairs of Muslims. And so, viewed through an Islamic lens, social contracts between individuals and the nation-state are a manifestation of democratic citizenship....


Restrain the Chaotic Fatwas Issued By the Ignorant and Extremists, Restore the Prestige of Fiqh
Fahad Suleiman Shoqiran

Nevertheless, the most dangerous aspect related to the issuance of Fatwas and rulings by ISIS, al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood is the latter’s establishment of Fiqh groups claiming they represent the Ummah. They attempt to break down religious institutions in each country in order to issue their disastrous Fatwas and terrorist rulings....


From The Mystical to the Political: What Is Sufism?
Eric Geoffroy

You must know Allah in order to adore Him more. But this is impossible to achieve as long as the ego stands between Him and human consciousness: by "annihilating in Allah" (al-Fanā') the initiate comes to the conclusion that only He is. Indeed, doesn't the Islamic profession of faith declare that "There is no God but Allah"? For the Sufis, this means that "Only Allah is", because what is created, what is contingent must disappear before what is Absolute....

In Both Religion and Law, Polygamy Has No Place
Tahir Mahmood

The plurality of wives was a pre-Islamic custom which Islam tried to reform. The Quran spoke of it in the context (and interest) of war orphans, emphatically counselling monogamy if multiple wives could not be maintained with absolute equality. Deserting one’s wife without divorcing her, and bringing home a second wife, which in India happens in the name of religious right was not Islam’s idea of polygamy. In any case, it was an exceptional permission to meet exigencies....

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  • lovely interview!
    ( By me )
  • If  “bernard lewis is the very epitome of honesty” (Hats Off) and  If Bernard Lewis honestly reports that “WHATEVER CREATIVE AND SIGNIFICANT IN JEWISH ...
    ( By T.O. Shanavas )
  • so the historians who accompanied the marauders were dishonest.but bernard lewis is the very epitome of honest.your dishonesty is astounding.just as it suits you ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • there is an uncontrollable deceit and dishonesty in every comment you write.and your puny logical capacity cannot see that religious texts are full of ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • There is uncontrollable hatred for Muslims and Islam in almost every comment that you write. What is hardwired in the human brain will be reflected ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Sagacious and cogent article! Transmitting this message to the masses in Pakistan is an almost impossible task.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Is this Asian Age report generally accepted as being factual or not?http://www.asianage.com/delhi/najeeb-ahmed-was-asked-leave-hostel-october-15-912
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The entire wahabiyat and deobandiyat consider  celebration of mawlid Nabi to be bidat. and therefore they bomb participants of Juluse Muhammadiya
    ( By Talha@gmail.com )
  • Suicide attack at Afghan religious gathering kills over 50Dozens of people were wounded in the attack, health ministry spokesman says, which targeted top clerics ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقی )
  • The author is living abroad. If he lives in Pakistan he would not have written this audacious article.If he wrote, sure, he would be assassinated.
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • This article is surprising me.Thanks the author for writing this article which aims to protect minorities in Pakistan.But minorities have no hope in Pakistan. ...
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • Congrats on this auspicious occasion of Mawlid Nabi
    ( By Sarwar )
  • اسلام میں جمہوریت کا مقاماسلام کا مقصد دنیا بھر کے اچھے لوگوں کو ایک مشترکہ مقصد، ناانصافی اور تشدد کے خلاف لڑنے کے لئے ...
    ( By Abdul Moid Azhari )
  • Well put. There are crimes in which one complies through silence but then here, left's complicity is of a far higher degree. Their complicity with ...
    ( By Areeb Rizvi )
  • logic was never your forte.let me try to really make it simple enough for you.aggression has biological, evolutionary and genetic basis.men are biological, evolutionary ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Extremely shameful and sad! If such things can happen at JNU, and in the national capital, what remains of justice and decency?
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Muslim historians accompanying Muslim conquerors said what their masters wanted to hear. Their exaggerations get quoted by pseudo-historians like Ariel and Will Durant who ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off says aggression is a biological fact but then goes on to blame monotheistic religions for it! Such a person would say anything ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
    ( By T.O. Shanavas )
  • Mr. Hats Off asked quotes from anti-Muslim authors. Let me quote from his favorite author, Bernard Lewis.
    ( By T.O. Shanavas )
  • Oxford Research Encyclopedia states:“Muslim-Jewish relations began with the emergence of Islam in 7th-century Arabia, but contacts between pre-Jewish Israelites and pre-Muslim Arabs had been ...
    ( By T.O. Shanavas )
  • just as for the fraudulent "moderates" it is the other way round. you have your evidence, others have theirs. don't whine and wheeze.the historical ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • aggression is a biological fact. aggression is an evolutionary need. aggression is a hard wired trait.that is precisely why much of religious text (especially ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Hats Off has only two hats, one as a spreader of hate, the other as an exemplar of rudeness1
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • For Hats Off,  only those experts have credibility who say bad things about Islam! His Muslim bashing has become a jehadi-like frenzy!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • A slap in the face of those who claim that aggression is a product of religions!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off seems to have become the official denier of Allah on this site!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off says, "the issue is whether if apostasy and blasphemy are crimes AT ALL. they are NOT. they are laudable acts. they are ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Arshad Alam needs to worry at this time about the impending Hindu Rashtra in India rather than what happened in 1947. Pakistanis do find themselves ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Ur essay throws some hopes on Pakistani establishment, which at the least is a houseful of chicanery; indulge on doublespeak in the hope of ...
    ( By Zafir Alam )
  • Apostasy /abandoning Islam is a severe crime and punishable with death. When Umar was on the seat of Khalifa II one of his Governor ...
    ( By dr.A.Anburaj )
  • this is not for mr. t.o shanavascan we quote other authors who entirely disagree with these "khandaani" experts?
    ( By hats off! )
  • dear mr. arshad alam, the issue is NOT whether asia bibi was WRONGLY or RIGHTLY accused of blasphemy. that is immaterial. she has EVERY ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • get back to where you belong.
    ( By hats off! )
  • please do not write op-eds if allah knows best.write something with which you do not need to do "plausible deniability".for god's sake do not ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Human aberrations like the ones Hats Off describes are present galore in several other religions but Islam seems to be the sole target of ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The position that Islam takes is:(2:256) Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • مسلمان ہجرت کے لئے مجبور نہیں عبدالمعید ازہری ہجرت اسلامی تاریخ کا ایک اہم اور ایسا ناگزیر پہلو ہے جو اسلامی ریاست کی بنیاد کا سبب بنا۔ ہجرت کا مطلب ...
    ( By Abdul Moeed Azhari )
  • ہم کسی کو مجبور نہیں کرتے کہ وہ میلاد النبیﷺ کو مانیں یا اسکا انعقاد کریں۔ یہ تو اپنی اپنی قسمت ہے۔ لیکن اگر ...
    ( By Syed Soharwardy )
  • Why Indian Muslims do not need to follow Extremists’ Call for Hijrat The Misconstrued Concept of Hijrat and the Position of Indian Ulema Both these articles in NAI referred ...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )