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Books and Documents

Islamic Personalities

The Prophet (PBUH) once said that Khadija was one of the four most remarkable women in the world. As reported in Musnad of Imaam Ahmad Hadees 2663, he said, “The four greatest women of mankind were: Bibi Khadija, Fatima bint Muhammad, Maryam bint Emran and Asiya bint Muzahim (Pharaoh’s wife)....

 

"O son of freed slaves, is this your justice that you keep your own daughters and slave maids veiled while the daughters of the Prophet of Allah are being paraded from place to place exposed." "You have dishonoured us by unveiling our faces. Your men take us from town to town where all sorts of people, whether they be residents of the hills or of riversides have been looking at us." "The near as well as the remote ones, the poor as well as the rich, the low as well as the high – all casting their glances at us while our position is such that there is no male relative of ours to render us help or support."...

 

The Sufi Scholar-Saint Sheikh Ibn Arabi’s Message Of Love, Unity, And Compassion Is Desperately Needed
Akbar Ahmed

“God is Al-Haq, the Truth, the spirit is closer to God and therefore its connection with reality is stronger, the soul is an intermediate reality and body is the least real of all. When the body is given paramount importance, running after power and pelf, the lowest egotistical levels of the soul, known as Nafs e Ammara, become the centre. This is how the spirit and soul become corrupted.”...

 

Fatima Al-Fihri, a Woman Who Established the Concept of a University
Anna-Marie Crowhurst

Fatima al-Fihri was a Muslim woman from Tunisia who founded the first known university more than 1,000 years ago: the University of al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco. Guinness World Records acknowledges it as the oldest existing and continually operating educational institution in the world.  Much of the information about al-Fihri’s early life is lost to time...

Muslim Philosopher Ibn Sina's 1038th Birthday, Trace the Astonishing Life of This Genius Philosopher, Medic and Poet
Ibn Sina

The Muslim philosopher was born on Afshona in Uzebekistran on August 22, 980AD. By the age of ten he had memorised the entire Quran, and by 18 he had become a qualified physician. As a teenager he was fixated by Aristotle's Metaphysics, which he read 40 times. He spent his life healing the rich and the poor, all the while amassing an ever-growing mountain of knowledge....

 

‘If There Were To Be another Prophet after Me, It Would Have Been Umar’: Holy Prophet (PBUH)
Dr A Q Khan

At that time, Muslims ruled from Armenia to Sindh, Central Asia, the whole of Arabia, India and Eastern China. Nobody dared disobey Hazrat Umar’s (RA) orders. He was a strict disciplinarian and sacked many influential and powerful personalities such as Hazrat Saad bin Abi Waqas, Hazrat Khalid bin Wahid, Hazrat Umro bin Al-Aas, Hazrat Mugira bin Shaba, Hazrat Haris bin Kaab, Hazrat Ghanam etc. Alexander did not leave any good governing systems in place, whereas Hazrat Umar (RA) established one of the best governance systems the world has ever seen....

 

Saadat Hasan Manto Was Totally Above Religion, Like So Few of Us Can Be Even In Our Time
Aakar Patel

Manto understood this and wrote about it much before Hitchens. He was totally above religion, like so few of us can be even in our time. This gave him the ability to put us all under a microscope and record our failings. He loved Indianness because it was the only identity he had. His record of Bombay during Partition, in two short essays, is a masterpiece that should be required reading in all our schools....

 

And so, the people of the sub-continent remain divided, despite the fact that the majority of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, and others never wanted partition in the first place. The key to peace and love in the region is to explain to people on both sides of the border the truth behind partition and the reality that it was the result of the selfish politics of a few leaders. It is time the region embraced Mashriqi’s ideology of unity, regardless of faith or colour. This is the key to bringing peace in the region and the world....

Maulana Rumi's Masnavi and Teachings of the Qur’an
Anna Rohleder

Something the Qur’an and the Masnavi both have in common is that they are not books as we normally think of books being written. Both originated as oral expressions, and oral texts are different from written ones. Whereas written texts “set things in stone”, laying words like bricks on paper, oral texts are more like jazz standards: individual performers provide their own interpretation of familiar songs. In the same way, oral texts are open and flexible....

 

Ibrahim Bin Adam Renounced the Throne to Lead a Life of Complete Asceticism
Sadia Dehlvi

He must close the door of bounty and open the door of hardships; close the door of dignity and open the door of humility; close the door of repose and open the door of striving; close the door of sleep and open the door of vigilance; close the door of wealth and open the door of poverty; and finally close the door of worldly expectations and open the door of preparation for the next world....

 

Saadat Hasan Manto Penned Tales of Prejudice, Patriotism, Sex Slavery, Suspicion and Love
Saadat Hasan Manto

“Normal people can’t observe and think like we do and put it to pen. There has to be something twisted somewhere in our minds to produce the kinds of things we have with our pens. We do see the same things as others, but the window in a writer’s mind is different. Manto was like that too,”...

 

Sufi of the Ninth Century, Bishr Al Haafi
Sadia Dehlvi

In the morning, Bishr asked God for forgiveness and swore to lead a life of piety and devoted to God. He resolved to become an ascetic. At the moment of making sincere repentance and turn towards God alone, Bishr was barefoot and never put on shoes again. Some say, this was to remind him of that great moment in his life that his heart opened to the knowledge of God. ....

Neither Life nor Death Could Separate Amir Khusrau from His Beloved, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya
Rana Safvi

That was an era of cultural attainment and there were many incomparable poets in the Khilji Sultanate but according to the famous historian Ziauddin Barni, “The incomparable Amir Khusrau stands unequalled for the volume of his writings and the originality of his ideals; for, while other great masters of prose and verse have excelled in one or two branches, Amir Khusrau was conspicuous in every department of letters....

 

Impacted By the Spirituality and Teachings of Hazrat Nizamuddin, Khusrau Believed In Affection between People of All Faiths
Sadia Dehlvi

Hazrat Nizamuddin loved Khusrau and called him, ‘My Turk’.  He is known to have said, “Khusrau is the keeper of my secrets. And I shall not set foot in paradise without him. If permissible by Islamic law, I would have willed that Khusrau be buried in the same grave as me.”...


 

Indian Muslim Scholars, from Shah Wali Allah to Allama Iqbal, Have Offered Mixed Praise for Ibn Taymiyyah’s Personality and Works
Hassam Munir

Generations of Indian Muslim scholars, from Shah Wali Allah to Allama Iqbal, have offered mixed praise for Ibn Taymiyyah’s personality and works. Shaykh al-Islam Taqi ad-Din ibn Taymiyyah (d. 1327) was a truly outstanding scholar in Islamic history. He was a Mujaddid (reformer), a person who spent his entire life making an effort to clarify and emphasize the essential teachings of Islam. At the same time, he fended off political persecution and faced intellectual opposition from movements inside and outside the Muslim community. The legacy he left behind was one that has inspired Muslims in a many ways right up to our present day.....

 

Islamic Scholar Dr Fazlur Rahman Malik: An Antithesis of the Conservative Islamic Scholars
Nadeem F. Paracha

Prolific Islamic scholar, Abul Ala Maududi accused Rahman of undermining established Islamic beliefs and of belittling the role of the Ulema. Ayub was livid. “It is quite clear that any form of research on Islam, which inevitably leads to new interpretations, has no chance of acceptance in this priest-ridden and ignorant society,” he had apparently thundered....

Ibn Battuta and Shaikh Murshidi - Part Three
Dr A Q Khan

He then remembered what the saint, abu Abdallah al-Murshidi had said: “You will enter the land of India and meet there my brother Dilshad, who will deliver you from a misfortune which will befall you there.” He also remembered the man’s name, ‘joyous heart’, which when translated into Persian is Dilshad....

 

The specific contours of Thanawi’s legal philosophy, psychology and theology that limit his choices for seekers (Salik) in general and fatwa seeking masses in particular to accommodate less ideal modes of living forced by modernity call for informed analysis and critique in light of great Sufi Masters and jurists who embody other less disciplinarian streams of thinking.  What needs to be emphasized is that Thanwi had much more optimistic view of otherworldly prospects for sinning believers...

Ibn Battuta and Shaikh Murshidi - Part Two
Dr A Q Khan

After travelling to Makkah, Madina, southern Persia, Iraq, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, Ibn Battuta reached the Indian Subcontinent, where he travelled from Sindh to the North West and then on to Delhi . At that time, Sultan Ghiasuddin Tughlaq was the king. The king’s son, Mujahid Muhammad Shah treacherously killed his father when the former returned from an expedition. He took possession of the kingdom without opposition. His real name was Jawnah, but when he became king he called himself Muhammad and took the ‘Kunyah’ name of Abul Mujahid....

The Sufi mentor in this story was Dr Abdul Hai Arfi, himself a disciple of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi. One of the many great contributions of Maulana Thanvi was that he reintroduced Islamic teachings regarding social relations and dealings with others as a religious issue. His message: You must become a good human being before you can ever become a good Muslim. This message destroys a disastrous and tragic misconception that reduces Islam to only the performance of the ritual acts of worship...

 

Ibn Battuta and Shaikh Murshidi
Dr A Q Khan

That night while sleeping, Ibn Battuta dreamt he was on the wings of a huge bird that flew in the direction of the ‘Qiblah’, then made towards Yemen, then eastwards, then south, and finally made a long flight towards the east, alighting in some dark and greenish country, where it left Ibn Battuta. He was astonished at the dream and thought to himself, “If the Shaikh shows me he knows of my dream, then he is all they say that he is.” After the afternoon prayers, the Shaikh revealed that he had knowledge of the dream. He said: “You shall make the Pilgrimage to Mecca and visit the tomb of the Prophet at al-Madinah, then you shall travel through the lands of al-Yaman and al-Iraq, the land of the Turks and the land of India....

 

Allama Iqbal’s Ideal Society Is One That Is Driven by Modern and Reconstructed Islamic Ideals
Walid Iqbal

In a lecture delivered at Aligarh in 1910, he posited, “Society is much more than its existing individuals; it is in its nature infinite; it includes within its contents the innumerable unborn generations which, though they ever lie beyond the limits of immediate social vision, must be considered as the most important portion of a living community in the successful group-life it is the future which must always control the present.” He further believes that an ideal society is one that is driven by modern and reconstructed Islamic ideals....

 

Many of the issues Al-Ma’arri raises about dogma, superstition and the abuse of clerical power are just as valid today as they were a millennium ago. Despite being accused of heresy, he was never persecuted and died at the ripe age of 86. One is left to wonder whether he got away with such blasphemous writing because of the more tolerant nature of the time or if he simply got lucky possibly out of pity for being blind....

“Sufis might do more harm than good if they insisted that everything they did had clear warrant in the foundational texts, that it carried the same authority as did the well-established goals of the Shari’a.” Rather than reform Sufism as modernists and some Ulema would suggest, the task is to appreciate that Thanwi “did not have a narrow set of criteria in terms of which to “reform” Sufism or to make it compatible with Shari’a norms. Rather, it was precisely this lack of a narrowly Shari’a-minded vision, so far as Sufism is concerned, that explains his success as a Sufi.”...

 

Many Muslims believe that Muhammad physically ascended to meet Allah and returned within the same night. Muslims also believe that Adam was sent from The Garden to Earth. They also believe that Jesus was raised alive and is yet to return. Jews, Christians and Muslims also believe that God spoke with Moses. It is also believed that when the time comes, the Believers who have been forgiven will be able to leave Earth and ascend to inherit The Gardens, as an ever-lasting reward by Allah the Most-Compassionate, the Ever-Merciful, the Most-Appreciative!....

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    ( By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي )
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    ( By Rabindra Dutta Roy )
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