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Islamic Society

Many madrasas embrace a hardline (Deobandi or Salafist) interpretation of Islam and a certain number have ties to Afghanistan’s Taliban and Pakistani militant groups, including those responsible for the deadly attack....

 

The woman imprisoned in Bibi’s old cell, Shagufta Masih, was convicted with her husband Shafqat of sending blasphemous texts to the owner of an Islamic bookstall in Lahore. The couple has limited educations and had worked for years as school custodians…

 

The findings of the survey are quite instructive. Muslims do not think that they are ‘very religious’. Instead, most of them feel that they may well be described as ‘somewhat religious’ (Table 1). This Muslim self-perception cannot simply be called a reflection of minority psyche....

 

Pakistan is trapped. Its top judiciary, when not manned by Islamists, lets the victims walk after an average period of six to eight years in jail. But a victim can get presented before a court manned by “pious” judges, in which case, he is sure to go to his death....

Even the great Kalidasa said “The place is more beautiful than heaven and is the benefactor of supreme bliss and happiness. It seems to me that I am taking a bath in the lake of nectar here.”...

 

The Uighur people belong to the Turkic ethnic group native to the Altay Mountains in Central Asia, where they were dominant from the 8th century to the 18th century. The Manchu invasion in the 1800s and nationalist and communist forces from China and Russia have caused the Uighur culture to fall into decline….

The moral decay of the society can be gauged from the fact that callous killers are garlanded. Sometimes those involved in extrajudicial killing garner public esteem and appreciation. Recall the scenes of vandalism in the country, and hate speech against the judiciary, military, and government when Asia Bibi was acquitted of a blasphemy charge....

That Pakistan has a large number of vegetarians (Khushwant Singh, 2012) is a statement that doesn’t find many takers in India, until you visit the country and see it for yourself. Even I doubted the veracity of this claim. But I saw this on my innumerable visits to Pakistan as an advanced research scholar of Islamic theology, Hadith and Persian mysticism....

Ramzan fasting or Roza, practised by Muslims, is an elaborate process stretching over a period of one month every year. It is to do with self-reform, self-restraint and it also involves a wide range of responsibilities on the part of those who observe fasting....

 

Religious literalism, the primacy of the text and aggressive methods of proselytisation were becoming the principal features of religious discourse to which the traditional Sufism was an appendage now. Fadl-e-Haq Khairabadi (1797-1861) waged his jihad against the British in 1857. Haji Imdadullah Makki (1817-99) is another example of a Sufi who fought against the British....

 

The challenges come from a head-on collision between Ramadan and the materialism, consumerism and hedonism that have unfortunately engulfed Muslim societies. Approached correctly and observed diligently, the former could help us overcome the latter. In our present state of decay...

 

I recall one of my physician friends asking me this question at work around year 1984: “Hey Ejaz, are you an Islam? I smiled and said, “No, I am a Muslim”, leaving my friend a little bewildered. Fast forward to 2018. Islam and Muslims are no longer mixed up. However, Islam and Muslims remain rather poorly understood....

 

So, how does anyone, much less a professor, promote views that are so clearly stated and so profoundly wrong? Two enquiries to Maszka received no response, so one can only speculate. Here is the logic that may explain his error...

Sufi writers of the post-Mughal period wrote essays venerating monarchy as equal to or even superior to prophecy. Najm al-Din Razi (d. 1256) actually claimed that a righteous king is a true vice-regent of God, and exhibits the divine attributes of His lordship....

 

We lament loudly and vocally, post social media pictures and demand action when people are killed in Palestine, in Syria, in Kashmir or Muslims are targeted in Western countries. We do not react at all when people, most of them Muslims, are mowed down at home....

“You can draw a line from the anti-Ahok rallies to the nomination of Maruf Amin in 2018,” said Andreas Harsono, a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch in Jakarta. “Jokowi needed not just Muslim credentials, but Islamist credentials,” he said, distinguishing between the religion and its specifically political applications....

This time, it was not the spiritual or social connections that took me there. It was to convince myself of my own resilience. And there was indeed strength in being united — even amidst fear, worry and tears....

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s lawmaker Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, who founded the Pakistan Hindu Council, goes back in history to blame General Zia-ul-Haq for the present plight of minorities in Pakistan. “Minorities started to feel like ‘minorities’ during his time...

Don’t Let Baqr Eid Qurbani Descend Into Blood Orgy
Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam
Don’t Let Baqr Eid Qurbani Descend Into Blood Orgy
Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

Prophet Mohammad was very emphatic in his views on animal sacrifice: “if you MUST kill, kill without torture.” Unfortunately, this admonition is also ignored. The two million animals that were sacrificed in Saudi Arabia at the end of Hajj yesterday had been brought to the country in most horrible conditions, many of them dying en route.

 I personally witnessed the torture animals go through when I was in Karachi on Baqr Eid, a few years ago. The whole city appeared to have turned into a slaughter house. One could hear the cries of goats and sheep for days before Eid, while they were still being traded in city squares and even in roundabouts on major arterial roads. The animals apparently knew what fate was awaiting them. It was the obscenity of the whole scene that I cannot forget. Baqr Eid, the holiest of days, had descended into an orgy of blood-letting, with the “devotion” that God requires completely missing.

The callousness we Muslims display towards animals would give the impression that the religion of Islam is indifferent to the fate of animals. In fact, Islam requires Muslims to protect, not just Human Rights, but HuqooqulIbaad or the rights of all creations of God.

HuqooqulIbaad is considered so important that it is given primacy even over Huqooq Allah or our duties towards God. While God may forgive us for our transgressions, given his Benevolent and Merciful nature, His creations will not even recognise us on the Day of Judgement. So we must fulfil our duties towards creations of God in this very world, since we cannot hope for forgiveness from them on the Day of Judgement.

Muslims should also remember the conduct of the Prophet in treating animals with kindness. On many occasions, during his journeys, he delayed prayers for the sake of first relieving the animals of their burden, and giving them food and water. He would refuse to lead prayers until animals were looked after first. He told several stories of people being forgiven all their sins for having shown consideration for a dog or a cat. According to Imam Abu Dawud, the Prophet forbade the hitting of animals on their faces and branding them. He also forbade sports based on animal fights.

“In the 1990s, when it felt like Malaysia and Indonesia were seeing more relaxed attitudes about social conventions, Brunei was already exercising very tight state control over religious interpretation and practice.”...

 

“Polygamy is not an absolute right,” he said. “It is restricted by a number of conditions, on top of which is fairness. Otherwise, it is not permitted.” As expected, a heated debate ensued. ...

At the time of mounting on Buraq, it began to show disobedience and Gabriel hit it and told it, “Be calm o Buraq! Previously no prophet has ever mounted on you and in the future, no one like him would ever ride you.”...

 

“What words adequately express the pain and suffering of 50 men, women and children lost, and so many injured? What words capture the anguish of our Muslim community being the target of hatred and violence? ...

 

The two sister’s forceful conversion to Islam has shown how religious zealots turned her body into a mute token of male honour, bereft of the ability to speak for herself. Finally, social workers in Sindh confirm that a portion of these incidents consist of women who willingly leave their homes to marry into Muslim families. Such incidents of female agency also need to be considered when dealing with cases of forced conversion....

In this time of the Muslims practising generosity, compassion and patience, mosques should refrain the broadcast of the loud recitation of the Quran during the Tarawih prayers as it could disturb the neighbourhood. I am sure God can listen even when we recite our prayers softly....

 
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