Firoz Bakht Ahmed
“My dear brothers, today you
are leaving our country; did you ever think what will be the outcome of this?
If you go away, Muslims in India will become weak. You will be divided into two
sects of liberals and fundamentals. Listen to me carefully, a Hindu can differ
with your religion but they can’t differ within your Qaumiyat (clan), but in
Pakistan you will face the difference of the clan as they’ll treat you as
Pakistan is a hell for Indian Muslims! I took
the risk to visit that country despite these prophetic words and paid a
The Madrasa Myth
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam
the world have suffered great loss of reputation in recent decades, thanks to a
wave of extremism. They have been malicious projected as incubators of holy
warriors or what has been derisorily called as ‘jihad machines’. However, the negative stereotypes that we get
to read in sections of the media do not present the true picture. The majority
of madrasas actually present an opportunity, not a threat. For young village
kids, they may be their only path to literacy. For parents mired in poverty,
madrasas serve a vital role in ensuring their children are supervised, fed and
taught. Madrasas fulfil a vital function by helping develop a core of leaders capable of leading the Muslim
community in religious matters ...
To ensure that
the supposed requirements of chastity are met, women are threatened with
cultural notions such as Izzat or are spoon-fed with religious verses
that have been taken out of context and skewed by misogyny. It’s almost like
leaping right into 18th-century drama with all the talk of chastity and female
conduct. But this is here and now. Hence, relationships, mixed interactions,
sexual relationships all happen behind closed doors....
insistence of the ruling caliph, Junaid was amongst those signed the death
warrant of the Sufi martyr Mansur Hallaj for saying, “Ana’l Haq”, or “I am the
Truth”. Junaid wrote, “We judge according to the external law, as for the
inward truth, God alone knows!” Hallaj, the most controversial of all Sufis had
been his student. Junaid had counselled Hallaj to act with restraint or else
his goblet would be stained with blood....
In a Facebook
post on March 13, Farook had said: “I am an enemy of god, enemy of religion and
enemy of caste. But I am not an enemy of humans who believe in humanity.” On
her sixth birthday on December 6, Farook had asked his daughter, Anafa to hold
up a placard which said Kadavul illai – there is no god. He posted the photo on
Yasser Latif Hamdani
We need to
create Sir Syed Ahmad Khans, Chiragh Alis and Muhammad Iqbals of the future and
this cannot be done if we handicap ourselves through an emotional and ill
thought out decision. Instead of swimming against the tide, we should ride it.
Where are the cyber wings of our think tanks and institutes? These cyber think
tanks, when suitably armed with knowledge — both modern and traditional — can
do a much better service to Islam than those who feel that the glory of Islam
can only be served by banning and blocking. Let us fight this war pragmatically
and rationally instead of emotionally. We need Hosh not Josh.....
Aijaz Zaka Syed
And who’s going
to stop this endless dance of death? From mosques to madrasas and from mourning
Shias to Ahmadi shrines, no one is safe. And this is not a problem exclusive to
Pakistan. For whatever reason, the cancer of extremism is fast eating into the
vitals of the whole of Muslim world. In their long and eventful history,
Muslims have never faced a greater challenge to their identity and existence....
They also use
the injustice being done to some Muslims and use it to plant the seeds of
extremism, which stays for a long time and eventually becomes a local culture.
If you can imagine this, you can understand how extremism spreads and how
terrorism emerged. You will also realize that fighting extremism is more
important than fighting terrorism....
era, the establishment took it upon itself to “Islamise” state institutions and
introduced a series of “regulative” and “puritanical” legal measures including
restricting women to the “Char-Diwari” (four walls) of their homes and
controlling women’s sexuality through introduction of Zina and Hudood Laws....
less than a century of leading the Muslim community from the front, the Mujahid
movement, the Salafi sect in Kerala, seems to have reached a dead end — some of
them, who claim they too are following Salafi Manhaj (methodology), have
declared that democracy and secularism are un-Islamic; others are unable to
decide whether seeking help from the ethereal being jinn is allowed in Islam or
whether Sehr (black magic) will have any effect on human beings.....
traditions, like the Dhamal at Sufi shrines, bind us together as a nation.
Basant unites people across class, gender, language and social backgrounds. It
is also very important from the province’s economic point of view. For these
very reasons, we should be making every possible effort to save this custom.
Basant had entered the list of global festivities at the time when it was
removed from our lives. We must reclaim what has been lost....
He wrote how
Allah’s attributes must be known by tasting the experience, and not just the
word. So to know mercy we must be merciful, to know God’s justice we must be
just. Just like if you tell someone what it is like to swim they will never
truly know swimming until they have swam. Similarly, we will never know God
until we have experienced what it is to be merciful, just and
Mohammad Ali Ilahi
the arrival of spring, and filled up Lahore’s skies with countless kites of
varying colours and sizes. Yet, Basant has always been more than just kite
flying. It served as a social gathering where all classes participated in the
celebration. It involved music, food that Lahoris are known for and frequent
cries of “Bo Kata”. My generation has been deprived of this history....
entrusted six essential tasks to the force, namely: intervene militarily to
counter terrorist threats; participate in peacekeeping and security operations
in the member states; help Arab countries restore, construct and equip their
military and security capabilities; participate in securing relief and
humanitarian aid operations in conflict zones; protect civilians against
emergencies resulting from these conflicts or natural disasters; and protect maritime,
land and air transport roads and fight piracy....
The glory of
the Sufi past is something to be proud of. But it would not help much in
dealing with nihilistic ideologies that drive terrorist groups like IS. Sufis
were practitioners of love, who won over people with their selfless service to
humanity, aversion to materialism and distance from the corrupting influence of
power. They were exceptional scholars of Islam too....
that, I think Qadri’s act shouldn’t be a surprise. Qadri, in his own words, was
motivated by a sermon of a local imam. The government should, at least, monitor
Friday sermons at all mosques. This is essential to check hate-preaching and
extremism which has become an existential threat for Pakistan.....
Aquinas regarded blasphemy a major unforgiveable sin, more grave than murder.
Meanwhile, blasphemy against God and the Church was a crime punishable by death
in much of the Christian world. The Quran and the authentic teachings of the
Prophet Muhammad describe the practice of showing disrespect or mockery to God
and His messenger as acts of ignorance, deliberate provocation or hatred….
When we make an
‘other’ out of people, and distance ourselves from them, we drive out empathy
and respect, an act that then makes violence against others possible. To get
rid of terrorism in Pakistan, we have to first realise that with our words, we
are all parents in its conception and midwives present at its birth....
up in defiance when some forms of Sufism were adopted by kings' courts and
saints were awarded state titles. Damadam mast Qalandar is a raging cry of
rebellion against tyranny of established orders.....
Nadeem F. Paracha
Yet, during the
period in which I had begun to somewhat discover the inner workings of what
came to be known as Muslim Modernism, I continued to frequent the shrines of
Sufi saints and joyfully partake in ceremonies such as the Dhamal. ....
created Mujahideen during the US-sponsored anti-soviet war in Afghanistan from
1979-89 paving way for more deadly terrorist organisations like Taliban and
Al-Qaeda. Pakistan had become a frontline state again during the war the US
again sponsored, this time against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda after 9/11 attacks
in 2001. Among the allies in the war against terrorism, Pakistan cannot be
easily characterised as either friend or foe. The 3As are the pivotal power
handling institution in Pakistan i.e. Allah, Army and America....
Music now also
plays a big part in the commercialisation of Islam. Not so long ago, I
discovered a group which identify themselves as the “Deen Squad”, a
Canadian-based hip-hop duo, who are known for their Muslim covers of popular
mainstream hits. Much of Muslim community disapprove with their use of music,
dancing and the fact that their songs are remakes of mainstream songs usually
associated with drugs, sex and money which they then convert and replace with
‘Halal lyrics’ I fear that in attempting to eradicate stereotypes, we may just
be slowly eradicating our identity and creating our own new narrative where
instead of self-expression, we’re self-moulding simply because it sells.....
revolution, which unfolded on streets across the country on the heels of the
Arab Spring just over six years ago, largely inspired his brand of artistic
activism. Subay was there with the people, protesting in the streets of Sanaa.
Those blissful but fleeting moments were short-lived, as the revolution would
soon turn into a full-blown civil war....
First and foremost it is interesting to note that each of the 5 biggest
issues that you selected fall under our ‘values’; the aspects that govern our
day-to-day lives, the aspects we dedicate time in our lives to; i.e. the
‘intrinsic’ stuff, the stuff that makes us ‘compatible’ or not. To understand
this further I tend to use the phrase: “Matching / Mapping of Values is where
compatibility occurs; personality is where attraction occurs; when opposites
attract we attract NOT at the values level but at the personality level....
Islam is much more than a religion; it is a way of life. Islam is guidance from God that directs us
through life, and God willing into the next life. It is for this reason that God also guides us
through the process of death and dying.
Death will come to each and every one of us; however there are things we
can do to make our passing easier for those we leave behind. One of those things is to make sure we leave
an Islamically sound will. ....