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NEW COMMENTS

  • Blasphemy laws must be abolished. They are in-Islamic.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • The New York Times has published one editorial, three op-eds and two news stories on Farooq Ahmed Dar's photo already!​ I am sure this does ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Rarely do we find such a beautiful piece. Many many thanks to you, Ghulam Ghaus sahab.
    ( By Akmal Raza )
  • Dear Hidayath Basha, Answer is 1 provided the triple tallaq is pronounced in a state of mental equanimity. However a tallaq pronounced 3 or 100 ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • There is no need to prove or, deny something which is in public domain. The sight of hijab or burqa clad women with several children ...
    ( By Ashok Sharma )
  • दुबई और आबू धाबी में जुम्मे की नमाज के वक़्त खुतबे का एक-एक लफ्ज सरकार की मर्जी से तय होता है. कोई भी....
    ( By Nida Nabeel )
  • The word, fight, in the books of Hadith would have no implication in this present days due to contemporary non-Muslims are not hostile as those ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Beautiful 1'
    ( By ଜ୍ୟୋତିର୍ମୟ ପଣ୍ଡା )
  • Until the advent of Islam, women in all major civilization lived virtually at the mercy of men and suffered deep and oppressive misogyny. NO.'
    ( By Deepa Natarajan )
  • You are advocating 1. Triple talaq in one sitting is only one talaq or....
    ( By Hidayath Basha )
  • From all my previous comments, it would conclude that the word, fight, in the books of Hadith should not be interpreted as aggressive fighting but ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Another propaganda news to defame modi and India, Kavita Krishnan has long record to run such activities Shame on traitors'....
    ( By Intolerant )
  • If the word, fight, in the books of Hadith were meant for aggressive fighting instead of defensive fighting, there should not be any reason why ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Dear Muhammd Yunus, You have mentioned Muslims might use Sira to refute the claim. However, the books of Hadith do expose the violence of non-Muslims ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Dear Khwaja Saadat Noor Thank you so much for reading the article in full to appreciate its significance. It appears ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • " Where are those prepared to learn and thus engage in proper dialogue with the other?" Good question.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • No need to go to Pakistan. Many parts of India have already become Pakistan through the activities of such elements. India should always remain multi-cultural ...
    ( By Ashok Sharma )
  • this is an excellent article a must read for the ignorant ulemas. this article is also for those non muswlims who think Islam is about ...
    ( By Khwaja Saadat Noor )
  • Dear Zuma, You can add the following verses to those quoted in your last comment to demonstrate the defensive character of the Prophet's mission: "God ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Dear Zuma! I fully agree with your comments and your concluding statement that instruction to "fight, in Quran could not be applicable to modern days ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • I have shown that the road for reform through the Ulema is blocked and the reasons for it. I have also shown the alternate path to ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Naseer Ahmed says: "No one actually supports Triple Talaak, or considers it desirable. The traditionalist ulema and sects which believe in taqlid are bound by ...
    ( By Asif Merchant )
  • Dear Zaheer Hussain Khan, Hazrat Umar (r/a)'s era was different. It overlapped with the pre-Islamic era, when the sexual relations were lose and women were free ...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • The following are the extracted quranic verses to support non-Muslims were violence when Muhammad was on earth:...
    ( By zuma )
  • Dear Muhammd Yunus, You have quoted the past history on how Muslims were surrounded by hostile Muslims due to their hatred upon Muslims. ...
    ( By zuma )
  • ALL AHLE SUNNAH WAL JAMA'A AND ALL WAHABIS HAVE FAITH IN TRIPLE TALAQ & HALALA FOR THESE ....
    ( By Zaheer Husain Khan )
  • Secular parties should stop giving legitimacy to these mullahs. By legitimizing them...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • These jihadists do not just take Islam backwards. They actually negate Islam. They...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Dear Zuma! I appreciate your explanation of verses 9:5 and 9:29 by cross referencing other...
    ( By muhammd yunus )
  • Since the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (and many other ex-colonies) follows to the letter...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • ok... so lets say that a muslim saudi guy married a christian girl , which is halal , then they had sex , then he ...
    ( By Ahmad Nicolae Khalaf )
  • Muslims must be wise enough to handle the interpretation of the word, fight, in Quran. No doubt Quran was the inspiration from Allah, one has ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Vishnu Prasad, let’s me explain why Quran 9:5 as well as Quran 9:29 should not be misinterpreted as aggressive violence against non-Muslims. Before ....
    ( By zuma )
  • Free speech seems to be fatal throughout the subcontinent. What can be worse than killing a man for his views or beliefs? Just reciting the ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Vishnu Prasad, You have quoted Quran 9:5 as well as Quran 9:29 to draw attention on Islamic teaching to direct Muslims to fight against those ...
    ( By zuma )
  • Whither we are headed”? A quote from Abraham Lincoln says, “If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • @gulam mohiyuddin K ban triple talaq.But when u r talking about gender equality.U should also raise the issue of banning the saints sadhus who roam ...
    ( By Bristol King )
  • @Ghulam Mohiyudin Itz Not what Muslim personal Law board says.. Itx what Quran anD Hadees is saying..
    ( By R'aina F'ayaz )
  • Translation of Azaan:
    ( By Jayaraman Subri )
  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali:
    ( By Jayaraman Subri )
  • LATEST ARTICLES

    Spiritual Meditations

    Instead, fix your eyes on God above. And as we see only Him in front, we ourselves we ourselves will imbue the purity He has. Then look back and see that others who are behind, don’t focus on you but onto the One whom you continue pointing out to them. Don’t follow human gods or try to be one yourself..!...

     
    The War Within Islam

    Turks Vote to Give Away Their Democracy
    Burak Bekdil

    Turkey's soul-searching and societal wars never have a moment of truce. Turkey's wars are not just between political leaders and parties; they are wars between the supporters of a democratic, secular country and those of a caliphate which Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, abolished almost a century ago. As Kati Piri, the European Parliament's Turkey rapporteur, said of the referendum: "This is a sad day for all democrats in Turkey."....

     
    Urdu Section

    حضور نبی کریم صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم کا فیصلہ اور امیر المومنین حضرت عمر رضی اللہ عنہ کا فیصلہ ایک دوسرے کے فیصلے کے خلاف نہیں ، بلکہ بوقت حاجت شریعت کے عین مطابق ہے،تو اب اس بات پر غور کرناانتہائی لازم ہوجاتا ہے کہ حضور اکرم صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم نے ایک مجلس میں دی جانے والی تین طلاق کو ایک طلاق کیوں قرار دیا، اور حضرت عمر رضی اللہ عنہ نے ایک مجلس میں دی جانے والی تین طلاق کو تین طلاق کیوں قرار دیا؟

     
    Urdu Section

    Why Lynching in the Name of Blasphemy  توہین رسالت کے نام پر قتل کیوں
    Malik Ashtar Nauganvi

    مشال خان کا قتل افسوس سے زیادہ فکر کا لمحہ ہے ۔ مشال کے قتل کا ویڈیو دیکھئے اور دو چیزوں پر غور کیجئے ۔ پہلی چیز ایک نوجوان کو پتھر وں اور ڈنڈوں سے پیٹ پیٹ کر قتل کیا جا رہا ہے اور فضا میں اللہ کی کبریائی کے نعرے بلند ہورہے ہیں ۔ لوگ دم توڑ تے نوجوان کو ٹھوکریں مار رہے ہیں ، لاٹھیاں مار رہے ہیں ، پتھر سے سر کچل رہے ہیں اور ہر ضرب کے ساتھ اللہ اکبر کا نعرہ لگاتے جاتے ہیں ۔ دوسری چیز دیکھئے کہ یہ قاتل کون ہیں ۔ ان سب کے نام تو نہیں پتہ لیکن حلیہ سب کا ایک جیسا ہے ۔ داڑھی ہے اور شلواڑ کرتا ہے۔ دیکھنے میں سب کے سب ماشا اللہ مومن نوجوان لگ رہے ہیں اور یقینی طور پر ان میں سے کئی مولویت پڑھے ہوئے ہیں ۔

     
    Hindi Section

    It Is True That ‘Terrorism Has No Religion’  यह सच है कि 'आतंकवाद का कोई धर्म नहीं है' लेकिन इस्लाम को आधुनिकता को गले लगाना ही होगा
    Rakesh Sinha

    यह सच है कि 'आतंकवाद का कोई धर्म नहीं है'। लेकिन इससे हमें मौजूदा इस्लामी आतंकवाद के जटिल मुद्दे का समाधान नहीं मिलने वाला है। जब तक मुस्लिम समाज इन समस्याओं को स्वीकार नहीं करता तब तक ऐसे तत्व मुस्लिम नौजवानों के सरल मन में अपनी बीज बोते रहेंगे। अल्पसंख्यक संस्थानों और विशेष रूप से मुसलमानों द्वारा प्रशासित संस्थानों को इस्लाम की ऐसी सही स्पष्टीकरण के द्वारा आईएसआईएस को बेनकाब करना चाहिए।

    Islam, Women and Feminism

    AIMPLB Advocates Of Instant Triple Talaq Are Gender Terrorists And Traitors Of Islam And May Be Sued For Human Rights Violation Under Cover Of Religion
    Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam

    It puts no gender based restriction on a growing up girl. As she reaches a marriageable age (4:6), it allows her to choose her own spouse (2:221).It commands a man to give an agreed dower (saduqat) to his bride but permits her to voluntarily remit a part of it (4:4). It obligates a man to pay half the amount of the dower if it was already agreed, or a reasonable dower (if the amount was not agreed) in the event of his refusal to proceed with the marriage (2:236/237). It exhorts him to be considerate and humane in his conjugal relations by adding a spiritual dimension to marital sexuality (2:223) and dismisses any notion of marital rape by its general prohibition of not taxing anyone beyond his/ her capacity (2:233, 65:7). It entrusts man with care, support and maintenance of his wife (4:34), permits a woman in wedlock to have an independent income and to share it with others (4:32).It abolishes the custom of a man’s abandoning his wife by simply taking an oath without releasing her (2:226).It lays down clear protocol of arbitration to reconcile estranged relations in wedlock (4:35) and sets out a three month time-frame or waiting period for a divorce (2:228/229) to become irrevocable….

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Liberal Blogger, Activist Murdered In Maldives Capital
    Praveen Swami

    Four members of Islamist-linked street gangs were arrested following the disappearance, but released after police said there was no evidence to link them to the case. The suspects are now thought to have joined the 200-plus Maldivian jihadists fighting in Syria.....

    Islamic World News

    Gay Sex, Female Pop Stars and When Women Outnumber Men: What a Hardline Islamist 
Preacher Predicts For the End of the World in Bizarre Sermon

    Kazakhstan's President Wants a Legal Ban on Certain Islamic Clothing

    'ISI Men in Seers' Guise to Target Key UP Locations'

    'Pak Sheltering Qaida's Al-Zawahari Whose Last Wish Is Big Attack on US', Says Newsweek

    Europe

    Note Found In Paris Shooter's Car Said 'Willing To Die For Allah'

    Southeast Asia

    Maldives Liberal Blogger Stabbed To Death in Restive Capital

    India

    This Texan Nihang Has a Christian Mom, Muslim Father

    Pakistan

    Pak Man Eats Leaves for 25 Years, Never Falls Ill

    Arab World

    Coalition Kills 21 Islamic State Militants in Western Anbar

    ISIS ‘Essentially Moved’ It’s Syria HQ From Raqqa To Deir Ez-Zor Province – Report

    South Asia

    A Shortage of Coffins’ After Taliban Slaughter Unarmed Soldiers'

    Karzai Says Can No Longer Call Taliban Brothers after Army Base Attack

    North America

    Indiana State University Professor Arrested for Allegedly Fabricating Anti-Muslim Threats

    Mideast

    Turkey Will Halt Refugee Deal If EU Rejects Ankara’s New Visa-Free Travel Plan – Minister

    Africa

    Islamic Movement Slams Nigeria Govt over El-Zakzaky Prolonged Detention

    Compiled by Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

    For Details and More Headlines from All Regions, Please click, ‘More’

     
    Islam, Women and Feminism

    While Triple Talaq Row Rages, Indian Muslim Divorcees and Widows Say They Need Jobs

    Government and AIMPLB Must Empower Muslim Women to Solve Triple Talaq Issue

    Muslim Women Preachers Enlisted In Egypt's Fight against Extremism

    Pakistani Female Entrepreneur Selected For Prestigious Blackbox Connect Silicon Valley Event

    Telengana Minister Distributes Sewing Machines to 400 Muslim Women

    Parda, Polygamy and Triple Talaq Have Suppressed Muslim Women: Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy

    Triple Talaq: Jamaat-e-Islami-e-Hind Women’s Wing to Hold Awareness Drive in State

    Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

     
    Islam, Women and Feminism
    Can We Do Something About Triple Talaq?
    Asif Merchant, New Age Islam

    Can We Do Something About Triple Talaq?
    Asif Merchant, New Age Islam

    I have yet to come across an ordinary Muslim who is in favour of it. The consensus seems to be that this is something which is spoiling the image of Islam, but there is nothing we can do about it. There is this mysterious All India Muslim Personal Law Board which alone is entitled to speak for all Indian Muslims. If it is acting in an illogical manner, so be it….

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 13 14 15 ....


    BEST OF BEFORE ARTICLES

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Dhaka Attack: Facing The Challenge Of Zakir Naik, Will Ulema Rise To The Occasion?
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Our focus should not be so much on Zakir Naik as on the question: why and how he has so easily succeeded in radicalising millions. Saudis and ahl-e-hadithis have only provided him logistical support. In my view the reason he has succeeded is that he is not saying anything new. He is using the theology of consensus, the same theology that is taught in universities and madrasas of all schools of thought.

    His distinction is in the presentation, using modern means of communication. He is reaching those who did not have access to this theology before.

    That is why ulema cannot oppose him or other militant Islamic preachers. Sufi-Barailvis and even Deobandis have tried. They are angry because he has exposed their hypocrisy. ...

    Interfaith Dialogue

    Comparative Religion Scholars Examine ‘End-Time’ Prophecies in World Religious Scriptures

    “In most scriptures, the prophecies about the end of the age are well-written. If you’ve studied different scriptures, you would have found many common teachings in the prophecy”. For example, Prophets in many religions taught people that the law of the truth will be powerless and wickedness will increase at the end of the age. It also includes the corruption of the religious world. When this will happen, heaven will send a person to save the righteous, for example: Maitreya in Buddhism, Kalkin in Hinduism and Jesus in Christianity”. …

    Islam and Politics

    Exceptional Sanction of Polygamy in Quran Is a Concept of Islamic Law Most Abused By Muslim Men over the Centuries
    A. Faizur Rahman

    Polygyny, which finds mention just once (4:3) in the Quran, is one of the most misunderstood concepts of Islamic law. It has been abused over the centuries by Muslim men without appreciating the spirit behind its exceptional sanction, which is clearly contextualised in the historical conditions of the time when a large number of women were widowed and children orphaned as Muslims suffered heavy casualties in defending the nascent Islamic community in Medina.....

    Islam and Sectarianism
    An Attempt to Understand Ahmadiyyas
    Asif Merchant, New Age Islam

    An Attempt to Understand Ahmadiyyas
    Asif Merchant, New Age Islam

    It is true that in many ways, Muslims are being led astray by those who should be guiding them on the right path. New Age Islam also has the same mission in its own way. Surely this cannot disqualify Ahmadiyyas from being accepted as Muslims. Most of the opponents of Ahmadiyyas are those who seem to have gone astray. Even someone like Abubakar Baghdadi is accepted as a Muslim, though what he stands for is the complete opposite of what the Holy Prophet taught. Mainstream Muslims should rethink the whole issue and try to form an independent judgement about Ahmedis....

    Islam and Sectarianism

    Sectarian War in Pakistan and Urdu Media's Narrative of Denial
    Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

    Some of them even make a mockery of the Sufi denomination, blatantly emboldening the sectarian war-mongers in the country. A fatwa-factory declaring the Sufi practices as 'Haram' (forbidden in Islam), 'Bid’at' (un-Islamic innovation) and 'Mushrikana Rasm' (heretical practice) can be seen in the mainstream Urdu media in Pakistan, let alone the social networking sites. This is how the country's Urdu media is radicalising the common Muslim viewers and readers who are already influenced by the sectarian tendencies....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad
    Will Turkey Become another Pakistan?
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Will Turkey Become another Pakistan?
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    The regularity with which terrorists are able to attack key cities in Turkey is alarming. The previous year saw more than 25 terror attacks in different parts of the country including Ankara and Istanbul. Most of these attacks have been attributed to Islamist terrorism but then even the erstwhile secular formation like the Kurdistan Workers’ Party is not unknown to have used terror tactics. The latest attack yesterday on a nightclub in Istanbul is just one more in a series of such attacks. It is not clear whether there were multiple attackers involved but surely the analysis is veering around the consensus that it seems to be the handiwork of the ISIS. ...

    Interfaith Dialogue

    Why It’s Not Wrong to Wish Muslims Merry Christmas
    Mustafa Akyol

    Nonetheless, Islam and Christianity share a lot in their adoration for Isa and Maryam, Jesus and Mary. Muslims are in fact the only non-Christians on earth who believe that Jesus was born of a virgin. For centuries, Muslims have taken this as a literal truth. Medieval exegetes of the Quran debated details like how God’s spirit was “breathed” into Mary, taking as truth that the virgin birth was an act of God.....

    Islamic Society

    How to Construct a Liberal Islam - Concluding Part
    Akbar Ganji

    The Prophet is a model for the Muslims by ratifying the reasonable customs of his own era. He is not a model for terrifying people and spreading Islamophobia, which brings nothing for Muslims but losses and harms. As discussed, there are many verses in the Quran that, subject to new and modern interpretations, are completely compatible with John Rawls’ liberalism. This means that there are secular and liberal interpretations of the Islamic teachings that are more compatible with the true spirit of the, as compared to the Islam of fundamentalists....

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    Religious and Theological Underpinning of Global Islamist Terror: Full Text of Speech at International Counter Terrorism Conference 2016 in Jaipur
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    ISIS may be militarily defeated tomorrow and even go out of existence. But this will not solve the problem of Muslim radicalisation. If our madrasas and educational institutions continue to prepare the ground for self-segregation and militancy, expounding the current theology, mixed with narratives of victimhood and marginalisation, Islam will continue to be hobbled, Muslims will continue to struggle to fit in the way of life in contemporary world.

    Moderate, progressive Muslims must urgently evolve and propagate an alternative theology of peace and pluralism, consistent in all respects with the teachings of Islam, and suitable for contemporary and future societies, while refuting the current theology of violence and supremacism.

    Unfortunately, as we have seen above, the task is not so easy. Radicalisation has not just happened overnight. Jihadi theology has evolved over hundreds of years. Major theologians who have studied Islam independently have brought to us a political version of Islam, stripping the religion of all its spirituality.

    While it is primarily the duty of Muslims to fight this ideological war within slam, this is no longer just a Muslim concern. The world too must confront Muslim scholars with the supremacism and extremism present in their theology and ask them to rethink Islam.  ProgressiveMuslims should join the rest of the world to defeat extremism in Islamic theology.

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    An Appeal to Sufi Divines: Please Go Beyond Clichés Like Islam Is a Religion of Peace, Refute the Generally Accepted Core Theology Which Is Helping Jihadis Lure Our Youths to Terrorism
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Respected Sufi divines, I would, therefore, earnestly appeal to you to use the opportunity provided by the Delhi conclave to go beyond the usual shibboleths. Sufi approach of focussing on the positive features of Islam worked well at one time. There was no internet then. In the internet age everyone is a scholar. In this age of instant scholarship, nothing can be hidden or bypassed.

    It must be understood, that the radical Islamist theology and the current Islamic theology of consensus are by and large one and the same. Any differences are cosmetic. ISIS may vanish tomorrow. But the problem of radicalisation will remain. Islam supremacism, xenophobia, intolerance and exclusivism are inherent in the current Islamic, and not just Islamist theology.

    Focusing on positive features of Islam is an essential part of De-radicalisation or, more realistically, Preventing Radicalisation. But it is not bearing fruit in full measure as the core theology agreed to by nearly all Muslims militates against these positives. As briefly outlined above, this core and consensual theology nullifies the impact of all arguments made against violent extremism. It is this core theology that needs to be refuted and changed.  Let us all try and bring the core Islamic theology in line with the actual teachings of Quran and Sunnah. Let us move away from the current theology of violence and xenophobia. Let us move towards a coherent, comprehensive theology of peace and pluralism, co-existence and gender justice.

    Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam

    Addressing the UNHRC at Geneva Sultan Shahin Questions Contemporary Applicability of Contextual Verses of Quran Meant For 7th Century Wars and the Divinity of Hadith and Sharia
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

    Fifteen years after 9/11, the scourge of violent Islamist extremism has become even more complex and deadly. The alacrity with which 30,000 Muslims from around the world joined the so-called Islamic State’s war against humanity has puzzled many. How could a peaceful, pluralistic religion be subverted so easily to create inhuman monsters? Among many factors, social, economic, political, psychological, the one common factor is a brainwashing of vulnerable people on the basis of a supremacist, xenophobic, intolerant, exclusivist, totalitarian, Jihadi theology. 

    This is a blatant misuse of Islam, a spiritual path to salvation that teaches peace, pluralism, co-existence and good neighbourliness. But there has to be a reason why Jihadi ideology has gained acceptance; why fatwas issued by reputed moderate scholars are proving so ineffective? How are Jihadis able to create a 100 percent certainty in the minds of some Muslims that violence against innocent people, whom they consider infidel, will please God and lead them to Heaven?

    Clearly we Muslims need to rethink some basic features of our theology. Success of Jihadism lies in the fact that, at its core, the Jihadi theology is not very different from the consensus theology of all other schools of Islamic thought. Jihadists misuse the war-time verses of the holy Quran, as Muslims believe that all verses, regardless of the context, are of universal applicability. But most damaging for Islam and useful for Jihadism is the Doctrine of Abrogation whereby all peaceful Meccan verses are considered abrogated by the confrontational, war-time Medinan verses. Similarly the divinity attached to Hadith and Sharia and their universal applicability will have to be reconsidered by mainstream Islam, and not just to defeat Jihadism, but also to deal with many other issues including Human Rights of women, children and homosexuals....


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    Related Articles:

    1.  Open Letter to Maulana Firangimahali: Why Do Moderate Ulema Stay Silent  When Terrorists Claim - 'Islam Has Never Been A Religion Of Peace, Not Even For A Day'?

    2.  Do Not Entertain Any Defamation of Islam Resolution Until Islam Is Protected From Defamation by Jihadi Literature in the Islamic World First, Sultan Shahin Asks UN Human Rights Council

    3.  Islam Is Based On the Prophet's Mysticism, Honesty and Social Activism, Says Sultan Shahin in Pune: Muslims Should Strengthen These Spiritual Foundations of Islam and Not Fall Prey to Fascism

    4.  Do Muslims need to disassociate themselves from Salafi, Wahhabi ideologies of permanent war with non-Muslims and moderate Muslims? A New Age Islam debate

    5.  Terrorists Have Failed So Far and Should Not Be Allowed To Affect Global Multiculturalism, Sultan Shahin Tells Parallel Meeting at UNHRC in Geneva

    Debating Islam

    Reform Muslim Personal Law, Use Debate on Triple Talaq as an opportunity to Breach the Stagnation in Muslim Religious Thought
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Reform of Muslim personal law is the need of the hour. A demand for this has been made for decades in conferences, seminars and marches, organised by several progressive Islamic organisations including New Age Islam Foundation. These demands need to be intensified and peaceful demonstrations organised on a large scale, demanding that the government reform these laws. It will inevitably be opposed and equally inevitably expose the two-facedness of Islamic fundamentalists in the country. This would lead to a much needed debate on the hypocrisy of our ulema.

    Faced with a barrage of questions, the ulema have now decided to challenge the progressive Muslims on their theological knowledge and more importantly, the courage, to stand up to their beliefs. At the same time, they are blaming them for encouraging courts to intervene, while taking their regular subversive position that courts and government should not intervene in matters of Muslim Personal Law as it is a matter of faith.

    Rather than being cowed into silence or even dismiss this challenge as an effort to obfuscate matters, progressive Muslims should pick up the gauntlet and battle it out. This should be used as a great opportunity to breach the total stagnation that has prevailed in Islamic theological debates in the country. This will not only help the victims of our Anglo-Mohammedan Personal Law but also help open up issues related to violent extremism that is attracting our youth more and more in the absence of debate. For instance, accepting that triple talaq is not a part of Quranic teachings or even Hadith (sayings of the Prophet). A classical Muslim scholar, Hafeez Nomani, has asked if Quran alone is legitimate Islamic scripture and whether a bid’at (innovation) like triple talaq ordered by the second Caliph Hazrat Umar cannot be considered legitimate. He then goes on to ask that if triple talaq cannot be accepted, as it is a bid’at, then what about Quran, which in its present form is itself an innovation ordered by the same caliph and completed by the third Caliph Hazrat Usman.

    These are among the issues that Muslims need to debate urgently for the wider good of the community as well as the nation and the world. We must never forget the solemn warning issued by Canadian scholar Winfred Cantwell Smith in mid-20th century that a healthy, functioning Islam is crucial for world peace. Clearly, the Islam today is not healthy and functioning. So it is not only the Muslims but the nation at large that should welcome an opportunity to debate and understand Islamic theological issues.

    Islamic Society

    Jamiat Conference and the Mirage of Deobandi Barelvi Truce
    Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

    Both these sects are also an institutional organization which means that they run an organized system of mosques and madrasas. If they are really serious about doing something about their differences, then perhaps the first site to start doing this should be the madrasas. After all, it is through the network of madrasas that these differences are forged onto the minds of students and the common Muslims. Why not start by repudiating those texts which denounce the other sect as deviant Muslims....

    Debating Islam

    There are thousands of debates on the internet regarding jihad. If on the one hand Muslim moderates are putting their utmost efforts to prove that Islam is a religion of peace, opponents are presenting some Quranic verses pertaining to Jihad and our own Hadith literature to prove the opposite. Ulema Islamic scholars) are maintaining a studied silence on this subject except giving general statements. … Clearly, Ulema need to go beyond making pious declarations of Islam having nothing to do with the offensive Jihad going on in several parts of the world today. They must take a stand and clarify why Islamic theologians over the centuries including reputed Indian ulema have interpreted war-time Quranic verses as calling for offensive jihad. These verses are being used both by Jihadis and Islamophobes to justify their respective viewpoints. It’s the religious duty of Ulema to come clean and clear the air, both for the sake of Muslim youth who are joining the Islamic State in growing numbers and non-Muslims who have come to fear Islam for obvious reasons

    Islam and Pluralism

    Indian Muslim orthodoxy's response to demands of modernity: Can Muslims co-exist with other religious communities in plural societies?
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    While the evolution of this comprehensive and coherent theology of peace and pluralism will remain a continuing process, the already available essential elements of this theology should be brought to the Muslim masses. Since support for such a venture cannot be expected from clerics, of any hue,  popular acceptance of this theology should be gained through the use of media as well as genuine grassroots movements.

    Essentially, Jihadism is a Muslim problem and Muslims must tackle it. But the societies in non-Muslim majority countries can help kick-start the debate.  It must be understood that a madrasa graduate who has been brainwashed into believing, as most are, that "life begins in the grave," is a ticking time bomb that should be defused with the same urgency as other bombs are. A secular government should not allow anyone to spread the poison of intolerance and xenophobia either in mosques or in madrasas. A study of what is taught in Indian madrasas, and the content of sermons delivered in mosques, is urgently required. If found intolerant, supremacist, exclusivist and xenophobic, the ulema, madrasas and imams should be confronted with them and asked to change.

    Also, the least the government of India can do to ameliorate the plight of Muslim women today is to promulgate a law similar to Pakistan's  Muslim Family Laws Ordinance of 1961, with just one difference, fixing the age of marriage of girls at 18, instead of 14, as in the Ordinance. This should have been done along with reforms in Hindu personal laws in the 1950s, or at least immediately after reforms in Muslim laws in Pakistan. But better half a century late than never. Male chauvinist Indian Muslim ulema will still howl in protest. But they will not have much to say as these reforms have been acceptable to their counterparts in Pakistan and Bangladesh for over half a century. ...  Muslims have to start reclaiming the Islam that the Prophet had brought and rethinking how it can be lived and practised in the vastly changed circumstances of the 21st century.

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