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  • Your Favourite Author's Page

      

    Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam

    A frequent contributor to NewAgeIslam.com, Muhammad Yunus, is an Engineering graduate from IIT Kharagpur (1966) and retired as technical director, from a multinational company (1997) and later from a large industrial complex (2010). He has been engaged in an in-depth study of the Qur’an since early 90’s, focusing on its core message and co-authored an exegetic work, “Essential Message of Islam,” which received the approval of al-Azhar al-Sharif, Cairo in 2002, and following restructuring and refinement was endorsed and authenticated by Dr. Khaled Abou El-Fadl of UCLA, and published in 2009.

    Mr. Yunus has penned more than a hundred articles projecting Islam as an inclusive religion of peace, justice, and harmony, dismissing hatred, bigotry, and supremacist, exclusivist and misogynist notions. He has critically evaluated Islam’s secondary sources, advocated inclusion of secular subjects in the madrassa, framed exhaustive refutation of fatwas from leading terror ideologues, exploded the notion of political Islam and Pan-Islamism, and dispelled misconceptions about Islam and its Prophet using authentic sources. He has written a series of articles delegitimizing violent extremism on ideological and historical grounds, and soliciting national and international fatwas against Muslim terror outfits. He has also strongly denounced institutionalized gender injustice and discrimination – particularly against Muslim women. Last but not least, he has proposed an exhaustive package of reforms in populist Islamic thoughts, in tune with the pristine Qur’anic message to distinguish faith from culture and symbolism from the essence and to liberate Islamic societies from the shackles of the Medieval era and the domination of the clergy.


    Please read below the articles written by him for NewAgeIslam.com

     
    Islamic Sharia Laws

    An Open Reminder to the Ulema: Rejecting Universal Knowledge as Un-Islamic is Brazenly Un-Islamic and Kufr (denial of truth)
    Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam

    The Qur’an distinguishes man for his extraordinary role, potentials and privileges in the divine creative scheme. i) He is assigned the role of God’s deputy on earth (2:30). ii) He is taught the use of intellect. iii) He is endowed with the power of coherent speech (55:4). iv) He is honored and granted special ‘favors’ above much of the creation (17:70). v) He is given a freedom of choice (90:10/11). vi) He is fashioned in the finest model (95:4). vii) All that is in the heavens and the earth is made serviceable to him (31:20), and viii) his soul is stroked by God’s breath and angels are made to bow down to him (15:29).  i) “..Your Lord said to the angels: ‘I will place a deputy (Khalifah) on earth’, (2:30) [See also 6:165, 27:62, 35:39] ii) He taught humans the use of the intellect (96:4). He taught man what he did not know” (96:5) iii) “He created man and taught him coherent speech (55:3/4) iv) “We have indeed honored the descendants of Adam ….. and favored them above much of what We have created” (17:70).   v) (God) guided him (man) to the two highways (90:10). But he does not brave the steep (one) (90:11). vi) “Indeed, We have created humankind in the finest model” (95:4).

    Taken together, the foregoing Qur’anic pronouncements constitute a clear and emphatic exhortation to pursuing universal as well as scientific knowledge in all their dimensions and directions, and to make no distinction between Islamic and non-Islamic knowledge. -- Muhammad Yunus, NewAgeIslam.com

    Islamic Ideology

    The Zakat Today Grossly Underplays the Qur’anic Emphasis on Zakat and Wealth Sharing
    Muhammad Yunus, New Ages Islam

    As the revelation advanced and the Muslim community in Medina flourished, the Qur’an made repeated calls to spend for the needy. This encouraged the affluent believers to give charity all the year round and more generously during the month of Ramadan for the special blessings of this month. Towards the end of the revelation, the Qur’an mandates charity through its verse 9:60 – the verse also lists the category of recipients, conceivably to avoid any misappropriations: “Charities (sadaqat) are for the poor (among the Muslims) and the poor (among non-Muslims) and the workers (who administer) them, and for those who have embraced faith, and for (freeing) the slaves, for (assisting) the debtors, (for spending) in God's way, and for the homeless – an ordinance (faridah) from God. (Remember,) God is All-Knowing and Wise” (9:60). -- Muhammad Yunus, NewAgeIslam.com

    Islam, Women and Feminism

    In not too distant a past, women in the Western world were meted out most torturous punishments on the slightest suspicion of adultery. Caught in the bed with a stranger, her husband could lawfully kill her. Today, as the Qur’anic ideals of forgiveness, mercy and matrimonial tribulations [2] have permeated the global human society, the world has largely abjured its methods of torture and execution of women and adopted softer methods of punishment. Some centers of Islam, however, stick to the context specific exemplary punishment (flogging in public) that were far from harsh for its era but stand out excessive and barbaric in relation to today’s changed punishment protocols in the world. Cruelty and torture upon women has thus changed sides. With this we probe the Qur’an for a fresh insight. “O Prophet! When believing women come to you to swear allegiance to you, (let them declare that :) they will not associate anything with God, nor will they steal, nor commit adultery (la yaznina), nor kill their children, nor invent any slander deliberately, nor disobey you in anything fair. Then you accept their allegiance, and seek forgiveness for them from God. Indeed God is Most Forgiving and Merciful” (60:12). The Qur’an starts off with an interim punishment of house confinement until death (4:15), subject to witnessing by four persons (4:15): “Should any of your women commit sexual perversity (fahishah), collect evidence against them from four of you. If they (so) testify, confine them to their houses until death claims them or God makes a way for them (4:15). -- Muhammad Yunus, NewAgeIslam.com

    Islamic Sharia Laws
    Blasphemy Law has NO Qur’anic Basis
    Muhammad Yunus, NewAgeIslam.com

    Blasphemy Law has NO Qur’anic Basis
    Muhammad Yunus, NewAgeIslam.com

    It is an affront to the Qur’an’s cardinal principle of justice, trivializes and demonizes Islam, confounds the Muslim community and needs to be revoked. ...“Thus we made for every messenger an enemy among the criminals – but enough is your Lord (O Muhammad,) as a Guide and Helper” (25:31). The Qur’an thus warns humanity that there will always be some people who will hurl seductive remarks at the Prophet (6:113) or be inimical to him (25:31) for fun or cupidity and asks the believers to simply ignore them. In other words, the Qur’an treats blasphemy as a moral vice and does not regard it as a punishable criminal offence. The Meccan enemies of the Prophet called him impostor, a madman (30:58, 44:14, 68:51), and an insane poet (37:36) and ridiculed the Qur’anic revelation (18:56, 26:6, 37:14, 45:9),7 which they declared to be strange and unbelievable (38:5, 50:2), a jumble of dreams(21:5)9 and legends of the ancients (6:25, 23:83, 25:5, 27:68, 46:17, 68:15, 83:13). They accused him of forging lies and witchcraft (34:43, 38:4), forging lies against God, forgery and making up tales (11:13, 32:3, 38:7, 46:8), witchcraft (21:3, 43:30, 74:24), obvious witchcraft that was bewildering (10:2, 37:15, 46:7), and of being bewitched or possessed by a Jinn (17:47, 23:70, 34:8). By definition, all these accusations were blasphemous. Nowhere in its text does the Qur’an prescribe any punishment for those who uttered these blasphemies. -- Muhammad Yunus, NewAgeIslam.com

    Islamic Ideology

    Muslims Have NO Qur’anic Basis for Religious Supremacism
    The caption may shock many Muslims who believe that as the followers of the last Prophet, and believers in the final revelation, they are spiritually superior to other faith communities. Muslim scholars sacralize this notion by interpreting the verse 3:85 in isolation. See: “If anyone seeks other than Islam as a din (religion), it will not be accepted of him, and in the hereafter he will be among the losers.” “Do they seek any (religion) other than the din (religion) of God, to whom all in the heavens and on earth have submitted (asslama), willingly or unwillingly, and to whom they will all be returned (3:83)?  -- Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam

    Islam, Women and Feminism

    Notions of Male Superiority, Domination and Beating of Wife Stand un-Islamic Today
    Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam

    The caption may shock most Muslim men who believe that God has raised their ranks over women and given them the right to beat up a ‘rebellious’ or ‘disobedient’ wife. Any Qur’anic translation in Urdu, Hindi, English or any other language for that matter, of the verses 4:34 and 2:229 will support such notions. “Men are the supporters (qawwamah) of (their) wives because God has favored each of them in different measures (ba'dahum ‘ala ba'din), and because of what they spend (for them) of their wealth. The righteous women are devout (qanitatun) and guard the unseen that God would have them guard. As for those (women), of whom you fear adulterous behavior (nushuz), counsel them, leave them (alone) in their beds and assert (wadribu) on them; but if they listen to you, do not seek a way against them. (Remember,) God is Sublime, Great” (4:34). -- Muhammad Yunus

    Islamic Sharia Laws

    The Classical Islamic Sharia Law is NOT a Word of God! (Part II: The Way Forward)
    Muhammad Yunus, New Ages Islam

    The jurists of Islam can draw modern law (Sharia) based on broader social, moral, ethical paradigms of the Qur’an and its emphasis on equity, justice, wealth distribution and other liberating paradigms [1 above], but without transgressing limits. They must consider the historical context of the Qur’an, as many of its allusions like hunting animals to catch birds (5:4), traveling to the Mecca for Hajj on lean mounts (22:27), employing cavalry in battle (8:60), flogging for zina (prostitution by married women) (24:2) and exemplary amputation punishments (5:33, 5:38) accorded with the paradigms of the seventh century Arabia. The Qur’an could in no way ask its audience to engage the practices of later historical eras – let alone the 21st century world. Therefore, a 21st century Sharia (system of law) of Islam must be commensurate to its realities. The Qur’an allows a flexibility or dynamism in the notion of Sharia by complementing it with the term, ‘minhaj’, or ‘an open way’ (5:48) that allows the diverse communities at different historical locations to evolve their own Sharia “in accordance with the exigencies of the time and each community’s cultural development.” [7] -- Muhammad Yunus, NewAgeIslam.com

    Islamic Sharia Laws

    The caption is shocking indeed! The qualifying statement may, however, turn the shock into posthumous glory, concern, and challenge. The essay attempts to bring across the dichotomy between the Classical Islamic Law and its divine Sharia (the Qur’an), and the incipient role of the former in feeding Islamophobia and Islamofascism – the twin menace that complement each other to  reduce Islam to a violent, intolerant cult and provoke a clash of  civilizations, threatening Islamic civilization and world peace. The Qur’anic paradigms are eternal, free from any addition or alteration since the revelation that was preserved orally as well as in various indigenous writing materials (suhuf, 80:11-16). It lays a great emphasis on the ‘constants’ of life – how a human being should behave regardless of time and era. Thus, it encompasses a broad spectrum of universal paradigms - justice, liberty, equity, good deeds, good neighborly and inter-faith relations, sharing of wealth with the poor, eradication of slavery, deliverance of women from various entrenched taboos, conjugal oppression and dehumanization; good business ethics, fair payment for goods and services, financial support to the needy, use of intellect, striving for excellence – to cite some major examples. -- Muhammad Yunus, NewAgeIslam.com

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    TOP ARTICLE

    Radical Islamism and Jihad
    Indian Muslim Clergy to Counter ISIS Propaganda: But they should go beyond rhetoric to a genuine counter-narrative that refutes Jihadism based on traditional Islamic theology

    The clergy is required to counter the exclusivist Jihadi theology of violence and supremacism which is primarily based on the traditional Islamic theology of consensus of all schools of thought. This has to be done through a counter-narrative based on a new inclusivist theology of peace and pluralism. But to do that the clergy will have to work towards evolving a new theology that is different from the traditional theology taught in madrasas. It is this age-old theology that is used by Jihadis to propagate their message. 

    It cannot be stressed enough that the reason Jihadis have been able to capture the imagination of thousands of our youth the world over is that they are not saying anything new. They are simply showing a way to practice what the ulema (religious scholars) have been preaching. The Jihadi narrative is the traditional Islamic theological narrative of Islam domination over all other religious beliefs, and eradication of what it considers the biggest crimes humanity can commit, particularly shirk, polytheism or idol worship, and kufr, rejection of the prophethood of Hazrat Mohammad (pbuh). All the most eminent scholars of Islam from Imam Ghazali (11th-12th century) to Imam Ibn-e-Taimiya (13th-14th century), Mujaddid Alf-e-Saani Sheikh Sirhindi (16th-17th century), Shah Waliullah Muhaddis Dehlavi (18th century) have shown a vision of political Islam that was finally given a more definite form in the 20th century by Maulana Syed Abul A’la Maududi, Hassan al-Banna, and Syed Qutb. The Jihadi ideologues of the 21st century may be stressing some parts of this traditional narrative more vigorously and downplaying some other aspects. But they are not saying anything that is entirely new or radically different.

    Jihadi literature has not dropped from the sky all of a sudden. This is not the creation of Osama bin Laden or so-called “Khalifa” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Their narrative of world domination, fighting those who do not accept the message of Islam is basically what is taught in all our madrasas. The definition of Jihad as fighting those who do not accept the oneness of God and prophethood of Mohammad (pbuh) is found in books of every school of Sunni fiqh (jurisprudence), be it Hanafi, Malaki, Shafei or Hanbali. Indeed, even Shia theology does not differ much with Sunnis in matters of political Islam. They too want world domination for Islam and desire to subdue all non-Muslims.

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