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Books and Documents

Islamic Ideology

Reclaiming Faith and Reason in Islam
Irshad Ahmad and Zahid Sultan, New Age Islam

The Quran specifies that the characteristic that distinct humans from other Animals is of Aql (Rationality). As Quran Puts,” For the worst of beasts in the sight of Allah are the deaf and dumb- those who understand not.” (8:22). When one goes through Quran; Allah asks people again & again to ponder over the signs in the universe; stars, moon, earth, Creation, Rains, and others. A system is being set in motion to the use of mankind so as to extract benefits from it….

The Prophet’s guidance on preventing contagious diseases and enforcing quarantine also becomes clear from the hadith that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, «لا يُوردَنَّ مُمرض على مصخ« which means “a healthy person should not be brought near a sick person”…

Despite Muslim community perceptions that under Islamic laws women can only divorce with their husband’s consent or by means of community processes, there are in fact multiple options available by which Muslim women in Australia can secure a religious divorce….

Wudu is to be performed, as was done by the Prophet Muhammad, in a specific order before praying, which takes place five times a day. Before each prayer, Muslims are expected to wash themselves in a certain order – first hands, then mouth, nose, face, hair and ears, and finally their ankles and feet....

From the traditions of prophet we find evidences that clearly indicate Islamic stance on coughing and sneezing openly. Prophet instructed believers to cover their faces when sneezing and coughing. The most obvious effect of sneezing and coughing without covering the mouth is the spread of air born bacteria and viruses…

Related Article: A Historical Account of the Islamic Prayer or Namaz in Islam (Part 13): Purification, Ablution and Tayammum

In one notable account, the prophet berates a man who, in a fit of piety, has devoted his life to fasting and prayer – and given up on sex in the process, to his wife’s consternation. Abandoning the god-given gift of good sex is an affront, the prophet seems to suggest...

Preventions and precautions like not shaking hands, and not eating and mixing with people freely with strangers in parties and weddings should be taken. According to a report, a muezzin started crying while calling the Azan when he said, 'Assalato fi Buyutikum'. Such emotional reactions are the result of collective fear created by people and the government in the name of creating awareness about the disease….

When asked why “Islamic terrorism” continues to ignite “holy war in the name of Qur’an,” the writer said that the Muslim holy book is not about jihad. For Armstrong, the Quran is about “building an equal society. Religion is used as a tool to justify terrorism.”…

Ibn-e-Sina by followed by Ibn-e-Bajja and Ibn-e-Rushd in Islamic Spain in the following years. Ibn-e-Rushd, as William Chittick argued, revived the works of Aristotle, and hence was called the Commentator. Ibn-e-Rushd in many ways paved the way for numerous intellectual movements in the West….

Noted for his intellectual depth and spiritual orientation, Hassan al-Basri promoted a version of Islam that pressed for the need to rid society of all the social ills through personal spiritual endeavour....

 

In other words, under Sharia law, husbands can unilaterally terminate the marital bond without establishing any fault on the part of their wives – and even in their absence. Women do not have the same power....

“The extremists’ claims cannot therefore be rejected without first critiquing and revising the heritage associated with the conquests and debunking the fallacies surrounding them that have been used against humanity.”...

Is This the Islam of Prophet Mohammad, a Blessing to Mankind?
Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam
Is This the Islam of Prophet Mohammad, a Blessing to Mankind?
Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam

So it is good that Sufi ulema, under attack from Wahhabi militants, are coming out to denounce the Salafi understanding of Islam. But is this enough? Do they not need to ask why it’s Salafis who are winning this ideological war? Have Sufi ulema been able to bring back to the Sufi fold even a single Islamist terrorist? After all, all the terrorists of today, at least from the South Asian and African Sahel region were part of a Sufism-oriented Islam until recently. Wahhabism existed mainly in the Arab regions. There were very few Salafis anywhere else. Easy availability of petrodollars for the propagation of Salafism has certainly played an important role. But can money alone bring about this kind of transformation? Why is the Sufi counter-narrative not effective enough to make a difference?

Writing in this space, almost exactly a year ago, I had made an earnest appeal to the Sufi Ulema and Mashaikh gathering in Delhi for an international conference. I had asked them to go beyond the usual shibboleths and utilse this great opportunity to consider this most urgent question: why is the Sufi focus on positives of Islam not working? The more Sufis and other moderate Muslims denounce terrorism, the more followers this Satanic ideology finds. I had pointed out the basic reason behind this conundrum: the radical theology of violence and exclusion and the current theology of consensus of all ulema, including Sufi ulema, are by and large one and the same. Any differences are cosmetic...

The people of Prophet Shu’aib fell into ruins because of a doing called Tatfeef. Islam is a religion of justice. One of the greatest aspects of our religion is the list of Maqāsid, or grand objectives, that Islam seeks to establish....

 

Ibn-e-Hazm maintained that legal conformism arrested the growth of Islamic sciences. In his book multi-voluminous work Al-Muhalla, Ibn-e-Hazm systematically dismantled the traditional architecture of Islamic sciences. Islam, in his ideation, had its own philosophical spirit for the emancipation of human beings…

 

The Salafi tradition maintains that Islam is to be understood through the collective conduct of the early Islamic community, for it remained under the religious tutelage of the Prophet. Islam, according to them, is expressed in its original form through the moral behavior of early Islamic community….

Mr. President,

Even17 years after 9/11, terrorism in the name of Islam is nowhere near its end. Yet, all that one hears from Muslim leaders is rhetoric against Islamist terrorism. No concrete action has been taken to cleanse the Islamic theology of totalitarianism, xenophobia, intolerance and a historical urge to expand the land of Islam through offensive Jihad. One would think that at least Sufi Muslims, who have been for long a victim of Jihadism, an offshoot of neo-Khwarij Salafism, would introspect and look into their own theology and purify it from elements of political Islam.

This may sound strange to some. For, Sufism has been identified as the antidote to Jihadism. But we must also understand that Sufi theologians too have been votaries of Islamic world domination. The strangest thing that is happening now is that rather than cleansing their theology of traces of political Islam, sections of Sufi Muslims are actually engaged in what can be called a Wahhabisation of Sufism. The inclusive doctrine of Wahdatul Wujood (unity of being) has been replaced by exclusivist doctrine of Wahdatul Shuhood (unity of perception). Enlightening Sufi books teaching mysticism, ethics and morality have been taken out of the courses of study from Sufi madrasas and women are being barred from visitation of shrines.

I would like to appeal to Muslim governments represented in the Council to introspect and cleanse the Islamic theology of elements of totalitarianism and offensive Jihad for world domination. There are war-time instructions in Islamic scriptures that should not be considered applicable to us Muslims today in the 21st century. Instead, what even earliest Sufi and Salafi theologians have said is that one so-called sword verse alone has abrogated 124 early verses of Quran preaching peace and pluralism....

The Quran puts emphases on being true witness, even if it goes against ones own kith and kin. So conversely it is a crime to give false witness, hence punishable by any State worth its salt, as natural justice. The scripture also rates as serious crime to drive out innocent people, out of their land and make them homeless. Asia Bibi is an innocent person as proved by Pakistan's highest Law court, and a proud citizen of the country, even after so much suffering, and yet she was driven out under threat for her life:

"Pakistan Is My Country. I Love My Country But I Am In Exile Forever," she said in an interview....

The violence, sectarianism and terrorism in the name of religion can only be fought once religious texts and different schools of thought are engaged critically and reinterpreted in the changed circumstances. Sufism offers a range of discourses that can help in reining the vices like terrorism and violence....

Muslim scholars after their encounter with the Hellenic philosophical literature, Judeo-Christian religious corpus, and the Iranian gnostic illumination felt the urge to explain their religious rituals, norms, and doctrines in a scholarly language in line with the contemporary systems of epistemology....

 

Blasphemy laws continue to be on the statute books, for instance, in Pakistan. Salman Taseer, the liberal Governor of Punjab was murdered merely because he showed compassion for a Christian lady wrongly accused of blasphemy and asked for the repeal of the blasphemy law. On the basis of this law, religious minorities can be arbitrarily accused of blasphemy and killed, either by a lynch mob or by the judiciary. No evidence is required, as that would allegedly amount to accusers being asked to blaspheme the Prophet again. Similarly, attacks on minority Hindu, Christian, Shias and Ahmadis continue under different legislations. Pakistani laws prohibit the Ahmadis from identifying themselves as Muslims.

It’s time the Council found some way to see that the countries that agree to its covenants also practice it.

Such anti-minority legislations not only violate the UN Resolution, but also Islam’s primary scripture. The Holy Quran does not prescribe any punishment for blasphemy. Nor does it permit any one to declare others kafir. It clearly says: La Ikraha fid Deen, (There can be no compulsion in religion). (Chapter 2: verse 256).

If not the UN Charter, Muslim countries should at least follow their own primary scripture, the Holy Quran.....

Generosity is a virtuous trait that every Muslim should strive to attain. As for the believer who closely adheres to the teachings of Islam, kindness and giving from what he has become part of his good character....

 

To clarify words, sentences or verses from the Qur’an that are not easily understood by most people. Some verses may be comprehensive or general in their meaning, and the Sunnah clarifies and defines them through the Prophet’s sayings, actions and confirmations....

 

Progressive Muslims represent the voices of the voiceless, empower the powerless and restore the dignity of the Mustad’afin (the downtrodden who are oppressed by tyrannical leadership). They are definitely not deviant....

 

The Qur'an has taught us several ways to prevent terrorism and injustice. Three of these are of the utmost importance: (1) abstaining from the Fasad Fil Al-Ard’ (mischief or moral corruption against God and disturbance of the public peace in the land) (2) avoiding irrelevant issues and interference into the affairs of others, and (3) establishing justice and peace....

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