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Books and Documents

Islamic Personalities

Born inside the holy ‘Kaaba’, Mecca, in 601 AD, Hazrat Ali (a.s) became a towering figure in Islam, second only to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). He embraced Islam at the tender age of ten, becoming the first among children to see the light of the final message from Allah to humanity....

 

Shias and Sunnis are united on the summit of spiritual understanding of the centrality of Ali (RA) and of the key role in interpreting the scripture by Imam/sage. Shiism, if appreciated as embodying one essential and universal/ esoteric dimension of Islam, or corresponding to Sufi  Islam’s esoteric-metaphysical content, is not  exclusivist sectarianism but of universal spirituality....

While Rumi considers insanity a mark of divine favor, he distinguishes between types. The madness he promotes is rooted in ecstatic love; the one he condemns, in petty fear. The former creates a mystic, the latter a lunatic....

It was 1946 and Partition was all but a certainty. While Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s All India Muslim League pushed for the creation of Pakistan, it failed to create organisational networks early on to ease the lives of the people ‘belonging’ to what is today called Pakistan....

 

Shah Ismail was also purveyor of Salafi ideas in Muslim India. He was strict in his insistence on Islamic traditionalism. The observance of Islamic rituals and norms was an integral part of his life even in the battlefield. Shah Ismail exhibited in his vision of Islam an exquisitely powerful combination of Salafi traditionalism and Sufi illumination....

Though he was a Muslim, he did not look at the customs and religious practices or beliefs of Hindus with contempt or critical view of a Muslim. He looked at the beliefs and practices of Hindus from a pantheistic or philosophical point of view. He believed that Hindus of India were Monotheist. He praises the devotion and spirit of sacrifice of Hindu men and women. He praises the custom of Sati on the ground that this showed the loyalty and deep sense of emotional attachment of Hindu women to their husbands….

 

The uniqueness of Rumi's order is that it is hidden among both of them. His idea of Wahdat ul Wujood (unity of being), Sema, poetry, whirling dervish, love and companionship toward humanity, are in some way hallmark of the Chishti order as well....

At the AIR he had differences with the legendary station director, Pitras Bukhari, with whom Saadat Hasan Manto too crossed swords, and chose to leave rather than submit to his demanding ways and authoritarianism...

 

Dispensing with the obsolete notions of legal formalism, dialectic abstractions, and mystical ecstasies; doing away with formulaic representations of feminine identities, political norms, and social strata; and severely criticising the medieval schools of Maturidism, Aashrism and Hanbalism, Abu’l Kalaam Azad strove intellectually to resurrect a spirit of fresh inquiry born out of the conviction to recalibrate it with modern forms and systems of knowledge....

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was one of the Muslim nationalist leaders of India who staunchly opposed the partition of India on religious basis. He had delivered his famous speech from the stairs of Jama Masjid of Delhi dissuading Muslims from migrating to Pakistan....

God’s reasonableness is a complex question, the subject of a vast theological library. In some strands of Islam, God is believed to be so utterly beyond human understanding that he can ­demand unreasonable violence....

In soul-stirring verses, he exhorted the Indian Muslim to hearken back to a glorious past, to listen to voices from Islam’s history and heed the call of their faith...

 

It was the true nationalist in Sir Syed, who in 1859 had the courage of conviction to publish one of his most famous works Asbab-e-Baghawat-e-Hind (The Causes of the Indian Revolt) in which he exposed the aggressive expansionist policies of the British East India Company and their lack of understanding about Indian culture....

 

During the European Enlightenment, a number of authors presented Muhammad in a similar vein, as an anticlerical hero; some saw Islam as a pure form of monotheism close to philosophic Deism and the Quran as a rational paean to the Creator....

Ghalib “answers” all our complaints we might conceive or imagine against Fate or providence or people or God. Since God created Ghalib, He has been largely relieved of entertaining many a question on wonder, love, beauty, betrayal, poverty, faith and infidelity....

 

The Muslims were divided into different Sects and Islam within itself was also lacking unity, with the conflict between Sunni and Shi’a, the Ulema and Sufis. The interior differences of Muslims destroyed the unity of Muslims at that time....

 

Khayyam's family were Muslims, but his father was perceived as non-strict, he soon employed mathematician Bahmanyar bin Marzban, a devotee of the ancient Persian religion or Zoroastrianism, to tutor Omar. Khayyam's received a thorough education in science, philosophy and mathematics....

 

Therefore, God gave glad tidings of the advent of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) in almost all the revealed books and scriptures. As the faith of a Muslim is not complete without the faith in all the other prophets, in the same way, the faith of the People of the Book is not complete with the faith in the prophethood of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). The belief in all the Prophets from Hadhrat Adam (A.S) to Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) is the mark of a true believer….

Zargar is, probably, after Shams Faqeer, the most radical Wujoodi Sufi of twentieth century Kashmir who recalls Mansoor’s rebellious style. To quote a verse that states his radical formulation of Tawhid-eI-Wujoodi:

I am the hidden secret of the exterior as well as the interior

To whom shall I bow, and for whom shall I perform “Nemaz?”...

During his time India was going through economic, social and moral crises. The Mughal court, particularly during the rule of Mughal Shah Rangila, had become a centre of song and dance. The Muslim community was largely illiterate and unaware of their religious legacy. Many un-Islamic practices had crept into it. Since the system of religious education was not organised, Muslims were largely unaware of the teachings of Quran and Hadith....

To Abbas, ‘Art for Art’s Sake’ was a meaningless proposition. Through his writings, he wanted to enlighten his readers guiding them on the road to freedom--- freedom from the yoke of slavery, exploitative feudalism, communalism, illiteracy, superstition and all that was negative and retrograde....

He picked up the pot and smashed it to the ground. “Shaikh Farid has bestowed spiritual blessings on Shaikh Nizamuddin. I break the vessel of his material poverty,” the dervish said as he left. From that day on, Futuh or unasked for gifts, flooded Nizamuddin’s Khanqah....

 

Often in the Sharīʿah, momentous acts of worship, such as Ṣalāh, the prohibition of alcohol, and fasting, have undergone stages in their legislation. This has enabled the Companions (Radiy Allāhu ʿAnhum) to fully come to terms with these great acts of worship, step by step....

 

The Quranic words for the Prophet’s kindness, Ra’ufun Rahirn (Quran 9:128) are very intensive and comprehensive in meaning and convey the true nature and extent of the Prophet’s kindness to people. The Prophet said: “One of the finest acts of kindness is for a man to treat his fathers’ friends in a kindly way after he has departed”...

The father of Dr Sir Muhammad Iqbal Sheikh Noor Muhammad had seen a dream before Iqbal’s birth which he used to narrate to his friends in the later part of his life. In that dream, he saw a big crowd gathering in a very large field. A beautiful coloured bird was flying over our heads, and every one tried to catch it, but no one succeeded....

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