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  • LATEST ARTICLES


    Islamic Society

    However much the Muslim Majority may protest to the accusation that what they profess as their Faith and name it Islam, is for all intents and purposes a Dualism of a godhead Deity and a human being as an associate, the two iconic objects of Religion….


    Spiritual Meditations

    An image doing the rounds on social media shows Planet Earth enveloped by darkness all around, with a caption saying “CLOSED FOR REPAIRS”. So true. An invisible and hitherto-unknown virus has achieved the unthinkable....

     

    Islamic World News

    • No Transport, Muslim Men Carry Hindu Woman's Bier for Cremation In Indore

    • UP Shia, Sunni Waqf boards ask Muslims not to visit graveyards on Shab-e-Barat

    • 'Stigmatising Minorities Unacceptable': US 2nd Tough Message for India

    • Indonesian People Asked to Scrap Joint Iftar Plans, Mass Idul Fitri Prayers

    • Egypt To Ban Ramadan Gatherings to Counter Spread of Coronavirus

    • Muslims Should Still Fast Ramadan Despite Coronavirus: Al-Azhar Committee

    • As A Muslim, I Consider It My Duty To Pray For Boris Johnson. I'm Shocked By My Peers Who Don't Think The Same

    • Taliban Halts Negotiations with Afghan Government Over Release of Prisoners

    • How Pandemic Has Altered Muslims Daily Call to Prayer

    • European Expertise to Help Restore Ancient Mosque In Iran

    Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

    For Details and More News from All Regions, Please Click, ‘Read More'

     

    Islam, Women and Feminism

    • Mariah Idrissi: As A Muslim, I Feel Great Responsibility to Do My Part In Taking Care Of The Planet

    • Meet Ramla Ali, First Muslim Woman to Win A Boxing Title for England

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    • NGO: Sexual Harassment Happens During MCO Too, Here’s How Women Can Stay Safe

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    Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

     

    Islamic Society

    Muslim communal leadership has been the bane of Indian Muslims. The Muslim predicament is as much a product of obscurantist Muslim leadership as that of the communal politics and bigotry of Hindutva forces.” This is precisely why the second half of my article strove to define, clearly, the characteristics of the Muslim political formation I had in mind....


    Multimedia

    Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman and Science


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    Islam and Politics

    Despite a nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 threat, attacks on Muslims have increased in different parts of India in the past few days. Not just Muslim persons, but mosques and Muslim-run businesses have also been targeted....


    Islam and the West

    “The president made a commitment, along with Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, to respect religious traditions when burying deceased Muslims, even if it means making arrangements with neighbouring areas when there are not enough burial sites,” Moussaoui said….

     

    Spiritual Meditations

    And, not for the first time, there is cause, too, to recall another Wordsworth sonnet — the one that begins “The world is too much with us; late and soon,/ Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; —/ Little we see in Nature that is ours; …”...

     

    Islamic Society

    The officers have invoked Islamic teachings to argue that contracting the virus through negligence is a “sinful act”, even if you are the only person who gets infected. “Suicide and courting danger and disease by one’s rash and negligent act is haram,” the officers state. ...

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    BEST OF BEFORE ARTICLES

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    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.

    Radical Islamism and Jihad

    A War on Terror has been raging for 17 years now but we are no closer to defeating Islamist terror. Jihadism continues to attract Muslim youth. This is because the world has not paid enough attention to the ideology of Islamism and Jihadism.

    Mainstream Muslims have considered Islam a spiritual path to salvation, one of the many. Islam aims at reforming society for a peaceful, harmonious, pluralist existence. However, due to certain historical factors, the theology and jurisprudence of Islam that evolved in the 8th and 9th centuries (CE), present Islam as a political, totalitarian ideology of supremacism, xenophobia, intolerance and gender discrimination. It is this theology of violence, exclusivism and world-domination that is taught in madrasas and sustains Islamism. But despite the Islamist violence against peaceful Muslims and non-Muslims alike, the community is still not focussed on the need for evolving a counternarrative of Islam.

     It is imperative that Muslim countries that have signed the UN Charter look into the issue urgently and work towards developing a new theology of peace, pluralism and gender justice. While several countries like Morocco and now Saudi Arabia appear to be moving in this direction, the one country that has made a solid contribution is Turkey. In a decade-long exercise 100 Turkish scholars have managed to limit the number of authentic ahadith to just 1600, out of over 10,000, and provide each hadith with context and suitable interpretation. This book of authentic Hadith has been provided to all mosques in Turkey but I hope it is made available to the global Muslim community in their own languages as soon as possible.

    Allama Iqbal, a poet-philosopher of the South Asian sub-continent had called for the reconstruction of religious thought in Islam almost a hundred years ago. Let us at least start working on it now....

    Islamic Ideology
    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...

    Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

    Facing the brutalities of Islamist terror, while President Obama will not go beyond calling it violent extremism, the head of Sunni Islam's oldest seat of learning, Jamia al-Azhar admitted in a counter-terrorism conference in Mecca that extremism was caused by “corrupt interpretations of Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad”, and Islamic curriculums needed to change.

    This call for reform, coming from Jamia Al-Azhar, is gratifying. But a half-hearted approach to reform will not work. The problems Muslims face are very basic and cannot be solved with mere tinkering with text-books. The global Muslim community will have to introspect. One question repeatedly asked, for instance, is about the contextual verses of the holy Quran that are utilised by Jihadists to brainwash our youth. Jihadists present these contextual verses as an eternal guide for Muslims.

    One would imagine that the followers of Islam who believe, and many certainly do, that Islam is a religion of spirituality, peace, coexistence and tolerance, would be up in arms against the Islamic State. But while routine denunciations from some sections do come occasionally, there is no outrage visible in the Muslim society. The world cannot help noticing that while tens of thousands of Muslims come out on streets to demonstrate the moment there is an allegation of so-called blasphemy against any one, hardly any Muslim would protest at the myriad brutalities perpetrated by Islamist terrorists.

    Clearly there is something wrong, some disconnect, some deeper and more complex phenomenon at work than what can be understood from a superficial look at the issue. Instead of expressing outrage, we find thousands of Muslim young men and women running from their comfortable homes, private schools and cushy jobs to fight and join in the brutalities of the so-called Islamic State. Some 12,000 Muslim young men and women are said to have joined so far from 80 countries……

    The War Within Islam
    Islamo-Fascism and Islam-Supremacism Feeding Islamophobia Worldwide: Sultan Shahin Tells UN Human Rights Council In Geneva
    Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam
    Islamo-Fascism and Islam-Supremacism Feeding Islamophobia Worldwide: Sultan Shahin Tells UN Human Rights Council In Geneva
    Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

    Madame President,... But xenophobia, particularly in the form of Islamophobia, is growing in several European countries and partly feeds upon the flagrant violation of the human rights of religious minorities in several Muslim-majority countries. Petrodollar Islam has injected the poison of Islam-supremacism in Muslim societies worldwide.  Even exemplary moderate countries like Indonesia, Malaysia are now infected with this virus. But the worst case scenario is evolving in the only Muslim nuclear power, Pakistan. Jihadi vigilantes including members of security forces are hunting down and killing all those who oppose their version of Islam. The country is drowning in a sea of violence but civil society, media or elected parliamentarians dare not condemn the wanton killings in the name of Islam. -- Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam, addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council’s 16th session in Geneva on 22 March 2011 in the General Debate on Follow-up and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.

    Islamic Ideology

    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....

    Islamic Society

    Prophet Mohammad was very emphatic in his views on animal sacrifice: “if you MUST kill, kill without torture.” Unfortunately, this admonition is also ignored. The two million animals that were sacrificed in Saudi Arabia at the end of Hajj yesterday had been brought to the country in most horrible conditions, many of them dying en route.

     I personally witnessed the torture animals go through when I was in Karachi on Baqr Eid, a few years ago. The whole city appeared to have turned into a slaughter house. One could hear the cries of goats and sheep for days before Eid, while they were still being traded in city squares and even in roundabouts on major arterial roads. The animals apparently knew what fate was awaiting them. It was the obscenity of the whole scene that I cannot forget. Baqr Eid, the holiest of days, had descended into an orgy of blood-letting, with the “devotion” that God requires completely missing.

    The callousness we Muslims display towards animals would give the impression that the religion of Islam is indifferent to the fate of animals. In fact, Islam requires Muslims to protect, not just Human Rights, but HuqooqulIbaad or the rights of all creations of God.

    HuqooqulIbaad is considered so important that it is given primacy even over Huqooq Allah or our duties towards God. While God may forgive us for our transgressions, given his Benevolent and Merciful nature, His creations will not even recognise us on the Day of Judgement. So we must fulfil our duties towards creations of God in this very world, since we cannot hope for forgiveness from them on the Day of Judgement.

    Muslims should also remember the conduct of the Prophet in treating animals with kindness. On many occasions, during his journeys, he delayed prayers for the sake of first relieving the animals of their burden, and giving them food and water. He would refuse to lead prayers until animals were looked after first. He told several stories of people being forgiven all their sins for having shown consideration for a dog or a cat. According to Imam Abu Dawud, the Prophet forbade the hitting of animals on their faces and branding them. He also forbade sports based on animal fights.

    Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam

    Among many factors, social, economic, political, psychological, the one common feature is a brainwashing of vulnerable people on the basis of a supremacist, xenophobic, intolerant, exclusivist and totalitarian Jihadi theology. This is a blatant misuse of Islam, a spiritual path to salvation, that 1.6 billion Muslims believe, teaches peace, pluralism, co-existence and good neighbourliness.

     But there has to be a reason why jihadi ideology has gained acceptance so quickly; why fatwas issued by reputed moderate scholars prove so ineffective? How are Jihadis able to create a 100 percent certainty in the minds of some Muslims that violence against innocent people, including Muslims, 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. For instance, jihadists are able to misuse the intolerant, xenophobic, war-time verses of the holy Quran, as Muslims believe that all verses, regardless of the context, are of universal applicability. Indeed, the Islamic theology of consensus, taught in all madrasas, says that Quran is uncreated, meaning that it is just an aspect of God; and so, divine like God Himself.....

    Islamic Ideology

    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....

    Islam and Pluralism

    Transition to local languages has not been easy for other religions too. A certain holiness does attach itself to some languages. Vedic Sanskrit, for instance, is sacred for Hindus, Hebrew for Jews. Christianity’s struggle to retain the Bible in Latin and Greek was intense and bloody, with a powerful Church putting up a stiff resistance. Eventually, the Bible did speak to the people in their language. The Ulema in India refuse to accept as Quran an Urdu or English translation of the holy book....

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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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