Monday, September 26, 2022

Why Jihad, In the Sense of Qital, is Not Taking Place in India? Jihad in Islamic Jurisprudence in Indian Context - Part 3

By Grace Mubashir, New Age Islam 26 September 2022 A Community Of Another Country Entering Into A Treaty With The Head Of State Of One Country Is Equivalent To Two Heads Of State Entering Into A Treaty. Since Our Forefathers Signed An Agreement Then And We Renew It Every Five Years, Our Obligation Is To Live As If Both People Have Equal Rights Without Seeing That All The Other People Of This Country Are Outside Or They Are The Only Ones Inside ----- (This article discusses the jurisprudential discussions on Jihad according to Shafi School of law and Tafsir Razi and other prominent Seerah literature) Part 1 The question arises in the mind of many people why Jihad, in the sense of Qital, is not taking place in India. This article aims to find the answer. Ibn Hajar (may Allah be pleased with him) states the early ruling of Jihad in Al-Tuhfa Volume IX, Chapter 212. “In the early days of Islam, before the Hijra, Jihad was a taboo. Till fourteen years after Nubuwwat and advent of Islam, i.e. 13 years in Makkah and one year in Madinah, Jihad was prohibited through more than 70 verses of the Qur'an.” See al-Baqarah 190. "The call is to fight those who fight you.' It is very clear that only those who fight you are meant. In the second stage Jihad was permitted during the months when fighting was prohibited. And that too only to the belligerent deniers intent on destroying Islam and the Muslims. This permission was given for any level of Jihad against the aforementioned enemies after the conquest of Makkah. Jihad is permitted by the 41st verse of the Surah Tawbah. From this it is clear that during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) the fate of Jihad was in three stages. Let us move through Surah Anfal and Surah Taubah with the aim of recitation. We should not try to derive the rules of Jihad from Tawbah or Anfal because we are not capable of it. We must follow the rulings that the previous scholars who were able to determine the rules of Jihad, have carefully examined the chapter of Tawbah, the chapter of Anfal, and similar verses and determined from it. Only that can be followed. Just as we have no authority to judge directly from the Qur'an and Hadith on matters of prayer or fasting, neither do we have authority on Jihad. Online self-proclaimed tutors on Islam following literal understanding of religion should be exposed. Allah has divided people into two levels. Those who are capable of making judgments and those who are not. Among the scholars who were able to determine the rulings, those who codified it accurately were Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafi'i, Imam Hambali and Imam Maliki. There are scholars other than these who are capable of determining rulings but we have no authority to follow them as they are not codified. What we should follow is how the scholars who have defined and codified have looked at the Anfal chapter and the Tawbah chapter. The question of why Muslims are waiting is not answered when Anfal chapter and Taubah chapter encourage Jihad so much? Remember that none of the above applies to the Indian situation. We will talk about that later. The Problem of Text & Context Some writers and speakers quote the Qur’anic verses out of context and try to blame Islam for promoting violence and terrorism. They take a “text” and use it outside its “context”. It is just like someone searches through the Bible and picks the following words or sentences to prove that the Bible promotes violence: Chapter 9 (Surah at-Tawbah), verse 12: “Fight the leaders of unbelief” (9:12). This is just part of the whole passage where God talks about the Muslims in Medina and their truce agreement with the unbelievers of Mecca. See verses 12 to 14: “And if they break their oaths after their agreement and revile your religion, then fight the leaders of unbelief –surely their oaths are of no value– so that they may desist” (9:12). “What is the matter with you that you do not fight a people who broke their oaths and aimed at the expulsion of the Prophet [from Mecca], and they attacked you first? Do you fear them? But God is most deserving that you should fear Him, if you are believers” (9:13). “Fight them; God will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace, and assist you against them, heal the hearts of a believing people, remove the rage of their hearts, and God turns (mercifully) to whom He pleases, and Allah is Knowing, Wise” (9:14). The context clearly gives the right of defense to the Muslim but, in no way, does it promote aggression. Chapter 9 (Surah at-Tawbah), verse 36: “Fight the polytheists all together” (9:36). In reality, this sentence is part of an entire verse in which God talks about the sacredness of four of the twelve months in which fighting is forbidden. Then it says: “And fight the polytheists all together as they fight you all together; and know that God is with those who guard (evil)” (9:36). The theological and historical documents also support this argument. Seerah of Tabari and Ibn Sa’d’s Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir also points to the ephemeral nature of the verse. Tafseer Jalalyni has also mentioned this fact. Those who like to take this Qur’anic verse out of its context conveniently miss out the part “as they fight you all together”. As you see, this verse is also responding to the aggression started by the polytheists against the Muslims; it does not talk about initiating a war. From these examples, it is quite clear that Islam is not talking about the minor jihad for the sake of aggression; rather it is allowing the Muslims to physically defend their lives, properties, and lands against any aggression, and also to fight for ending tyranny against the oppressed men, women and children. (Tafseer Razi) But contemporaries interpret jihad as simply war. It is completely misleading. As part of this interpretation, many assumed that Jihad was incarnated as a religious law in Madinah. This perception needs to be corrected. Just as the verses dealing with Jihad were revealed in Madinah, so were such verses revealed in Makkah. The greatest Jihad is the Jihad carried out by the Prophet at the time of the emergence of Islam. It is patience. Jihad is of three types. One is Jihad in the heart. By two tongues. Or, Jihad through Speech. Jihad through three wars. It is through Surat al-Furqan that the Qur'an asks the Holy Prophet to perform Jihad in Makkah. (This Surah was completely revealed in Makkah). 'Do not obey the infidels. Wage a mighty Jihad against them. Most Tafseer scholars also say that this surah is in Makkah. Prominent among them are Ibn Zubair, Hasanul Baswari, Ikrima, Atwa and Jabir (ra). (According to Ibn Abbas, verses 95, 96, 97 of this surah are not in Makkah.) Jihad is mentioned here in the Makkah verse. The interest of the Hijra mentioned in this verse is about the Hijra who went to Habsinia. In the context of these verses, the Jihad that should be given the most importance is the Jihad carried out by the Prophet and his Companions in the early stages of Islam. It is the feeling towards the Makkah polytheists. It is to invite them to the path of truth. Prophet’s Jihad in Mecca was a most distinguished preaching mission to show the futility of the religious beliefs their forefathers preached. Therefore, the word of truth is the most essential type of Jihad. Allah described this Jihad as Jihad ul Kabira. Or it means to wage Jihad against them with the Qur'an and the intellectual precepts put forward by the Qur'an. This Qur'anic document is supported by a verse. The best Jihad is to speak truthfully to an oppressive king. It can be seen in another Hadees. Jihad against one's own soul in the cause of Allah is the best Jihad. The Sahabah raised this question when he was in Madinah (Which is the best Jihad?) The Jihad of telling the truth, living with patience, and fighting against the soul can be likened to food, and Jihad by war to medicine. Because medicine becomes necessary only when disease occurs. So is war jihad. But among contemporaries, when they say Jihad, they understand that it is a strategy of war. There is jihad based on war. Jihud al-Qital is Jihad when many conditions are met. It is very clear in the Hadees. Despite saying that the best Jihad is to speak the truth, many people widely misapply Jihad as an act of war without any authentic evidence. There was no militant jihad in Makkah. Umar's raising his sword when he left for Hijra cannot be counted as part of Jihad. It is part of the ‘sial’. Or fighting for self-preservation. This form of Jihad existed when the Holy Prophet reached Madinah. In other words, the core elements of Jihad remained unchanged in His life in Madinah. An Islamic social atmosphere becomes present in the Madinah life. Moreover, a system was established in Madinah that made the very existence of Muslims possible. Muslims are obliged to protect it. Jihad Is Internal Struggle for Purification Jihad is commanded only against those who fight with you or those who are of that state of mind. Then the Dhimmi Kafir (disbelievers who are friends with Muslims) will not be included in this. A belligerent disbeliever who has been given refuge by a Muslim or nation, known as a 'Musta'min', cannot wage Jihad until the end of the period of refuge granted. Then they too will not fall into this fate. This does not include a citizen of a nation that entered into a non-combat truce, known as a "Mu'ahid". Once a truce is made, it is obligatory for all the people of the nation to keep that truce with each other. The difference between a Musta'min and a Mu'ahid is that even a mere citizen of a Muslim country can give refuge to a Musta'min. Even after the Prophet's (PBUH) daughter Zainab (RA) became a Muslim, the wife's husband remained hostile to the Muslims. He came to Madinah in the sixth year of Hijra for a purpose. At that time Zainab Biwi announced that I had given shelter. It was announced by a woman who is a citizen of a Muslim country. The moment Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) heard this, he said: If a person of our nation, be it a man or a woman, gives shelter, it is incumbent on everyone to follow it. But truce (Ahd) can be made only by a head of state. The Prophet (PBUH) had made peace with the polytheists before the declaration of deliverance from the polytheists and those who entered into a covenant. At that time, Muslims used to travel in Makkah and polytheists in Madinah. (Tafsir Razi) Come to think of it, Jihad is not something that humans can do on their own like prayer or fasting. It should be done very carefully looking at the terms. Farz Kifaya comes only if we stand in our country and the polytheists in their country and we do not make peace with them and fall within the scope of the "disbelievers who are belligerent to you" and our membership reaches exactly half of their membership. Part 2 Indian Situation If you look at the Indian situation, it is not a place where Muslims and non-Muslims stand as two nations. In 1947, Mountbatten divided India into two countries, Pakistan and the Indian Union. Mountbatten declared that due to the many communal riots, India was divided into two and those who liked could choose the place they liked. Almost 100 percent of the Muslims in Pakistan stayed in Pakistan. At the same time, the Muslims in India divided into two groups, one group went to Pakistan, mainly Karachi, and the other remained in India. Leaders like Abul Kalam Azad, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad, Muhammad Ismail Sahib and Ansari who belonged to the Muslim community at that time saw Nehru as the representative of all the Indian people including Muslims and assured them that they would stay here and fully accept the government. At that time, Nehru replied, "We intend to take this country in a socialist manner. Here no one gets preference on account of religion. No one should take the law into their own hands here. Everyone should follow the rules here. The Muslim leaders promised to comply with all this. The first Lok Sabha elections were between those who supported and those who did not support the constitution drafted under the leadership of Ambedkar. The supporters were represented by Nehru and the non-supporters were represented by the Hindu Mahasabha. In the first election in 1951, our forefathers, the Muslims, voted for the candidates who were fielded by Nehru-led Congress. That vote does not mean that I supported that candidate, it means my support for the constitution. It means that the constitution can be supported by following the laws of this country. The Lok Sabha elections are renewed every five years after the agreement of mandate was made then. It is ostensibly a vote for a candidate, but in reality it is a vote for the Constitution. A community of another country entering into a treaty with the head of state of one country is equivalent to two heads of state entering into a treaty. Since our forefathers signed an agreement then and we renew it every five years, our obligation is to live as if both people have equal rights without seeing that all the other people of this country are outside or they are the only ones inside. This is how Allah's Messenger (PBUH) lived with the Jews for the first six years after he arrived in Madinah. Madinah then belonged to both Muslims and Jews. After the Battle of Ahzab, the Jews committed treason and broke away from that covenant. Our present responsibility is to fulfil our personal, social and international covenants. So our responsibility is to abide by the agreement that our forefathers accepted the constitution. This means and that even if some aggressors take the law into their hands, we will not take the law into our own hands. In many places in the Qur'an, it is said that it is our responsibility to keep the covenant. If we ask why Jamaat-e-Islami or their zealous Brotherhood or those who follow their path are working against all this, it is like this: we do not need Fiqh to find out the Farz and condition of prayer. They do not need Fiqh to judge Jihad as they have decided that only Quran and Sunnah are sufficient. They fell into the mistake of believing that the translation of the Tawbah chapter and the Anfal chapter was enough. We cannot accept that. We should only follow the Imams who are able to judge by looking at the Qur'an and the Sunnah and come forward with their results. And no one should join the ranks of those who form new parties and hold secret meetings at night. Inapplicability of wartime instructions after the war is over. In every war, defensive or for some reason offensive, instructions are given to kill the adversary. But these instructions become infructuous once the war is over. These are contextual, not universal. That is why Shaan e Nozool or context of all verses is taught in madrasas. ----- A regular columnist for, Mubashir V.P is a PhD scholar in Islamic Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia and freelance journalist. Part One of the Article: What is Jihad? How has it got conflated with the Christian concept of Crusade or Holy War? - Part 1 Part Two of the Article: Jihad Is Not Holy War: Allah Asked the Prophet to Perform Jihad through Preaching Quran - Part 2 URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Barelvis Today: A Struggle Within

By Mohammad Ali, New Age Islam 26 September 2022 The Followers Of Ahmad Raza Demand Absolute Conformity With The Literal Understanding Of His Fatwa And Forbade Anyone Within The Group To Contend With It. Consequently, the Barelvis Started Applying Every Ruling Regarding How Muslims Should Treat Non-Muslims to Deobandis and Ahl-e-Hadith Main Points: 1. This essay argues that Barelvis are not a homogenous community 2. It points out the ongoing struggle within the Barelvi School ----- A couple of days ago, the 104th Urs, the death anniversary, of the founder of the Barelvi School, Ahmad Raza Khan was commemorated in Bareilly. Ahmad Raza is considered to be one of the most influential Ulama, theologian-jurists, whose rulings and writings shaped the religious demography of Muslims in South Asia, and continue to do so globally through the South Asian Muslim diaspora across the world. When we say Barelvi, it signifies a group of Muslim people who adhere to the rulings of Ahmad Raza in theological and religious matters which are contrasting, sometimes, from that of the scholars associated with the Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith schools of thought. Ahmad Raza contended with their rivals on various minor issues, i.e., the issues that do not make the foundations of the faith. But his ruling that was issued in 1906, entitled Husām al Harmain alā Manhar al-Kufr wal-Mayn, against four scholars Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi, Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, Khalil Ahmad, and Ashraf Ali Thanvi, who were the founders and father-figures of the Deoband seminary and the Deoband school, accusing them of blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad, demarcated the distinction between the Barelvi and other schools that began formation in the same period. Ahmad Raza’s ruling in the Husāmul Harmain was conditioned by the sentence, ‘whoever has doubts in their (i.e. the four scholars I just mentioned) Kufr and damnation (caused by their kufr), then he/she has committed Kufr (as well). This condition led the followers of Ahmad Raza to believe that every one of those who subscribe to the Deoband or Ahl-e-Hadith school by virtue of believing their leaders as Muslims automatically became kāfir. It is also worth noting that Husām al-Harmain can be considered the most important creedal text of the Barelvis with respect to asserting their sectarian identity. The followers of Ahmad Raza demand absolute conformity with the literal understanding of his fatwa and forbade anyone within the group to contend with it. Consequently, the Barelvis started applying every ruling regarding how Muslims should treat non-Muslims to Deobandis and Ahl-e-Hadith. The corollary emanated from the first position, i.e. one has to conform to the literal understanding of the fatwa followed by the belief that only the followers of Ahmad Raza were Muslims. And since the followers of the Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith schools do not subscribe to the fatwa of Ahmad Raza, they are out of the fold of Islam. This belief is ubiquitous among the informed Barelvis throughout the subcontinent and among the Barelvi diaspora as well. However, this fact has been overlooked that Muslims in South Asia are not divided into these specific sectarian lines. There are a number of people who do not subscribe to any of these schools, such as the people associated with the shrines in Ajmer, Makanpur in Kanpur district, Dewa in Barabanki district, etc. These people are wrongly associated with the Barelvi School only because they visit shrines and perform devotional practices. These practices have recently been identified with the Barelvi School, regardless of the fact that they have been existing long before the birth of the school. To distinguish these people from the Barelvis, we can call them Khanqahis, meaning the people who do not adhere to the Barelvi tradition but are part of the larger Sufi traditions in India. At this point in time, we cannot assume that the Barelvis are homogenous in their practice of following Ahmad Raza. The young generation has started revolting against the anti-intellectual approach of viewing Ahmad Raza as the sole authoritative figure in the school and the demand for absolute conformity to his rulings, especially Husām al-Harmain. The reasons behind this revolution can be many. However, significant among them are the authoritarian monopoly of Ahmad Raza on ideas, and juristic and theological interpretations, plus the marginalization of the Barelvis due to the separatism caused by the rulings of Ahmad Raza. Today, the Barelvis can be divided into various groups with regard to their view on the anathematization of the non-Barelvis. The first group is the one that carries the traditional position by abiding by Husām al-Harmain in its literal understanding and emanating reasoning, meaning all non-Barelvis are Kafir. The second group is of those Barelvis who do not cede to the previous group. Instead, it believes that a wholesale anathematization of a group of Muslims is not allowed in Islam. They believe that takfir is a sensitive issue and can only be charged against a specific person if their blasphemy or heresy is established by thorough scrutiny and research. Ahmad Raza is right in his ruling against the four scholars in his fatwa. But it cannot be applied to their followers until it is not proved that each of them has the same belief against which Ahmad Raza ruled. This group tends to limit the effect of Husām al-Harmain. However, the problem is that this group is not able to ascertain whether the followers of the Deobandi or Ahl-e-Hadith school share the belief of their leaders or not. In this state of uncertainty, they are not able to save themselves from the effects of Husām al-Harmain which demand a similar treatment with the non-Barelvis to that which is prescribed to non-Muslims. The third group of Barelvis argues that any legal ruling cannot demand absolute conformity. They invoke their right to avoid or disagree with a jurist’s opinion if it turns out to be contradictory to Islamic legal tradition, or if a better opinion is available. Furthermore, if the problem, for example, ‘sentence A’, is to be explained in a way that it is not a problem anymore, the decree of a scholar regarding ‘sentence A’ which he issued seeing it as a problem, cannot demand obedience. On the basis of these arguments, the people of the third group hold, (a) the fatwa of Ahmad Raza in Husām al-Harmain, was his individual opinion based on his own research, therefore, not binding for other scholars and people, (b) the statements of Deobandi Ulama whom Ahmad Raza considered blasphemous can be explained (Tawil) in a way that they no longer appear to be blasphemous, which, as a result, exonerate these Ulama from the charge of blasphemy. Such an explanation makes this group able to free themselves from the shackles of an infinite takfīrī cycle. This contention not only tears down the intellectual hegemony of Ahmad Raza Khan within his own school but also answers the question of the intellectual and social crises that have crept into the Barelvi School during the previous decades. This third group is represented by a large number of Ulama in the previous as well as in the current century. Prominent among these scholars are Pir Mahar Ali Shah, Pir Karam Shah Azhari, the scholars and Sufis of the Khanqah-e-Mujibiyya, Phulwari Sharif, Patna. However, these efforts of being remained neutral or against this sectarian conflict and extremism did not bear any visible fruit due to an unorganized resistance. The Ulama associated with a madrasa, Jamia Arifia, in Sayyid Sarawan in district Kaushambi, UP, are attempting to show an organized resistance to the monopoly of the Barelvi School over the devotional practices in Islam and refusing to fuel division over the pretence of abiding by a century old fatwa. These Ulama are trying to put an end to the destructive effects of the rulings that Ahmad Raza issued against their fellow Muslims. In my conversation with Zeeshan Ahmad Misbahi, a teacher at the madrasa, their objective to contend the rulings of Ahmad Raza is to stop the Takfiri culture among the Barelvis and revive the Sufi culture of inclusiveness and tolerance, an antidote to extremism and separatism. ----- Mohammad Ali has been a madrasa student. He has also participated in a three-year program of the “Madrasa Discourses,” a program for madrasa graduates initiated by the University of Notre Dame, USA. Currently, he is a Ph.D. Scholar at the Department of Islamic Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. His areas of interest include Muslim intellectual history, Muslim philosophy, Ilm-al-Kalam, Muslim sectarian conflicts, and madrasa discourses. He can be reached at mohammad91.ali@gmail. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Muslims Needn't Crawl

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 26 September 2022 Itna Bhi Na Jhuk Ke Koi Paaemaal Kar Jaaye Tujhe Apni Na Sahi, Ghairat-E-Qaum Ki Toh Soch Zara Yaas Yagana Changezi (Don't make yourself so low that you're trampled underfoot / You needn't care for your pudency but think of the sense of honour of the community) When a race chooses to crawl; Sooner or later, it does fall Author's own translation of his Bangla verse One of the most cringe worthy manifestations of human behaviour is sycophancy. Umer Ahmed Ilyasi calling RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat the Father of the Nation is an embarrassing instance of apple-polishing. While one can understand the apprehensions of Ilyasi as India is fast becoming a Hindu Rashtra, there's no need for Muslims to be ingratiating with the RSS satrap and other influential Hindus. Currying favour with an outright Hindu outfit and its head-honcho in such a servile and fawning manner is uncalled-for. Sycophancy stems from an acute sense of inferiority complex and also from lurking fear. Arab military General in mediaeval times Amir Alkhoub observed that sycophancy is the final resort or the end result when you inveigh against your opponent tooth and nail but fail. Then you inveigle yourself into his good books by licking his boots. Sycophancy as a war or diplomatic strategy can be understood and even condoned. But genuflecting as a social gesture to appease someone (perceived to be invincible) is unacceptable and humiliating. This besmears the image of the person and the community he belongs to. Amour propre (self-respect or esteem) is something that must never be compromised. No need for Muslims to lie on the ground and let the juggernaut of Hinduism / RSS mow them down. Obsequious Ilyasi must realize this. Retain your self-respect and hold your head high. ----- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Who Enabled The Popular Front Of India (PFI) For Islamist Radicalisation? The role of Maulana Maududi's Jamaat-e-Islami amd Syed Qutb's Ikhwanul Muslemin

By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam 25 September 2022 Syed Qutub Interpreted The Following Part Of The 44th Verse Of Surah Al-Maida To Buttress The Same Argument: “Those Who Do Not Rule [Over The Earth] By What Allah Has Revealed Are Indeed The Infidels” ------ Hasan al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) aka Ikhwanul Muslimin in 1928 in Egypt. But it was replicated with greater ideological momentum in British India. With the establishment of Jamaat-e-Islami in 1941 by the Indian Islamist ideologue, Syed Abul A’la Maududi whose writings actually inspired global Islamist movements including the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran, the doctrine of “Hakimiyyah” (an Islamic dominion on earth) gained palpable traction in the new generation of Muslims in India. In this theological worldview which was theoretically developed by Syed Qutub and further buttressed in Urdu by Maulana Mawdudi, every modern, liberal and democratic form of governance was castigated as akin to “shirk” i.e. associating partnerships with Allah [in His sovereignty]. For instance, in his famous commentary on the Qur’an titled, Fi Dilalil Qur’an (In the Shade of the Qur’an), Syed Qutub interpreted the following part of the 44th verse of Surah al-Maida to buttress the same argument: “Those who do not rule [over the earth] by what Allah has revealed are indeed the infidels”. An extremist interpretation of this verse propounded by Syed Qutb and Maulana Mawdudi catapulted Islam from being a spiritual path of salvation into a religion of political dominion, and thus consequently has created chaos in the Muslim world for decades. But India was immune to this threat, thanks to the pluralistic Islam of Sufi Mystics until the political Islamist organisations and radical outfits were given birth mainly in the peninsular part of the country from the womb of Jamaat-e-Islami and at the behest of Ikhwanul Muslimin (Muslim Brotherhood). It was during the 1990s when Kerala first witnessed the self-styled Islamist doctrine of Hakimiyah, with the establishment of an Islamist outfit, Muslim Aikya Sangham, by Vakkam Abdul Qadar, popularly known as Vakkom Moulavi. Influenced by the thoughts of Syed Qutub and Hasan al-Banna, Vakkom Moulavi championed pan-Islamism for the Muslims of Travancore, Cochin and Malabar regions. He was instrumental in creating an “Islamist renaissance” in Kerala through Arabic and Malayalam literature like The Muslim (1906), Al-Islam (1918) and Deepika (1931). Through these publications, he tried to preach puritanical Salafism, purging the Keralite Muslims of local festivals like the Nerchas and Urs. Thus, his proselytes deviated from Islamic postulates and principles reflecting Kerala’s ancient Muslim heritage. As a matter of fact, the advent of Islam in South India is attributed to the early Sufi saints, who reached the coastal areas of Malabar. Hazrat Malik bin Dinar, a mystically inclined companion of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the earliest preacher of Islam in South India. The first mosque in Kerala, built in 603 AD and known as Malik Dinar Masjid, is located in Kasargod, with an adjacent graveyard and is embellished with gravestones, known as Mizan-stones. Remarkably, this foremost Muslim in Kerala greatly inspired the noted mystics of Islam in Arabia like Hasan al-Basri (R.A) and Rabia al-Adawiya (R.A). In fact, he professed and practised the Sufi notion of ‘jihad bin-Nafs’—inner jihad against one’s baser instincts—in contrast to the offensive jihad. He also showed a wide embrace for all faith traditions in India and was also greatly inspired by the spiritual ideals of Jesus Christ. As recorded in history, Malik bin Dinar memorized various chapters and commentaries of the Bible along with the Qur’an. Thus, he was an epitome of peaceful coexistence with Christians and other non-Muslim communities living in the then-Indian subcontinent. Now, let’s keep in view that Malik bin Dinar’s broader notion of Islam made it mandatory for him to be kind and compassionate with his Christian neighbours. So, what was the stimulus behind the audacity of modern radical Islamists in Kerala chopping off a Christian professor’s hand in Idukki? Clearly, the political Islamist ideologues held the pluralistic Islam of Malik Bin Dinar hostage in Kerala, swaying a section of the Keralite Muslims from inclusivism to brutal religious extremism and exclusivism. There has been a continued wave of radicalisation in Kerala and the Malabar region as a result of the extremist outfits which have camouflaged political Islam in the name of the “fight for Muslim rights”. Today, there are two major groups of Muslims in Kerala diametrically different in thought and action: Sunni Muslims and Mujahid Muslims. While the Keralite Sunni Muslims are believed to be pluralistic and peaceful, the “Mujahid Muslims” in Kerala constitute the “puritanical” Salafis often indulging in communal and sectarian clashes. For instance, on September 6, 2017, they razed the tomb of a Sufi saint Muhammad Swalih at Vazhikkadavu on the Nilambur-Ooty road. A piece of paper stuffed inside a bottle was recovered from the vicinity. The words written on it in Malayalam were: “I am going to the Arabian Sea”. In their protests, the Sunni-Sufi leaders came down heavily on the Salafis. K.P. Jamal Karulayi, district leader of the Sunni Yuvajana Sangham said: “Wahhabism should be thrown into the Arabian Sea.” Regrettably, as a result of enormous wealth from the gulf countries, radical organisations have been by and large successful to woo the gullible Muslim youths in South India. As a result, the mainstream Keralite Muslims are concerned that the pluralistic ethos they have inherited from their peaceful predecessors, was under attack, while the Ikhwani thoughts were spawning across South India through an active role of radical Islamist groups. On top of such radial Islamist outfits was the Kerala-based Popular Front of India (PFI) which, since its inception in 2007, finds itself embroiled in various incidents of violent extremism from creating the blasphemy killers to turning the nationwide Hijab protests into a tool of inciting violence. However, the PFI cannot be understood without grasping the deeper ideological dynamic. It claims to be an NGO, but pledges allegiance to the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan-ul-Muslimin) and has had alleged involvement in terror activities like chopping off the Christian professor’s hand in Kerala’s Idukki, and running the “Islamic State Al-Hindi Module”. As reported, the PFI's origins lie in the National Development Front (NDF), a state organisation that operated in Kerala during the 1990s with an aim to safeguard the interests of the Muslim community. The NDF was founded in 1994, two years after the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Incidents of communal conflict increased dramatically in Kerala as the NDF's popularity increased. Some of its members were detained in 2003 for rioting and the death of eight Hindus in Kozhikode, Kerala's Marad Beach. Three Muslim organisations in southern India, the National Democratic Front in Kerala, the Karnataka Forum for Dignity, and the Manitha Neethi Pasarai in Tamil Nadu, came to unite into one organisation, at a meeting in Kozhikode in November 2006. This is how the PFI was established in February 2007. Now what we have learnt from various media sources is that PFI faces a nationwide crackdown, raids and the arrest of its leaders and active members. Around 106 people have been detained as a result of the searches in 93 different locations, including 22 people in Kerala, where even PFI chairman OMA Salam was arrested. Moreover, 20 arrests have been reported each from Maharashtra and Karnataka, 10 each from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, 9 each from Assam and Uttar Pradesh, 5 each from Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, 4 each from Madhya Pradesh and Delhi, and 2 each from Rajasthan. All this has reportedly been done as a result of a probe into the PFI’s potential ties to the Islamic State and other terror-related activities. Now the PFI and its general secretary are being sued for contempt by the Kerala High Court for organising a dawn-to-dusk Hartal there. In response to the state-wide raids, the radical group declared a "flash bandh," which resulted in violence, rioting and stone-pelting. The Indian government has maintained that the PFI has indulged in actions detrimental to the internal security of India. Investigators have accused the outfit of pursuing a secret agenda inspired by radical jihadism. The NIA has revealed that PFI cadres impart training in the use of explosives in isolated places and promulgate a narrative of victimhood among Muslim youth. But the question is: will merely banning radical Islamist outfits like the PFI put an end to radicalisation in India? Has the government’s earlier crackdown on the radical Islamist preacher, Zakir Naik and his outfit Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) brought any tangible developments on counter-radicalisation or de-radicalisation in India? Merely mulling a crackdown on radical institutions is pointless unless a better alternative is systematically evolved as an organic development within the community. Indian Muslims must be enabled to strengthen their pluralistic Islam through spiritual centres, Khanqahs (Sufi shrines) and modern educational institutions in order to rescue young and impressionable Muslim minds from being misguided. Given the meagre resources they have, they are unlike to undertake this gigantic task unless the government develops a genuine will. ------ Regular Columnist with, Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi is an Indo-Islamic scholar and English-Arabic-Urdu writer. He has graduated from a leading Islamic seminary in India, and acquired Diploma in Qur'anic sciences and a Certificate in Uloom ul Hadith from Al-Azhar Institute of Islamic Studies. Presently, he is pursuing his PhD in Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Saturday, September 24, 2022

The Creation/Evolution Of Human Species

By T.O. Shanavas, New Age Islam 24 September 2022 The Qur’anic verse 29:20 decrees that Muslims must explore and discover His process of creation: “Say [Muhammad to your people]: ‘Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things” (Quran: 29:20). If it is humanly impossible to discover and explain God’s process of creation, all-knowing God would not have decreed to research and learn “how Allah did originate creation … will produce a later creation.” Moreover, the verse spells out that all tools necessary to learn the process of the divine creation available on the earth (“travel through the earth and see how …”). Although Almighty God’s means to act is infinite, based on the above verse, whatever processes of the creation that God applied is humanly discoverable. Here I describe the divine process of creation of modern human (Homo Sapien Sapien). According to the theory of evolution, humans and apes evolved from their ancestral species (Figure 1) by a fusion of two chromosomes. Humans have 46 chromosomes, whereas our closest living relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, both have 48 chromosomes, as do all other great apes such as gorillas and orangutans, chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan (Figure 2). The chromosomes are numbered 1-23 pairs in human and the 1-24 in apes (Figure 2) . Figure 1. Human And Ape Evolution With Chromosomal Fusion From Common Ancestor . Figure 2. Human And Ape Chromosomes. The modern cytogenetic studies show that we, the modern humans, were created out of the head-to-head fusion of two ancestral chromosomes, that remain separate in other primates. What is the evidence for the fusion? A chromosome has telomeres with six-base sequence of the DNA letters TTAGGG at the ends, and a centromere at the junction of its short and long arm (Figure 3). Figure 3. Unlike other 22 human chromosomes, chromosome 2 has two telomeres with six-base sequence of the DNA letters TTAGGG and two centromeres instead of one. Here is a highly simplified visualization of this fusion process from Brown University biologist Kenneth Miller. Figure 4 Chromosomal Fusion In other words, the genetic evidence is precisely what you would expect to see if evolution is true. And that speaks volumes about the power of the theory to explain human evolution/creation. Analyses being performed currently on genomes of extinct species, that are directly related to us, such as Denisovans and Neanderthals, reveal that these species already presented the chromosome fusion that originated the long chromosome 2 that is characteristic of humans. Therefore, this rearrangement of chromosomes goes a long way back in time. Using various methods date, it is estimated to be from 0.75 to 4.5 million years ago. References Yunis JJ, Prakash O. The origin of man: a chromosomal pictorial legacy. Science. 1982;215:1525–30. Ken Miller Human Chromosome 2 Genome – YouTube ----- T.O. Shanavas is a native of Kerala, but is now based in the USA.He is the author of “Islamic Theory of evolution of Evolution The Missing Link Between Darwin and The Origin of Species.” Co-author of the book, And God Said, "Let There Be Evolution!": Reconciling The Book Of Genesis, The Qur'an, And The Ken Miller Human Chromosome 2 Genome - YouTube URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Developing A Culture Of Education And Social Harmony In India

By Husain Sherani Translated from Urdu by Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam 24 September 2022 How To Strengthen Social Cohesion And Inclusive Culture Of India Main Points: 1. We see examples of how people respect one another's beliefs and traditions while also knowing that there is a malicious intention to undermine India's cultural harmony. 2. Sometimes a Hindu appears to help a Muslim, and vice versa, depending on the circumstance. 3. The two Muslim students provide as another example of India's rich, traditional culture. 4. The Muslim leaders must focus on taking the required actions to raise public awareness of the benefits of education and to give the next generation in their own communities a priority in terms of education. ------ On the one hand, political power is used to incite social and political hatred against social harmony and national unity, but on the other, we continue to receive news from social media platforms about caste and religion breaking through prejudice and overcoming the divisive wall of the region, language, or colour and dress and demonstrating acts of solidarity as fellow humans who respect each other's beliefs and cultures. Every day, we get examples of how humankind demonstrates its unity by respecting one another's beliefs and cultures. Sometimes a Hindu appears to help a Muslim, and vice versa, depending on the circumstance. Furthermore, there are so many fascinating advancements taking on in front of our very eyes that the growing desire to understand one another's religions just puts out the flame of hostility. These news reports, whether they are about college and university course admissions or Islamic religious trivia competitions, are enough to let us realise that the core religious ideal and the inclusive Indian culture cannot be so easily undercut by hatred and violence. In the same vein, there have been more than a dozen distinct instances in the past 20 years where Muslim students have not only competed in but also won specialised competitions in the study of Hinduism. Regardless of religion or nationality, these events have not only offered comfort to all Indians who are going through the agony of humanity, but they have also kept the lights of love and hope to glow in the midst of the darkness of hatred. It is distinct that such news does not currently make headlines or become a hot topic in our mainstream media. The historic harmonious culture of India was once again highlighted by the tale of the Muslim youth of Kerala winning the state-level Ramayana Quiz held by DC Books in Malappuram, Kerala, in honour of "Ramayana Month." The eight-year Wafy programme at the KKSM Islamic and Arts College in Bilangeri, north Kerala, is where the winners Baasit and Jaabir are currently in their fifth and final year. Students claimed that although they were familiar with the Maha Kavya growing up, they didn't start reading and studying Hinduism and the Ramayana in-depth until they enrolled in the Wafy course, which includes the teachings of all major religions. This announcement startled the entire nation because the majority of people believe that Muslims in India don't study anything about Hinduism or any other religion. Due to its importance to India's cultural history and heritage, this event has demonstrated that Indian Muslims are well-versed in the Ramayana and Mahabharata. It highlights two crucial requirements: first, obtaining a college degree, and second, respecting India's tolerant culture. Since Islam first engaged with other faiths on the subcontinent, Indian Muslims have admired India's culture of harmony. Education is the key to recognising and appreciating a culture of harmony. It is important to note that Indian Sufi preachers did not attempt to impose any cultural changes when they were preaching here; rather, they integrated Islam into India's multicultural civilization, and Indian Muslims defend this harmony. The first condition highlighted is the importance of education among Indian Muslims. This does not imply that Indian Muslims are ignorant of the history and culture of their country. At contrast, it is said that Indian Muslims are underrepresented in institutions of higher learning, including national research universities, IITs, NITs, and IIMs. It is essential to emphasise the necessity for policy participation in order to increase the number of Indian Muslim students enrolled in these institutions. Muslim youth who are knowledgeable, competent, and well-educated will highlight parts of Indian Muslim society that have not yet been discussed. It is disappointing that stories about Muslims winning a Ramayana quiz contest receive less attention than problems that foster prejudice and hate toward this disadvantaged group of the population. Indian Muslims are proud of their culture and heritage and have goals for growth, acceptance in society and the economy, identity, and engagement in national affairs. A specific arrangement and affirmative action are required for Muslims to be treated equally in mainstream higher education. As of 2019–20, just one-third of Muslims are enrolled in college as would be expected given their demographics. With higher education excluded, the percentage of students rose from 2.53% in 2010–11 to 5.45% in 2019–20, and within the same time period, the percentage of faculty members rose from 2.95% to 5.55%. Muslims are becoming more prevalent in absolute terms as well, showing that they are keen to blend in when given the chance. This is concerning because Muslim enrolment in higher education has recently grown more slowly, from 120.09% in 2010–11 to 36.96% in 2014–15 to 2019–20. The percentage of Muslim academicians likewise decreased within the same decade, going from 110.36% to 76%. The enrolment ratios of centrally and government-aided recognised universities, which are 8.41% and 14.5%, respectively, may better represent Muslims. Due to their nature and traditions, a number of institutions, including Jamia Millia Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, and Jamia Hamdard, have a disproportionate number of Muslim students. They do not, however, participate very much in higher education due to their homogeneity. Muslims make up just 1.92% of prestigious universities like NITs, IISERs, IITs, and IIMs. Muslims in India must look for opportunities to spread the word on subjects that get less attention. It is the responsibility of community-based educators to put in place the necessary measures to raise public awareness about the importance of education and to make educating the young a priority for themselves and their communities. The narrative of Baasit and Jaabir shows how education can make India known better for its peaceful cultural traditions. Urdu Article: A Culture of Education and Harmony تعلیم اور ہم آہنگی کی ثقافت URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Friday, September 23, 2022

Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy Condemns Iran's Authoritarian Laws, Urges Indian Muslims to Extend Support

The Wire Staff 23 September 2022 FILE PHOTO: A newspaper with a cover picture of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's "morality police" is seen in Tehran, Iran September 18, 2022. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS ----- Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD) has condemned Iran’s “authoritarian laws and their murderous enforcement”, saying it is “inhuman and barbaric to kill a fellow human being merely for not covering her head”. A 22-year-old Iranian young woman Mahsa Amini died in the custody of police, allegedly due to wounds she sustained after the police thrashed her for taking off her head cover. Several protesters demonstrating against the murder in a peaceful manner have also been killed. IMSD said that in this epochal moment, “the Indian clergy and conservative Muslims in general that support mandatory head covering for Muslim women, citing the principle of right to choose attire, must be questioned whether they support Iranian women’s ‘right to choose or refuse head coverings’?” “It will be hypocritical of all those who tom-tom this liberal democratic argument that ‘forced removal of burqa, naqab, hijab is against the basic human rights of a woman’, but who do not come forward in support of Iranian women of different faiths who are forced to cover their heads in consonance with Islamic Shariah practices of Iran. It is to be noted here that in Iran the rule of mandatory head covering is applicable to Muslims and non-Muslims alike,” the statement, signed by 95 people, said. The collective called upon Indian civil society to “challenge the hypocrisy of those religious power elite” who choose the liberal principles of the Indian constitution as per their “fundamentalist and misogynistic conveniences” while remaining tight-lipped when these principles are “flouted against the progressive aspirations of the citizens in Islamic States”. The complete statement and the list of signatories are reproduced below. “IMSD strongly condemns the repressive Iranian regime, questions the hypocrisy of the Muslim clergy in India” Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD) strongly condemns the Iranian State’s obscurantist, authoritarian laws and their murderous enforcement, as also the denial of the citizens’ right to protest. In this third decade of the 21st century it’s inhuman and barbaric to kill a fellow human being merely for not covering her head. At the same time, we question the hypocrisy of India’s Muslim clergy in not supporting the Iranian women’s right to choose, an argument it puts forward in the context of the ongoing hijab controversy in India. The world is witnessing a horrendous turn of events in Iran where State atrocity has caused the custodial murder of a 22-years-old young woman, #MahasaAmini , just for taking off her head cover. No less shocking is the fact that those protesting the murder by peacefully defying the mandatory head covering are being subjected to violence, humiliation and arrests on the streets by the police. The news and real time videos coming from Tehran and other parts of Iran are heart wrenching. However the heart-warming aspect of these protests is the active support of young Iranian men who are opposing both archaic traditional practices and State atrocities. In this epochal moment, the Indian clergy and conservative Muslims in general that support mandatory head covering for Muslim women, citing the principle of right to choose attire, must be questioned whether they support Iranian women’s ‘right to choose or refuse head coverings’? It will be hypocritical of all those who tom-tom this liberal democratic argument that ‘forced removal of Burqa, Niqab, Hijab is against the basic human rights of a woman’, but who do not come forward in support of Iranian women of different faiths who are forced to cover their heads in consonance with Islamic Shariah practices of Iran. It is to be noted here that in Iran the rule of mandatory head covering is applicable to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. IMSD calls upon the civil society in India to challenge the hypocrisy of those religious power elite who choose the liberal principles of Indian constitution as per their fundamentalist and misogynistic conveniences while they remain tight lipped when these principles are flouted against the progressive aspirations of the citizens in Islamic States. Signatories: Akbar Shaikh, Indian Muslims Secular Youth Movement, Solapur Amir Rizvi, IMSD, Designer, Mumbai Anjum Javed, Delhi Anjum Rajabali, IMSD, Film writer, Mumbai. Ali Bhojani, IMSD, Mumbai Alok Sheel, retired IAS, Delhi (Dr) Anthony P. J. (Dr.) Anuradha Chenoi, Delhi Anurag Chaturvedi, senior journalist, Mumbai Arif Kapadia, IMSD, Business, Mumbra Arshad Alam, IMSD, Writer, Columnist, Delhi Asha Puri, Delhi Ashhar Khan, Jaunpur Asiya Shervani, Hyderabad Askari Zaidi, IMSD, Senior Journalist, Activist, Mumbai Dr. Azeez Pasha, Hyderabad Deepak Sanon, retired IAS Dipak Malik, Varanasi Dipak Roy, Delhi Feroz Abbas Khan, IMSD, Theatre & Films Director, Mumbai Feroze Mithiborwala, Co-convener, IMSD, Mumbai (Dr) G. G. Parikh, Freedom fighter, Mumbai Ghulam Mohiuddin, USA Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, Writer, Teacher, Researcher in Culture, Media & Islamic Studies (Prof.) Girija Gupte, Feminist, Mumbai Guddi S. L. , Activist, Mumbai Harsh Kapoor, Independent researcher, Editor, France Irfan Engineer, IMSD, CSSS, Mumbai (Dr.) Jamsheed Rizwani, France Jasjit Randhawa Javed Akhtar, IMSD, Poet, Film Writer, former MP, Mumbai Javed Anand, Convener, IMSD, Mumbai Jyoti Badekar, Bharat Bachao Andolan, Panvel Kanhaiya Lal Sharma Kasim Sait, IMSD, Businessman, activist, Chennai Kishor Jagtap, Ganai Cultural Movement, Kalyan Kusum Verma, Varanasi Madhu Prasad, IMSD, retired professor, activist Delhi Mahabub Shaikh, Indian Muslims Secular Youth Movement, Bengaluru Mallika Sarabhai, activist, Indian classical dancer, actress, Ahmedabad Mandita Mitra, Delhi Medha Patkar, NAPM Convener, Mumbai Mohammed Imran, USA, Delhi Prof. Mridula Mukherjee, Delhi Muniza Khan, IMSD, Social Activist, Varanasi Nandita Sehgal, retired IAS Naseeruddin Shah, Actor, Mumbai ND Jayaprakash Neelima Sharma, Theatre, Delhi Nihar Bhattacharya, Varanasi Nirmala George, Delhi Persis Ginwala, Ahmedabad Pratibha Shinde, Lok Sangarsh Morcha, Jalgaon (Dr) Ram Puniyani, Author, activist, Mumbai (Dr.) Qaiser Shameem, Delhi Renu, Delhi Ritambhara Shastri, Delhi Rooprekha Verma, activist, former vice-chancellor Lucknow University. Sabah Khan, IMSD, Parcham, Mumbai/Mumbra Sadique Basha, IMSD, Activist, Mira Road, Thane Saif Mahmood, IMSD, Lawyer, Supreme Court, Delhi Sandip Pandey, Political activist, Lucknow Sarita Sabiruddin, USA (Dr.) Satish Mishra, Delhi Satya Narayan Sahu Satyen K Bordoloi, IMSD, Copywriter, editor, Mumbai Shabana Azmi, Actor, former MP, activist, Mumbai Shabana Dean, Naturopath, Mumbai Shafat Khan, IMSD, Writer, Mumbai (Dr) Shanawaz Alam, IMSD, Asst Professor, Sultanpur Shalini Dhawan, Designer, Mumbai Shama Bano, Varanasi Shama Zaidi, IMSD, Documentary Film Maker, Mumbai Shamsul Islam, Author, Delhi Sheeba Aslam Fehmi, IMSD, feminist writer, research scholar and a senior journalist, Delhi Shikha Sen, Delhi Smita Salunkhe, Vidyarthi Bharti, Kalyan Subhashini Ali, CPI(M), AIDWA, Kanpur Sujata Bhattacharya, Varanasi Sultan Shahin, Editor-in-chief, New Age Islam, Delhi (Dr.) Sunilam, former ex-MLA, activist, Indore Sunita Vedantam, Delhi Taizoon Khorakiwala, IMSD, Businessman, philanthropist, Mumbai Teesta Setalvad, IMSD, CJP, Mumbai Tushar Gandhi, Author, activist, Mumbai Utpala, Delhi Vasanthi Raman, Retired professor, Delhi Vibha Wahi, Varanasi Vibhuti Narain Rai, IMSD, retired IPS, writer, commentator, Noida V.K. Singh, Varanasi Vimla Chand, Sydney Yashodhan Paranjpe, social activist, Mumbai Yogendra Yadav, Swaraj Abhiyan, Delhi Zakia Soman, BMMA, Delhi Zeenat Shaukatali, IMSD, Islamic Scholar, Wisdom Foundation, Mumbai Source: IMSD Condemns Iran's Authoritarian Laws, Urges Indian Muslims to Extend Support URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

How Nationalist Were the Indian Ulama?

By Arshad Alam, New Age Islam 23 September 2022 They Never Compromised Of Religious And Cultural Exclusivity Of Muslims Main Points: 1. The Ulama like Fazle Haqq Khairabadi and Shah Abdul Aziz were not anti-British, rather they cooperated with them and maintained cordial relations. 2. Founding Deobandis like Qasim Nanotwi and Rashid Gangohi played no role in the rebellion of 1857, as it is made out to be. 3. The Ulama became anti-British during the 1920s and that’s why they established the Khilafat Conference. 4. They came together with the Congress and advocated for one nation policy as opposed to Muslim League’s two nation policy. 5. However, they continued to advocate religious and cultural separatism of Muslims, which ultimately strengthened the idea of Pakistan. ----- The contemporary Indian Ulama are extremely fond of reminding the world that they have made immense sacrifices for the freedom of the country. Deobandi organizations like the Jamiat Ulama e Hind have even organized conferences to highlight their role in the freedom struggle. In particular, they point out the role of the Khilafat movement and how it brought Hindus and Muslims under the same umbrella aided by the Congress party. They point out, and rightly so, that Husain Ahmad Madani, a Deobandi Alim, had given the formulation of composite nationalism in opposition to the two-nation theory proposed by Muslim League. Not to be outdone, the Barelwis argue that their sacrifices for the country go even further. They point out the central role of the Ulama during the first war of independence in 1857. In particular they hail Fazle Haq Khairabadi as their hero and tell us that he was jailed for life in the Andamans for his anti-British activities during 1857. They also remind us that it was Shah Abdul Aziz, who declared in his famous fatwa that India had become Dar al Harb, making it incumbent on all Muslims to resist the British. But are such assertions backed by any facts on the ground or are they mere rhetorical flourishes? Let us first take the example of Shah Abdul Aziz’s oft cited fatwa. The fatwas definitely declared that India had ceased to be a Dar al Islam as it was now ruled and governed by the English. Yet nowhere in the fatwa, Abdul Aziz is remotely suggesting that Muslims should now take up arms or even other forms of resistance against the British. In fact, the true import of the fatwa needs to be understood in the backdrop of the question on which the said fatwa was requested. The question was that if India had become a Dar al Harb, then was it now allowed for Muslims to practice usury? The intent of the questioner is not whether Muslims should take up arms against the British but whether they can benefit financially from the new political situation. We know that Abdul Aziz, in at least one other fatwa, had said that it was permitted for Muslims to practice usury if they were living in Dar al Harb. Far from being anti British, Shah Abdul Aziz appears as a pragmatic Alim, making sense of the altered political fortunes of Muslims. Throughout his life, he maintained cordial relations with the English, with some of these gentlemen even visiting his house, and debating with him on religious issues. Some of his fatwas plainly state that there is no religious harm if Muslims work under the new masters, the English. Fazle Haqq Khairabadi was jailed for life in the Andamans. But despite the gloss on his “anti-British activities during 1857”, there is nothing to prove that he actually participated in the revolt. In fact, like his father, he remained in the judicial service of the East India Company for long periods of time. As the chief judicial officer in Lucknow, he even gave a fatwa that Muslims should not rebel as they were in a minority situation. It appears that he came to Delhi during the revolt of 1857, but as he himself writes in his memoirs, he came to the city only to tell the Mughal ruler that the rebellion should be stopped. He was convicted but may be it was a case of mistaken identity or may be he was one of the many innocents who became fair game for the British rage during this time. At any rate, the available evidence does not indicate that he was active against the British during the 1857 revolt. His fame seems to be the result of his conviction and being sent to Andamans, not because of his anti-British activities. The historian Mushirul Haqq, who was felled by the bullets of Kashmiri terrorists, conclusively proves that founders of the Deoband madrasa, like Qasim Nanotwi and Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, took no part whatsoever in the rebellion of 1857. Rashid Ahmad was arrested for six months but later released as the British could not find any evidence against him. Their spiritual leader, Imdadullah Makki, left for Mecca and eventually settled there as he feared getting arrested by the British in the wake of 1857 crackdown. However, that might be due to a certain perception, rather than being actually complicit in the rebellion. In fact, their pre-1857 life is pretty obscure, and there is nothing to suggest that they were politically active against the East India Company. To make it worse, the available records in the archives do not name even one of them as being active during the 1857 rebellion. The Ulama probably became part of the political action for the first time during the 1920s with the launch of the Khilafat movement. This is the time when the Ulama emerged as a class of their own, and developed a consciousness of being leaders of the Muslim community. The historian Gail Minault argues that through the Khilafat movement, the Ulama were able to make long lasting networks, which they could use, much after the movement was over. Thanks to Gandhi, the Ulama got a new and unique legitimation in society, which they did not have earlier. Thanks also to Gandhi, while the Hindus were obligated to boycott the British; the Muslims were expected to campaign for the restoration of the Khilafat. By the time the Ulama joined the national movement, their perception of the British had changed. They came to regard the British as an evil sovereign under whom Muslims could not live a Sharia compliant life. Of course, the Ulama joined the national movement, but we need to ask what was their outlook while participating in Congress led campaigns and advocating for composite nationalism. Husain Ahmad Madani, the architect of composite nationalism, himself conceded that religion is more important than the nation when he stated that “unfurling the flag of Islam is ultimate purpose” of their political activism. To paraphrase him, he argued that Hindu Muslim entente is required only till the time the British are around. In other words, when they are gone, they will wrestle with the Hindus for religious supremacy. How does this understanding even qualify as nationalism? And if the protection or establishment of the Sharia was the ultimate end, then it could be very well done by the formation of Pakistan. It is true that the nationalist Ulama opposed Pakistan, but their opposition was not convincing to many tall Muslims of the time, including a section of the Ulama. It also seems that the advocates of one nation theory did not have a clear-cut understanding of how to balance religious diversity with claims of belonging to the same nation. There were clear religious differences between Hindus and Muslims. One way to contain this would have been to focus on other, more secular or cultural aspects of both communities and bring out the commonalities between the two. However, we find the exact opposite strategy adopted by the nationalist Ulama. They not only said that Hindus and Muslims belonged to different religions but also argued they belonged to two very different cultural traditions. The Jamiat Ulama e Hind criticized even those Muslims who had started to wear a Gandhi cap. For the Jamiat, this was an example of going away from one’s own cultural tradition. Most of them insisted on wearing what they called the Hamid/Turkish cap. We should also not forget that the Jamiat opposed Gandhi’s basic education scheme. They argued that ideas like non-violence were un-Islamic and hence should not be forced on Muslim students. The only person who sought to promote broader non-religious solidarities between Hindus and Muslims was Maulana Azad. But then this Maulana was not recognized as a legitimate Alim by the majority of the Ulama. On their part, they were so overwhelmed by the category of religion, that they wanted to see its suzerainty over each and every aspect of Muslim life. But this is the same reason why Pakistan was being created in the first place. So, although opposed to the creation of Pakistan, the ideological confusion of the nationalist Ulama in actuality helped its creation by popularizing the religious and cultural separateness of Muslims. ---- A regular contributor to, Arshad Alam is a writer and researcher on Islam and Muslims in South Asia. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Can Muslims Prevent Blasphemy In This Age Of Social Media? Is their violent reaction helping or harming?

Blasphemy Is Actually Rising Despite Or Perhaps Because Of Muslims' Violent Reaction Main Points: 1. The Fatwa against Salman Rushdie did not deter detractors of Islam. 2. Nupur Sharma's alleged blasphemy is not an aberration. 3. Social media has facilitated blasphemy. 4. Blasphemy over social media cannot be monitored or controlled in non-Muslim societies. 5. Muslims should follow Quran's advice on blasphemy. ------ By New Age Islam Staff Writer 23 September 2022 Blasphemy has been an Achilles’ heel for Muslims since the beginning of Islam. Blasphemy or insulting remarks or slander are not new in human society, nor is the prophet of Islam pbuh the first to be slandered against. Prophet Moses pbuh was also slandered against for being shy and for not bathing with others in public. Almost all the prophets were termed as liers, sorcerers and delusional. The Quran defended them by testifying that they were not sorcerers, liars or mad but were God's prophets. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Also Read: Anti-Blasphemy Terrorist Beheadings In Nice And Paris: Muslims Must Foil The Eulogising Of These Killers As ‘Ghazis’! Don’t Expect Even Sufi Ulema To Go Beyond Ritual Condemnation and Look Into Roots of Terrorism in Islamic Theology ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The same allegations were made against the prophet of Islam pubh. He was called mad, sorcerer and liar. In fact his opponents accused him of blasphemy against their gods and goddesses. The Quran defended him and bore witness that he was indeed the prophet of God and was raised for the salvation of the human beings. He also advised Muslims not to retaliate or be violent to the blasphemous remarks. The Quran says: "You believers will surely be tested in your wealth and yourselves, and you will certainly hear many hurtful words from those who were given the scriptures before you and from polytheists. But if you are patient and mindful of Allah --- surely this is a resolve to aspire for."(Al-e-Imran:186) This can be said to be the Standard Operating Procedure for Muslims in cases of blasphemy. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Also Read: Blasphemy, Islam and Free Speech ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ There were some cases of beheading of opponents for blasphemy on the order of the holy prophet pbuh in extreme cases but there are also instances when the detractors were let off or forgiven by the holy prophet pbuh. Therefore, insisting that slitting the throat of the detractors is the only step to be taken in cases of blasphemy is not supported either by the Quran or hadith. Islam has spread to the most part of the world and Muslims inhabit the most part of the world. They are majority in about 55 countries but are in minority in more than hundred countries. Muslims can not demand a law based on their religious traditions in countries where Muslims are in a minority and the country follows a secular law. The Quran also says that God does not put burden on any one heavier than he can bear. In other words, the Quran makes it clear that God does not ask Muslims to do what they can't in religious disputes or in personal issues. In the month of Ramadhan, Muslims are mandated to fast but those who can not fast for some valid reasons are given leave to compensate later. This also applies to the issue of blasphemy. If Muslims feel hurt by blasphemy against the prophet pbuh, they can seek legal action according to the law of the country. They can make verbal or written condemnation or peaceful protests. But if they take violent actions against the laws of the country, they may be held guilty of violating the law and hurting innocent people not involved in blasphemy. The killing of Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur in Rajasthan, India was a similar scenario in which the victim is said to have apologised before the Muslim community. Still he was killed. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Also Read: Islam and Free Speech: A Reply to A. Faizur Rahman ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ In 1989, the Iranian Supreme religious leader Imam Khomeini had issued a fatwa of death against the novelist Salman Rushdie for his blasphemous book Satanic Verses. Rushdie had to go into hiding and has been living an isolated life due to the threat to his life. A number of attempts on his life have been made but he has survived. The latest attack on him was made in August this year but he again survived. Khomeini's fatwa did not deter detractors of Islam from making blasphemous remarks. Many blasphemous remarks have been made; films portraying the prophet of Islam in negative light have been made; blasphemous cartoons have been published by Jyllands Posten and Charlie Hebdo. Muslims have turned violent every time and even terrorists carried out attacks on the office of Charlie Hebdo killing its staff. But all this violent reaction did not prevent detractors of Islam from making blasphemous remarks against the prophet, against Quran and against Islam. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Also Read: The False Binary of the Secular versus Islamic Needs to Be Broken ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The 21st century is the age of social media. The social media has made blasphemy very easy and at the same time difficult to be monitored and controlled. After Kanhaiya Lal's murder for blasphemy, more blasphemous remarks were made on media and social media. The Muslims staged violent protests and faced action by the police. Some youngsters were shot dead and dozens were injured and arrested. This proved suicidal for them. The fact is that blasphemy against prophets have been resorted to in every age and so it can not be controlled or prevented. This is a part of human behaviour. When people can not defeat some one with arguments, they resort to abuses and verbal insults. And when such blasphemous remarks are made on social media across the globe, every day, it is not possible for Muslims to monitor and penalise each and every remark, leave aside slitting every detractor's throat. Even in India, Hindu deities and religious beliefs are criticised by Dalits in objectionable words but the Hindus ignore them. One problem with Muslims in this regard is that what is blasphemy to them is a right to expression in western countries. In India, though there are laws covering blasphemy and communal remarks, actions are not taken due to political reasons or general bias in bureaucracy or in the police. A person criticising the government may be arrested but one threatening a particular community may not be arrested. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: Embrace What Is Different: Quran and Hadith Stress on Building an Inclusive Society ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In this situation, Muslims should adopt a practical and pragmatic approach in the issue of blasphemy. Quran has clearly laid down its principle on blasphemy in surah Al-e-Imran and Muslims will do well to follow this principle. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

History Is Seldom Complete, Comprehensive And Totally Objective

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 23 September 2022 Dr Moin Qazi has rued the lack of objectivity among the historians of the sub-continent that led to permanent bad-blood and misgivings. History is His-story, story of man. Mind you, no history has ever been completely honest and impartial even if the historian tries to be objective. If old and contemporary Hindu historians (belonging to Hindu outfits) and Europeans like Francois Gautier besmirched the image of Muslim rulers, esp. of Mughals, Muslim historians and emperors also did the same. " History is a potent tool to hide or reveal palatable and unpalatable facts and truths at an opportune moment, " observed the British historian Sir Arnold Toynbee, one of the greatest historians of modern era. Roman historians Catallus and Pliny said the same thing millenniums ago. History is often facts agreed upon. It's invariably written from the victor's perspective. ' History is mud-slinging using pen and paper, ' Sir Jadunath Sarkar quoted Neil Empson in one of the volumes on Shivaji. So, saying that historians poisoned India or for that matter any country and race's pluralistic nature and fabric, is expecting too much of them. Historians in all ages have been paid chroniclers like the court chroniclers of Mughal India. It's our mistake to expect honesty and integrity from them. And when it comes to modern historians, we've made them Marxist, Capitalist or Left-wing historians, expecting analysis and interpretations from them. This is bizarre! Where's their core objectivity or supposed dispassionate duty of jotting down events that took place in the past? if history and past events become subjects of interpretations, the whole relevance of history is lost. So, you get historians like Audrey Truschke or Gautier whose historical accounts are trustworthy in bits and pieces. They've their journalistic and academic interpretative duties to discharge. Ergo, a Truschke will unnecessarily glorify Aurangzeb, a Gautier will find fault with all Mughals and one Goel will tarr all Muslims and Mughals with the same brush. Mughal court historian Khafif Khan would constantly vituperate against Shivaji, calling him a mountain rat ( poor Nehru was lambasted for using the same sobriquet for Shivaji in one of his books and later withdrew his comment !). This is conveniently covered up by Muslim intelligentsia. Abdul Qadir Badayuni described how Akbar the Great (!) converted 34 Rajput Hindu women and also usurped wives of many Muslim courtiers. He was perhaps the most lascivious of all Mughals. But these 'facts' were always suppressed for obvious reasons by the subsequent historians. That Shivaji was never uniformly considered a Maharaj ( king) as late as till 1995 despite his much-hyped coronation is a known fact. Some amateur historians eulogised and deified him. Today, he's 'god' of Maharashtra, thanks to politically motivated historians who extolled him to the level of god. Remember, history and politics have a nefarious nexus. Today's interpretative history is sullied by political aspirations, personal agenda and vested interests. We all know that historians are not to be trusted or even if they're to be trusted, their account of history must be taken with a pinch of salt. Therefore, don't shed tears on the falsification of history. It has always been a dubious business, a distortion of facts and a mutilation of truth. ----- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Busting The Myth That Safar ul-Muzaffar Is The Month Of Bad Luck And Omens

Is It Right To Say That The Month Of Safar Is Filled With Misfortunes? Main Points: · Today, majority of the Muslims are subjected to superstitions. One of them is that calamities and bad omens abound throughout the month of Safar. · In the month of Safar, they avoid many acts, declaring them forbidden. · Safar was generally thought of as the month of calamities by Arabs. However, the tales concerning evil omens in the Islamic month of Safar al-Muzaffar persist even in this time of development and improvement. · In Islam, there isn't a single cursed day, week, or hour. Rather, when Allah (SWT) created the months, days, and dates, He did not make any of them ominous. ------ By Kaniz Fatma, New Age Islam 23 September 2022 Regrettably, the majority of Muslims worldwide ignore Islamic teachings. As a result, they have a lot of superstitions. One of them is that calamities and bad omens abound throughout the month of Safar. They declare many acts forbidden in the month of Safar. But in Islamic teachings, there is no basis for treating this month so negatively. While discussing this, we'll also point out what Safar means and why it was given that name, concluding that it's incorrect to think that the month of Safar is full of bad luck. Safar is a second Islamic or Urdu month. It follows the first month of Muharram, the tenth day of which is widely known across India and abroad as the Day of Ashura when many historical events took place, and notably Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Final Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was martyred by some of the greatest oppressors of the history. Literally the word Safar in the Arabic language has several meanings, one of which is “to be empty”. Let's consider this meaning and then ask why the second Islamic month was named Safar. There are numerous responses, some of which include the following: As soon as the month of Safar started, it was customary for Arabs to leave their homes in order to travel and engage in combat. As a result their homes fell vacant. This is why the [Arabic] phrase صفر المكان (‘Safar-a-Al-Makaana’ which means ‘the house has become empty’) is used. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, under Surah At-Taubah, verse 36). The Arabs would raid other tribes and leave them empty and without belongings, which is another explanation given for why Safar was given its name. (Lisan-ul-Arab, volume 1, page 2204) One claim is that the Arabs would amass food and drink supplies in a city called Safariyyah, leaving their homes [in this month] empty in the process. (Umda-tul-Qaari, vol. 7, under Hadith 1564, p. 110) The Arabs also referred to the month of Safar as "Naajir" and "Safar-us-Saani." As per Allamah Jalal-ud-Deen Suyuti Shaafi (d. 911 AH), “Safar and Muharram were both referred to as "Safarayn" in the days of ignorance because neither month had a common name. Similar to how they referred to Rabi'ul-Awwal, Rabi'us-Saani, Jumadal-Oola, and Jumadal-Ukhra, the Arabs likewise called these two months (Muharram and Safar) Safar-ul-Awwal and Safar-us-Saani”(Al-Muzhir fi Uloom al-Lughah, vol. 1, p. 300) Safar is also known as Safar Al-Khayr (the one with goodness) and Safar Al-Muzaffar (the successful one) because it is blessed. How Did The Arabs Treat The Month Of Safar In The Days Of Ignorance? Even though they acknowledged the sacredness and respect of the holy months, it was customary for Arabs to engage in war during the age of ignorance. They would falsely take away the holiness of one month and give it to another. They would carry on fighting in the month of Muharram by transferring the sanctity of Muharram to Safar. They would designate Safar as a sacred month in place of Muharram. Furthermore, they would transfer Safar's sanctity to Rabi'-ul-Awwal if they deemed the need to do so and declare war to be legal during Safar. In this way, the holiness would permeate every month of the year, and the distinctiveness of the sacred months no longer remained. According to a saying of the Beloved Prophet during the Farewell Hajj: It is no longer necessary to move the holy months ahead or backwards. The duration of the months will henceforth be preserved, in accordance with the command of Allah Almighty, and no month will be added or subtracted from its position. (Pages 237–238, Tafseer Khaazin, At-Taubah, vol. 2, 9:37) The pre-Islamic attitude of shifting the sanctity of the sacred months has been referred to in the Quran as follows: “Verily the postponing of the sacred months is but another act of disbelief, because of which those who disbelieve are led further astray. They regard it as profane one year and as sacred the next, so as to match the number of months that Allah has made sacred, thus making lawful what Allah has forbidden. The evil of their actions has been made fair-seeming to them. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people” (9:37) Commenting on this verse, Tafsir As-Sa’adi states, “Postponing refers to what the people of the jahiliyah used to do with regard to the sacred months, which was one of their false innovations. When they felt that they needed to fight at some time during the sacred months, they decided - on the basis of their corrupt thinking - to preserve the number of sacred months during which Allah had prohibited fighting, but they would postpone some of the sacred months, or bring them forward, and they would replace it after shifting it, with whatever they wanted of non-sacred months. Once they had made this substitution, they would permit fighting during it and they would make another month sacred instead. This, as Allah tells us, was an increase in their disbelief and misguidance, because of what it involved of transgressions, such as the following: They introduced it on the basis of their own ideas and made it equal to the laws prescribed by Allah, but Allah and His Messenger had nothing to do with it. They tampered with the religion, making what was lawful prohibited and what was prohibited lawful. They thought that they could deceive Allah and the people by their claim, and they confused the people concerning their religion, resorting to trickery with regard to the religion of Allah. “If people persist in matters that are contrary to the laws of Allah, their ugliness becomes no longer noticeable, and people may think that these are good matters, which results in error and misguidance. Hence Allah says, (“...because of which those who disbelieve are led further astray. They regard it as profane one year and as sacred the next, so as to match the number of months that Allah has made sacred, thus making lawful what Allah has forbidden)) they make the numbers match, so they regard as profane that which Allah has made sacred. (The evil of their actions has been made fair-seeming to them!) That is, the devils have made their bad deeds fair-seeming to them, so they think that they are good, because of the idea that was made attractive to their minds. ((And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people)) that is, those whose hearts became immersed in disbelief and lies; even if every sign were to come to them, they would not believe. (End of quote: Tafsir As-Saadi, 9:37) Safar was generally thought of as the month of calamities by Arabs. Even in this time of development and improvement, however, the tales concerning evil omens in the Islamic month of Safar al-Muzaffar persist. In fact, some uneducated people who fall prey to the idea that this fortunate month is ominous start disseminating messages based on myths as soon as it begins, and they consider it to be particularly unlucky because of their belief in things like the following: There is a risk of losing money if a new business is founded this month. Due to the chance of an accident, travelling should be avoided. In order to avoid the possibility of damaging one's home, weddings should not take place, and the bride should not formally leave her parents' home and move to the bridegroom's. They don't do significant business transactions. They enter and exit the house less frequently because they think adversity is approaching. They give their furnishings and appliances a thorough dusting. If the owner of a house dies, they consider the house to be cursed. They renounce all such preparations if their son or daughter was to wed someone in the home [where someone passed away]. Given the superstitions, those with a thirst for learning about Islam want to know what Islam says about the month of Safar and the associated superstitions. I read various publications both online and off, and I came to the conclusion that these are just superstitions, and that Islam has not permitted anyone to regard this month of Safar in such a derogatory manner. Mufti Amjad Ali Azami affirms: “People think that Safar is a cursed month. They refrain from a variety of other related actions, such as getting married during this month, formally sending their daughter off to the home of the bridegroom, and travelling. The first 13 days of Safar, in particular, are seen as being extremely foreboding and are referred to as "the 13 unlucky days" as a result. These are nothing but statements of ignorance.” (Bahar-e-Shari’at, part. 16, vol. 3, p. 659) Be aware that such an ideology is completely at odds with Shari'ah. We should turn away from it. In Islam, there isn't a single cursed day, week, or hour. Rather, when Allah (SWT) created the months, days, and dates, He did not make any of them ominous. Such superstitious ideas have to be avoided, and if we encounter someone who holds them, we ought to try to persuade them to change. A popular Tafsir book Ruh-ul-Bayan states: "It is wrong to view Safar Al-Muzaffar or any other month or time as ominous. The activities of humans take place in the time that Allah Almighty has created. A believer is blessed throughout the time when they are focused on obeying Allah. And the moment someone disobeys Allah, the Almighty, is a moment of bad luck. In truth, misfortunes come as a result of sins.” (Tafseer Ruh-ul-Bayan, At-Taubah, vol. 3, p. 428) There is a hadith narrated by both Bukhari and Muslim that “There is no superstitious owl, bird, no star-promising rain, and no bad omen in the month of Safar.” The myths surrounding Safar Al-Muzaffar are far from the truth. These beliefs are inherently superstitious and stem from ignorance about religion. It is completely false to link a terrible omen to any specific month, such as Safar Al-Muzaffar. Human acts occur in the time that Allah Almighty created. As a result, if a believer obeys Allah Almighty, it brings him happiness, and whenever he disobeys Allah Almighty, it brings him insults. The real root of all adversity and misfortune is disobedience to Allah, the All-Powerful. (Lataaif-ul-Ma’arif, p. 83) ----- Kaniz Fatma is a classic Islamic scholar and a regular columnist for New Age Islam. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Thursday, September 22, 2022

The Meeting between Mohan Bhagwat and Muslim Intellectuals Shows Mutual Concern and Understanding Over Sensitive Issues

Talks to Find Out Solutions Should Go On Main Points: 1. Muslim Intellectuals met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to discuss sensitive issues 2. Former Chief Election Commissioner S. Y. Qureshi termed the talks very fruitful. 3. Cow slaughter, hijab, communal tension was discussed in the meeting. Bhagwat said that Hindus feel insulted when Muslims call them kafir. Kafir has become a term of abuse. 4. More talks with more members of both the communities should be held. ------ By New Age Islam Staff Writer 22 September 2022 Mohan Bhagwat ---- According to media reports, a group of Muslim Intellectuals had met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on August 22, 2022, to discuss some sensitive issues concerning both the Hindu and Muslim communities. The former Chief Election Commissioner S. Y. Qureshi, former Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University Zamiruddin Shah, former LG of Delhi Najeeb Jung and the editor of Nai Duniya were among the delegates. The meeting was an important event as it was held with a view to find out a solution of the growing communal tensions between the two major religious communities of the country. The issues that were discussed were reportedly hijab, cow slaughter, the use of the term Kafir for general Hindus and the term jihadi for general Muslims and other burning issues concerning the country. According to Mr S.Y. Qureshi, the talks were held in a very cordial atmosphere and both the sides expressed their views openly so that solutions could be found out and misconceptions and misunderstanding could be removed. Mr Qureshi told a TV channel that he had sent the proposal to Mr Bhagwat on behalf of his team for a meeting amid growing communal tensions and he had accepted the proposal. Initially the meeting was scheduled for 30 minutes but it went on for more than one hour. Mr Qureshi said that Mohan Bhagwat raised two issues on behalf of the Hindu community which to him was the cause of concern for them. One was cow slaughter and the other was the use of the term Kafir for general Hindus. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: India Should Heed Mohan Bhagwat’s Pluralistic Call That Echoes the Sentiments of All Abrahamic Religions and Other Faiths --------------------------------------------------------------------- Mr Qureshi said that cow slaughter was already banned in the most part of the country and Muslims respect the religious feelings of their Hindu brethren. He assured him that if further steps are taken in this direction, they will abide by them. On the issue of the use of the word Kafir for Indian Hindus, Mr Qureshi argued that the word Kafir was not specific for Hindus. It was actually used by the Quran for those who did not believe. Those who were believers were called Momin. Therefore, it was not a derogatory term for Hindus. In his turn Mr Qureshi raised the issue of the term jihadi and Pakistani used for general Muslims by extremist Hindus to stereotype Indian Muslims and Mr Bhagwat reportedly disapproved of this mind-set and wanted an end to it for restoring communal harmony and peace in the country. There were other issues as well that were discussed in a cordial atmosphere. Mr Bhagwat listened to the Muslim delegates very patiently and appealed to all to work for the common cause of bringing normalcy in the country. It should be recalled that Mohan Bhagwat had on June 3, 2022 said to the Hindus that they should not look for a Shivling in every mosque in the country. It was a very strong statement, according to Mr Qureshi. The statement had come at a time when the claim of the presence of Shivling had been made by a group of Hindus and the Muslims had formed the impression that the RSS was behind the move. Therefore, the statement by Mr Bhagwat was surprising to the Muslims as well as to the Hindutva brigade as they had expected him to defend their move. Mr Bhagwat had reportedly said: "Gyanvapi matter is going on. We can't change history, neither today's Hindus, nor today's Muslims created it. It happened at that time. Islam came from outside via attackers...(After Ayodhya ) it was also made clear that the organisation (RSS) would not be a part of any more new movements. There is no need to raise fresh disputes every day --We should find out a path through mutual agreement." These statements point to a positive step on the part of the RSS and so it can be surmised that new movements surrounding temples do not have the backing of the RSS as construed by the general Muslims but by 'fringe elements' which are out to vitiate the atmosphere for limited political gains. We should also recall Prime Minister Narendra Modi's scathing attack on the so-called cow vigilantes in July 2017. After a Muslim man was beaten to death in Jharkhand for allegedly carrying beef in his vehicle, he had said that killing people in the name of protecting cows was unacceptable. He had condemned a rise in deadly attacks on cattle traders and farmers. Therefore, from the gesture shown by the responsible figures of the RSS and the BJP may be interpreted as a disapproval of communal movements and programmes in the name of promoting Hindutva. Mr Bhagwat's statements make it clear that not everything done in the name of Hindutva has the sanction of the RSS. He has made it clear that the organisation does not have the plan for any new movements based on religious disputes. Therefore, statements of some Hindutva section on Qutub Minar, Aligarh Muslim University, and Taj Mahal and even on Gyanvapi mosque are the statements of 'fringe elements' not a part of the programme of the RSS. It provides the Muslims with an opportunity. The Muslims should stop attributing every communal move against Muslims by Hindutva forces of the country to the RSS. The organisation cannot control all the different ideologies and extremist groups active against Muslims in the country and so instead of blaming the RSS for every mischief against Muslims, they should establish communication with it and take the dialogue forward and rope in more people from both the sides so that the air of mistrust and mis conception can be cleared and both the communities move ahead together for the welfare of the country. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Shun Such People Like Gentiles!

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 22 September 2022 A few years ago, one of the most notorious preachers, Dr Zakir Naik audaciously said that every infant in the world is born as a Muslim but later the child's parents impose their respective religions upon him/her. Great! Allah-hu-Akbar! A couple of years ago, I met a senior priest of ISKCON in Calcutta. He was also as brainless as Dr Zakir Naik. He told me that every child is born with Krishna consciousness even if he's born in a Muslim or Christian household. In other words, Krishna resides in his core consciousness even if he calls himself a Muslim or a Parsi. Overwhelmed by his transcendental wisdom, I felt like touching his feet, of course, ironically! That ISKCON priest had a Doctorate degree in Philosophy from Calcutta University! Jay Sri Krishna! There's yet another legend on this forum. He is also quite 'educated.' He too believes that Allah is all pervasive and Islam is it’s (no his/her) favourite Deen (faith). All other faiths are offshoots of Islam and even a Jew is technically a Muslim! The followers of polytheistic religions are also subservient to Allah and Islam! In other words, this ' Dushman-E-Aql ' (enemy of wisdom) is cocksure that there's only one REAL faith and its real god: Islam and its Allah. This reminds me of Oscar Wilde's famous and sarcastic epigram: Where do all the lovely children go to? / Are these stupid people what they grow to? Such religious monomania is a potential threat to a pluralistic society. That this comes from those who've received a semblance of education and are doctors, engineers and 'philosophers' is all the more worrisome. Foolishly thinking that your god is the Supreme Deity and your faith is the only spiritual antidote to the afflicted world is a sign of delusion and serious mental disorder. We condemn brainless terrorists and suicide bombers for their gruesome acts. But do we ever think as to who're those people who instigate these lumpen elements? Long ago, The Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan) carried an editorial that condemned the so-called educated but pathologically religious Muslims whose insistence on the supreme greatness of Islam was responsible for instigating terrorists and religious zombies. It's, therefore, time for all sane people to question the deluded observations and statements of educated fools regarding religion/s and shun them like Gentiles and Heathens. Exile them to St. Helena or Robben Island but unfortunately they're nowhere near the greats like Napoleon Bonaparte and Dr Nelson Mandela. So, drown them into the ocean. But they can pollute the marine life as well! ----- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Uttar Pradesh Madrasa Survey: What Riles the Ulama?

By Arshad Alam, New Age Islam 21 September 2022 Perhaps They Want To Protect the Financial Opacity of These Institutions Main Points: 1. The Uttar Pradesh government has started a survey of independent madrasas 2. Initially the Ulama opposed it but now the Deobandis have stated that they do not have a problem with such a survey being conducted 3. Independent madrasas teach an outmoded syllabus which jeopardizes the educational futures of lakhs of children 4. It is in the interest of Muslims to reform these madrasas and make it relevant to the demands of contemporary society ----- Ever since the Uttar Pradesh government ordered the survey of madrasas in the state, Muslim leaders, both religious and political, have been giving statements which do not help the students studying in these institutions. From the AIMIM to the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board, the opposition to the government’s move is based on their deep distrust of state institutions. As if they live in created sovereignty of their own, these Muslim institutions think that anything the state wants them to do is an intrusion in their ‘private sphere’. The idea dates back to Shah Waliullah’s famous dichotomy of what he called Zahiri Khilafah and Batini Khilafah. The latter, the inner caliphate was the sphere of religiosity, to be guided by the Ulama, in the absence of an Islamic state. The opposition of the current Ulama to the proposed government move stems from the conviction that this is the domain of inner caliphate where only their writ should run. One should not be tempted with the lazy analysis that this opposition is because of the “anti-Muslim nature” of the BJP government. History reminds us that whenever such a move has been proposed, the Ulama have opposed it. During the UPA regime, the government wanted the establishment of an All-India-Madrasa Board through which reforms could be implemented. It was the opposition of the Ulama that led to shelving the proposal. Even earlier, when the madrasa modernization program was announced, the Ulama viewed the entire policy as an attempt to undermine the autonomy of madrasas. Even today, madrasas view the modernization policy with a lot of suspicion and a majority of them keep away from it. It is good to know that now the Deobandis have relented and have said that they do not have a problem with the UP-government survey. It seems better sense has prevailed and they have realized that it is unwise to be seen opposing the government every time it proposes something. Or the reason could be the pragmatic realization that the nature of this government is very different from the previous one. They could bluff their way with Congress led governments, even to the extent of opposition the Right to Education Act and eventually getting madrasas exempt from it. But the BJP led government is a different beast altogether. It doesn’t care for Muslim votes. More importantly, it doesn’t even care for the optics of appearing pro-Muslim. Hence, the Ulama have no choice but to acquiesce to the government’s demands. As stated by the government, the survey is being undertaken with the intention of helping madrasas in terms of modernizing their content and infrastructural status. Well, one cannot really be sure about the intention of any government, given its hard-earned tag of pandering to anti-Muslim sentiments. But we need to have a dispassionate conversation about the status of education within madrasas. Does it really help the Muslims today? As we know, there are different kinds of madrasas. But from the point of view of control and authority, they can be divided into those run by the state and those established and run by the community. We have enough data to understand what is wrong with the education system in the government-controlled madrasas and these reasons are not very different from what is wrong with government schools in general. But the real blind spot are madrasas controlled and administered by the community or the Ulama. No one knows their actual number in different states or all over India. No one knows how many of these belong to the Deobandi faction or the Barelvi faction or the Ahle Hadees faction. We do not know the number of teachers or even their qualifications in these madrasas. We do not know how many children study in these institutions. The Sachar Committee gave us the faulty data of 4% but now we know that those numbers are much more but we do not have an actual figure. What we do know is what is being taught in these madrasas. Most madrasas are primarily sectarian in character, which is to say that they are established to propagate Deobandi, Barelvi or Ahle Hadees interpretation of Islam. There are bitter fights between these sectarian communities but they ultimately become one in the face of any external threat. The perception of threat can come from any quarter: from reformist voices within the Muslim community or from the state. The call to modernize their syllabus is perceived as a threat by these madrasas who argue that this is being done to dilute their ‘Islamic’ character. Since they are largely outside the purview of state control, they are free to teach whatever they want. Most madrasas end up teaching some variation of what they call Dars e Nizami, a curriculum which was designed and perfected at the time of Aurangzeb by a scholar called Mulla Nizamuddin. During that time, it was primarily a syllabus which was meant to produce state officials. There was no distinction between religious sciences and the so-called rational sciences. Philosophy and Kalam went hand in hand in this syllabus. Today, however, the rational content of this syllabus has been reduced to cipher. So, it is a plain lie to say that contemporary teaching in madrasas is based on Dars e Nizami. The knowledge of students in these madrasas does not extend beyond reading the finer details of Quran and Hadees. It is a crying shame that years after the Right to Education has become a law in this country, madrasa students do not know the geography of the world or even the basic history of India. A famous video of a Barelvi Alim telling his students that it is the sun which goes round the flat earth went viral some years ago. This is certainly not an exception and madrasa students have been taught this nonsense since they were established. The famous Barelvi Alim, Ahmad Riza Khan, in one his treatise, “demonstrated and conclusively proved” that it was the sun that revolved round the earth! Madrasas of other sectarian orientations are no better. I once met someone in a Deobandi madrasa who told me that the “formula for producing electricity” was in the books of logic that he was then reading. Can one blame the students for this state of affairs? Certainly not. The responsibility for this appalling state lies with the madrasa authorities and the Ulama who operate through such networks. Most students in these madrasas come from very unfortunate financial conditions. And most of the time, the need to get admitted in a madrasa is less about acquiring knowledge but more about escaping from the endemic hunger back home. Madrasas give them food, shelter and clothing, which is the reason why they are sent there by their families. But the Ulama make use of these poor Muslims by asking for funds and charity from the local and international Muslim community. We have to understand that most of these madrasas are not audited and hence what happens to the funds collected in the name of charity is anyone guess. Many a time, religious entrepreneurs who run these madrasas do not make a distinction between personal and public expenditure. One of them told me frankly: Jo Allah Ka Kaam Karega, Kya Allah Uska Khayal Nahin Rakhega? In other words, he was justifying the fact that he was living off madrasas funds but he did not see it as unethical. It is this opacity of funds and donations which explains the opposition of the Ulama every time there is some talk of government intervention. For if that happens, they will have to get their funds audited and no one within the madrasa establishment, barring a few, is ready for it. One really hopes that this is not just a Muslim bashing exercise undertaken by the Uttar Pradesh government. The survey will throw up data which can be used to effect a change within the madrasa system, especially with regard to its financial opacity and outmoded curriculum. If the UP government can do this successfully, other state governments should also follow suit. ----- A regular contributor to, Arshad Alam is a writer and researcher on Islam and Muslims in South Asia. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism