Thursday, June 30, 2022

Udaipur Beheading: Educated Muslims Say Not In My Name

By Saquib Salim, New Age Islam 31 June 2022 On June 28, in one of the most barbaric acts, a man in Udaipur was killed by two fanatics in the name of Islam. They killed the man accusing him of blasphemy and later in a video message, hailed themselves as defenders of Islam. Followers of Islam, in India and elsewhere, immediately denounced the act. On behalf of Awaz-the Voice, I have contacted many educated Muslims from different walks of life and asked for their reactions. Everyone seems to be disturbed at this very wrong interpretation of Islam and Prophet Muhammad’s teachings. Eminent Scientist Padma Shri Prof. Syed Ehtesham Hasnain said, “this act is completely against Islam. It should be condemned in no uncertain terms.” Sahitya Akademi Award winner author, Rahman Abbas feels that extremist interpretation of Islam needs to be rejected. He said, “ the Udaipur incident of murder is inhuman and barbaric. This is in a way a victory of hate over love, brotherhood, and togetherness. At the same time it is a victory of the narrative of radical Islamists who believe and propagate that whoever commits blasphemy or disrespects the Prophet has no right to live; should be condemned and killed without any judicial trial. This narrative is a result of a narrow interpretation of Islam. This needs to be condemned first without any ifs and buts. No civilised society can progress with this extremist narrative.” ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: Indian Muslims For Secular Democracy Condemns In Strongest Terms The Brutal Murder Of Kanhaiya Lal In Udaipur By 2 Muslim Fanatics, Who Have Openly Declared That They Did So For The Love Of The Prophet And Thus Is A Case Of Death For Blasphemy! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dr. Adil Hossain, an anthropologist who has worked on marginalisation of Muslims and communal violence in India, thinks, “language of death for blasphemy is not the language of resistance. That's almost terrorism.” Noorus Saboor Rahmani, Deputy Director of Fisheries Department, U.P, said “innocent killing is not justified either in any religion or in any society under any circumstances. No excuse could be forwarded in support of this incident by any civilised human.” English writer, Annie Zaidi was at a loss of words and denied commenting more than, “it is horrific”. Advertising Guru, Syed Amjad Ali of Communication Catalyst, said, “The Udaipur incident is highly disturbing. And those people should be given the rarest of rare punishment. No religion permits this barbaric act, and in a democratic setup like ours, it has no place. How can they imagine something like this, it defeats your mind. There should be zero tolerance for such horrible acts and therefore courts should set an example. Period. No ifs and buts.” “The incident is unfortunate and is an act of terror, it has been widely condemned by matter what the provocation is, such barbaric acts have no place in a civilized society, perpetrators of such heinous crimes need to be brought to justice”, said Kolkata based social and political activist, Saira Shah Halim. Young Indian Muslims ---- Hina Fatima Khan, an Aligarh-based writer and journalist believe, “the beheading of a man in Udaipur can be termed as a classic example of Talibanic bigotry.” She further said, “religious views, expression, and beliefs are a part of one's identity and the Constitution guarantees us these rights as citizens. But that doesn't and must not even translate to taking the law into one's hands. This incident doesn't endorse anything, forget Islam. It's reprehensible and the perpetrators should be punished. At the same time, we need to reiterate the importance of respecting each others' religious beliefs and practices. What I believe is that politics and religion should be kept apart.” Arsh Iqbal, a Delhi-based journalist said, “I strongly condemn the brutal murder in Udaipur of tailor Kanhaiya Lal, a father of two sons, by two people Gos Mohammad and Riyaz because violence in any form by anybody of any religion is not good and shameful act against humanity. The attackers should be punished as per law.” Amana Begam, a research associate in CFPS, said, “As a Muslim, I am ashamed that a radicalized man killed an innocent man to defend Islam. This is against humanity, Islamic teaching, and the intellectual and political class of Muslims must address the issue.” Prof. Nazura Usmani (Zoology) from AMU denounced the killing by saying, “we cannot tolerate any derogatory language for our beloved prophet, but on the other hand we would prefer to follow his footsteps when he was targeted in his time.” She further quoted the Quran to support her view, “ Islam does not permit killing at all, debates can be held discussion can be made but whosoever kills a human being without (any reason like) man slaughter, or corruption on earth, it is as though he had killed all mankind ... (5:32) … Islam does not permit killing at all, debates can be held discussion can be made but whosoever kills a human being without (any reason like) man slaughter, or corruption on earth, it is as though he had killed all mankind ... (5:32)... Co-operate with one another for virtue and heedfulness and do not cooperate for vice and aggression (5:2)” Dr. Mahino Fatima, a Delhi-based neurobiologist, believes, “these narrow extremist interpretation of Islam is the real enemy of the religion. Bigotry and unprovoked violence have no place in Islam. The Prophet believed in winning people through dialogue instead of killing them. We must popularise teachings of the Prophet and save our religion from extremist bigots.” Muslims from all walks of life expressed their opinion that such unlawful violence has no place in their religion and their Prophet was sent upon the earth as a messenger of peace. We must preach peace and not hate. Source: Udaipur Beheading: Educated Muslims Say Not In My Name 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

Humans Are Violent Because Of Their Beliefs

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 30 June 2022 What Makes Humans So Violent And Sanguinary? The Answer Is: Because Of Their Beliefs, Esp. Religious Beliefs In All Irrational Things And Phenomena Main Points: 1. What happened in Udaipur (Rajasthan) has shocked the whole 'civilised' world. 2. Because of this collective belief in god and religion, humans have been killing each other since time immemorial. 3. Man can never be completely emancipated from all his beliefs. ------- " So long as our meaningless beliefs remain All efforts to get rid of them will go in vain " -William Butler Yeats, Irish poet and Nobel laureate What happened in Udaipur (Rajasthan) has shocked the whole 'civilised' world. Now people with a modicum of sanity are asking: What makes humans so violent and sanguinary? The answer is: Because of their beliefs, esp. religious beliefs in all irrational things and phenomena. An interesting story will help you understand this whole business of belief/s. A very religious-minded old lady was dissatisfied with all existing religions, so she founded one of her own. A reporter, who genuinely wanted to understand her point of view, said to her, " Do you really believe, as people say you do, that no one will go to heaven except you and your housemaid? " The old lady pondered the question carefully and said, " Well, I'm not so sure of Mary." However advanced, liberal and forward-looking one may be, the inveterate prejudices will always beckon him back. What we create as something altogether new and different has the distinct elements of our past beliefs. There's no relief from belief. Neurologists are of the view that if a person wants to relinquish all his beliefs at the age of 25, it will take nearly 200 years to completely get rid of those beliefs he/she wanted to part with, though there could be exceptions. It means most of us will never be able to get rid of our unwanted beliefs and prejudices in our lifetime because no one has that much longevity. And this neurological observation is quite incisive. We talk about equality, egalitarianism, anti-capitalism, Marxism and what not but how many of us will allow our maids and domestic help to use our restrooms or sit cheek by jowl? The ingrained prejudice that they're servants and can never come up to our level and status will always be there in some corner of our collective mindset. In my life, I've come across so-called non-believers and atheists and I've seen many of them take umbrage when something not so complimentary was said about their 'erstwhile' faiths. I call them fashionable atheists. Dropping all beliefs ostensibly, yet sticking to some of them deep down is the tragedy of mankind. Beliefs engender stereotypes and we all have stereotyped opinions about people, objects, races, countries and communities. Even those who call themselves 'global citizens', like Socrates, are racially, regionally, linguistically and nationally prejudiced. Man can travel to space. He can reach the moon, Mars and other far-flung planets but he can never be completely emancipated from all his beliefs. And when the beliefs have a religious ring to them, it's just impossible for anyone to discard them completely. They remain in your consciousness to pop out at an unguarded moment. At least a remnant of them will remain to remind him of his limitations. Because of this collective belief in god and religion, humans have been killing each other since time immemorial. I still remember somewhere I read, " Beliefs are hard bricks, the building of human nature is built of." I've no doubt about the profundity of this statement. The beheading of a tailor has only made my belief in beliefs even stronger! Today, I'm terribly sad and not very hopeful of mankind's evolution. ---- 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

Flood That Unites Assam And Bangladesh

By Nava Thakuria, New Age Islam 30 June 2022 As The Devastating Flood Embraces Vast Areas Of Assam (In Northeast India) And Bangladesh, The Mighty Brahmaputra Comes To The Focus Again As The Lone Male River After Originating In Tibet (Now Under China) Flows Through Both The Countries Before Culminating In The Bay Of Bengal Main Points: 1. Monsoon rains in the entire region usually start by the end of May, but this time heavy downpours affected the vast cultivable land by June itself. 2. According to Assam State disaster management authority, over 3,000 revenue villages got submerged by the flood water. 3. Identified as one of the world’s climate-vulnerable countries, Bangladesh receives rain-fed river water from India where Brahmaputra and Barak contribute a large volume of water in every monsoon season. ------ Villagers row a makeshift raft through a flooded field to reach a safer place at the flood-affected Mayong village in Morigaon district, in the northeastern state of Assam, India. [Anuwar Hazarika/Reuters] ----- As the devastating flood embraces vast areas of Assam (in northeast India) and Bangladesh, the mighty Brahmaputra comes to the focus again as the lone male river after originating in Tibet (now under China) flows through both the countries before culminating in the Bay of Bengal. Incessant rains for many days in the third week of June had inflated all the tributaries of Brahmaputra and it ended up inundating over one million hectares of land affecting millions of people in both the south Asian developing countries. The monsoon rains in the entire region usually start by the end of May, but this time heavy downpours affected the vast cultivable land by June itself where at least 5 million people (one million children) in northeast India and over 6 million (1.50 million children) in its lower riparian areas of northern Bangladesh got severely affected. According to the government agencies, nearly 2.5 million people in Assam rendered homeless where over 3 million Bangladeshi people take shelter in makeshift camps. About 125 people have lost their lives due to the flood and landslides in the hilly areas of Assam and its neighbouring State of Meghalaya. Bangladesh witnessed the death of over 50 people in the flood related incidents. Remote villagers in both the countries are struggling to survive with the crisis of adequate food items, drinking water and medicines for the elder and children. The government armed forces in both the countries have been engaged to rescue the stranded families and also supply essential commodities to affected villages. According to Assam State disaster management authority, over 3,000 revenue villages got submerged by the flood water. It also affects over a hundred thousand hectares of crops as well as washes away a large number of domestic animals. The world famous abode of precious one-horned rhinoceros, Kaziranga National Park also witnesses flooding in its northern part on the bank of Brahmaputra. In Bangladesh, over one million hectares of farmland are under water. Even the civil air-services in Sylhet region faced repeated disruptions for many days. Identified as one of the world’s climate-vulnerable countries, Bangladesh receives rain-fed river water from India where Brahmaputra and Barak contribute a large volume of water in every monsoon season. Annual floods affect the populous country’s agriculture, related infrastructure and so thus its economy. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently took aerial surveys of flood affected north and northeast localities of the densely populated country. She commented that different agencies were engaged in rescuing the trapped people and supporting them with reliefs. On the other hand, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma continues visiting the flood affected areas to take stock of the situation where thousands of families are still in the administration run relief camps. The flood situation in the Barak valley continues to be grim, where the power supply has been interrupted (so does the cell-phone network) for many days. The road-connectivity to Silchar has been disturbed and even many trains connecting the southern valley have been cancelled or rescheduled. The authority started fixed (reasonable) price air-services between Guwahati and Silchar. Brahmaputra, which originates at Manasarovar of Kailash range inside Tibet with an elevation of over 5,000 meters, runs over 3,900 kilometres till its culmination. The third largest river in the world has over 50 tributaries in the region and it carries a high level of sedimentation. During the monsoon season (usually June to October), the river water from the Himalayas receives an extra volume of sediment-water from the rain-fed tributaries that adds to the intensity of floods in both the countries. A huge area of fertile agricultural lands in India and Bangladesh is damaged by the flood causing massive annual economic losses. Nearly 90,000 people have been moved to state-run relief shelters as water levels in rivers run high and large swaths of land remain submerged in most districts in Assam, India. [Anuwar Hazarika/Reuters] ----- Realizing the gravity of flood-situation, the European Union has offered € 2 million (1 Euro = 83 Indian Rupee) in emergency aid to the affected families of Bangladesh and India. In a 26 June message, the EU termed the current wave of flood as worse than those of 1998 and 2004 and released €1.2 million for the affected people in Bangladesh and €800,000 for India focusing on Assam. The money is expected to be channelized through the EU's humanitarian aid partners on the ground, so that the affected and displaced families can get relief. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured the Assam government of all necessary support from the Union government in New Delhi. Meanwhile, the Reliance Industries Limited’s managing director Mukesh Ambani and his son Anant Ambani donated Rs 250 million to the CM’s relief fund with an aim to help the people reeling under the devastating floods. Government run Oil India Limited extended Rs 50 million to the relief fund. While Mumbai-based producer Bhushan Kumar donated Rs 11, 00,000 filmmaker Rohit Shetty, actor Arjun Kapoor and singer Sonu Nigam also extended Rs 5,00,000 each to the government. 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, June 29, 2022

Indian Muslims For Secular Democracy Condemns In Strongest Terms The Brutal Murder Of Kanhaiya Lal In Udaipur By 2 Muslim Fanatics, Who Have Openly Declared That They Did So For The Love Of The Prophet And Thus Is A Case Of Death For Blasphemy!

Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy 30 June 2022 A Hindu shopkeeper (L) was killed in Udaipur by two men (R) over a social media post in support of Nupur Sharma. ----- A tailor by profession, Kanhaiya’s only ‘crime’ was that he put up an online post in support of Nupur Sharma. India is a country governed by its constitution which means that its citizens are obligated to follow the rule of law. We cannot have any sympathy for those extremist Muslims who espouse the ideals of the Taliban or ISIS, or those extremist Hindus who want to turn this country into a fascist Hindu Rashtra. Some years back, we had a similar attack on a migrant Muslim worker, who was hacked to death on camera by Shambhulal Raigar. While there were online petitions supporting Raigar, it is heartening to note that all Muslim organizations have condemned the killing of Kanhaiya in unequivocal terms. IMSD reiterates its stand that there is no place for such an extremist mindset in India and that the culprits be handed the strictest possible punishment. We would also like to underline the fact we are disturbed by the proclivity of certain Muslim organizations who are demanding and campaigning for blasphemy laws, which is a very regressive demand. Blasphemy laws are unacceptable in a secular liberal constitutional democracy, and IMSD strongly opposes this demand by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and other conservative Muslim organizations. We advise those who speak on behalf of Muslim issues to desist from making emotional, bigoted, intolerant and fanatical appeals in the name of religion. As citizens of this country, the Muslim cause is best served through appeals to the constitutional ethos rather than some pan-Islamic rallying together in the name of saving the honor of the prophet. We also need to understand that incidents like Udaipur also send a chilling message to dissenters within the Muslim community. The case of Saad Ansari, a young 19 year old educated boy from Bhiwandi (Maharashtra), who spoke his mind on the issue of blasphemy is a further case in point. The local Muslim community hounded him no end, even physically attacked him but we saw no condemnation from any Muslim organization or individual. Saad was made to apologise & read the Kalma again by the 150 strong mob. For his son's safety, his father has had to send Saad away to study. If a young Muslim boy is fettered and not allowed to speak his mind, then it is a telling statement on the depths of intolerance that we Muslims have descended to. While we rightly agitate for Zubair, the AltNews co-founder being hounded by the state, we are equally concerned about our regressive attitude which sent the young Saad away from his family. The police have registered cases both against Saad and the violent mob. The IMSD appeals to all Muslims not to fall for the rightwing-Islamist rhetoric. Indian Muslims have been an exception to the worldwide Islamist movement, by shunning violence and reposing their faith in the constitution. It is with this faith in the foundation of our republic that Indian Muslims have categorically condemned the ISIS-style beheading of Kanhaiya in Udaipur. We hope that the same ethos also makes them withdraw cases against Saad Ansari. In these difficult times, it's essential that the Indian Muslim community seriously and honestly introspect on the intolerance & bigotry within the community and arrive at ways to combat such cases of violent fanaticism. It is imperative that we as Indians unite to resist and defeat all forms of religious extremism, hatred & violence and work towards creating a peaceful harmonious society, not one built on mere tolerance, but on mutual respect and acceptance of each others faiths, religions and cultures. Signatories: Javed Anand, National Convener, IMSD Feroze Mithiborwala, National Co-Convener, IMSD (9029277751) Anand Patwardhan, World renowned Documentary Filmmaker Tushar Gandhi, Author, Human Rights Defender Prof. Ram Puniyani, Author Arshad Alam, Writer Prof. Zeenat Shaukat Ali, Author Anjum Rajabali, Film scriptwriter Shama Zaidi, Film scriptwriter Adv. A W Jawwad Adv. Lara Jesani Amir Rizvi, Creative artist Bilal Khan, Social Activist Com. Preeti Shekhar, Social Activist M A Khalid, Social Activist Khadija Farouqui, Social Activist Arif Kapadia, Social Activist Askari Zaidi Salim Sabuwala, Social Activist Aziz Lokhandwala Hasina Khan, Mumbai Ashhar khan, Jaunpur Prof. Qamarjahan, Lucknow Quaiser Jahan, Varanasi Shamim Abbasi, Ghazipur Mufti Banaras Batin sb, Varanasi 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

Despite The Winds of Atheism, Materialism and Social Darwinism Religion Stood Its Ground

By Mushtaq ul Haq Ahmad Sikandar, New Age Islam 29 June 2022 Islam and Muslims Too Went Through Various Phases of Revivalism, but Islam Couldn’t Be Secluded To the Individual Domain Main Points: 1. Ali Shariati is an important scholar of contemporary times who tried to reinterpret Islam. 2. Shariati's views on religion and Shia theology constitute a refreshing engagement with texts. 3. Shariati has offered new explanations about the concept of Imamate. ---- Sociology of Religions: Perspectives of Ali Shariati Author: Mir Mohammad Ibrahim Publisher: Prentice Hall of India, New Delhi, India Pages: 277 Price: Rs 395 ---- Religion is an undeniable fact of any civilization, even the Western Civilization which has its roots in Atheism, couldn’t completely negate religion but just changed its sphere of influence from Public to Private. Despite the winds of atheism, materialism and social Darwinism religion stood its ground and still holds sway over the lives of millions of people. All religions except Islam had to go through a process of reformation in the aftermath of European Renaissance, as these religions were hampering and becoming obstacles in the course of history which was in transition from superstitious to scientific, though Islam and Muslims too went through various phases of revivalism, but Islam couldn’t be secluded to the individual domain, Islam still is held in reverence and marks a distinction in the lives of Muslims. Islam never tried to obstruct the path of scientific revolution, free inquiry and healthy criticism, as Islam stood for these principles, but it must be acknowledged that a certain section of Ulema and Mullahs whose interpretation of Islam and grip on masses would wither with the scientific progress, did try their best to intimidate Muslims to keep away from accepting the fruits of Renaissance, describing them UnIslamic, but the resistance died ultimately. The opposition by these Mullahas and Ulema was reinforced by the Colonization of Muslim lands by flag bearers of Renaissance, but this attitude was more political rather than Islamic. The onslaught of the European Powers and Western civilization gave birth to many revivalists among occupied Muslim lands, who later on took the reins of Islamic and Muslim revivalism in their hands. Three personalities deserve our special attention here: Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal, who carried the banner of revivalism in South Asia, Sayyid Qutb in the Arab world and Ali Shariti, son of the Mesopotamian civilization. All the three had the similarity of visiting and studying in the west, and during their stay they became disgusted with the Western way of life, started to revolt and came back to their native countries and worked for what they upheld as Islamic Revivalism for the rest of their lives, and the latter two were martyred for their activism regarding what they assumed as Islamic Revivalism. Ali Shariati ---- The present book under review discusses Ali Shariati’s views on religion, by the noted author Mir Mohammad Ibrahim. The book is divided into four chapters, and a long Prologue is penned down by the veteran academic and researcher Dr Hamid Naseem Rafiabadi, who discusses various theories about the origin of religions, and concludes Islam as the best among all religions. In his Introduction, Ibrahim points out that, “Shariati is more concerned with the impact, usage and outcome of religious beliefs, instead of examining a belief from philosophical, scientific, logical and theological point of view. He impresses upon his readers to see whether a belief bestows a sense of responsibility, awareness, human values and boost to push forward humanity in the process of being to becoming or not”. Shariati’s religion makes him more responsible, emphatic towards humanity, which resists the status quo, in a similar manner in which Marx said that Philosophers have discovered the world, but the point is to change it and unlike Marx Shariati’s religion isn’t opium for the people, though he acknowledges the abuse of religion too, as Ibrahim further describes that according to Shariati, “Religion has played both Positive and Negative role and it is an amazing phenomenon which plays contradictory roles in the life of human beings. It destroys and revitalizes, puts to sleep and awakens, enslaves and emancipates, teaches docility and revolt. Shariati acclaims that the history of Islam itself is the story of these contradictory roles of religion among various social classes. It is the history of the war of Islam against Islam and even war of Quran against Quran”. The first chapter titled Concept of Religion: An Analysis, discusses the definition of religion from various sources as well as the theories about religion. The concept of religion too is discussed from historical, psychological, philosophical, Marxist, rational and other perspectives. At last Ali Shariati’s views about religion are emboldened, deliberated and discussed. Typology of Religion is discussed in the second chapter, which deals with the Non Semitic religions only though it is too acknowledged that distinction of religions as Semitic and Non Semitic is flawed because Quran says that to each nation we have indeed sent a Prophet, and maybe what we bracket as Non Semitic religions may in fact be Semitic ones too. Chapter third discuses Ideological Foundations of Islam and Islam holds a Tauhidic(monotheistic) way of life, plus the relationship between Islam and Science is too taken in account, bringing out its flaws with other religions especially Christianity whose clergy distorted the scripture, exploited the masses in the name of religion and reduced the religion to a mere tool of satisfying their material lust, thus Christianity had to suffer heavily in the aftermath of Renaissance which was other way round with Islam. Revolutionary Dimensions of Islam is the fourth chapter of the book and Shariati describes Imamate Ijtihad Enjoining good and forbidding evil and Hajj as the revolutionary pillars of Islam though Ibrahim describes Shariati’s theory of Imamate as partial, “Shariati tried to approach the concept of Imamate sociologically and came out with some highly scintillating, yet inconclusive insights in this intricate subject. Despite his unorthodox views about the subject, he was not successful in advocating a convincing theory of Imamate, as evident in the writings of Murtza Mutahhari or even Ayatullah Khomeni. His emphasis on the downtrodden masses and redressal of their problems, spells out clearly his permanent obsession with the Marxian paradigm of revolutionary leadership. In general Muslims, there is concept of Khilafat, which fulfils the domain of guardianship of Muslim ummah after Prophet of Islam”, (P-184) Shariati was an intellectual par excellence, but unlike the arm chair intellectuals who spent their whole lives writing tomes, attending seminars and presenting papers but Shariati was public intellectual and activist who worked to narrow down the gap between Intellectuals and Ignorant masses, as he opines that, “At present on the one hand, the intelligentsia pursue life in an ivory tower without having any understanding of their own society, and on the other hand, the uneducated masses are deprived of the wisdom and knowledge of the very same intellectuals whom they have sponsored(albeit indirectly) and for whose flourishing they provide. The greatest responsibility of those who wish to rebuild their society and bring together the unintegrated, and at times, antagonistic elements of the society into a harmonious whole is to bridge the gap between these two poles-the pole of theory and the pole of practice- and to fill this great abyss of alienation between the masses and the intellectuals”.(P-217-218). Overall the book is a welcome read, and scholarly addition to Shariati studies. The author deserves our appreciation and encouragement for penning down the scholarly treatise, and the printing is of high quality despite few grammatical and spelling mistakes which sour the taste, but the price of the book makes it affordable for all to enrich their personal study. ----- Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander is Writer-Activist based in Srinagar, Kashmir 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

No City in the Islamic World Features Among the Top Ten Most Liveable Cities

Asian and African Cities Are the Worst to Live In Main Points: 1. Vienna is the most liveable city in the world. 2. Three cities of Canda feature in the top ten cities. 3. Two cities of Switzerland feature in the list. 4. Damascus is the worst city in the world to live in. 5. Karachi is also one of the worst cities to live in. ------ By New Age Islam Staff Writer 29 June 2022 The Economist Intelligence Unit, a sister concern of the Economist has released 2022's Global Liveability Index. It has presented the result of a survey of 173 countries of the world and ranked them according to their liability during the year. It judged the cities under 30 quantitative and qualitative parameters clustered into five groups such as stability, health care, culture & environment, education and infrastructure. According to the survey, Austria's Vienna was declared the most liveable city in the world and tops the list of 173 countries. Second in the list is Denmark's Copenhagen. In fact Denmark has the honour of having four countries in the top ten liveable cities. The other three cities are Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. Switzerland's Zurich features third in the list. Another country from Switzerland featuring among the top ten is Geneva. The List Of Top Ten Cities Among The 173 Countries Is As Below: 1. Vienna ----Austria 2. Copenhagen -----Denmark 3. Zurich -----------Switzerland 4. Calgary -----Canada 5. Vancouver ----- Canada 6. Geneva ------+- Switzerland 7. Frankfurt --- Germany 8. Toronto -------Denmark 9. Amsterdam ----Netherland 10. Osaka ----- Japan The only country from Asia in the top ten is Osaka of Japan. Now let's take a look at the bottom of the list or on the ten worst cities of the world to live in. Damascus of Syria is at the bottom that is on the 173rd position being the worst city in the world to live in. All the ten worst cities are from Asia and Africa. Karachi of Pakistan, Dhaka of Bangladesh and Tehran of Iran are among the ten worst cities to live in. The list of ten worst cities is as follows: 1. Tehran ------Iran 2. Douala ------Cameron 3. Harare ------ Zimbabwe 4. Dhaka -------Bagladesh 5. Port Moresby ----PNG 6. Karachi ------Pakistan 7. Algeria -----Algiers 8. Tripoli -------Libya 9. Lagos -------Nigeria 10. Damascus ---Syria The Global Liveability Index therefore, brings before us the social and economic instability, poverty, educational backwardness and lack of development of the Asian and African countries. Unfortunately, no city from the oil rich and mineral rich Muslim countries has been able to capture a place among the top ten liveable cities. On the contrary, Tehran, Dhaka, Tripoli, Algeria, Karachi and Damascus have been judged the worst. Damascus, Tripoli and Algiers have become the worst cities due to civil war, internal strife and militant and terrorist violence that has been going on there for years or decades. But Iran, Pakistan and Bangladesh too could not build cities that may be a model in the world. Karachi is really one of the worst cities in the world because of the gun culture, terrorism and sectarian strife that claims a couple of lives on a daily basis and because of its poor infrastructure and civic facilities. But it is surprising that no city from the UK and America has featured in the top ten. The reason seems to be their stagnant economy and society because of their ancient character. Their vibrancy is disappearing and new cities offering economic and trade opportunities and social and political stability and sustainability have greater promise for people and businesses. But at the same time the absence of some vibrant cities of the Arab or Middle East countries in the list also strikes the mind. For example, Dubai is the most vibrant city in the Middle East but it has not featured in the top ten. In previous years also Dubai featured in the list at 72nd position though according to World Atlas Dubai is "One of most well-known tourist destinations in the world. Dubai is the biggest city of UAE. The city is based on the Persian Gulf’s southeast coast and serves as the capital city of the Emirate of Dubai. Dubai has emerged as one of the biggest cosmopolitan cities of the world and the business hub of the Middle East. The city is famous for its ambitious constructional projects like the Palm Islands and “ The World” which are artificial islands off the coast of Dubai. Dubai’s economy is mainly dependent on international trade and to a small extent on oil that is a limited resource in the city. Tourism, real estate, aviation, and financial services are also major sources of revenue in Dubai. The city is the world’s 22nd most expensive city and the most expensive one in the region. In 2014, the hotel rooms in Dubai were ranked as the second most in the world after those in Geneva. After Dubai, another city that is known internationally for its vibrant economy, political stability, low crime rate and sustainability is Abu Dhabi. According to World Atlas, Abu Dhabi, the capital of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, is UAE’s second most populous city. The city is a modern metropolis and a major political, economic, cultural, and commercial center in the region. Abu Dhabi accounts for nearly 2/3rds of the economy of UAE. Like Dubai, Abu Dhabi also has a multicultural and diverse society. Sharjah is UAE’s third biggest city and is located on the Arabian Peninsula along the Persian Gulf’s southern coast. It is the capital of Emirate of Sharjah. The city contributes 7.4% of the UAE’s GDP and is a major centre of industry and culture in the region. The city has been designated as a WHO healthy city. Some analysts feel that such surveys are designed to attract the attention of global businesses and trade and investment stake holders towards particular cities or countries. The cultural and regional bias may also play some role in the survey. However, it is also a grim reality that most of the Muslim majority countries both in the Asian and African regions have been going through terrorism, militant nationalism and strife. Due to this, poverty, instability, insecurity, economic and educational backwardness and political instability are prevalent there. The capital city of India and the economic capital of India New Delhi and Mumbai are ranked 112 and 117 respectively in the list for the same reason. During the last few years, political instability, religious fanaticism and lawlessness has increased in India and so the cities of India also could not win a respectable place in the Global Liveability Index. Two years ago, Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi had conducted a survey of Indian cities on the parameters of citizens' perception, sustainability and economic ability. Delhi had ranked 6th while Mumbai had ranked 5th in the list. But both the cities could not win a place in the top ten in the GLI. The reason is social and communal strife, unemployment and the culture of violence in India. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw had drawn the attention of the government towards this bitter truth. The survey of the Economic Intelligence Unit may be biased on some counts but we cannot deny the fact that Asian and African countries have not been able to raise themselves above religious, sectarian and racial bias and work towards creating a liveable society. The survey is an eye opener for the Muslim society which has not been able to build an ideal and liveable society despite all their wealth and natural resources. 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

Buddhist Mystic Poetry Greatly Influenced Islamic Sufi Poetry

By S. Arshad, New Age Islam 29 June 2022 Persian and Urdu Poetry Have Borrowed Style and Diction from Buddhist Mystic Songs Main Points: 1. Charyapada and Doha are the oldest poetic genres developed by Buddhist mysticism. 2. Many Buddhist Siddhacharyas were mystic poets. 3. Buddhist mystic songs are the oldest specimens of poetry in India. 4. Persian and Urdu Sufi poets of Iran, Afghanistan and India emulated Buddhist mystic poets. ------ It is an established fact that Islamic Sufism has derived its features, ideas and philosophy from spiritual philosophy of different religions and spiritual groups. It has borrowed ideas and practices from Upanishads and Buddhist and Christian mysticism. The great Arab Sufi poet Ibn Arabi wrote his Sufi treatise Fusus al Hikam after getting inspiration from a Sanskrit book on Hindu mysticism or Advaitavad and after that the Philosophy of Monism (Wahdat ul Wujud) became very popular among the Muslim Sufis of India and Persia. The tradition of monasteries in Islamic Sufism is the result of Christian monasticism and Buddhist Viharas. The philosophy of merging or dissolution of self into the Supreme self our Spirit called Fana to attain Baqa (eternal bliss) in Islamic self is also due to the influence of Upanishadic and Buddhist philosophy. Apart from the philosophical and ideological influence, the Islamic Sufism was also greatly influenced by the Buddhist mystic poetry. It is widely known that Sufis used poetry as a means to attain spiritual ecstasy (Wajd or Haal) and to express their complex and deep spiritual experiences and philosophical ideas not meant for laymen. Therefore, they started composing poetry on the lines of Buddhist poetry. Many Buddhist poets composed poetry in ancient poetic genres called Charyapada and Doha. These poems have a distinct style, and peculiar metaphors, similes symbols and allegories are used in these poems to convey mystic ideas and experiences in suggestive language. Since Buddhism is divided into more than 18 sects and sub-sects, they have different beliefs and practices and every sect believes that their way only leads to the Supreme Truth. Mahayana and Hinayana or Theravada are two major sects but Mahayana branched into more sub-sects like Vajrayana and Mantrayana. In Vajrayana or Mantrayana, Mantra, Tantra or the meditation on deities are prescribed. Vajrayana believes in Vamachara (belief in the effectiveness of the use of sexual union, consumption of wine or meat and other intoxicants) in the attainment of spiritual bliss called Mahasukh or Nirvan. Therefore, in Buddhist poetry, wine or sexual union, ecstasy, lover, the beloved etc all get a spiritual meaning. All these poetic tools are used in Buddhist songs to express spiritual ideas and experiences. For example, two translations of Buddhist Charya Padas are reproduced below: (1) Kulish and Karuna are united The army is in deep sleep The senses are won over Great Bliss becomes king of the Void The shell played the 'anahata sound' The magic tree and the worldly powers fled away Kukkripa raised his finger aloft and said: In the city of Bliss all has been won over The three worlds became filled with Great Bliss So says Kukkripa in Great Bliss (Poet Kukkuri Pad) ------ (2) The wine maker woman entered the two rooms She prepared wine from fine bark Hold me still and prepare wine So that your shoulders remain stout When signs appear on the tenth door The customer flows in spontaneously The wine was filled to the brim in 64 pitchers When the customer comes in does not go out A pitcher with narrow neck Birua says, hold on still and pour it cautiously (Poet Birua Pad) --- In the first Charyapada, Kulish and Karuna represent the soul of the devotee and the Supreme Soul and their union is being described. The army is the army of sensual abd material desires which have gone to sleep as a result of the devotee's union with the Supreme Self. The shell is the metaphor of the heart (the heart resembles a shell) and it plays 'anahata sound'. In Sufi terminology, 'anahata sound' is called Latifa (very subtle sound emanating from the heart). These sounds are of six kinds and so they are called Lataif-e-Sitta. In the second Charyapada, the use of similar metaphors, that of wine (Sharab or May wine maker or Saqi, the customer (rind or Badakash), two rooms (Maikhana) were later used in Persian and Urdu poetry. Other similes and metaphors like garden, deer, hunter, net, forest etc found similar metaphors in Dasht, Ghazali or doe eyed damsel, gulshan, saiyad, jaal etc in Urdu and Persian sufi poetry particularly ghazal. To establish that Urdu and Persian poetry or Islamic Sufi poetry was influenced by the Buddhist poetry, we need to establish that Buddhist mystic poetry preceded Islamic Sufi poetry. And there are enough evidences to prove that. In 1906, the eminent Bengali linguist and researcher of Bengal Pandit Harprasad Shastri discovered four a palm leaf manuscripts of Buddhist songs called Charyapada and Dohas from Nepal Royal library. The manuscripts were prepared in the 14th century and the songs contained in them were composed between the 8th century and 12th century. The songs and Dohas were composed by Siddhas of Buddhism and Nath Panth (an offshoot of Tantric Buddhism). In Tibetan language, a similar manuscript of hundred Charyapadas called Charyagitikosh existed. It is evident that Buddhist mystic sings or Doha were in vogue and popular even before the 8th century AD and the Buddhist Siddhacharyas compiled the best Charya Padas available in the 14th century. Now let's find out how old is Islamic Sufi poetry in Persian and Urdu and its relation with Buddhist mystic songs. Although the tradition of Islamic Sufism can be traced back to the second or third century Hijri, Islamic Sufism attained a distinct ideological and philosophical identity around the 5th century. The first prominent Sufi who also composed couplets in Arabic was Hadhrat Rabia Basri who belonged to the 8th century. Her couplets were simple expressions of love of God and devotion. The first Sufi who expressed Sufi ideas in Arabic poetry is Yahya Ma'az Razi. He belonged to the 9th century. Another famous Persian Sufi poet was Shaikh Ibrahim Khwas who belonged to the 9th century. Sufi poet Shaikh Mahmood Shabistary belonged to the 14th century. The famous Persian Sufi poet Maghribi belonged to the 14th century.Shaikh Abu Sayeed al Khair belonged to the 11rh century AD. Persian Sufi poet Shaikh Ibrahim Iraqi was born in Hamdan, travelled to Multan in India then went to Egypt and finally settled in Syria where he died. Sufis would travel to distant countries and through them ideas and philosophies would spread to fa off continents. Sufi poet Hussain bin Mansur Hallaj travelled to India and was influenced by Buddhist and Upanishadic philosophy of Fana. There are other Persian Sufis like Rumi and Attar who accepted Buddhist and Upanishadic influences on their poetry. Since consumption of wine, and illicit union between a man and a woman is a taboo in Islam, the use of wine or of sexual union between a man and his consort in Islamic sufi poetry is only under the influence of the Buddhist mystic songs.Since Islamic sufis borrowed mystic poetry from Buddhism they also borrowed poetic tools of Buddhist mystic poetry to express their spiritual thoughts and experiences. One important metaphor in Buddhist mystic poetry is that of deer. In India deer are found in abundance in jungles and Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon in a deer forest in Sarnath. But the use of deer or deer forest in the Sufi poetry of an Arab Sufi poet Ibn Arabi is surprising. This only hints at the influence Muslim Sufis of Arab and Ajam accepted from Buddhist mystic songs. The camel, not a deer is a natural metaphor in Arabic poetry. Another distinct feature of Buddhist songs is the use of Takhallus (nom de plume) in the last couplet of the songs. Every song has the pen name of the poet in the last couplet though in some songs, the pen name is also used in the beginning or in the middle. In Arabic Ghazal the tradition of using pen name or Takhallus did not exist. The Takhallus in Persian Ghazals was first used in the 12th century and became an essential feature of Ghazals in the 13th century. Later, in Bhakti poetry of Indian poets like Kabir, Lalan Fakir, and Sufi poetry of Baba Farid, Ameer Khusrau etc. Takhallus became an essential part of songs, dohas and Ghazals. But fundamentally, the use of t Takhallus or bhanita has been borrowed from Buddhist poetry. It is evident from the discussion carried above that Buddhism not only influenced Islamic Sufism but also Buddhist poetry contributed a lot to the style and diction of Islamic sufi poetry and the popular Persian and Urdu poetic genre Ghazal. ----- S. Arshad is a columnist with 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

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Two Radicalised Muslim Terrorists Slaughter A Hindu Tailor In Udaipur Rajasthan Over Alleged Blasphemy: Sensible Response From Ulema Awaited On This Incidence Of Islamist Terrorism, Now In India Too

--------------------------------------------------------------------- We expect the Ulema to condemn this ghastly murder and incidence of Islamist terrorism in the country in the strongest terms, without any circumlocution. But will they also rethink their response to so called acts of blasphemy which keep happening around the world and offending Muslims to the point of them losing their heads. How long will the Ulema remain silent on this spiralling issue? Will they also own some responsibility for creating this madness among Muslims over cases of so-called blasphemy in the first place? --------------------------------------------------------------------- Two Radicalised Muslim Youth Try To Slit The Accused's Throat With A Cleaver In The Name Of The Honour Of The Prophet Main Points: 1. Two Muslim youth kill a Hindu tailor in his shop in broad day light. 2. The tailor had reportedly posted a picture in support of Nupur Sharma, who had made blasphemous remarks against the prophet, on social media. 3. The victim had received death threats from the assailants before the murder. 4. The victim had lodged an FIR against the assailants with the police but no action was taken to protect him. ------ By New Age Islam Staff Writer 28 June 2022 A Hindu shopkeeper (L) was killed in Udaipur by two men (R) over a social media post in support of Nupur Sharma. ---- The tensions that had been brewing in the country since the last month over the blasphemous remarks made by a BJP leader Nupur Sharma culminated in the ghastly murder of a tailor named Kanhaiya Lal Teli in Udaipur in the Rajasthan state of India today. According to media reports, the victim had posted a picture suggesting his support to Nupur Sharma on his social media account ten days ago. This had resulted in resentment in the Muslim society. The two killers, now arrested by the police, had allegedly threatened Mr. Kanhaiya with dire consequences. The victim had lodged a named FIR against the two assailants expressing threat to his life but, as usual, the police did not take his fears seriously. Kanhaiya who ran his tailoring shop named Supreme Tailor in the Dhan Mandi Area of the city was afraid and had not opened his shop for five or six days due to a threat perception. On 28th June, the two bearded assailants in their twenties came to their shop at about 2:30 PM and said to him that they wanted a shirt to be sewn. The tailor started taking measurements totally unaware of their plan. Suddenly they attacked him with a meat cleaver and unsuccessfully tried to slit his throat. Though they couldn’t sever his head, the injury was so grievous Mr. Kanhaiya died. One of them made a video of the slaughter with his phone while the other tried to slit Kanhaiya's throat in a ruthless manner. After the killing, they two fled and posted the video of the slaughter on social media triumphantly claiming responsibility. This naturally caused outrage and sparked protests in the city. The people prevented the police from lifting the dead body demanding the arrest of the killers, Rs 50 lakh compensation and an employment for the kin. The killers even threatened the PM Modi saying their knife will get him too soon. The Chief Minister of Rajasthan condemned the incident and said that the guilty would not be spared. He appealed for calm saying the atmosphere in the country is already tense and people should not allow it to deteriorate. Meanwhile, people have hit the streets in protests. In some places, the protests have turned violent. Heavy police force including STF has been pressed in service and they have taken the forensic samples from the site. According to the latest reports, the two culprits have been arrested. They had posted a video of themselves making a confessional statement saying they did the killing. The video of the slaughter is doing rounds in the social media which is extremely outrageous and so the police officers have appealed to the people not to circulate or watch the video. Heavy police force has been posted in the city to prevent any escalation of the tension, curfew has been imposed and internet connection has been suspended. That the assassins resorted to slitting with a knife reminds one of the slogan usually made in Pakistan against those insulting the prophet: Gustakh-e-Rasul ki ek saza, Sar tan se juda sar tan se juda ( There is only one punishment for those insulting the prophet and that is beheading him. ) During the protests in India over remarks made by Nupur Sharma against the prophet, this slogan was also heard in some places. A couple of months ago, two lady teachers slit the throat of a lady teacher of the same school in Pakistan because they considered her a gustakh-e-rasul (a blasphemer) due to her difference of opinion on religious issues. For the last one month, the Muslims had been protesting against Nupur Sharma's remarks and demanding her arrest. A large section of the Hindu population had also condemned Ms Sharma's remarks and supported the Muslims' demand of her arrest and legal action under Indian laws. Muslims had also been demanding her arrest and legal action. But despite FIRs lodged against her, she could not be arrested. This was causing desperation among the Muslims. To make matters worse, a procession was taken out in Nupur Sharma's support and a journalist named Md Zubair of Alt News who had posted the clip showing Nupur Sharma's statement, had been arrested only a day ago sparking countrywide protests. The killing of Mr. Kanhaiya is a heinous crime which should be condemned in strongest possible words. Any crime should be dealt with under the legal provisions of the country and no one can be allowed to take the law in his own hands. Going against the law of the land is against the Shariah and the guilty should be punished according to the law. The government should also handle the situation with the sensitivity it deserves. The Muslims should not get influenced by what extremists practice in Pakistan. The Muslims of India should adhere to the spirit of tolerance and have faith in the democratic values and the law and the judiciary of the country. We expect the Ulema to condemn this ghastly murder and incidence of Islamist terrorism in the country in the strongest terms, without any circumlocution. But will they also rethink their response to so called acts of blasphemy which keep happening around the world and offending Muslims to the point of them losing their heads. How long will the Ulema remain silent on this spiralling issue? Will they also own some responsibility for creating this madness among Muslims over cases of so-called blasphemy in the first place? 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

Tunisia: Deleting Islam from the Constitution; Having No State Religion Can Be the Start of a New Era for This Muslim Country with a Long Secular Tradition

By Arshad Alam, New Age Islam 28 June 2022 Separating Religion from State Is One Thing That Muslim Countries around the World Need to Work On Main Points: 1. Tunisia, a Muslim majority country is all set to have a religion neutral state, to be decided by a referendum next month 2. If successful, it will take away the most important source of legitimacy of Islamist politics 3. The president is being accused of being dictatorial, but many also feel that he is the last hope of secularism in the country ----- Tunisian President Kais Saied (L), President receiving the new constitution (R), images via Tunisian Presidency on Twitter ----- Tunisia is all set to drop Islam from its constitution. The new constitution has been drafted by law professor, Sadeq Beleid, and a copy of it has been presented to the president, Kais Saied. Incidentally, the president, whom many accuse of being a dictator, has been a law professor himself, and is widely expected to ratify the new constitution. However, before that happens, there will be a referendum in the country on the issue in which citizens will have the opportunity to discuss the merits and demerits of such a move. If ratified, it will be for the first time in Tunisia’s history that Islam will not be a state religion. It is noteworthy that although the majority of the population is Muslim, the state is not governed by the Sharia law but by a European legal code which was bequeathed to it by its colonial master. The country has had a robust secular tradition but Islam has always remained on the statute books. What does it mean to not have a state religion? And how will it impact state and society relations? Firstly, analysts have pointed out that despite Tunisia being governed by a western legal system, many in the judiciary keep making references to Islam since it is part of the constitution. Once it is removed, it will not be possible to make such references since the judiciary will no longer be obligated to do so. We also need to understand that Sharia is an important tool in the hands of Islamists. Wherever they have been, one of their pet projects have been the demand to implement the Sharia. If the religion of the state is Islam, then this becomes a rallying point for the Islamists as they can always turn around and accuse the government of not being true to the constitution. Removing the word Islam will make sure that that Islamists will lose an important anchor to articulate their claims. Pakistan is a good example of how even a small band of articulate clergy can hold the government to ransom in the name of Islam. As the state is committed to Islam, it simply cannot wriggle away when demands to implement aspects of it are made. It also needs to be pointed out that Ennahda, the largest Islamist movement in Tunisia, became the ruling government after the Arab Spring. However, due to its own electoral compulsion and in order to show a moderate face, Ennahda made a series of compromises, one of which was to abandon the demand for implementing Sharia. In fact, in 2014, it declared that the party would no longer claim political Islam but rather they should be seen as Muslim democrats. Observers of the movement have argued that due to such flip flops, its social base within the poor and lower middle classes suffered and today the party no longer holds the authority that it used to earlier. Moreover, the Ennahda could never really win over the secularists as the latter were always suspicious of its motives. This is certainly good news for the president who would have faced tough resistance from Ennahda if it was in a powerful position. This is not to suggest that Ennahda is on the side of President Saied. It opposes him, but on the issue of tyranny and dictatorship, not so much on what the current government is planning to do with Islam. Ennahda is not the sole opposition in Tunisia, there are left leaning workers collective which are quite powerful but none of them have criticized Saied for his proposal to remove Islam from the constitution. They are certainly opposed to him for his failure to get the country back to democracy. But those opposed to Saied are also opposed to the Islamist vision of the Ennahda and hence would not like to align with on this crucial issue. It appears then that when the referendum is held on July 25, Tunisia might become the first country in that region to declare that the state will have no religion of its own. Difficulties to achieve this remain. The country is facing unprecedented economic crisis but the current president is hugely popular. Surveys have consistently underscored his popularity, especially amongst the youth. When successive governments loot and pillage the country, populist leaders rise to fill the gap and this is what seems to be happening in Tunisia too. For many in Tunisia, Saied offers the last hope to bring the country back on the path of economic recovery. For many, he is also the last bulwark around which secular forces can script a new chapter in Tunisia’s history. Terrorist groups must be watching the situation very closely. In 2015, Daesh attacked the Bardo museum killing 22 people. Shortly afterwards, they attacked the Sousse, a tourist resort killing 38 people and majorly affecting the tourism industry. Terrorists always have multiple agendas to fulfil but one of the important one is that they do not want moderate Islam to take root in any country. Tunisia is at the cusp of such a transition and it would be a remarkable achievement if it happens without overt violence. Separating religion from state is one thing that Muslim countries around the world need to work on. ---- 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

Muslim Family Law in the Modern World

By Grace Mubashir, New Age Islam 28 June 2022 Major Countries In The Arab World That Adhere To Such Classical Family Law Are Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Kuwait, And The Seven Trucial States Main Points: 1. Countries that still follow the old family law of Islam without any change. These laws are still not codified here. 2. Countries where the law, which was passed by the legislature instead of abandoning all Islamic family law, is in force. These laws apply to all citizens, regardless of religion. 3. Countries that have amended the existing Islamic Family Law in their respective areas with the new legislation. These reforms have been made by adopting certain provisions in other branches of Islamic law or by imposing some restrictions on some of its existing provisions. ----- Here we are talking about countries where family laws are regulated according to Islamic Sharia. . Muslim countries that follow Islamic family law can be divided as follows. 1. Countries that still follow the old family law of Islam without any change. These laws are still not codified here. 2. Countries where the law, which was passed by the legislature instead of abandoning all Islamic family law, is in force. These laws apply to all citizens, regardless of religion. 3. Countries that have amended the existing Islamic Family Law in their respective areas with the new legislation. These reforms have been made by adopting certain provisions in other branches of Islamic law or by imposing some restrictions on some of its existing provisions. The present state of Muslim family law in the above three countries can be summarized as follows: Countries That Follow Traditional Family Law In many countries where Islam is the national religion or the main religion, the non-codified traditional laws of the respective areas are still followed without any change. The major countries in the Arab world that adhere to such classical family law are Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the seven Trucial States (the Arab states that were at peace with the British government). According to the constitution of Saudi Arabia, all the laws must be in accordance with the Qur'an, the Sunnah, and the procedure adopted by the Prophet's followers. Therefore, the country has a traditional legal system according to the 'Hambali' branch of Islamic law. In Yemen, the family law of the Sayyid branch of Islam (Shia influenced) is followed. An attempt a few years ago to reform its principles was not successful. Muslims in the People's Republic of South Yemen follow the classical family law of the Shafi'i or Hanafi sect. They are still not codified (this was prior to merging of two Yemen in 1991). Kuwait is still the center of classical family law. The people are generally of Maliki sect. In addition to the aforementioned Arab states, there are two other Islamic countries in Asia that follow common Islamic law, namely Afghanistan and the Maldives. According to the Constitution of Afghanistan, the religion of the nation is Islam; Religious ceremonies in the state are performed according to the 'Hanafi' doctrine. No modifications have been made to it. The whole of Maldives Sultanate is Muslim. There 'Shafi' family law matters. In Chad, Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Somalia, where Islam is predominant in Africa, there has been no legislation to reform the existing Islamic family law. Elsewhere in Nigeria, the rules of family ownership are the same as in the case of family and succession. If we move from countries where Islam is important to parts of Asia, Europe and Africa where Muslim minorities live, we can see many countries where the principles of the old Islamic family law still exist. In Thailand, some amendments to the ancient family law have only affected the majority of Buddhists. Thai Muslims are exempt from this. They followed the old 'Shafi' family law. This is the situation of the Muslim minority in Burma. Under the obligation embodied in the treaty between Greece and Yugoslavia in Europe, all necessary steps must be taken to uphold the principle that "for Muslims, family law and the status of the individual should be determined by the Muslim system." Thus, in Greece, wherever the Ottoman Empire left in 1913, the usual Islamic law was enforced by the Muftis (Muslim judges). In such cases, Yugoslav Muslims also practice Islamic law in accordance with certain national laws. In Africa, in Ethiopia, Ghana, the Gold Coast, Uganda, and Sierra Leone, Muslim citizens respect the same classical Islamic family law as the local interpretation. One more thing is noteworthy here. Many of the aforementioned countries have secular constitutions where the old Islamic law is still preserved. Some governments in those countries are driven by communist ideology. Countries That Follow Secular Family Laws In a few countries, Muslims follow the same general rules of government as citizens of other religions in family law and succession. In these countries, Islamic family law is being systematically abandoned. Most of these revolutions have taken place in recent times which have a significant impact on the religious life of the citizens. In some countries, the outside world has little knowledge of the family law applicable to Muslim citizens. Muslim citizens have a majority in only two countries where Islamic law has been completely abandoned. These countries are Turkey and Albania. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, some of these civil laws were adopted, based on Western law. The model of the Turkish Civil Code of 1926 is the Swiss Civil Code of 1912. Some things have just changed in line with Islamic principles. However, with the exception of inheritance, the Turkish Civil Code does not conflict so seriously with Islamic law in family law. No information is available on the nature and origin of the Albanian Civil Code of 1928. Zanzibar, a component of Tanzania, is predominantly Muslim; there has recently been a marriage law passed that applies to all religions. Similarly, in Kenya, where Muslims are a minority, a new marriage law has been enacted that applies equally to all citizens. As a result, the old Muslim marriage law has been replaced by a new one in these countries. Elsewhere, Islamic tradition continues to apply to Muslim citizens. However, the new marriage laws in the two countries are not contrary to the basic tenets of Islamic family law. The Muslim minorities in the Philippines and the Soviet Union enforce secular family laws that apply equally to all others. Under the Republic Act No. 394 of 1949, Filipino Muslims were granted a leave of absence. Accordingly, arrangements were made to maintain the local 'Shafi' family law for a period of twenty years. In the six Central Asian republics of the Soviet Union, Islamic law was gradually abandoned in the decade following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Countries That Have Amended Islamic Family Law The countries in the third category mentioned above have recently made amendments to the old Islamic family laws. These include fundamental, statutory, or both laws. The fundamental law reforms made in these countries should be described as reforms in the local Muslim branch of law. This is because what has been done there is not a complete overhaul of Muslim law. The usual way of doing this is to adopt and enforce other Muslim laws that are not prevalent in a particular country. Elections are held on the basis of principles and legal opinions of other branches of Muslim law. The newly adopted family laws in these countries will be based on any one or more legal concepts within the framework of Islam. Sometimes two or more comments are added. Turkey was the first country to make such amendments to Islamic family law. One such amendment was the Ottoman Law on Family Rights of 1917; this law is now applicable to Muslims in Lebanon. Between 1920 and 1940, Egypt undertook several legislative reforms. The way to do this was as mentioned earlier. The 'Hanafi' - 'Shafi' family rules were amended to suit the local Muslims. Other countries that have implemented such reforms are: Sudan, Jordan, Syria, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan. It is noteworthy that all these countries are Islamic states. In a country where Muslims are a minority, it is only in India that a part of the Muslim Family Law - that is, the right of a woman to obtain a divorce through the courts - has been amended by legislation. However, the Muslim minorities in Israel and Cyprus observe some important changes in the Islamic Family Code; these are adapted from other countries. The Ottoman Family Law of 1917 (passed in Turkey) was adopted by the Muslims of Lebanon as mentioned above. This is the same code that has been adopted by the Muslim minority in Israel. In Cyprus, the Muslim Law on Marriage and Divorce was codified in 1951. It was modeled on the Turkish Civil Code of 1926 on the same subject. In most of the above countries, the reform has been achieved by partially amending the fundamental law. On the contrary, many parts of the family law (e.g. divorce by husband) have been amended to include some restrictions. The fundamentals are retained. This has been done by empowering the courts, quasi-court bodies and administrative departments to have access to family matters. For example, all the new reforms in Pakistan are thus regulatory in nature. In five countries in South and East Asia, the Muslim Family Law has not been fundamentally amended, but it has not been left unaddressed. In three of these countries, the majority are Muslims -- Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia; They are a minority in the other two countries, namely Singapore and Ceylon. Extensive laws have been enacted to enforce Muslim family law throughout this country. These generally do not affect the fundamental principles of family law in force locally. However, the law contains a number of restrictions to prevent misuse of provisions such as polygamy and divorce. The scope of the two types of legal reforms, fundamental and regulatory, varies from country to country. In Lebanon, Jordan, Algeria, Iran, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Ceylon, only marriages, divorces and related matters have been reformed. None of the Islamic traditions of inheritance, whether by will or by will, have been changed in these countries. In contrast, Egypt has two separate laws regarding charity and will. Some provisions of these laws have been slightly amended in Sudan and Syria. Parts of the will law in Iraq have also been revised. In Tunisia and Morocco, the 'Maliki' principles of trust and will are almost completely codified; at the same time, some principles that are not in that branch have been adopted. Only one reform has been made in India; it is about the right of a Muslim woman to get a divorce through the courts. Of the reforms made in Pakistan, only one section, implemented in 1961, deals with unconditional succession. The rest is about marriage and divorce. An ordinance passed in Singapore in 1961 touches on matters of succession in addition to Muslim marriage and divorce. Of the reforms made in Pakistan, only one section, implemented in 1961, deals with unconditional succession. The rest is about marriage and divorce. An ordinance passed in Singapore in 1961 touches on issues of succession, in addition to Muslim marriage and divorce. The impact of the Muslim family law reforms in the above 20 countries mentioned above was felt in other parts of the world as well. There has been a long-running debate over whether it is possible to reform areas that touch indigenous Muslims under the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, which was passed in India in 1937. ------ A regular columnist for, Grace Mubashir is a journalism student at IIMC, 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

What Does The Quran Teach Us About Meditation, Thinking, And Reasoning? – Concluding Part

By Dr. Muhammad Waseh Zafar Translated from Urdu by Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam 28 June 2022 Ways to Meditation, Thinking and Reasoning in the Holy Quran Main Points 1. Allah commands people to consider the wisdom of His commands so that they may comprehend them fully. 2. The Quran promotes learning about jurisprudence (Fiqh) and purification (Tazkiyyah). 3. The Quran calls for thinking over the Past Nations ----- Thinking over the Commandments The fifth way of contemplation is prescribed by the verses in which Allah commands people to consider the wisdom of His laws so that they may comprehend them fully and put them into practical use in their daily lives. See for example: “They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, "In them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit." And they ask you what they should spend. Say, "The excess [beyond needs]." Thus Allah makes clear to you the verses [of revelation] that you might give thought.” (2:219) After speaking about the laws of retribution (qisas), Allah Almighty said: “And there is for you in legal retribution [saving of] life, O you [people] of understanding, that you may become righteous.” (2:179) He Almighty similarly described the element of fasting concession: “[Fasting for] a limited number of days. So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] - then an equal number of days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] - a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers excess - it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew.” (2:184) He Almighty said in connection with Friday prayers: “O you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu'ah [Friday], then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you if you only knew.” (62:9) There are other verses on this subject, such as Al-Baqarah: 185, 230, 240, 241 and 282, Surah Nisa: 23-26, Surah Maida: 89-100, Surah An’am:119, Surah Ankabut: 45, Surah Hashr: 7 etc. These verses promote learning about jurisprudence (Fiqh) and purification (Tazkiyyah), in which the arguments of the divine commands and spirit are discussed. But one should look for Sufi knowledge that is based on the Qur'an and the Sunnah rather than inventions (Bid'at) and superstitions. Thinking over the Past Nations The verses, which ask us to think about the methods of God Almighty, which permeated among the nations throughout the epochs of history, reveal the sixth method of meditation: “Have they not seen how many generations We destroyed before them which We had established upon the earth as We have not established you? And We sent [rain from] the sky upon them in showers and made rivers flow beneath them; then We destroyed them for their sins and brought forth after them a generation of others.” (6:6) “And the thunder exalts [Allah] with praise of Him - and the angels [as well] from fear of Him - and He sends thunderbolts and strikes there with whom He wills while they dispute about Allah; and He is severe in assault. To Him [alone] is the supplication of truth. And those they call upon besides Him do not respond to them with a thing, except as one who stretches his hands toward water [from afar, calling it] to reach his mouth, but it will not reach it [thus]. And the supplication of the disbelievers is not but in error [i.e. futility].” (13:13-14) This guideline for believers is expressed elsewhere: “Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that - then those are defiantly disobedient.” (24:55) There are other verses on this subject such as: Surah Aal-e-Imran: 137-138, Surah An'am:11, SurahAl-A'raf: 96, 136-137, Surah Hud: 18-20, Surah Yusuf: 109, Surah Hajj: 40-41, Surah Naml: 69, Surah Qisas: 4-6, Surah Rum: 9 etc. These verses encourage the study of global history in order to comprehend the ways in which God Almighty interacted with earlier civilizations. To put it another way, what causes a nation to rise and develop, and what causes a nation to decline? Achieving the highest level of advancement and prosperity is possible if one is aware of these variables through historical research since, as the Qur'an states in the aforementioned verses, Allah Almighty's ways never alter. It should be remembered that the universe's accidents and changes, which scientists refer to as the Law of Nature, are continuations of the ways of Allah Almighty. In reality, science is the process of comprehending and explaining the beauties of these aspects of Allah, or the "natural laws." These details imply that the Quran has extended a reflection invitation to man. This arrangement exemplifies the benefits of meditation in daily life. This self-examination and reflection create the space for scientific investigation. According to the Quranic perspective, he will find himself immersed in a great ocean of knowledge no matter how he directs his thoughts. Since a Muslim is its special addressee, it is imperative for him to demonstrate his abilities in these fields, which have been highlighted in the above lines under various subheadings, and to avoid wasting one's abilities in other inappropriate and useless fields. Therefore, this emphasis on the reflection of the Holy Qur'an is actually an invitation to knowledge and research that has been given to all human beings. The Quran does not distinguish between religion and the outside world in terms of knowledge. The only thing promoted is an advantage of knowledge. As a result, the person who seeks the aforementioned knowledge does so with the intention of understanding Allah's power and craftsmanship, finding the signs of Allah that are scattered throughout the cosmos, and helping His creatures, especially the human world, with the ultimate goal of obtaining divine pleasure. If he follows through, his actions will be in accordance with Islam, making him eligible for all of the advantages of knowledge outlined in the Quran and Hadith. There was no such knowledge division in the past, not even in our religious seminaries and schools. The Quranic verses, which encourage reflection and thinking with the necessary knowledge and which brought Muslims to the apex of knowledge and progress and also led to the European Renaissance which is also acknowledged by Western thinkers, served as an inspiration for the intellectual capital that was created through the efforts of Muslim scholars in the fields of jurisprudence, commentary, principles of commentary, hadith, principles of hadith, mysticism, lexicography, history, as well as various sciences and mathematics. Unfortunately, the majority of Muslims began to value different scientific fields rather than the Quran as their source of guidance. As a result, they began to decline, and today, despite having the second-largest population in the world, they have no impact anywhere else. The community that formerly acted as the imam for other nations now is now looking at others for every knowledge. ..... Part 1 of the Article: What Does The Quran Teach Us About Meditation, Thinking, And Reasoning? Urdu Article: Several Ways to Meditation in the Holy Quran: Concluding Part قرآن کریم میں غور و فکر کے متعدد طریقے 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 Rumi's Introspective Silence Can Teach Us A Lot in These Artificial Times

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 28 June 2022 Whether It's A News Channel, Portal, Newspaper Or Any Medium, It's Often A Gush Of Thoughtless Words Main Points: 1. Too many words have eclipsed, nay engulfed, thoughts and thoughts sprout from the seeds of silence 2. Words give you a temporary euphoria but silence gives you eternal bliss. 3. Your intelligent silence can save many lives. ------ This is how it always is when I finish a poem. A great silence overcomes me and I wonder why I ever thought to use language. Rumi There is a way between voice and presence, where information flows. In disciplined silence it opens; with wandering talk it closes. Rumi Rumi's aforementioned quotes on silence have always moved me beyond words. These are not mere quotes but didactic lessons to be learnt from a great sage's unfathomable well of nous. At this moment, when the world has become so boisterous, humans need introspective/contemplative silence. Too many words have eclipsed, nay engulfed, thoughts and thoughts sprout from the seeds of silence. Whether it's a news channel, portal, newspaper or any medium, it's often a gush of thoughtless words. There's a new controversy or incident every day just because we've no control on our words. We've become too voluble. This volubility has become our liability. Now more than ever do we all need silence to understand our humane side and avoid all inanities that have obscured our true selves. Rumi further says in one of his Masnavis that words give you a temporary euphoria but silence gives you eternal bliss. “Hurt by my beloved's words, I chose silence to answer “(Rumi to Shams Tabriz). Had Nupur Sharma chosen to keep mum, she'd not have had to see this upheaval and global turmoil, caused by her impulsive reply. Even Muhammad says in one of his dubious and plagiarised Hadees (I already read this in the Assyrian Book of Wisdom, predating Islam by minimum three centuries): Your intelligent silence can save many lives. We all have an itch to blurt it out as most of us are motor-mouths. Seldom, if ever, are we bothered about the (dire) consequences our thoughtless words can cause. Psychologists believe that we often speak because we've nothing better to say or think. So, whatever garbage we've on our mind is poured out through the most inane words or lifeless symbols, read emojis in current context of conversation. People have become so impoverished from the perspective of words that in this age of social media, whenever someone dies, thousands of most stupid RIP messages flood your screen. Instead of writing simple ' my deepest condolences to the bereaved family,' brainless people routinely write 'May his 'soul' Rest in Peace.' No one knows what happens when one dies. It's the END. So, why should people use a litany of useless, perfunctory and monotonous words like rest in peace and soul? Our religious proclivity to use PBUH (peace be upon him) also suffers from this Volubility Syndrome. Rumi says, “When someone departs, I say nothing. Two pearls silently roll down my cheeks." And here, people are wishing the departed person to rest in peace! Where? Do you've any sense and significance of the words you're using? Recently, an 'educated' lady wrote: May his soul rip! I wanted to add 'apart' to it, but refrained, lest it should be called Black Humour. I generally never say or write anything when one's no more because I know that mere words cannot justify a genuine sense of sorrow, loss and sadness. Ergo, there's no need to jump onto the bandwagon of professional mourners and Rudalis. So, it's time to exercise silence, meditative silence at that and try to make this world a tad less chaotic and vociferous. ---- 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

Was Shah Waliullah Dehlvi Pioneer Of Socialism?

By Saquib Salim, New Age Islam 27-06-2022 Shah Waliullah Dehlvi An Indian Scholar Of The Quran, Hadith, Logic, And Philosophy Had Proposed Socio-Economic System Much Before The Industrial Revolution Or The Birth Of Marx ----- The book of Shah Walliullah Dehlvi ----- The political and economic discourse of the last two centuries has been dominated by two diametrically opposite schools of thought, viz. Capitalism and Socialism. All other forms of polity and economies can be explained as by-products of one or the other. Socialism is an idea of the distribution of wealth justifiably among the citizens by the state while capitalism advocates a free market economy. It is not the place to divulge into nuances of these two theories. Often it is believed that Karl Marx was the first one to propose the ideas of socialism in the 19th century and his thoughts were developed after a reading of the conditions of industrial workers in Europe. So, essentially socialism, as a theory, can be assumed to be a result of the industrial revolution which occurred in the latter half of the 18th century. All these scholarships on socialism, or communism, have overlooked the fact that an Indian scholar had proposed a similar socio-economic system much before the industrial revolution or the birth of Marx. Shah Waliullah Dehlvi was an Indian scholar of the Quran, Hadith, logic, and philosophy, who lived in the 18th century. He studied Indian culture and civilization closely to understand the social, economic, and political interactions in the light of Islamic scriptures. Waliullah wrote several books to propagate his political and social ideas. He called his mission ‘Fakku Kulli Nizām’ (dissolving and revolutionizing every order), i.e., only political change was not enough rather revolutionizing every order of the society was as important to bring justice to the society. In his book, written in 1731, Ḥujjat Allāh al-Bāligha (Conclusive Arguments of God), Waliullah defined a process of social evolution and argued that civilizations had gradually evolved from primitive to caliphate through different stages. These arguments have quite a lot in common with Marx, who more than a century later, wrote about the need for a complete revolution and ideas of social evolution. Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi, an important freedom fighter of India, visited the USSR and studied Marxism to understand it. He concluded that the socio-economic system proposed by Marx was completely in agreement with Waliullah's ideas. Sindhi believed that Waliullah’s thoughts were superior and could be followed in entirety as they provided solutions to more problems than Marx could suggest. Waliullah in his book, Ḥujjat Allāh al-Bāligha (Conclusive Arguments of God) explained the need for a just economic system. Dr Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi of Darul Uloom, Deoband in his paper, Shah Waliullah: The Pioneer Thinker of the Modern World, has explained the socio-economic principles presented by Waliullah. Gathering from different chapters of Ḥujjat Allāh al-Bāligha, Qasmi explained: “He (Shah Waliullah) tried to develop a universal paradigm of the society so he laid down the foundation of economic and social theory which is well balanced and safeguards the economic and social interests of all the sections of humanity at large. The basic cause of wealth is labour. Labourers and farmers are earning faculties. Mutual assistance is the soul of civilization. Until a person is not working for the nation and people, he/she has no share in the wealth of the country. Gambling and profligacy centres should be wiped out as they cannot develop the right system of wealth distribution and cannot guarantee an increase in national wealth. In this way, the wealth is accumulated by a minor fraction of society. The labourers, farmers, and those who do mental labour for the country and nation deserve the wealth of the country the most. Their development and prosperity are synonymous with the development and prosperity of the country. A system that suppresses such faculties is bound to perish. A society that does not compensate labour or levies huge taxations on artisans and farmers is the enemy of the nation and it should be terminated. The consent of a needy labourer is not counted until he is paid for his labour, which is compulsory to pay on the principle of cooperation. Any production or revenue which is not based on the principle of mutual assistance is illegal. The work time should be confined. The labourers should necessarily be given a time in which they can provide themselves with moral and spiritual reformation and can have an ability to think about their future. Trade is a major source of mutual assistance; therefore, it must be functioning based on cooperation only. As it is not allowed for traders to affect the spirit of cooperation by black marketing and undue competition, the government is also prohibited to impede the progress and prosperity of trade by heavy taxation. Any business and trade that confines the circulation of wealth in any particular class of people is dangerous for a country. Such a royal system that intervenes in the right circulation of wealth due to extravagance and squandering deserves to be put to an end as quickly as possible so that the sufferings of the people come to an end and they are given equal rights.” Waliullah was not thinking about those living in palaces and changing crowns among themselves. He was worried about the common Indian and India of his times. His theory of society, economy, and politics was later identified as socialism but his name remained at the margins. It is time that we remember this great thinker who gave these socialist ideas much before the industrial revolution. Source: Was Shah Waliullah Dehlvi Pioneer Of Socialism? 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

Monday, June 27, 2022

Human Nature and the Quran and Hadith Are Sufficient To Frame the Set of ‘Natural Law’, Applicable Universally

By Mushtaq ul Haq Ahmad Sikandar, New Age Islam 27 June 2022 “Any Religious Concept Would Be Acceptable If It Is Logical, Rational And Scientifically Verifiable Both To Common Sense Of The Illiterate Common Human Being As Well As To The Intellectual Of Highest Calibre” Main Points 1. Philosophy has now few takers in Muslim world 2. Is philosophy essential to understand Islam and does Islam espouse a philosophy that is different? 3. The book argues many things but leaves many debates unaddressed, although its arguments need to be engaged with. ----- Natural World Order and the Islamic Thought Author: Mohammad Shafi Khan Publisher: Not Mentioned Price: Rs 120 Pages: 219 ----- Since the inception of Islam which culminated and reached its zenith with the Prophethood of Muhammad (SAW), world witnessed the rise, zenith, downfall and revival attempts of Muslim Civilization many times. This Muslim Civilization like other civilizations was unique in its various aspects especially when related to knowledge, learning and its expansion. It was obligatory injunction of Quran described in the first revealed verse Iqra (Read) which laid foundation of a knowledge thirsty community who in turn laid foundation of various new disciplines or introduced radical changes in the existing streams and fields of knowledge. Philosophy which was a forgotten and dead discipline was revived only due to the efforts of Muslim rulers who set up translation centres for rendering the philosophical texts from Greek into Arabic and Persian. Muslim philosophers added, criticized, deducted and evolved new philosophy from the edifice of Greek Philosophy which eventually led to the rise of a chain of philosophers among Muslims whose contributions are still counted by the world history and humanity, but as is the case with philosophy it raises questions and doubts in minds, whirlpools in faith and hair splitting temperament in the society and Muslim Qaumi was no exception to the same hence giving rise to scores of philosophers who were trying to justify Quranic Principles on the basis of Philosophic Dialectics or Logic or others who were trying to reconcile the same, with philosophy enjoying an upper hand thus a yardstick for interpreting Quran as understood in the light of Philosophy. Imam Ghazali was the product of such times whose Tahafatul Falasifah(Incoherence Of Philosophers) broke the back of Greek philosophy and Logic until Ibn Rushd rebutted it in Tahafat Ul Tahafat(Incoherence of Incoherence) which granted Greek philosophy & Plato a new lease of life for more 100 years to come. This trend also gave rise to the schools of Mutazalites & Asharaites. Now the times have changed and science has replaced philosophy, now the present day Televangelists and religious scholars are using scientific principles and facts to justify their religion as the ultimate, universal and eternal truth on the face of earth sent by Divine God who had prior knowledge of science hence kept scientific secrets and miracles present in religious scriptures, thus the compatibility of religious scriptures with science is the eternal proof the religion being true and divine. Thus the yardstick of science has become essential for any religion to stand in the fray of being taken seriously as truth. Meera Nanda in her essay "Making Sacred How Post Modernism Aids Vedic Science “writes "Closed societies, if you follow Karl Popper are societies that do not allow any rational criticism or falsification of their fundamental moral laws, which treat as having the backing of inevitable laws of nature put in place by God. As past experience shows, closed societies are not anti-scientific. On the contrary, they are hyper-scientistic i.e. they claim the support of existing science for their Dogmas and in turn use these dogmas to constrain scientific research (e.g Lysen Koisan in old U.S.S.R)" The present book under review is also a serious attempt to strike a chord in the same vein with an exception that both science and philosophy has been clubbed together to initially derive Natural World order, then name it Islam and depict that it is what rationality, logic and science wants us to believe in and implement as a world order. The author in the Preface describes “The individual human being and the collective social structure” as the primary concern of his endeavour. The author well describes the present world order basically as “Agnostic and the social structure which has evolved encourage the agnostic values. Though at the personal level one is free to practice any faith but has no power to interfere in the evolution of the agnostic social structure. Nobody can deny that the present scientific and technological advancement, abolition of slavery and progress in education of all sections of societies has taken place during the present world order. But that does not mean that with some other world order these achievements could not have been possible. The civilizations would not have survived if world order had not allowed these achievements. Unfortunately the present world order has failed in every other sphere of activity of the humankind; the most important aspect of human life which has badly suffered because of the present world order is faith. The present agnostic world order is responsible for moral degradation of human beings to an extent that it will be a Herculean task to repair the damage”. To repair the damage the author resorts backs to philosophy and science which are responsible for the sceptical, agnostic and moral derogatory behaviour of Mankind. The book is divided into various chapters and the opening chapter deliberates on the “Impracticability of Democracy”. Indeed this chapter is the heart of the book and in the present day world to challenge democracy requires nerve, verve and out of box intellectual discourse which the author has because leaving democracy aside and searching for alternatives is to rise in rebellion against the religion of West for whose promotion, evolution and initiation in every land of the planet they are fighting the ‘Just’ wars even today under the civilizing mission of Operation Democracy, but before going into a critique of democracy Khan describes the Human being, his soul, Nature and Purpose and derives the factual conclusion that the seeds of vice and virtue are embedded in every human being and if he takes recourse to the Natural Order he would surely come to judge whether his action is right or wrong “Every adult human being has agreed of having the innate knowledge of right and wrong irrespective of religion and social taboo. Any intelligent reader will agree to it and he is free to consult any number of people; then he will confirm that every individual including the children have the innate knowledge of right and wrong of all his actions and thoughts. This is the most convincing indirect proof of existence of the ‘energy’ and ‘soul’ to all the people of this world and resultantly indirect proof of the ultimate failure of Darwin’s theory of evolution”.(P-14) This vice and virtue seems to be inspired by Greek Philosophers and even Zoroastrianism where Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu are in perpetual strife. The concept of Afterlife and accountability in the hereafter have been taken as yardsticks to control the vice “I have thought over this serious problem for years and have not left any relevant literature unread, which includes science, philosophy, political systems and theology and interacted with wide range of people and reached one and only one conclusion that human being has to be answerable and accountable for his evil acts after death before the perfect universal creator. The human being cannot be answerable and accountable for the content of his vices because the vices are innate in the ‘energy’ over which human being has absolutely no control of creation. The human being can exercise control over the acts of vice through ‘soul’ as the human being has the ‘freedom of action’. (P-27) The author then challenges “This is my challenge to the whole humanity to unravel any other alternative by virtue will prevail in the individual lives and the society so that there could be peaceful existence of mankind on this planet. There is absolutely no alternative”. (P-28). Then there are three purposes of life as enumerated by Khan as: Answerable & accountable to perfect Universal Creator. To be grateful to the perfect universal creator. Those who have means to know and understand the perfect universal creator and all his creations and educate others.”(P-29), But despite knowing, deducting and deliberating all this still Khan longs for “Genuine philosophers to know the Natural Laws as contained in the ‘souls’ of human beings, with the help of reason it would not be a difficult task to unravel these Natural laws”.(P-28). If genuine philosophers are needed to describe the Natural Law and Order then I fail to understand what the purpose of Prophets is, then God should have deputed Philosophers as his messengers. Here Khan fails to describe and understand this dichotomy or makes us to believe that Philosophers enjoy higher position than prophets?? Then coming on the issue of democracy Khan describes it as “Democracy has strong advocates all over the world and there are many pseudo-scholars of different religions who advocate democracy as the political system of their religion; forgetting the fact that the underlying principle of democracy is agnosticism” (P-33-34)It is a factual statement but Khan must acknowledge this fact too that underlying principle of Science and Philosophy as it emerged after Renaissance is not only agnosticism but atheism and open rebellion against God and verdicts like “God is dead”; hence negating one and using the other to justify religion and natural order don’t go well hand in hand. Now coming to the relation between Islam and Democracy Khan writes “there are some pseudo-scholars of Islam who think that Islam can be practiced in democracy and there are also other set of pseudo scholars of Islam who think that democracy is the Islamic way of life and the Shariat Law could be applied in democracy. They fail to understand that the underlying principle of democracy is agnosticism and liberty of religion and conscience and Shariat Law and agnosticism being contradictory; these two contradictory principles cannot exist together”. (P-36). A similar argument has been made by Abdur Rahman Keelani in his book Jamhuriyat Aur Islam, democracy in recent years and before has come under heavy criticism and this statement well describes it “would you like to be eaten by hundred rats or one lion”, also the dirty nexus between Capitalists, Clergy and Politicians is defeating the very essence and spirit of democracy and rendered it impractical in various societies which the author paints as “degree of corruption varies from Nation to Nation but ultimate result of all the democratic governments is sooner or later the position as is prevailing in the worst and corrupt nations will spread over other less corrupt nations” (P-47). Deriving two conclusions about democracy Khan describes them as: “In democracy the laws which impose restrictions on the individual behaviour (self-regarding actions) where under no harm to others is involved, cannot be enacted. The democracy having agnosticism and liberty as guiding principles, no restrictions on the basis of religious morality can be imposed. Hence no law can be enacted which is on the basis of religious morality and challenges the liberty of the individuals” (P-39). Though there is no imposed morality or no boundary between Democracy and Morality but democracy can’t be described as Immoral but amoral as one is free to practice his own set of morality as described and laid down by his social norms, religion or culture. Now the democracy is out of fray and search for an alternative Political System is on and the pre-requisite for this radical change is the Philosopher-King as described by Plato “The world order as such needs to be changed as it is based on the irrational principle of democracy and for doing this we need the real philosopher and real philanthropists”.(P-52-53). But Khan seems myopic in his conception because never in the world history the Utopia envisioned by Plato has been implemented and neither is it possible for a Philosopher-Philanthropist to rule, then Khan derives the Natural World Order and envisions Monarchy as the best system of governance “Plato assumes that real philosophers would be virtuous philanthropists as well. Aristotle had not explained why and how a human being can be virtuous. As already explained that there is one and only one way by which a human being can be virtuous as well as philanthropist and that is religion; such a religion has to prescribe the virtuousness as the main condition of faith and belief. Otherwise there can be no alternative by which virtue can prevail in individual and social lives. This stands already explained. Thus we are left with one political system and that is Monarchy and this political system has been declared best by Plato but in the monarchy we have to adopt the Natural Religion of which the basic axioms stands derived to make it practicable. The problems faced by Plato and Aristotle to make monarchy practicable could be resolved only by adoption of natural religion. Without these axioms of the Natural Religion, one should bear in mind, the just and peaceful existence of human being on this planet is not possible. Monarchy is the natural political system and has been declared as best possible political system by Plato as well as Aristotle due to the problems already discussed they could not identify the monarchs with his associates in the society”.(P-64-65) Then goes on in the same vein to describe the primary functioning of the State being “Law making and law making will be very simple and acceptable to the people. The laws would be framed on the basic Natural Laws which would appeal to one and all and there would be no disputes about the laws. Otherwise for every law there will be equal reason for its agreement and disagreement because right is not defined. After having defined right, the question of challenging the law would not arise. This is possible when people are educated properly and they have knowledge of psychology and philosophy. It would not be a difficult task for making the people to understand the existence of innate natural Laws and as to how to unravel these Natural Laws”.(P-66) Who will impart the knowledge of Psychology and Philosophy to masses? Who will select the Monarch Khan has a way “A committee of virtuous people could be formed who will screen the nominations of the monarch, and after the committee approves the nominations the monarch could be elected or selected. The monarch could be elected/selected by the representative of the people. The qualities of the monarch stand already defined. If the monarch is properly selected then the nation and people should feel secure. If the people are satisfied with the monarch then monarch could nominate his successor also. But successor in no case should be the heir or close relative of the monarch”.(P-78-79), but who will select the committee, should the Shura vote if there are more than one virtuous persons who are claimants of highest seat of monarchy or is it something which only virtuous elite can decide(keep in mind Pareto’s theory of elites). Regarding Punishment some stain of Rousseau’s General Will can be witnessed in this statement “The punishment or compensation has two fold purposes, a deterrent for the society for indulging in the evil acts and the revenge of the society against the criminal for the evil act. It now depends upon the society as to what type of social order they would want” (P-70-71) Stating the fruits of Monarchy and its preconditions Khan enumerates them as: “The existence of the perfect universal creator is to be accepted. The answerability and accountability after death is to be accepted and The existence of the universal Natural Laws in the human being is also to be accepted. The ultimate purpose of the political system has to be to make peace and righteousness prevail in the individual and collective lives and building a social order wherein all possible evil actions are easily detected and punished and there is absolutely no room for any sort of corruption, injustice and exploitation” (P-75), but what is the guarantee that Monarchs wouldn’t become despotic and dictators once they assume the echelons of power because power always corrupts and how to remove such an erring monarch Khan is silent. Describing the fundamental rights to be enjoyed under monarchy as “Right to live and to perform religious rituals/duties of the rational religion” but rational religion in words of Khan is “The only alternative is to derive the natural religion on the basis of logic and rationality which would be acceptable to all the rational human beings on this planet. Then a political system should have been conceived wherein the natural religion would have been the guiding principle. This is the precise object of this endeavour besides encouraging and simplifying the human self-introspection”.(P-84)but who will decide what is rational and what not because on the basis of rationality, science, civilization, dominant discourse we have/are witness to the aggression and hegemony by the Imperialists who describe their own creed as the only rationality they can understand and must be adhered to while in the process they kill and put to death other lot of indigenous and more civilized cultures and rational ways of life. “Right to information of everything except the matters of state, defence, mechanism of vigilance” is one of the fundamental rights too. Describing vigilance as “The most sensitive organization and the monarchy has to be extremely careful while appointing the people for this organization. Virtuousness especially honesty has to be main criteria besides other qualifications. There has to be secret vigilance over the vigilance personnel through whom every member of this organization shall be tested from time to time. Any laxity in this organization will cause failure of the monarchy”. (P-81) Khan here wishes to follow the footsteps of Machiavelli and Kautiliya while assigning vigilance a dominant position with dictatorial powers and we have witnessed the use of vigilance pretext by the State to eliminate the dissidents and strangulate any opposition, the dark history of Mossad, KGB, RAW, CIA are a living proof of the same. Khan can read “By Way of Deception” by Victor Ostrovesky and “Who Killed Karkare The Real Face Of Terrorism in India” by S.M Mushrif to have a bird’s eye glance into the quagmire in which the States have landed by trusting the Vigilance and how they are running a parallel government shielded from the public eye, so this monarchy can be no different from Democracy, against which Khan has initiated his solitary Jihad. Making a comeback to his rationality Khan subscribes “Any religious concept would be acceptable if it is logical, rational and scientifically verifiable both to common sense of the illiterate common human being as well as to the intellectual of highest calibre”. (P-91), Khan really needs to understand well what are the shortcomings of reason, rationality and science in describing the Eternal World and World beyond senses and observation. Khan then tries to philosophize Islam by claiming that all the previous attempts in this direction have failed “Avicenna, Algazel, Avirrose did try to correlate the philosophy of that time with the Quran but could not, because there were inherent problems with the philosophy of that time as it was based on wrong foundations and also because of lack of scientific knowledge at that time. Then there were no worth mentioning attempts to correlate the philosophy with the Quran. Iqbal came on the scene and instead of accomplishing the task of correlating the philosophy with the Quran proposed the concept that we need Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam and adapted poetic mysticism as Algazel had done centuries before. This book is precisely the accomplishment of task of ‘Reconstruction of Islamic Thought’”.(P-119), but why do we need to philosophize Islam. The problem of Khan is that he is unable to distinguish and compartmentalize the domains of Philosophy, Science and Religion and tries to amalgamate all the three with the result that all of them become the casualties of this unholy conglomeration. Why do we need Philosophy if Islam is complete and fulfils the needs, yes we can supplement and infer from Philosophy and Science but there is no need to make Religion-Philosophy or Philosophy-Science or Science-Philosophy and the vice versa and this unnatural alliance would have its repercussions and consequences on all the three. Surmising that “The rigidity of all the different law systems will eventually evaporate once there is proper discussion on the proper forum. This forum has to be under the proper theocentric political system which at present exists nowhere. After the basic allegoric verses of Quran have been understood the task of derivation of the set of ‘Natural Law’ will be a very simple and easy task. The source of the ‘Natural Law’ is the human beings and the Quran and Hadith (after testing it on the touchstone of the Quran). I am of the opinion that human nature contains the ‘Natural Law’ in the human beings and wherever humankind may face problems in framing the ‘Natural Law’ the solution shall have to sought from the Quran & Hadith. The human nature and the Quran & Hadith are sufficient to frame the set of ‘Natural Law’ which could be applicable universally” (P-144). It is a question of faith alone & what Khan proclaims that he has unveiled the allegories of Quran can’t be verdicted as the Gospel truth. Describing why the Law system of Islam couldn’t function properly Khan says “Since instead of Monarchy (Khilafat) patriarchy had stolen the power, they were neither interested nor could have been interested in this most important foundational work of the political system, so to say every Tom, Dick and Harry sat and framed the ‘law’ forgetting the fact that thereby they were violating the very Quran and dividing Muslims” (P-145). Khan seems ignorant that the Quranic Law especially related to Personal Law were never violated and remained so even during colonization plus if any ruler had tried to violate the same he was met with bitter opposition, the struggle of Ahmad ibn Hanbal(RA) stands as a testimony to the same and the present day Muslim agitations regarding the ban on Hijab or age of marriage point to the same. Committing mistakes over mistakes in his blind appreciation and passion for what Zaiuddin Sardar describes as Buccaillism and in case of Khan I would call it Platonism he writes “Let it be clear to one and all that the actual Islamic Thought could have been understood and presented by the genuine philosophers only; which only Prophet Mohammad (SAW) had understood and given. There are many secrets and hidden knowledge in the Quran which only Prophet Mohammad (SAW) can claim to have understood and known. These secrets and hidden knowledge is in the allegories which Prophet Mohammad (SAW) had tried to convey in understandable allegories, which for one reason or the other have been misunderstood. These allegories are so complicated and complex that ordinarily these allegories cannot be understood but these allegories could be understood only with the advancement of science and philosophy. Thus I have been calling the Quran the living book because with time only humankind could unravel what the Quran is all about. I am aware of the fact that there have been people who devoted their whole lives for this purpose but they were unsuccessful because science and philosophy had not advanced so much so as to understand the actual Islamic Thought as contained in the Quran” (P-169). If only Quran is meant and understood by Philosophers only then what is its essence and need for common masses?? As it is meant for whole humanity not for the elite philosophers only, plus if other like “Algazel devoted his half-life to identify the problems with Greek philosophy and presented his work in his book ‘Incoherence of Philosophers’ but still the Islamic Thought as contained in the Quran had the inherent problems which could not be explained. Algazel realized this fact and finally adopted mysticism in the later part of life. Unfortunately the time was not ripe for Algazel to give the Islamic Thought because science was not advanced enough so as to unravel the Islamic Thought from the Quran”(P-170), couldn’t too understand the same as the science and philosophy hasn’t developed much as it is today but have they reached their zenith? No after some decades they will advance more and Khan who today rejects Ghazalli and Iqbal would surely be rejected by the future philosopher and scientist because we can’t put pace on their progress and evolution. Continuing his bashing against scholars Khan writes “These scholars fail to fulfill the very definition of scholarship because scholarship is perfect understanding of the matter and presenting it, on the whole, in the simplest possible manner and explaining the complexities of the matter in the simplest possible manner. They complicated the simplest issues & brought in irrelevant, insignificant and irrational issues. This endeavour will prove that they have made no contribution whatsoever and instead have rendered the disservice to Islam by complicating the religion. Had they simply conceived the political system which is contained in the Quran they would not have dared to present the Islamic legal opinions for which they had absolutely no authority. Framing of laws and forming of the Islamic legal opinion was and is the task of monarchs, with the assistance of those who have sufficient knowledge for doing so, because it is the monarchs who had and have to rule with the help of the laws thus framed. These so called scholars gave their schools of law and legal opinions without realizing this simple fact that it is the task of monarchs. Once the Islamic thought is conceived in true perspective the rigidity of ‘Muhammadan Law’ of which there are several sources (more than four) will evaporate once the monarch takes over.”(P-179-180), but he fails to understand that even if the monarchs would interpret the law still there would be chances of difference of opinion which in turn would lead to the sectarianism? Also the whole Muslim history bears testimony to the fact that monarchs never formulated laws and philosophers never ruled, this compartmentalization still holds good though Khan tries to bridge the divide which would prove futile. Thus he suspects the Muhaditheen “Since at the time of compilation and writing of the hadith the patriarchy had replaced the monarchy (Khilafat) which being one of the primary messages of the Quran. In case the authors of the Hadith had written about the Hadith concerning Islamic Political System and the governance on those principles then thereby the patriarchs simply would have been challenged. Thus some self-contradictory hadith reached us which firstly created sectarianism and systems of Islamic theology”.(182-183) but forgets that a whole new branch of Ilm ul Rijal came into existence because of the Muhaditheen and to doubt their authenticity means to put a doubt on whole Islam. Khan seems to have been inspired by the reactionary interpretation of Islam when he claims that “the establishment of the Islamic states should be the first and foremost priority of every Muslim wherever there is majority of Muslim population. After Jihad Bil Nafs the Jihad for Islam should be the priority especially when the Islamic Political System has been conceived herein. Presently the sectarian differences have to be forgotten because logically these differences are based on irrelevant and insignificant issues and are against the very Quran and Islam and once Islamic states are established and the monarch takes over all these differences will evaporate without any confrontation”. (P-199) There is no concept of State in Islam as conceived by Khan and other Islamist Ideologues like him, Islam has a concept of Ummah which traverses the States based on regionalism, linguism or culture. Khan takes the argument well off by seeking an alternative to democracy but he fails to arrive on any concrete conclusion and bracketing Khilafat with Monarchy(P-145) is totally wrong as there is no place of Monarchy in Islam, but there is a Caliph who considers the Ummah as one body and his rule only a benediction by Allah about which he would be questioned and Islamic Ummah is no Nation-State with well-defined boundaries about which & for which the States will fight and conquer, it’s fight is only for Social Justice and Political reformation not for perpetuating the rule of monarchs who would be handicapped without a vigilance. Khan then takes this hilarity to an end when he writes “these so called scholars have misled the Muslims of the world about the actual meaning of Zakat. So far it is understood that Zakat is the property tax on the Muslims who possess the property beyond a certain limit which Muslims have to pay to the poor, orphans etc. Zakat actually is the property tax which Muslims having the property beyond a certain limit, are supposed to pay to the state to manage the affairs of the state. This is called Jizya in case of the non-Muslims living in the Islamic State:’ (P-207) To quote Khan “It is not the false facts which are injurious to the progress of science because sooner or later science will prove false facts to be false. But false views, if supported by some evidence about some obscure matter are more injurious to the progress of science. The views whether false or true views continue till the obscurity of the matter is solved”. These lines sum up the whole attempt of the author, though Khan has tried but failed in his attempt to describe natural world order and an alternative to democracy. He confuses a reader first by deriving Natural World Order, then imposing Monarchy and then labelling them as Islam and interpreting Quran as the source of legitimacy for the same. Though being a maiden attempt by the author he is successful in raising some questions but fails to answer the same, but the book is priced low hence everybody can buy, read and debate about its contents. ---- Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander is Writer-Activist based in Srinagar Kashmir 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