Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Don't Make Your Allah a Party to All This Mess

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 31 August 2022 Naseer Ahmad's ' The Satanic Verses' is a veritable ' apologist's rants.' I've never come across anyone whose overzealous approach to explaining the scriptural conundrums of any damn scripture is greater than that of this man. Karl Popper once said, “If you broach a very sensitive subject. Brace yourself to face the criticism. “In his overenthusiasm to gloss over Muhammad marrying his daughter-in-law, Zaynab (wife of his adopted son Zayd) and why adoption is not religiously and scripturally sanctioned in Islam, he has made himself a butt of ridicule. By the way, have you read or heard the following lines as Bon Jovi sang? “The new improved tomorrow isn't what it used to be Yesterday keeps coming 'round, it's just reality It's the same damn song with a different melody.... " I reiterate the last line, “It’s the same damn song with a different melody. " Apologists for ages have been trying to define a number of verses in the Quran which are not just dubious but also make Islam's Allah complicit in them with a view to justifying Muhammad's own agenda. If you read Spinoza's God (not the useless Wikipedia or WhatsApp version, but in the original Dutch language), he averred that he indeed was an impious man- as the Vatican called him the most impious man on earth- in the sense that he never believed in any Book and Prophet but had his own concept of god that was independent of scriptures and their characters. He further stated that the scriptures and their so-called prophets desecrated not just Christianity but all faiths and defiled the image of god. I quoted his opinion to drive home the point that what Muhammad did (by marrying his daughter-in-law) was reprehensible, but by attributing the 'revelation' (33:4; 37- 40) to Allah justifying and extenuating his messenger's act of indiscretion, aren't Muslims cheapening their Allah? Muhammad was a human, a mere mortal at that. And to err is human. Instead of reprimanding or warning, Allah sent down a self-serving and opportunistic 'revelation', legalizing Muhammad to pick up his adopted son's wife as his 5th one. In this way, Allah permitted him to have more than four wives, which is the limit it set for other men (Quran 4:3). The million-dollar-question is: Was Muhammad an exception to Allah's law? Coming back to the squirming episode of Zaynab getting married to Muhammad, How will you perceive a man who marries his daughter-in-law? Agreed, it's his choice, who're we to criticise or condemn it? Accepted, but when it comes to a man Ummah looks up to, such capers are bound to raise eyebrows. Will any sane Muslim follow this as a precedent? Accept the fact that Muhammad made mistakes, nay Himalayan blunders. Don't make your Allah a party to all this mess. Spare your god. ----- 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

Muslims Have No Answers to the Diatribe against the Prophet

By Arshad Alam, New Age Islam 31 August 2022 The Only Answer Is To Silence People with Sar Tan Se Juda Slogan Main Points: 1. Anyone dishonouring the prophet has to be killed, this is the dominant position within Islamic theology. 2. The Hadith literature and biographies of the prophet are replete with examples that such was the practice during the prophetic times. 3. It does not serve the Muslim cause to obfuscate the matter; they should be dealing with it in a more reasonable way. 4. The first act should be to question parts of Islamic scripture which sanctions such killings. 5. But for that to happen, Muslims have to first get rid of the erroneous notion that their scriptures are divine and infallible. ------ Every time there is a perceived or real insult on the prophet of Islam, Muslims in India and elsewhere react with the slogans like Sar Tan Se Juda (A call to behead the offender). Thankfully, the call to action behind the slogan is not enacted, in majority of cases. But at times, the intention behind the slogan, which is to behead anyone insulting the prophet of Islam, is carried out in full horror. The Udaipur and Maharashtra killings are part of a pattern which has a long history. Salman Rushdie was lucky but the motivation of the young Muslim who attacked him emanated from the same source: avenging the insult of their dear prophet. After any such attack, it is customary for Muslims to argue that such acts are not sanctioned by Islamic teachings; that Islam teaches love and tolerance and promotes peaceful co-existence between different communities. Some dig into the biography of the prophet to argue that he forgave his own tormentors. But is the Islamic theology really what they proclaim it is? Or are parts of Islamic theology sanction such violence against anyone who insults the prophet? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Also Read: Blasphemy, Islam and Free Speech ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The Hadith and biographies of the prophet cite examples wherein people were killed simply for insulting the prophet. The poets who used to ‘dishonour’ him by composing poetry that were critical of his claim of being a prophet were summarily executed. Even a slave woman was killed by her own owner, a blind Muslim, for the reason that she did not stop the disparaging of the prophet. The case was brought to the prophet and he approved of the killing. This Hadith is narrated on the authority of Ibn Abbas and hence is considered authentic by most Islamic scholars. It is important to underline that the Medinan state had already been formed by then but the blind Muslim man did not take the case to the nascent state. He decided to execute the woman himself and the prophet did not take action against him. This shows that any Muslim can avenge the insult to the prophet and that it does not require the sanction of the state, as some have argued. This woman had borne two sons for this Muslim man. But then, the devotion to Muhammad is such that it breaks apart the most natural of bonds. It is true that the Quran does not prescribe the death sentence for blasphemy. But it certainly calls anyone insulting the prophet to be condemned. It prescribes eternal damnations for such people, both in this world and in the next. It also announces that such people will not be the neighbours of Muslims for long, advising them in a way to expel such people. The Quran in the same verse proclaims that such people will be seized and killed [33:59]. The verses, revealed in 627, which is before the conquest of Mecca, anticipate what is going to happen after the conquest in 630. Indeed, the satirical poets were all ordered killed, even while they were within the sacred sanctuary where violence was forbidden. Those having a different view of Prophethood were at times killed, at times exiled. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Also Read: Islam and Free Speech: A Reply to A. Faizur Rahman ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ It is dishonest to argue that these people were killed because of political reasons rather than religious. Prominent biographers like Ibn Ishaq do not cite that as a reason. Neither do prominent Hadith collectors like Bukhari. They all record the narration as one in which the honour of the prophet was at stake. But sections of Muslims are keen to rescue Islam from the label of intolerance and hence they will go to any lengths to argue that such killings are not part of Islam and were done for reasons which had nothing to do with religion. In a world which has become sensitive to the crushing of those who have an alternative opinion, it is understandable that some Muslims would feel ashamed of blasphemy related killings. But in trying to paint a picture of Islam that is compatible with modernity, they tie themselves in knots. More importantly though, they end up covering up what is written in our theology. This intellectual dishonesty does not allow such subjects to be widely debated within by Muslims. Or is it that Muslims are positively ashamed of what is written in their theology, especially with regard to their prophet? Precisely because they know about it and are too embarrassed by some of its contents, hence, they do not want others, especially non-Muslims to either know or discuss about it. Anyone who breaches this Muslim rule is either persecuted, forced to live in fear or is eventually killed. But does this strategy really work? In today’s day and age, is it really possible to stop anyone from accessing any written text? They are widely available, in many cases free, over the internet and other resources. So, if Muslims want to hide their religious literature, they will never be successful. People, both Muslims and non-Muslims, would be able to read them and arrive at their own understanding of Islam, some of which might not be charitable to Muslim sensibilities. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Also Read: The False Binary of the Secular versus Islamic Needs to Be Broken ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- More importantly though, why are the Muslims embarrassed about what is written about the prophet? In many ways, it is not so different from Jewish and Christian religious texts. If they are not embarrassed about the instances of polygamy and slavery within their texts, why do Muslims feel differently? Perhaps the answer lies in the status accorded to these religious texts. No one in the Jewish or the Christian community argues that their holy text was sent down by God Himself. They were written by men and hence carry the sensibilities of the times in which they were composed. The Quran claims a very different narrative for itself. Muslims believe that it is the very Word of God. And hence it is relevant for posterity. But things don’t stop there. Muslims treat even the Hadith as equivalent to holy books despite the fact that they were compiled by mortals more than two hundred years after the death of the prophet. And yes, these texts record in vivid details the enslavement of men and women, murder and loot, in which the prophet himself participated. How do we extricate ourselves from such a characterization of the prophet which is encoded in our own literature? Muslims do not have an answer to this question. The violent reaction and the slogan of Sar Tan Se Juda is precisely because they do not have an answer when uncomfortable questions are thrown at them. The only response they know is to shut up those asking such questions. But can there be another response? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: Can Islamism Be Regarded as The Root Cause of Extremism? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For Muslims, a rational approach to the situation could be to declare the inapplicability of parts of their religious texts in the current context. After all, what is the point of reading about jihad and slavery when majority of Muslims are themselves not enamoured of such ideas anymore. Why should our madrasas teach how slaves should be bought and sold when most Muslims do not indulge in such practice anyways? But for this to happen, we have to first declare that our religious texts are not infallible; that they are not comparable to divinity itself. Are we ready to take this plunge? ----- 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

Theocratic Nation of Maulana Maududi and his Jamaat-e-Islami’s Vision - Part 2: Influencing Jinnah and his Muslim League

By Grace Mubashir, New Age Islam 31 August 2022 Like Maulana Maududi, Muhammad Ali Jinnah also believed that the Congress regime was neglecting the Muslims. It was evident to Jinnah in the provincial administration of the Congress. The Muslim League, which celebrated the resignation of the Congress governments as Liberation Day, struck up a friendship with Maulana Maududi. Maududi wanted to cooperate with the Muslim League. But he did not like the policy of the League which advocated democracy. However, Maududi's efforts to cooperate with the league had paid off for the time being. Maududi's book Kashmakash was distributed in the League conferences of 1937 and 1938. Many Muslims left the Congress and joined the Muslim League. The Muslim League was waiting for someone like Maududi. Because the scholarly leadership consisting of Azad and Jamiat Ulama Hindu was on the side of the Congress. League sources described Maududi as their Abul Kalam Azad (Syed Raza Wali Nasr, 1994, the Vanguard of Islamic Revolution, Jamaat-e-Islami of Pakistan, Berkeley, 105). Maududi's two-state theory was later accepted by the Muslim League. Maulana Maududi ------ Allama Iqbal and other Muslim leaders had raised the same demand in many ways. Iqbal wanted to divide India into Hindu majority states and Muslim majority states and maintain the country through a federal constitution. Many non-Muslim leaders including Ambedkar raised the same demand. Maududi called for a party to establish the Kingdom of Allah in Tarjuman of April 1940. Seventy-five readers responded positively. There was no further response. Jamaat-e-Islami of Pakistan, Berkeley, 105). Jamaat Islami Maududi had already formulated plans to form a new party. On August 11, 1941, Maududi announced the new organization in Lahore. The name was Jamaat-e-Islami. He himself was the chief (Amir). He also stated that the aim of the party was to establish divine rule (Hukumat e Ilahiya) (Tarjuman, 1941, May: 179). With this, there were complications in the relations between the Muslim League and Maududi. Both groups were in favour of getting rid of Hindu supremacy. But the controversy was about how the model of the new state should be. The League wanted a secular democratic state. Maududi wanted an Islamic country. These arguments have been disputed. The Congress softened the Jamaat's approach to Islam and turned its anger against the Muslim League. Maududi argued that the League's secular state was not based on the Qur'an. Maududi accused the League's leaders of being dependent on Western methods and unable to form an Islamic state. He mocked that the Muslim League was acting as if it was demanding that Muslims go to Muslim prostitutes instead of relying on Anglo-Indian prostitutes (Irfan Ahmad, 82). 'Quaid-e-Azam (Jinnah) to ordinary Muslim Leaguers have no Islamic view. They don't see politics that way. The League knows nothing about becoming a Muslim or its special status' (Siyasee Kashmakash, 3, 1942,109). Muslim League and Congress oppose Islamic culture. Kill this culture in the Hindu way, The difference between the two parties is whether it is halal. Congress wants execution in Hindu style and League in Halal style. The presence of Hindu women on Congress platforms is like a candle. In the same way, the presence of women in Muslim League venues is also the same. The Muslim League opposes the Congress in the name of material interests. To get their share in the assembly and to get their share in the army. This is not about Islam. It makes no difference if a state is run by a Ramdas or an Abdullah if it is not based on Sharia. Pakistan (holy land) will become a holy land in its proper sense only when it is based on Sharia. The Pakistan of the future will be a NaPak-istan (the land of pollution). (Ibid., 78-109). Maududi's intention was to wait and see the Pakistan Movement while strengthening the Jamaat and ousting Pakistan from the League. Maududi thought that if a Western Jinnah could be a Muslim leader, a bearded and turbaned Urdu-speaking man of Islamic wisdom could be an even greater leader. When the Assembly elections of 1945-46 came around, he appealed to Muslims not to vote for the League. If one votes for a secular party one loses faith in One God (Rasa'il wo Masa'il, Vol. 1, Markazi Maktaba, Delhi, 304-6). Muslims ignored Maududi's statement. In the election, the League won big in Muslim constituencies. Maududi's attempt to reach the leadership position of the Muslims failed with that. At this time (1946) the number of members of Jamaat-e-Islami was only 486. The July 1947 referendum for Pakistan also saw the irony of Maududi's request to vote with the League. When asked about it, Maududi argued that voting for the League did not mean accepting its views. Within two weeks of the birth of Pakistan, Maulana Maududi left India and moved to Lahore, Pakistan. In Pakistan Maududi states that the ideas about the state formulated by nineteenth-century scholars are outdated. Economic, educational, industrial and social concepts have all changed. Today the state should be based on religion. Religion should be the basis for even small matters in the state. (Tarjuman, March 1938, 5) The views of religion must be accepted in matters of food, clothing, marriage, child-rearing, and even speech. He based his interpretation of the Qur'an on the basis of his concept of state. He also asks why the Ulama did not count him as one of them (Tarjuman 1941, May 216). He based his state argument on four verses of the Qur'an. Ilah (God), Rabb (Saviour), Ibadat (worship) and Deen (religion). Maududi asserted that as soon as the Qur'anic verses regarding these were revealed, their interpretations were changed. Allah is not only concerned with the private life of man; it touches all political and spiritual spheres. Worshiping Allah means obeying Him materially, politically and spiritually. So Allah is the Ruler and the Law Maker. To follow any system other than this is ignorance (jahiliyyah), polytheism (shirk) and disbelief (Kufr). When one says that he is a ruler, it means declaring that he is God. Then it becomes polytheism. That is why it is said that no system that is not Islamic can be accepted. Polytheism is co-operating with any system that is not divine and ruling with those who do not acknowledge God. There is no difference between them and those who worship idols - Mawdudi's explanation (Mawdudi, Qur'an Ki Char Bunyadi Istilahem, Markazi Maktaba, 1979, 29). Rabb (saviour) is synonymous with Allah Himself. Rab means Sultan. Allah is the protector politically. Taghut does not mean devil or idol as it is commonly said. Following any system other than God's is Taghut. The meaning of Taghut has been shortened by the ulama. For Maududi, worshiping Allah and rejecting Taghut means bringing about a Shariah regime of his own design. Worshiping Allah as defined means bringing about Islamic political supremacy. In a speech in Punjab, Maududi described Islamic rituals, including prayer, as military training: 'Prayer and fasting are training and preparation for gaining power. Just like governments train army and police before hiring them, Islam is doing the same. First, Islam trains volunteers for divine service. Thus allowing them to establish the Kingdom of God on earth through Jihad (Tajdeed wo Ihya a Deen, Qur'an in Tarjuman, 1941, 291). Nowadays State means Deen (religion). The goal of the Qur'an is to establish the state (Tarjuman, 1941, February- March, 13). In a speech in Punjab, Maududi described Islamic rituals, including prayer, as military training: 'Prayer and fasting are training and preparation for gaining power. Just like governments train army and police before hiring them, Islam is doing the same. First, Islam trains volunteers for divine service. Thus allowing them to establish the Kingdom of God on earth through Jihad (Tajdeed wo Ihya a Deen, Qur'an in Tarjuman, 1941, 291). Maududi stated that God sent all prophets to establish the Kingdom of God. All prophets are leaders. He compared the mission of Prophet Yusuf to Mussolini's dictatorship (Salamat Ka Rasta, Lahore, 122). Maududi also stated that humans are God's representatives to establish the nation since there are no prophets after Prophet Muhammad. ------ A regular columnist for, Mubashir V.P is a PhD scholar in Islamic Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia and freelance journalist. Part One of the Article: Theocratic Nation of Maulana Maududi and His Jamaat-e-Islami's Vision - Part 1 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, August 30, 2022

The Satanic Verses

By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam 30 August 2022 The Account Was Known Among Islamic Scholars as the “Story of the Cranes” And By Orientalists Later As the “Satanic Verses”; None Of The Early Muslim Scholars Appears To Have Found The Story Controversial ----- What is the truth about the incident of the “Satanic Verses”? The Incident According To Al-Tabari the Historian The prophet was anxious about the fate of all the Meccans and desired that all should accept Islam and avoid Allah’s punishment for the rejecters repeatedly warned with the examples of the destruction of the people of Noah, Lut, Moses, Salih and Shuaib in 32 Surahs of the Meccan period. He longed for a way to reconcile the faith with the beliefs of the people so that all could accept Islam and become one. Satan took advantage of the Prophet’s ardent desire to reconcile all his people and cast upon his tongue 'Have ye seen Lat. and ´Uzza, and another, the third (goddess), Manat? These are the high-flying cranes and their intercession is to be hoped for' when he was reciting to the people revelations from Allah. When the polytheists among the Quraysh heard that, they rejoiced. What he had said about their gods pleased and delighted them, and they gave ear to him. The Muslims trusted in their Prophet and did not suspect any slip, delusion, or error. After the recitation he prostrated, and the Muslims followed their Prophet. The polytheists among the audience also prostrated on account of what they had heard him say about their gods. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: Salman Rushdie's Indian Mullah Critics, Listen To the Message of Satanic Verses ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Archangel Gabriel came to the Prophet and said, 'O Muhammad, what have you done! You have recited to the people something which I have not brought you from Allah, and you have spoken what He did not say to you.' At that, the Prophet was saddened and greatly feared Allah, but Allah, in His mercy, sent him the revelation of Surah Al-Najm, comforting him. Allah also informed him in verse 22:52, that there had never been a previous prophet or apostle who had not longed just as Muhammad had longed for what was not in Allah’s religion. Allah, however, cancels whatever is not from Him and confirms and establishes what is a revelation from Him. (22:52) Never did We send a messenger or a prophet before thee, but, when he framed a desire, Satan threw some (vanity) into his desire: but Allah will cancel anything (vain) that Satan throws in, and Allah will confirm (and establish) His Ayat: for Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom: Why Did Allah Allow The Prophet This Mistake? As is evident from several verses such as: (81:29) “But ye shall not will except as Allah wills,- the Cherisher of the Worlds”, the Prophet could not have made the mistake unless Allah allowed him to make the mistake. What purpose of Allah does this event then serve? It is not as if the polytheists of Mecca did not believe in Allah. The word Allah was not coined by the Quran. The concept of Allah which literally means “The God” or “The only God” pre-existed the revelation of the Quran as is well known and attested by the Quran in the following verses: (43:86) And those whom they invoke besides Allah have no power of intercession;- only he who bears witness to the Truth, and they know (him). (87) If thou ask them, who created them, they will certainly say, Allah: How then are they deluded away (from the Truth)? The polytheists of Mecca, therefore, believed that those they invoked besides Allah were also created by Allah. They also believed that it is Allah alone who is the Sustainer and Nourisher of the Universe, and every heavenly body and natural phenomenon is subject to Allah’s laws as evidenced by the following verses: (29:61) If indeed thou ask them who has created the heavens and the earth and subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law), they will certainly reply, "Allah". How are they then deluded away (from the truth)? (29:63) And if indeed thou ask them who it is that sends down rain from the sky, and gives life therewith to the earth after its death, they will certainly reply, "Allah!" Say, "Praise be to Allah!" But most of them understand not. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: The Attack on Salman Rushdie Is Symptomatic Of the Malady of Intolerance Islam Suffers From -------------------------------------------------------------------- So, why did they also believe in other gods? The answer to this question lies in human nature. The One God is the God of all and therefore impartial and disinterested who dispenses equal justice to all. He is too distant, cold, and abstract for most people. Envy, jealousy, and greed make people want a god who is more accessible and amenable and partial to them. They will therefore pay obeisance to any authority that they think can favour them over other people or cause harm to their enemies. Such people are easy prey to repose faith in whatever they think will serve their interests. They follow their own vain desires and are not seekers of the truth. (28:47) If (We had) not (sent thee to the Quraish),- in case a calamity should seize them for (the deeds) that their hands have sent forth, they might say: "Our Lord! why didst Thou not sent us a messenger? We should then have followed Thy Signs and been amongst those who believe!" (48) But (now), when the Truth has come to them from Ourselves, they say, "Why are not (Signs) sent to him, like those which were sent to Moses?" Do they not then reject (the Signs) which were formerly sent to Moses? They say: "Two kinds of sorcery, each assisting the other!" And they say: "For us, we reject all (such things)!" (49) Say: "Then bring ye a Book from Allah, which is a better guide than either of them, that I may follow it! (do), if ye are truthful!" (50) But if they hearken not to thee, know that they only follow their own lusts: and who is more astray than one who follow his own lusts, devoid of guidance from Allah? for Allah guides not people given to wrong-doing. (51) Now have We caused the Word to reach them themselves, in order that they may receive admonition. It is about such people that Allah has said: (39:45) When Allah, the One and Only, is mentioned, the hearts of those who believe not in the Hereafter are filled with disgust and horror; but when (gods) other than He are mentioned, behold, they are filled with joy! Every scriptures-based religion in the world is the religion of Allah and contains the idea of the Unity of God but human nature has corrupted every religion over a period. “The Satanic Verses” inoculated the faith against such corruption by explicitly rejecting any such idea as from “Satan” and not from Allah. Without it, it is possible, that former beliefs of the Arabs, and worship of Lat, Uzza and Manat and every other deity they worshipped earlier, may have crept back into their religion. In my opinion, this dramatic historical incident has protected Islam from slipping back into polytheism in the same way as other religions have. The Shifting Views of Islamic Scholars about the Story The account was known among Islamic scholars as the “Story of the Cranes” and by Orientalists later as the “Satanic Verses”. None of the early Muslim scholars appears to have found the story controversial. That the Prophet Mohammed was capable of a slip because he desired to save his people was believable given his merciful nature. The Quran attests that he was sent as Rahmat-ul-Alamin or as a mercy to all. He was both divinely inspired and very human, a man who laughed, cried, and bled, an apostle of Allah who stood up in prayers so long that his feet would swell, yet loved women and perfume. The early Muslim biographers and exegetes discussed the so-called Satanic Verses story without raising any doubts about whether such an incident did take place. Many Muslim scholars and clergy today, however, deem the tale a heretical lie. The reasons they cite are: 1. The “Satanic Verses” do not blend with the Quranic text and stand out clearly as an interpolation. 2. Given what is known about the Prophet, it is unimaginable that he could have been deceived by verses that dilute Allah’s Unity. The reasons cited are weak. Why would the “Satanic Verses” blend with the Quranic text when these are not revelations from Allah? After knowing that these were “Satanic Verses,” it is easy for anyone to see or show that these do not conform with the Quran’s style and diction. This does not mean that unsuspecting people were not fooled into believing otherwise. What we know about the Prophet and his Sunnat or about his uncompromising monotheism is what he became after the incident of the “Satanic Verses.” The incident was transformative. From what he became after the transformative incident, we cannot know his earlier state, or whether he could have been deceived or not. The very fact that the Muslim scholars and clergy today find it impossible to believe the story is proof of the effectiveness of the incident in inoculating the faith against creeping polytheism. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: Revisiting Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses -------------------------------------------------------------------- The Story is Similar in Character to Other Stories in the Scriptures We find other instances of Allah staging a dramatic event such as the incident of “The Satanic Verses,” to make a point or to break a strong belief, practice, or taboo. Relations based only on our manner of speaking are derecognized in the legal sense in Islam. The prohibitions to marrying those biologically related in verse 4:23 do not apply to those who are not so related, but you call them as if they are so related in a manner of speaking. In pre-Islam Arabia, the incestual taboos and therefore the prohibition on marriage extended to those whom one had at any time called or considered brother/sister etc., so much so that divorce by Zihar took place by merely saying that the wife reminded the man of his mother when he looked at her from some angle! The Quran abolished divorce by Zihar and also the prohibition in Pagan Arab society against marrying anyone, one has at any time called mother/father, aunt/uncle, sister/brother, son-in-law/daughter-in-law etc. For breaking the taboo against such marriages, Allah staged the marriage of the Prophet with the divorced wife of his adopted son which left no room for any doubt about the legality of such marriages. Marriage to the divorced wife of their own son is prohibited and by this marriage, a precedent was established that calling anyone a son does not make him a son and the Islamic laws that apply to a son, do not apply to someone merely because you call him a son. This did not abolish adoption as commonly misunderstood. Adoption is permissible but an adopted child will not take the name of the family that has adopted but its own parent’s family name and will not inherit as a natural child would, but only through a will. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: Rushdie’s Satanic Verses Had Few Takers, Khomeini’s Fatwa Gave It Sudden Rise -------------------------------------------------------------------- Allah ended the practice of child sacrifice prevalent in society when He seemingly asked Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) to sacrifice his son. The social evil that Allah abolished through the “sacrifice” (that did not take place) is child sacrifice. This was by demonstrating that Allah does not require such sacrifice even from His prophets. Why was Jesus born to the Virgin Mary? Why could he not be born the normal way with a father? It is because God wanted to provide proof of Adam’s creation without parents with the ‘miraculous’ birth of Jesus with a single parent. (3:59) “The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be". And he was.” The Futile Arguments of the Detractors The Orientalists inimical to Islam quote Deuteronomy 20 “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die” to argue that if Muhammad was a prophet, he should have died for presuming to speak for Allah what Allah had not commanded and If he did not die, it is then proof that he was not a prophet. This is nonsense. The Prophet on being corrected, immediately corrected himself undoing his inadvertent mistake. There are equivalent verses in the Quran to Deuteronomy 20 as follows: (69:43) (This is) a Message sent down from the Lord of the Worlds. (44) And if the messenger were to invent any sayings in Our name, (45) We should certainly seize him by his right hand, (46) And We should certainly then cut off the artery of his heart: (47) Nor could any of you withhold him (from Our wrath). -------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: Afterthoughts On Salman Rushdie Episode -------------------------------------------------------------------- The detractors use the story to challenge the Quran’s absolute purity as the incorruptible and inviolable word of Allah. They try to sow doubt that there could be other such verses of doubtful origin. The story strengthens rather than weakens the Quran’s claim as the inviolable word of Allah as the Satanic attempt to interpolate was quickly set to nought by Allah. Not only that, but as explained, although Allah could have prevented the interpolation altogether, He chose to use Satan to achieve His purpose of inoculating the faith from all attempts to dilute its uncompromising monotheism through the incident. The people were left in no doubt that there are no intercessors of Allah - not even the three most revered deities of the Meccan people. ----- A frequent contributor to, Naseer Ahmed is an Engineering graduate from IIT Kanpur and is an independent IT consultant after having served in both the Public and Private sector in responsible positions for over three decades. He has spent years studying Quran in-depth and made seminal contributions to its interpretation. 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

Knowledge Vs Wisdom: From Sheikh Sadi's Gulistan

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 30 August 2022 “Aql Ko Gumaan Hai Ke Har Shai Maaloom Hai Ilm Ki Inkisaarii Ke Kuchh Seekha Nahin Ab Tak” -Yaas Yagana Changezi (Knowledge presumptuously thinks that it knows everything/ Wisdom is modest enough to admit that nothing has been learnt thus far) The great didactic writer, teacher and polymath, Sheikh Saadi of Shiraz narrated a fascinating parable in his tome ' Gulistan. ‘Its relevance is eternal. An enlightened mystic had three disciples. One was extremely wise and silent and the other two, though very learned, were quarrelsome, noisy and a trifle arrogant. One day they began to fight over each one being superior to the other. The third disciple just didn't pay any attention and was as silent and cool as an ocean. When the Mystic heard the noises and came to know that his two learned disciples were fighting over their respective superiority, he laughed and called both. He asked them whether they saw their third friend. They said, yes they did. ‘What did you notice,' he asked the quarrelsome disciples. 'He is unaffected and very calm despite so much din and bustle,' they replied. 'This is the very distinct difference between you and that disciple,' Master said. ‘Though you two are knowledgeable, he is WISE.' A wise man's wisdom always makes him unaffected and calm. He is like an ocean without ripples, but knowledge is always noisy because it has arrogance and false pride. Wisdom is always humble and far from fanfare. It's like, Jis Mein Jitna Josh Hai Woh Utna Hi Khamosh Hai. A savant is always silent. That's the reason, a truly wise man doesn't bother whether or not he knows anything or what people think of him. He's not in competition with anyone regarding his wisdom. When wisdom descends, one realizes that one knows nothing, whereas knowledge thinks that it has answers to all questions and is complete. Knowledge lacks that proverbial oceanic placidity and is always restless. Knowledge has youngish playfulness; wisdom has mature profundity. In the worldly context, knowledge is gaudy and garish, but wisdom has gravitas. Wisdom thinks that the journey has just begun. On the other hand, knowledge thinks that the journey has reached its end. For wisdom, the destination is yet to come but for knowledge, destination has already arrived. Wisdom thinks that nothing can be known with certainty but knowledge thinks that everything can be known with certitude. Knowledge differentiates but wisdom discerns. Jalaluddin Rumi put it in a very succinct manner, 'Knowledge and wisdom are like young age and old age. When one is young, he or she is full of arrogant confidence, but with advancing age, the person's arrogance paves the way for mellowed maturity that has greater depth like that of an ocean.' To use a simple analogy, if knowledge is a culvert, wisdom is the cosmos because the scope of the cosmos can never be fathomed. It's simply unfathomable. Knowledge is what is gathered over time through study of innumerable books and tomes. It can be said that wisdom, in turn, acts properly upon that knowledge. Wisdom is the fitting application of knowledge. Knowledge understands that the light has turned red; wisdom applies the brakes. Knowledge sees the quicksand; wisdom walks around it. Knowledge memorizes the Quranic verses, Shlokas, hymns and all scriptural mumbo-jumbo; wisdom mulls over them. Knowledge learns of god; wisdom lacerates and questions it. We all must strive to have the depth of a profoundly wise man, for whom everything is relative and nothing is superior or inferior. So, go beyond the superficiality of knowledge and delve into the realms of wisdom. To quote an Urdu poet, " Tah Mein Jaa, Tu Satah Se Qat'-E-Nazar Kar Ke Dekh/Qatre-Qatre Mein Samandar Hai, Nazar Paida Kar " (Go deeper and touch the bottom, ignoring the surface/ Every drop contains an ocean, develop that kind of discernment). ----- 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

Monday, August 29, 2022

Saudi Arabia's Blind Following of the Western Ways Is Courting Trouble for Its Tradition and Religion

By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam 29 August 2022 There Are Many Things That The Muslims Should Adopt For Themselves From The West But To Say That The West Is Squeaky Clean Is Being Blind To It Many Faults Main Points: 1. Societal universal moral code for life does not necessarily need the props of Religions. 2. Balance has to be struck with educating its society and enlightenment and striking the mean path. 3. Aping the West in every which way is not necessarily the right path. 4. Religious tourism to Vatican Makkah is assured for many generations of princes of Saudi Arabia. ----- Recently a clip was making its way round the cyber world in which the Priest (Imam) of the Haram's sermon (Khutba) was recorded. For what he said and for his troubles the Imam was apparently sentenced to ten years in prison! The clip starts:" Saudi Arabia rejects the acquittal of the Imam of the Haram and sentences him to ten years in prison". The Sermon says “Be aware of these cinematic comedy concerts. If they claim that it is entertainment, then they are nothing but Western Projects..." It goes on to criticise the Government, in effect, of blindly following Western ways and its moral degradation; spending money on it and abandoning Arabian moral values, mixing of Male Females freely and thus heading for disaster. This wrong direction of the Authorities (read Kingdom) will be resisted and eventually the "project" will fail, with the guidance of Quran. The above as implied, when taken on its face values contains nothing earth shattering on the part of the authority's direction and thus the Imam would seem to many as 'out of step' of the general progressive society. But those aware of the Kingdom's recent past know very well that pre Muhammad bin Salman-MBS's reform era, that society under the regime was grossly violating Human Rights Values and cultivating gender differentiation at an unacceptable level when compared to international norms and even Quranic code- ad-Deen! The Imam therefore cannot be taken at face value. Therefore, now to turn to the Regime's following an open ended or blind following of the Western ways, and that too for people and their tradition and Religion of centuries is no doubt courting trouble for the future. There are many things that the Muslims should adopt for themselves from the West but to say that the West is squeaky clean is being blind to it many faults. As it is to say that everything of the Muslims practicing in the name of the so called various Islam, from their Churches various adaptation is Holy and pristine! The societal universal moral code for life does not necessarily need the props of Religions; as is shown by often being poles apart. The Saudi Kingdom taking the reins of societal reforms in its hands must learn to differentiate between Religion, which it is in a hurry to discard, but getting its society out of the pan into the fire. A balance has to be struck with educating its society and enlightenment and striking the mean path. Aping the West in every which way is not necessarily the right path, even if it is driven by economics and tourist influx from the West. The Religious tourism to Vatican Makkah is assured for many generations of princes of the kingdom yet to come. At this juncture one cannot go past poet Iqbal's advice: Jalaale Paadshahi Ho Yaa Jamhuri Tamaasha Ho. Judaa Ho *Deen* Siyaasat Say Toe Rehjaati Hai Changezi. ---- A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is an Indian-origin Engineer (Retd.) based in Australia for over forty years. 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

Increasing Drug Addiction among Muslims a Matter of Concern

Kerala Muslims Have Woken Up To the Menace Main Points: 1. The Muslim youth are badly affected by drug addiction. 2. Narcotics are freely available in ice-cream parlours and juice corners in Kerala. 3. Muslim community of Pudukkad have decided to ostracise drug addicts. 4. Drug addiction is fast spreading among Muslims. ---- By New Age Islam Staff Writer 29 August 2022 The spread of narcotics and drug addiction is on the rise in the country and the Muslim community has also been affected by the availability of drugs. In recent years, the narcotics trade has seen a steep rise in the country. Seizures of big haul of narcotics from different parts of the country in recent months indicate that the narcotics trade has reached alarming proportions affecting the youth. Recently, the Pudukkad Muslim community in the Thrissur district of Kerala had to take a drastic step of warning its members of ostracisation if they are found to be drug addicts. Those found guilty will not be able to participate in community programmes. Even their marriages will not be solemnised because it needs a certificate from the mosque committee. Such a strict action on drug addiction demonstrates the severity of the problem. It is surprising that the Muslim community of Kerala is financially well off. Drug addiction is generally found among Muslim communities where there is poverty, unemployment and illiteracy. But the widespread practice of taking narcotics by the Muslims of Kerala raises some questions. The practice of consumption of narcotics among the Muslims is so widespread that in September 2021, a bishop, Joseph Kallarangatt had accused Keralite Muslims of waging 'Narcotics jihad' to convert non -Muslims particularly Christians into Islam. According to a newspaper report, he had said: "The narcotic jihad is the activity of spoiling the life of non-Muslims, particularly youths, by making them addicted to drugs. Various types of drugs are being used in ice-cream parlours, hotels and juice corners run by hard-core Jihadis. They are using various types of drugs as a weapon to spoil non-Muslims.” Though the Kerala Chief Minister had criticised the bishop for his unfounded remarks and even other bishops had warned him against being carried away by the propaganda spread by Hindutva forces, the report mentions that narcotics was freely available in ice-cream parlours, hotels and juice corners. This is only a failure of the law enforcing agencies and the government. How can narcotics be available in ice cream parlours and juice corners located in the streets? The situation though not as grave as in Kerala in other parts of the country, is not much different either. In West Bengal, where a sizeable Muslim population exists, the menace of drug trade and drug addiction is on the rise in Muslim neighbourhoods. Drug suppliers including Muslims are often arrested by the police. Recently a Brazilian drug supplier was caught by the customs at the Kolkata airport and 450 grams of cocaine was seized from him. It is a matter of concern that the evil of drug addiction has gripped the Muslim community of the country and the Muslims are falling prey to this menace along with the youth of other communities despite the fact that wine and other intoxicants are forbidden in the Quran and Hadith. The Muslims worldwide are known as a community which adheres to its religious values strictly. The Kerala Muslims have woken up when the vice surpassed all limits and the life and career of the Muslim youth came under threat. The Muslims of other states have still not realised the danger of drug addiction among the Muslim youth. The reason behind the spread of drug addiction is the absence of reform movements in the community. Though there are a number of Islamic organisations claiming to be working for religious and moral reform among the Muslims, basic problems of drug addiction, consumption of wine, gambling etc are not attended by them. They are more preoccupied with sectarian issues. Fiery speeches from pulpits and in Meelad do not serve any purpose. An intensive campaign with de-addiction programme can help curb the problem. It needs a co-ordinated effort with the police and local intelligentsia. But ironically, the issue of drug addiction or availability of drugs in Muslim neighbourhoods is never taken seriously or collectively. It is left upon the local administration. But the issue of drug addiction is not merely a legal problem but is related to the moral and religious commandments of the Muslim society. The local representatives of the municipalities do not take up the issue of drugs and narcotics because they think that this is not their responsibility but the responsibility of the police. To curb the menace of drug addiction among the Muslims, the Ulema should take up the issue seriously and chalk out a long term plan to rid the Muslim society of the menace of drug addiction and wine consumption. The Muslim youth should be sensitised about the ill effects of drugs and wine and other psychotropic substances. De-addiction centres should be set up in such neighbourhoods and drug suppliers should be identified and reported to the police. 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

Rushdie’s Satanic Verses Had Few Takers, Khomeini’s Fatwa Gave It Sudden Rise

By Nur Ul Islam Sadequey, New Age Islam 29 August 2022 The Novel Also Gave Muslims Chance to Clear Ambiguity around Contested Traditions but the Fatwa Made Debate on Religion A Taboo And Rushdie Emerged Victorious Main Points: 1. Notably, the title ‘Satanic Verses’ implies not only that Quran is not a divine revelation but its devil’s work. 2. The bogey of infamous fatwa has haunted Muslims more than Rushdie for decades. 3. For many Muslims, Iranian motive behind the fatwa was dubious. 4. The fatwa which had unforeseen repercussions far and wide for decades, pitted western values against Islamic values and made debate on religion a taboo. ----- Although Iran has ‘categorically’ denied any link with attacker but as the stabbing of the controversial author Salman Rushdie onstage at a literary event in New York on August 12, 2022 was hailed by the supporters of Iranian government on social media, it shows that the attack was result of a lingering bitterness among some Muslims over Rushdie’s controversial novel ‘The Satanic Verses’ which led the Iranian leadership issue a fatwa in 1989 calling for his death. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: Salman Rushdie's Indian Mullah Critics, Listen To the Message of Satanic Verses ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The bogey of infamous fatwa has haunted Muslims more than Rushdie for decades. Had there been no fatwa the novel would have been lost in oblivion at the very outset. For many Muslims, Iranian motive behind the fatwa was dubious. Iran, then reeling under privation and capitulation to a truce with Iraq to end the longstanding war, saw the novel a ‘godsend gift’ to distract its people. Fearing that Saudis might steal the show, and vying for leadership of the Muslim world, and to garner support of Sunnis for the Islamic Revolution, Iran took no time in pulling the rug from under the feet of Saudis and took lead of the protest when its First Supreme Leader late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued fatwa (religious edict) in February 1989 asking Muslims to kill Rushdie wherever they find him. Although the novel was proscribed before fatwa in a number of countries but fatwa gave it more notoriety, many died in protest against its publication in Mumbai and Islamabad. Rushdie emerged victorious as the next few years belonged to Satanic Verses, people discussed need to defend free speech and critics found Islam impediment in this struggle. Many Muslims found it offensive that in the garb of freedom of expression Rushdie’s Satanic Verses distorted historical facts and fictionalized parts of Prophet Mohammed’s life and his wives’, whom Muslims revere most, in a condescending manner. However, the novel also gave Muslims chance to clear ambiguity around certain contested traditions misrepresented by the author. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: The Attack on Salman Rushdie Is Symptomatic Of the Malady of Intolerance Islam Suffers From -------------------------------------------------------------------- But the fatwa which had unforeseen repercussions far and wide for decades, pitted western values against Islamic values and made debate on religion a taboo. The narrative that Islam promotes child marriage, enslaving women, killing non-Muslims and perpetrators of blasphemy and apostasy, could have been debated without regressing to false apologetics as plenty of authentic traditions are there to counter such narrative. But the fatwa closed this door. The novel was execrated by Muslims in East and West. The resentment was so high that progressive Islamic writers avoided the subject for fear of reprisal from millions of zealots in Iran, India, Pakistan and elsewhere. Even many western liberals expressed contempt for Rushdie. Ironically, Rushdie’s Satanic Verses demands reader to have good understanding of Islamic sciences. Knowledge of early history of Islam, Prophet’s biography, Quran exegesis, hadith literature and Islamic jurisprudences is required to fully understand the novel. Many controversial references have been made in the novel that might offend a Muslim reader aware of Islamic traditions. Notably, the title ‘Satanic Verses’ implies not only that Quran is not a divine revelation but its devil’s work. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: Revisiting Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses -------------------------------------------------------------------- During a BBC interview Rushdie said that he fictionalised a quasi-historical incident found in some traditions wherein Mohammed was offered a deal in return for recognizing three pagan goddesses as having some kind of status not equal with Allah but perhaps at the level of archangels then the faithful will not be persecuted. He was referring to an incident known in Islamic tradition as ‘Gharaaneeq verses’ wherein Prophet supposedly spoke two verses in surah An-Najm (after verse 20) as part of Quran but withdrew later for the reason that devil deceived him into thinking that verses are from God. Although both Sunni and Shia schools of thoughts consider Gharaaneeq verses story fabrication as it is not found in authentic early Islamic literature and neither in the books of hadiths of the Sunni or the Shiite sources. Iranian scholar Tabari (died 923 CE) describes the incident in detail which suggest Prophet recited surah An-Najm of Qur'an in the mosque and as usual went into Sajda (prostration), but this time all his opponent idolaters present there also kneeled and did Sajda along with Muslims. It is said that idolaters heard Mohammed read verses in praise of their goddesses saying ‘Laat, Uzza and the other third one Manaat are noble Gharaaneeq (birds) and their intercession is accepted by God’. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: Afterthoughts On Salman Rushdie Episode -------------------------------------------------------------------- But surprisingly, the surah actually negates this notion in rather categorical terms which suggest these idols are fabricated gods created by the idolaters and their forefathers, out of desire and imagination. It is evident from last week’s attack on Rushdie that he will remain a damned figure in Islamic world no matter how hard he repents as for the common psyche he has committed profanity of highest degree against Islam, the Prophet and Quran. And threat to his life will remain there from misguided elements like Hadi Matar no matter how progressive and accommodative we become. However, a common Muslim should emulate Prophet for being merciful, forgiving and beneficial to the society. Any resentment should be expressed through peaceful means. Violence does only disservice to the community. Rushdie’s Satanic Verses will remain in people’s imagination with or without him. Muslims need to adapt to this. --- Nur Ul Islam Sadequey is an Arabic scholar based in Abu Dhabi, UAE. 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

Mental Extremism Leads To Terrorism

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 29 August 2022 Bangladeshi Muslims Are Comparatively Recent Converts Who Still Retain Their Typical Bengali Hindu Surnames Such As Dastidar, Talukdar, Majumdar Even Ghosh And Ghoshal! ---- has carried a disconcerting news item along with a video, showing a kid (not more than 4 or 5-yr-old) brazenly telling the interviewer that he's not interested in meeting the Hindu players in the Bangladesh cricket team. His parents are also there, not admonishing him, but smiling instead. Currently, there are two Hindu cricketers, Soumya Sarkar and Liton Das, playing for the Bangladesh team and both are fairly good players. Religious indoctrination and discrimination begin right from the cradle. Nowadays, Muslims (though not all) indoctrinate their children not to hobnob with Kafirs (infidels) and Hindus tell their kids to stay away from the Mlecchha (Sanskrit for impure). What's going on is beyond the ken of any sane person. I'm not vituperative against the Muslims. My best friends have been Muslims and they're still with me. But if the truth must be told, the Muslims of Bangladesh have become particularly violent and virulent against Hindus in recent years. I've been to Bangladesh quite a few times to collect archaic and modern Bangla manuscripts and papers. I interacted with the Bengali writers and scholars there. My father being a Bengali, I speak the language with consummate ease and that makes my entry and acceptance rather easy. Suddenly, the Bengali-speaking Muslims of Bangladesh have become too rabidly religious and they abuse Hindus at will. This shocks as well as surprises me. This also reminds me of V S Naipaul's trenchant observation in his book Beyond Belief that converts are much more fanatic. Bangladeshi Muslims are comparatively recent converts who still retain their typical Bengali Hindu surnames such as Dastidar, Talukdar, Majumdar even Ghosh and Ghoshal! Readers are aware that a few years ago, Bangladesh witnessed a series of murders of Hindu and atheist bloggers speaking against Islam. These fanatics often suggested that I should embrace Islam. Why on earth should I accept Islam when I give two hoots to god and all idiotic religions? Coming back to early religious indoctrination of children of all faiths. This is (early) mental extremism that leads to terrorism in later years. Such religiously indoctrinated kids become hard-core adults and suffer from monomania. Religion stymies their mental development and makes them obstinate in their beliefs when they grow up. That's why, parents must never inculcate such erroneous beliefs in the minds of their children and Muslims, in particular, must never send their wards to madrasas where such beliefs get all the more consolidated. Let a child grow up sans any religion. If he or she accepts one after growing up, that's okay but parents must never teach religion and instill the unnecessary fear of god into them at an impressionable age. ----- 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

Netaji Subhas and Ubaidullah Sindhi: A Nationalist Alliance

By Saquib Salim, New Age Islam 26-08-2022 During The First World War (WWI) When Ubaidullah Sindhi With The Help Of Raja Mahendra Pratap And Maulana Barkatullah Formed A Provisional Government Of Free India In Afghanistan ---- Ubaidullah with Allah Bux Somroo ----- The name of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is etched on every Indian nationalist heart. He formed ‘Azad Hind Sarkar’, a working provisional government of India in exile that commanded Azad Hind Fauj, an army that fought against the British Army during the Second World War (WWII) to liberate India. Very few know that a similar attempt was made during the First World War (WWI) when Ubaidullah Sindhi with the help of Raja Mahendra Pratap and Maulana Barkatullah formed a provisional government of free India in Afghanistan. The attempt at raising an army was leaked by a few traitors and India had to wait three more decades for her freedom. Even fewer people know that Netaji was guided by these senior Indian revolutionaries who felt that he was the most suited person to lead India. The command of Azad Hind Fauj was handed over to Netaji by Rash Behari Bose who planned a revolt of Indian soldiers during WWI. In Japan and China, Raja Mahendra Pratap, the President of the government formed in 1915 in Kabul, was already campaigning for help from these two countries for the Indian freedom struggle for many years. Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi ----- Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi came back to India in 1938 after a British enforced political exile for his role in the revolutionary movements. While introducing Rowlatt Bill his revolutionary activities were highlighted as one of the most prominent reasons for such a draconian law. During the period from the end of WWI till 1938, Ubaidullah went to Italy, Germany, Russia, and Arab thus creating a network of people which could be later used for an armed struggle against the British Forces. Ubaidullah Sindhi, like Rash Behari Bose, Raja Mahendra Pratap, and several other revolutionary leaders who led the movement during WWI saw in Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the leader who could unite the whole of India into a single nation. According to a letter written by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad to Maulvi Zahirul Haque, which was printed by Golam Ahmed Mortaza in his Bengali book Chepe Rakha Itihas since coming back to India, Ubaidullah had confided in Azad that he wanted to send Netaji abroad for a final battle against the British. Azad further claimed that Netaji and Ubaidullah met in Delhi to talk about the future of the Indian Freedom Struggle. The letter further notes that they again met in Calcutta (Kolkata) after a few months where Ubaidullah handed over important letters of reference and documents which had to be given to Japanese authorities. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose ----- The meeting at Kolkata is corroborated by another account written by Shah Mohammad Usmani, a freedom fighter and leader of Jamiat Ulema. Usmani recalled that Ubaidullah was visiting Kolkata as Chief Guest of an event organized by Jamiat. Muslim League tried tooth and nail to stop the event but could not. During his stay of more than 20 days at Kolkata, Ubaidullah met Netaji at least twice. The respect Netaji had for Ubaidullah could be judged from the fact that when he came to know that Ubaidullah was in Kolkata he paid a visit to him. In 1939, Netaji was one of the tallest Indian leaders. According to the eyewitness account of Usmani, Netaji took his blessings by touching Ubaidullah’s feet. After this Netaji garlanded Ubaidullah upon which Ubaidullah garlanded him back saying that as a young leader it suited him more than himself. After discussing the political situation of the country, Netaji went back. After the event of Jamiat, Netaji threw a dinner party in honour of Ubaidullah where they again shared plans for the final struggle to free India. Ubaidullah was later murdered in 1944 by poisoning for fighting multiple battles against the British, Muslim League’s communal politics, and capitalists. What we miss is the fact that the Indian revolutionary movements were not disjointed efforts but there was a single thread that connected all these armed struggles from the Fakir-Sanyasi Revolt of the 1760s till the Naval Mutiny of 1946. Source: Netaji Subhas and Ubaidullah Sindhi: A Nationalist Alliance URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Firaq Gorakhpuri: A Hindu Who Proudly Called Himself An Ahle-Zabaan (Native Speaker) - On Firaq Gorakhpur's Birthday, August 28

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 28 August 2022 Nature Hardly Makes Such A Great Individual Like 'Firaq' Gorakhpuri. In These Times And Climes, ' Firaq' Is All The More Significant When Urdu Is Being Called The Language Of Muslims And Fanatic Hindus Are Purging Hindi Of All Persian, Arabic And Turkish Words To Make It The Tongue Of Sanatanis ---- Mad Mein Doobi Hui Ye Raat Nargis-E-Neembaaz Ka Aalam Mere Naghme Ki Narm Lay Mein Dekh Jumbish-E-Paainaaz Ka Aalam -Firaq Gorakhpuri (The night is steeped in wine/ Like a half-open Nargis/ Look at the soft cadence of my song/ It's as if a beloved comes tip-toeing). The astounding juxtaposition of Hindi and Persianized Urdu immortalized Raghupati Sahay ' Firaq ' Gorakhpuri's exquisite Urdu poetry. " Raghupati Sahay ' Firaq ' Ne Na Sirf Hindi Aur Urdu Mein Tavazun Rakha, Balke Urdu Sukhanvari Ko Parvaan Chadhate Hue Hindustani Ke Pahaluon Mein Bhi Izafa Kiya." - Late Dr Gopichand Narang, noted Urdu critic and writer (Raghupati Sahay 'Firaq' Gorakhpuri not only struck a perfect balance between Hindi and Urdu, but by lifting Urdu poetry, he also enriched the facets of Hindustani) " The perfect amalgamation of musicality, beauty and sensuality in Firaq's Urdu poetry is unsurpassable." -Qurratulain Hyder " Aa Jaata Hai Husn Mein Salonapan Aur Chanchalpan, Baalpan, Anailapan Aur Kat-Te Hi Suhaagraat Dekhein Jo Use Badh Jaata Hai Roop Ka Kunwarapan Aur " - ' Firaq ' Gorakhpuri (The beauty gets all the more lovely/Its naughtiness and impish charm increase further/When you see her after the 'rendezvous'/The virginity of her comeliness gets enhanced manifold) ' A poet belongs to no creed, culture or country, ' magnanimously opined the great English poet-critic Dr Matthew Arnold (1822-1888). This observation aptly applies to Raghupati Sahay 'Firaq' Gorakhpuri whose 126th birth anniversary falls on August 28. One of the greatest poets to have graced the last century was 'Firaq' alongside Ali Sardar Jafri, Josh Malihabadi, Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Pakistan's legendary Ahmad Faraz. What pains me sorely when some numskulls ask me, 'Firaq' Gorakhpuri Hindu Thay Ya Musalman '? (Was 'Firaq' Gorakhpuri a Hindu or a Muslim?). This very question is audaciously silly because it's asked about a man, who at the age of twenty four, penned, 'Main Na Hindu Na Musalmaan Hoon/Shayari Karta Hoon, Ahle-Zabaan Hoon' (I'm neither a Hindu, nor am I a Muslim/I write Urdu poetry, I belong to Urdu). 'Firaq' always called himself an 'Ahle-Zabaan' (native speaker) and never a 'zabaandaan' (who learns the linguistic nuances as a second language). Born in a Hindu-kayasth family in Gorakhpur in Eastern UP on August 28, 1896, 'Firaq' like Munshi Premchand, yet another Hindu-Kayasth from Lamhi in UP, picked up Urdu-Persian as his mother tongue. ' Kakhara Alif-Bay-Pay Se Hua Hai Mera/Ragon Mein Meri Karti Hai Raqs Urdu ' (My alphabetic learning began with Urdu/ It (Urdu) dances in my veins). 'Firaq' spontaneously blurted out this couplet when an editor of a Pakistani Urdu daily dared question 'Firaq's' claims and credentials as one of the finest poets Urdu language has ever had after Ghalib, Daagh, Mir and Momin. That editor later apologised and specifically came to meet this great poet in Allahabad in 1961. 'Meri Urdu Ko Nigah-E-Shak Se Dekhta Hai/Ye Tifl Abhi-Abhi Jawaan Hua Hai' (He casts doubts on my Urdu/Methinks, this boy has just grown into a young man), he said this about the hugely apologetic Munir Raza who came all the way from Karachi to say sorry to 'Firaq'. Such was the aura and impact of 'Firaq'. I really feel sad when people, even young Muslims, don't know anything about Raghupati Sahay 'Firaq'. In this age of WhatsApp poetry of the lowest level and an abysmal language, people have no knowledge of this great poet. I feel all the more sad when some good-for-nothing critics call him just a 'homosexual' poet. Agreed, he was an avowed homosexual. But what does this preference have to do with his poetic genius? 'Ilzaamaat Lagate Hain 'Firaq' Pe Humjinsiyat Ke/ 'Firaq' Ne Kab Iss Shauq Se Inkaar Kiya Hai?' (There're allegations on my homosexuality/ But have I denied my predilection?). Firaq's article in defence of homosexual love (1936) and its depiction in the Ghazal remains a classic, where he defiantly describes the depiction of homosexuality and lesbianism in poetry across time and cultures in the works of Sappho and Socrates, Saadi and Hafiz, Shakespeare and Whitman, Rumi and Shams and Oscar Wilde. 'Firaq' was as candid as his poetry. He wasn't a poet who only delineated feminine beauty in his prolific oeuvre. Late critic Shamsur Rahman Faruqi called him a 'Shayar-E-Husn ' (a mere poet of beauty). It's a mistaken observation. Faruqi may not have read Firaq's wonderfully philosophical Ghazals and couplets like, ''Raaz-E-Wajood Kuchh Na Poochh, Subha-E-Azal Se Aaj Tak Kitne Yaqeen Guzar Gaye, Kitne Guzar Gaye Gumaan' (Don't ask the mystery of the existence/ Right from the dawn of human civilization till date/ So many soi disant beliefs and doubts have come and gone) or 'Taqdeer Toh Quamon Ki Hua Karti Hai/ Ek Shakhs Ki Qismat Mein Taqdeer Kahaan' (Only a race or community has a destiny or fate/ There's no fate in a mere mortal's luck). He defined luck, fate and destiny through his multifarious poetry. He was the head of the department of English at Allahabad University and was equally proud of his mastery over English. But it must be stated that his poetic life was busier than his academic life. Firaq once 'justifiably' claimed, 'Only two and a half people in India know English: 'Firaq' and Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan know the language completely and Nehru knows it half!' What he said about himself will always be relevant, 'Aane Waali Naslein Tum Pe Rashk Karengi Humasro/Jab Ye Khyaal Aayega Un Ko, Tumne 'Firaq' Ko Dekha Hai ' (The generations to come will be envious of you that you saw 'Firaq' in flesh and blood). Nature hardly makes such a great individual like 'Firaq' Gorakhpuri. In these times and climes, ' Firaq' is all the more significant when Urdu is being called the language of Muslims and fanatic Hindus are purging Hindi of all Persian, Arabic and Turkish words to make it the tongue of Sanatanis. Instead of reading pedestrian poets, writing on plebeian issues and concerns in faulty Urdu and Hindi, readers must read Firaq's poetry and his book 'Gul-e-Naghma.' Alas, who has time to read in these philistine times? The morbid obsession with WhatsApp, Instagram and all social platforms has robbed us of our love for books. ----- 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

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Associating Islam with Terrorism Is Unfair Because They Are Poles Apart

By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam 27 August 2022 In Islamic Sources, If Combat Is Mentioned, It Is Always in the Context of Putting an End to Oppression; So No way to link Islam with terrorism Main Points: 1. Islam, a religion that upheld human rights, fostered peace and security, defined the rights of Muslims and non-Muslims worldwide, and even acknowledged the rights of animals, is now associated with terrorism. 2. The media primarily emphasises the acts of terrorism committed by the so-called Muslims, rather than stressing the peaceful teachings of Islam presented by Muslims worldwide. 3. We cannot exclude the potential that some Muslims may be persuaded to engage in terrorism as a result of departing from the correct Islamic teachings. 4. Our Ulama should carefully direct the attention of their religious services toward this subject in order to stop terrorism that is carried out in the name of Islam. 5. Islam and terrorism are fundamentally opposed; so, linking them would be unfair. 6. If there is a fundamental conflict between Islam and terrorism, you might be questioning why it is mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah to engage in combat with non-believers and polytheists. 7. Just bear in mind that any time fighting is referred to in the Quran or the Sunnah, it is always in the context of ending oppression and cruelty. ------- I was still in primary school when the World Trade Centre attack, commonly known as the 9/11 attack; suddenly became a hot topic in news outlets and magazines. I turned to glance around when I heard some strange noises. Everybody was using the word "terrorism." I kept thinking about terrorism and asking myself, "What is this terrorism?" What objectives do terrorists have? They, who? Since then, it has become common knowledge that terrorism carried out under the banner of Islamic words is referred to as “Islamic terrorism”. It is undisputed that even if a non-Muslim commits acts of terrorism 1,000 times, they will not be regarded as terrorist activities. But regrettably, even if a terrorist is a nominal Muslim, when he acts terrorism and, in your and our views, does so in contravention of Islamic teachings, others still regard it as Islamic terrorism. It's possible that some of those other people don't have the same level of intelligence as you and our great scholars to clearly distinguish right from wrong. However, how can those who harbour animosity, venom, jealousy, enmity, and hypocrisy toward Islam miss out on such opportunities? Therefore, they do not even wait to admit that they need to rid themselves of these negative characteristics before asserting that Islamic terrorism is at play. Not to speak of others, even self-described Muslims have started referring to terrorism as “Islamic”. Among them are certain educated people who appear to maintain Islam and terrorism on separate fronts, as if two sizable armies were preparing for a direct confrontation, while simultaneously calling terrorism Islamic and doing so without any hesitation. Their current level of anxiety appears to be out of control, which has disrupted the balance of their fair and serious nature. If you are an Islamic scholar, you can deliver addresses, write articles, and issue fatwas for guiding the people. You should keep attempting to persuade people through these methods that what is being misrepresented as terrorism committed in the name of Islam is actually against Islamic teachings. There will inevitably be a very small percentage of people who listen to and take you at your word. But don't stress over it. Even while you are aware that those who harbour enmity, wrath, jealousy, and hypocrisy will not be able to hear, see, or grasp the truth or give it a place in their hearts and minds unless they rid themselves of these negative characteristics, you should nonetheless carry out your obligation. If you persist, you will surely succeed in persuading people that there is a deep hatred between Islam and terrorism. But now that I have extensively studied Islamic history, the Quran and Sunnah, I have come to understand from the arguments that Islam promotes peace and harmony and that its true adherents have both historically and currently set good examples of this. Is it not odd that Islam, which established human rights, promoted peace and security, defined the rights of Muslims and non-Muslims around the world, and even recognized the rights of animals, is now linked to terrorism? How did it all happen? If you look at the truth through the lens of history, you will discover that people who are attempting to connect Islam with terrorism today have a long history of committing black crimes while dressed in white. Particularly, those who accuse Islam of supporting terrorism on a regular basis have waged more than 25000 battles throughout the course of their 400-year history, yet they continue to label Islam as a terrorist religion. This really shocks me! People from all walks of life are now familiar with the word "terrorism." This word instantly conjures up a dreadful image in our thoughts. This concept does not stand for a serene and happy valley, nor does it stand for any party or court; rather, it stands for the savagery of human dignity and the sanctity of life, as well as the blood on the streets, bomb blasts, oppression and unjustified violation of the rights of innocent children and women and the most extreme acts of brutality committed in Iraq, Burma, Afghanistan, Syria and Palestine. Furthermore, the world witnessed such heart-breaking acts of brutality and compulsion first-hand in this toxic environment of terrorism that even people with hearts as hard as stones sobbed. Those whose hearts beat for compassion and love of humanity can of course hear the tears of humanity through the ears of feeling. The human mind can observe the destruction of homes and property of people in the terrorist attacks as they are sacrificed on a stage of death in a naked dance of brutality, as well as the corpses withering in the blood and dust. At that point, the horrifying picture of what actually occurred starts to emerge in people's minds: the arrest of numerous Muslims, especially educated and pious teenagers from Muslim and non-Muslim countries, the imprisonment in notorious prisons, and their physical, sexual, mental, and intellectual torture. The execution of such heinous acts and the invention of such methods of torture and humiliation during these incidents made the globe scream for human rights and utterly destroyed the human conscience. In a similar vein, armed riots by so-called Muslim terrorists, the murder of unarmed civilians, suicide bombings of mosques, shrines, educational institutions, markets, governmental structures, trade centres, defence training facilities, embassies, vehicles, and other heinous, inhumane acts like bombings in public places have all become common. By associating Islam with the indiscriminate killing of hundreds of thousands of people and other forms of human harm, these folks continue to misinterpret the entirety of the Islamic concept of peace and safety. Since the perpetrators of these acts call themselves Muslims and quote Islamic narratives, participate in Islamic rites and worship, and have an outwardly Islamic look, they confound many simple-minded Muslims in general and the younger generation in particular. Additionally, rather than emphasizing the actual peaceful teachings of Islam, or its compassionate philosophy and behaviour, the media predominantly focuses on the acts and episodes of terrorism and extremism perpetrated by the so-called Muslims. The hate, condemnation, and hostility of Islam and Muslims for terrorism are not even mentioned. As a result, Islam, extremism, and terrorism have been adversely associated with one another. Consequently, whenever people hear the word ‘Islam’, an image of terrorism immediately comes to mind. Due to this, the youth of the entire Islamic world is being rocked and mentally disturbed in terms of belief, thought, and practice, in addition to the young Muslim generation who are highly concerned, reluctant, and apprehensive in the non-Muslim majority countries. The majority of Muslims today are moving away from religious education. Therefore, it is possible that they could become attracted to terrorism or learn to hate Islam as a result of terrorist crimes committed in its name. Therefore, I believe that our competent Ulama should carefully direct the attention of their religious services toward this subject and persuade as many people as they can, using compelling arguments in order to stop terrorism done in the name of Islam. In addition to ending violence, it is possible to dispel the doubts of young Muslims who are disenchanted with Islam. The fact that I do not think all terrorists are Muslims should be mentioned here. Anyone who has killed humanity by their activities is a terrorist in my eyes. That killer is a terrorist whether he is a Muslim or a non-Muslim, regardless of whether people take a discriminatory attitude toward Muslims and non-Muslims when it comes to naming those terrorists. However, I object to connecting terrorism with any particular religion because no religion promotes it. It is also a reality that non-Muslim terrorists do not use their faith as an excuse for their crimes. However, the tragedy of a small number of Muslims using the cover of Islam to conduct terrorism cannot be expressed in anything except hidden pain. By doing this, they become fierce enemies of Islam in addition to enemies of humanity. For a Muslim, especially one who is aware of the reality of the situation, it is difficult to communicate this anguish. But without realising this, everyone from a few non-Muslims to some Muslims who consider themselves to be progressive has done their best to link Islam to terrorism. Allah has made it abundantly clear in the Holy Qur'an that Satan is the one who instigates interpersonal conflict between Muslims and Non-Muslims. Satan occasionally causes Muslim rivalries to break out. On occasion, Satan stirs up sibling rivalry. Every now and then, Satan will provoke a brawl between two non-Muslims. Satan will occasionally incite a non-Muslim to engage in combat with a Muslim. Sometimes a country will get into a war with another. Satan fulfils his objective by inciting conflicts between human beings over land, property or religion. This occurs when people disobey the illuminating teachings of their God and fail to remember that Satan is their open enemy. When you attempt to explain Surah Israa verse 53, do you not understand all of these things? Allah Almighty says in this verse: “And tell My servants to say that which is best. Indeed, Satan induces [dissension] among them. Indeed Satan is ever, to mankind, a clear enemy.” (Surah Isra, 17:53) You might be wondering why it is stated in the Quran and Sunnah to battle the unbelievers and polytheists if there is a fundamental clash between Islam and terrorism. I have frequently provided the answer in my earlier writings, links to which I will provide below. Just keep in mind that whenever fighting is mentioned in the Quran or the Sunnah, it is always in the context of putting an end to oppression and cruelty. In these publications, I've argued in-depth and provided evidence that warfare was only required to stop persecution inflicted upon Muslims. Muslims in Arab were subjected to religious persecution just because they had accepted Islam. Since the oppressors and persecutors had given in to Satan's temptation and gone beyond all limits of oppression and persecution, it was challenging for Muslims to live peacefully on earth. Therefore, Muslims in the Arab world were forced to defend themselves against the polytheists and disbelievers who served as the oppressors and persecutors. So, in order to halt religious persecution without transgressing the limits, the Muslims were urged to battle against these oppressors. Allah Almighty says in the Quran, “And fight (in defence) in the cause of Allah against those who impose war on you. (Yes,) but do not exceed limits. Surely, Allah does not like those who exceed limits.” (2:190) There should be no reason to question the fact that the goal of this combat lesson was presented to eradicate persecution and bring about justice and peace. After persecution ended and Makkah was taken over, the Prophet (peace be upon him) set a precedent unlike any other in human history by making peace with all of his enemies. He did this after reaching several peace accords with non-Muslims in Medina. After reading this succinct summary and the articles to which the links are provided below, it is impossible for a fair reader to dispute that Islam and terrorism are poles apart and that someone who truly practises Islam will never commit acts of terrorism. Links to the articles that are recommended for readers: 1. 'Kill Them Wherever You Find Them (2:191)': What Quran Actually Means By This Command? 2. Did War-related Madani Verses Abrogate Makki Verses in the Sense of Not Allowing Peaceful Coexistence between Muslims and Non-Muslims? 3. Rights of Non-Muslims Living In Minority – Part 1 – Freedom of Religion 4. Rights of Non-Muslims Living In Minority – Part 2 – Protection of Their Lives 5. Refuting the Claim of ISIS ‘Islam Was Never for A day the Religion of Peace’ 6. Refutation of ISIS That Justifies Terrorism in 21st Century: Did the ‘Sword Verse’ 9:5 Really Abrogate Verses of Peace and Forbearance? Part -5 7. The Concept of God’s Sovereignty (Hakimiyyah): Extremist Islamists Vs Mainstream Muslims 8. ISIS/Takfiris Are Friends of Satan, the Enemies of Allah and His Messenger, Foremost In Shirk, Hypocrisy and Apostasy and No Muslim Must Support Them in Any Form or Fashion 9. Investigating and Refuting the Black Flag and Khorasan Narrative Propagated by IS and Al-Qaeda Jihadists 10. Refuting ISIS Concept of Caliph and Caliphate [Khalifa and Khilafah] – Part 1 11. Debunking Jihad of ISIS and Its False Theory That ‘Non-Jihadists Can’t Issue Fatwas on Jihad and Mujahid’ - Part 2 12. Debunking ISIS Concept That Their Fatwas and Commands Are Issued By a Recognised Legal Body – Part 3 13. The Jihadists' Suicide Attacks or Martyrdom Operations Strictly Forbidden in Islam 14. Understanding the 26 Controversial Verses of Quran and Their Context: Why Wasim Rizvi's PIL Should Be Rejected 15. What Is The Meaning of The Quranic Verse 2:191 ‘Fitna Is Worse Than Killing’? 16. With Growing Threat of ISIS to India, What Can We Muslims Do To Protect Our Youth from ISIS Radicalisation and Thus Strengthen National Security? 17. The Misunderstood Hadith - 'I Have Been Commanded To Fight the People Until They Say There Is No God but Allah’ - misused by terrorist ideologues and Islamophobes 18. Refutation of Extremist Ideology Inimical to Patriotism (Hubbul Watani) is urgently Required 19. Terror Attacks in a Nuclear Age – Jihad or Transgression? Global Muslim Community Should Introspect 20. What Is The Islamic Ruling About Those Who Cooperate With ISIS And Other Terror Outfits Committing Sins and Transgression? 21. Does Islam Allow Destruction Of Churches, Temples Or Any Other Houses Of Worship Belonging To Non-Muslims? 22. Does Islam Justify Rebellion Perpetrated by Modern Terrorist Groups? 23. Islamic Teachings of Mercy, Kindness and Compassion towards All Creations of Allah 24. Has the Ayat La Ikraha fid Deen (There is No Compulsion in Religion) been Abrogated? 25. Refuting ISIS’ Magazine ‘Rumiyah’ That Ignores the Context of Quran's Verses To Forcefully Justify its Atrocities 26. The Terrorist Acts of ISIS Are Categorically Forbidden—Evidences from the Quran and Hadith 27. Had The Hadith Already Asked Muslims 1400 Years Ago Not To Join ISIS? 28. ISIS, Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Other Islamist Terrorists are Kharijites? An Analysis of 40 Major Characteristics of Kharijites 29. ISIS: The Knife That Slaughters Islam And Muslims 30. Unmasking Ideological Origins of ISIS; Refutation of Its Deviant Theology Alone Can Defeat This Evil 31. ISIL Militants Killing Muslims in Iraq will Taste the Hellfire 32. Jihadist Magazine Azaan’s Call for Western Muslims to Attack Their Own Homelands in Europe and America Violates All Tenets of Islam - Part -1 33. Jihadist Magazine ‘Azaan’ Calls For Western Muslims To Attack Their Own Homelands In Europe And America. Doesn’t This Violate All The Tenets Of Islam? Part II 34. 'Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil’ or Amr Bil Maaroof, Nahi Anil Munkir: Qur'an Exegetes and Hadith Interpreters Dispel Notions of Aggression and Violence That Wahhabis Associate with This Doctrine 35. Refuting Talibani Fatwa on Islam And Democracy: Are They Incompatible With Each Other? 36. Suicide Attacks By ISIS or Any Other Muslim Militants Are Brazenly Un-Islamic and Categorically Forbidden [Haram] Under All Circumstances: Evidence from the Quran and Hadith ------- A regular Columnist with, Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi Dehlvi is a Classical Islamic scholar with a Sufi background and English-Arabic-Urdu Translator. 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

Does Islam Endorse ‘Sar Tan Se Juda’ Slogan?

By Saquib Salim, New Age Islam 27-08-2022 Hazrat Ali, Ordered Them before a Battle, “Do Not Attack Those Who Have Surrendered, Do Not Injure the Disabled and Weak, Do Not Assault the Wounded, Do Not Excite Women and Do Not Make Them Angry With Rude Behaviour Even If They Use Harsh and Insulting Words against Your Commander and Officers” ----- A scene from Hyderabad during the procession ---- In mid-July two Muslim men killed a tailor, Kanhaiya Lal, in Udaipur accusing him of disrespecting Prophet Muhammad; another man recently stabbed Salman Rushdie in the USA on similar grounds, and several others have issued calls to kill Nupur Sharma and more recently T Raja Singh for disrespecting the Prophet. A considerable number of Muslim youth can be seen on social media advocating the slogan “Gustakh-E-Rasool Ki Ek Hi Saza, Sar Tan Se Juda” (Beheading is the only punishment for disrespecting the Prophet). In such an environment, a young Muslim political thinker and research scholar, Tarique Anwar Champarni, from Bihar called me up and asked how on earth the followers of Muhammad who was sent to the world as mercy can give calls to kill non-Muslims. His question was logical. I wondered how Muslims can think of killing people when one of their most important guides after the Prophet, Hazrat Ali, ordered them before a battle, “do not attack those who have surrendered, do not injure the disabled and weak, do not assault the wounded, do not excite women and do not make them angry with rude behaviour even if they use harsh and insulting words against your commander and officers”. He also told them “not to take initiative in fighting”. Prophet Muhammad asked his followers not to attack those who had surrendered, were unarmed. or non-combatants. The Prophet had pardoned those who attacked him let alone those who were using derogatory language. The question by Champarni made me curious. As a historian, I started looking for the historical roots of this narrative that if a non-Muslim uses derogatory language for the Prophet then he must be killed. I was amazed to know that the narrative of the death penalty for disrespecting the Prophet does not go beyond the 19th century. Right from Imam Abu Hanifa, the pioneer of the Hanafi school of thought that has the largest following among Muslims, especially in the subcontinent, almost every prominent jurist of the Hanafi School has categorically maintained that a person cannot be killed for disrespecting the Prophet. During the 19th century, several new ideological movements tried to challenge the authority of the Hanafi School, of which Deobandi and Barelvi were two prominent sub sects. Ahl-i-Hadith claimed to be closer to the textual form of Islam and blamed Hanafis for corrupting ‘original’ Islam with Indian cultural practices while Ahmadiyyas charged Hanafis for deviating from the path of the Prophet. In the 1920s, a pamphlet titled Rangila Rasul published by a publisher named Rajpal caused resentment among the Muslims. Qadiany Ahmadiyyas, who were called heretics by other Muslims, saw it as a golden opportunity and mobilized Muslims against the publisher. They had put posters asking, “Will those professors of the Prophet’s love did not wake up even now”, thus directly attacking Deobandi and Barelvi Ulema who were not mobilizing people till that time. Ahl-i-Hadith leadership also joined the bandwagon. Rajpal was later murdered by a young Muslim, Ilam Din, in 1929 who was hailed a hero by Qadiyanis and Muslim League leadership. This was the first case where a politically motivated class excited the sentiments of the Muslim masses against the teachings of a majority of Islamic scholars. One of the most influential Deobandi jurists of that period Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi commented that though emotions could drive Muslims to believe that someone disrespecting the Prophet should be killed, religion did not permit that. He wrote: “A feeling of dishonour ('bey-gharati') is natural when I think of Hanafi tradition on non-Muslim blasphemers i.e. they will not be killed for it. Then God puts in my heart the thought that Abu Hanifa (who prohibited the death penalty for non-Muslim offenders) has more honour/Ghairat than us.” Imam Abu Hanifa believed that disrespecting the Prophet was another form of not following Islam and since non-Muslims had every right to not follow Islam, they could not be forced to respect the Prophet. In the 19th century, Ahl-i-Hadith was propagating an argument that the Hanafi position of no death for blasphemy was wrong. They quoted several Hadith to prove that people were killed for disrespecting the Prophet. Hanafi jurists took the charge seriously and in a rare event more than 450 Islamic Scholars from India and abroad signed a fatwa that categorically challenged the claims of the Ahl-i-Hadith group. They pointed out that the Hadith quoted were about repeat offenders and those too were not punished with death. Death penalties, if awarded, were given for political consideration and not theological. The fatwa was signed by Ala Hazrat Ahmad Raza Khan, one of the most important figures of Barelvis, and Maulana Mahmood Hasan, one of the leading lights of Deobandi tradition along with almost all prominent jurists of the time. Interestingly, the Hanafi position does not warrant any kind of punishment for non-habitual offenders. Today, we see people who claim to be from the Hanafi school of thought raising the slogans of death for blasphemy. It is a well-established position among Islamic scholars that a Muslim forgives people, asks Allah to give wisdom to his opponents, and believes in the Day of Judgment. Frenzied mob violence has no place in Islam. No serious scholar has ever asked Muslims to kill unarmed humans. ---- Saquib Salim is a historian-writer Source: Does Islam Endorse ‘Sar Tan Se Juda’ Slogan? 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

Predestination versus Volition

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 27 August 2022 I fully concur with the erudite reader Mr Ghulam Mohiyuddin that no rational person believes in predestination. If predestination is to be believed, volition will have no place and role in an individual's life. It's interesting to note that even those who don't believe in god, do believe in fate and they too, along with the believers, believe that human life is predestined. In other words, most of us believe in an unknown and hither-to undeciphered agency and submissively ascribe the course and events of life to that. This is a defeatist belief that makes us fatalists. All humans are endowed with volition and we must exercise that. Whether it's Quranic belief of an individual's destiny written and ordained 40 years before his/her birth, Puranik ( according to Vishnu and Garud Puranas) concept of Praarabdh (प्रारब्ध) or Christianity's sacramental predestination, we labour under the belief that, " Hum Log Khilaune Hain Ek Aise Khiladi Ke/ Jis Ko Abhi Sadiyon Tak Ye Khel Rachana Hai " ( ironically penned by an avowed atheist Sahir Ludhianvi in the song, ' Sansaar Ki Har Shai Ka......', film ' Dhund, ' 1973). Predestination is a specious theological device or decoy to subvert humans into helpless creatures. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Also Read: Qaza wa Qadr: Predestination and Free Will ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dr Muhammad Iqbal rejected predestination in his oft-quoted couplet, “Khudi Ko Kar Buland Itna Ke....." In fact, Iqbal was so vocal against predestination in his early years that the ulema felt threatened and condemned him in unison. Iqbal, therefore, had to tone down his idea of Khudi (Purushartha) in later years. Dan Moore wrote in his book, ' Theological Double Dutch and Western Idea of Atheism ' that “The fabricated notion of the Trinity and Semitic Predestination were two predominant religious theories that spawned a battery of rationalists who waged a crusade against these eschatological beliefs." Nietzsche was the forerunner among the modern atheists and non-believers who pooh-poohed predestination. An individual is the architect of his/her destiny and human existence is like a clean slate (Tabula Rasa in Latin, coined by English philosopher John Locke). What an individual does is his/her writings and jottings on this slate of life. Just the way you can expunge what you've written on a slate, you can also wipe out from your existential slate, what's undesirable and unnecessary. Whatever happens to a human is a random phenomenon and you shouldn't impute that to god's will or past Karmas. That’s absolute garbage and utter rubbish. Saying that fate is inexorable or god's ways are inexplicable to humans is a sign of our impotent submission. Granted, things often happen in a way that we've no answer or clue to them. But if we look into them dispassionately and patiently without bringing in god or fate, answers transpire in the due course of time. All we need is removal of the cataract, nay glaucoma, of irrational thinking that has made our vision turbid. Lastly, even if you believe in a god and there's nothing wrong with that, don't make it (no him or her) a determiner and decider of your destiny. Let it be there in some corner of the Universe. You go on with your life, holding only yourself responsible for the vicissitudes and comeuppance you face in your life's eventful sojourn. ----- 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