Ajmer Sharif: The Sufi Spirit

Ajmer SharifThe 21st of July (6th Rajab hijri) this year marked the 795th (hijri) Urs or death anniversary of the greatest mystic saint of the Indian sub-continent, Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. Devotees and pilgrims from all over the world converge at the Dargah sharif in Ajmer to pay their respect.Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti is one of the most outstanding figures in the annals of Islamic mysticism. He was born in Sejistan, around 533 H / 1138 A.D. to Khwaja Ghayasuddin and Syeda Bibi Ummalwara (alias Bibi Mahe-Noor) who were the descendents of Hazrat Ali through his sons Hazrat Imam Hassan and Hazrat Imam Hussian. As a young child Khwaja Sahab was drawn to mystics and began visiting seminaries in Samarkand and Bukhara which were then important centres of Islamic learning. On the way to Iraq at Harvan, he met Khwaja Uthman e Harooni and joined the circle of his disciples. Continue reading Ajmer Sharif: The Sufi Spirit

Terrorism: Is Exporting Indian Islam The Solution?

Mirza Faisal Beg and Mohib Ahmad co-authored this article for Indian National Interest.

The pre-requisite of finding an impactful solution is to first understand the problem. Nitin Pai, identifies the problem as ‘radical Islam’ and offers a solution by exporting syncretic ‘Indian Islam’. Malaysia is doing something similar on its part when it is talking about ‘Islam Hadari’. In the US some groups are attempting to promote their own version of Islam (by supporting Irshad Manji) or even launching a frontal attack (by promoting Ayan Hirsi Ali).

Before looking into the effectiveness of exporting Indian Islam we here first redefine the problem. Hamid Mir recently wrote “Al Qaeda was operating only in few countries before 9/11, now it operates in more than 62 countries”. Continue reading Terrorism: Is Exporting Indian Islam The Solution?

Dara Shikoh’s ‘Two Oceans’: Book Review

Sufism, or Islamic mysticism, provides rich resources for developing theologies of inter-faith dialogue and solidarity, an urgent necessity in today’s world where talk of a global ‘clash of civilisations’ threatens to become a frightening reality. In this regard, the works of numerous Indian Sufis is particularly significant because they lived and wrote in a multi-religious context, addressing and attracting people of different faiths—Muslims, Hindus and others. Some of them developed understandings of Islam and other faiths that went beyond narrowly constructed communal boundaries, defying the empty and soulless ritualism that served to divide communities from each other.

Of the various Indian Sufi treatises of this sort, perhaps the best-known work is the ‘Majma al-Bahrain’, or ‘The Commingling of the Two Oceans’, by Muhammad Dara Shikoh, eldest son of the great Mughal Emperor of India, Shah Jahan, and heir apparent to his throne. Continue reading Dara Shikoh’s ‘Two Oceans’: Book Review

Hame aapka ‘jee jaan’ nahi chahiye

India-Pakistan Twenty 20 world cup final would be a dream come true for millions on this globe. And nothing could have surpassed the tense final moments of the final match. When Misbah tossed the ball of Joginder Sharma, many heart stopped beating. The catch by Sreesaanth put the heart beat back for Indians and perhaps took away few beats for Pakistanis. It was the most perfect finish we could have hoped for.

Shoaib Malik after the match remarked, or rather apologized, to the entire Muslims for losing! I found it extremely disturbing, to say the least. How justified is to associate the whole Muslim world with the cricket team of Pakistan? As a matter of fact this generalization is something very common among Pakistanis. They claimed to have acquired Nuclear weapon to protect the Muslim world when the first testing took place immediately after India tested its nuke. The basis being the only Muslim country to have acquired nuclear capability. The same logic was extended to cricket, Pakistan being the strongest among Muslim countries.

Continue reading Hame aapka ‘jee jaan’ nahi chahiye

India Win Twenty 20 World Cup

This news definitely deserves a post even if it means straying away from our regular topics. India has won the inaugural Twenty 20 World Cup at Johannesburg defeating arch-rivals Pakistan by 5 runs. Finally cricket-lovers had a deserving final match in a big tournament with the game swinging like pendulum till the very end. It went down the wire but Indian team kept their cool to win the match. Great performance by everyone especially the Indian Teamcaptain MS Dhoni who backed his players and used them well throughout the tournament. The most important thing is that India did it without the top three players, Tendulkar,Ganguly and Dravid and that is a great sign for the future of cricket in India. Continue reading India Win Twenty 20 World Cup

“They don’t have those brains”

Surprisingly the Muslims are not producing hate literature like this.
They don’t have those brains. They don’t have those brains. They have their sword. They know that once they are in a majority like Kashmir, they’ll either convert or finish off. So they believe in brute force. Unko itna dimag bhi nahin hain. Aur jisnay bhi analysis karnay ki koshish kari, whichever Muslim went deep into this, he became lover of Indian philosophy. Yeh hamari itni vaishvik hain philosophy, so universal and devoted to just human beings. Whoever goes into the depth of it, he becomes a slave of it.

Shivam interviews BP Singhal.

I wonder when these old orthodox men would understand and appreciate the fact that others have a sensitive heart, if not brain.

Madrasa Reforms: A Leading Maulana’s Plea

The media might portray them as vehemently opposed to change, but that is not quite an apt description of the Indian ulema as a class. Here, as elsewhere, such banal generalizations are quite unwarranted. In recent years, in fact, a number of ulema associated with leading Indian madrasas have been advocating reform, both in the madrasa system as well as in the relations between the ulema and the wider society. And, slowly but steadily, such changes are being noticed.

One such Islamic scholar, regarded as among the leading contemporary Indian ulema, is the Hyderabad-based Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani. Continue reading Madrasa Reforms: A Leading Maulana’s Plea

Another phatwa

The barely-based Daarul-Ifta-Manjar-e-Islam has acted against Salman after the actor took part in the Ganesh Puja celebrations in Mumbai.

The organisation said unless Salman reads the Kalmas all over again, he would not be considered a Muslim.

The order was issued as Islam prohibits all kinds of idol worship.

CNN-IBN reports

Few things-

1. How many people actually are concerned what happens in Daarul-Ifta-Manjar-e-Islam? Is it a national organization of Muslims? Why are there no reports when the head Imam or a managing committee member changes in that organization?

Continue reading Another phatwa

Double-faced Maharashtra govt saving killer cops

The Congress Chief Minister promises action on Sri Krishna Commission’s recommendations but his police department shamelessly files an affidavit in the High Court on Tuesday that there was no need for action against cops charged with killing innocent Muslims at Hari Masjid in 1993.

Now contrast this with Mayawati, who may be termed whimsical but has the guts to sack hundreds of cops and even suspend IPS officials but here the double-faced politicians of Maharashtra are unwilling to take action against even Nikhil Kapse, just a sub-inspector, and his team, which was severely indicted in the Sri Krishna Commission report. Continue reading Double-faced Maharashtra govt saving killer cops

The Battle Of Badr And Fate Of 1.2 Billion Muslims

The Battle of Badr was the first Muslim resistance against the Arab pagans. It was March 624, Muslim army consisting of “Ansars, host from Medina� and the Meccan exiles, against the powerful and arrogant Quraish, the lord of Mecca. This daring was not for pride, glory or kingship, this unequal battle was fought for a simple but magnificent belief, to worship Allah alone, “La Ilaha Illallah�. All negotiations with Mecca had failed; some of Muhammad’s followers were tortured and killed. Even a bid to Muhammad’s life was made. Continue reading The Battle Of Badr And Fate Of 1.2 Billion Muslims