Taqlid, Ijtihad And Democracy

Quran This is a translation of a portion done by Yoginder Sikand from a chapter titled Taqlid Aur Ijtihad in Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s book Din-o-Shariat: Din-e Islam Ka Ek Fikri Muta’ala [Goodword Books, New Delhi, 2003, pp.224-228].

In the wake of the industrial Revolution in Europe, Western countries established their political and cultural domination over much of the rest of the world, leading to the establishment of European colonial empires. This posed a new and major challenge for Muslims. Continue reading Taqlid, Ijtihad And Democracy

My Mom Is The Greatest

I share a very peculiar (forgive me if you read that as “special”) relationship with my mother. I am the guinea pig for all the experiments she conducts in the kitchen. Not that I mind (she cooks too well) but I am over-stuffed (have to go up and down and many times to washroom). Later I have to give expert opinions too on her culinary skills. She ends up giving a broad smile, saying, “Instead of just eating, learn, learn; learn to cook. At least you won’t starve.” Continue reading My Mom Is The Greatest

Hindutva Terror: Why?

He who troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind. And the foolish shall be servant to the wise.” Proverbs 11:29

In a very important development in Indian history, members of a few Parivar groups were arrested and are to be charged with carrying out terror attacks. These charges are yet to be proved in a court of law, but it is clear that they stood to gain most from the terror strikes, as it stoked up communal feelings and discredited the congress government. Nobody will risk the wrath of Hindutva brigade without solid proof given their political power, and the political backing of the BJP. Continue reading Hindutva Terror: Why?

Whither India: Qualitative Change In Polity

Varanasi, IndiaLast six months have been most disturbing on the Indian political scene. As far as the values of integration are concerned they are being attacked very severely by terrorist-communal forces. First, we saw the series of bomb blasts, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Malegaon. It was projected by the authorities that all these acts are due to Jehadi Muslim groups that police have succeeded in cracking the network. One outcome of this was the Batla house encounter in which police, bravely killed the terrorists. Continue reading Whither India: Qualitative Change In Polity

How Secular Is India Today?

Gateway of IndiaThere is always a big gap between theory and practice, theology and history. Indian constitution, no doubt, is one of the best in the world. It is truly secular in spirit so much so it was secular even when word secular was not added to it until 1975 i.e. during emergency. If it were truly implemented India would be an ideal country to live in especially for minorities, both religious as well as linguistic. Continue reading How Secular Is India Today?

Ghalib: Ode to Benaras

Banaras GhatsThe cancer of communalism and bigotry in South Asia continues to haunt us. These days, the Muslims are once again a subject of intense, though not always fair, scrutiny in India: their loyalties are being questioned and many are potential terrorists if not already abettors of violence. The post 9/11 world has contributed to the demonising of the Muslim identity and history to surreal heights. Continue reading Ghalib: Ode to Benaras

Shaheen Bagh Kidnapping Case: Observations And Questions

Shaheen Bagh Kidnap Case, Black HyundaiKashif-ul-Huda, TwoCircles.net

Strange thing about the Shaheen Bagh kidnapping incident is the behavior of the policemen who attempted to kidnap Aamir but even stranger is the behavior of Indian media covering this news. In this particular case UP police is guilty for many unlawful acts and media by not giving the attention it deserves did injustice to the citizens of India.

The heroes of this incident are the residents of Jamia Nagar who were stern but did not take law in their hands; they handed over the car and the captured cop to the local police, thus preventing a bad situation from turning ugly.

Taqlidi Versus Ijtihadi Approaches

QuranThis is a translation of a portion done by Yoginder Sikand from a chapter titled Taqlid Aur Ijtihad in Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s book Din-o-Shariat: Din-e Islam Ka Ek Fikri Muta’ala [Goodword Books, New Delhi, 2003, pp.204-214].

Human minds can be categorised into two types: taqlidi (stagnant and imitative of past precedent) and ijtihadi (dynamic and creative). The former denotes closed mindedness; the latter is its opposite, open mindedness. The taqlidi mind attains a certain level and then stagnates, while the ijtihadi mind keeps travelling ahead, stopping only at death. Continue reading Taqlidi Versus Ijtihadi Approaches

Tribute To Dr. OM Sreedharan

Dr. Abdul Majeed Azad

On October 10, 2008 at 8:55 PM EST (6:25 AM on October 11, Indian Standard Time), my PhD advisor, a father-figure, a dear friend, a respected colleague and a revered scientist, Dr. O.M. Sreedharan – fondly known as O.M.S. to all – passed away in Chennai, India. And even though both my parents are alive, it feels like I have become an orphan. Continue reading Tribute To Dr. OM Sreedharan

Madrasas And Sectarian Conflict

Muslim Madrasa GirlsThis is a translation of a chapter by Maulana Waris Mazhari titled ‘Maslaki Kashmakash Aur Dini Madaris’ in Yoginder Sikand & Waris Mazhari (ed.) Dini Madaris Aur Dahshatgardi: Ilzam Aur Haqiqat (‘Madrasas And Terrorism: Accusations and Realities’), Global Media Publications, New Delhi, 2008, pp. 143-50.

Among the various internal challenges facing madrasas today is the pressing problem of sectarianism and sectarian conflict. Some people claim that in the last ten or fifteen years there has been a decline in the sectarianism actively promoted by madrasas. Continue reading Madrasas And Sectarian Conflict