Monthly Archives: December 2009

The Mystery Of Missing Muslim Female Rulers

When Benazir Bhutto became Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1988, her opponents decried the event as un-Islamic and “against nature,” adding that “no woman had ever governed a Muslim state between 622 and 1988.” However, research of Moroccan author and sociologist Fatima Mernissi tell us that there were at least seventeen Muslim queens between the eleventh and seventeenth centuries. Continue reading

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Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

Bhopal Gas Tragedy
Fact File: Dec 3, 1984. Some 500,000 people are exposed to poisonous gases in the state capital of Madhya Pradesh, India. Between 5000-8000 people died immediately and thousands over the years from long term illness. More than 100,00 remain chronically ill in Bhopal today. The water and soil of the area is still contaminated.

Where’s the justice for innocents who still suffer? Continue reading

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Mewat Madrasas Reforming Themselves To Cater To Modern Needs

The winds of change blowing across Mewat have not left even traditional madrasas unaffected. Many of these have now included a basic course in ‘modern’ subjects while continuing to focus mainly on traditional Islamic learning. In addition to the core religious or traditional subjects, students at the madrasa now also learn basic English, Hindi and Mathematics, besides practical skills such as tailoring, embroidery, cooking and first-aid. Continue reading

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Is Music Prohibited In Islam ?

Is music really prohibited? While Ulama denounced music the Sufi saints generally approved of it and distinguishing between lahw wa la’band sheer fun they allowed music as a tool to God-realization as music could induce a sort of ecstasy which in turn helped God-realization. Thus sama’ which literally means listening of music was practiced by sufi saints. Continue reading

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Mewat Witnessing A Great Educational Revolution

Despite its proximity to Delhi, Gurgaon and Jaipur, Mewat is one of the most impoverished regions in northern India. Lack of education in Meos was wide spread but now young Meos are striving for ‘modern’ education. Dozens of ‘modern’ schools run by Meos have mushroomed all over Mewat. Increasing number of girls are enrolling in these and in government-run schools and many ulema are on the forefront of promoting ‘modern’, in addition to religious education among the Meos.
Continue reading

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The Annual Of Urdu Studies: Urdu Scholarship In English Language

The Annual of Urdu Studies (AUS) was started in 1980 by Prof. C. M. Naim of the University of Chicago, who published it from 1981 to 1990. Three years later, Prof. Memon at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, took over the responsibility of this journal. He has published this journal without a break since 1993. It is an annual publication and has so far published 24 issues. The journal is now facing difficulties and is in need of financial support to keep the publication going. Continue reading

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Between ‘Minorityism’ and Minority Rights: Analysis of post-Sachar strategies

‘Minorityism’ of the state implies, privileging questions of culture and identity over and above everyday issues of survival. Intrinsic to ‘minorityism’ is also the occasional showers of sops that make no remarkable impact on the living conditions of the beneficiaries.The Sachar Committee, with its emphasis on issues of equity, marked a clear departure from such minortyism. The state seems to have reverted to ‘minorityism’ of the past in its implementation of the Report’s recommendations. Continue reading

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Science, West And Islamic Origin Of Science

Ilm (knowledge) must be taken in its most comprehensive sense and not be confined only to religious knowledge. The ‘Ulama should not mean only those who specialize in diniyat but all those who have expertise in modern secular sciences. The ‘Ulama who have no knowledge of modern sciences have no right to lead us. Only those who have knowledge of modern world along with that of Islam have right to show us the way. Continue reading

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Minarets Banned In Switzerland – A Challenge And An Opportunity

Minarets are not a requirement for mosques but Muslims are and successful communities are built not upon symbols but individuals. Muslims should use this opportunity to build alliances, reach out to local communities and proactively engage in civic activities in addition to performing their religious duties. Only by addressing the fears that led to the passing of this odious ban can there be a meaningful resolution to this issue. Continue reading

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