Wednesday, March 31, 2010

10 Laundry Detergent Recipes

Hey! This really works. You might prefer to grate your laundry soap differently but I left it as is because the kids said it looked like cheese, lol. I've been wanting to do this for a while now since half of us in the household have eczema. It smelled really fresh too. Read More...

No One can Heal You but Allah

Being humans we commit good and bad deeds. It is very natural that a person intentionally or unintentionally does some deeds which are not permitted in religion. So we should always ask Allah for guidance and forgiveness as we are advised to do so in Quran.

“And your Lord said: “Invoke Me, I will respond to your (invocation). Verily! Those who scorn My worship (i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not believe in My Oneness, they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!” (Ghaafir 40:60)

The life is full of hardships, calamities, twists and turns. Being a Muslim we should have firm belief in Allah that He will always rescue from the mishaps. From Quran we can find many verses in which Muslims are advised to ask for relief through supplication. Hence, belief in Allah is the source of security and peace. And the hearts that are devoid of trust are always far from Allah and are full of fright and confusion.

Supplication is the dearest thing to Allah. It is the way to patience in the cause of Allah. It is a sign of sincere dependence on Allah and keeping away from incapacity and laziness. It is an easy-to-make act of worship and it can be done at all places and times.

The supplicant must be a sincere believer. He should face the qiblah while making the supplication and should be sure that he is in the state of purity. He should raise his hands to Allah. He should be resolute in his supplication, supplicate at the times when invocations are most likely answered and select the supplications that are authentically reported from the Prophet. He should also not forget to make a sadaqah before his supplication.


Home School Tutoring Tips : Teaching Kids How to Sound Out Words


Working on Reading

I've quickly made up a word wall for my son. There's nothing fancy about it as I'm too lazy. It includes some of the words that he has learned in the past few days and I still need to add a few more, InshaALLAH.

He is four and is doing well but it is a little frustrating for me because his sister was a bit further along. It just goes to show that their issues are unique and that sometimes it is the teacher who must adapt to the child's learning style and not other way around, SubhanALLAH.
I think that I have identified the problem. He's having trouble blending some words. For example, if the word is "pan", he will sound it out but when he puts it all together, he says "an", completely dropping off the first letter. I'm not really sure why he does this; in spite of this, knows a lot of sight words so I am able to make some nice sentences for him.

EDIT****Later that evening
Okay, as of tonight, it seems to have clicked, AlhamduLILLAH. LOL, kids are like that sometimes. He's been having this problem for weeks and suddenly he's gotten past it. I don't question, I just go with it. Read More...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


What do you use for art? Do you have a specific curriculum? Do you wing it? I need some ideas because we have been neglecting it lately. Read More...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Avoid The Secret Sins - Shaykh Muhammad al-Arifi


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fake Islamic Sites and Our Responsibility

Despite of the various benefits of the internet regarding information gathering, there are certain groups who are using this medium for propaganda against Islam. Enemies of Islam have got a good platform to misguide the people about Islam and Muslims. Although Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, but unfortunately Muslims are weak in technology and this weakness is being exploited by anti Islamic groups to keep the people away from Islam.

We have encountered some websites that apparently look to be run by Muslims and pretend to be Islamic sites but actually these are spreading wrong information just to misguide non-Muslims who are keen to know about Islam. Instead of showing the real meaning of Quran, they twist the meaning of verses and present it in front of the public.

When we see such kind of websites, normally we react with anger. In fact it is a sign of strong faith and shows our love for religion Islam. But such things cannot be dealt with anger. What we need is to follow the proper channel and compete with them.

Don’t go for dialogue if you are not completely prepared. Otherwise they will defeat you if you lack in religious knowledge. So make sure that you have grasped complete knowledge of what you are going to talk about. Another thing you should remember that you shouldn’t publicize these fake websites. Doing this you are making these websites popular that will help the owner of these websites.

The best way to deal with fake Islamic websites is to develop a website that accurately defines the concept of Islam. We should guide people who don’t understand Arabic through Online Quran Translations. We should provide people with the answers according to the teachings of Quran and sunnah because lots of people turn to the internet when they need to know the answers for certain issues.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Book Review: Reading With Allah—Madrasas in West Bengal

Author: Nilanjana Gupta

Publisher: Routledge, New Delhi

Year: 2010

Pages: 192

ISBN: 978-0-415-54459-7

Price: R. 595

Reviewed by: Yoginder Sikand

Much has been written on the Indian madrasas or Islamic seminaries, but because the most influential madrasas in the country are concentrated in the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, many of these writings tend to project north Indian madrasas as representative of madrasas in the country as a whole. Consequently, patterns and changing trends in madrasa education in the rest of India have been scantily dealt with, if at all, in the existing literature.

This well-documented work by Nilanjana Gupta, Professor of English at the Jadavpur University, Kolkata, is an in-depth study of the madrasa system of education in West Bengal, where some thirty per cent of the population are Muslims. Despite their formidable numbers and the fact that the so-called ‘progressive’ Left Front has been in power in West Bengal for decades now, the bulk of the Muslims in the state are economically, educationally and socially far behind the other communities, including even the Scheduled Castes.

The book begins with an engaging discussion about debates, set in motion with the advent of colonial rule in Bengal, about the usefulness or otherwise of madrasa education. Gupta points out that in pre-colonial Bengal, as in much of the rest of India, madrasas were centres not just of Islamic learning but also provided education in subjects such as Persian, Mathematics, Sciences and Medicine that were indispensable for would-be administrators and other government officials. Several madrasas were also open to Hindus of the ‘higher’ castes. The advent of the British and the new educational system that they set in place, she writes, marked the beginning of a rigid educational dualism, with secular or ‘modern’ subjects now being taught in Western-style schools, while madrasas began to narrow their focus, being restricted largely to Islamic subjects. This, in turn, led to lively debates among the Bengali Muslim community about the usefulness of madrasa education, whose echoes continue to reverberate even today.

For the British colonial administrators, as indeed for present-day secular educational planners, including the Indian state today, education was seen as a means for producing what Gupta calls ‘standardised’ or ‘homogenised’ subjects, trained for various jobs. The aim of education thus came to be essentially to mould students for a competitive job market. Worldly or material accomplishment was its basic objective. Other systems of education that were based on a non-materialist philosophy, and whose aim was essentially the moral or spiritual training of students, came to be seen as ‘useless’. This was how both the Muslim madrasas and the Hindu gurukuls began to be viewed. Hence, their critics argued, they were in substantial need of ‘reform’. Debates about the usefulness of madrasa education in terms of its ability to train students for the job market continue to rage even today, reflecting, at root, as Gupta very rightly points out, two very different conceptions of education, and indeed of life and its very purpose. Arguments for and against madrasa reforms, in Bengal, as in the rest of India, thus need to be seen in the context of this conflict of educational philosophies and worldviews.

The study then moves on to discuss the salient findings of the empirical research undertaken by the author in madrasas in three selected districts of West Bengal that have a sizeable Muslim population: South 24 Parganas, Murshidabad and Howrah. As in the rest of West Bengal, there are basically three types of madrasas in these districts: High madrasas and Senior madrasas, both affiliated with the government’s West Bengal Board of Madrasa Education, and khariji (also known as qaumi or azad) madrasas that are not affiliated to the Board.

The former two types of madrasas are administered and funded by the state government, which appoints their teachers and pays their salaries, and prescribes their syllabus. Over the years, Gupta points out, the High madrasas, which currently number over 500, have become almost identical to government higher secondary schools. They follow largely the same syllabus, except that they offer Arabic, instead of Sanskrit or Hindi, as a third language. The Arabic course also includes a basic modicum of Islamic education. However, the overall focus of the syllabus is decidedly secular, with only two periods per week allotted to Arabic. This reflects the perception of the West Bengal Madrasa Board that, as the report of the West Bengal Madrasah Education Committee of 2002 puts it, the High madrasas should be brought ‘at par with the national standards of education’ (p.34).

Consequently, Gupta indicates, the distinction, in terms of curriculum, between the schools run by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and the High madrasas affiliated to the West Bengal Board of Madrasa Education has ‘practically disappeared’. The High madrasa final examination is now recognized as equal to the class 10 or Madhyamik exam of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, thus enabling High madrasa graduates to enroll in general colleges if they want to pursue higher secular education. Incidentally, this almost complete secularization of the High madrasas is not favoured by some Muslims, who regard these institutions as deviating from the fundamental purpose of madrasa education—of imparting a judicious balance of religious and ‘modern’ education.

Interestingly, Gupta notes, some additional books used in the affiliated High madrasas, for subjects such as History, are ‘more conscious about issues of class, identity, language and national identity than are the books approved by the Board of Secondary Education’ (p.38). Apparently, they give more stress to multiculturalism and the multi-religious nature of Bengali society, something that is lacking in the books used in other government schools that tend to reflect a more Sanskritised, or, in other words, a more Hindu/Brahminical tradition. Interestingly, some of the additional books used in the High madrasas stress gender equality, critique strict purdah, advocate women’s education, highlight the Bengali syncretistic tradition, laud the role of the Deobandi ulema in India’s freedom struggle and record the great contributions made by Muslims in the past to the various sciences.

Two other aspects of the High madrasas, as brought out by the study, deserve mention. Firstly, some 30 per cent of students (in addition to many teachers) of these madrasas are non-Muslims, mostly Hindus. Most of these students are from poor families from the so-called ‘low’ castes, who live in villages that lack quality government schools or affordable private schools. Secondly, girls considerably outnumber boys at the lower levels, indicating that parents prefer to send their boys to general schools if they can afford it. However, the drop-out rate of girl students is very high, and the proportion of girls at the higher levels in much less than that of boys.

The other sort of madrasas in West Bengal affiliated to the state Madrasa Board, the Senior madrasas, specialize in Islamic Studies while also claiming to provide a basic ‘modern’ education. They number almost 200. These madrasas, Gupta notes, are generally in a pathetic condition. Classes are held very irregularly, their teachers lack commitment, and their students are competent in neither Islam and nor in ‘modern’ subjects. The number of students enrolled in such madrasas is very low, and the pass rate in the final fazil degree examination is woeful. Many students leave midway to enroll in High madrasas or in general schools. Not surprisingly, parents who want their children to train as ulema or religious specialists prefer to send them to unaffiliated or khariji madrasas instead. As Gupta puts it, the Senior madrasas ‘seem to be locked into a situation where, by trying to address both the secular needs and the theological needs of the community simultaneously, they seem to be actually unable to satisfy neither. The education offered is therefore useless for the community’ (p.62). She argues that the Senior madrasas’ experiment of ‘trying to integrate two completely incompatible ideologies of knowledge structuring’ (p.69) has miserably failed.

The third sort of madrasas in West Bengal, the khariji madrasas, are run by private individuals or Muslim organizations. Gupta observes that there has been a rapid growth of such madrasas in the state in recent decades. They frame their own syllabus and appoint their own teachers. Most of them are residential institutions that specialize in Islamic Studies, training their students to become ulema. While several of them provide only religious education, a growing number of such madrasas have introduced ‘modern’ subjects, following the government-approved curriculum, in some cases till the eighth grade. This enables their students to join regular schools after a certain level if they so desire. Gupta notes that many of these madrasas propagate a literalist understanding of Islam and tend to inculcate an insular mentality in their students. In part, she says, this is an outcome of the fears of threats to Muslim identity that have mounted with the rise of aggressive anti-Muslim Hindu groups and movements. It has also to do with the demonisation of Islam and Muslims, now a global phenomenon, and the overall marginalization of the Muslim community in West Bengal and in India as a whole. At the same time, Gupta notes, this tendency towards what she calls ‘orthodoxy’ is ‘not at all connected with religious term or even religious militancy’ (p.172). In this regard, she stridently counters the oft-made allegation that these madrasas, particularly in the regions along with West Bengal-Bangladesh border, are being lavishly funded by Arab donors. She also dismisses as hollow the contention, incidentally allegedly made, among others, by the West Bengal Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, that some of these madrasas are engaged in ‘anti-national activities’. Her study, she argues, ‘found no evidence of large funds being injected into the madrasa system’. ‘Nor’ she adds, did it ‘find any reason at all to substantiate the claim that madrasas were being used as centres for training terrorists’ (p.118). She highlights the irony of how, despite no Indian madrasa student having been found involved in terrorism, madrasas are routinely projected in the media as factories of terror. In this regard, she also points out that ‘local people, including Hindus, on the whole praised the efforts of the madrasas and the integrity of the teachers’ (p.173).

The book’s concluding chapter discusses ongoing debates about reforms in Muslim education in West Bengal. Gupta argues that, contrary to stereotypical images, Muslims in West Bengal, and, indeed, the rest of India, are not averse to ‘modern’ education. Often, she says, Muslim parents send their children to madrasas simply because they have no other affordable alternative. In this regard, she says, it is for the state to ensure quality and affordable schools and other educational facilities in Muslim areas. At the same time, Gupta is also aware of the desire on the part of many Muslim parents that their children should also have an Islamic education alongside ‘modern’ schooling. This is reflected in what she regards as a positive development and which she elaborates on in considerable detail—the emergence of a number of Muslim NGOs and societies that are now running ‘modern’ schools in the state that also provide their students with Islamic learning.

This book is a very welcome addition to the growing literature on madrasas in India. It should be of considerable use to educational planners, Muslim NGOs and, indeed, to all those interested in the subject of Muslim education. Read More...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Back to Work

Salaam everyone, I'm back! Sort of. Mostly, lol. I took an extended break to prioritize and rest. I tend to overburden myself to the point of exhaustion and it finally caught up with me.

We did nothing extraordinary these past couple of weeks - not that we could have. A couple of Fridays ago, I felt a strange pain in my thigh and back and had difficulty picking up the baby. By the evening, I couldn't walk at all!

My husband took us all to the doctor's office when he came home from work, where they diagnosed me with sciatica. They were nice enough to give me two prescriptions and send me on my way. The pain comes and goes - especially after extensive walking, but AlhamduLILLAH, it's nothing like it was. Ive experienced it before but this time was shocking! Not being able to walk was tough on all of us, SubhanALLAH.

AlhamduLILLAH, the pain has subsided and we were able to venture out in the beautiful weather of last week for a bit.

Our Week

We've been reading a lot,(the boy is getting better!), writing a little and playing all the rest of the time. Hooray for breaks!

By the way, penpals, look in your mail in about a week, InshaALLAH. I just now had the chance to get stamps. Sisters who have emailed me in the last few weeks, the replies are coming, InshaALLAH. Read More...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Panoramic view of the Masjid ul Aqsa, where the Prophet SAW led the other Prophets AS in Jerusalem

Al Aqsa Mosque and Qubbat As-Sakhrah

Saturday, March 20, 2010

New Book: VOICES AGAINST TERROR: Indian Ulema on Islam, Jihad & Communal Harmony

New Book

Voices Against Terror: Indian Ulema on Islam, Jihad and Communal Harmony

Edited and Translated by Yoginder Sikand

Publisher: Vikas Adhyayan Kendra, Mumbai (

Pages: 207

Year: 2010

Price: Rs. 100

Islam, like all other religions, can be interpreted in diverse ways. Not surprisingly, therefore, there is no unanimity among Muslim scholars on the details of the Islamic concept of jihad and Islamic teachings about relations between Muslims and others. Radical Islamists regard jihad, in the form of physical warfare, as a permanent duty binding on all Muslims. Like some conservative ulema, they also believe that Muslims must necessarily hate what they regard as ‘disbelievers’ and ‘infidels’, seeing that as an expression of their love for Islam and as being mandated by the Quran. These supremacist understandings emerge from their own reading of the Quran and Hadith, the corpus of sayings attributed to or about the Prophet Muhammad. They are also reflected in some strands of traditional Islamic jurisprudence or fiqh, which developed in the centuries after the demise of the Prophet. On the other hand, numerous other Muslim ideologues and scholars vehemently disagree with radical jihadists on their understanding of jihad, their political vision and their interpretation of Islamic teachings about relations between Muslims and others.

The essays included in this volume, translated from Urdu, all deal with the issue of Islamic teachings on jihad and inter-religious and inter-community relations. What unites the authors of these essays, Indian ulema who represent different Islamic sectarian and ideological tendencies, is a strident opposition to what they regard as the jihadists’ gross misinterpretation and misuse of the concept of jihad and by, like some traditional ulema, their unconcealed hostility towards people of other faiths and persuasions. Simultaneously, these authors also seek to address widespread misgivings among non-Muslims about Islam, particularly with regard to Islamic injunctions about jihad and inter-community relations.

Unbeknown to many, a number of Indian Muslim scholars or ulema do indeed differ from, critique and oppose the arguments of radical Islamists and obscurantist ulema on jihad and relations between Muslims and others. Some of them have written extensively on these matters. However, the vast majority of them write only in Urdu, a language that, for various reasons, few non-Muslims read and that increasing numbers of Indian Muslims do not know. Hence, few non-Muslims and other non-Urdu knowing people have access to their valuable critiques, argued from within a broad Islamic paradigm, of the politics and theology of radical Islamists and certain obscurantist traditional ulema. Some of the boldest such critiques are today being articulated by Indian ulema who have received a traditional madrasa education, thus indicating that many commonly-held and facile generalizations about madrasas and traditional ulema need to be interrogated and revised.

In a sense, these critiques are a reaction to the rise of radical jihadist trends in large parts of the world. Their proponents are consciously engaged in a conversation with, and against, radical Islamists, concerned that the latter are, as they see it, misinterpreting and misusing Islamic teachings, thereby defaming Islam itself. By questioning the very credentials of radical jihadists to speak for Islam and dismissing their arguments as ‘un-Islamic’, they serve a valuable purpose in seeking to convince Muslims that the radical jihadists’ positions on jihad and inter-community relations lack Islamic validity. In this way, they can prove to be major, indeed the most effective, actors in the struggle against radical jihadism and the obscurantism of certain influential sections of the ulema.


The first essay in the volume is an edited and considerably shortened version of a book titled Islam Aur Dehshatgardi (‘Islam and Terrorism’) [Hyderi Kutub Khana, Mumbai, 2003] by the noted Indian Shia scholar and community leader, Maulana Mirza Muhammad Athar, President of the All-India Shia Personal Law Board. The book consists of transcripts of majalis or lectures delivered by Maulana Athar over ten days in the Islamic month of Muharram in 2003 at the Masjid Iraniyan, Mumbai, to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Husain, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. In his majalis, Maulana Athar presents the Shias as being characterized, from the very inception of the community more than 1400 years ago, as victims of terrorism in the name of Islam. He depicts as the archetypical terrorist the figure of Yazid (680-83), a Sunni Muslim Caliph, son of the Caliph Muawiyah (d.680), founder of the Umayyad dynasty, and grandson of Abu Sufiyan (d.650), an arch-enemy of the Prophet Muhammad. In the month of Muharram in the year 680, Imam Husain and several dozens of his disciples and relatives were slaughtered at Karbala, a town now in Iraq, by the army of the tyrant Yazid, a turning point in the history of the Shias and Shia-Sunni relations. Mirza Muhammad Athar depicts the slaying of Imam Husain and his followers at the Battle of Karbala as epitomizing terrorism in the name of Islam. At the same time, in line with Shia beliefs, he presents the valiant resistance put up by the Imam against the forces of evil, oppression and tyranny represented by Yazid’s army to be the highest form of jihad. The battle of Karbala, he points out, was fought between two groups of Muslims. One of these groups, represented by the figure of Yazid, upheld a false Islam, the Islam of monarchs who sought to use and abuse Islam and the Islamic concept of jihad to bolster their own power by resorting to terrorism in the name of the faith. The other group, represented by Imam Husain, championed the authentic Islam, the Islam of the Prophet Muhammad, his son-in law and Imam Husain’s father, Imam Ali, and the Ahl ul-Bayt, the Family of the Prophet. They stood for what Mirza Muhammad Athar describes as the authentic Islamic jihad. This struggle between the two forms of Islam and the two contrasting interpretations of jihad, he says, continues down to our own times. In this way, he articulates an inspiring response to, and critique of, terrorism in the name of Islamic jihad.

The second essay is a translation of a chapter of an Urdu booklet titled Ikisvin Sadi Mai Islam, Musalman Aur Tehrik-e Islami (‘Islam, Muslims and the Islamic Movement in the Twenty-First Century’) [Markazi Maktaba-e Islami, New Delhi, 2005]. The author, Mohammad Nejatullah Siddiqui, is a leading Indian Islamic scholar, whose specialisation is ‘Islamic Economics’. Recipient of the King Faisal Award for Islamic Studies, he has taught at the Aligarh Muslim University and the King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah. A prolific writer, he served for sixteen years as member of the Central Committee of the Jama‘at-e Islami Hind. Siddiqui critiques the excesses committed by self-styled jihadist movements and points to the futility of armed struggle by Muslim groups against the West as a reaction to real or perceived injustices, arguing that this is causing much more damage to Muslims themselves than to others. He pleads for the need for inter-faith dialogue, in particular for Muslims to join hands with people of other faiths for issues of common concern, including in the struggle for peace and justice.

The third essay is a translation of portions of an Urdu book titled Al-Jihad by a young Sunni Deobandi scholar from Lucknow, Maulana Yahya Nomani, who works with the popular Islamic journal Al-Furqan. Nomani begins by noting and lamenting widespread anti-Islamic prejudices among many non-Muslims, based on ignorance and misunderstandings, which he regards, in part, as the outcome of the deliberate efforts of some forces inimical to Islam. At the same time, he acknowledges that certain self-styled jihadist groups have, through their violent actions and rhetoric, only further solidified Islamophobic prejudices, thereby giving Islam a bad name. Nomani focuses particularly on the doctrine of jihad itself, including the conditions under which, according to the Sunni theorists he supports, jihad can be waged and the strict rules and ethical limits that it must follow. Of particular interest in this regard is his discussion about proxy and guerilla war and war in the name of jihad waged by non-state actors, in which his differences with radical Islamists clearly emerge. Nomani also devotes considerable attention to critiquing Muslim ideologues who insist that Muslims must not befriend or help or work with people of other faiths or be law-abiding citizens of non-Muslim states, arguing that this represents an extremist position that is not in conformity with the Quran and the Sunnah or the practice of the Prophet.

The fourth chapter consists of translations of excerpts put together of three lengthy articles by the well-known New Delhi-based Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, a prolific Sunni scholar and a leading proponent of inter-community dialogue. These articles are taken from two Urdu books of his, Aman-e Alam (‘Global Peace’) [Goodword Books, New Delhi, 2005] and Islam Aur Intiha Pasandi (‘Islam and Extremism’) [Positive Thinkers Forum, Bangalore, n.d.]. Khan points out the distinction between jihad, understood as struggle in the path of God, and qital or armed struggle, and argues that Muslims as well as others have, unfortunately, taken the two to be largely synonymous. He critiques traditional Muslim historiographers for presenting the Prophet’s mission in largely political terms and his life as being a series of wars. Khan argues to the contrary, and points out that jihad, in the sense of qital, is only possible in very extreme cases. It is not a permanently operating principle, unlike what both radical jihadists as well as certain traditional ulema make it out to be. Khan opines that peace is basic to Islam. It is the norm, while war is only an exception, and that, too, in extreme and unavoidable situations. He regards as the Muslims’ fundamental duty the task of da‘wah or ‘inviting’ others to Islam, and argues that this duty can only be fulfilled in a climate of peace and good relations with people of other persuasions. Hence, he insists, radical Islamists are not just theologically wrong. They are also the major obstacle to what he regards as the Islamic mission for they are inherently and viscerally opposed to peace and good relations between Muslims and others.

The fifth chapter is a collection of excerpts put together from three articles written by Maulana Waris Mazhari, a graduate of the Dar ul-Ulum at Deoband and editor of the New Delhi-based journal Tarjuman Dar ul-Ulum, the official organ of the Deoband Madrasa’s Graduates’ Association. These articles have been published on various websites and in the journal that Mazhari edits. Mazhari articulates an Islamic ethic of inter-faith dialogue, which he sees not just as important in today’s context in order to counter anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic prejudices but also as a basic Islamic imperative. In this regard, and like Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, he critiques the notions of dar ul-islam (‘land of Islam’) and dar ul-harb or ‘land of war’ as contained in the corpus of medieval fiqh and which radical jihadists also espouse. He also critically interrogates Pakistan-based radical Islamists, such as the Lashkar-e Tayyeba, for what he regards as their deliberate misinterpretation of certain alleged statements of the Prophet in order to justify their acts of terrorism in India.

The sixth, and final, essay is a translation of excerpts from the Presidential address delivered by the noted Deobandi scholar, Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri (1875-1933), to the meeting of the Jami‘at ul-Ulama-i Hind (‘The Union of the Ulema of India’) in Peshawar in 1927. In his lecture, Maulana Kashmiri argues against proponents of Muslim separatism and lends support to the notion of a united India, consisting of Muslims, Hindus and others. Invoking the Treaty of Medina, or what some Muslims refer to as the ‘Constitution of Medina’, he argues that the Prophet Muhammad accepted the Jews and some other non-Muslim groups of Medina as members of the same qaum or ‘nation’, with equal rights as Muslims. Hence, he says, arguing against both Muslim as well as Hindu opponents of Hindu-Muslim unity and united Indian nationalism, Islam is not a barrier to better relations between Hindus and Muslims. Nor, he stresses, does it insist on Muslim political separatism, contrary to what, for instance, the Muslim League in pre-Partition India claimed or what radical jihadists today would argue. Read More...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Big Bang Theory and Quran

Various theories are described by many cosmological philosophers. Herman Bondi, Thomas Gold and Fred Hoyle introduced a theory that states that the universe was the same as it is now, matter is continually created to fill the gaps between galaxies. This theory was replaced with the Doppler effect and astronomers explained that the galaxies are moving away while the universe is expanding. This is somehow man made theories, Quran explains this very clearly.

Do they not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation) before we clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?

Big bang theory states, in the beginning explosion happened, that explosion wasn’t the same like an observer observe on earth. When that explosion was over space and time were born. Temperature of universe was hundred thousand million degrees and there was abundance of electrons.

Allama Yusuf Ali says “The evolution of the ordered worlds as we see them is hinted at. As man's intellectual gaze over the physical world expands, he sees more and more how Unity is the dominating note in Allah's wonderful Universe. Taking the solar system alone, we know that the maximum intensity of sun-spots corresponds with he maximum intensity of magnetic storms on this earth. The universal law of gravitation seems to bind all mass together. Physical facts point to the throwing off of planets from vast quantities of diffused nebular matter, of which the central condensed core is sun."

We must understand the scientific terms in order to open our minds towards Allah’s will because everything is created by God and we shouldn’t separate science and Quran. As Quran really explains everything. You can recite Online Quran and seek the truth.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Lilly Scholarships in Religion for Journalists

Journalists interested in taking college courses in religion or spirituality may apply for a scholarship program offered by the Religion Newswriters Association.

Journalists will receive scholarships for up to $5,000 each to study religion at any accredited college, university or seminary. Scholarships cover expenses including tuition, registration fees and books.

Continue reading here.

Journalism Scholarships Available for Muslim Students

The TMO Foundation is pleased to announce five scholarships to students in journalism and communications.

The first prize carries $1500, the second $1,000 and the third $750. Additionally, two more scholarships of $1,000 each will be awarded to students in need of financial subsidy to pursue education.

Students can choose any of the following essay topics:

1) Why do I want to be a journalist?

2) What does it mean to be a Muslim journalist?

3) What are some of the most serious issues that the Muslim American community faces in the USA?

4) What is the most effective way to counter “Islamophobia”?

5) How should Muslim American youth be involved in debates about policy?

6) How should Muslim Americans relate with the rest of the Muslim world?

7) How can Muslim Americans become an effective and dynamic part of the American pluralism?

Deadline: March 15, 2010


Friday, March 5, 2010

Islam and the Concept of Unity

Islam poses great stress on the importance of unity. The Islamic concept of Tauheed is the other name of the unity of mankind. The basic concept of Islam is the unity of God. Allah’s unity teaches us the message that we should not divide humans into sections and sects. Almighty Allah in the Quran says that the division of people in the races and clans is only for their introduction. The best one out of them is the man of piety.

Islam is a religion that bears other religions and orders its followers to respect and protect all humans irrespective of color, religion and ethnicity. According to a Hadith of the Holy Prophet all persons belong to Adam and Adam was from soil. The racial discrimination has been strictly prohibited in Islam. In the last sermon from the mountain of Arafat the Holy Prophet had clearly announced that no Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab; or the white over the black.

Islam advocates equal rights for all humans in the world and gives clear enjoinments for the respect, safety, security and prosperity of the non-Muslims as well.

When we Learn Quran we fine three levels of unity. These three levels are:

Unity of humanity

The Quran in Sura Al-Hujurat (The Inner Apartments) says:

“O, Mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is the one who has piety.” (49:13).

In this verse, Allah addressed believers and whole humanity rather than addressing only Muslims.

Unity of the People of Book

The people of the Books are the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims. In Sura Al-e-Imran the Quran says:

” O, people of the Book! Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with him, and that none of us will take others as lords besides Allah. Then if they turn away, say; Bear witness that we are Muslims” (3:64).

Unity of Muslims

In Sura Al-e-Imran the Quran says;

“And hold fast, all of you together to the rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves.” (3:103).

Islam is to serve humanity. It has come to reform and unite humans, not to divide them. We must condemn separatism extremism and terrorism in the name of Islam and unite humanity if we believe in the unity of God.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Be Back in about a Week or so, InshaALLAH

I need a break! Make du'a that I can make the most of my time, InshaALLAH. Til' then, InshaALLAH, hugs and kisses and be good.

Oh, and you can still email if you want, I'll be around. Read More...