Naad-e-Ali – A brief history

Ali ibn Abi Talib is the universal hero of Islam. The first Muslim, the fourth of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and the spiritual master of all Sufis, the special status of Imam Ali is best represented by the story of Khaybar. The story begins that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) laid siege to the fort of Khaybar near Medina but the walls were so well-fortified that the army could not break through. The angel Gabriel came to the Prophet Muhammad and told him to recite the naad-e Ali: Nade Ali, Nade Ali, Nade AliNade Aliyyan mazhar … Continue reading Naad-e-Ali – A brief history

Tolerance vs Inclusion: Lesson from Neelam Ghar

Dr Jawad Syed In this brief clip from a popular TV show (Neelam Ghar, later renamed as Tariq Aziz show) in 1990s in Pakistan, the host (Tariq Aziz) in simple words explains what many people have a real difficulty in understanding, i.e., the difference between tolerance and appreciation/inclusion. The Urdu/Hindi words that Tariq Aziz uses in his explanation are bardaasht (tolerance) and pasand (liking or appreciation). He says that the essence of democracy is the appreciation (not tolerance) of differences. It’s surprising to see that several leaders and organizations in the world today still describe tolerance as one of their … Continue reading Tolerance vs Inclusion: Lesson from Neelam Ghar

Murder in Blackburn: Aya Hachem Was a Shia Muslim, So What?

Danya Jafri (with minor edits) On the 18th May 2020, 19-year-old Aya Hachem was tragically shot dead on her way to get groceries from her local Lidl supermarket in Blackburn, UK. The Muslim community has been mourning the death of Aya, a law student, who has been described as “truly remarkable”. And the response to her life lost? Outrage. Outrage not just for the unnecessary and tragic death of a young girl who had her entire life ahead of her, but rather outrage against an undying flame of ignorance. Outrage has broken out on social media as some Takfiri (who … Continue reading Murder in Blackburn: Aya Hachem Was a Shia Muslim, So What?

In virus-hit Iraq, shrine visits go virtual

فقہ، فرقے اور مسلک سے قطع نظر تمام اہل اسلام کے لئے ایک قابل تقلید مثالکورونا کے ممکنہ پھیلاؤ کے خطرے کے پیش نظر، عراق میں کربلا، نجف اور دیگر مزارات مقدس پر حاضری کی بجائے آن لائن زیارت کی جا رہی ہے – روزنامہ ڈان کی رپورٹ Source: AFP / Dawn May 14, 2020Every year, Maher al-Rubaye would marvel at the gold-leaf walls of Iraq’s Imam Ali mausoleum. He still visits the shrine today — through a screen from his living room.The spread of the new coronavirus in Iraq has prompted the closure of major mosques to visitors, including … Continue reading In virus-hit Iraq, shrine visits go virtual

Hadith: Discussion of validity and authenticity

Background Because hadith is “the basis for most” Islamic laws and codes “at the detailed level”, which pertain “to people’s life, honour and property”, and because many (especially revivalist and conservative Muslims) consider these not just inspirational or informational but laws “sacrosanct or immutable Shari’ah” to be enforced, and because to others (especially modernist and liberal Muslims) the laws thus developed are “contrary to the intent and spirit of the Qur’an and Islam’s fundamental commitment to justice and fairness”, the “problem of the authenticity of the Sunnah” or hadith has become an issue for those (especially modernist and liberal Muslims) … Continue reading Hadith: Discussion of validity and authenticity

“The Ark of Salvation” Imam Hussain, an art exhibition in Rome, Italy

“The Ark of Salvation” Imam Hussain, an art exhibition in Rome Italy dedicated to the Passion of Ashura /Arbaeen in Islam and Christianity with the internationally renowned Iranian artist Hassan Ruholamin. After having held exhibitions in Paris and Berlin, he presented five of his new unpublished works for the Italian public. The first objective of the event was the reach of Ashura’s message to Italians through artistic expressions closer to their culture and mindset. A great result was obtained through the presence of many Italians, several of whom non-Muslims, who participated in the event. An arrow through the eyes. Three … Continue reading “The Ark of Salvation” Imam Hussain, an art exhibition in Rome, Italy

Syria’s Grand Mufti discusses Peaceful coexistence, non-sectarian and Inclusive Syria with Eva Bartlett

DAMASCUS, SYRIA — On October 2, 2018, I met with the Grand Mufti of Syria, Dr. Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun, a scholar and the highest official of Islamic law in Syria, who assumed the position of grand mufti in 2005. Dr. Hassoun’s (archived) website notes that in addition to his title of grand mufti, his other positions include, “Chairman of the Media Committee of the Higher Consultative Council for the Rapprochement between the Islamic Schools of Thought, Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.” Essentially meaning that the mufti focuses on interfaith, and inter-sect, dialogue. His speeches routinely focus on the theme of rapprochement … Continue reading Syria’s Grand Mufti discusses Peaceful coexistence, non-sectarian and Inclusive Syria with Eva Bartlett

Wahhabi Islam never existed in pre-colonial world – Shaykh Khaled Abou el Fadl

Khaled Abou el Fadl is the Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Distinguished Professor of Law and Islamic studies at the University of California. He has lectured on and taught Islamic law in the United States and Europe in academic and non-academic environments since approximately 1990. Abou El Fadl holds a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University, a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Islamic law from Princeton University. Abou El Fadl also has 13 years of instruction in Islamic jurisprudence, grammar and eloquence in Egypt and Kuwait. After law school, he clerked … Continue reading Wahhabi Islam never existed in pre-colonial world – Shaykh Khaled Abou el Fadl

Message for religious tolerance by Ali Raza Abidi Shaheed

An important message for religious tolerance by Pakistani parliamentarian Ali Raza Abidi. He recorded this message on the new year eve at the start of 2018. A few months later, he was killed on Christmas Day 2018 in Karachi by Takfiri Islamist militants. Abidi was a leading voice for interfaith harmony in Pakistan. In his message, Abidi pledged to work against extremism and for interfaith harmony. Continue reading Message for religious tolerance by Ali Raza Abidi Shaheed

President Obama condemns global violence against Sufi Sunni and Shia Muslims

US President Obama condemns global violence against Sufi Sunni and Shia Muslims and other communities at the hands of Takfiri Islamist militant groups. “Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims and Shiite pilgrims. It’s time to heed the words of Gandhi: “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit. The impulse towards intolerance and violence may initially be focused on the West, but over time it cannot be contained. The same impulses toward extremism are used to justify war between Sunni and Shia, between tribes and clans. It leads not … Continue reading President Obama condemns global violence against Sufi Sunni and Shia Muslims