Monday, December 30, 2013

Revising History

A reviewer of Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall writes:

Historians love revision. It's why so few histories of the 19th century endure; new evidence and interpretations render them useless.
Factually it looks correct but it is an incomplete assessment. Life has a purpose and even history has to be looked from that perspective. That is the correct perspective to adopt towards life in general and essential for history.

And history written with that perspective will be endurable.

Why This Medley?

Yours truly talks of everything at An Alig's Armchair.
But this random collection is not devoid of focus.
It is all part of the overall picture that Aligarh Movement has to take note of everything and deal with it.

And Aligarh Movement is an Islamic movement.
This sets the tone of the expression for yours truly.

Let Us Rank Annie

Reviewing Qurratulain Hyder's River of Fire a reader, Adnan, says:

Had the book translated when it had been written, the author would have been ranked above Kundera and Marquez today.
Precisely.

Let us do that now. Let us give Annie her due. This is amongst those tasks to which we should wake up. We Muslims do have the charge of ignoring science in a crucial period on ourselves. Let us not accept false charges of not being up to the mark in other fields.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Aligarh Movement and Separatism

A site asserts:
Though started as a reform movement the Aligarh Movement ultimately encouraged separatist politics.
Yours truly would like to plead non-guilty.

But some explanation is in order.

Let us make it short and to the point. If some people took up the idea of separatism and took it to its logical conclusion then it can not be taken as a be all and end all of the parent movement. There might have been many Aligs in the movement for Pakistan but it can not be denied that M.A.Jinnah was not an Alig. In the profundity called the Indian freedom movement Pakistan movement can only be taken as an appendix, however effective it was. Looking, in hindsight, at the activities of Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Hind one can decisively conclude that all of Muslims of India were not on the side of Pakistan movement. And the same is true about Aligs. Not all of them were for it.

The question is why people do not pay heed to this aspect.

Even more grave question : why we Aligs do not emphasize it?

What is Aligarh Movement?

Somebody asked this question at one of the Aligarh Movement fora : What is Aligarh Movement?

Yours truly has a take on it. Aligarh Movement is a revivalist movement of Islam.

There is undue emphasis on the reforming aspect of the Aligarh Movement.
It can not be denied that Aligarh Movement has an extremely reformist character but is a travesty of the truth that its reformist aspect overwhelms the revivalist aspect.

But there are many people who keep harping on the reformist angle trumping everything else. this is far from the truth. If Sir Syed said that graduates of Aligarh will have a crown of no god but God in their head then the matter was settled in his life itself - Aligarh begins at Islam and end at Islam.

But this still leaves out a nagging doubt. If Islam is the be all and end all of Aligarh Movement then what is meant by its revivalist character? There are two aspects of the answer to this query. Firstly, the negation part,  Aligarh Movement is no subterfuge of Islam. Secondly, the affirmation part, Aligarh Movement strives to bring Islam forward to face the challenge of modern times.

And that is hardly a subterfuge of Islam. This should come as a surprise to those who do see Aligarh Movement as antagonistic to a conservative Islamic movement, for example Deoband. Yours truly does not see it in that way. In spite of the fact that it is historically correct that there has been significant friction between the two in the early phase.

The two movements started in a phase when Islam and Muslims were passing through an extremely low phase. Colonialism had reached its pinnacle and colonialism was a device of the same forces that emanated from those geographical regions where crusades has arisen from. It is true that the two plagues, crusades and colonialism, were separated from each other a gap of centuries and the new and strident west had kicked out the religion of Christianity, at the effective level at least if not completely, but all this has not affected the animosity towards Islam in any significant manner. Russian, British and French control of Muslim lands was complete and overall push of these western force might not have been pro-Christian but it was decidedly against Islam.

Both Aligarh and Deoband felt the need to do some thing to address the situation. Deoband put its primary worries in the preservation of Islam. Sir Syed had welfare of Muslims at his heart. If we combine  the latter with the information that Sir Syed wanted to keep Islam at the top one come to the unmistakable conclusion that at the most fundamental level the two movements are not antagonistic at all. The worst that one can say is that the two movements are complementary to each other.

And that is a complement.

When one is knee deep in crisis then there is a possibility of miscommunication with other people working to the same ends. And that is what happened in the case of infancy of the two  movements.

Rashid Ahmed Siddiqui - 1

The Wikipedia page on late professor Rashid Ahmed Siddiqui says:

Any study of his writings without keeping in mind the scholarly, literary and cultural ambiance of Aligarh Muslim University and the city of Aligarh would make little sense. Most of the themes, events and characters in his works are, in one way or another, related to Aligarh but one also catches glimpses of Mariyahu, his place of birth. However, Aligarh is invariably the main source of his inspiration and creativity.
 This is an accurate assessment but does not make the implications clear. This deters one from approaching his writings. This is a wrong impression. In reality one should read him if one wants to know what is Aligarh.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Remembering Babri Masjid

For some time Aligarh has been witnessing power cuts in the morning - the time when it is needed dearly.
There was no power cut in the morning today.
And then it hit home.
Today is December 6 and there will be no power cut.
This is the date when the Babri Masjid was demolished by the Sangh Pariwar outfits.
A brazen offense by the strident fanatic ideology and the pepetrators remain unrepentant till today.
In fact they do celebrate the occasion as a victory day.
It was a harrowing time for Muslims of India during the period events one after another lead to the out rage of demolition.
And the times at present are no more different.
About ten years later Muslims were taught a very severe lesson on Gujrat and at the moment the supervisor of that pogrom has set his eyes on the prime ministerial post.
But even then the victory celebrations should invoke nothing more then the following, in words of Ghalib:

Bulbul ke karobaar pe hai khanda-haye gul
Kehte hein ishq jisto khalal hai dimagh ka

The flower is amused at nightingale's affairs
This obsession is really a brain gone adrift.

Allah (SWT) assures us that you shall be the winners if you are true believers.
It is this faith in the benign disposition of Allah (SWT) that can assuage the badly tormented psyche of Indian Muslims. On only needs a sincere and firm faith in Allah (SWT). And that is voluntary - it is within our control. by the Grace and permission of Allah (SWT).  That there are more than twenty crores of us in India, even when united, is no assurance. The Indian populace that is not coloured in communal mindset, that too is no assurance. That some one from outside, like the self appointed western powers of Muslim Ummah itself, will come to our rescue and arrest the juggernaut of communal forces in India, that too is no assurance. Promise of Allah (SWT) certainly is the anchor that Muslims of India can depend upon.

Nelson R. Mandela Died


Freedom fighter, statesman, moral compass and South Africa’s symbol of the struggle against racial oppression. (Source : KTLA)

Allah (SWT)'s world is very strange.
When we witness the affairs taking place in it, animate or in-animate affairs, then our sight, our vision returns to us. Dazzled, aweary.

Life of Nelson Mandela was one such affair.

Who could imagine that the UK, the epitome of western civilization till some time ago, will actively main the apartheid regime in South Africa till yesterday.
But that was the reality.

One feels as if one came out of, not medieval but ancient, times just a short while ago.

We remember Margret Thatcher assuring us that with courageous people like F.W. de Clark in place there is nothing for us to worry about.
Oh yes madam.

But she is gone some time back.
Apartheid breathed  its last in South Africa in front of her eyes.
And now even Mandela is gone.

Even without much conscious effort one feels like a part of the unfolding of a saga. That is what great men do. They make others feel great.

Gandhi is in South Africa.
He returns home to ease himself into the leadership of Indian freedom movement and lo and behold within a matter of decades not only a few hundred year old rule of British in India comes to an end but the total and complete annihilation of the British empire is heralded.

And then one comes to know of a person, again in South Africa, using the same methods as Gandhi, trying solve even more fundamental problem - not mere colonization but real apartheid.

Those 27 years in jail must have been some ordeal.
And then he lived on to tell the story.
And more. A lead South Africa for decades.
In that aspect his life surpasses Gandhi's.

In India Gandhi was a relic as soon as the freedom dawned.
And then he was eliminated. As if getting side lined was not enough.

And the same forces, ever since assassination of Gandhi and even before, have been trying to hijack India.

If Mandela could win his rights in spite of stiff resistance by entrenched forces then Muslims of India can get their due in a country where they have got side lined by acts of omission and some times commission.

If Allah (SWT) gave so much to Mandela will He (SWT) ignore us who profess the creed favoured by Him?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Knowledge is Common Sense

We live in the times of excessive specialization.
This has the danger of reducing knowledge to a chimera.
We do think that knowledge is real but we think it is either some magic or some thing unattainable - except in some very limited field.
In reality knowledge ultimately is common sense.
Or developing your common sense - not for going beyond common sense but to reduce every bit of knowledge to common sense.
Every extraordinary achievement in the intellectual enterprise amounts to that - application of common sense.

Here are some examples.
What is the common sense behind Bill Gates?
Well just monopolize early on an upcoming field and sit on it like a snake.
It is common sense.

What is the common sense behind US success?
Well it is use of science and technology to economic and military ends.

Why is US more successful then the Europe who had a lead over the former in matters of science and technology?
They did not suck the intellectual capital from the rest of the world.

What is the common sense explanation of US economic decline?
Economic growth can not be maintained indefinitely.

Finally here is the disclaimer - yours truly has not hit upon the sure shot common sense behind all we see around us. The object is not to denigrate people of knowledge - they deserve their duly earned respect. But you deserve your respect when you have reduced your knowledge to common sense. If you do that you shall not be out of business. Perhaps your business has just begun.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Omar Mukhtar : A Modern Ideal

 The ideal and model for any Muslim is beloved Prophet (PBUH).

Then there are those servants of Allah (SWT) who emulate this ideal in the best possible manner in various times.

For modern times this ideal for yours truly is Omar Mukhtar of Libya.
Just have a look at the proceedings of the trial after his capture.
Omar Mukhtar, Emir of the Mujahideen of Libya, headed jihad against Italian invaders in the 1920-1930s. He was 70 years old, when he received a severe wound, and was taken prisoner by the invaders.
A dialogue in an infidels' court in 1931, between the "judge" and Omar Mukhtar:

 
- Did you fight against the Italian state?
 
Omar: Yes
 
- Did you encourage people to fight against Italy?
 
Omar: Yes
 
- Are you aware of penalty for what you did?
 
Omar: Yes
 
- For how many years did you fight against Italy?
 
Omar: For 20 years already
 
- Do you regret of what you have done?
 
Omar: No
 
- Do you realize that you will be executed?
 
Omar: Yes
 
The judge remarked:
- It's a dismal end for a man like you.

Hearing these words, Omar Mukhtar replied:

- On the contrary, it is the best way to end my life!

The judge then wanted to acquit him and deport him from the country if he appeals to Mujahideen in a statement to stop the Jihad. Then Omar Mukhtar said his famous words:

- My forefinger that admits in every prayer that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah cannot write a word of falsehood, we do not surrender, we win or die!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Tarun Tejpal : A Muslim Perspective

How should we Muslims react to the Tarun Tejpal affair just unfolding in the news?

Of course one should not judge anything in haste but one has to make a judgment sooner than later.

Here is one possible Muslim perspective. But first the facts as these have come out.

***
According to an article in the Times of India on November 22, 2013 a female journalist working for the Tehelka, a magazine specializing in sting operations, sent an email to its managing editor Shoma Chaudhury accusing the founding editor Tarun Tejpal of sexual assault.

Chaudhury  feels a sense of outrage and betrayal but will not go to the police for Tejpal has a different version. Police files a FIR under Sections relating to rape, rape of a woman taking advantage official position and outraging the modesty. DGP of police Kishan Kumar asserts that law will pursue its own course and the Chief Minister of Goa, the place where incident took place, Manohar Parrikar assures a crackdown on high profile crime [sic].

Tarun Tejpal resigns from his post for six months and assures full co-operation to the investigating agencies, apologizes to the victim. Managing editor Chaudhury appoints a committee of three members, Tejpal's colleagues, to investigate the matter and denies charges of covering.

Tejpal asks for examination of the CCTV footage. DIG of police, OP Sharma, receives the footage. Police also asks for victims emails as well as all relevant documents.

Episode had occurred in a five star hotel in Bambolin, five kilometers from Goa capital Panaji. 

On November 23 the Goa police team is in Delhi to investigate the matter with victim, accused and others. Shoma Chaudhury says that the information in the media is wrong. Says that it does not amount to cover up to say that Tejpal has a different version of events. Promises full co-operation to Goa police and Delhi police assures the same.

The case carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Threat of arrest looms large on Tejpal who apologizes for lapse of judgment.

FIR files by Goa police at the directive of National Women's Commission.

Tejpal says that it was a consensual event that lasted less than a minute.

Shoma Chaudhury says that she angrily confronted Tejpal after receiving girl's email on Monday, perhaps November 18, about the event that took place a fortnight ago during a ThinkFest organized by Tehelka.

Girl had marked three other journalists in her email - whatever that means.

ABVP, the student wing of BJP, activists demonstrate outside Tejpal's house in Jangpura and Tehelka office in Greater Kailash - II in New Delhi.

Rounds of meetings in government and police department. Sources in the police said that there is a prima facie case against Tejpal.



Girls allegation that Tejpal assaulted her twice.
It turns out that there were no CCTV camera in the elevator.
A corridor camera shows the girl leaving in a hurry.

Tejpal's lawyer, Rajan Karanjwala, says that in incident happened only once.

A relative of Tejpal meets victim's mother requesting protection for him. Victim felt under pressure.

Another team to arrive in New Delhi from Goa to meet the victim.

Police asks Chaudhury to hand over the laptop and iPad used in communication for the case.

Tejpal and family members refuse to meet the media camped outside their residence.

The Godfather-II actor Robert Di Nero too was in the conference.

Victim wanted to go out of the lift and take the stairs but Tejpaj prevented her from doing that. girl on the verge of hysteria but the editor carried on.


... I then realized that Mr Tejpal was simply pressing buttons... to make the elevator stay in circuit, preventing it from stopping anywhere, and for the doors to open. At this point, he began to kiss me...
Further and more explicit details ahead.

National Commission for Women (NCW) asks Mumbai police to provide security to the victim.

Goa team interviews three Tehelka employees but returns without questioning Tejpal. Chaudhury grilled for nine hours.

Delhi High Court to hear Tejpal's bail plea.

Police might file additional charges against Tejpal.

Journalist Nidhi Razdan asks Choudhury that it looks as if you are more upset that the news was leaked then the event itself. Grilled on Vishakha guidelines:

Vishakha judgment was an off shoot of a rape case verdict in Rajasthan. It stipulated official responsibility of employer in case of work place sexual assault.

Kiran Bedi said that Shoma Chaudhury should have been the first one to go to the police and that she has been wasting time on new networks explaining the situation. Like Nirbhaya case the police investigation will fix the case and this man will be fixed.

Tavleen Singh said that Tehelka takes higher moral grounds then any other network in these matters but in their own case they are talking about another version of the events.

Indira Jaisingh: The email from the girl should not have been in the public domain but unfortunately that is the case. On the basis of that there is a case for ( commitment of ) rape.

Nandita Das: I was extremely disappointed with Tehelka for we contributed to the creation of Tehelka (with different hopes.)

Suzzette Jordan, a rape survivor from Kolkata: I was at the event talking about my ordeal and now I feel that I might have been made fun of in a similar manner as the present victim is being laughed at.

The Vishakha judgment was an offshoot of a rape case involving a social worker in Rajasthan. It laid down the requirements for employers dealing with complaints of sexual assault and stipulated the formation of committees to dispose of complaints from victims of harassment.

Read more at: http://www.firstpost.com/india/sexual-harassment-and-vishakha-guidelines-all-you-need-to-know-1241649.html?utm_source=ref_article
The Vishakha judgment was an offshoot of a rape case involving a social worker in Rajasthan. It laid down the requirements for employers dealing with complaints of sexual assault and stipulated the formation of committees to dispose of complaints from victims of harassment.

Read more at: http://www.firstpost.com/india/sexual-harassment-and-vishakha-guidelines-all-you-need-to-know-1241649.html?utm_source=ref_article
The Vishakha judgment was an offshoot of a rape case involving a social worker in Rajasthan. It laid down the requirements for employers dealing with complaints of sexual assault and stipulated the formation of committees to dispose of complaints from victims of harassment.

Read more at: http://www.firstpost.com/india/sexual-harassment-and-vishakha-guidelines-all-you-need-to-know-1241649.html?utm_source=ref_article
Four Tehelka journalists resign.

Shobha De divulges that Tejpal was victim's father's friend as well as father of her friend. ... after all hell had broken loose, and social media platforms had created a war zone out of the controversy, nothing of any worth was forthcoming from Tehelka’s side.

BJP's Arun Jetli accuses Congress of protecting Tejpal.

... the nation is deprived of the sage advice of P Chidambram, the caustic comments of Kapil Sibal and the exaggerated tweets of Manish Tewari ...

Tejpal's lawyers Geeta Luthra and Pramod Dubey moved the Delhi High Court for Tejpal's bail, before Justice GS Sistani, which is likely to be heard Tuesday.

Tarun Tejpal stops Raman Kiranpal's story on Goa mining mafia a few years ago. Since then Tejpal's ThinkFest has been held in the hotel owned by the same mafia.   ... you are in Goa, eat and drink as much as you want and sleep with whomever you want ...


***

Tarun Tejpal came to lime light with the sting operation on BJP president Bangaru Laxman who had to resign from his post for having got caught on tape shoving a hundred thousand rupees in his desk.

And then his team went onto do some more operations of the same kind including tricking the perpetrators of Gujrat violence against Muslims.

They had done an operation on Muftis having ideological affiliation to Deoband's Darul Uloom thinking that they have proved to the world that Muftis can give Fatwah for money - implying saleability of a Shariah opinion.

***

Islam tauts itself as a complete way of life and hence should have an opinion on the sordid saga unfolding before our eyes.

The media at the moment is overwhelmed by the feminist take on the matter. Tehelka itself is a representative and a de facto subscriber of the feminist ideology. It is clear that this is a sore point for the many people opining on the episode.

There is that opinion that if Tejpal goes down, and it looks all set to go that way, then Tehelka too will go down.

Now the dominant media outlets of India as well as the dominant intellectual stream in modern day India happens to be the people like Tarun Tejpal. It is unlikely that they will come out with a comprehensive solution to the problem. Even the assertion that it is a failure of an individual to implement the said ideology and not a failure of the ideology itself has to be implanted into their discourse from without - they are not likely to come up with that excuse.

So we come to the original question - what is Islam's take on the affair.
There perhaps will be two answers. One from the educated class of Muslims. They will look for the sources on which they depend - the modern media. Clearly they are unlikely to come up with an original solution given the fact that the dominant media ideology is facing a crisis of conscience - whether they know it or not.

The other Muslim answer will come from our religious establishment. They will say something along the lines that will be impossible to communicate to the people of India - reinforcing the image of Indian Muslim as an uneducated and inapt orthodox miserable being - if not an outright fundamentalist.

But this does not fulfill the implicit promise in the title of this post. So here we go.

The most visible response to the event falls short of Islamic expectations n several accounts.

To begin with Islam has very strict ruling of a woman being alone in a lift with a man that is not her close and allowed relative called a Mahram.

Then there is another concern - Islam does not forbid women working for a living but it is apparent from its structure that it does not assign this as a primary duty to women. This might be a contentious issue in the modern times when media is adrift with the ideology demanding absolute equality of man and woman.

Islam has a subtle position on that. It says that man and woman are equal.
Now that is not subtle at all. It is clear and stark. The subtlety comes in the appendix to above statement and this asserts the following that man has slight preference over woman.

This is a tie breaker in Islam. Yours truly has spent hours, days and weeks talking about it, without convincing, to the people of the type that dominate Indian media today. But to convince them is not perhaps a duty of Muslims - to explain is.

There are any number of women in India trying to implement the type of ideology current Indian media espouses. They are quite convinced about the correctness of their ideology for aren't they living it? This leaves out two crucial loop holes - the number of women out of the same loop who can not be brought to the same level and its cost.

 How many vacancies of the type of Madhu Kishwar, Tavleen Singh, Kiran Bedi, Barkha Dutt, Nandita Das, Shoma Chaudhury and Shobha De type are there? Answer - only that many. No more. On the ground we have got more than sixty crore candidates in India for the same posts. But the moral high ground holding intellectuals of current Indian media have no awareness of this numerical nuance.

Secondly what is the cost of adopting that way of life? May we add the Tejpal episode to the bill? Even if somehow this type of eventualities can be made impossible to occur we are left with a life style that is plain undesirable because of what it reduces a man or woman to. Out of many other disadvantages the endemic childlessness of such people is sufficient for us at the moment.

There are many other things can bee said in this regard but as an appetizer above words should be sufficient. Yours truly will not remind the sensitive modern Indian about what Islam thinks about rape and rapists.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Modi Campaign 2013-2014 : Part 1

Yours truly has not been talking about Gujrat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's Prime Ministerial campaign. That is a mistake. To get the headline out of the way yours truly does not want him as the Prime Minister of India. And the reasons for that should be obvious. That is all to begin with.

Friday, November 22, 2013

They Review the Decline and Fall

There are many reviews of Edward Gibbon's magnum opus the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire on the net, though not as many as one will have for many modern but less influential books. This latter fact is explained by the eventuality that reading and then reviewing the Decline and fall is not everybody's cup of tea.

And perhaps it is because of that that if any one does take up the task of reviewing this magnificent book then the person ends up saying not merely meaningful but even profound things.

And that is a tribute to the genius of Gibbon.

Here is one review that yours truly just went through.
Reading a review of the Decline and Fall is in itself a rewarding and pleasant experience. If one can overlook the irony and the often stark nature of the events. Here are some comments on the review under consideration.

The review is inclined towards the sixth and final volume of the book. This tells us that the haggard reviewer, and it is not meant as a comment, has just managed the tedious journey of going through that complex text that covers thirteen centuries, moves at a breakneck speed, the narrative is full of irony and intricate play of words on the emotional and moral content. No mean task in itself. Of course one also has a sort of gratification of not being saddled with a pompous deceit who will spew verbosity for the effect without going through the pain, and hence devoid of the corresponding pleasure, of reading the text.

Out of several observations of the reviewer the paragraph on number of killings and corresponding depravity of the worst kind stands out as one is slowly eased into the horror and one suddenly develops a respect for the historian himself for deftly opening up the putrid nature of reality around us - even if a some millennia ago.

Here is my choice of the profundity in the review:

Despite the vast amounts of immorality that it records, the Decline and Fall is a profoundly moral work, deeply concerned with right and wrong, and the reader with an ear for irony can perceive Gibbon’s scathing condemnation of barbarity on most of the pages where such crimes and follies are recorded.
And others will find other instances.  The review is worth reading for getting yourself familiarized with the character of the book.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bernard Lewis Has Always Been Confused

Here is an article of Bernard Lewis's confusion about Islam and Muslims.

Clearly Bernard Lewis, in his 97th year an always, has been a sort of embarrassment for the west. Even then Muslim help will be required in clearing the waters muddied by him. We shall occasionally take a look at his past and present views on Islam and Muslims. Lord Most high willing.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Taking Edward Gibbon for Task

Edward Gibbon got some fifty seven years on this planet and used them to do what would certainly classify his as one of the most effective lives from the worldly point of view. He wrote the history of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. After publication of that book it was put to very vigorous scrutiny and after all the hue and cry it turned out that after all he had got it right and the critics got it wrong. But the western critics do think that they got the author on at least one point - his harsh treatment of Christianity. Critics agree that Gibbon is tough on religion and he is more tough on Christianity. One curious fact that stuck yours truly is the observation by George Saintsbury that Gibbon chose to talk about a period that was already agreed upon as the dark age of Europe. This is a disingenuous. Europe's admission of guilt does not absolve them of the responsibility. To be fair to the critic he is not making a not-guilty proposition. But he certainly is hinting that we should simply not talk about it - the attitude that Europe usually adopts. While taunting a society for the actions of their generations many centuries ago is not decent by any stretch of imagination but exemption on the grounds of acceptance of crime is sorcery. The critic is guilty of that.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Most Jealous One

Who is most the jealous one in this universe?

Not your wife.

Not your little daughter.

The following story was told by Pir Zulfiqar Ahmed Naqshbandi Sahab (DB).

He said that in the margins of his translation of the Noble Qur'an Hazrat Aqdas Maulana Ashraf Ali Sahab Thanwi (RA), called the Tafseer Bayan-ul-Qur'an, has also extracted the rules of Mysticism, Tasawwuf.

One such nugget is derived from a statement of Allah (SWT) in Surah Namal.
Allah (SWT) says that when an invading kind enters into the domain of another one then he subjects the existing nobility to serious degradation.

Hazrat Thanwi (RA) says that this can be applied to Allah (SWT) making ways into the heart of seeker. At this moment He (SWT) will subject the exiting idols in seeker's heart to utter humiliation.

Perhaps that is true for eternal competitors too.

Hence when Islam enters your heart then Ribah, interest goes out - however beloved it was to you.

So does music.

So does the so called freedom.

So does all acts that violate modesty.

So does all grandeur that represents anything else other then the Will of Allah (SWT).

Thus, for example, do not complain why yo can not go on dating before marriage.

And so on.

Allah (SWT) is the most jealous one.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Roman Republic, Roman Empire

West, lead by the US, has been forcing democracy on willing or unwilling countries around the world. The concept is made kosher by fiet and that is not the end. It has to be traced to sources that will bring back the credit to the west.

Here is one mention of the disapproved transition from republic to empre:
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization characterized by a republican form of government. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, c. 508 BC, and lasted 482 years until its subversion, through a series of civil wars, into the Principate form of government and the imperial period.
Here is another take on the same:

Today, January 16, is one of the more resonant dates on the calendar: on January 16, 26 BCE Octavius Caesar was given the title ‘Augustus’ by a cowed and obedient Senate; it is as good a date as any to mark the end of the Roman Republic and the permanent establishment on its ruins of the Empire. 

 

Thus Opined Edward Gibbon

Here is a collection of Edward Gibbon quotes:


(1) Corruption, the most infallible symptom of constitutional liberty.

(2) History ... is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.

(3)  I sighed as a lover, I obeyed as a son.

(4) The style of an author should be the image of his mind, but the choice and command of language is the fruit of exercise.

(5) Style is the image of character.

(6) My English text is chaste, and all licentious passages are left in the obscurity of a learned language.

(7) It has always been my practice to cast a long paragraph in a single mould, to try it by my ear, to deposit it in my memory, but to suspend the action of the pen till I had given the last polish to my work.

(8) Truth, naked, unblushing truth, the first virtue of all serious history, must be the sole recommendation of this personal narrative.

(9) Crowds without company, and dissipation without pleasure.

(10) The author himself is the best judge of his own performance; none has so deeply meditated on the subject; none is so sincerely interested in the event.

(11) The courage of a soldier is found to be the cheapest and most common quality of human nature.

(12) Our sympathy is cold to the relation of distant misery.





Monday, November 4, 2013

Stephan Covey's Seven Habits

Stephan Covey's Seven Habits is a hugely popular concept.

Here are these in less than a nutshell:

(1) Be proactive
(2) Begin with the end in mind
(3) Put first things first
(4) Think win-win
(5) Seek first to understand and then to be understood
(6) Synergize
(7) Sharpen the saw

Q: Why didn't Islam talk about it?
A: The focus in above techniques is about worldly achievements.
Worldly achievements belongs to a person's earnings, rizq in Islam.
Rizq is from Allah (SWT).
It should be earned by lawful means and that was the necessary information for man. Or woman.
And Islam is all about lawful and unlawful classification.
And Allah (SWT) will find a way to  deliver our Rizq to us.
He (SWT) has taken the responsibility on Him.
No wonder He (SWT) rarely talks about how we should earn.
On the other hand He (SWT) keeps telling us to spend.
Now that is up to us. That is the thing on which we have more control.
And hence Islam talks more about spending and less about earning.

Additionally if we work hard Allah (SWT) will not waste our efforts.
So if we do wish for lots of worldly blessings, like money and all that, then working hard is not forbidden but encouraged and recommended as well as enjoined upon us. And this includes sharpening our earning skills. Thus Covey's strategy can be incorporated by believers with profit. With full knowledge that Allah (SWT) will not waste our hard work. We shall not receive from him less than our hard work. Or more than our destiny.

Zarabozo on Interest


Interest and Its Role in Economy and Life  

  Jamaal Zarabozo 


An article explains why the Muslims abide by the prohibition of usury while the Jewish and Christian secularists are calling to to affirm it.
A glimpse at some texts from the Quran and the Sunnah which severely warn against the taking of interest.
Interest and Usury in the Bible (Judaism and Christianity) and according to early thinkers.
An article explains how something so despised such as interest could be justified and even institutionalized as a standard.
The various ways in which thinkers in the past have tried to conjure explanations for the existence of interest.
The various ways in which interest has harmed society.
The devastating ills of interest on an international level.
An Islamic solution to the interest model, and how economy can still thrive without interest.

Friday, November 1, 2013

How to Hate Men?

The most powerful country on the planet, the US, will be taken seriously in any matter.

Allah (SWT) says in the Noble Qur'an that man and woman are equal but man has slight preference.

That is a tie breaker.

A tie breaker is needed when one has to run any organization.
House, we mean the home, is the most important organization.
You do need a tie breaker there.

The US, and the west in general, will vehemently disagree.

And that is the rub.

They believe in absolute equality of man and woman.

Symbiotic complementarity of man and woman has been replaced by destructive absolute mechanical equality.

And there are consequences.

Women in US are killing the men in their life, in he so called self-defense, and claiming that they, the women, were abused by there men.

Domestic violence works like a charm, according to this documentary,  in the defense of a woman killer.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fuming Against Dar-ul-Uloom


The following piece appeared in the New Indian Express on the said date.

Our remarks are in black against the original article in blue.

Stop creating Muslim misfits

Published: 08th October 2013 06:00 AM
Last Updated: 08th October 2013 01:15 AM
In the interest of Muslims, there is an urgent need to reform or shut down Darul Uloom Deoband,
Now that you are at it you might consider shutting down Islam too.
... the internationally known Islamic seminary engendering obscurantism, sectarianism and religious orthodoxies harmful to Muslims.
Perhaps you wanted to write infamous in place of known.
In a recent fatwa, it ruled that Shias, mainly Bohra Muslims, are non-Muslims, violating the egalitarian tenets of the Indian republic.
Dar-ul-Uloom was established much before the establishment of the Indian Republic. Hence the Indian republic accepts the existence of the Dar-ul-Uloom as it was. And one of the jobs of Dar-ul-Uloom is to interpret Islam. It was within its right to do what it did.
Fatwas are Islamic legal opinions given in response to a query and, while not many Muslims follow them, they do influence the devout ones.
 You are getting distracted. 
The accepted view that no clergy exists in Islam is untrue, as a large number of clerics in Indian villages act as doorkeepers to Muslim minds.
You are taking up issues with Islam.
Why?
If we could hazard a guess then the object might be to adjust Islam to the whims of your current hosts, the US.
In recent years, the Darul Uloom Deoband has delivered numerous fatwas which undermine women’s freedom.
For the record you are taking the western standards as the norm.
The western standards were designed, having their roots in the the crusading mentality, to be anti-Islamic.

With that mindset it is not possible to engage Muslims in any useful dialogue. Moreover it is strange that a person with a Muslim sounding name should appoint himself as a spokesman for the west.

Just in case the author thinks he is addressing Muslims as a fellow Muslim then the platform chosen is very unfortunate. In-house problems should be solved in the house.
Notably, women cannot preach or deliver sermons;
Actually they do, amongst women.
... working women cannot mix with male colleagues;
This one you got right. It is clear that either you are looking for mixing with opposite gender or you are trying to appease the detractors of Islam. Both reflect badly on your character.
... women must wear a burqa;
You mention it as some sort of injustice. Justice is to implement Islam. In Islam modesty is prescribed not only for women but for men too.
... triple talaq uttered through a cellphone is valid;
Divorce is a serious matter in Islam and no Muslim should play with it. Even by way of allowing your anger to get better of you. When faced with a serious issue the option available is to take it seriously. To change the tenets of religion to suit your temper is not religiosity. Islam was decided ny Allah, exalted is He, for us we do not have the liberty to redesign it. Nor has the Dar-ul-Uloom said liberty. Designer Islam is not Islam.
...women cannot serve as qazis, or judges;
True. Still with us?
talking to one’s fiancĂ© on phone is haram or forbidden;
True again. Are you a new kid on the block? People have been talking about these things for a long time and you are still stuck at the start line.
... adolescent girls over 13 years cannot ride bicycles;
I see. Got to check this one.
... it is undesirable for women to drive a car;
I have heard that is true about Saudi Arab. Got to check this one also.
... women shouldn’t contest elections and must observe purdah;
Most probably true. And you are repeating yourself.
... co-education is impermissible.
True. Sad that you discovered it just now. And you immediately jumped to the conclusion that Dar-ul-Uloom should be shut down. Looks like your brain did not boot properly.
Such fatwas include: Muslims shouldn’t work in banks;
That is related to Riba, the interest. This does not preclude bank jobs. You seem to be a rather clear customer of western ideology to the complete exclusion of Islam. The west has been doing that for long. Fourteen hundred years or so. You bring in only one new ingredient - that you are a Muslim or  at least have a Muslim sounding name. Unfortunately that too does not sound terribly original. There have been many people with Muslim sounding names who tried to fit Islam to the western ideal. They got no where and all such attempts are destined to fail in future. The reason is simple. Either we fit ourselves in the religion preferred by Allah. ( Rebuttal to be continued.)
modelling and acting are offences; watching cartoons on television is unlawful for children; donating blood and organs is haram; photography is sinful; celebrating birthdays is disallowed; a person blaspheming Prophet Muhammad should be killed; body scan is impermissible; and life insurance is illegal.
Such fatwas emasculate Muslim minds. Noted academic S Irfan Habib urged Muslims to ignore them. Yasoob Abbasi of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board said these “irresponsible” fatwas bring a bad name to Islam; another Board member Q R Ilyasi reminded that co-education schools exist in Saudi Arabia and Iran. Maulana Syed Ashraf Kichhouchhvi of the All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board, a body of Sufis, dubbed the anti-birthday fatwa as sans spiritualism. Regarding body scan, Faizan Mustafa, vice chancellor of the National Law University in Hyderabad, said that whatever the state does for the common good is allowed in Islam. Arshad Alam of the Jamia Millia Islamia University described these fatwas as sectarian, contested by Ahl-e-Hadees, Barelvis and Shias. Waqarunnisan Ansari, a Mumbai corporator, questioned the clerics’ competence to issue fatwas, asking if they know the terrible conditions experienced by women. Reflecting at the bigger problem facing Muslims, social activist Javed Anand warned that all religious groups such as Tablighi Jamaat, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, Ahl-e-Hadith and Jamaat-e-Islami do not think “any differently” from the Darul Uloom Deoband.
Islamists argue that one should ignore these fatwas as the silent majority of Muslims disregards them. This argument itself is a problem: the silent majority cowers behind the four walls of home when a cleric rules over an entire village.Islamists accuse liberal Muslims of defaming Islam and argue that anti-women fatwas are just a few. But, these fatwas are a mirror to the ruling ideology that causes Muslim decay. At this point in civilisation as we have journeyed from the invention of the wheel and steam engine on way to landing at Mars, it is meaningless to debate what arguments the Darul Uloom Deoband offers for its fatwas. The concern is: it is creating misfits for the modern world; its graduates will go on teaching a distorted version of Islam.
After 1857 when Muslims lost power in Delhi, two responses emerged: one, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan advocated scientific education as the cure for Muslim decay and established a modernist college known as Aligarh Muslim University; second, Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautvi favoured Islamic revival as the medicine for Muslim development and founded the Darul Uloom Deoband. The seminary relies on contributions and trains 5,000 residential students, with 1,000 graduating every year with an 8-year Fazeelat degree. However, its syllabus covers only three disciplines: Islamic jurisprudence, a hadith or traditions of Prophet Muhammad, the Koran. It doesn’t even teach Islamic history, except for bits that figure in a hadith. It has recently introduced skills courses in English and computer science for post-Fazeelat students but these aren’t aimed at broadening students’ minds.
Delhi-based journalist Abid Anwar, who studied at the Darul Uloom Deoband, says the clerics who issue fatwas do not read newspapers or watch television and are unaware of societal realities. “The seminary must incorporate social sciences, mathematics, geography and natural science right from year one of the Fazeelat course if it wants to prepare its students to interact with the wider society,” Anwar says, citing the example of Bihar where madrassas introduced the subjects in the 1980s. However, reform initiatives were always rebuffed. In 2009, the Indian government tried, in line with the Sachar Committee recommendations, to introduce a madrassa reform legislation so that their degrees are valued at par with mainstream schools. But Abdul Khaliq Madrasi, pro-vice chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband, accused the government of interference. In 2011, the seminary’s reformist vice chancellor Ghulam Muhammad Vastanvi was removed. A tiny number of clerics sabotaged madrassa reform, though most Muslims favour it. This is the crux: a few Islamic clerics have the ability to push an entire community into decadence; while more schools are needed, the real problem is the darkness emanating from Darul Uloom Deoband. Not to forget: Deoband-leaning seminaries are producing jihadists and suicide bombers in Pakistan.
In a vibrant democracy like India, there is always something a government can do for its citizens. It must set up an educational commission on Darul Uloom Deoband and other seminaries, inquiring into their role in causing Muslim backwardness. It must: examine if their syllabus meets the educational needs of Muslims or they are producing second-class citizens in violation of the Constitution; probe their sources of funding and if they are influenced by foreign elements like Saudi Wahhabis; work to set up a council of fatwas representing clerics from all Islamic sects and ensure 50 per cent of them are women; suggest measures for recruiting female teachers in seminaries in the hope that in a 100 years — as there is no shortcut — they will produce a women-friendly interpretation of Islam.

Tufail Ahmad is director of South Asia Studies Project at the Middle East Media Research Institute, Washington DC.

Email: tufailelif@yahoo.co.uk

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Socrates, Plato, Aristotle

Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are the three giants of western philosophy.

Whole of the western world view sort of sits on these three names.

These are pre-Islamic figures.

After the advent of Islam some Muslim thinkers introduced them to the Muslim intellectual world.

And that is where these Muslim thinkers perpetuated a tragedy.

They presented these philosophers in a light that went beyond their status.

And hence the Muslim world, till today, remains in awe of these philosophers.

They certainly were great thinkers of their own times, and they were ahead of their times, perhaps much ahead but that is all there is to it.

Do credit them for the modern western progress.

Then also blame them for the disaster that the west is at present.

That way you might come closer to the reality of their stature.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

How Can Aligarh Movement be Effective?

To decide how Aligarh Movement can be effective we have to first ascertain why we are ineffective.

Ineffective we are but we might differ on the cause behind that malaise.

In my view we have become ineffective because we Muslims blame ourselves for the partition of India.

And that is a wrong attitude.

We are not responsible for the partition of India at all.
Not in the least bit.

Pedantically we were not there at the time of partition.
At the technically correct level too we are not responsible because our ancestors at the time of partition were the people who were against the partition.

In view of this why is it so difficult to throw away the guilt of partition?
Let us do that. Let us throw away the guilt of partition.

And yours truly asserts that we Muslims of India as a whole do not want anther partition of India.

This is a strange thing to say but perhaps not so strange in view of the often repeated rhetoric from the detractors of Muslims that they will not tolerate another partition of India. Sorry we Muslims of India do not know any organizations working towards that end. So another partition of India is a strawman argument.

And once we put off the partition  guilt cloak we are free to think of the ways to make Aligarh Movement effective in twenty first century.

Aligarh is capable of engendering the social, cultural, political, scientific, technical,  industrial, financial and economic rejuvenation of Muslim Ummah in India. That is what Sir Syed's vision is all about.

Taking up the social recharging of Muslim Ummah in India one can think of a several diseases that are peculiar to Muslims. For example there are too many people who think that their ancestry is noble because of one simple fact - they are of non-Indian origin.

Now that is silly. Beloved Prophet, may peace and mercy of God be upon him, said that an Arab is not superior to an Ajam, that is, a person that is not Arab.
And that should have settled the issue long back.

It is the Aligarh community that has to work out the implications of this issue and clarify them to the Muslim politicians and social workers.

Unfortunately this is a weak spot of an Aligarian. There are indications that Sir Syed wanted to cater to the elite of the society. But social rejuvenation means throwing away the old useless burden and move on in life. The strength of a social movement lies in its ability to identify its own weaknesses and over come them. Aligarh Movement is mature enough to do that. And that is what it should do. If Mayawati, walking, or running, on the shoulders of Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram can do legendary social engineering it will be a shame for Aligarh community not to effect the same in spite of having so many giants to support us with their shoulders.

Other social issues can similarly be taken and as a sample we suffice with above example only. The task of identifying social problems or areas of strengths that can be exploited for energizing the Muslim Ummah in India rightfully belongs to the social science intellectuals of Aligarh Movement. they should come forward to take up the task.

No particular effort is required for cultural rejuvenation of the Ummah, or any society for that matter. The reason is that cultural effervescence of any society is a by product of its intellectual rejuvenation. That is what we learn from the history and lessons of history can always be used for our own benefit.

I shall make only one remark that some particular type of cultural euphoria or phenomena is not very Islamic. Once the department of culture or some other government of India department came out with the programme in Humayun's tomb area that was called Islamic culture with aqeeedat, with faith. There was nothing Islamic about it. But we digress.

Political rejuvenation is the most tricky part. Casteism is looked down upon by the constitution of India but caste based equation are always at the helm of all planning across the party spectrum. No one has any programme to neutralize that. We do not see any near future prospect of that going away. Religion based organization of political dynamics is a big no no in our country. The most one can do is to make some noise about minorities in some non-effective fora and and that is about it.

In view of the above all the Aligarh Movement can do is to make an attempt to persuade the Muslim politicians, particularly the members of assemblies and the parliament, to take a united view of the Ummah so as to get its due that has been assured by the constitution of India.

Needless to mention that this point has to be further thrashed out so as to sensitize the matter to the desired levels. But then that is what the job of an intellectual enterprise like Aligarh Movement is. Aligarh Movement is about how to thrive in a non-Islamic environment and Aligarian community should take up the responsibility in this matter very seriously.

While receiving his life time achievement award in a convocation its first recipient Zakir Ali Khan said that in a nutshell the spirit of Aligarh is to rise upto the occasion. The political thinkers of Aligarh should rise upto the occasion and solve the conundrum faced by Indian Muslim community.

This brings us to the scientific rejuvenation of Muslim Ummah in India. This is the biggest beating stick against Muslims in modern times. We are accused of being scientifically backward, nay illiterate.

And that is a calumny. In reality Muslim Ummah in India is pretty scientifically savvy. Aligarh hosts most upto date science departments, at par with national level. And then they, Muslims,  are present at the national level also. Perhaps the ratio of scientific literacy is not upto the desired level number of Muslim scientists per lack of Muslims might not be upto the national level but that is not a big draw back. Science is universal and a small number of scientists can cater to the scientific needs of a society.

At this point we have to break our train of thoughts to address a contingency that will arise in the mind of a reader that is not a Muslim. Are we trying to cook up a a parallel society in India? Another two nation theory? The answer is no. It is like the following. If there is a break of epidemic in the crops grown in hilly areas then the scientific workforce deployed to tackle it is not from the deserts of Rajastan. It is from the same state. Similarly the Muslim Ummah in India is assured by the constitution to indulge in its overall growth including scientific development. And this growth should not be limited to ascertaining the age of Islamic manuscripts.

Once a society is scientifically mature technical development, though not immediate, is very close at hand. Efforts in that direction are required and Aligarh community should take up this task at priority basis because we live in a world were technical developments are rather fast paced and even most developed societies find it difficult to keep up with the rest of the world.

Yes, even Aligarh Movement has to thing in global terms for we live in a global village.

Industrial, financial and economic rejuvenation is a result of above all factors. Of course this too has to be activated by intellectual input and the departments of economics, commerce, business and management have enough work force to sit down and think of a vision for the Ummah in India and devise ways to implement that vision.

As usual any thing can be done effectively if there is a leader at the helm of the affairs. In mu humble view the head of the university is not an appropriate person to be entrusted with this task. Head of the university holds a job that demands full time attention.

May I humbly propose that we Aligs devise a mechanism to elect a head of Aligarh Movement whose task will be to implement the operative part of Sir Syed's vision as outlines above? This piece is not a self-serving rhetoric and hence yours truly is not in the fray.

I shall end this note with a warning. God warns us that if we do not take up the due responsibility then He will raise a people who will. And they will not be like us. Our brothers from south India have been doing wonderful things for quite some time. If they do take the lead in these matters we would be morally bound to follow them. I shall not be complaining if that comes to a pass.





Friday, October 4, 2013

I Want to Fume

I want to fume at west.
Many will say that I do that often.
I agree.
The point is that no one else is taking up the task with yours truly.
Everyone from the rest should be doing the same.
That way there is a chance of getting heard.

So, anyway, what is the provocation this time?
This is the euthanasia death of a person who could not bear the consequences of a sex change.

Euthanasia is not allowed in Islam so that point is absolutely clear.
The irksome part is the sex change part.

Why are they experimenting randomly with sex?
If you are a man, good.
If you are a woman, good.
The rest is not a grace from God.
To say the least.
And it should be taken as such.
Sure, do whatever you can do to change the situation.
But overly experimenting with what God has willed is too much.

Assassination of Another Iranian Expert

According to the Telegraph :
Mojtaba Ahmadi, who served as commander of the Cyber War Headquarters, was found dead in a wooded area near the town of Karaj, north-west of the capital, Tehran. Five Iranian nuclear scientists and the head of the country’s ballistic missile programme have been killed since 2007. The regime has accused Israel’s external intelligence agency, the Mossad, of carrying out these assassinations.
Chilling.

Monday, September 30, 2013

When You Run Out of Ideas

What do you do when you run out of ideas?

Well, congratulate yourself. You are ready to pay attention to purpose of life.

And the purpose of life is to do be obedient to Allah (SWT).
To to everything according to Shariah.
To please Allah (SWT).

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Thank You, My Benefactor

There is a couplet by Dr Nawaz Deobandi:

Uska Kitna Bojh Utara, Dar Par Aakar Sa-il Ne
Aur Sakhi Ye Soch Raha Hai, Sa-il Par Ahsan Kiya

(
Uska = His
Kitna = How Much
Bojh = Burden
Utara= Relieved
Dar = Door
Par = At
Aakar = After Arriving
Sa-il = The One Who Asks ( For Money or Help)
Ne = By

Aur = And
Sakhi = Rich Person
Ye = This
Soch + Think
Raha Hai = Doing (Present Continuous)
Ahsan = Favour
Kiya = Done
)

The Pleader (beggar) Relived Him By Visiting
The Provider Thinks He Did a Favour

If a person comes for help then he is doing you a favour.
Never think that you are doing a favour by giving a rupee, or ten, or hundred or thousand.

After doing a little bit of Sadqa ( charity) above feeling visited yours truly in a rather acute manner.

The Muzaffarnagar Riots 2013

There were the post Babri Masjid demolition riots of 1992 that spilled over to the early 2013.

Then there was Gujrat 2002.

Now we have Muzaffarnagar 2013.

All of them massive riots in which massive loss of life and property has been sustained by the minority community in India.

India has a an elephant in its drawing room.

Now what is this elephant in the drawing room?

This is a metaphor for the irony associated with the so called modern civilized method to solve problem.

People say that you should solve your problems amicably, with diplomacy, with negotiations.

Metaphorically this might lead to you accommodating an elephant in your drawing room. Every one will know about its existence but no one will be willing to talk about it.

And we in India do have an elephant in our collective drawing room. It is the elephant of communal riots. The clashes between the majority an minority communities.

And many have since conclude that these euphemistic descriptions hide more than they reveal. These riots are in reality pogroms against a hapless minority.

No one is willing to talk about them in times of peace.
Perhaps the logic is to let the sleeping lions be.
Or let the sleeping monsters be. Who can argue against that?

And in troubled times there is more reason to do so.
Who would like to be on the radar of the law enforcing agencies by talking about such things in times of crisis?

And hence the elephant in the drawing room is left ignored at all times.

No one is willing to look at the trouble in the face.

Even if the problem grows from bad to worse over the time.

And just for the record what was worse this time?

For one the riots have reached villages.
Villages were the places where the old bonds of rural love had so far been effective against the venom f communal hatred.
No more.
The spread of the so called communal violence, actually the pogroms against the minority, has been very extensive this time.

Rumi in America

From YouTube :
"Rumi and Hafez have been the guiding light, Rumi especially, of American poetry for the last five or ten years. But also it seems to me that if we're ...criticizing the Muslim world so much, we should be able to give thanks for the genius that is there...So, this is Persian poetry-14th century.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Amir Khusro of India

Several years ago yours truly got interested in Amir Khusro.
That is a big name in the history of letters in India.
A man who used several languages with ease.
Avadhi, Brij Bhasha, Persian.
Wrote a book each in the style of all the great poets of Persian language before his times.
So much so that his contemporary poet from Persia, Hafiz of Shiraz, became jealous and wrote:

Shakar Shikah Shawand
Humein Tootiyaan-e-Hind
Zeen Qand-e-Parsi Ba
Bangala Mi Rawad

After this Persian sweet
Reaches Bengal (India)
All the parrots will
Start talking sweet

Khusro might not be superior to any one of those greats of Persia in their respective fields but combining his works together one comes to the unmistakable conclusion that he bested them all.

That is no mean achievement.

But then, according to Ram Dhari Singh Dinkar, is single handedly responsible for the birth of two languages- Hindi and Urdu.

So yours truly was mesmerized by Khusro and wanted to build a web page on him.

This was never to be.

Another Alig already had a web page on Khusro and had done the job rather thoroughly.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The So Called Hyderabad Police Action of 1948

The Hyderabad state in South India was merged with India in the so called  1948 Hyderabad police action.

Even this piece of information is precious nugget for you do not read about it in Indian text books.

Now the truth about this is out.

According to BBC it was in reality a military action in which hapless people of minority were left at exposed to the marauding majority gangs. Military even persuaded the majority to commit atrocities and did so itself too.

The prime minister, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, worried about his image, set up  the Pandit Sunderlal committee to investigate the reports of violence against minorities. Its report was never published.

Now is now open for viewing at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi.

Historian Sunil Purushotham from the University of Cambridge reports that Sunderlal committee estimated the deaths upto forty thousand.

And that will merely be the official casualty figure.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Imam Ghazali (RA) and Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (RA)

Imam Ghazali (RA) and Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (RA) are two big names in the cultural, theological, intellectual and spiritual history of Islam. Recently the latest round of going through the first volume f the Urdu version of the Savior's of Islamic Spirit (Tareekh-e-Dawat-o-Azeemat) by Ali Miyan (RA) gave yours truly some perspective on their status. Yours truly feels that Shaikh Jilani (RA) begins where Imam Ghazali (RA) ends. Imam Ghazali (RA) reached intellectual heights in Abbasid Baghdad such that no higher honour was available. Then the spiritual turmoil ensued in his life and he spent traumatic years in spiritual quagmire. Finally the fog disappeared and he again took up his earlier assignments of teaching but the approach now was spiritual rather then mere intellectual. And then he took retirement from Nizamiya College and got settled at his native Tus. The sundry writings from this period are exquisite pieces of spiritual art work. And we are talking about the person who already has works like Incoherence of Philosophers, Ihya Uloom-id-Deen and Alchemy of Felicity behind him. And yet Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (RA) is on a different plane altogether. Every single discourse in Futuh-al-Ghaib looks like Imam Ghazali (RA)'s writings in the post retirement period. And the same can be said about other writings by the Shaikh (RA).

Both of these Masha-ikh reached these heights by extreme hard work and life long striving. We Muslims remain indebted to them for their sacrifices as well well the light of Shariah perfected by them for us.

Bina Kardand Khush Rasme Ba Khaq-o-Khoon Ghaltidan
Khuda Rahmat Kunad Ein Aashiqan-e-Pakteenat Ra

They established the beauteous traditions by their work and toil
May Allah (SWT) shower His blessings on these pious people.

Sunni Forum Affairs

(1) Sunni Forum was down for weeks.

(2) It is now up.

(3) Its character is drastically changed.

(4) So far it has been a discussion forum with massive participation.

(5) The total number of registered users exceeds fifty thousand.

(6) The number of active users has been more than two thousand for last few years.

(7) At a given time several hundred users would be on line.

(8) Every month there will be a time when number of users on line would cross one thousand.

(9) According to Maulana Hamood Aleem the new push of the forum will be to strive to become a comprehensive web portal for authentic Islamic knowledge.

(10) As a result the forum activity has nearly come to a stand still. Yours truly misses that. But yours truly goes with the decision of the Shura power meeting.

(11) Yours truly is feeling a sense of release because no more one has to deal with a variety of  people trying define Islam at their own terms.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Representation of Emotions

Iqbal Ashar is a an Urdu poet from Delhi.

Urdu is a weakness of yours truly. So is Delhi.

And when a combination of them one can imagine the effectiveness of it.

Here one ghazal by him.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Pain of America

Pain of America is world's pain.
That is what Americans think.

And gives it away? How did yours truly conclude it?

Yours truly stumbled upon this photo feature on JF Kennedy's killer Lee Harvey Oswald. It has the words:

At the center of one of the 20th century's most shocking and traumatic events - the assassination of President John F. Kennedy - was a 24-year-old...
Traumatic for whom?
For Americans? That is understandable.

For Indians? Are you sure that people of India missed a heartbeat at JFK's assassination? Yours truly does not think so.

For Europeans? Most probably not.


And so on.

So why do Americans universalize their feelings by generalizing them for the whole world.

That they have misappropriated the adjective American is enough of a rub in itself. Things should not be stretched further. To some extent the world might still be US-centric but the things are changing. Europe did not devise European Union to counter Chinese influence - it did that to counter US influence and to face US in a united fashion.

And then there are Muslims - at the receiving end of US highhandedness. Some silly Muslims might be shedding conspicuous tears at an American trouble but by and large it is not a reasonable conclusion to think that American pain is their pain.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Nausiating British

Nausiating British have been displaying this strange behaviour recently - the royal baby obsession.

It is the same country that is hand in glove in tormenting Muslim lands in the name of democracy.

Amartya Sen Said It

Amartya Sen said about Narendra Modi:

I think I would like a more secular person to be prime minister. I would not like a prime minister who generates concern and fear among minorities. That is the primary reason
That is how an academician of integrity  would act.

And these are the type of people who help us in keeping our sanity in these times when Indian sanity is threatened by the RSS inspired BJP's juggernaut that is still rolling and steam rolling Muslims of India, a minority of gigantic proportions.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Integrated Complexity

Anthony flew was an atheist since his early teen years.

By now he believes that there must be an original cause for the existence of the universe.

Integrated complexity of life brought him around.

Strange because this is a man who had debated even William Lane Craig.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Malala Malady

Malala Yusufzai addressed the UN on her 16th birthday.
No small achievement.
Like Malala Yusufzai yours truly too is in education market.
And yours truly regularly teaches the female students.
And it is not home science.

Malala is a sickness, a malady and not a remedy.
Those who are using her are detractors of both Islam and Muslims.

The nauseating cooperation between the communist father and the Islamophobic west is a spectre in itself.
West, with US being the representative, tried all to stomp out communism.
But now that same is working against Islam they pay no attention to that ideology.

And hence the opportunity to speak at the UN.
The League of nations crumbled because of the same shameless utilization of that organization.
UN should follow suit - it is a lackey in the hands of western powers.
Islam and Muslims have nothing to gain from it.

If UN portrays Muslims as against female education using Malala as a mascot then it only makes her a malady. The Noble Qur'an explicitly asserts females education mandatory.

But Islam also envisages different roles for male and female members of the society.
That is where we part ways.

But the fact that the west will be using a tutored girl as a an ambassador is pathetic also - the west has run out of ideas and mascots. And hence the sickening resorting to the tricks of Malala kind.

They do have a lot of Malaal, sorrow, in store. Shallow sloganeering leads to sorrow only.

Of Modis and Puppies

Gujrat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is aspiring to be the Prime Minister of India in coming elections in 2014.
He is the man associated with the Gujrat 2002 infamy.
Thousands of Muslims were massacred in those riots - with the connivance and participation of the administration lead by Modi.

Obviously some one will point out the Gujrat connection and foreign news agency, Reuters, did precisely that.

And Narendra Modi is sorry for what happened in Gujrat.
Why?
Well one feels sorry even when a puppy us killed in a road accident? Doesn't one?
So he is sorry.
Of course he is not responsible for what happened in Gujrat in 2002.
Says Modi.

Then you have the Indian media.
There is enough number of newsman in India who side with the BJP theory that Narendra Modi did not compare Muslims, the victims of Gujrat massacre, with dogs.

Indeed it is sickening how discourse can be hijacked in favour of the powers that be.

But, as yours truly asserted in an earlier post, Muslims of India should learn to take Modi on the chin.
Muslims should tell these misguided media lackeys that indeed there is a puppy comparison is Modi interview - whether you listen to the whole interview or not.

And if he has not been booked for his actions in 2002 then that is not taken by us as the proof of his lack of guilt.

And others also should not take it as the proof of his lack of guilt.
That he has managed to recapture the Gujrat Chief Ministership in two elections after 2002 too should not be taken as the proof of his lack of guilt.

All these evidences point to only one thing - lack of justice for the victims of 2002 Gujrat violence.
Failure of Indian justice system and by implication failure of Indian democracy.
If we live in a country who would like to use the longer then decade period to expect Muslims to forget what happened in Gujrat in 2002 then it indicated only one thing - failure of the country to do justice in case of pogroms and massacres - genocide events. India has lot to worry.

India does not forget a silly hunting slip on part of a Salman Khan or a silly weapon buying by a Sanjay Dutt. India is self righteously indignant to serve justice in those cases.

But a long series of the so called communal riots, actually Muslim massacres - pogroms, weight very light on Indian conscience.

The way events slowly and very painfully flowed towards the destruction of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992 similarly we are slowly flowing towards 2014 general elections of India. In all probability Modi will not be the Prime Minister of India, Lord Most High wiling. There is lot of communalism in India but India is not Gujrat. May be we shall see a Modi debacle in 2014 and then Gujrat will finally get a clue to think about its shame of 2002.

May Allah (SWT) defeat the evil forces.

In the meanwhile Muslims of India should learn to think for themselves and to think on their feet. There might be twenty five crores of you and you have somehow painted yourself into a corner. Just walk out of this phony entrapment. Twenty five crore is a big number.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

US Military Raping Own Cadre

U.S. military faces historic tipping point on rape epidemic
By Bill Briggs, NBC News contributor

The Army is investigating a sergeant first class whose job is to prevent sexual assault at Fort Hood for allegedly forcing a subordinate into prostitution and allegedly assaulting two others. Rep. Niki Tsongas, D-Mass., is co-chair of the Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus, and she joins Chris Jansing to discuss.
The U.S. military seems increasingly incapable of policing itself or ridding its ranks of sexual predators, watchdogs charge, but the latest litany of accusations — leveled Tuesday at Fort Hood — has thrust the Pentagon to the brink of wholesale reform long sought by victims of sexual assault.
With the second member of the military's campaign to stem sexual misconduct falling under investigation — for alleged sexual misconduct — critics were quick to lambast Pentagon brass for "gross negligence" and for maintaining an internal system of investigation and discipline that appears to be in desperate need of being ripped down and rebuilt with fresh independence and transparency.
"It is abundantly clear that the military cannot adequately handle its sexual violence crisis from within," said Anu Bhagwati, executive director of Service Women's Action Network and former Marine captain.
"If military culture is to transform in any meaningful way, we need to break down the doors of silence and make sure our troops who are harmed have access to the same legal remedies as all civilians whom they protect and defend," she added. "We can start by ensuring that military crimes are no longer handled by commanding officers, but rather by impartial attorneys and judges."

Investigators in Fort Hood, Texas, are looking into allegations that an Army sergeant sexually assaulted three female soldiers and forced one into prostitution. This is only the latest in a string of military sexual assault scandals that has lawmakers demanding answers. NBC's Jim Miklaszewski reports.
Nancy Parrish, president of the victims advocacy group Protect Our Defenders, agreed that "the Pentagon is responsible for failing to effectively govern its personnel," following news that a Fort Hood Army sergeant first class allegedly forced at least one subordinate soldier into prostitution and sexually assaulted two others.
"The problems are so long standing and pervasive that, at a minimum, it constitutes gross negligence on the part of the leadership," Parrish said.
Late Tuesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel directed all branches to "re-train, re-credential, and re-screen all sexual assault prevention and response personnel and military recruiters," according to the Pentagon.

'Open to any and all options'

The Fort Hood scandal, coming just nine days after the sexual battery arrest of an Air Force officer tasked with preventing rape, cranked the volumed on long-standing cries "to get to work reforming the military justice system that clearly isn’t working," said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. "I believe strongly that to create the kind of real reform that will make a difference we must remove the chain of command from the decision making process for these types of serious offenses.”
Ironically, hours before the Fort Hood allegations surfaced, Gillibrand was prepping a final draft of her bill — set to be introduced Thursday — that seeks to accomplish precisely that goal: transferring sex crimes from the watch and authority of military brass and instead funneling such cases to independent military prosecutors, said a spokesman for Gillibrand.

Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York plans to introduce legislation to change the way the military handles allegations of sexual assault. In an exclusive interview on The Last Word, she explained why it should be "more parallel to the civilian system."

Her proposal was further hastened by the Pentagon's May 7 revelation that 26,000 troops last year claimed anonymously to be sex-assault victims (up from 19,000 in FY11), and a May 9 White House meeting with lawmakers pitching various ideas to stem the military’s rape crisis.
“Sexual violence in the military is not new. And it has been allowed to go on in the shadows for far too long," Gillibrand said Tuesday. "Congress would be derelict in its duty of oversight if we just shrugged our shoulders at these 26,000 sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, and did nothing. We simply have to do better by them."
The appetite for a dramatic military shift on the issue seems to have reached a tipping point, lawmakers and advocates agree, especially after the Department of Defense signaled Monday that Hagel is "open to any and all options." That marked a clear pivot from Hagel's position as recently as May 7 when he said decisions on sex cases must stay inside the command structure.
"Make no mistake," Pentagon press secretary George Little wrote Sunday in a letter to the New York Times, "Mr. Hagel believes sexual assault is one of the urgent matters facing the Defense Department today and will work very closely with the White House and members of Congress to confront this urgent challenge."
'Debilitating' crisis
Gillibrand began writing her bill — working with Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. — just two days after her impassioned critique of the military's desire to retain "convening authority" in sex crimes went viral last March. She chose to include in her bill all military crimes punishable by one year or longer in the brig because she felt sending only rape cases to the Judge Advocate General's Corps would further stigmatize sex-assault victims and create "a two-class system," her spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Mich., plans to introduce a companion bill in the House, his office confirmed.

The first embers of true Capitol Hill fury were stoked in February when Air Force Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin reversed the aggravated sexual assault conviction of Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, a fighter pilot. A jury of five military officers found Wilkerson guilty of assaulting a civilian contractor as she slept at his home on the Aviano Air Base In Italy. Franklin also dismissed Wilkerson's sentence: one year in the brig and dismissal from the Air Force.
Gillibrand's bill seeks bar military commanders from setting aside guilty findings.
"Hopefully, we have reached the tipping point," Parrish said. "It is ultimately up to the military leadership. If they decide that this epidemic and all of the recent scandals is a problem that should be solved, reform can happen and happen relatively quickly.
"At least until now, the military has treated the issue of sexual assault and rape in the military as a public relations problem," she added. "There are some recent signs that some in the leadership realize that it is a real crisis: a crisis that, for the military, is debilitating."
 Source : USNews