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Books and Documents

Islamic Culture

Obama’s Stellar Effort to Preserve Our Cultural Heritage in Syria
Franklin Lamb

But there is one major, if not widely heralded, Obama Administration achievement which relates to Syria and the Middle East that has not gained much public recognition but for which the Obama Administration deserves great credit. That subject is Obama’s leadership and achievements, working with a divided Congress, in taking new and concrete measures with respect to Protecting and Preserving Syria’s Endangered Heritage which we all share as our common cradle of Civilization....

 

What’s Missing in the Teaching of Islam
Kishwar Rizvi

Such narrow focus misses out on the cultural exchanges during this period. For example, in medieval Spain, the Troubadour poets borrowed their lyrical beauty from Arabic. Arabic was the courtly language of southern Spain until the 15th century. Similarly, the 12th-century Palatine Chapel in Sicily was painted and gilded in the imperial style of the Fatimids, the rulers of Egypt between the 10th and 12th centuries....

It’s Harder than Ever to Teach Islamic Art — but Never More Important
Kishwar Rizvi

In my first class, on Islam’s holiest site, the Kaaba in Mecca, I couldn’t avoid showing images of the sacred monument overshadowed by towering hotels. Old photographs and verbal descriptions have to stand in for the hundreds of Ottoman and early Islamic sites destroyed by the Saudi government to make way for ambitious commercial ventures....

 

When Muslims Ruled the Civilised World
Hamid Dabashi

Generations and centuries have passed since the time Khaqani visited Taq-e Kisra and composed his unforgettable poem. Today those ruins are either viciously destroyed as the ISIL did in Palmyra or else carefully or competently curated in museums like this one....

 

Najaf, Karbala and Baghdad: The Exalted Cities
Sadia Dehlvi

Yazid had declared himself the head of the Islamic caliphate and ordered Imam Hussain to give allegiance to him. Imam Hussain fought with just 72 companions against a huge well-equipped army. After they were martyred, the Prophet’s beloved grandson stood alone, suffering a volley of arrows but fighting bravely till his head was severed from his body, while he prostrated in prayer. Imam Hussain preferred to die, rather than legitimise oppression and injustice in the name of Islam. His sacrifice and courage against the face of evil, is what continues to inspire the Iraqis to fight the ISIS.....

 

Pakistan’s Mughal Heritage: Chinese-Style Modernisation Draws Perilously Close To Brilliant 17th-Century Landmarks

For centuries Lahore was the heart of Mughal Hindustan, known to visitors as the City of Gardens. Today it has a greater profusion of treasures from the Mughal period (the peak of which was in the 17th century) than India’s Delhi or Agra, even if Lahore’s are less photographed. The walled old city is anchored at one end by the red sandstone and white marble bulbs of the huge Badshahi mosque, and fixed at the centre by the polychrome mosque....

 

The Ottoman Legacy in Palestine
Aziza Nofal

According to Riwaq, 50,320 historical buildings were identified in 1994 in Palestine. Bechara said that only a few of those were built before the Ottoman era. This is because Palestine was rebuilt in the last 500 years according to Ottoman architecture based on the existing infrastructure from previous eras. For instance, the architecture in the Old City of Nablus was mostly Byzantine, but the buildings were destroyed due to the 1927 earthquake and rebuilt with an Ottoman character....

 

Drawing the human form from live models was long considered a rite of passage — and an academic requirement — for aspiring artists in the West, but Turkish artists under Ottoman rule had to do so clandestinely, Ms. Antmen said, under threat from the authorities or conservative groups.

 

A Cultural Revolution in Malaysia
Tash Aw

In a country wary of Islam — the Chinese government has a fractious relationship with its ethnic Uighur minority in the western province of Xinjiang — Ms. Amzah’s popularity, which verges on superstardom, is remarkable. ...

 

Preserving Manuscripts: Faith’s Archivists

The vast majority of the Mali manuscripts are Korans, Hadiths, and studies on grammar and rhetoric. But the scanners capture everything, including those dealing with human rights, health and law. Paper was precious, so rare glimpses of daily life were jotted in the margins, before Europeans ever set eyes on Saharan cities. There they remained for centuries, preserved by the desert’s dryness.

 

Using Laser Scanners to Preserve Antiquities in ISIS’ Cross Hairs
Stephen Farrell

“The idea is to have a virtual reunification of the archaeological objects extant in Babylon and Berlin,” Dr. Hilgert said. “This is what is so important about the time we are experiencing. We have to learn again that cultural objects, elements of culture, have very much to do with who we are, what we identify with, how we orient ourselves in this world.”

 

Muhammad Iqbal on the Spirit of Islamic Culture
Muhammad Iqbal

The fourth dimension of “freedom”, in the eyes of Iqbal, is emphasis of the spirit of Islamic culture on man to be “creative” in possibly all aspects of his life. Obviously in this sphere poets, writers, artists, scientists etc. are all included. Since Iqbal believes that God has breathed His spirit in man, He expects man to be creative like Himself.

 

Germany's Muslim community is bracing for a culture shock when masses of Arab migrants join millions of residents of Turkish origin. But experts suggest the change could be positive for it could broaden outlook, and say fears of religious radicalism may be overblown. For a Syrian refugee family, attending Friday prayers in a German mosque can be a headache.

 

Sarfarosh to Phantom – Educating Indians About Pakistani Jihad

On 28 August, Bollywood released Phantom, a reality check on this hopeful human emotion,in which an Indian Muslim goes underground to avenge the 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai. Acted by Saif Ali Khan, the daredevil blows up a Pakistani terrorist’s house in London, gets himself arrested to get into Chicago’s jail where he poisons David Headley for his involvement in the 26/11 attack.....

 
Joyful ‘Islamic’ Wall Art!
Nigar Ataulla, New Age Islam

Joyful ‘Islamic’ Wall Art!

Working quietly from their home, Adeela and Junaid have created Sawab, an online store featuring contemporary framed art prints, stretched canvas prints and wall stickers. These products, with styles, themes and motifs derived from the rich Muslim cultural heritage, add aesthetic appeal to your home or office and make elegant gifts.....

Is Music Prohibited In Islam?
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

Is Music Prohibited In Islam?
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

We see or hear only what our brains are capable of comprehending and the keenness or sharpness with which we see, hear, smell, feel or taste is what gives us the different talents. Our ability for focusing or paying attention is also determined by our cognitive abilities or what our brain is able to make of the stimuli. Now if God or nature has given some people musical ability and great natural talent for it, then God or nature has meant it to be used. The Quran clearly frowns on people who prohibit to themselves what God has not prohibited. ….

Come Eid And ISIS Fighters Will Get Slave Girls As Prize For Memorizing Surahs Of The Holy Quran: What Do Our Ulema Say To This?

There cannot be a greater contempt of the holy Quran that guaranteed respect, honour and equal rights to women. During the month of Ramzan, the ISIS held Quran memorization contest for its fighters. The winners of the contest will get slave girls as prize and as encouragement for memorizing the Quran. The verses chosen for the contest are the Makkan verses that speak of Qital and fighting with the ‘Kafirs’. The verses are Surah Muhammad, Surat al-Tawba, Surah Fath and Surah Anfal. The ISIS is doing this to revive the Arab tribal tradition of ‘Sibya’ in which human beings are given away as prize.....

The Islamist War on History
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

The Islamist War on History
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

Historical sites associated with important personalities in early Islamic history have made way for public lavatories and luxury hotels. Mecca today is all set to become a consumer’s paradise; in this consumer city, Muslims will be able to consume the Hajj the same way they consume burger with coke. In short, there is no room for reflection, an interior dialogue with one self which was the sole point of this pilgrimage, rather it is being replaced by an air conditioned Hajj where you could look down at the Kaaba from your suite in one of the many hotels which would eventually dominate the skyline and eventually engulf (and perhaps eclipse) the House of God.. .....

 

Yet as the film progresses from Sharma’s personal essay on the inner struggles of a gay Muslim to a political examination of Wahhabism’s hardline manipulation of contemporary Islam, audiences witness firsthand his intimate struggles of uncertainty and self-doubt against the backdrops of religious extremism, commercialisation and sectarian battles – all of which continue to poison modern understanding of Islam for Muslims and non-Muslims alike....

Happily Ever After
Amin Valliani

Happily Ever After
Amin Valliani

Allah says in the Holy Quran that it is “He who has created man from water, then He established relationships of lineage and marriage. …” (25:54). Relationships in human societies are formed mainly by way of marriage. Therefore, individuals celebrate weddings in all societies. They consider marriage an event of special significance in their lives....

 

The U.S. Muslim Honor Brigade Strikes Again
Asra Q. Nomani

The most puritanical interpretations of Islam require veils. The Deobandi school of thought, the driving ideology of the Taliban, militant groups and strict orthodoxy in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, requires full-face veils for women, as does the Wahhabi and Salafi schools of thought exported to the world from Saudi Arabia. My mother’s family required she wear the face veil as a woman....

Angst over Armenia
Aijaz Zaka Syed

Angst over Armenia
Aijaz Zaka Syed

Muslims in the Subcontinent share strong cultural and historical ties with Turkey thanks to the long Muslim and Mughal rule in India. The founder of the Mughal dynasty, Babar, was of Turkish stock and wrote his fine memoirs, Tuzk-e-Babri, in the language that came naturally to him – Turkish....

 

Pakistan Culture: Evolution, Transformation and Mutation
Nadeem F. Paracha

It described Pakistan Ideology to mean a country that was inspired and driven by the ‘Islamic character’ of the Pakistan society and an idea that eschews secular and ‘Westernised’ influences in the country and replaces them with an ‘Islamic culture’ and an ‘Islamised polity….

 

Turkey’s 'Rocker Imam' Inspires Turks
Mustafa Akyol

The Rocker Imam seems to be a figure who appeals to these not-so-conservative-but-religious Turks, and even fully to those who are nonreligious but appreciate spirituality. Tuzer's lyrics are filled with references of the love for and compassion of God, which has more appeal to these Turks than the fear from and wrath of God. Other modern Islamic figures who have gained popularity in the past decade — such as Sufi sage Cemalnur Sargut, philosopher-theologian Caner Taslaman and activist and thinker Ihsan Eliacik — also point to the same niche in Turkish society for a more liberal and cosmopolitan interpretation of Islam....

 

Ghalib, With Angels as His Muses
Farahnaz Zahidi

A Long Play (LP), or a 33 1⁄3 rpm vinyl record, that my father had bought from a trip to London was titled “Lata sings Ghalib”. Often, Abba would play it and make me sit and listen. It was like a punishment for me. I didn’t understand why Abba wanted to listen to something so sombre with such difficult words. He tried to explain the lyrics to me, and told me tales of how he had heard Lata Mangeshkar sing some of these Ghazals live at the Royal Albert Hall in London. But as a seven-year-old, I thought Abba’s going to London and buying that LP was a very unfortunate thing, after all, I could have used the same time playing Pacman on my Atari video game. Years later, studying Ghalib for my grade 10 Urdu exam, I thanked Abba. And thanked my eldest brother who, when I entered my teens, gifted me a Deewan-e-Ghalib…

 
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NEW COMMENTS

  • Canadian/ Western Muslims have a God-sent opportunity to diffuse Islamophobia as...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Dear Ashok Sharma, You have raised this question before. If you wish you can read my jt exegetic work, Essential Message of Islam in the following ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • It would be a good idea first if Americans could be reminded that they are global citizens. Their rconomy depends on selling their technolgy to the ...
    ( By Roy Brown )
  • Polygamy is unfair on the wives and on the children. Abolish it as a modern reform measure. '
    ( By ahmed )
  • Polygamy is unfair . STOP IT   AS A MEASURE  OF  MODERN REFORMED ISLAM .
    ( By ahmed )
  • First of all, there should be a proper translation of Quran into English and other prominent languages which is acceptable to majority of Islamic sects. ...
    ( By Ashok Sharma )
  • Islamist terrorists represent less than 0.0009 percent of world Muslim population, so what is Hats Off ranting about? His anti-Muslim hate tirade ....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • I agree "miracles" are like magic - illusion, deceit or fraud. The reality of our Universe and existence is full of wonders and not miracles. You ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Allah says very strictly and clearly in Quran (4/3 & 4/129) to avoid polygamy in anyway that is impossible, but Abd- Iblees like the person mentioned in ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • Mohammad Younus Sb: I appreciate your efforts for trying your level best to convince the Muslim community what their actual approach to the concept of ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • Dear Dr.Huq, Thank you for your comments. I regret to have failed to present the essence of the said article to my readers properly Please allow me ...
    ( By Kazi Wadud Nawaz )
  • Main cause of hatred for non Muslims is the psychology "how Allah is making non believers prosperous" ...
    ( By U.p. Ojha )
  • Dear Aayina, I am a man of Science and at the same time a Muslim. To believe that the Holy Quran is a Divine book of ...
    ( By Kazi Wadud Nawaz )
  • mumbling that terrorists just a tiny minority of the 1.6 billion peaceful muslims has been the standard refrain from all moderate muslim enablers of jihad.....
    ( By hats off! )
  • Sir: Very interesting to read Diplomats decry Muslim Ban, and Mr Bannon as President Bannon. Intelligent,and well...
    ( By Syed Ali )
  • A good discussion of the dynamics of hate. Hate merchants will of course respond with non-sequiturs.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • There are no exceptional circumstances that justify polygyny. Polygyny must be criminalized. It...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Excellent article! The massive movement in America against the travel ban must bring home to Muslims the fact that they are global citizens and not ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Mr.Ghulam Rasool is either an American Citizen or has profound sympathy with only...
    ( By Naseem Ahmed )
  • 2/2/2017 7:48:06 AM Rashid samnakay The ulema—religion-operatives and pseudo authorities on everything...
    ( By Rashid samnakay )
  • is it possible to put forward the well tested theory of "a tiny minority", hijacking right wing supremacist religion?...
    ( By hats off! )
  • You seem to be trying to put forward facts with the face of a gentleman, but an eager reader could easily read between the lines ...
    ( By Concerned human being )
  • Royalj asks "The question arises; if the Christians can forgive the Jews why can’t the Muslims do it." He is quite mixed up in more ways ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • I never said you that you are hateful. I only said that you are full of hatred for Muslims and Islam which I do not ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Dear Mr. Iqbal Hussain, Thank you for you Comments, and this far and no farther.
    ( By Kazi Wadud Nawaz )
  • informed by you? who informs you? the regressive left? progressive muslims? or some brand of pseudo science? did they tell you they were unhappy? when ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • Not surprising at all! There are numerous similar stories covering people from all communities whether they are Christians. Jews, Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists. The best ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Israel is like a thorn in the throat of every Muslim, unable to spit it out nor to swallow it. Rashid is correct. Christians have ...
    ( By Royalj )
  • Hate drips from every word of his. Hats Off has such hatred and also self-loathing, that he cares very little for the truth. He will ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • The problem is your not keeping quiet. When your hate mail gets answered you want quiet.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Trump has to keep his core constituency happy. This includes racists, white supremacists, evangelists who spread fear of sharia laws and semi-skilled workers who believe ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off, I too wonder what deep repressed subconscious impulses make you hate  Muslims and Islam to the degree that you do.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • the matter is going to the courts. so just keep calm until then. after the court rules them ultra vires, then you can start screaming. if ...
    ( By hats off! )
  • so you have also caught the psychiatry bug! and trained by the shariah supporting khaled abou el fadl!....
    ( By hats off! )
  • These two articles from the New York Times are very revealing and show the best and the worst of America. American diplomats...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Good read
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Hats Off says, "an argument is judged on the basis of the soundness of its premises and the validity of the conclusions derived from....
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • an argument is judged on the basis of the soundness of its premises and the validity of the conclusions derived from the premises....
    ( By hats off! )
  • The facts are: 1. The ban does not cover countries in which Trump has business interests. It covers only those countries in which Trump has no ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Contrary to what Hats Off says, the Muslims and the "regressive left" would have preferred a world without US interventions in Afghanistan and the ME. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )