Faithful Foreigners


OUR environment poses considerable challenges to our well-being. While many take this to mean physical wellness, often completely ignored is the impact that environmental influences pose to one’s spiritual health. We are constantly under pressure to conform. Society, family, friends, co-workers, businesses, governments — they all demand that we follow

6 Qualities of Tolerant Individuals


Tolerance is a special quality. It means getting along with people who are different from us. It is a vital trait for peaceful coexistence and to build cordial and friendly relations between people. Being tolerant requires from us to be patient, understanding and accepting of anything different. People are different from

Islam And Forced Conversion


Islam and Muslims are frequently imparted with heavy criticism for religious freedom issues. Often examples are cited that in Muslim lands, people of other faiths are not freely allowed to profess or proclaim their beliefs, and that people are converted by force. The notion that Islam is a religion of

Social Media: Use it, Don’t Abuse it!


How Islamic marketers can harness the potential of social media without causing offence? Paper presented at 8th Global Islamic Marketing Conference, Alanya Turkey May 2, 2017 THE SOCIAL REVOLUTION It would be no exaggeration to say that nowadays many of us spend a significant amount of time every day staring

Shopping Mania


THE reason why many of us do not wish to face reality is because it is painful. Reality hurts. It sheds light on areas which we want to keep in the dark. Like the child who cries and screams because he cannot have his way is offered ice cream to

8th Global Islamic Marketing Conference, Alanya, Turkey


Man or Beast?


ARE we human or are we simply a species of animals? This question has perplexed many thinkers. After all, are we not simply glorified animals, some proclaim? Do we not tend to do the same things that animals do? We go to work, earn money to buy food; animals also

A New Life


They come from far and wide. On every means of transport available. By land, air or sea. Some do not even mind going all the way on foot. Young or old, man or woman, rich or poor, black or white, from all categorisations of humanity possible, we find them there.

Climate Change


Human greed and unabashed materialism has begat a monster, which is ready to devour us. Excessive pollution from consuming fossil fuels is disturbing the balance of our ecosystem and threatening to destroy life on the planet. The spectre of climate change looms upon us but nobody seems to notice. Switch

Believers: Genuine vs Fake


Inept border control procedures and a lenient attitude of rulers towards rogue traders means that our marketplaces are flooded with counterfeit goods. It has become very common to find bags, watches, eyewear, clothing, and all sorts of products having marks and labels of famous brands but which are in fact

Is Apostasy a Cognizable Offense in the Qur’an?


Apostasy is the formal disaffiliation, or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. One who commits apostasy is an apostate. The Qur’an mentions that deserting the true religion of God is a sin, but it does not stipulate a worldly punishment for this act. There is no imperative

Cults


Gold is precious. Because it is precious, people seek it. They will pay a price for it and are eager to have it as a possession. Because it is precious, sought after and always has a clientele, fraudsters are also drawn to it. They know full well that if they

The Qur’anic “Torah”


QUESTION Is it correct that “Taurat” is not the name of a book revealed by Allah but is the title of all those verses in the Qur’an that contain “Hukm Allah”, (Order, command of God) as stated in Al Maida 5:43. Does the Qur’an justify the view that “Taurat” is

Does 24:33 endorse prostitution?


Q. I read a verse about prostitution of slave girls and it said “..do not compel your maids in to prostitution if they desire chastity”. Does this verse sanction prostitution? Ans. The full verse in question states: وَلْيَسْتَعْفِفِ الَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ نِكَاحًا حَتَّىٰ يُغْنِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ ۗ وَالَّذِينَ يَبْتَغُونَ

Finality of Prophethood


بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَٰكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا “Muhammad is not the father of any one of your men, but the Messenger of God, and the Seal of the Prophets; God has knowledge of everything.” 33:40

Salat


What is the activity of Salat? What are its exact times? How many Rakahs should be done? Can one read Salat in a non Arabic language? Are there are any special conditions for women and prayers? Salat is an act of Ibadah (Servitude to Allah), which is ordained by Allah over believers

Believing Woman’s Dress


According to the Qur’an, what is a believing woman’s dress code? If a woman wears a head scarf then does she violate any command of Allah, as certain modern-day Quran cults allege?  A believing women’s dress code is mentioned in two verses of the Qur’an. In Surat Al Ahzaab 33:59 and

12 reasons why Mary was not a Hermaphrodite


The Qur’an leaves no stone unturned regarding the gender of Mary and makes it absolutely clear that she was not a hermaphrodite Introduction Jesus Christ is a Messenger of God whose personality is surrounded in controversy. Three world religions hold varying opinions about his person and his birth. On one extreme

Blasphemy laws in the Qur’an


The Qur’an has issued clear guidelines as to how believers are to respond in the face of insults and ridicule Blasphemy (Greek blaptein, “to injure”, and pheme, “reputation”) signifies etymologically gross irreverence towards any person or thing worthy of exalted esteem.¹ Blasphemy is the use of offensive, and derogatory language

A brief guide to the Hajj


A Brief Guide to the Hajj The Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to Makkah which is obligatory on every adult Muslim man or woman who has the health and the wealth to undertake the journey. The Qur’an and Islamic tradition mention the origin of Hajj with Prophet Abraham (PBUH) who

Makkah: The Microcosm of the World


MAKKAH: THE MICROCOSM OF THE WORLD To the unknowing as well as the unconcerned, Makkah may be a city in the desert with some historical importance, but what does come to light once we actually visit the city, is the fact that it is the microcosm of the entire world.

Do children go to heaven upon death?


Accountability of children, the weak and the handicapped Q- A vast majority of people have not read the Qur’an. Even among Muslims, its true knowledge is very rare to find. There are children who do not know who Allah is, or what Islam means. There are many individuals who suffer from mental

Wasted Salat


First published in DAWN, 06, June, 2014 NEGLECTED PRAYER THE mosque is full, and not an inch of space is available to set one’s foot inside. The main hall, the courtyard, the lawns, even the entrance and the footpaths are all occupied, making it difficult to squeeze in. This is

A Prophet is chosen by Allah


Q. Deniers of finality of Prophet-hood cite verse 4:69 “whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, then he is among the company of the Prophets..” to justify the claim of Prophet-hood of their group’s founder. They maintain that their leader obeyed Allah and His Messenger to such an extent and devotion that he

Nikah Muta


Nikah Mut’a (temporary marriage) is it allowed by the Qur’an? Q. What is the Quranic view on permission of Nikah Mut’a which is a temporary marriage entered for a fixed period of time for the purpose of physical pleasure and in which the partners do not inherit from each other? A. The

Graves of Messengers


Is there evidence in the Qur’an to prove that Messengers of Allah were buried in graves upon their demise? Though the Qur’an does not mention the exact location or time of death of any Messenger, we can infer from its ayat that Messengers were assigned burials by Allah at the

The Messenger (pbuh) was a human being


Is there any evidence in Al-Qur’an to prove that Muhammad (p) was a human being? The Qur’an classifies messengers in two categories, messengers from humans and messengers from angels “Allah chooses from the angels messengers and from the people. Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Seeing.” 22:75 Sahih International It can

Zamzam and Jesus


Is the well of Zamzam springing water due to the birth of Jesus? Qur’an Sura 19 mentions a rivulet appearing underneath Mary and the mention of dates. Is this rivulet the water of Zamzam and the dates that Mary ate the dates meant for the pilgrims of Makkah? The Well

Reincarnation of Muhammad


Is Muhammad (PBUH), a Messenger of all times? Does he keep reincarnating since day one, in the past, present and the future, appearing in the person and the body of various individuals? The expression “Messenger of all times” does not find its origin in the Arabic Qur’an. Such a statement

Sex Slaves


THE ATTACK ON MUSLIMS, YOUR RELIGION ENJOINS SEXUAL SLAVERY It is the claim of critics that Islam allows sexual relations with slave girls. To lend credence to this claim they allude to certain translations of Qur’anic verses, such as: “… those more favoured are not going to throw back their gifts

Bismillah


If you were to purchase a copy of the Qur’an from a bookshop and browse through its pages, you will discover that out if its one hundred and fourteen chapters, all, except one, begin with the words “Bismi Allahi arrahmani arraheem”. Is this Arabic statement which means ‘In the Name of God,

Taurat of the Qur’an Vs Torah of the Bible


A common perception is that wherever one reads references to Taurat in the Qur’an, then it implies that the author is referring to the Torah of the Old Testament, which is considered sacred by Jews and Christians. However a careful reading and comparison of the Qur’an and the Bible reveals

Islamic Marketing


THE BURDEN OF BUSINESS Business has left a heavy burden on society. Nowhere is this true but in the times we live in. Business was meant to create wealth, trade in goods and services, provide employment and contribute to the betterment of society, but is this truly so? Just look

Mu’min and Muslim


Every Mumin is a Muslim but every Muslim is not necessarily a Mumin. By the term Mumin a person who has firm inner belief is meant and by the term Muslim we mean a submitter, i.e. someone who resigns His will to Allah, who agrees that there is Allah and

Dhikr Allah


The word Dhikr is Arabic for “Remembrance”. Qur’an identifies that Dhikr or “Remembrance” is the memorization and recitation of the Book of Allah: ذَٰلِكَ نَتْلُوهُ عَلَيْكَ مِنَ الْآيَاتِ وَالذِّكْرِ الْحَكِيمِ “This We recite to you of the signs and the Wise Remembrance.” 3:58 This verse shows that (a) it is

Muslim Response To The Blasphemous Film


A film depicting the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) in an offensive manner and which has been described as “a bigoted piece of poison calculated to inflame the Muslim world” has been circulated and its worldwide response has been in the form of protests and contempt across Muslim

Location of Masjid Al Haraam


Numerous individuals and groups styling themselves as “Quran Alone”, “Quraniyoon”, “Quranists”, “Submitters”,  and by other labels who claim to believe and follow the Qur’an only, offer novel interpretations and understandings. Among these are often contradictory and grammatically errant views related to the identity of Masjid Al Haraam, the Sacred Mosque,

Is it Sinful To Take The Shahadah?


INTRODUCTION: New converts to Islam often take the Shahadah when they embrace the faith to mark their formal admission into the fold of Islam. This is usually by uttering the words “I bear witness there is no God besides Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His messenger.” The

Islamic Marketing


Though the discipline has been documented in academic circles relatively recently (Alserhan 2009), Islamic marketing has been around since ever Muslims have under taken consumption and promotional activity in the light of the teachings of their faith. To many, Islamic marketing is concerned with marketing of goods and services to

Plural Marriages: The Muslim Welfare System


Introduction Imagine a country devastated by war. Men of fighting age are killed, leaving behind women and orphans. State resources have been depleted. There is poverty and misery everywhere. Where lies the relief for the weak and vulnerable, the women, children, and the elderly? Forget about the state. Islam has

Have You Been Dialling The Wrong Number?


Instead of Asking People, Why Not Try Asking God Directly If He is There? We often come across people who curiously ask us: “Where is God?” The problem with such an approach is that though they are asking the right question, it is misdirected. Why ask the creation to tell

BLOGGING THE QUR’AN: “Won’t the camel wander while he prays?”


Won’t the camel wander while he prays? Kashif Shahzada vs Madeleine Bunting Excerpts from The Guardian Debate Blogging The Qur’an MADELEINE BUNTING: Well, I knew that some of this blog was getting hard to follow – for example the discussion about how many days it took to create the world

BLOGGING THE QUR’AN: “A week with the Qur’an”


A week with the Qur’an   Kashif Shahzada vs Madeleine Bunting Excerpts from The Guardian Debate Blogging The Qur’an   MADELEINE BUNTING: I’m feeling a bit like a groupie. I watch the film, I write a blog, I chair a debate at the IslamExpo event last weekend: all on the Qur’an.

BLOGGING THE QUR’AN: “What’s the message for other faiths?”


What’s the message for other faiths?   Kashif Shahzada vs Madeleine Bunting Excerpts from The Guardian Debate Blogging The Qur’an MADELEINE BUNTING: These verses contain a statement of religious tolerance which is more far reaching than anything you will find in the Bible. I was lost from the start on

BLOGGING THE QUR’AN: “Aren’t these verses contradictory?”


Aren’t these verses contradictory?   Kashif Shahzada vs Madeleine Bunting Excerpts from The Guardian Debate Blogging The Qur’an MADELEINE BUNTING:One of these verses could stand as a manifesto for contemporary religious tolerance; the next seems to be saying we should all become Muslim I thought verse 148 was amazing. Perhaps

BLOGGING THE QUR’AN: “Breaking down a wall of misunderstanding”


Kashif Shahzada vs Madeleine Bunting Excerpts from The Guardian Debate Blogging The Qur’an MADELEINE BUNTING: At a recent conference, I was sitting between a cabinet minister and a senior economist when they fell into conversation about their summer reading – the Qur’an. Both had been horrified by what they had

Antisemitism


Evidence From The Qur’an to demonstrate that It Does Not Support Racial Discrimination By Kashif Shahzada ISLAM is the religion of peace, tolerance and social justice. It promotes humankind as one community and shuns racism and bigotry. But sadly some misguided elements portray it negatively and their wrong portrayal if

Parents


Relations that Muslims must maintain with their elderly and aging parents AT TIMES our relationships with our elderly and aging parents can be challenging. It is quite common nowadays for people to send their parents to an old home at that period in life rather than bear them constant company.

Muslims & FE


Speech delivered at “Change & Growth”, Chaplaincy in Further Education Annual Conference held in York, UK, July 2006. Ladies and gentlemen, Before I begin my speech, I would like to extend the universal greeting of peace to all of you. “Assalamu-alaikum Wa Rahmatullahe Wa Barakatahu” No! Don’t be upset, I

Muslim Renessiance


If Islam Is So Great, Then Why Are Muslims In Dire Straits? ANSWERS TO SOME COMMON CRITICISMS Critics often pose an innocent question to the faithful. “You people of faith blow your own trumpet. You claim that your religion is the best that there is, and that it has the

Cordial Relations Between Faith Communities


During the course of interfaith dialogue some participants assert that Islam advocates intolerance of other faiths, and that Muslims are not permitted to be friendly with non believers. Some even point out references from religious texts to support their view. Sadly, a few of those who label themselves as Muslim

The Labour Of Love


DID you know what the real measure of love is? Sacrifice. Yes, that’s true.  You can claim your love as much as you like, blow your own trumpet as loud as possible but its real measure, its factual test occurs when you make or do not make a sacrifice for

The Dilemma Of Faith


When Faith Becomes A Hurdle in Our Search For Truth The journey to search the truth is not a smooth ride. There are hurdles on the way, strong winds, narrow paths and sharp turns. A rather perilous journey. The problem you are most likely to face when you go about

Free will


DO WE HAVE FREEDOM OF CHOICE OR IS EVERYTHING WE DO PREDETERMINED IN OUR FATE? INTRODUCTION Has God pre-determined the fate of people? Is all the good or bad happening to us in life pre-written for us in our fate? Belief in predestination is advocated in many faiths, and some

Reincarnation


Reincarnation is the belief that the human soul, upon the death of the human body, comes back to earth in another body or form. Also referred as ‘transmigration of souls’ this doctrine is a central tenet in many South Asian and East Asian religions such as Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism as well as ancient

God In The Bible And The Qur’an


Is Salvation Guaranteed To All Believers In God? Belief in God is a fundamental precept in almost all religions. It is not at all uncommon to come across individuals who express their belief in a Supreme Creator and an Omnipotent God. The adherents of Christianity, Judaism and Islam too claim

Belief As A Precursor To Change


Coughs and colds, aches and pains, bills to pay and hungry mouths to feed – this is how the majority of humanity would have greeted the new decade. While some of us celebrated the end of 2009 with zeal, fervor and enthusiasm, sang songs and partied all night, with New Year’s Day not bringing on hardship greater than the hoary head from last night’s hangover, the bulk of humanity, our fellow human beings, did not have much to revel about.

Christmas From A Muslim Viewpoint


“WHAT BUSINESS DO YOU HAVE to comment on festivals that belong to other people’s religion? And that too on the very day that it is being celebrated?” People can very well ask.

European Muslims At Crossroads


There is a silent storm that is emerging in Europe. It is somewhat audible now and if counter measures are not taken, it is likely to cause significant damage. The storm is the rising xenophobia and its epicenter is the Muslim community of Europe.

The Leaves Of Autumn


The falling leaves of autumn. You notice them as you walk along the pathways. Blown away by gusty winds, some red, some yellow, some dry, some crisp – all heralding the moment of change and signaling to us that its time to seek a new beginning. As autumn is the season marking the periodic change in the natural world, it seems that it is also a period of change throughout human history.

Turning Points In Life That Lead To God


Life is a journey. We are but travelers. But there is a road that is less traveled, a path less trodden. Pointers to that road come in our life but many tend to ignore them. Consciously or subconsciously we follow paths in life, make choices and pursue ends. We keep on moving with the same old routines, the same common milestones until suddenly we are at the cross roads.

24 Reasons To Study The Qur’an


Are you someone born and brought up in a Muslim household, who accepts by default, that the Qur’an is a Divine text? Or someone not-so-sympathetic, someone who was told a lot of negative things about the Book and now you harbour such views yourself. Or simply in search of the truth

Newcomers To The Qur’an


This series of Blogs that I intend to write during the ongoing month of Ramadhan are meant for newcomers to the Qur’an. This does not necessarily mean non Muslims, but also includes those who may be born into Islamic households.

Ramadan: The Month of The Qur’an


The month of Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar. In this month Muslims all over the world observe a fast from dawn till dusk.  They refrain from eating, drinking and sexual relations at God’s instructions. It is a month in which religious zeal is at an