Dhu'l-Qa'dah / Zil-Hijjah 1423 H
Volume 16-02 No : 194
Camps \ Workshops
I read the article titled ‘Sir Syed’s Approach to Islam’ (Islamic Voice, December 2002) written by Dr. Fatima Shahnaz with deep interest.It is well written. Incidentally, it may be pointed out that I am an ex-student (under-graduate student in Economics, for a very short time in the year 1992-93), of Sir Syed’s AMU and the little I have read about Sir Syed puzzles me very much. On the one hand, I read that Muslim society considers him as the prophet for promoting higher education among the Muslims in India. On the other hand, it is said that his translation of the holy Quran rejected the mainstream school of thoughts and his commentary of the holy Quran tried to interpret Islamic doctrine according to the criteria of various contemporary European philosophers.
As I have read about him, his philosophy provided the justification and foundation for the so-called Muslim apologetics which came after him. Did he formulate his idea independently? Bashir Ahmad Dar, in his book, The Religious Thought of Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan said that, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan constantly quoted Western Philosophy and scientific invention to sanction his views. So Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan’s apologetics mutilated the teaching of Islam beyond recognition. What I cannot understand about Sir Syed is why he contradicts himself with mainstream Islam in many places?
Dr. Abul Hassan Farooqi,
With reference to the article, "Fundamentalism" by Zakir Naik in Islamic Voice, December, 2002, I would like to say that the dictionary meaning of fundamentalism is the "strict maintenance of traditional scriptural belief". So naturally, a fundamentalist follows certain rules and laws to acquire full benefits from it. In this regard, a Muslim fundamentalist may be mentioned as an example. But the question is why only Muslims are condemned as terrorists when they are quietly following the fundamental principles of their religion-Islam? Christianity too has certain fundamental principles like love for all, Buddhism has the fundamental principle of non-violence. So the word fundamentalism is not applicable to only Muslims and it is politicians who are exploiting this in the name of religion for their own political gains.
For a long time, I have been reading Islamic Voice and have seen many writers express their thoughts about the communal issues in the country. But to be honest, the Assamese Muslims' psychology is different in this regard. Our bond of love with the Assamese is remarkable. We even feel safe in Assamese villages, but a lurking fear haunts us in non-Assamese Muslim villages. The Assamese Muslims comprise only 16 per cent of the Assamese society, but there is not a trace of communal hatred among us. This has not been highlighted by any of the Muslim-owned media. We always keep blaming the central government for giving Assam a raw deal, but the real state of affairs should be covered in the community publications and the mainstream media too.
I am a regular reader of Islamic Voice and have increased my knowledge of Quran and Hadith by the grace of Allah and your publication. But your editorial, "The Third Muslim" President, recently turned out to be disappointing. You have gone on and on praising President Kalam about his passion for the Bhagwad Gita and vegetarianism. But do enlighten through your columns in this esteemed publication if the President has the same passion for the five pillars of Islam?
Faiz Ullah Khan
Jammu and Kashmir
Islam is a clean religion. It asks its followers to dedicate themselves for the good of all human beings. There are many Muslims who strictly abide by the rules and norms of Islam. But why is it that a bunch of Muslims make gods out of saints. After the saints are dead, why tombs are built and people throng these places hoping that their wishes will be granted. When Allah has said that he is the Almighty and if we seek help we have to seek help only from Him, why on earth do these Muslims seek support of others?
Ansari Asrar Ahd.
It has been two years since the earthquake rudely shattered the people of Gujarat on a Republic Day morning. Two years later, there is no dearth of stories in Gujarat. Like that of Tejalben Vyas who was widowed at 32, or that of Darshanbhai whose family budget has gone haywire with no money and no home. But the story that haunts and hurts is that of the government which instead of helping the victims has come out with stricter norms for building re-contruction. Stricter building norms for " earthquake-proof" houses have pushed up the costs from Rs 1,800 a square yard to Rs 3000 a square yard. Worse, the builders's mafia remains unrepentant Two years hence, the rehabilitation record has been dismal. Out of the 85 buildings that collapsed, only one has been re-built. So will Modi do something for these homeless people after grabbing power?