Tag Archives: modernism

Brown Guy + Beard = Terrorist

What do you call a Brown Guy with a Beard??

If you have read my blog post that I wrote last year on January 11th 2011, then you would know the story and the answer. Not much has changed since then except in the person who was name calling. If you missed it then the link is given at the end.

So this teacher asked me smilingly “Are you from Saudi Arabia?” in a class full with students.

I asked him smilingly “Are you serious, do I look like an Arab? You should know that.”

He responded “I don’t know- Saudia Arabia or Afghanistan.

Me: “Are you kidding me, just because of the beard.”

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Preface to What is the Sunnah and Hadith?

By Umer Sultan| Part 1: Preface to What is the Sunnah and Hadith?

One of the most common topic of discussion among Muslims now a days is about the Sunnah.  Most of us Muslims have heard this word ‘Sunnah‘ and in many discussions we might have heard brothers and sisters questioning, discussing and arguing the following:

If Hadith is the saying of Prophet Muhammad, is Sunnah the actions of the Prophet? What is the significance of either one?

What is Sunnah? What is the authority of Sunnah?

I don’t have to follow Sunnah, I can leave it. It is not like it is Fard (obligatory).

Is Sunnah below the Qur’an? Is Sunnah inferior than the Qur’an?

I don’t understand the difference between Sunnah and Hadith!

Is beard a Sunnah or Wajib (commanded)? I was told it is Sunnah, but others say it is Wajib?  What is the difference? Can both be true at the same time or not? I am confused.

The list, however, continues and I am not here to compile the list. Each of these issues will be addressed piece meal inshallah (God Willing) in the Continue reading

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Pervez Musharraf has announced a major come back to Pakistan- Part 1

Mr General Retired Pervez Musharraf has announced a major come back to the Pakistani Politics for the next national elections. He has announced that he wants to provide the 3rd option to the Pakistani people with strong leadership.

Source: swingstateofmind.com

With the incompetency of the present Pakistani administration, and the resulting deterioration of the Pakistani society, Musharraf’s announcement has fulfilled his fan’s hopes. However, there is a concern among many others. The tenure of Musharraf as the dictator of Pakistan was not the era of idealism in the history of Pakistan as Musharraf might have envisioned. His idealism of Enlightened Modernism came back to hound him and led to his resignation in order to avoid the legal consequences of trashing the Pakistani constitution.

That history aside, I have my own concerns. I liked Pervez Musharraf when he took over Pakistan in a bloodless coup in 1999 and I still do for his personality. He has the leadership skills but his ideals and principles are very worrisome.

If Musharraf would run for the Presidency of Pakistan, people will vote him (actually his party) for his personality not for his (or his party’s) ideals. This is the mental plague the Pakistani people are facing today. The problems of Pakistan will never resolve if this mentality of hero-worship continues. People of Pakistan should look at the ideals & principles of the man and party before they vote.

His Values & Principles:

A] His ideals include Enlightened Moderation:-

In the words of Pervez Musharraf:
“The world has been going through a tumultuous period since the dawn of the 1990s, with no sign of relief in sight. The suffering of the innocents, particularly my brethren in faith — the Muslims — at the hands of militants, extremists and terrorists has made it all the more urgent to bring order to this troubled scene. In this spirit, I would like to set forth a strategy I call Enlightened Moderation.” The Washington Post June 1st 2004, A23.
He explained back in 2004 that this strategy is two-fold. First are the Muslims and that they have to shun violence, and extremism and that they need to be moderate in Islam. The second part of the strategy is the West, especially the United States that it needs to deal the issues of global politics with justice.

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From Ascribed Identities to the world of Self-Identification

Just as modernity altered the way individuals understood their relationship to society at large, so did it fundamentally change the way individuals understood themselves. It used to be that a person’s identity was defined by the society to which he or she belonged. But as society was increasingly deemed to be nothing more than the product of human imagination, so too were social identities cast aside as mere human constructions. After all, if there are numerous alternatives to the present social order, there must also be numerous alternatives to the identities that society ascribes to us. Thus, with the rise of modernity, new collective identities began to arise, constructed not through societal mandates but through conscious self-reflection—not “Who do you say I am?” but “Who do I say I am?” In short, the modern age has ushered a transition from a world in which identities were bestowed to a world in which identities can be gained or lost through deliberate action—from a world of ascribed identities to a world of self-identification.”

[Page 132-133 Chapter Six- Generation E]

Source: Reza Aslan. How to win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization and the end of the War on Terror. Random House, New York, 2009.

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