Islam (Restructuring Theology)

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Item Code: NAJ351
Author: Asghar Ali Engineer
Publisher: Vitasta Publishing Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2012
ISBN: 9789380828640
Pages: 235
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 370 gm
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Book Description

About the Book

A progressive Muslim not only does not adopt sectarian approach but is respectful of the entire humanity as per the Quran (17:70). He leaves mutual differences, ideological and theological, to Allah and does not condemn anyone who differs as kafirs. It only widens differences and intensifies conflict. A progressive Muslim uses, as per the Quran, wisdom (hikmah) and godly words (maw’izat al-Hasanah) in discussion and leaves rest to Allah. He does not try to be judgemental.

About the Author

Asghar Ali Engineer is a writer, activist and scholar of repute. Awarded Right Livelihood Honorary Award (also called the Alternate Nobel Award) 2004, National Communal Harmony Award, 1997, and many other awards, Asghar Ali Engineer has written over 60 books on Islam, problems of Muslims, Muslim women’s right, communal and ethnic problems in India, South Asia and Islamic state.


This book is a compilation of essays, some published and most others unpublished, about Islam and various related problems faced by the community almost everyday. Most of the articles are critical of the fatwas issued by traditional clergy or the approach adopted by them, which create a lot of problems for lay Muslims, particularly Muslim women.

It is unfortunate that Islamic jurisprudence has lost the dynamism it had in earlier centuries. There were more than 100 schools of jurisprudence of which not more than seven have survived. Now Muslims follow these schools but make no effort to bring about change in view of the new problems arising in the modern world. Islam, in principle, provides for creative interpretation of the Quranic text.

This cannot be done by traditional jurists (foqaha). They are trained only in traditional Islamic jurisprudence and oppose any deviation from the medieval text produced by the then jurists. Whenever they are asked any question relating to juristic problems, they answer simply by referring to these medieval texts, without in any way, applying their mind to the changes which have occurred in the society and the new problems believers are faced with.

My readers continue to ask me to write about these problems and I have tried to comply with their requests. Many of the articles included in this book were written in response to these questions. Most of my readers have welcomed my response and these articles are being compiled in the form of a book, to make these writings available to future generations.

I am thankful to Mrs Brigit Fernandes, my secretary and Mr Gopa Kumar, our typist and computer in-charge, to help me compile these articles, type them and incorporate changes. And of course, I am grateful to Renu Kaul Verma of Vitasta Publications to agree to publish these articles in the form of a book. It is hoped this book would bring about attitudinal change towards juristic problems in the Islamic world.



  Preface ix
  Session - I  
  Islam and Women Issues  
1 Women’s Rights in Islam 3
2 Marital Rape in Islam 6
3 Islam and Family Planning 9
4 Maulvi Mumtaz Ali: Advocate of Women’s Rights 12
5 Polygamy and the Quran 15
6 Quran, Women and Hadith 18
7 Muslim Women vs Maulavis 21
8 Women and Inheritance 24
9 Purdah: What does the Quran Say? 26
10 Shari’ah and New World View 29
11 Banning Burqa Undemocratic 32
12 Muslim Women and Change 35
13 Muslim Women: Tradition and Modernity 38
14 Shari’ah, Fatwas and Women’s Rights 41
15 A Fatwa that Stirred Muslims 44
  Session - II  
  Religious Issues in Islam  
16 Real Jihad - Martyrdom of Husain 49
17 Religion, Compassion and Islam 52
18 Does Riba Include Bank Interest? 55
19 Reason and Faith - Complimentary or Antagonistic? 58
20 Justice Central to Shar’iah 61
21 Quran Modernity and Post-modernity 64
22 ‘Can Gates of Ijtihad be Closed? 67
23 On Being Kafir 70
24 Love God or Fear God? 73
25 Muhammad (PBUH) As Liberator 76
26 From Jihad to Ijtihad 79
27 A Different Jihad 82
28 Martyrdom and Houris 85
29 What it Means to be Religious 88
30 Is God Dead? 92
31 Inter-religious Dialogue: Its Significance and Rules 95
32 Who is a Progressive Muslim? 98
  Session - III  
  Islam and Different Issues  
33 Quest of Truth or Power? 103
34 Post-modernism and Islam 106
35 Is Islam Capitalist or Socialist? 109
36 Two Great Modern Thinkers 112
37 Fate as Explained in the Quran 115
38 Is Music Prohibited in Islam? 118
39 Social Reforms in Islam 121
40 Rethinking Issues in Islam 124
41 The Concept of Justice in Islam 127
42 Child Marriage 130
43 Islam and Social Reforms 133
44 Islam, Democracy and Modernity 136
45 Islamic Heritage - Rational or Traditional? 139
46 Muslim Reformists’ Conference at Oxford University 142
47 Islam: The State or Civilisation? 145
48 Family and Modernity 148
49 Religious Diversity and Tolerance 151
50 No Sanction for Terrorism 160
51 Training Ulema 163
52 Five Suggestions for the Islamic World 167
53 Origin of Islam: Socio-economic Perspective 176
54 Why Ummah Wahidah Remains only an Emotional Slogan 185
55 Religion as I View it 194
  Session – IV  
  Islam in India  
56 Sirhindi’s Children 205
  Session – V  
  Islamic personality  
57 A Man of Knowledge and Vision 217
  Session – VI  
  Islam and politics  
58 The Hope that is Obama 223

Sample Pages

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