Newsletter (16th Jan’13 – 31st Jan’13)

Fortnightly Newsletter

(16th January'13 - 31st January`13)

Compiled by: Azeem Ayub



In the Name of Allah,
the Most Gracious,
the Ever Merciful



Taming and Tongue


“Wounds inflicted by the tongue are deeper than the wounds inflicted by the sword,” is an adage that we have often read and also experienced. These wounds cut deep into the heart and are not easily cured. Even after years, a person may feel their pain. At times, these wounds are caused inadvertently and at others in a planned and cold-blooded way. However, whatever be their nature as human beings it is our foremost duty to make an all out effort to tame the tongue.

Abusing and cursing others, making fun of them, lying, misreporting facts, backbiting, slandering others, swearing false oaths and bearing false witness, lustful chatting, bragging, enticing others to sin, speaking disrespectfully, expressing arrogance, gossiping, giving sweeping statements and being judgemental, teasing, flattering and even talking incessantly are some prominent areas where restraining and containing the tongue is required.

The first step to overcome such blemishes is to realize that they are blemishes. Realizing faults means that the job is half done. The other half requires a concerted and sustained effort.

The starting point after this realization is to plan before hand to hold back the tongue from its evil habits or letting it enter into a frenzied state; more often than not, this is due to some reaction that arises within us. Obviously, blemishes of the tongue can be classified in two categories.

Blemishes which are habitual and do not involve rage: like lying, backbiting and misreporting facts etc.

Blemishes which occur in rage, like abusing, screaming and shouting.

Blemishes of the tongue which are habitual need a concerted effort. They can only be overcome if a person makes up his mind to root them out by realizing that they are grave sins and not only besmear one’s inner-self but many a time cause hurt, deceit and damage to others. These blemishes are a shame to humankind and bring disrepute to it. We should first of all enlist all these blemishes and work out a plan to eradicate them one by one. We should pray to God to prod and intimate us right before we commit some blemish of the tongue and then the courage and strength to overcome it. Being prodded is essential because in blemishes committed as a habit we often are not even aware of what we are doing. The next step is to apply brakes. This needs will power to stop short of entering the highway that leads to excesses of the tongue. It may not work every time and it is not meant to work every time. We are not angels and neither can we ever be. We have to realize that we cannot be good all the time. However, we must be good most of the time. The first target is not humanly achievable; the second one is and it is to realize it that we should work for. A daily plan of self-accountability is needed for improved results. We must take time out every day to think over the blemishes we have committed with our tongues in the previous twenty four hours and then resolve to do better in the next twenty four hours.

Blemishes of the tongue which occur in rage need prior planning as well. When overcome with rage, we need to delay our reaction. Merely deferring our response at that time can go a long way in reducing the harm caused. Inhaling a deep breath, taking a glass of water, changing one’s posture or location can help a lot. If our anger is caused by some person, we need should try bring to mind the good qualities in that person. We can vent our rage by uttering whatever we have in mind in seclusion. Fasting helps to restrain rage and hence the misuse of the tongue. Even after adopting all these measures, it will still take time to overcome this habit and it will not go overnight. So during this time if one does lose temper and is not able to restrain his or her tongue, then one thing that should be persistently done in offering an unconditional apology to the aggrieved party.


Author: Dr Shehzad Saleem




In this Issue

* Taming & Tongue


Read & Reflect
* Religious Tolerance:
    The Islamic


 Debate & Discuss
Discussion Forum:
    Islamic Political

 return to the top ^

Express & Explain
* General Discussion
    Terrorist vs

 return to the top ^ 


Pause & Ponder
*  Should Muslim
   Women Talk
   from behind a


*  Courses on Surah
    Nasr, Surah Kafirun


*  Successful













Read and Reflect


Religious Tolerance: The Islamic Perspective


Mankind seems to be divided by religious categorisation. Some religious groups are more exclusive in their approach than others. However, the approach of condemning people belonging to other faiths, although it has become a much less pronounced problem in recent times, has not vanished completely.

There have been many approaches adopted by religious scholars belonging to different faiths to check the tendency of growing bigotry amongst religious people. The Vatican adopted the policy of Religious Inclusivism through its decree of 1967 which expressed sentiments of cordiality for other important world religions. Words of sympathy were also reserved in the decree for those who have chosen to follow the approach of atheism.


There are, however, some Christians scholars who believe that Religious Inclusivism, even though it is a welcome improvement on Religious Exclusivism, still falls short of being fully convincing. What has been presented by William Rowland, John Hick, and Paul Badham is an approach to justify what they describe as Religious Pluralism. According to this approach, all important religions are genuine human responses to the same Transcendental Reality, even though influenced by the respective cultural environments of the religious leaders. Thus all of them are simultaneously correct, and all offer important insights into the understanding of the Ultimate.


Both Religious Inclusivism and Religious Pluralism promise more religious tolerance amongst those who choose to adopt these points of view, although the latter seems to be more capable of engendering true respect in the hearts of believers of one faith for the believers in the other faiths.

Muslims have normally been considered Religious Exclusivists, who would not hold people of other faiths worthy of being offered respect for their religious commitments. There is, therefore, felt a need to present an Islamic point of view on how Islamic teachings propose to tackle the issue of religious plurality.


Islam, on the one hand takes a firm position in confirming the unquestionable authenticity of its teachings, on the other hand it also calls for genuine respect for all non-Muslims. Even though there seems to be apparently a contradiction in the approach, a better understanding of the various verses of the Qur’ān on the subject would suggest that it is not necessarily so.


The correct Islamic approach towards the non-Muslims is to assume that all of them have, as yet, not been properly convinced about the authenticity of the divine origins of the teachings of Islam. It is for the Muslims to help the non-Muslims to appreciate the truthfulness of the Islamic teachings. That would require not only intelligent preaching on their part but, perhaps more importantly, a behaviour of respect for the fellow human beings, irrespective of their faith. The absence of that behaviour on the part of some Muslims has been an important reason for their failure to present Islam as a message which is worthy of being taken seriously by the non-Muslims. Thus true religious tolerance is at the heart of a proper Islamic behaviour. Thus it will be shown that all Muslims are required to be extremely tolerant of other faiths and to continue their struggle to convince them politely.


This approach is neither Religious Inclusivism of the sort adopted by the Vatican, nor Religious Pluralism as proposed by Rowland Williams, John Hick, and Paul Badham. It is, in fact, a call for religious tolerance because of the possibility of lack of proper communication of the true message of God. Since no body knows whether the other individual has been communicated the message of Islam properly, therefore, no Muslim has the right to condemn any non-Muslim on grounds of religious differences.


Author: Dr Khalid Zaheer




  Debate and Discuss


Discussion Forum: Understanding Islamic Political Directives  

Topic: Module 4: Democracy and Islam

Siddiq Bukhary(Moderator)
Why do you think it is necessary not to accept a hadith unless it meets the criteria ascertained by the scholars of the science of the hadith? Does a Hadith become absolute truth after it is rendered acceptable by the scholars of the science of Hadith?


Is it a comparison between contemporary western democracy and Islamic political system as outlined in the Quran and the Sunnah duly followed by four caliphs of Islam?

1. In Islamic political system, law making authority cannot cross the boundary of Quran and sunnah, where as there is no such restriction in democracy in general.

2. In Islamic political system choice of a ruler is based on consensus of either intellectuals or masses, where as in current democratic system choice of ruler is based on selection of majority.

1. Democracies are governed in general by constitution. In an Islamic system the Quran would form the constitution. If however the majority decided to have laws contrary to the Quran. Then it cannot be considered to be an Islamic state. Ultimately the majority have to decide whether they wish to live within Islamic bounds or not. As there is no compulsion in religion no one should force their will on the majority.

2.'In Islamic political system choice of a ruler is based on consensus of either intellectuals or masses, where as in current democratic system choice of ruler is based on selection of majority'

Democracy is based on consensus of the masses.

Who exactly are the intellectuals.

1. the views expressed by perv1 at point 1 is the correct stand on the issue.

2. the question raised by perv1 at point 2 is logical.

as per Islamic teachings, the principal "the system is based on consultation" has no discrimination of intellectuals and otherwise. matter of public interest will be decided by "the majority opinion of the masses" is the common point between Islam and democracy. however , the difference between the two systems is sufficiently covered at point 1 by perv1.

Siddiq Bukhary (Moderator)
Saqi has correctly summarised the subject . I hope, now there is no ambiguity in this matter.




Express and Explain:


General Discussion Forum:

Terrorist vs Terrorism



According to British writer and lecturer, Karen Armstrong, the west is deeply Islamophobic and the Islamophobia is the result of a long process of prejudice, dating back to the Crusades. The recent events have strengthened the prejudiced belief that “Islam is the religion of the sword”. Islamophobia can manifest itself directly in verbal or physical attacks on Muslims but also indirectly in negative images of Muslims presented by the media. Islamophobia was worsened by anti-Islamic policies, publications and activities in Europe and the US. Islamophobia is not only a cause of discrimination against Muslims but also an open threat to world peace. The western media and intellectuals play a significant role in spreading Islamophobia. Hate-mongers have come out of the woodworks in full force. Now, not a day passes without the newspapers, magazines, radio and TV talk shows, Hollywood movies, computer games and even children’s cartoons and the myriad of internet websites and chat rooms, attacking Islam and Muslims. Muslim communities in the western world and its so called leaders have taken the Ostrich-approach. They have buried their heads in the sand hoping the problems would go away. It is not going to go away. The neck of the Ostrich will be cut. Entire Muslim communities living in the west are under attack. According to a survey, 70% of Americans do not want to see Muslims living in their neighborhood. There is not a single day when Islam and Muslims are not attacked by the mainstream news media outlets. Muslims are referred barbarians who must either be civilised or banished before they pollute the egalitarian societies in which they were born or now live. According to a survey in Scotland, half of Scots see Muslims as a ‘cultural threat’. Scotland would lose its identity if more Muslims went to live there. According to DEMOS, British public is more worried about violent crime and immigration, but the British establishment has focused too heavily on terrorism.

Masajid and Muslim organizations are regarded as training centers for terrorists. Thousands of innocent Muslim youths are being searched in streets and hundreds of them are behind the bar with out any trial. No religion advocates terrorism. However, West has directed its anger against Islam and Muslims by inventing Islamic Terrorism. It is the western extremism which is portraying Islam as an evil. It is the extremism in France, Turkey and other European countries where Muslim women are not allowed to cover their heads. Now the Turkish education chief wants headscarf ban lifted. In Britain, there is a social and economic pressure on Muslim women not to cover their heads. Despite international outrage and the US authorities’ own stated wish to close Camp Guantanamo is still holding detainees illegally… in cruel, inhuman and degrading conditions.

There is an undeclared World War III going on in the name of War on Terrorism. The fact of the matter is that Islam is all peace and hence this war is war of terrorism and not against terrorism. Deception and lies are frequently part of the wars and with powerful Hollywood film tools and other media communications devices people of the world are thoroughly fooled, deceived and made confused. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan is an unmitigated disaster that had brought the west generally into disrepute. Inter Milan, the Italian foot-ball team played with an Istanbul team, wearing a strip with “Crusader-Style” red crosses which is offensive to Muslims. The red-cross brings to mind one thing: the symbol of the “Templar Knights”. The cross also symbolised “western racist superiority over Islam”. Inter Milan had manifested in the most explicit manner the superiority of one religion over another. Many EU countries are against Turkey joining EU on the ground that majority of Turks are Muslims with secular constitution. Widespread ignorance and Right-wing groups is the main culprit behind the demonized image of Islam in the west. Islamophobic west has become politically motivated. Western media and politicians are portraying Muslims as “satanic figures”. A recent British study has found that a torrent of negative and imbalance stories in the British media demonize the sizeable Muslim minority and their faith by spreading prejudices and portraying them as the enemy within. Many people in the west, including researchers and those working in the media, unintentionally provide a blemished image of Islam because they are ignorant about Islam and Muslims. The republication of Danish cartoons clearly shows the prevalent ignorance about Islam. The United Nation wanted to introduce a universal law to protect Muslims from Islamophobia, which is spreading like wildfire, but the so-called civilised western establishments, voted against it. It is the fundamental duty of Muslims settled in the west to raise awareness of the spirit and core of Islam.

One by one all Muslim Organizations are going to be classified as ‘Terrorists’. BBC Newsnight has already branded world Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) as terrorist. According to TES, dated 1st Feb2002, Muslim teacher’s website has been condemned for links to militant Islamic groups. It is absurd to brand Muslim teachers website as a terrorist. Its aim is to provide guidance, share experience and discuss every day issues and problems facing Muslim teachers. It is also going to help British teachers to learn to respect and understand Islamic culture and most misunderstood British Muslim community. Racism in schools is alive and well was recognized by the Focus Institute on Rights. Staff in many schools is unwittingly racist but in my view, all British teachers are chicken racist. Racism is rife in National Curriculum. There is no mention of Muslim contribution in the world. Schools reinforce the racism that has been promulgated for centuries. The curriculum is supposed to encourage respect for different nationals, religious and ethnic identities and encourage pupils to challenge injustice. A report on teachers from the minority communities found that racism coupled with a lack of support and career progression is holding some back. Even teacher trainees were encountering racism at placement schools. They would like to discuss their worries more, but only if the senior management team was visibly open and supportive. The management at schools was very defensive about any mention of racism, so the issue could not be discussed in any meaningful way. If a teacher in English school calls a teddy bear Jesus Christ, there would be seriously hostile comments in much of the media. While in Sudan a British teacher was tried and imprisoned for insulting Islam for fifteen days but was pardoned by the President and released after eight days. She said after her release that she encountered nothing but kindness and generosity from Sudanese people. She was treated well in a Government Villa instead of a prison cell. She could have been imprisoned for six months and forty lashes. It is a fact that British teachers have no respect for Islamic faith and subsequently Muslim community, according to research by the University of Derby.

All the Masajid and Muslim organizations are there for humanitarian, educational and youth works. None of them promotes acts of terrorism or support so called Islamic Terrorism. They are busy in those aspects of education, which are neglected by state schools. They satisfy the needs and demands of the Muslim children and teenagers, which were denied by state schools and LEAs. Without their support and guidance the young generation of Muslim would have lost its Islamic Identity crucial for mental, emotional and personality development. Their contribution will be more effective if all Muslim pupils attend Muslim schools with Muslim teachers. It will help to develop positive co-relation between school and home resulting in raising the standard of education of future Muslim generations. For this purpose, I have a proposition that those state schools where Muslim pupils are in majority may be designated as Muslim Community Schools, managed and controlled by Muslim Educational Trusts and Charities. They are in a better position to educate Muslim children according to their needs and demands. A study by the National Foundation for Educational Research confirmed that all faith schools had better results than their secular counterparts. Conservative spokesman on education has praised schools affiliated to religious groups, saying Muslim schools deserved “support” not suspicion.


It is true brother because their are extremist elements in the US and UK government that hate Islam and their aim is to misguide the people of the West about Islam because they are scared that one day this religion will take over their countries and their position will be in danger.

This same "Islam" is the one that brought positive changes in the world during Medival Times and showed a new direction to the world and now this unfortunate religion is under attack.

One of the main problems is that we should work on our side to promote the true teachings of Islam and should convince Westerns and explain them the true teachings of Islam.

Let me tell you brother, West has the potention to convert to Islam but all we need is to become a symbol of Islam for them because they themselves are fed-up of their corrupt and free society and offcourse they are looking for solutions and Islam is the only solution for them.

Don't think that all the Westerns are against Islam ,their are many sensible people who know about Islam and do not believe what their media propagates about Islam.


If we leave aside these westerners, even we Pakistanis including myself are moved by the current situation in Pakistan.

Leaving aside all the outside/foreign elements we need to bring our house in order first and everything will be all right inshallah.





  Pause and Ponder

Should Muslim Women Talk from Behind a Veil?
Posted on: Monday, May 31, 2010 - Hits: 2


33:53 mentions that women must speak to men from behind a curtain. Please explain.



As far as 33:53 is concerned. it specifically concerns the house of the Prophet (sws) as is evident from the context. The context shows that the hypocrites at one time in Madīnah had started raising scandals against the wives of the Prophet (sws). They would also suddenly barge into the house of the Prophet (sws) trying to catch the wives unaware and thereby try to scandalize their private lives. To safeguard against these scandal mongers, the Qur’ān directed the wives to take certain precautionary measures. The wives of the Prophet (sws) were told that they should take care that whenever they have to say something to people in whose hearts there is the ailment of lewdness, they should speak without showing any softness to them:


O Wives of the Prophet! You are not like other women. If you fear Allah do not be too complaisant of speech lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire. (33:32)


Speaking from behind a curtain was another such measure, as the Qur’ān says:


If you ask his wives for anything, speak to them from behind the curtain. That is purer for your hearts and theirs. (33:53)


Likewise, people who would assemble in the house of the Prophet (sws) were also directed to observe certain manners. They were told that they should not become a source of trouble for the residents of the house by coming at the wrong time or unnecessarily prolonging their stay. In the words of the Qur’ān:


O you who believe! enter not the Prophet’s dwellings unless permission be granted to you for a meal [and] not [so early as] to wait for its preparation. But if you are invited, enter and when you have eaten disperse. Linger not for conversation. Such behavior distresses the Prophet and he shows his regard for you but of the truth Allah does not have regard for anything. (33:53)


So you can see that these directives have a specific background and cannot be extended to general application.


Shehzad Saleem






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