Dr Shams Hamid

Analysis and intellectual discourse from Toronto based Research Fellow at the Centre of Critical Qualitative Health Research, University of Toronto

Message to literalists: You are a minority

The Pakistani Taliban’s suicide bombers attacked the shrine of Syed Ahmad Sakhi Sarwar in Dera Ghazi Khan district, killing 50 people. The dead include children, women, the elderly and handicapped. Self-destructing suicide bombers who kill innocent people show that they are against the Islamic ideology of saving humanity from self-destruction. Taliban’s confused ideology The Taliban (including Wahabis, Salafis and all Muslims who kill other Muslims) cast a shadow on their status as Muslims. The classical scholar Hasan alBasri calls Muslims who kill other Muslims “the grave sinners”, whereas Wasil ibn Ata called such Muslims neither “believers” nor “non-believers”. Ironically, the predecessor of all ...

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For Iqbal, women’s rights are human rights

Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s philosophy is most relevant for Muslim community because of his understanding of the spirit of Islam as being essentially humanistic and reformative and for his formal arguments that satisfy the principles of Islamic jurisprudence. Iqbal finds ‘Ijma’ as an inherent principle for change in formal religious interpretations. ‘Ijma’ is both a principle of movement and reform to adjust with an everchanging reality. It is also a democratic principle as it is based on the popular opinion of muslim community. Let the Muslim of today appreciate his position, reconstruct his social life in the light of ultimate principles, and evolve, out ...

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No ‘Muslim’ can attack Data Darbar?

“No Muslim can attack Data Darbar” Rehman Malik said echoing one of the earliest debates of Muslim civilisation: whether a Muslim who killed another remains a Muslim or not. There were three answers to this debate. The first one coming from the Kharjites (Literalists) claiming that the Muslim who killed another Muslim is no longer a Muslim. Murjites (One of the earliest sects of Islam to believe in the postponement of judgement) believed that a Muslim remains a Muslim even after killing another Muslim. Mutazalites (rationalists) took a middle position saying that the status of a Muslim killing another Muslim is neither of ...

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Pakistan history, distorted by the literalists

Recently released, the Brookings Institute report claims that the real cause of militancy in Pakistan is the public education system, and not religious schools (madrssas) because the majority of Pakistani students attend public school whereas only ten per cent attend madrassas. It states that Pakistani public schools disseminate militancy, hatred, jihad and distort history. Until 1970, despite bureaucratic and military dictatorships, the Pakistani educational curriculum and textbooks, for example, had included the history of the Maurya and Gupta dynasties of the sub-continent conforming to the secular ideals of Pakistan clearly expressed by Mohammad Ali Jinnah in his speech to the constituent ...

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