Stories about Quran

I am a ‘jihadi’ in Australia

He was drunk and it was apparent from the way he walked towards me. After a few steps, he put his elbow on my shoulder and stood next to me with a glass of red wine in his hand. We were both in our service dresses and I did not expect this. I held my breath instinctively because of the smell of wine as he spoke in a slur, “Hello sir, I hope you won’t mind having a chat?” This guy was a sergeant who spent a year in Afghanistan with NATO forces and was working in my office with the ...

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Muslim is the new black

This past Monday I watched CNN’s Don Lemon question Sam Harris sympathetically, almost apologetically, about Ben Affleck’s defence of the Muslims of the world. Lemon asked Harris loaded questions, encouraging him to spew his ignorant half-true rhetoric about Islam. And this claim I do not make condescendingly, rather Harris’ knowledge appeared lacking because of its biased subjectivity rather than studied objectivity on the subject of Islam, his simplistic rambling sounded amateurish and very myopic. A discussion on religion within the same religion is fundamentally complicated, let alone in comparison to other religions, hence to make the dialogue intellectual and fair, the media must play a responsible role and have ...

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I disagree with Sam Harris and Bill Maher

I read a fellow blogger’s post on why she agrees with Sam Harris and Bill Maher. I am sure the writer has her heart in the right place and I completely agree with her principal argument – that the Muslim world needs serious introspection and reform. Except this is not the argument Maher and Harris put forth. They believe that the Islamic faith, not just extremist Muslims, needs reform. Academically speaking, Islam is defined by the Quran and the Sunnah, the practice of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It is not defined by what the ISIS or some ‘Muslim government’ endorses. Nor is it defined by what 64% of Egyptian Muslims ...

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If I live in Finland, do I have to fast for 23 hours a day?

In the region of the earth above the Arctic Circle called ‘the land of the midnight sun,’ the sun does not rise for several months in winter or set for several months in summer. In Finland, the sun stays above the horizon for seventy days at a stretch. What are Muslims in such regions to do if Ramazan occurs during one of these summer periods? A response to this question on one of the forums online was that “the midnight sun is a myth and that there is no such thing”. The respondent added that the days are very long in these ...

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This Ramazan, develop an attitude of gratitude

As I sit here writing this, I am exuberated with joy that Ramazan is almost here. We, Pakistanis, are always fashionably late; that should explain why we start fasting a day after most other countries do. Anyhow! Personally speaking, Ramazan is my favourite time of the year. A month I exclusively dedicate to my relationship with God, focusing on spiritual growth and reflections. It would be great if every Muslim tried to make a conscious effort in changing some part of their personality that needs to be improved during Ramazan. But unfortunately, it is sad to note how each year this month ...

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Blasphemous Punjab in a blasphemous Pakistan

This morning when I woke up, I did the first thing any sane human being would do; I checked the traffic on my page. After that, I opened Twitter and Facebook to see what I had missed throughout the night and one particular status caught my attention. A human rights advocate was shot dead in Multan. He was to defend a university lecturer who had been accused by a student group of having committed blasphemy. In days that I went to school, we could not have accused our professors of breathing too hard, out of respect. Today, academicians are scared to ...

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What Maulana Sahib taught me and what I learnt from him…

“Hello, dear. How was your day?”  “Good, Mom,” replied Hina Khaleej as she walked into the house.  Her mother was washing dishes in the kitchen. She asked, “How is Jenny? Are you still mad at her?” Opening the refrigerator, Hina poked her head inside looking for something to eat and replied, “No, we’ve worked things out. Mom, I can’t wait for the picnic tomorrow. It will be so much fun! And I would’ve been so bored if Jenny and I hadn’t patched up.” Hina and Jenny had been best friends since kindergarten and although they fought quite often, their bond was unbreakable. They were ...

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I will not change my name after marriage, why should I?

Contrary to what people believe in our society, a woman should retain the family name of her father instead of taking her husband’s name after marriage. There are various Hadith which caution against adding a name other than one’s father’s. I can just imagine some readers raising their eyebrows indignantly at this statement while others will roll their eyes and think, “Here comes another feminist argument.” But the fact of the matter is that this is not about feminism at all; this is not an argument about ‘If men don’t have to change their name, women shouldn’t be made to either’. This is simply about a ...

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Pakistan cannot be an ‘Islamic’ republic, not if women are being raped everyday!

On March 13, 2014 a girl from Muzaffargarh set herself on fire outside the local police station when justice was not served to her. This innocent girl was allegedly gang raped by five rapists, who were granted bail by the police. People just stood there, watching her burn alive – as if she was giving a circus performance and our efficient media covered the incident from every angle possible to make sure it sold like hot-cakes on TV. The mother threw sand on her daughter in an attempt to save her. And finally one policeman, among the dozens who were watching, remembered his ...

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What is the point of International Women’s Day anyway?

In the land of technicolour, is there space for grey areas? Welcome to Pakistan. We are rapidly moving towards a positive change, for example, everyone now knows what Aldo sells – everyone who is anyone, that is. Another, more poignant example is how we are all set to celebrate International Women’s Day in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for all the right reasons. Or at least that’s what we have been told – be happy on March 8 and go give the next woman you find a pat on the back. She may turn around and slap you but that’s okay. It ...

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