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Defending the Transgressed by Censuring the Reckless against the Killing of Civilians
Shaykh Gibril F Haddad wrote this introduction to the following elaborate fatwa:
Gentle reader, Peace upon those who follow right guidance!
I am honored to present the following fatwa or "response by a qualified Muslim Scholar" against the killing of civilians by the Oxford-based Malaysian jurist of the Shafi`i School and my inestimable teacher, Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti, titled Defending the Transgressed by Censuring the Reckless against the Killing of Civilians.
The Shaykh authored it in a few days, after I asked him to offer some guidance on the issue of targeting civilians and civilian centers by suicide bombing in response to a pseudo-fatwa by a deviant UK-based group which advocates such crimes.
Upon reading Shaykh Afifi's fatwa do not be surprised to find that you have probably never before seen such clarity of thought and expression together with breadth of knowledge of Islamic Law applied to define key Islamic concepts pertaining to the conduct of war and its jurisprudence, its arena and boundaries, suicide bombing, the reckless targeting of civilians, and more.

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Kalam And Islam, Nuh Ha Mim Keller
Islamic kalam theology exists because belief in Islam demands to define the contents of faith; to show that it is possible for the mind to accept those items of faith, that they are not absurd or inconsistent; and to give reasons to be personally convinced of it.
The proof that rational argument is valid or acceptable in matters of faith is from those many verses of the Quran which appeal to the reader's intellect. (For example: there cannot be two gods; 21:22, 23:91)
Then there is historical proof for rational argument in that nothing else could meet the crisis by the heretical mistakes of the Jahmiyya and the Mu'tazila that Ash'ari and Maturidi faced. The only way to refute their arguments was by intellectual means - with rational argument. Mere political suppression would have but hardened their party spirit into sectarian obstinacy.
There is a spectrum from right to wrong beliefs - not black and white - and there are four main categories.
Greater knowledge of these four necessary distinctions would bring about greater tolerance, because only some of the issues of Sunni-Islam deal with the difference between faith and unbelief, while others are things that Muslims may disagree about and still remain Muslim. Compare such lifelong defenders of Ahl al-Sunna `aqida, such as Razi and Imam Ash'ari himself.
Then what does traditional theology have to offer contemporary Muslims? And can traditional kalam arguments answer modern misgivings?
The real challenge to religion today is the mythic power of science to theologize its experimental method, and imply that since it has not discovered God, He must not exist.
Answering such reductionist attacks on religion is a communal obligation, which Muslims can only ignore at their peril.
And a final benefit of kalam for the Muslims is to realize from its history that there is some range and latitude in the beliefs of one's fellow brothers.

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Divine Harmony, Sh Muhammad A Siddique
After years of serious thinking, I have come to the conclusion that the real cause of human strife and wars consists in selfishness, on the one hand and the forgetfulness of God on the other. When people begin to act in utter self-interest, when the social obligations are forgotten, when one can stoop down so low as to pursue one's interests at the cost of the rights of the other, harmony and concord recede in the background. ...

Islam and Modern Science, S H Nasr
Many people feel that that in fact there is no such thing as the Islamic problem of science. They say science is science, whatever it happens to be, and Islam has always encouraged knowledge, al-ilm in Arabic, and therefore we should encourage science and what's the problem? - There's no problem.
But the problem is there because ever since children began to learn Lavoiser's Law that water is composed of oxygen and hydrogen, in many Islamic countries they came home that evening and stopped saying their prayers. There is no country in the Islamic World which has not been witness in one way or another, to the impact, in fact, of the study of Western Science upon the ideological system of its youth. ...

Fighting Women Of Islam, GF Haddad
Among those who stood their ground around the Prophet ﷺ and intercepted Ubay ibn Khalaf as he was charging him were Mus.`ab ibn `Umayr who got killed and Umm `Umara Nasiba Bint Ka`b al-Ans.âriyya al-Khazrajiyya al-Najjâriyya al-Mâziniyya, together with her husband Ghaziyya ibn `Amr and her two sons Khubayb ibn Zayd ibn ` ...

`Ali Bin Abi Tâlib's Advice
`Ali kAw (karrama-LLahu wajhahu) held my hand once, and he walked with me in the direction of the cemetery. When we reached the open desert, he soughed a deep breath before he said to me, 'O Kamîl son of Ziyâd, hearts are like vessels, the best are exceptionally conscious and vast. Learn from what I am going to tell you. There are three types of people. ...

The Sum Of Islam, `Ali bin Abi Tâlib
Muqâtil bin Qatâda narrated that a man from the tribe of Khazâ`a once came and asked `Ali, may God bless his countenance: “Have you ever heard God's messenger ﷺ , upon whom be peace, epitomizes [typifying] the religion of Islam?”
`Ali replied: “Yes indeed, I have heard God's messenger ﷺ say, Islam is based on four pillars: patience (sabr); certitude (yaqîn); struggle (jihâd); and justice (`adl). ... ”

Sufism in Islam, GF Haddad
“Know that Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama`a are divided in eight groups of people... the sixth group being the Sufi Ascetics (al-zuhhad al-sufiyya), who have seen things for what they are and therefore have abstained, who have known by experience and therefore have taken heed truly, who have accepted Allah's allotment and contented themselves with what is within reach. ...”

Contemporary Issues

Some Reflections on Woman-Led Prayer, U Zaynab Ansari
They believe that Islam needs to be freed from centuries of male-dominated, conservative scholarship to adequately address issues of human rights and gender equality. While this idea might appeal to some, it certainly has its flaws. Many of the Progressives' ideologues envision a wholesale reformulation of Sacred Law. This divine gift of guidance has withstood the test of time immemorial. It is sheer folly for any Muslim to claim the right to alter the Sharia of Allah. As Sidi Nazim Baksh so eloquently put it, “Any movement, artistic or scholarly, whether an idea or a book, that lures people away from the principles of Divine guidance embodied in the Prophetic era, is degeneration - a regression, not progression.” ...

Pearls Of Advice

Accept Only The Truth, Mu`âdh Bin Jabal
Coming your way are awful trials were money will be aplenty, and the Qur'an will be read by the believer as well by the hypocrite, the young and the old, the strong and the weak, and people from all nations will read the Qur'an. A man rehearsing the Qur'an in public will be astounded and bewildered as he says to himself, 'How is it that I happen to be reading the divinely revealed Qur'an, and people seem to neither heed, nor would they comply with its admonitions?' ...

Advice on how to be good, Sh M S Burhani
Do not limit yourself to deep words and profound spiritual allusions but make provision for the afterlife before death comes, when fine words will be lost and the rak`as you prayed by night or day will remain. ...

Islamic Spirituality (14 articles)

What is Sufism? Gibril F Haddad
“Before asking what is Sufism, we should ask what is Religion.” Shaykh al-`Arusi said:
“Religion (al-dîn) is an orchard of which the fence is the Law (al-sharî`a), the inner grove is the Path (al-tarîqa), and the fruit is the Reality (al-haqîqa). Whoever has no Law has no Religion; whoever has no Path has no Law; and whoever has no Reality has no Path ... ”

Sharî`ah, Tarîqah And Haqîqah
“Only a man who can walk on flat ground can hope to climb a mountain.” Without participation in the Sharî`ah the life of the Tarîqah would be impossible and in fact the latter is interwoven in its practices and attitudes with the practices prescribed by the Sharî`ah.
Some of the traditional Sufi masters, especially those of the Shadhiliyah order, have used the geometric symbol of a circle to depict the relation between these fundamental dimensions of Islam of Sharî`ah, Haqîqah and Tarîqah ...

Tasawwuf - Sufism in Islam, Imam Hamza Yusuf (pdf-file)
They (the Sufis) have been the strictest adherents to the sacred law, but they have a wonderful principle: that is be hard on yourself and be gentle with other people. ...

Tasawwuf Shuyukh
The first in the long row of tasawwuf shuyukh is Al-Hasan al-Basri (d. 110). He was one of the early formal Sufis in both the general and the literal sense, as he wore all his life a cloak of wool (suf). The son of a freedwoman of Umm Salama's (the Prophet's wife) and a freedman of Zayd ibn Thabit's (the Prophet's stepson), this great Imam of Basra, the leader of saints and scholars in his day, was known for his strict and encompassing embodiment of the Sunna of the Prophet. He was also famous for his immense knowledge, his austerity and asceticism, his fearless remonstrances of the authorities, and his power of attraction both in discourse and appearance. ... .. more ..

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'Islamic' Extremism (16 articles)

Suicide or 'martyrdom'-operations are unlawful and cursed
The reasons why we deem suicide or 'martyrdom'-operations and the killing of civilians as unlawful and cursed, constituting without exception a reprehensible innovation (bid`ah) in Islam and a crime in general, will be shown in this article, with proofs and various texts presented. ...

Sacred Texts Addressing Wanton Destruction and Indiscriminate Killing
Islamic rulings are derived from the Qur'an (the words of God revealed word-for-word by the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ - also his greatest miracle) and the Sunnah (teachings of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ which are also of divine origin or approval, but were not necessarily transmitted word-for-word). ...

The Hijacked Caravan
Jihad, Islamic holy war, is a valid part of the Islamic tradition of legitimate martial resistance in the face of persecution, oppression and foreign aggression. As an Islamic discipline, Jihad can only be conducted within the parameters of the Sunnah, the normative practice of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, and the Shari'ah, the legal code he brought and which has been sustained to the present era. Suicide terrorism is an ancient tactic, which has been used by a variety of entities around the world, invoking causes such as religion, nationhood, honour ...

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Women - Your Partners
and Committed Helpers (9 articles)

On Women's Rights -
From the last speech of the Holy Prophet ﷺ

O People, it is true that you have certain rights over your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah's trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Treat your women well and be kind to them, for they are your partners and committed helpers. It is your right and they do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste...

Shams, Mother Of The Poor, Ibn `Arabi
Among people of our kind I have never met one like her with respect to the control she had over her soul. In her spiritual activities and communications she was among the greatest. She had a strong and pure heart, a noble spiritual power and a fine discrimination. She usually concealed her spiritual state ...

Why Must Women Pray Behind Men, GFH
Women have to pray behind men in Islam, because the Prophet ﷺ said so, upon him blessings and peace: "Lo! Let absolutely no woman lead a man in prayer!" "Ala la ta'ummanna imra'atun rajulan."...

Women's Liberation Through Islam
Islam, fourteen centuries ago, made women equally accountable to God in glorifying and worshipping Him, while setting no limits on her moral progress. Also, Islam established a woman's equality in her humanity with men, In the Qur'an, in the first verse of the chapter entitled "Women", God says: ...

Abu Bakrah and the Feminists, by GF Haddad
They have a problem with the hadith "A nation that is led by a woman will not succeed" so they set out to find ways of undermining it. Their aims are of course much more ambitious and the Abu Bakrah issue only one trojan horse among many others in their program, as their books and arguments have made abundantly clear.

Prophetic Narrations On
A Wife's Piety To Her Husband

A woman from the tribe of Khath`am asked the Prophet ﷺ , "Tell me what is the right of the husband over the wife? For I am an unmarried woman and I shall marry if I can, otherwise I shall remain unmarried." He said: "The right of the husband over the wife is that if he wants her she must not prevent him, even if she were sitting on the back (z.ahr) of a camel. Also among his rights is that she must not give out anything from his house except by his permission. Otherwise, she shall bear the burden of sin while he shall obtain the reward. ... "

Marriage and "men's cruelty"
There are many sisters, unfortunately, especially in the West, that feel unable to forgive the entire male population due to the sins of some of them and therefore court celibacy and shun marriage, committing a sin in the process if they are among those upon whom marriage is obligatory, which includes most people. It is a cliche that men are cruel; but in Islam we excuse neither misanthropy [hatred of mankind] nor misogyny [hatred of women]; nor do we say as Hamlet said to Ophelia, "Get thee to a nunnery." ...

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For Non-Muslims

Man Is Veiled From God - Allah, S H Nasr
Herein lies one of the major distinctions between the Islamic and Christian points of view, one that makes it difficult for many Westerners to understand the nature of the Islamic perspective. Christianity is essentially a mystery which veils the Divine from man. The beauty of Christianity lies in the acceptance of God as a mystery, and in bowing before this mystery, in believing in the unknown as St. Augustine said. In Islam, however, it is man who is veiled from God. The Divine Being is not veiled from us, we are veiled from Him and it is for us to try to rend this veil asunder, to try to know God. ...

The Meaning of Universal Brotherhood, Sh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti
The Imams al-Nawawi and Ibn al-'Imad (may Allah be pleased with them both!), were among our scholars who understood "brotherhood" in this Hadith (from the phrase: li-akhIhi [his brother] in the matn) to include all of humanity, i.e., the brotherhood of mankind (in the other ta'wil, brotherhood simply refers to Muslims). In fact, Imam Najm al-Din al-Tufi, the Hanbali mufassir, more plainly than any other medieval interpreter of this Hadith, used the expression "mahabbat al-insan" [the love for mankind]. [Tufi, Ta'yin, 125]. This, it turns out, is not astonishing, for his own Mujtahid Imam related a Hadith (reproduced below) that bears out the full relevance of our topic. ...


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latest update: 2015-11-15


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